There is this joke about Singapore - we want to be the Mother of all Hubs. There are so many over the years : Financial, Education, Semiconductor, Bio-Techonology, Life Science,.....etc.
Last Saturday, I just learn that we are now aiming to be the Human Resource (HR) Hub for the region. Well, we are indeed bless by our strategic location in Asia, so no wonder our government is forever 'aspiring' to be the 'Mother' of all Hubs.
Ms Low Peck Kem, Director from Ministry Of Manpower gave a talk at SIM annual convention regarding Managing Human Capital in the Perfect Economic Storm. The title sounded so interesting that I signed up for it. But it was a disappointment, I had problem keeping awake.
Her name sounded familiar to me. Ok - I am not too good with names. When she mentioned that she used to head HR in Agilent - then I recalled she was with Hewlett Packard when I was working there. Think when Hewlett Packard 'split' she went over to head Agilent.
Ms Low is using her experience from her years working in MNCs to raise the local HR profile by inviting a number of world renown HR experts to conduct talks and seminars and hoping they will set up 'shop' in Singapore.
I was thinking to myself - well, all these seems fine except that isn't it an irony that we cannot even get the basic right regarding minimum wage for low income workers and foreign workers getting a raw deal or cheated by their agents and/or bosses...and here we are aiming to lead the region in Human Resource development. It heightens my sense of awareness of the disparity within our work force. This is reflected in the widening of income gap in our working population in recent years.