TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Over the last week in Singapore, it came to the public’s attention that the government would likely begin hiring Taiwanese recruits as auxiliary police officers (APOs) to meet the rising need for security personnel in the city-state.
The Singaporean Minister of Home Affairs K Shanmugam said last week on Jan. 8 that the Singaporean government was having difficulty hiring the necessary amount of Singaporean and Malaysian APOs to meet the country’s needs, and that Taiwan was being considered as a possible recruiting location.
The Minister said that “Operational needs are growing significantly, everywhere, including our checkpoints. Visitor numbers are growing and at the same time, the threats of terrorism have risen substantially,” reports Channel News Asia.
However, in response to the statement from Shanmugam, online commentators are less than thrilled with the idea of foreign nationals comprising part of the country’s security forces.
With rising traffic into and out of the country, the Singaporean government projects that foreign APOs will be required, to ensure security at key entry points into the country; like new Terminal 4 at Changi Airport, or the new Tuas Port.
Many commentators say that the government should consider this an indication of the need to raise wages for police officers and security personnel, rather than looking for the most affordable option to outsource the labor.
Private security firms in Singapore, like Aetos and CISCO have hired Taiwanese nationals in the past to work as APOs, according to reports from Channel News Asia.
Aetos APO at the Changi Airport, Singapore (Wikimedia Commons Image)