Time to give locals a chance

I would like to applaud recent calls to reconsider our dependence on foreign talents to run the assets of our country.

However, there are other equally key entities that provide direct employment opportunities to locals as well as showcase our country to the world and rebuild our tourism industry once the COVID-19 pandemic comes under control.

Among our assets are the country’s golf courses.

One would come to expect that given the volume of golf-playing tourists shrinks due to travel restrictions, it is an opportune time to focus on maintenance, to raise the upkeep or even improve the conditions of the facilities.

Sadly, far from meeting the expectations, these golf courses have gone well below the standards that visitors and players enjoyed pre-pandemic; it may have even fallen out of the list of must-visit golf courses in the Asia-Pacific today.

So once the travel restrictions are lifted, and many income-generating tourists begin looking for destinations for golfing, will they choose ours?

There is probably a lack of public awareness on the number of highly salaried expats put in place to oversee the local workforce.

Not only are their remunerations multiple times higher than would otherwise be paid to equivalent locals, thus rendering higher operational costs, they deprive locals of employment opportunities.

It would have been acceptable should these expats prove themselves capable of keeping the facilities in top-notch conditions.

More importantly, they should be committed to grooming locals to succeed in their stead upon the completion of their tenures.

There are various industries that have shown it possible to recruit and train locals to execute tasks in specialised areas that were formally managed by foreigners.

Surely, there must be at least a few locals that have the potential to succeed these expats?

Concerned Bruneian