Monday, November 1, 2010

How many of us like SG thesedays?

"I dunno what I am defending anymore" Talk about hitting bull's eye! Many of us hardly feel like we miss Singapore nowadays when we leave, apart from the fact that our families are still rooted there.

And as usual, the SM husband and wife tag team are absolutely clueless about the realities of Singapore. Previously the wife was backing up the wrong team of a NKF cheater offending us with her gallant defence that the CEO skyrocketed pay was "peanut pay", and now the SM husband is asking incredulously as if it true that many of us are getting disillusioned at what Singapore population has become. Why am I NOT surprise at his reaction? Isnt this the same fellow who offended the whole country with the infamous "Quitter" Speech, and yet fail to examine how many ministers' children failed to return to SG and live? He had soooo totally lost my respect ever since that episode, and much prefer if he voluntarily step down from his post if he is losing touch with the ground - the LOCALS and I can never stand those moments where his foot always end up in his mouth..I wish Tony Tan was the PM and SM least I much prefer to hear him talk sense.

Back to topic at hand. Everywhere I turned, it's almost foreigners (PRC) left right and center, taking up jobs that used to be taken up by a local, or by our neighborly cousins Malaysians. It's so annoying that I cannot even seem to call this country my home anymore but rather "extended china" because the landscape has changed so much that I failed to recognise it as what it use to represent. Seriously, everytime when I get back and chitchat with my friends, most of us grumble about the workforce and the increasingly non integrative is sooo distinct nowsdays...and sad too.

Like the uni undergrad chap, most of us used to feel very strongly and proud about being Singaporean, despite the fact we might cringed a lilttle at the "Stand up for Singapore" national songs...yet now....what does Singapore means to me? A place where my families and friends are. Period. Attachment? What attachment? What do I have to miss when every corner I turn, it's another accented Mandarin tongue who brings their habits over?

No I dont disagree with the policy of influx of foreigners since let's face it, every country has it fair share of foreigners and immigrants, but please pray, do define talent to what extent do we let the size grow? 1:3 ratio is scary. How is PRC serving as retail staff, PRC serving at cafes, PRC serving at restaurants, PRC working in a low level IT job, etc etc be all considered "Foreign Talent". Many of them are here on the pretext of study visa, overheard in some cases, and some having spoken to them personally. Why are they allowed to work a perm job if they are on study visa? Others, too old to be on study visa, I dont even know on what grounds do they enter the country to be hired in the low level blue collar jobs? Well hookers are prob the only ones we all know came in on social visa.

That's said, it isnt all the PRC that are bad. Some of the Caucasians are here for the ride too. Some of them are employed here as directors and top managements, only to have them squeeze out all the locals in the whole institution because they didnt want to work with the "local people." What is more mortifying? I have heard first hand accounts that some of these so called top talents are actually Nobodies in their own European countries, doing some gigs and stuff but they got creative with their resume and the fact that its just too hard to verify every one's resume from overseas, we ended up with a lot of big shots of no substance. Simply because some locals still have discriminating inferior complex, with the "White is good, Yellow is lousy" colonial syndrome.

I rem my European fren who turned PR sharing a personal incident. He couldnt understand why some institution are blatantly obsessed with hiring blonds and blye eyes, while  turning a blind eye to the discrimination of the locals. When he discovered all the senior positions were held by foreigners, he questioned the rationale. He was told "these are the best talents invited to hold the positions here." Unconvinced, my fren did a little digging and discovered to his horror some of them hold fake credentials from little known or non existence uni degree. He reported them to MOM and he was asked " So what do u want us to do? Do u want us to deport him?" When his deed was brought to open, my fren was being ostractised by the FTs, questioning his motives, asking him outright "WHy are you siding with THEM when u should be one of us?" THEM - The very country who offered these FTs a cushy job, fat checks and us being treated like a fool.

Building HDB SM? Well, we are not begrudging the hard labour force now are we? You missed the whole entire point. The idea of importing foreign labour is not wrong. We always had foreigners working in our country since as far dated back in the 80s i can rem. However the point is that, the locals did not feel and were not  feeling immediately threatened and OVERWHELMED by the existence of of the non locals. Which is why we could work hand in hand and still feel a sense of attachment. Now, we have a bunch of people who do not seem to want to integrate into our culture, but only here to milk the system, enjoy the convenience of the passport travel, the stability and schools for their kids...and then what else? Comes to the crunch, their ROOTS will be where THEY ARE FROM where their parents, grand parents are, not here with us. Even with many foreign born and bred partners, the national alliances will always be divergent. The foreign partners will will lie with their home countries eg: France, U.S, Australia etc.They might be PR but so what? This isnt the land they grew up in and has any fond childhood memories, and their families are not here, so why again will any of them fight any war for us when their own country might need them one day? So imagine if those PRs who are not binded to any locals, why would their alliance be with Singapore? Just because the Govt gave them a red passport? What a joke right?

My uni friends and I shared a story the other day over dinner. One of our girlfren working in sg had a appointment with a "impt, big Overseas client" that the company values very much. As she took a deep breath and open the meeting room door, there and behold, the so call "overseas talent" for the joint project was none other than our college mate, a born and bred Singaporean who just happen to be working overseas for couple of years. We laughed at the irony at how when we worked in Singapore straight out of uni, we are treated like dirt like any other locals. Leave Sg, work overseas for a few years and you are treated like a Golden boy or Girl (Foreign Talent). Perhaps, all the SG local talents should ALL leave Sg and leave the country for the foreigners and have our govt beg us back to appreciate what they have lost.

source :

Young Singaporeans like Lim Zi Rui are becoming increasingly disillusioned and they’re not afraid to let it show.The 23-year-old final-year aerospace engineering student was among a 1,000-strong crowd who attended a Ministerial Forum organised on Friday by Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Students’ Union. Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong was the guest-of-honour.

During a dialogue session after SM Goh’s main address, Lim stood up and asked if the Minister was aware that many young people no longer felt a sense of ownership in Singapore.

“When I was younger, I was very proud of being a Singaporean,” said Lim as reported in The Straits Times.

“But that was about five, ten years ago. Five years later, with all the changes in policies and the influx of foreign talent, I really don’t know what I’m defending any more.”

He said this was a view that many of the men he served with during National Service also held.

“I feel that there is a dilution of the Singapore spirit in youth… We don’t really feel comfortable in our country any more,” he said.

Mr Goh replied, “‘This is one early sign of danger… If this is happening, it is very serious.” He went on to ask Mr Lim why he felt disconnected.

Mr Lim told SM Goh, ”‘I’m still serving as an officer and I definitely would love to defend Singapore.”

But he said the key difference between him and his foreign friends was, “I tell them, this is my country. I can’t just leave here whenever I want to. You can come and play and work here, but I have to stay here.”

SM Goh responded by defending the government’s policy of welcoming foreigners.

“You want to have a home. Who’s going to build your HDB flat?” said the Minister.

Lim replied that due to the inability to afford the sky-high public housing prices, his brother had to call off his engagement.

“My brother got engaged, but lost his engagement because he could not afford an HDB flat,” said Lim, who went on to state that his question was not about “integrating foreigners”.

“My question was, how are we going to help the younger generation feel a sense of belonging to Singapore? I don’t think it’s about integrating foreigners,” said Lim.

“This is your country,” SM Goh replied. “What do you want me to do to make you feel you belong?”

“For my part, don’t worry about me,” Mr Lim said. “I will definitely do something, if I can, for Singapore. But I can tell you honestly that the sentiment on the ground is a bit different.”

“If this is happening, it is very serious,” said SM Goh.

“If the majority feel they don’t belong here, then we have a fundamental problem. Then I would ask myself: What am I doing here? Why should I be working for people who don’t feel they belong over here?” asked SM Goh.

Earlier on during the dialogue session, the Minister made the point that the next General Elections, due to be held by February 2012, would be a “watershed” for the future of Singapore from which a “fourth Prime Minister and a core team of younger ministers will emerge”.

SM Goh also challenged the young undergrads in his audience to “make a difference to Singapore” by joining local politics


WhiteDuskRed said...

Well I'll be back in SG in a few months~ Hopefully they will treat me like FT! Got a postgrad from HK, worked in HK + SZ for 5 years... yeah... I think I will fit in just fine...

Nomad said...

Haaa haaa ..Oh I think u will be just fine...u have been purified by the foreign waters:) esp china linked waters....LOL

Anonymous said...

hi, just to update...
Not only does SG feel unlike SG...
It feels like PRC, India, Vietnam, Burma & Philippines
Also SG is one of the only RARE country in the world to allow pple to start looking for a job even on a Social Visit Visa. If it's illegal go look up the situation with lots of SMCs here.

Alan Wong said...

Incidentally, do we feel like we are having a PM who doesn't seems to be around when he is most needed ? He seems like an absentee PM playing truant somewhere, maybe spending his most of his time now trying to fix the opposition for the coming GE ?

Maybe our wooden SM is trying to hint the serious problem lies with our equally clueless PM ?

Chee Ken said...

To be brutally honest, the only time I feel that I'm in "Singapore" is when I report for In-Camp Training every year. Once I step out, I see a whole lot of foreigners at the bus stop, MRT station, shopping mall, cafe, restaurant, retail store, what have you...

And we should really ask ourselves, why are we tasked with the responsibility to defend these people, when they do not bear any responsibility to us as a nation? Are we defending a way of life like "The American Dream" or the Singapore government's misguided interpretation of what it means to be a Global City?

Sure, we were all sons and daughters of immigrants, but that is just a pathetic excuse for the govt to import even more foreign labour, some of whom are of dubious quality, to pump up the GDP figures.

I don't think Singaporeans are adverse to foreign immigrants... But when you hear about India Indians looking down on Singaporean Indians because of their 'caste', and China Chinese sighing that Singaporean Chinese can't speak proper Mandarin... Seriously... Are we not second class citizens in our own country?

Anonymous said...

Good rant. I'm glad you openly identified the post-colonial inferiority complex. 45 years on and STILL whites get paid more than Singaporeans for the same job.

Anonymous said...

MediaCorp likes to subject Singaporeans to full video recordings of LKY or Lee Hsien Loong's foreign interviews or public forums with young Singaporeans. Why not do the same with Goh Chok Tong? Let Singaporeans see for themselves how Goh handles the NTU students' questions, so that they know what type of a person Goh is. MediaCorp can play this video twice a day for one week.....

Nomad said...

Yeah chee Ken u brought up a good point. Indeed we are the descendent of the immigrants but there IS A DISTINCT DIFFERENCE. When our forefathers came to these shores, they didnt know what to expect nor was there a support system to give them a comfortable life. It is thanks to their hard sweat and toil that help shaped the community and society we have today. THEY HELP create the soceity that Singapore has today and that is WHAT WE ARE FIGHTING to preserve from the INVASION of the other form of immigrants these days!

Our forefathers had contributed to build these lands, the current migrants are here to invade and exploit our systems, resources, advantages for their personal advantage. Our immigrant forefathers will stay and fight the invaders, but the current immigrants will pack up at first sign of trouble and leave. THAT:S THE FUNDAMENTAL DIFFERENCE in my personal view. The locals cannot and do NOT feel any sense of belonging and committment from those FTS which is what pisses us off, not only those who serve NS.

I used to have a CHINA colleage who after 2 years working in the company, OPENLY told everyone he is just using singapore as a stepping stone so that he can find it easier to apply for a job in the states later as compared to him applying directly from China. I was so pissed that I never spoke to him again for the next year he was still in office. The only thing I credit him is his open direct agenda about using singapore.

And YES, I too heard about China people Mocking and laughing at our mandarin. In fact, I had personally heard 2 china couples sitting in the MRT openly dissing us, laughing and critising at our poor command of language. It was so unbearable that I shot back before i got off the train at them in mandarin to head back to china immediately if MY COUNTRY disgusts them so much. The look of shock on their faces... I prob add on to the population of HOSTILE locals towards ungrateful PRC in sg. I havent encountered any indians incident so I cannot comment but I am sure it must be since even Malaysia gvt tried to brainwash our Malay community with the ethnic status card previously...

SG has become so seemingly desperate for Outsiders that it almost seem to indicate we have NO talent of our own.

The idea of posting the NTU interview would have been too embarrassing for him. I have known people who had attended "talks" given by him in HK and at the end, the conclusion, it was as good as if he hadnt said anything. Basically all height and no substance.

At least i like to believe (whether I might be wrong), that because our current PM has the pressure to uphold his father's "legacy" and many are waiting for him to fail, so he would be more cautious than other PM. Plus I dun believe the FT policy didnt start from him, it started way before him and it was already very bad because I rem before he was PM, I was already swarmed with tonnes of PRC waiting for work visa in my own sg consular when I went to renew my passport.... Current PM just had the unfortunate luck of having the shit hitting the fans in "his reign." while the one responsible can go away sprouting things he shouldnt be.

A passing thot, and it has nothing to do with any party group support. I reckon It wont be easy growing up as MM's child I think........and to be in the same political arena and constant microscopic scruntiny. He might be absentee, but at least he isnt making a fool of himself with guest appearances...