Singapore is a country, not a company
Posted by temasektimes on June 22, 2012
I understand what Old Guard is conveying, ie. from his experience, foreigners have more drive than locals and he therefore prefer to hire the former. This is exactly the same sentiment LKY conveyed some time back too, when he said that the locals lack spurs to succeed.
I also have no doubt that, in general, when you’re in a faraway land, to earn a living to feed a family back home or to establish yourself by gaining some working experience, you’ll also work your butts off.
However, Singapore is a country, not a company.
If Singapore were just a company, then Old Guard’s point is perfectly valid. Heck, I’d say he should go much further — deport the terminally sick and the old from the country, replace them with higher productivy resources. Open the floodgates further to the world, ater all, there’s always a better manager or entrepreneur out there. In fact, if Old Guard were to compete on a barrierless worldwide basis, I’m sure there’s someone better than him out there, who’s possibly cheaper as well and I’m sure he too can be replaced. Just like I can be replaced, or LHL can too. After all, no one is indispensable.
But Singapore is a country, not a company. To me, that’s the difference.
There’s a reason why Singapore male citizens are made (yes, made) to serve NS. Its to defend the country. What does that mean? When it comes to the crunch, when Singapore is at the verge and no one is streaming in anymore, it is hoped that the roots will be strong enough that Singaporeans not just stay, but be prepared to give up their lives to defend their country. It is “understood” that all the foreign talents who flocked to the country when good times are rolling will have left, but it is hoped that the locals who call this place a HOME will stay.
With this in mind, do you now see the difference?
If there’s any fault with the new generation, then surely part of the blame has to go to the older generation (and society at large) on how they raised the new generation and inbube the right values. If all of the new generation is like Wee Siew Khim’s daughter’s “get out of my elitist face” attitude, then there’s something we need to correct. Not just give up on that generation and say, open the floodgates, let foreigners in.
Its just like if you have kids. Yes, he’s not the smartest, the most hardworking, the most driven person in his class. Maybe he’s playful too, easily distracted. If Old Guard’s family were a company, he should simply disown such children, sponsor the top student of that cohort.
To me, that’s what the discontent about foreigners in recent years boils down really to. If this is my home, and the place in which I’m rooted, then why is there no place for me to earn a decent living. Why isn’t the govt “protecting” me, not so much to make life cushy for me, but make it a level playing field? We’re not asking for much, just for the govt to do what other govts do for their citizens (yes, CITIZENS)? Is it all my fault, as the govt alleges; or has some fundamental mistake been made?
A NEW GUARD’S PARENT
*The above was first posted as a comment on The Temasek Times.