Singapore is a good place for ‘FTs’ to earn money, but not to retire
Posted by temasektimes on June 30, 2012
I did not lose my job to a FT, but I know of people who did. I have never said they were cheaper in any of the things I have written. The closest thing I ever written was ‘I was slightly better paid’ and please do not quote me out of context.
You are right about the FT having equal wages from places like Mumbai and Shanghai.
So why did they not stay back in their country and get equal wages?
It is because many of them are unable to find job back in their homeland because of various reason.
Many of my friends from Shanghai have also told me about their plight back in their homeland (No friends from Mumbai). They are not able to secure a job due competition, lack of ‘connections’ and some corrupted government officials. Shanghai have the same cost of living, but they have rural areas and the cost of living drop significantly and the quality of life is better than in Singapore.
They also pointed out to me that their government may be corrupted, but they protect their citizens should any foreigners say anything bad about them. They can migrate within their country to a place where housing and cost of living are cheaper. Water, electric, gas, internet and mobile services are all significantly cheaper. They only have 1 party, but they can protest and basically ‘force’ their government to listen to them. It is unlawful to protest in Singapore. Their elderly who live in rural area can have compensation when they grow old as they have contributed to the building of China. In Singapore, your money is locked up with a minimum sum of 131k and it was your money to begin with. Also, some people might not even have that much money in their CPF by the time they hit retirement age.
They have the option to buy lands and properties back in their homeland with whatever they earn here. They can retire and live a decent life with no worries after that. They can see the light at the end of the tunnel before they even hit 40, but are Singaporeans able to do that?
These are the basic framework of the plan 3/4 of my FT friends have.
Work and suffer until the end of the contract. Be thrifty and just save up what ever you have, buy a property in Singapore and make full use of CPF. End of contract, sell the property, withdraw all CPF funds, go back and enjoy life in a landed property. And by that I do not mean 20 or 30 years, I mean 10 years or so depending on where they come from.
Just a side note, they are horrified to see so many people working at their golden age in the hawker centers. It is rare to see people like that back in China and the elderly normally choose to work at his/her age volunteeringly. For Singaporean, there is no choice regarding that matter for many of the middle/lower income group.
To sum it up, many of them felt that Singapore is a good place to earn money, but not a good place to retire. It is also the main reason why they choose to remain PRs.
I am not expecting myself to live in a landed property in Singapore, but I wanted a home that I can live in comfortably and not to have to worry about medical fees or other unforseen events by the age of 65.
I have to work 9 hours a day for 6 1/2 days and more should it get busier. When I take the upgrade course, I have to go for it 3 times a week, and 5 hours each excluding travelling, will I be able to function at my 100% while I am at work? Will my mental status be adequate and not cause any errors while I work? When the company is busy, is my boss kind enough to let me go? The ‘bring home’ work and the course assignments had to be juggled as well. I had to go for resevice and IPPT and I had to literally beg my boss to let me go. Are these reasons good enough for you to understand my concerns about losing my job?
I do agree that there are people out there that have work ethic issues. I also agree that we need to constantly upgrade ourselves. However, I disagree that you tried to imply that Singaporeans are not willing to improve ourselves and also people who have work ethic issues do not apply to Singaporeans only. And also, do you have a family? Do you think you can be replaced easily? Do you save enough to withdraw your money from the CPF by 55?
* The above was first posted as a comment on The Temasek Times.