THE TEMASEK TIMES

News and views from an unique perspective

A native Singaporean replies to expatriate David Fedo

Posted by temasektimes on August 4, 2012

Dear Mr Fedo,

There is only one simple and obvious reason why a guy like myself (a born-and bred Singaporean ) is so dissatisfied with this sad country which you heap so much glorious praises on!

I am a 50yr old exPMET, overseas grad with over 20 yrs work exp as a admin manager, hr exec, worked in finace and was even a business entrepreneur at one time. Yes, I beleive my work experience and resume is pretty impressive, yet I had been jobless for the past few years since 2008, unable even to land a clerical job or an entry position (with starting pay of some S$1,200 basic pay) in the IRs

In the end, after countless heartwrenching job rejections, failed interviews and job applications, I figured that the only avail jobs for us older Singaporeans like mnyself was to work as a security guard or become a taxidriver.

I now drive taxi , working some 12-15 hr shifts on weekends , even work thru days when I am down with the flu so as to earn a livelihood. Alas, there were many passengers like yourself sitting my taxi, all living in high-end condos, dining in posh and expensive restaurants, partying at the various clubs and shopping in the ultra-modern malls lined up in our beautiful Orchard Rd. I see many “foreign talents” in my taxi, like yourself, many who are younger,probably educated with degrees too from their home countries, all having a “great time” in Singapore, enjoying our wonderful city and infrastructure!

But oh how I envy them, bec sadly I am born here, suffering a sort of ‘reverse discrimination’ as a local, as I cannot obtain any decent job that is commesurate with my experience and qualification and perhaps too bec. of age. However, from your pic above, I fancy you too are about the same age as me . How is it that you get to taste “the good life” of an expat here when I, a local, have to work some 72hrs relentlessly every week, just to survive???

Mr David Fedo, can you please tell me what is wrong with this picture?? Would you be happy if you were in my shoes? Wouldnt you blame the govt too if you had to suffer such indignation in the latter part of your life and work in a subservient job, facing expats and fts like yourself each day, yet knowing that you wld have killed to get a job for a quarter of their salary? Would you still say and beleive that your beloved Singapore had “got it right?”

In my 18 months experience as a taxidriver, I can tell you that I seen more expats and foreigners who work here, having it good, yet I doubt whether many, if not all, have better work or academic qualifications as myself. So how not to feel bitter? How do I still support an “uncaring government” who forgotten me and cast me aside to fend for myself, when others like yourself, come to this country and reap the benefits , leaving us in the cold to suffer every day????

I can tell you , I know you are not the only one singing praises abt Singapore. I had so many conversations with expats in my taxi and practically everyone heap praises abt Singapore. Yet all of them live in, at the minimum, a condo, so having enough renumeration to afford to rent one.

Hope you understand how we “locals” feel about our heritage, our government who dosen’;t provide for us, and why we don’t feel so appreciative like yourslef to be living in this “great City” who you so-called “gets more things right”!!

TAXI UNCLE

*The above was first posted as a comment on The Temasek Times.

73 Responses to “A native Singaporean replies to expatriate David Fedo”

  1. NaBey said

    Hi taxi uncle,
    I fully understand ur plight. We are about the same age, went through the same path. Fortunately, my business kick start and I could retire anytime. However to all those 20s out there, I want to tell uI don’t owe the gahment any crap.
    1. People in my era, we listen too much to the gahment. They said EEE will boom and we fought so hard to get into uni, landed job in semicon, precision Eng, thru my last 10 years, I saw this industry went technically bankrupt.
    2. Then next boom, computer science. People fought to study comp science, programming. And now? U lose to Indians.
    3. Now, biotech! Do u still believe them?
    4. I have a very strong sex drive. However, I have only 1 child. Reason is bcos I don’t want my kid to blame me when he grow up, leaving him in such a place that there is no root, nothing to be proud of and dynamic market that u need to change ur skill from 1 industry to another over night.
    5. I took risk. Started my business, suffer initially. Those craps grants that spring, edb offered were tied with red tapes. Banks are worst than loan sharks. Fortunately, I strived and now I have enough to move out of this red dot. Better off than some of my uni classmates who are driving taxis now.

  2. NaBey said

    Add on to my comment earlier. If u have the chance to get out of here, don’t wait. Take the risk and go. Its now or its too late.

    • 2nd.hamsterlord said

      Hi Bro, can I ask a question. is it easy to get a job oversea? A 25 yr old photographer / designer but can learn and do other stuff too.

      Your answer can help not just me but give more idea to those who wish to leave this red dot.

      • Overseas Singaporean said

        I’m currently working in Japan. When I graduated from NUS, I didn’t even bother to go to local job fairs, I didn’t even THINK of getting a local job. I immediately went to Japan for job hunting and thankfully got a job. I’m currently drawing a salary that would otherwise take me at least 5-10 years to achieve (provided that I don’t get retrenched for lower-salaried foreign trash). Having said that, it’s important to genuinely love the country (which you would want to work in) instead of just being disgruntled with your own government. Otherwise, we would just become the thing that loathe the most… FTrash

  3. Bernard Deng said

    Uncle,I am sorry to tell that there is no place for losers in Singapore.

    • Bestrong said

      Taxi drivers are not losers… they are victims of failed government policies !– GET THAT THRU YOUR IDIOTIC BRAIN, CB KIA !

      • Populist said

        Don’t put all the blame to the Government. When you mother could not lay eggs you probably also put the blame on the government

  4. As a Taxi Driver,it is one of the most rewarding experience.It was so sad that you belittle this profession and yourself.The very works allow you to have countless conversations with expat,make your job really fulfiling and meaningful,isn’t it?You are getting decent pay as a Cab Driver and you want to be bitter about it?When you think of Foreign Talent,may I remind you,Foreign Companies here are to stay!

    Singapore Education never offered courses on Economics,is it?As a professional,HR,you are suppose to be very professional,a resourceful guy,and surely must be educated,and yet you show nothing valuable of your past learning!Every year,untold numbers of people come out to workforce,and would you expect miracles that there will be plenty of vacancies?However,PLanners Department for our economic prosperity must have real talented people,who think outside the box,creating jobs for us all.

    Let’s face it,it is not an exact science.Not all investors make monies.In fact losers were abundance.It is time that you stop to be the negative sore losers,and you actually do have a job and be thankful..and grateful.Many are worst in predicaments worst off then you,and when we make complaints,it must be merited,reasonable and sensible.Otherwise we would only be seen as dumb.

    • yong choon kiat said

      Hi Fucking Lee,

      U really tok like a PAP MP. Decent pay as a taxi drvier whereby he told u hes an exPMET. Its the same as PAP telling us dat we can survive n raise a family wif a 1K pay. U reallu tok like then. I hope u will fucking lose ur job to a fucking FT n den i will c whats ur view on tis matter den. Bastard. Fuck ur mother n ur whole family.

      • Seth Chen said

        Choon Kiat,
        Frankie offered fair opinions. Why are you so emotional and undignified in your response? We are all Singaporeans here. Let’s share and comment in a civilised manner.

  5. ngpy said

    I will agree with you that it is not easy to land a job that we we think is our forte. For ONE simple reason if they were to engage you or me they will very likely lose their jobs.

  6. gary said

    Sad to have read uncle taxi reply to David. Please forward copy of the letter to our PM Lee and ask for his comments.

  7. seorang said

    Expats appear to be ‘living it up’, but they do have their adjustment difficulties and challenges(http://www.onewhiteface.com/2011/08/07/i-miss-singapore/). The government can do much better, but in the meantime, as one of my friend’s father said the other day, Singapore has to let people in, while Singaporeans got to go out and seek opportunities. Even if our bank account doesn’t grow by much, we might end up growing a lot spiritually;-)

    • Mikey said

      Oh boo hoo.. cry me a river.

    • yong choon kiat said

      hi seorang. R u dumb or something? We go out? Do u tink other countries welcome foreigners like Singapore? Pls tink b4 u comment.

      • Edmund said

        Allow FTs to come in and Singaporeans going out of Singapore to make a living.In no time FTs will dominate and we will have no home when we come back lah. U are telling that Singaporeans are not up to standard and have to go overseas to work and the FTs are better than us.Might as well let FTs be ministers and PM as well.

    • Ken Lee said

      wait till you whole family all lose jobs, then you will even love them!

  8. GT said

    Fuck Singapore!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • IronMan said

      Correction! F**k PAPigs and their policies. But never….I repeat….NEVER hate your motherland, your land of birthright.

  9. kaypoh said

    Well replied, dear Sir, I too have known such expats living it up…. in fact many of them are my friends! Their economies in US & Europe are quite horribly in the shit, but here they are having the good life. Oh they do their job very well, yes, and maybe in 80% of cases better than you or I can do it, but I say, kick the bloody FT loving papayas out anyway. I am younger than you, but I too find that the bloody HR departments, they hire angmohs for top jobs, and Indians or pinoys for things you & I can easily do. You can work for 5 years in a dead-end job and get almost no increment, while the govt pays themselves increments at every opportunity, and creates new Ministries at whim, buy themselves Brompton bikes like it’s their “grandfather money”.

    You pointed out what is wrong with this country…. this is exactly WHY.

  10. Daft Peasant said

    Hi Taxi Uncle….after seeing your story,i’m afraid i will be in your state some 25 years later…..i’m mid 30s btw……

    But frankly speaking, i really hope gahment will continue to be like that……let locals suffer…..especially the 60%….. then hopefully in the next GE, we singaporeans will all be unite when casting votes……and VOTE PAP OUT!!!!

    HOPEFULLY…….

    • Bla bla bla! said

      You can hope and dream on…your hopes and dreams WILL NOT GET YOU ANYWHERE! Please wake up…voting PAP out?! Do you guys really think it’ll happen? PAP is a mirror image of the Chinese Communist…probably even worse! Even if the whole population voted them out, they WILL STILL BE IN POWER! You can NEVER topple them with votes ok! Nothing will be achieved without BLOODSHED! Fools! There is NO DEMOCRACY HERE OK! Wake up!!!

    • spotlessleopard said

      my whole family and I voted against the PAP in the last GE (although I was lucky enough not to be replaced by a FT. because my Boss is one of those few Singaporean Bosses who believe Singaporeans are as good as foreigners if not better at lower cost to boot)…I salute my Boss….

      Dont just hope but resolve to vote against the PAP in the coming GE

      Mod’s note:

      Don’t you now that a vote for WP = a vote for PAP? What difference has WP made in parliament? WP is nothing but a lackey of the PAP! Unless WP is completely DEMOLISHED and DESTROYED, the real opposition will never grow.

    • Ken Lee said

      sorry hoi, that’s where the new citizen are in use! there are use to cover the loss of the 60plus percent. loss 20 add 40 percent!
      then then land will sink due to overload of infrastructure!

  11. SgGuy said

    This is the TRUTH. I have taken many taxis and had conversations with the drivers. Very very few drive taxis by choice, and almost all will tell you some glorious past work experiences that they have had but only to be replaced by “Cheaper, Faster, Better”. I am a Singaporean too and I am saddened.

  12. Self-Employed said

    You are not to be blamed if you are born poor. However, you need to blame yourself if you die poor. Please don’t blame everything to the government if your mother cannot lay eggs.

    • i say what i think only... said

      hope u say the same thing to motivate yourself if ur business fails and u cannot find a job and end up driving taxi. good luck

  13. Sgt33 said

    You are right, Mr taxi uncle. This expat does not see what is happening at the other side of the fence. He knows how to talk cock and sing song only.

  14. 失业者 said

    Taxi Uncle, 写得非常好!
    我今年54岁, 专业人士,有3,4个专业学位,已失业3年, 还在找工作!
    已寄出八百张求职信, 工作真得不好找!
    活得很辛苦………….

    • 龍的传人 said

      要求不要太多薪水不要要求太多!
      驾德士,淸洁工,保安人员等等一大堆工作等着你!
      在新加坡只有不做工者,没有找不到工做!

      • 失业者 said

        新加坡国立大学毕业生当清洁工,保安员 , 好建议!
        试问一下有那间新加坡清洁或保安公司需要大学资历者当其清洁工和保安员,可否提供一下信息?

  15. Stress Singaporean said

    Our govt want these expats to convert to citizen .. but they wouldn’t.. So I have decided not to vote for PAP any more.

  16. Self-Employed said

    Many of my classmate are still in employment between the age of 56 to 59 years old. One of them was retrenched by Standard chartered Bank at the age of 56 years old and was given the golden handshake. Before he got the chance to leave Standard chartered bank, Temasek Holdings had offered him a senior position in the company. Please buy a 3 feet by 6 foot mirror to look at yourself before putting the blame at the Government.

    • Rotten said

      very soon you will be unemployed. don’t laugh at people. you will cry only when you see the coffin for you.

    • Thinker said

      I agree. My dad is in his fifties, o levels grad but is drawing a decent 4k pay as a manager who travels frequently on his job. Despite his old age and low education, he was able to convince and prove to his current employer his worth and thus remain employed. We must not forget that other than qualifications, past experience and age, other factors such as our interview skills, presentation skills, persuasion skills, pr skills etc are equally important.

  17. Copycat Chen said

    The guy can’t even write a letter in proper English. No wonder can’t find a job

    • WUSG said

      This Taxi Uncle should have been driving taxis since in his 20s. Lucky for him then there were no better people round. After having it good, he thinks he deserves more. Sadly for him, he still doesn’t realize there are better people than him today. Pls wake up. Or upgrade.

  18. One of the 40% said

    Becoz when u let in one too many fucking foreign trash, they start to hire their own and singaporeans get fucked. even the wives of these foreign trash get jobs quite easily becoz they hv the same skin colour and nationality. singaporeans facing discrimination in their own backyard, what the fuck. so, singaporeans, please fuck PAP out of parliament if u want ur jobs, dignity and country back!

  19. Taxi uncle, I totally agree with you. I see myself (52) going down the same road as you. After 34 yrs in SingTel, they have decided to throw us to Huawei (525) altogether. With a pathetic ex-gratia payout of 0 to 6 mths, we are adviced to take up the offer who can only garantee 24 mths employment. Under worst case scenario, I probably will lose my job in 2 yrs time, and will probably contribute to another jobless count. Same thing happen to my brother (3 yrs my senior) some 5 yrs ago, he is still jobless today. I think the government has to carry most of the blame here, as their policies have nurtured a bunch of “heartless” high management people who only got $$$ in their mind. SingTel CEO gets a bonus of $4.9M, the company declare profit of $4b last quarter, yet they have to do this to their loyal staff. Who is going to take over our job finally? well you know who. Therefore Singapore is in fact a heaven to foreigners. I see myself joining my brother soon as a jobless singaporean.

    • Rotten said

      投票時不要手軟,該出手時就出手。

      • 幼稚天真的傻瓜新加坡人! said

        新加坡根本就没有真正的民主!你真以为把票投给反对党就能够改变什么吗?新加坡的投票是门面功夫,即使全民都把票投给反对党PAP也绝对不会下台的!没有真正的流血行动推翻PAP你们休想改变什么!人民行动党就是中国共产党的影子,行动党的手段完全不输给共产党! 然而,如果新加坡人民真的走上街头抗争,就会正中美国的下怀…因为美国最拿手的把戏就是幕后煽动反对情绪推翻不听美国政府的话的外国政党,然后扶持一个听话的傀儡政权从而有效控制美国的商业利益!

    • bb said

      How can Singtel do this to you when you have served 34 years -What’s the Lim sway say doing he sh fight for retrenchment benefits of 34 mths for singtel staff. And sg ppl pay Singtel exorbitant charges for eg the unlimited calls by Voda Fone in Australia is much cheaper $79

      http://www.vodafone.com.au/personal/plans

      Call all sg ppl to boycott Singtel. The company only bully sg ppl. Australian gov recently fined Optus(Singtel). Sg is so small-hence market small-$4 bill profit -unbelieveable

  20. Blue Nights said

    The irony is that if you are a Singaporean educated abroad (you might top your class and be the darling of your college) and wishes to return to work in Singapore, did you know that the government will offer you “local rate” (unless you are one of their scholars). Even if you are just coming in to the country to run a workshop, there is a “local rate” (meaning, since you are not ang mo, you get Singapore price, which is waaaaay below what is paid to an expatriate who may not be as knowledgeable or attend a better college than the returning Singaporean.) Or, many times they would even ask if you would teach FOR FREE!

    And if you set up a company, be sure to have some ang mo sit on the board and make sure the office has a foreign address. The likelihood of the project being funded is a lot better than if you just come in as you are: A Singaporean with a local office!

    I have some ideas about why this is but perhaps others here can enlighten me as to the reasons.

    Is it internalized racism that makes the elites look down on their own kind and look up to the foreigner (usually white or the very rich) so much that we would open our doors to invite them in? These expats sing praises to the elites, of course, they are the source of funding and of jobs, albeit using taxpayers’ money. So in those moments, they get to feel superior as a result of the praises? What does that then tell us about the mindset of the elites?

    Isn’t it interesting that in places like the USA where Fedo is from, if an employer were to hire someone who is not a citizen, they have to justify why the person hired could do the job that no other citizen could fill (usually special skills or language abilities, to name two). If Taxi Uncle were to go the USA, he would find that he needed to jump through so many hurdles just to get through the door (think of the power dynamics at play at US customs compared to our own smiling custom officers who checks nothing…in the USA everyone gets checked and questioned about their luggage!). Same for Canada, Australia and NZ (to name some first world countries where English predominates). And then Taxi Uncle would find out that there are so many trade protection for the various profession that is set up to protect the market for their professionals. Take medical doctors. Our physicians cannot practice as physicians without going back to many more years of school and taking the licensing exams if they want to practise in the named countries (this translates to money and prestige lost once you get there). Yet, those same physicians from abroad who come here have an easier time getting their degrees recognized to enable them to practice. I could be wrong. And if I am, please correct me on this one.

    So while someone like Fedo could easily move here and have a job waiting for him, at whatever age and have many women find him charming (!), the reverse cannot be true for Taxi Uncle in the USA isn’t it? Why does the USA look after its citizens so well compared to ours? And at the end of the day, we are left with guests in the country disdaining the people who makes this country work: the ordinary citizens who live in HDB flats (86% of us?). And we wonder why people are angry? At least anger drives us and make us get up from bed in the morning because the family needs to be fed. Depression, sadness and despair (which is more likely what many people are feeling) could be underlying all these anger. But those get us nowhere. If we all lie in bed, who is going to get us up to take care of the family?

    Do the elites hear the people? Can they understand the people? Do they see the suffering?

    Oh, I forgot: they do not live in HDB flats nor need to shop everywhere where the likes of us live our lives.

    • kaypoh said

      And it is this SPG attitude…. angmoh tua kee, that is part of the problem. They still kiss the ass of their colonial masters, our dear papayas >/<

    • Ex-Singaporean said

      True! So true, I’m currently living in Australia and whatever line of work or profession you are in, there is always a ‘local come first’ policy. Even if you take up a job as a security or even a road sweeper, locals come first. I’m not trying to gloat but I’m so glad my “quitter” parents decided to migrate over here 15 years ago.

      And to Mr. Self-employed, people who are still able to keep their high paying jobs even in their 50s, usually have good connections or a family member. Most senior management jobs are taken up either by good friends or by relation, take for example; my friend who is 24 (still living here in Australia) can at anytime choose to go back to Singapore to work and easily get 5-6 jobs through his family connections and each job paying no less than 8k a month. But as he hates the way the “higher society” behaves in Singapore, thus still living in Australia. (I think they call themselves fringes of elites)

      Truth is, unless you are somehow connected to the mega rich or know people who can get you “in”, it will be a long and tiring process to make it big in Singapore. My friend told me once that even if you were born with a ‘silver spoon’ in Singapore, there is no certainty you will survive, you need to be born with either a ‘golden spoon’ or a ‘diamond spoon’. That is how much difference between the elite rich/mega rich and rich.

      Singapore government runs the country like a big corporate company, unfortunately ‘heads’ don’t roll when things go bad. It has always been all about GDP, profits and power. To be honest, some of the business policies rolled out by the government looks to be introduced by the elites to better help their already big company and gain more profits.

      • NATO said

        Groundless accusation….I know so many of the locals here who came from from poor families and make it big time now, not because of any white horse connections but through sheer hardworking and determination.

  21. Very sad story but trust me there will be people ready to offer job to him if he is Singaporean. There are uncles who own business but still choose to do some part time for job. But this is a whole different story. Hope everything works out well for you.

  22. Taking from Singaporeans and helping/subsidize foreingers activities said

    Singapore governemnt taking more from giving to Singaporeans, and using her “taking” to “helping” foreingers activities.

  23. i say what i think only... said

    very good command of language but sadly, cast aside by employers. having foreigners in the company make them feel cosmopolitan. puiz!

  24. Arborist said

    Taxi Uncle.
    I m 40 yrs, was replaced a couple of months ago & expecting my first child in a month.
    I have been travelling to Malaysia, Indonesia & Thailand to tie up my contacts.
    I realised that those Singaporean who redeveloped overseas are living much happily.
    My son will be growing up anywhere else as this land is no longer ours that we defended.
    Hope to see you around across the border. : )

  25. Arborist said

    Truthpersuit: I was removed by my Singaporean boss after slogging with him for 8 years & he does not like my design anymore.
    Thats all & say I can leave in a few days.
    I refused to argue or bargain. I said thank you & left instantly after receiving my payslip.

  26. tenzin said

    When I was born some 50 years ago, we are poor. Now we are poor but at least I know I am young.:-D:-D

  27. mimikins said

    That is why I urge all my friends to wake up and leave. I for one had left SG shores 4-5 years back. I was a scholar from a reputable semi-govt company, I broke bond, left, and never look back. I worked in indonesia, china, travelled to europe, etc.

    I don’t pay taxes, I don’t pay CPF. I don’t have to look at 90k COEs. I don’t have to pay 400k for a HDB when the same amount of money can get me a bungelow here (China).

    For those who have doubts, let me tell you, the world is a lot bigger than what the small dot govt tells you. Wake up, travel the road less travelled, live life, and like what Steve Jobs said, the pretty much only certainty in life is death. Don’t follow their planned (and doomed) route for you.

  28. YNWA said

    I dont fully agree with Taxi Uncle. Are you too choosy? FYI, Im working in a company which has a good culture of retaining ‘senior citizens’. many colleagues in my organization are retirees who have been re-employed on contract basis. while not many organizations in SG will follow my company’s footsteps, Im sure if you hunt hard enuff, and not too particular abt pay, you can still find a job.

  29. Recruiter said

    To anyone below age of 55 (including taxi uncle) who are Singaporean, please send your resume to joyce.tan@eliterecruit.sg. We are able to help. Spread the word.No able bodied Singaporean will get starved!

    • bb said

      Joyce Tan,

      You are better than our DPM Tharman. Are you sure you find a job for me. I will certainly send my CV to you if you can find a job in sg.

    • Accountant said

      What about those who are above 55 years old. I am qualified Accountant with more than 30 years experience. I am still healthy. Salary is not very important to me as I have already achieved financial independent

  30. cc chia said

    Contrary to those who imply that there is something wrong with the attitude of Taxi Uncle and those who are in the same plight as he; just wait until you are in his shoes, and see if you will face the same situation!

    The truth of the matter is that the PAP government only treats its own members well, and does not value the skills and experience of other Singaporeans. The PAP values younger foreigners at the expense of older locals, leaving them to fend for themselves when they are in their 40s and 50s. It would appear that NS is for locals, while jobs and the perks of living in Singapore go to foreigners and PAP members.

  31. moonlightaffairs said

    WHO DID YOU VOTE FOR??? YOU DESERVED IT!!!
    你们把票投给谁!!! 罪有应得!!!

  32. joe said

    I had come across a taxi driver in singapore (a few times) who speak such good russians, french, mandarin – who at first he was from china and very standard queen english. He is just like the article Taxi Uncle who suffer the same fate. Mr Fedo, your time in Singapore is centered at the Expat community. Go to the ground before making such praises.

  33. Ah Kao said

    With inflation going at 5% plus and most folk’s bank account getting less than 0.5%, we’re going to see far more old folks working until they die even as the MIW feast and party with the ultra-rich.

  34. Sage said

    It’s very sad that Singaporeans are brainwashed and herded by the gahment. Every parent want their child to go into uni hoping that they can work in a company, work hard for the company, rise up through the ranks and being loyal will be rewarded with an iron rice bowl.

    The hard truth is God help those who help themselves. You had a business contract with your employer. They can terminate and you can resign. So why do you expect them to look after you. If you are employed that means you serve a purpose in their organization and if you think the wind blows differently after some time then you can leave too.

    Why do you have to listen to the gahment in taking subjects and being in a profession just because they say so? Where’s your passion? If you are really good in what you love to do then you will be sought after globally.

    Many sinkies work hard but didn’t do enough to network, promote and brand themselves, thus being under exposed and contented to be confined in their little comfort zone.

    The real issue here is Singaporeans do not have the balls to risks and venture into unknown territories.

    Kiasu, Kiasi, Kiasai….

  35. julian said

    Brothers and sisters, my family has been in Singapore for generations and I am a born and bred Singaporean who dreamt of being an opposition politician when i was young but i have to disagree with some of the stronger negative sentiments about our country.

    Sure, we have some problems, otherwise we will be Utopia, but we should all focus on how we can have sensible discourse on the real issues while we celebrate the many wonderful things about our country. I think we should make the government accountable for the real root cause of the social inequity that we feel like pressing for a slower pace with stricter guidelines on the acceptance of FTs and PRs, higher accountability for government spending and the high level of inefficiencies that require us to have close to 100 MPs and more and more Ministries……..

    The amount of ranting and raving on the internet is clear indication that there is an upswelling that can be harnessed for some effective dialogue so try to think about how concerned citizen groups can engage the government rather than just grin and bear it.

    i know most people are afraid to be targeted but if all of us, in small independent groups, keep asking the right sensible questions and keep pressing for answers, no one will get in trouble and we can start to see real change

  36. Lai Ye Wo said

    This PMET problem is not only in Singapore. It also exist oversea. I face retrenchment and apply for taxi license. Fortunate that I land a new job. What can government do ? Are we still living in an era of golden rice bowl? There is also no golden rice bowl oversea.

  37. NATO said

    My company is in tuas and it is in marine industry. Because of the nature of the industry and office location, we are unable to employ Singaporeans to work for us. My boss is also one who believes that Singaporeans can do the job better than FT, so all the senior positions are filled with locals like myself. But disappointingly we couldn’t employ any admin and support staff, engineers, etc because not many locals want to work on alternate Saturdays and in tuas. Govt is protecting the singaporeans by setting the quotas for EP, SP and WP for all companies when it comes to employing FT so we just have to try harder to find a job. There are many out there waiting to be filled.

  38. Anthony Tang said

    UNFORTUNATELY, the govt here thinks FT will vote for them, whilst the locals who are sick and tired of their empty promises, .strict laws,high cost of living, expensive cars, double standards, unrealiable public transport, strict regulations will not. That is WHY FTs are given priority over locals. We can hear the frequent announcements by the MIW to intergrate and support the FTs. There is a hidden agenda which is not so hidden now. All Singaporeans know the reason. It is more logical for the foreigners to intergrate with us as they are in our country not the other way round. If you come to my house, follow my rules, other wise don’t come.

  39. RN said

    Hey Mr Nabey,

    You have one kid? Nice, congrats, am sure he/she is beautiful.
    I’m 42, have none, no wife, I walked away from my girl 14 yrs ago, I saw the light coming from today in a ‘telescope’.

  40. Seth Chen said

    Firstly, Taxi Uncle, I empathise with your plight and feel bad about your situation. From being a PMET to a taxi-driver is evidently a hit for your pride and pocket. Let me share with you my own experiences.

    My father is 60 this year. He was retrenched in 2009 after subprime hit the world economy. He was a PMET as well. At that time he was lost and confused, not knowing what to do. Worst of all, he was not tech savvy which was a big disadvantage when looking for a new job.

    Unable to help much, I only suggested to him that he use job portals such as jobscentral, stjobs etc and recruitment agencies. I helped him to draft a rough template and used one template resume for every job application.To our surprise, within 2 weeks, he had about 30 different replies from different industries. IFAs, F&B, Maintenance, Banks, IRs and even the recruitment agencies themselves offered him interviews with different positions available.

    Granted they were not queuing to pay him 4k a month, he accepted a desk-bound sales job which paid him 2.2k basic and commission on top of that. He comfortably takes home about 3k now and gets medical benefits etc. All this while learning new skills.

    One thing I learnt from my Dad is that attitude is more important than aptitude. As a 30-year old, I might not have eaten enough salt to tell this to people, but I think my dad, who is older than Taxi Uncle would advise him to be more positive. We can’t all write abd decide our national policies together. All we can do is show our worth and take pride in our work, no matter what we do.

    To me, this is the attitude that sums up the Singapore spirit and makes me proud to be a Singaporean.

  41. chan said

    Hey guys if all you people are so unhappy living in Singapore why don’t or didn’t you leave Singapore and work for your own future in another country?? The FTs have done the same, what Singapore law is stopping you from doing so?

    Take the risk, make the sacrifices, get out of your comfort zone like so many of these “foreigners” have and stop whining.

    • S'porean & Aust PR said

      The taxi uncle is complaining now due to his age is already 50, no other country will grant him a PR as most cut off age for skilled migration is 45, he has obviously missed the boat.
      He can still migrate under the visa subclass of investment or retirement but he must be rich to do so.
      If he is rich, he will probably not be driving a taxi now.
      The last option is to marry a local there.
      Oh btw, can a quitter like myself come in here to whine?

      • IronMan said

        Hahaha… U r always welcome here to share your experience with us. I have your last option in hand. It is my ticket out of here when everything else fails. A question for u, is Aust racist towards us Asians?

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