Competition with ‘foreign talents’ is inevitable both inside and outside Singapore
Posted by temasektimes on August 28, 2012
Firstly I’d like to say that I agree we all have issues with the increasing competition we feel in the workplace. Some of us feel this competition more keenly than others; As a medical graduate I also find that i’m in a pitched battle with UK/ US and australian grads, malaysians, Indians (from the subcontinent of India), Myanmese and Filipinas for specialisation posts and traineeships ( I still havent gotten mine…). None of us are spared. All of us to some degree feel threatened.
But let’s all first recognise that not all of this increasing competition is due to the influx of foreign talent; some of it is simply because the battles that Singapore is having to fight are simply becoming more complex. We live in a region of the world that is increasingly more modernised, with Myanmar, China, Malaysia and Indonesia all rapidly becoming more modernised. We’re losing core industries to other countries like manufacturing and even shipping. We’ve lost Maersk and Evergreen to PTP, IT assembly lines to China, etc etc the list goes on.
So competition is unavoidable, we simply cant get around it; Either we compete with them IN singapore or we compete with them OUTSIDE of singapore. But just because we cant see it doesnt mean it goes away, the battle has to be fought. Calling them names ( or driving them home) doesnt make it better, it just makes us look bad.
Next, let’s face it, Singapore is a country of immigrants. In 1960s our population was only about 1.7 million or so. In the 1930s it was less than a million, 70 years later its more than 5 times that:
How did our population grow so fast? We’re all imported lah. I dare the people in this forum to count back 3 generations and ask how many of us were singaporeans 3 generations ago. I think very few of us. So how? I’m a second generation singaporean married to a 3rd generation singaporean, My best buddy is a 3rd generation singaporean.(Our PM is a 5th generation Singaporean) Rarely do i find someone who can tell me his grandfather was born in Singapore. If you are, more power to you. So i understand that we’re all fed up of the huge numbers of PRCs. filipinas and Indians coming in, but hey, let’s not be racist, it wasnt so long ago that some of our forefathers came to Singapore trying to make a better future for themselves. Let’s not behave like a bunch of Ang Moh Rednecks saying “chink go home!”. We’re better than that. (yes I agree that all foreigners should be made to do NS. That is something I agree on. But if they’re willing to do NS, pay taxes and and contribute positively to our country, they should be allowed to stay- without racism, without discrimination- remember our pledge? “We the citizens of singapore, pledge ourselves as one united people, regardless of race, language or religion…”
Finally, I’d like to say that slamming the new arrivals doesnt make them more singaporean. That just isolates people. Integration is what makes people more singaporean. So yelling at the PRC on the bus really doesnt make things any better for any of us, it just makes us Singaporeans look stupid and ungracious ( which we ARE NOT!) Let’s not let the western nations make any more fun of us than they do already by picking on our supposed “human rights abuses”. The US would give anything to drive a wedge between the SEA and China/ India if it would take some of the pressure of them ( Especially in a US presidential election year)
So yes, we all have problems with foreigners, but bashing our own prime minister doesnt make it better. ( I’m sure he knew he’d get flamed for saying what he said in the rally speech) BUT the man has the balls to say what needs to be said. Give the man some credit ( or a heineken)
*The above was first posted as a comment on The Temasek Times.