News and views from an unique perspective

Singaporeans should stop complaining and reflect on their own attitude

Posted by temasektimes on August 30, 2012

It’s like football, you have all the home ground advantage and if you still lose the match at your own turf, then blame yourself and not somebody else. I always laugh when I read about how Singaporeans go on and on about losing out to FTs etc. Come on, in your own home country where you enjoy all the home ground advantage, if you cannot even beat the FT for the job, then go reflect yourself. Don’t just blame others for your own incompetence.

I see from this article that this chap pays $3000 for a staff. So it’s not like he pays cheap for the labour. Why then did he still think it’s more “profitable” to hire a FT and not a local. It’s simple, the locals cannot match up in terms of work performance. He did not for once mention about costs being the reason to employ FT. As a businessman, he puts his money on what returns the highest roi.

I read recently from Straits Times a survey that revealed Singaporeans to be the least committed to their job with as high as 42% indicated they may leave their job within less than 2 years compared to their peers in other countries. There was also a separate report that a local employer here also said he prefered to hire FTs not because they are cheaper (in fact, they cost same or more than local since they were on S Pass / E Pass), but he found them also to be more committed to work. Straits Times has run such stories many times over, and it’s the same song by the employers.

All these talk that “oh but the FTs are here to just work, whereas we have families and other issues to stress over” is just plain excuses again. There you go, this is another trait of Singaporeans. Excuses, excuses, and blames. Yawn….

Look, employers have no interest in “protecting” jobs for Singaporeans. That’s not their job. It’s the government’s job. Employers are business people who invest their money in what gives the highest returns. Whether Singaporeans or FTs, who gets the job done best and at best rate, will be given the job. It’s that simple.

And stop blaming your government. Even if your government opens the flood gate and allow indiscriminately FTs to come in, if you are good in what you do, offer value, committed to your work, you WILL STILL get the job over the FTs.


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


46 Responses to “Singaporeans should stop complaining and reflect on their own attitude”

  1. Free Trolley said

    I work hard in the office, often tired when I reach home. Now the country is complaining because I am single.

  2. Ray said

    Comparing work to football home ground advantage?
    What are you? Mentally challenged?

    • Sinkaypoh said

      Yalor, so if Feng Tianwei plays in China got home ground advantage?

      • Paul said

        Feng Tianwei may not even get into the Chinese national team if she remain in China, the same go to Tao Li and many Foreign Sport Talent.

    • Jagish said

      It’s obvious he is mentally challenged, isn’t it?

      He makes a lot of sweeping statements without going into the details.

      To me, that makes him a moron.

  3. Singapuraboi said

    Get off ur high horse FT. Australians still think that the Vietnamese r hooligans and are stealing jobs from the locals. The other Asians are accused of not playing fair when they work hard and keep their stores open past 6pm. Australians r not happy and want their govt to stop letting these people in. Situation is the same in the US. In London, the English are not happy with the Pakistanis for invading their economy. In Europe they want the middle easterners out of their continent. Don’t talk about rights here! If u and other races have rights anywhere in the world we won’t need to name our countries and have passports. The very existence of passports is very telling that we all have a place that we belong to n citizenry of a country have the right to fight for their rights for survival in their country of origin. It is obnoxious for u as a foreigner to make such comments in your host country. As a guest in our country u should know how to behave n know ur place. U don’t go visiting ur friend at his home n start a fight between ur friend n his family members, do u? If any friction arises from ur presence u either hold ur peace or take ur leave n not insist in ur right to remain in their house. U can’t even understand something as simple this n u have the nerve to say u r better than the locals?

    • aloysius12 said

      Your reference to a football match; and it is our home-ground – every game has one main referee to referee the game and his supporting men. In this home game we have more than one referee and this man is the employer/s who uses exuses(not legitimate reasons)and available “players”(graces of our authorities) citing poor performaces to replace/add to the team thus enhancing his/their porfit margin Were there no ft players(who incidentally have no commitment)would they have a legitimate cause to justify their reasons to second our government importation?

      • aloysius12 said

        Like Hachoo, my daughter was offered a post (she went for a training/upgrading)-have to be strongly recommended-and like him was not a clock-watcher(politely advised to follows the group). They followed up with their offer. But like Hachoo did not want to miss her homeland etc.etc. Now like Hachoo feels shortchange though she is gainly employed. My advice “be independentl – don’t expect much from the govt. I/we never did,

    • hachoo said

      Agreed. I remembered very clearly when I was working in Australia. Most left the office at around 5pm but we stayed on to complete some task and prepare for the next day. We were told (in a no nonsense tone) straight in the face; “please go home and get a life. PLease dont influence our local work style by staying on after office hours.” This OZ colleague insisted we pack and go and switched off the lights as she walked off the office.

      • AUS said

        Was it easy for you to find a job in Aus then? Do you still working in Aus?
        I’m still looking for a job of my profession in Aus after almost 5 mths of searching in Sg.

      • hachoo said

        I left already. Funny thing you asked. Unless you study in the country for a few years, you can slowly ease into the workforce through your local networks. Otherwise, to have a PMET position, its not easy unless you are highly recommended by an ANG MO colleaque either here or locally there. UNlike here, PMET is given out like flyers on the road.
        Also, to gain PR status then, you have to go through rounds of interview and stay in the country for at least two years (without leaving the country). Unlike here, PR is given like candies to kids and adult alke.
        I was given the opportunity to apply for PR but gave it a pass because I love my local foods and friends here. On hindsight, I should have taken it . Didnt know my country has gone down the tube that bad in the last ten years.
        Yes I felt like a minority and second class (if not third class) now in my own country. Sad…….

      • sad state said

        How does it feel to be assumed by the Aussies that you are a workaholic and do not have a life because you are an Asian?

        How does it feel to be assumed to be immoral, ungrateful, lazy person because you are from another country?

    • mook said

      Well said. Recommend.

  4. Kaypoh MILLS said

    What you call “excuses,” I call the truth.

    What about NS and CPF? Don’t tell me the employers do not consider these stuff too? Idiots like MILLS should stop complaining and refrain on his own attitude especially if not Singaporean.

    • Kaypoh MILLS said

      correction: Idiots like MILLS should stop complaining and reflect on his own attitude especially if not Singaporean.

    • Jagish said

      Like I said earlier, the writer is a moron. And that is probably why he has to resort to kissing butts to get ahead in life.

      He brushes off everything but saying it is just excuses but doesn’t explain why he thinks it is so.

      Just like his masters, who are prone to making sweeping statements but afraid of having a debate with their critics.

  5. Crap... said

    The writer is indeed a retard.. Using his dumb football homeground analogy..
    In Singapore, it is as if the referee is being paid by the away side. The home side goal post is double the size of the away side. The home side is forced to play with slippers.. and lastly, the referee constantly scolds the home side for not allowing the away side to score more goals. WTF!

  6. Marc said

    To Mill, I didn’t bother to read your post further when you mentioned that the employer did not consider cost when hiring FTs… You surely did not interpret his words properly when he said that $3000 can get him FTs with experiences, instead of fresh local graduates… Isn’t this a clear indication of cost in his considerations?

    No substance in your posting if you do not understand what you are talking about!!!

  7. :) said

    Its laughable what’s happening here. In USA, the government is scared of the people, that’s why they protect their jobs like how they subsidise ford and GM production. In SG, the people are scared of the government, that’s why the govt can tell us to stop complaining and force higher retirement age and limit CPF withdrawal. In USA you dont see Obama telling his citizens to blindly support govt policies on national TV. The government is CONTROLLED by the people. That’s the idea of a democracy. I think SIngaporeans have forgotten that. Sigh.

  8. Cecil Chua said

    There are a number of uniquely Singaporean factors that make “home ground” less of an advantage for Singaporeans:

    (1) A 33% social security tax of which employers have to pay a part. This is called CPF. It makes Singaporeans more expensive than foreigners. Employers do not have to pay this tax for several categories of foreign workers.
    (2) Male employees below 40 (e.g., fresh graduates) may be summoned for military duties for up to 40 days a year.
    (3) Remedial training for physically unfit male Singaporeans which is above and beyond the 40 days specified in (2).
    (4) Lax labor laws, poor enforcement of labor laws, and kickback schemes that allow employers the power to confiscate passports or otherwise abuse foreign workers. This mainly impacts the lower-income foreign workers. In many cases, Singapore companies are complicit in these schemes where they make a profit, not from their core business, but from the kickback scheme.
    (5) A willingness by Singapore to accept dubious paper qualifications. A number of foreign professionals are not, in fact, qualified to perform their duties, having bought their certificates from a paper mill.

    I agree that employers make a rational choice to hire foreigners. There are, however, serious policy implications when a government creates structures that disenfranchise the local population, especially the young. It isn’t a huge step from the young as a body realizing they have no future to the young picking up stones (or guns) and directing that anger towards those they believe have wronged them. As the recent case in New York demonstrates, employers and managers are frequently identified as targets at such times.

  9. Danny said

    Mills must be another free-loading, deadbeat foreigners. Singapore have plenty to complain about.
    (1) low productivity of Singapore economy
    (2) low birth rate started by LKY’s “Stop at 2” policy
    (3) failing to plan to large number of foreigners brought in
    (4) exempting foreigners from CPF making them cheaper to hire
    (5) foreigners taking jobs away from Singaporeans
    (6) shortage of jobs for Singaporeans
    (7) shortage of MRT trains and public buses
    (8) shortage of places in local schools/varsities for Singaporeans
    (9) shortage of hospital beds, doctors and nursing homes
    (10) shortage of public housing
    (11) high inflation (Singapore now more expensive than Hong Kong)
    (12) high cost of education and health care
    (13) sharp rise in price public housing (price doubled in 5 years)
    (14) depressed local wages
    (15) overcrowded public transport due to large number of foreigners
    (16) depleted CPF accounts after paying for HDB flat
    (17) many CPF accounts below CPF Minimum Sum due
    (18) massive Government spending on foreigners using taxpayers’ money
    (19) billions of losses overseas by GIC and Temasek
    (20) frequent (50-year) “ponding”
    (21) poor air quality – below WHO Air Quality Guidelines
    (21) bailout of public transport operators (failed privatisation)
    (23) frequent breakdown of MRT trains (failed privatisation)
    (24) expensive electricity tariffs (failed privatisation)
    (25) failed to give Singaporeans the Swiss Standard of Living
    Elections is still a few years away. In the meantime, Singaporeans needs to continue “complaining” to highlight the mistakes, failures and pro-alien policies of PAP to convince more singaporeans to vote against PAP in GE2016.

    • MiuMiu said

      Singaporeans will complain and complain lah, but don’t dare to do anything more than that lah. You just wait and see, come GE2016 and even the one after, it will be still the same faces going back to Parliament. Don’t get your hopes too high.

      • Can we follow China to allow demonstration? said

        Can we follow China to allow demonstration?
        as we always say to compare and follow China and USA?

        It is human nature, and is difficult to get it off.

  10. jo lee said

    This Mills chap must either be from Australia or Britain. He is right that employers are not obligated to protecting Singaporean workers BUT the government has the obligation to make sure the local population is gainfully employed before admitting FTs. Look at Britain, you can find any Brits working in the service industry. They are from other EU countries eg. Spain, Italy, Poland etc. Even the bus drivers are foreigners. So are you saying the Brits are useless and non-productive!

  11. jo lee said

    Mills: Singaporeans voice their frustration and complains. This is a free world. Who doesn’t when their jobs are at stake. Not the old days of British imperialism when everyone keeps quiet. Look at HK, when the Brits rule, the put down any dissent but when they hand over HK to the Chinese, they encourage democracy. Haha wonder why they only did that after 100 years of their colonial rule. Typical white Sxxx!

  12. jo lee said

    Mills: Singapore does not need people like you to teach us what we can or cannot do. If you are sick of reading or hearing it that’s TOO BAD. Go back to your own country if you think it is so good. Bet you cannot even find a job in your own country. You work in Singapore pretending to be a so call “talent”. Bloody parasite. You can crawl back to the little dark hole where the sun does not shine!!

  13. rennylui said

    words are cheap. esp frm the upper rungs of capitalism.

  14. babuseng said

    What a dumb article. The issue here is the unncessary loss of mid-end and low-end jobs to foreigners – this is not about world-class level jobs where strict meritocracy is all it is about.

    Why does Singapore need to import foreign engineers and office clerks when there are plenty of skilled and unemployed locals available? Again, these are mid to low level jobs that would hardly make a directional impact in the success of a company. I am sure there will always be foreigners willing to work harder for less money, but is that really a net benefit to our country? On the one hand, you have employers who are getting more bang for the buck and pushing up profit levels, but on the other hand you depress local salaries across all job types and push down quality of life for the average Singaporean worker.

    The purpose of a government is to look after the interests of its citizens, not just the companies and corporations operating here. The growing discontent with the middle class shows that the open door policy is directly and indirectly affecting their livelihoods. We have to stop running Singapore like one big corporation, where efficiency and other “KPI” metrics are all that matters (of course, since those determine the ministers’ bonus).

    There is a reason why most governments cannot and do not run a country like a corporation, and that is simply because they will be quickly voted out by the electorate who (surpise!) is made up of the middle class. It is indeed unusual and only in Singapore where the impotent political landscape allows the government to act with impunity against the interests of a sizable majority of its citizens.

    Of course, this very political impotence is what the PAP has engineered for its own favor after decades of single party rule, with its use of courts to stifle political opponents; redistricting single towns into GRCs, what some observers would call gerrymandering; having whole teams stand for election in GRCs thus allowing piggybacking of untested candidates (see Tin Pei Ling). The entire political system is so rigged, and the voices of Singaporeans are not being heard.

    • FrustratedSingaporean said

      gerrymandering or not. If indeed these negative sentiments are felt by enough Singaporeans, the government would have been voted out regardless how they draw the lines of GRCs. The truth is, most of us are keyboard warriors, and when it comes to elections, we again put back in the same bunch of people. Well, you can’t blame Singapore does not have democracy because we do have corruption free elections here, but it’s us the people who don’t do act. Their votes share have been going down average 5-6% in every election, if this trend goes on, it probably take no more than 2 more elections to reduce them to 50% votes. By then, it won’t matter anymore how they draw the GRC lines.

    • Zam said

      Well said.

  15. gongjiaowei said

    Home ground advantage? Which world are you living in? In fact, the OPPOSITE is true. It’s precisely because we are in the HOME GROUND, that’s why it is disadvantageous for us native Singaporeans. The post above mine already explained why. Only people with a hollow brain can think of such an inappropriate and irrelevant analogy. It’s okay to love soccer but don’t embarrass yourself.

    • Kelong said

      Soccer can also kelong one. IF the English Premier League players are willing to come to Singapore and play for $5k pm, all our local professional plyers will be out of jobs in no time if not protected.

  16. Jeff said

    Yes, it is the Government’s job to “protect” the locals not the emploters’. That’s why the blame is on the Government for opening the flood gates, not the employers. What gives MILLS the idea that employers are to blamed?

  17. seah said

    mills ,if you dont like the local people here you should go back where you from ,you only want CHEAP and experience worker.if i am doing business i will do the same.Then what will happen to the local population if the govt.keep bringing in all these worker.Why dont you shift business to the cheap cheap labour country But please do not ask their govt to import cheaper worker for always the local population FIRST,or how they going to LIVE.Always talk with the Brain on

  18. Trueblu said


    Do you see a difference between a country and an MNC Or family and a company?

    Would you replace a family member with another who is more capable or who lowers the household expenditure???

    Singapore is obviously not your home but is Singapore Inc to you.

  19. Those FTs that are hired because they are cheap, young and willing, we cannot match up, especially the first two aspects. That is why many PMETs above 40 are jobless, as employers have a choice. I won’t blame employers as they are business people. I blame:
    1. The government for allowing so many FTs in so easily.
    2. Singaporeans for failing to see the problem and continuing to vote the PAP in.
    3. Singaporeans who are not trying hard enough. Admittedly, there are some who work with an attitude of entitlement.

  20. Tuck you said

    My dear Singaporeans. Stop scolding him. Mills is just a lonely poor soul who came to so Singapore to work because he is not welcomed in his home country and has no friends and family there. He can make a lot of money here but will just die a lonely man, with no kin or friends beside him.

    That is why he do not understand the importance of family ties and wonder why we Singaporeans invest so much time and effort in our loved ones. His first and only love is only money, but sadly he cannot bring it along when he passes away.

  21. goobie said

    Wahlao if work so hard where got time to go back play with kids, fuck my wife?

  22. SingaporeanAtHeart said

    Look at North Korea, they ban tourists (as in very strict restrictions, you can’t just buy an air ticket and fly into North Korea), they don’t allow foreigners to freely work in local economy. And look at them, the people look so happy, they sing and dance in big turnouts at stadium for their Great Leader. Even though they have little to eat, hardly any internet and mobile phones, but people are all employed and so happy. When their Great Leader died (Kim Jung II ?), the people wailed and cried at the loss.

    I think Singapore should follow North Korea example, close the border. Ban foreigners, tourists, remove S Pass E Pass whatever pass. Keep all the jobs to ourselves. Nobody will ever be unemployed because of a darn foreigner taking away the job. Even no elections also nevermind, if people got jobs and are happy, what’s the point of elections and waste all those logistics.

  23. Guys, everywhere in the world, someone is baying that migrants are taking away jobs, housing, eligible bachelor/bachelorettes, etc. But the fault doesn’t lie with the migrants alone. They’re simply doing what’s best for their families, like our ancestors did when they came on a slow boat hundreds of years ago.

    I think the main responsibility lies with the gatekeepers (i.e. the government). It’s way too easy to get a work permit or PR in Singapore. In the UK, you’d have to jump through 1000 hoops to apply for residency, submit a ton of paperwork, pay £2800 for a family of 3, wait 6 months and maybe, it will be approved.

    The whole problem is growth, or the obsession the leaders have with it. Singapore has consistently posted astronomical growth figures and recently, has the highest GDP growth in the world! But the growth comes at a price (e.g. uncontrolled migration, overcrowding, rising property and food prices, etc). But on the flipside, if the government made it more difficult for migrants to work and live in Singapore, there may be lower growth and people won’t be well off as they are now. And then there will be something else to whinge about!

    I guess the bottom line is balance. Yes, economic migrants do bring significant benefits to the economy, but it should not be at the disadvantage of local population. The government should drop its obsessive focus on growth and look inward and take care of its citizens, especially the elderly and disabled.

    • KC said

      When you noted that growth is all they want in the numbrs game, please remember that their salary is based on the growth numbers. So who is benefiting but the ministers themselves. People should remember this at all times. The trouble starts when they think that they should be the highest paid in the world.

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