News and views from an unique perspective

Highly qualified risk manager who earns $11K replaced by FT

Posted by temasektimes on October 13, 2012

What can Singaporeans do to save their jobs from foreign talents?

Since stepping off the Scoot plane three weeks ago, I have being frantically catching up with readers who have emailed me while I was still in Sydney visiting my family.

I must thanked them for waiting patiently as some of them have emailed me at least two months ago and wanted to speak with me about their jobless situation.

However, after meeting up with them, my heart sunk as the same old complaint cropped up frequently – our local executives are been replaced by foreigners at the work place.

I met up with John a few days ago – my second appointment with him after seeing him for the first time about four months ago in June.

John was a classic case of a highly educated local PMET who was caught out by the lax foreign talent policy here.

Earning close to $11,000 just five months ago, he came and saw me the second time at my office a few days ago and during this time he appeared desperate and frail.

He is married, have a young child and in his early forties. His boyish good looks could have charm a few girls’ hearts if he is still single.

It was fortunate that he managed to pay up his house mortgage several years ago and do not have to worry about having a roof over his family’s head when he is still jobless.

I was nevertheless aghast how four months of unemployment could do to the confidence and esteem of a highly educated PMET.

When I saw him for the first time four months ago at my office, he appeared calm and composed and we could even laughed and joked during the session.

He was just retrenched and armed with a severance package, he has some financial back-up as he went about to look for a job.

The second appointment was a disturbing and cold one – a chilling sign that unemployment has bit hard into the psyche of one of our brightest and fittest.

Educated in the best local university here and burnt through the meritocratic furnace of our system, John is now reduced to a mixed bag of uncertainty and disappointment – betrayed by the very ones who told us that they will take care of the people if we excel in our stringent educational system and be diligent in our work.

During the second session, we remained silent occasionally for a full twenty awkward seconds as I do not want to interrupt his train of thoughts as he tried to come to terms with his emotions.

I always find that our male jobless professionals are rather stoic in how they respond to their jobless circumstances compared to our women counterparts who tend to be a bit more emotional and fiery.

John was a risk manager for all of his career life so far – a skill he told me is still very niche and in high demand.

He is also the headhunter’s favourite darling as their high pay package means that the commission reward is also very lucrative.

Most risk managers are paid handsomely – between $8,000 to $10,000 on average less bonuses.

However, due to the lax foreign talent policy, many risk managers from the US and Australia have recently came over and John was squeezed out of the lucrative career.

Someone from the HQ in Japan came and replaced him five months ago and he left the Japanese bank with some severance package and a worried look.

Though he has gone for some interviews, he couldn’t land any offer yet as most of his interview competitors were from overseas – US, Australia and Europe.

As his interviewers are also foreigners, John felt that there may be some bias here.

“I couldn’t speak as well as those foreigners and this probably is my biggest handicap during an interview,” John lamented to me in one of his rare show of displeasure at his jobless situation.

John is also one of the rare few PMETs whom I have met who only reproached himself for his unemployment situation and I have never hear him blame anyone for his plight – not even the easy-target government.

Mild-mannered and rather shy in his demeanor, John will definitely lose out to a more vocal foreigner from the US or Australia during a job interview – who are known to have the gift of the gab.

For us to compete in the global job market, Singaporeans must learn to speak better English and express themselves more at the work place.

Trained to be followers from young and patted on the head approvingly by both teachers and parents for not speaking out against authorities, Singaporeans tend to lose out a lot when it comes to verbal articulation.

I have spoken to many Aussies while staying in Sydney the past few years and found them to be fluent in their spoken language as it’s their native language.

Even the uneducated road sweeper spoke better English than me!

I told John maybe he can consider joining a Tostmaster programme as they teach people how to speak properly in front of an audience.

However, after meeting up with John and a few other professionals who were squeezed out of the global job market by foreign talents here, I must add that there is little protection from the system to ensure that the local professionals have a place in our own country.

It’s like you have a plot of land to till and for a long time you could grow potatoes and wheat without fear that you will go hungry – so long you work hard to till the land and fertilise the ground.

You realise later that your village chief decides to let in more people from other villages to share your plot of land and you could do little to protect yourself and family from being squeezed out of your own plot.

Now, you have less potatoes to harvest as the plot of land is being shared by many other strangers let in by the village chief and they all also have to eat.

You try to be kindhearted and let them have some space to grow their potatoes but soon you realise that the whole plot is being taken over by strangers leaving you hungry and angry.

The worse is you can’t do anything about the loss of land and potatoes as that means you are branded as unwelcoming and xenophobic by your village chief who have always asked you to love and accept them.

You begin to look at other villages to move to as you need to survive and take care of your own family members.

This is a simple analogy of what is happening to us at the work place now.

To make matters worse, just the other evening, I was told that a local employer whom I have some contact with, decided to hire a foreigner over one of my jobless referral – over cost matter.

Naturally, my local jobless client was devastated and inconsolable when I told her about the bad news.

Nevertheless, the crucial question remains: What can Singaporeans do to save their jobs from being snatched away by foreign talents?

Our Prime Minister has warned us that he will be gunning for a 6-million-population Singapore.

How many local Singaporeans will lose their jobs then in order to please our government’s wish?

You can’t let in 800,000 more foreigners without providing them with good jobs and housing facilities.

Moreover, is a 6-million-population the ultimate wish of our own citizens?

The next few years will be tough for Singaporeans as they have to stay on top to retain their jobs or else they will be replaced by 800,000 more foreigners flooding the tiny red dot looking for work.

Let’s hope that our government can come to their senses and stop the country from sinking into chaos and oblivion.


Gilbert Goh

* Gilbert Goh is the founder of It is a non-profit society specially set up to cater to the emotional needs of the unemployed Singaporeans.


67 Responses to “Highly qualified risk manager who earns $11K replaced by FT”

  1. P Koh said

    I just could not imagine what will be the outcome for many Singaporeans who are finding difficulty in getting a job right now when the population is moved to 6 millions. There are already so much problems associated with the increased population which have yet to be fixed and it is inconceivable that our PM should be talking about growth in population at this time. Where are our thinkers and intellects in government.?

  2. dragon said

    Thanks to our good gov.But do they listen to you job was taken away by FT/FW do they believe you or understand.They still said singaporean dun want to work ,singapore were fail if company cannot employ FT/FW.The whole issue is less profit if less FT/FW.Singaporean need to pay CPF contribution this is the main problem not singaporean dun want to work.All old grandfather song.During the past do singaporean complain big NO why now ,they still cannot see the picture or just ?????????????

  3. Allison Lee said

    An Open Letter To Singaporeans

    Singaporeans were warned long ago to effect change.

    • BeObjective said

      The birth rights theory! We need more sophisticated opposition ideas…. Stop targeting us like we are all self centered and brainless folks.

  4. NaBey said

    Risk manager, as the name suggest, salary and position also at risk.

  5. spotlessleopard said

    I am sure when He was in that special position; he felt safe, smug and often enough scorned at those Singaporeans who lost thier jobs to foreigners …….now that he is the same kind of victim He must have regretted that He voted the PAP all along.

    Now e Nation has abandoned him…..may He should gather up enough courage to vote out the PAP so tha his children can have a more meanigful existence as citizens of Singapore

  6. KLee05 said

    Singaporeans like John deserve to be screwed by foreign talent because they were stupid and complacent enough to be compliant and submissive to the PAP system.

    Singaporeans like John believe that everything will be all right as long as they follow the route designed for them by the PAP, and that they do not have to think for themselves about how to compete in a globalised world.

    I am not a fan of the PAP but I am not really a fan either of this article which seems to imply that just because you are “highly qualified” you deserve a job. If John is so “highly qualified” then why can’t he compete with the Aussies and the Americans etc.?

    The obvious answer is that he isn’t as qualified as he thinks he is and that there is a LOT more to the work place than just “qualifications”.

    If English is the official language of this economy then OF COURSE those who are NATIVE ENGLISH speakers are going to have a superior edge over those who only know how to speak SINGLISH or who only have book smarts and don’t have fluency to present themselves in the language.

    Stop blaming foreigners and stop complaining that you can’t get a job even though you are “Highly Qualified” – welcome to the REAL WORLD.

    And yes – did you realise this guy would not survive in a country like Australia and the US??? He has to depend on his DADDY PAP to impose PROTECTIONIST measures to survive.

    Go Figure!!

  7. Sad Singaporean said

    This is for real. Someone close to me experienced first hand very similar situation – Out of job for 2 years already. Lost the job that came with$12k monthly package, currently still not employed despite sending many job applications and attending interviews. I’m mid 40s, and have been telling myself to be prepared to be replaced anytime. Not being pessimistic but this is very real in Singapore. so sad.

  8. Ron said

    Harsh realities of life:

    – No one owes you a living. Be prepared for job losses.
    – Always have plans B, C, D, etc. Your present salary and position means little once you lose your job
    – Be prepared to step right down and take on a drivers job (taxi, bus, etc.) while you wait to get back to a good position.
    – Nothing to be shameful to be telling others you are jobless.
    – Convert your taxi to be your advertising centre…hand out name cards, chat with passengers, follow up.

    When gainfully employed, learn other skills, network, create links with other groups.

    Do charity work… Lions Club, Rotary Club, whatever. And maintain your exercise regime, strenghten your faith.

  9. Jack said

    GIC and Temasek Holding should employ him, support Singaporeans, please

    • Naivety said

      You will be deeply surprised as both GIC & Temasek Holdings had taken the lead to employ many FTs/Foreigners in Senior Management positions in GLCs such as Senior Vice President, Executive Vice President, Deputy General Manager, General Manager, Deputy President, President, Dy CEO & CEO level positions, etc!

  10. Singaporean Chinese said

    Well, just to share, I find it irritating and offensive with macdonald samurai burger advertisement. Also there are many japanese advertisements and shows. With the rising anger with the japan who took the diaoyu island illegally, please be considerate to the many Chinese in Singapore who have lost their great grandparents or relatives during WW2. Till now, their japanese leaders are not remorseful and always visit the yasukuni shrine. I might consider giving up my Singapore citizenship if there are too many japanese influence in Singapore. The government should be mindful of the sentiments of the Chinese here who are not so vocal but anger is boiling inside. Now Singapore defence is cooperating with japan, and I find it deeply disturbing.

    • Pearlyn said

      Wow, uncle, your comment is very out of the blue with a dinosaur age thinking lar…. do you seriously live in the now or still living in the past? Even my grandma who lived through WW2 already left it in the past and moved on to the present life, you still holding on to it for what? I think your comments very disturbing and don’t make sense. No offense intended but time for to forgive and Let go so that you can be happier lar!

      • Clover said

        Pearly don’t cry if it happen again. The problem is Japan current government is illegally taking away diaoyu island. Forget history at your peril and don’t be naive.

      • Steve Lee said

        In 2005, Japan’s Supreme Court decided that govenment employers can refuse to give senior positions to 2nd generation South Koreans born and bred in Japan because they did not have Japanese bloodlines. There are signs in some shops that say “Japanese only” and this is legal. In 1996, a survey of foreigners living in Japan found that 40% of Koreans and Chinese had been refused accomodation on the basis of their race. Tokyo mayor govenor, Shintaro Ishihara said that too many Chinese should not be let into Japan or genetic pollution would occur. Don’t take my word for it. Look it up on google.

      • Naivety said

        Yes, fully agreed with you…Steve

        The Japanese are serial racists people as some “cowboys & cowgirls” are so naive especially the newer generations that they are still not aware of such facts yet!

      • P Koh said

        There is National Unity in the Japanese culture curved out by the loss of face in the Second World War and that was how Japan could immediately recover and become a thriving economy in a short space of time. It is hoped that our S’pore government can emulate this culture and ensure that the local people’s interest must first be looked after for the sake of progress and prosperity of the country as a whole.

    • a man said

      are you serious?!

    • Ron said

      This is a myopic view. WW2 is long over. History has seen the flow and ebb of violence and wars. My family suffered too but I have spent years in Japan without animosity. I do not support those ultra nationalist views and actions of the likes of Tokyo Governor Ishihara. And I hope both China and Japan can come to some understanding over the Diaoyu or Senkaku islands.

      The overwhelming population of Japan is polite and does not share ultra nationalism.

      • Eve said

        The world is getting over populated & too congested!
        Let both Japan & China fight each other & get decimated over the disputed Diaoyu or Senkaku islands!

        The best is India also joined in the fray and let the 3 populous countries in the world cancelled one another out lest the people from these 3 countries come to our tiny Sinkie Land as FTs/Foreigners to cancel out native Singaporeans then!

      • Singaporean said

        Do tell our govt to forget history and SAF is not necessary in Singapore. The world is not perfect. Those racist japanese are unfortunately in power.

    • singaporean is not chinese said

      Buangkok chalet is getting better. Patients now have access to the internet.

    • Saint said

      Migrate to China if you feel so strongly about that island. You can also join in the protest which Singapore is banned under PAP.

  11. Steve Lee said

    The writing is on the wall. Read between the lines. Singapore, the country, will prosper on the back of Singaporeans whether they be Singaporeans born and bred or newly imported Singaporeans. It doesn’t matter. There is no job security, no matter how well qualified you are and price will determine whether you get or retain your job. If someone younger, better qualified (including easy to get or bogus qualifications) and willing to work at a lesser pay rate comes along, then bye bye Singaporean. Also good luck in our old age without a pension. Furthermore, wait till the 6 million grow old, then we’ll need 10 million to support the 6 million won’t we?. I don’t know what you think but it seems to me that life is really hard and getting harder.

  12. Naivety said

    Hey TT & Gilbert!

    I am a former “G” grade staff (General Manager’s grade) of a GLC & I too was being removed & replaced for not being able to consistently achieve a 20% to 30% growth rate for the company year after year but however, when it comes to the PAP government, how come they are not being held responsible & accountable for all the failures & plentiful of malfunctions as appended below? These includes but not limited to as follows:

    1) Low Productivity of Singapore Economy
    2) Low Birth Rate which started from LKY’s “Stop at 2” policy
    3) Depressed Local Wages
    4) Bringing in a large number of foreigners without properly planning for it
    5) Shortage, ‘Shrinking’ & High Cost of Public Housing
    6) Shortage of Public Buses
    7) Shortage of MRT Trains
    8) Shortage of Hospitals
    9) Shortage of Doctors
    10) Shortage of Nursing Homes
    11) Shortage of Teachers
    12) Shortage of Places in Schools & Universities for Singaporeans
    13) Shortage of Jobs for Singaporeans
    14) Foreigners Taking Jobs Away For Singaporeans
    15) Gave Foreigners a Big Advantage Over Singaporeans in Job Market
    16) Frequent Breakdowns of MRT Trains/Transport Infrastructure
    17) Overcrowded Public Transport (Buses & MRT Trains)
    18) Bailout of Public Transport (Failed Privatization)
    19) Frequent 50 Year “Ponding” or Flooding
    20) High Inflation (Singapore now more expensive than Hong Kong)
    21) High Cost of Education
    22) High Cost of Healthcare
    23) High Cost of Electricity (Another Failed Privatization)
    24) Poor Air Quality As Per WHO Air Quality Guidelines
    25) High Cost of Private Transport & Fuel
    26) Depleted CPF Accounts After Buying “Affordable” HDB Flats
    27) Many CPF Accounts below CPF Minimum Sum
    28) Massive (Billions) Unaccountable Losses of Taxpayers’ Money by Temasek & GIC
    29) Wasteful Purchases by Government Agencies such as Nparks
    30) Made Singapore a “Tuition Nation”
    31) Real Income likely to fall this year
    32) Unequal & Wide Disparity in Income Distribution & Huge Gaps among Singaporeans
    33) No Minimum Wage Policy
    34) High Cost of Living & Failed to give Swiss Standard of Living to Singaporeans as promised.

    You mean to say that pappies are above human beings or rather supreme beings which are equivalent to “God” status & that is why they need not be held answerable, responsible & accountable to mere native Singaporean mortals like us for all these failures, dysfunctional & flawed policies implemented by them ka?

    • ST said

      I remember LKY say no such think as Iron Rice Bowl, but his son is protecting his and his gangs ‘Rice bowl’ that last for 47 years.

  13. Belgium said

    This does not make any sense. Which US expat works for les then 20k per month? Expat cost for house, car, international school, medical, American club…not included.

  14. So sad….this is the plight of our society now…then what is the purpose of learning secondary social studies next year if what we will be learning is not a well-balanced accounts of our country at its present.

  15. hihihi said

    The fugging papaya won’t change their love for their foreign trash just becos of your post.

  16. Pearlyn said

    Hi Gilbert, Thanks for the article. I agree that times are bad because our jobs are getting taken over by foreigners and PRs. Nonetheless, there are still employers who would hire singaporeans. Just that will the displaced ones look towards changing their mindset to accept a different job with probably lesser pay?

    • Naivety said

      Yep, probably from what he used to get at a monthly rate of S$11,000 to S$2,000 to S$3,000 per month maybe working for an SME instead but however hor, under employment is still much better than total unemployment desu!

  17. Help yourself. said

    Having spoken to a few foreign people in senior positions in finance, I found this article had already identified the problem and answered it’s own question.

    The real problem for this senior positioned Singaporean is his poor English. Since Singapore allows MNC’s in, they will naturally have foreigners in senior positions. Regardless of whether or not there is racism, the people hiring have to take into account the language skills of their staff, and the more senior the position, the more important it is.

    I mean, what if the SG head of Microsoft SG branch called Bill Gates and said- “Sell software cannot. Box spoilt” All 1 billion fluent English speaking people around the world (USA/Europe/Aust/India) would assume they were speaking to an uneducated person with very poor English as a second language skills. Bill Gates/Overseas President would simply fire the Singaporean’s ass.

    The article also provides a solution- Toastmasters.

    It’s really just a case of needing to upgrade your skills, in this case, language. Don’t be proud. Singlish is a real killer. If you are lucky enough to have a severance package- use it! Move to a foreign country and take english lessons.

    I remember overhearing a SG mother yelling at her son (12 years old) “Why you get such poor marks ah! Like that cannot! ” etc etc. How can he do well, if he is surrounded by substandard English?

    Even Filipinos speak more fluent English than Singaporeans- I know this is an insult to the ego, but it’s true- it’s one reason why they are being hired in droves instead of office workers from PRC- their English skills.

    None of us can truly influence PAP policy. All you can do is influence your own skills and employability.

    • Steve Lee said

      @Help yourself. Racism does exist but you have put your finger on a very real problem facing very well educated and hard working Singaporeans facing stiff competition from both westerners from the first world and everyone else waiting to topple the Singaporean from his/her perch. In a Singapore where Singaporeans born and bred here receive no protection from the government with regard to their jobs, only the very best will survive. In order to do so, presentation and language skills are crucial in projecting both the Singaporean and the company/organization they represent. We have to lift our game or literally die. Life was always hard in Singapore and it’s only getting harder.

    • Naivety said

      Firstly, I never knew that a ‘Risk Manager’ is considered a Senior Management Position apart from those holding positions such as Vice President, Senior Vice President, Executive Vice President, DGM, General Manager, Deputy President, President, Dy CEO, CEO & so on?

      Secondly, is a salary of S$11,000 per month considered high & very fantastic as compared to a Brigadier General (BG) starting appointment basic salary of S$25,000 per month?

      Thirdly, no matter how good his academic results & English vocabulary are, you still can’t expect him to speak as well as the native speakers such as those from American, British, Aussies are, right?

      Or alternative you could put the blame on the Singapore Educational system as well as both NTU & NUS for not being able to groom him to speak like a native english speaker then!

    • ILETS 8.5 said


      The more senior the position, the more important language & proper communication becomes . This is especially true in MNCs & Global Companies, less for trhe Civil service & govt jobs.

      Only an idiot would not have planned ahead & improved his command of spoken & written English .

    • Barry Brown said

      “None of us can truly influence PAP policy. All you can do is influence your own skills and employability.”

      Yes, we can’t influence them. We can only vote them out of parliament.

      There is really no point in trying to tweak a failed policy.

      The solution lies in voting out the source of the problems facing this country.

      • BeObjective said

        We need to fire an entire political party (PAP) so that John can keep his job? If a political party tells you they have the solution, be very wary.

        The world is fair and productivity is maximised when the best person gets the job. A person who has something valuable to offer will never be out of work in a booming economy.

        It is true that some people have less to offer, maybe due to personality, personal choices, education background, upbringing or tragic experience such as 2 years of NS that totally decapitated their ability compared to foreigners (some might have served in their countries, but immune from the effects that plagued Singaporeans).

        For such people who cannot help themselves, we use welfare to humanely treat them.

    • The PAP government bring in droves of non-English spekaing PRCs and give them scholarships. Schools are given funds to give them extra support. Teachers are expected to give them free tuition and help them lift their English standard. WHY IS THE GOVERNMENT NOT PUTTNIG THESE SAME RESOURCES INTO EVERY SINGAPOREAN CHILD????? Singaporean children who are struggling are askied to engage tutors, and these don’t come cheap. not every family can afford a tutor. I don’t believe we cannot help our children do well if they have THE SAME resources the PAP government is pouring into foreign students.

      Like I said in an earlier post: LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD FOR SINGAPOREANS!!!

  18. AMiTuoFo 阿彌陀佛 said

    We have been SOLD wholesales via all the various FTAs by our very own government who are voted in to look after the wellbeing of locals but actions taken seem to be otherwise.

    We need to do the followings urgently:-

    1, Please let everyone knows that talking and discussing about current affairs is not politics.
    Alot of people are afraid of talking about our current affairs mistakening it as politics.

    2. Please let all eligible voters know that we are urgently in need of a multi-party parliament so that unsound policies may not be bulldozed over easily.

    3. Please do not forget your birth rights as Singaporean. If we are not aware of our current standing very soon we will have no place even to stand let alone a roof over our heads.

  19. People Inaction PArty said

    It’s a free market dude. The world is an unforgiving place and business is tough. It’s no longer about how big or how fast you are to survive, but how adaptable. The sooner you get used to it, the better it is.
    In your face.

  20. Babuseng said

    While I sympathize with Gilbert’s situation, we should take note that he was working in a Japanese bank operating in Singapore, and his HQ in Japan sent a jap to come here and replace him. What is so wrong with that? Obviously, a japanese bank is going to favor their own culturally. At his salary level, you need to be able to speak up and speak well and compete against angmos and other foreigners. There is no way around that, unless you say lets forbid all foreign companies to operate in Singapore unless they hire singaporeans from the lowest to their highest positions. That is not going to work. Positions at his level and experience are rightly subject to international competition. However, this does not extend to the middle class/lower end jobs like clerical positions or waitress – those are positions that many locals are willing to fill, and there is no need for any talents, so certainly the government need to carefully consider having proper quotas for work permits in these mid/low end jobs, instead of the current immigration free for all policy that we are trapped in.

  21. FS said

    This is not the way Japanese do things. They will not retrench staffs if they can as they practice loyalty. I think this article is fake.

    • Singaporean said

      japanese are capable of anything. We must never forget what they did to the Singaporean Chinese. To those who never learn from history, it’s no wonder that history repeat. Only those who are naive choose to ignore history. Just don’t like the fact tat Singapore government is working with them in defense. If the government ignore the fact that we are already working hard to ensure racial harmony and if they continue to import more foreigners like Japanese, it will just create more social conflict as the Chinese Singaporeans don’t like Japanese and that is a fact. Some Chinese do not voice out as there would be others who ask them to forget ww2 but deep in their heart, the brutality of japanese and the current arrogant government just anger us.

      • Steve Lee said

        The thing is now everyone is beating Singaporeans up. The Ang Moh’s and Japanese beat us on the head and all peoples from the surrounding region in developing economies are chopping us at the legs. We are attacked on all sides with regards to job security and job acquisition.

  22. choochootrain said

    He never save for raining days, he must have been living like no tomorrow and now asking for help? Let’s get more info before decide if who is to be blamed.

  23. ting said

    If he is really qualified, he can go career@gov to apply. I believe he will be hired

    • Coin2sides said

      Unlike low level job, John’s competency must able to meet challenge from anywhere from overseas. GHe appear complacent. Better reflect on himself. If people who at high level job also need governent “protection”, then that is the real ending of Singapore. Really sad to see his type of article.

  24. Ron said

    For years I worked with one of the top western MNCs and excelled. However, I was always prepared to go right down the ladder to more humble jobs in a shipyard, a construction firm etc. should my fortunes change. But I worked, competed and used my wits to stay in the game.

    How many Singaporeans have the skills to survive in a very competitive international environment? I saw my colleagues being happy to talk about their latest golf outings, the local gossips. Well they stayed in Spore while I roamed the world and earned much higher than them.

    The world does not owe you a living. It is tough. And no point complaining when you have a set back. There are many more mountains available to climb.

    • Julie Ong said

      Thanks, Ron.

      That’s a reality check. We have to be able to compete with the best internationally if we want to hold a senior/top position in a multi-national
      company. This will include an excellent command of both written and spoken English. For me I believe that this is achievable without abandoning my beloved Singlish. That’s for another debate.

      Lower position jobs such as waiters, clerks, supervisors, etc – surely these can and should be given to us Singaporeans. Letting in foreigners to compete for these jobs is a serious misjudgment on the part of the government. What do you expect the locals to do? Compete for their jobs for three quarters of their current pay? A race to the bottom indeed!

      I marvel when I hear some of our ministers speak. They are not eloquent/fluent in English, yet they chide us for being substandard. Why aren’t they subjected to competition or at least a more rigorous selection process? Apart from competency in English they lack the greatest imperative which is substance. Yes, we need change. From the top down!

      Hitherto, the government is the one calling the shots. They are exerting immense pressure on the citizenry without consideration that they must also lift their performance which is dismal to say the least thus far.

      The government must do the right thing for the citizens, i.e. do the hard work of improving the lives of Singaporeans. Expediency via the import of large numbers of foreigners is truly a neglect of duty as the onus of the government must first and foremost be the well being of it’s citizens. If that is not so why then do we need a government?

      We cannot let this untenable situation to go on. If the government is really so bereft of ideas to run the economy then it would not be unreasonable for them to resign and call for an re-election. That way they will know if they have a mandate to carry on with their anti-Singaporean policies.

      But then….whether they deserve it or not….. million dollars salaries are hard to give up!

    • Zam said

      Well said mate

  25. ST said

    those lucky one dont talk ‘BIG’ here , your turn will come soon.
    I have a friend that is willing to take a lower pay & lower position but was told over qualified no chance even for an interview.

  26. fnu lnu said

    I really feel for this chap who has the experience and perhaps also the qualification of a risk manager.

    To have your rice bowl snatched away from under your nose and unable to find another job is going to hurt someone confidence and self respect.

    The longer you stay unemployed the lesser chance a future employer will consider your skill and experience as relevant. Nobody should stay unemployed longer than 6 months, due to this.

    I have worked overseas before and now working for a local coy and what an eye opener to have to adjust to locals of varying degree of spoken English skills. Which I took for granted majority of local Singaporeans do speak the same way.

    Therefore, in order for Singaporeans to compete with expats, especially English native speakers, you have to avoid speaking Singlish and Mandarin. Never watch the crap free to air TV programs too.

    People will noticed a significant difference once you polished your spoken English, however, if you think China is your target to penetrate, then you have to retune your strategy.

    • Ron said

      Agree with you about the need to speak fluent English especially if one wants to work for an American or Britisth firm. This person worked for a Japanese firm but he should know that the Japanese are fond of using their own nationals given the high unemployment in Japan. Many Japanese now take local transport and live in lower cost condos. And many come over on single status too.

      Singaporeans have to leave their comfort zone i.e. Spore and be prepared to roam far and wide. Working overseas is not that unsafe or unpleasant. There are thousands of Singaporeans overseas and how often do we read of them being murdered or blown up?

      And the pay can be very good in high risk locations and I do not mean Iraq or Afghanistan. And depending on the company, the accomodation may be even better than one has got in Spore. And there are frequent business trips and stays in luxury hotels.

      If you try to make the world your work place you have expanded your work opportunities. If an ang-moh can work in BKK, Myanmar, PNG, Shanghai, etc. why not the bi-lingual Singaporean? I have met Asians working in Dubai, Lagos, Port Moresby, just to name a few locations. And in today’s papers we read of the Singaporean who is settled down in Africa too.

      Make the World your home…not make the world go away (like the old song).

      • Julie Ong said

        Thanks, Ron.

        Agree with you, by and large. However, people are all different. Some are more willing and adventurous (as yourself), while others are more homely or even laid back. It’s a truism – it takes all kinds to make the world (in whatever we say, think and do). Another point is that it’s not that easy to just relocate or go international. For a start one needs a good education and the relevant experience. And if you’re intent on emigrating you may be subject to a stringent selection criteria including in some instances the requirement for having a job secured prior to your approval.

        Listen, a thought just cross my mind. Why don’t you get into Singapore politics? With your invaluable experience it’ll be a sure and definite asset. I do not actually know what you’ll do, but going by your writings thus far I’m confident that you’ll be more moderate and measured in contrast to the present crop of leaders who seem to have an insatiable want for more money and power. Do think about it, Ron.

        Yes, Singaporeans should be adaptable and resilient. The world is getting increasingly competitive. Inspite of this fact there’s still ample room for growth and development. It does not necessarily mean that we must have more money (I’ll take it though if it comes my way), but the country and environment we’ve built should be a genuine fun place to live in, work and play.

        For Singaporeans and all others as well.

  27. My real bug bear is that, Singapore has no lack of teachers but it employs childcare tecahers from overseas and pay them 100% more than local teachers with the same level of qualifications. A childcare teacher with a degree starts at about $2500 in Singapore but a foreign-sourced teacher with a degree is offered $5000 to come to Singapore to work. NTUC childcare group is one of the culprits.They source from overseas, do an interview over Skype and make a generous offer the same day! They are happy to make the offer even while the candidate is completing the studies. So whether the cadidate passes the course or whatever grades the candidate might get, she’s already been offered a lucrative job offer, re-location costs and a salary 100% more than a local graduate!

    While no one owes us a living, government-linked companies and stat boards should at least level the playing field for Singaporeans!!

    • Naivety said

      Yes, you’re perfectly right…beenthereseenit

      As some idiots in this forum still think that FTs are cheaper to hire compared to native Sinkaporeans…well, not all as some FTs are being hired at ridiculously high salaries & benefits and more often than not TLCs & GLCs are taking the lead in hiring them after all, these Temasek Linked Companies & GLCs are funded by Tax Payers’ Monies & CPF Funds so therefore, costs wise & higher wages / benefits paid to hire these FTs is certainly not a concern at all for them!

      As an example: Ms Saw Phaik Hwa, Ex-CEO of SMRT (a GLC) was hired at a cost of more than S$ 1.8 Million a year inclusive of stock option scheme and DBS Group CEO, Gupta, etc etc to name but only a few!

  28. Yharyah said

    Vote for PAP, that’s what you get and deserved!

    • Siapa Rajah said

      As Chinese way of saying….. needle don’t poke on your fresh and you don’t feel the pain and you don’t care!. I have it long long time ago! Vote with both hands and legs for PAP come 2016!!! Agreed with you Yharyah.

  29. Penn said

    sad case. personally i went through 2 retrenchment exercise. Like what some one said, no one owes you a living. Having plan B,C and D is the way to survive in this harsh world

  30. Sil said

    I’ve been with mnc for more than 15 years, I have to benchmark myself and compete with entire world talent because it is a global organization model and has team, peers, etc all over the world. How can we deal with globalization if we cannot even compete foreigners in our own ground. Getting the government to protect our jobs by reducing foreigner is a time bomb for suicide, it will make the generation less competitive and wiped out by globalization over the time. Many live in ivory tower and think it would last them forever, in reality others continue to better themselves to takeover yours. This is not about foreigner, in fact their presence here is a test to our future survivability. In today capitalism, you are competing against all humans on Earth.

    • cin2sides said

      Fully agree with you. By reading this writeup, I can say you are successful person. There simply too many seeing problem of others and don’t look at themselves. Cheers.

  31. BeObjective said

    Even a Risk manager making 11k a month can be framed as a sob story of a innocent local that was out of the blue “undercut” by foreigners who can speak better English, and are more assertive in communication.

    If this “Risk Manager” finds it hard to find a job, it only shows that he has not been keeping up with the industry. He probably quietly does his work, all the while, the needs of his firm and the entire industry have moved on. Time to self evaluate and move on. There are plenty of high paying opportunities in Singapore.

    Gilbert Goh/Transition.Org needs to objectively show us why the job market is inefficient instead of framing such forced, tasteless story of another local losing job and insinuating that it is unfair or unjust.

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    OK, let’s start with handset style, all of the devices come with different casings, the Black – Berry Bold 9780 and the Curve 8520 have classic Blackberry bar form casings complete with full QWERTY keyboards, whereas the Black – Berry Torch 9800 has a slider form casing with slide out QWERTY keyboard and a touch screen. In landscape mode, its screen is as wide as the i – Pad 2’s, but is about an inch shorter in height.

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