[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Thursday, November 02, 2006

[Foreign talent]
Singapore wants to attract more foreign talent. You would remember PM's speech at the National Day Rally.

It is good in the service sense. Can you imagine having a Singaporean serve you at let's say a particular jeans store?

You walk into the shop. The sales person stares at you. Fakes a smile. Then you walk around.

Staff: Can I help? What you want?

You: Can I try this stylo piece please? (Xiaxue will do her intro with all the ^%#&# and %@$^%, as usual)

Staff: Nah. Here. Fitting room there.

You try the piece on.

Staff: How? Cannot fit ah? Try another one lah. But this one more expensive. You can afford?

You: ....

I am not trying to say that Singaporeans make bad sales/service staff. But yeah, the foreigners do it better.

Look at Thailand. Look at the Philippines. I know a few that work in food outlets in Singapore. The Filipino nurses are very friendly too. Is it their culture?

Then can you imagine if you ask a Singaporean to work in a refuse collection industry? Most don't even want to be security guards!

In various sectors, we see a considerable amount of foreing talent. So in a sense, let's keep foreign talent.

But there is an alternative view.

I once spoke to a degree holder from India. He is now doing a diploma at a local institute. I asked him why. He mentioned that to get PR status, he had to upgrade and study to become more marketable.

I chatted on and on. Then suddenly, I popped that question. Would you want to be a citizen after your PR expires?

His answer was an outright "no".

I probed further. I asked him if it was because we are a controlled country and whether if it was due to the lack of freedom of expression in Singapore?

No was his answer (good thing, or politically correct I don't know).

After probing further, I found out that he feels that living in Singapore is "too stressful". Too much competition, he says. The pace of life is too fast. He'd rather earn enough and relax at a nearby luxurious island.

I mean but then, Singapore is stable, peaceful and safe. He declined to say more.

So this is my view with my encounter with foreign talent in Singapore. Okay, don't force me to talk about dual-citizenship next man.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talking about service.

We all know the bad overcrowded bus situation in many part of singapore everyday.

Resident write to MP (see Dr Teo ho pin's blog) and the MP will simply paste the reply from the SMRT (again see the MP's blog).

The "standard format" "well-written" reply from SMRT staff told everyone that based on their "investigations" and "data and records" the SMRT has "adequately meet customer's need" and they regard all passengers as "valued" customers "all the time" and they "continous" to "monitor" situation every day...

Of course I know they are insulting me and the poor people who have no money to buy car like what the "elite" do.

And I also don't have to argue about this issue with the relevant authorities since i think by pasting a SMRT's reply on his blog, he thinks he has done his job, and the SMRT has also done their job very well.

So coming back to your scenario of people buying clothings at singapore store and get served by the local....

Many singaporean don't have the culture to serve and do service work. That is the reason why when there is a lack of good culture, people lose a thing called dignity. Dignity to oneself and other. And that is why people get insulted.

The people who reply on behalf of SMRT can insult us, and the MP can insult us as well by simply pasting a reply to his website, probably without even verify the situation himself. Ever, no people will continue to bring up the bus overcrowdedness issue to his website, and passengers having to squeeze so badly on bus everyday...

When politician commit bad scandal in many countries, they immediately have to step down. This is because there a air of good culture there.

Of course, taiwan's politician don't. This is because there, it lack a good culture. And we know when such thing happened, people get angry because they are insulted by the ruling authorities.

And, it is also good to keep quiet sometimes when we know the atmosphere is not right. So better not to bring up issue. Why ? Because many a time it will not end up in constructive debates, but people questioning each other integrities. Again culture play a role here.

It is sometimes a miracle that problems raised up can be solve properly, especially when the atmoshpere or culture there has a lot of shortcomings. Miracles after all are miracles.

Our culture is still utimately the issue.

Friday, November 03, 2006 11:14:00 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although you merely alluded to dual citizenship in this post, I just want to put my 5 cents worth on this topic.

I think the govt should look at the issue of dual citizenship from a different angle, not just as something pertaining to foreign talent.

A fair share of our baby boomers generation had the opportunity to go abroad to study. As a result, their children have dual citizenship. Many of this dual citizenship holders are reaching the age of 21 soon.

Should they be force to decide on renouncing one citizenship at such a tender age? Do they know the full extent of the rights and privileges (work and study opportunities etc) they are giving up? Is it fair to these dual citizenship holders?

Pls share your views on dual citizenship.

P.S. nice to see u at the biennale!

Monday, November 06, 2006 12:03:00 am


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