A bosses grief

CEO of 8I Holdings Ltd Ken Chee posted the following plea/rant/lamantation on his Facebook wall. Quite interesting ;)

Dear Singapore Government,

We are a small and fast growing company.

Currently, we have 20 full time team members in 2 countries, Singapore and Malaysia. Singapore is the corporate HQ.

We have almost 15 Singaporeans and PRs in our SG office.

We paid reasonably well, often above market rate including attractive bonuses and incentives.
We are in a centralised location with Newton MRT just stone throw away.
We have a fun culture and encourage our team to grow intellectually and financially.
We are blessed to have responsible team members with hardworking and positive attitude so far. Often we monitor, track, select and mentor them within our own network.

This post is to highlight that it is getting more challenging to attract quality local workforce over the years. The mindset of certain Singaporean especially the young ones are appalling.

At this point of writing, I, CEO of a company is waiting for a candidate who is late for 60 mins (without informing).
Most of the times when they do turned up, they “demand” unrealistic expectation with very little results to show.

In fact, it seems that these young Singaporeans find working in an environment for more than 2 years disgraceful. In another word, “job hopping”, showing a lack of perseverance. Ironically, they dream about working 4 hours work week and yet becoming the next Mark Zuckerberg or Ma Yun.

I nearly flipped when one of them asked me about work life balance when she’s only 24.

One asked what can the company do for her? It seems the world evolve around her.

Another one stared into the daze when asked about his vision and passion.

One shakes her head when asked whether it is ok to take on an expanded responsibility.

The attitude of local workforce worries me.

The young people in Singapore worries me.

They lack of courage, hunger and fire in them.

It seems that they have been living in a cotton candy world called Singapore.

Is this the future of our country?

Can you blame company and entrepreneurs like us seeking foreign talents?

I’m concerned about our country competitiveness if this is the quality of our young generation.








  1. Hi,

    I have friends on both sides of the corporate world. The bosses and entrepreneurs and the people who are looking for jobs or those who find it tough to hang on their jobs.

    It is often a lose-lose situation as bosses and employees cannot see eye to eye. I read your post with some interest because you just concentrate on the young. How about the middle aged? How about those that wants to change their direction as they feel what they have been doing for 10+ years is making them feel dead.

    How about those that are being pushed out by their foreign bosses to be replaced by workers of their own kind.

    I understand the stories is deeper than what they seemed. However crucial to the situation is also the way our own workers are being treated by government and companies alike. Why is there a prejudice against older workers? What do they lack that only the younger set can fulfill?

    I am doing my own thing because I can’t find a job after a few years. People see my Masters degree in IT with business bachelor degree and they are scared of my expectation. What they don’t see is the value, if communicated properly, that can bring to the organisation.

    However everyone, from the management to the employees have preconceived ideas that is harming Singapore as a whole. The work life balance issue is something we ought to tackle as a nation because some people do value family over work. Why do we work? Isn’t it for our family and their well-being?

    We as a nation need to talk and thrash this thing out about the unrealistic expectations from both sides of the wall. This wall between employers and employees must break. The top down management though valid in some circumstances has to do a rethink too.

    My 2 cents.

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