10 observations from SICC head Victor Mills about Singaporeans (and 10 comments that validate him)

victor mills sicc

Yesterday, the Straits Times ran an interview with SICC head Victor Mills. In the interview he shared his observations about Singaporean workers: from “over fussiness” and complacency to an inability to accept criticism. (See ST article here: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/opinion/more-opinion-stories/story/singaporeans-have-misplaced-sense-entitlement-says-sicc-head)


Here are 10 points he raised…and 10 comments that immediately validates what he just said.


10. There are lots and lots of people, more than before – who feel that life, their employer and the Government owe them a living.



9. Distance is an issue. I know of an industrial fragrance company which invested $25 million in Singapore. But they could not get a Singaporean to do the job. No matter what they paid, there were no takers because there was no direct bus or train. 



8. There is an unwillingness to accept feedback, even when given constructively.



7. Attitude now is that if you don’t like me, I’ll go. People think they are great and are unwilling to believe that they can learn something as an employee.



6. People have a misplaced sense of entitlement, but not necessarily retained a sense of responsibility.




5. Instead of a two-way street, the employer has to do all the walking. Some employees are not prepared to even meet their employers halfway.




4. People are no longer hungry enough.




3. There is a school of thought that the days of Singapore’s vulnerability are over. But my contention is that Singapore will always be vulnerable. This is because of our size and the geopolitical space where we are located.


2.  …How can the Economic Development Board say “Come to Singapore, we’ve got the right workers” when companies will very quickly find out that, in large numbers, we do not?


1. (on labour issues) It’s not meant to be some kind of highfalutin, ivory-tower academic debate. These are real rice-bowl issues.


Hear the interview here:



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Tay Leong Tan

Tay Leong Tan is a collective of 3 writers. Tay, Leong and Tan. (Who were you expecting?!) We are enthusiastic about labour issues, economics and current affairs in particular.

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