3 reasons why Singaporeans could be rather contradictory

Singaporeans always want the best deals for most things. We don’t like to “lugi”. But when we are on the other side of the fence, we don’t mind if people receive the shorter end of the stick as long as it doesn’t affect us and we are still in a somewhat good and comfortable position. Here are 3 reasons why I think Singaporeans could be rather contradictory and how we could snap out of it.

We dislike competition from FTs but if we are bosses, we will most likely hire FTs.

Someone tossed an interesting question in the HardwareZone forum on whether they would hire FT or Singaporeans if they were bosses.

foreign talent over localsforeign talent singapore pro foreign talent

We hear so many complaints about hiring FTs but if given a chance to be a businessman, we will hire FTs in a heartbeat. What.is.this.

Level of contradiction: 4.5/5 – I don’t get it. How can we complain so much about the lack of Singaporean core when we wouldn’t hire Singaporeans ourselves? Yes some jobs require very technical skills which Singaporeans lack but instead of only taking in people with sufficient skills, you could value-add as an employer and send them for training. Sometimes all we need in life, is a chance.

We want good salaries but if we are bosses, we might struggle to pay our staff well.

struggle to pay employees well

When I told my friend I receive a few months of bonus a year, he looked very surprised because he only gets 1-2 months and it does not even include the annual wage supplement (13th month bonus). Truth is, not all bosses are generous. Some are actually very ngiao – if they can avoid paying, they will avoid paying. The hardest hit are workers at the lower-rung levels. The cleaners and the security officers. Lucky there is some form of basic wage (Singapore calls it the “Progressive Wage Model”) for these lower-income workers or else they will just be a means to an end for money-making companies.

Level of contradiction: 4/5 – If we ever become a boss, we should
pay our staff well but we must also be careful not to overpay them such that we forget to take care of our family. I have a friend who once had a very thoughtful boss – he paid his workers well but paid himself poorly. As a result of his poor financial management, he had to fold his company and spend years clearing his debts, including salaries which he owed his workers. Of all the people involved in the saga, I feel most for his wife.

We want flexi-work but if we are bosses, we like to see our staff hard at work in office.

Boss wants employees to be in office

This type of contradiction is not difficult to understand. We want people to trust us but we find it hard to place the same amount of trust in others.

Level of contradiction: 4/5 – Flexi-work is the way to go these days especially if we want to encourage young couples to start their own families. If companies do not evolve fast enough and employers are not keen on changing mindsets, workers will leave when there is an opportunity. The ones who will “lose out” will not be the employees.

As workers, we should continue to upgrade ourselves to stay relevant. Go abroad if we can afford to. Do whatever it takes to help you stay hungry and break out of your comfort zone. Sabina Fernandez, a Singaporean Editor and Yoga Teacher, who moved to Sri Lanka to teach yoga said that the more time she spent there, the more she realized how tiny her comfort zone must be, if everything made her uncomfortable. Read more here.

As bosses, give your employees a chance to prove themselves and develop them in the way you hope to be developed when you were just an employee. Give them what they need and they will give you what you want. :)

Image credits: Hardwarezone forum, Quickmeme, fwweekly

About the author


I am a 90s baby and I spent more than 3/5 of my life being a vegetarian. In my free time, I ponder about the greater purpose in life and how i could live life more meaningfully. I enjoy doing yoga and I daydream about doing headstands one day.

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