Singapore Expats Forum

Many expats are sacked and going home to a miserable X'mas..

Discuss about the latest news & interesting topics, real life experience or other out of topic discussions with locals & expatriates in Singapore.

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sierra2469alpha
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Postby sierra2469alpha » Sun, 18 Jan 2009 10:25 am

Kim - yeh that makes sense, especially given that they are refurbishing T2 at the moment (INCLUDING closing one of the smoking areas, much to my shagrin!). Mr.P

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Postby EADG » Sun, 18 Jan 2009 2:26 pm

I came the thread by the title, which simply made me wonder why anyone thinks that here is different than anywhere else, or the situation for foreigners is any different than locals in any country.

The last posts by BodyBlitz, Scooby, sierra2469alpha, Addadude, bluenose, ksl are all very relevant and I totally agree. But I doubt they represent the common consensus, unfortunately, so until then some bickering will continue.

Is there anywhere or any industry that this is not the case for? "Uncharted waters" is becoming an unfortunate cliché, unfortunately.
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Postby Forks » Thu, 22 Jan 2009 11:56 am

Maybe if all the expats left (both the higher paid and lower paid) it could be a good thing for Singapore.

There would be no unemployment as there would be jobs for everybody out there, granted some would be low paid but if all the maids, construction workers, IT, educational etc types left a few thins might happen.

All those families with both parents working would have to have one of them go back home. Granted the family income might go down.

All the jobs done by expats would have to be filled by SGPers, construction would continue but it would all be SGPers doing it, and all that brush cutting by the side of the road.

All the technical positions could be filled by all the engineer types that seem to be put out of a job at 45 and end up driving taxis for a living.

for a country that goes on about its human capital as its only resource its amazing how many non SGPers are doing those jobs, if they all left Singapore could plug some of its human capital back in.

Like all modern economies Singapore is built on the idea that it can keep on growing indefinitely, GDP must keep going up or the sky will fall and the gods will forsake us.

An expat free Singapore would be a different place and it might be hard to start but it could be a better one in some ways.

Of course that means I would have o pack up and go home and i dont want to do that :wink:
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Postby Wind In My Hair » Thu, 22 Jan 2009 2:17 pm

Forks,

Interesting post. I'm not sure if you were being sarcastic, but assuming it was a genuine mental experiment, you have just used the same approach as a book I'm reading called "The World Without Us" by Alan Weisman.

This book examines how the evolution of humans has changed life on earth, and postulates what would happen if we were to all suddenly disappear tomorrow. Using real-life examples and scientific evidence, the author explains how life would revert back to what it was before we came along, and pretty quickly too (meaning in a few hundred or thousand years, in the context of evolution). And his thesis is that we may have changed the world for the worse rather than for the better, but even so the world won't notice once we're gone. Life will go on perfectly well, as it did when other species became extinct.

On a much smaller scale, you have cleverly done the same - what would happen if all expats left Singapore tomorrow. While I too hope that won't happen, I'd like to believe that even if it did, life would go on just fine.

Whether as an individual, a community of expats, or as the whole human race, it is quite possible to think ourselves more important than we really are. :wink:

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Postby ScoobyDoes » Thu, 22 Jan 2009 4:24 pm

So long as we understand the "expat" can never and will never disappear as an idea then your problem begins.

There is always one country that will be better than another, whether it be Singapore, Hong Kong, Chad or Peru. This automatically generates a need by some people to move, trying to improve themselves and their own lives. Self improvement is, afterall, evolution of a sort.

Everybody in one country doing all the work that needs done would mean, in small countries like Singapore, the working population needs to work two or three jobs if, again as part of evolution, the country is also to improve itself. After some time the clever will outsource some of their work to others, and possibly imported ones that are cheaper so they can take their cut of the savings.

Greed again, but unfortunately another human instict of survival.

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Postby eyeFone » Thu, 22 Jan 2009 4:29 pm

WIMH - So by that school of thought, if all the expats left, this little isle will revert back to pre-raffles days?

:D :D :D

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Postby Forks » Thu, 22 Jan 2009 11:52 pm

Sarcastic? me? never!

No i was just thinking aloud, I must be a lucky expat coz I have never yet to experience the "go home foreigner' attitude that some seem to have experienced.

I was more just thinking about this up up up attitude that all countries seem to have, like we can go on forever and it will be fine.

WIMH is right, there is a limit, where I dont know but the earth is finite and in the grand scheme of things Singapore having a recession is a minor thing (already lived through two so another wont kill me).

Its just interesting that Singapore has many expats in many jobs but some expats feel unwelcome in Singapore, I dont, ok so no one is greeting me with open arms but no one is spitting at me either, I am polite to them and they are polite to me (exceptions being the odd cue jumper on the bus and such).

I dont know what attitudes some expats are getting but they seem to be more negative than mine so i wonder what the locals say about expats and if they really know how much they need them.
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Postby carteki » Fri, 23 Jan 2009 9:35 am

Having lived in a country where expats were considered second class citizens and had absolutely no rights at all (it is actually on the Human Rights watch list due to their legal practices), I have found Singapore a refreshing place to live. The fact that the government makes their citizens compete on equal footing with expats for their jobs has ensured that an attitude of "guaranteed job" and entitlement has not prevailed and helped Singapore become what it is today.
I haven't felt singled out because I am an expat, and try to remember that I am the foreigner and act accordingly.

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Postby BodyBlitz » Fri, 23 Jan 2009 2:28 pm

I think there is a distinct difference with foreign workers and expats you have to note.

FWs are usually reserved for blue collars and Expats are for white collars.
Usually the negative response is towards Asian brethren who bring over their culture from their country - think Mainland chinese, Indian nationals, bangladeshi

Then again as i said earlier, there will always be xenophobes and quirky ang mohs =P

Like this american dude, who usually works out at the gym where my client lives.
I was using some of the equipment then he ask me if i'm still using it.
I told him, "we can share if you want to." He stomped out the gym with a black face.

Both us - me and my aussie client looked at each other wondering what the hell had happened, and she said to me - 'what a prick!'

So its mutual, but i digress :P

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Postby cbavasi » Fri, 23 Jan 2009 2:33 pm

BodyBlitz wrote:Like this american dude, who usually works out at the gym where my client lives.


was he waving the american flag? could have been one of those canadians. 8-)

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Postby smayrhofer » Fri, 23 Jan 2009 3:20 pm

now now... let's not diss the canadians! my hubby is canadian, and he'd never do anything like that..

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Postby carteki » Fri, 23 Jan 2009 3:54 pm

Hang on a minute - I thought it was the American's that would put a Canadian Flag on their luggage to appear Canadian, not the other way around...

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Postby cbavasi » Fri, 23 Jan 2009 4:53 pm

smayrhofer wrote:now now... let's not diss the canadians! my hubby is canadian, and he'd never do anything like that..


i was kidding :)

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Fri, 23 Jan 2009 11:59 pm

Forks wrote:No i was just thinking aloud, I must be a lucky expat coz I have never yet to experience the "go home foreigner' attitude that some seem to have experienced.

Maybe you're lucky, maybe you're nice. :D Most people like nice people no matter where they're from.

Forks wrote:I dont know what attitudes some expats are getting but they seem to be more negative than mine so i wonder what the locals say about expats and if they really know how much they need them.

You know what they say: When you're 20 you wonder what others are thinking about you, when you're 40 you don't care what they think about you, and when you're 60 you realise that they haven't been thinking about you at all, they've been thinking about themselves. :wink:

carteki wrote:Having lived in a country where expats were considered second class citizens and had absolutely no rights at all (it is actually on the Human Rights watch list due to their legal practices), I have found Singapore a refreshing place to live. The fact that the government makes their citizens compete on equal footing with expats for their jobs has ensured that an attitude of "guaranteed job" and entitlement has not prevailed and helped Singapore become what it is today.
I haven't felt singled out because I am an expat, and try to remember that I am the foreigner and act accordingly.

Kim, I'm liking you more and more!

BodyBlitz wrote:I think there is a distinct difference with foreign workers and expats you have to note.

And pray tell what this distinct difference is?

BodyBlitz wrote:FWs are usually reserved for blue collars and Expats are for white collars.
Usually the negative response is towards Asian brethren who bring over their culture from their country - think Mainland chinese, Indian nationals, bangladeshi.

And non-Asians don't bring over their culture from their country, or at least try to? Or are you saying that we reject Asian cultures and welcome Western ones?

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 24 Jan 2009 12:36 am

Wind In My Hair wrote:
BodyBlitz wrote:I think there is a distinct difference with foreign workers and expats you have to note.

And pray tell what this distinct difference is?

The foreign workers per annum salary is equal to the "Expat" workers monthly housing allowance? :mrgreen:

BodyBlitz wrote:FWs are usually reserved for blue collars and Expats are for white collars.
Usually the negative response is towards Asian brethren who bring over their culture from their country - think Mainland chinese, Indian nationals, bangladeshi.

And non-Asians don't bring over their culture from their country, or at least try to? Or are you saying that we reject Asian cultures and welcome Western ones?

Well, not quite. Singaporeans loves to embrace western culture and Chinese culture when it's pragmatic to do so. :o The government on the otherhand goes for Western mixed with Confusion philosophy. Oops! sorry, Confucian philosophy, eschewing any other type of Eastern Philosophy as not desirable. (Would that have anything to do with the racial balances that are artificially contrived to maintain the ethnic status quo?)
:wink:


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