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Will you talk to your manager... about high-level racism.

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Postby Splatted » Sat, 21 Aug 2010 9:54 pm

IOP wrote:
Splatted wrote:yes.

As is another friend of mine who has also just arrived. Half his pay goes to rent, while locals he works with live in HDB. Who do you think, of the two, finds it harder living in Singapore?


Well, I cannot defend this case, because I'm not local, but I'm also foreigner and I have good skills and I work together with foreigners from these wester countries, and can you imagine that all those of them who have bad skills earn much more than me and my Asian colleges from other Asian countries. Of course, those westerners who have good skills and contribute, say, like me earn significantly more than me. Do not I or guys like me need to pay for apartments or maybe life quality becomes free for us? Will you like if you will be treated like this? Is this attitude normal in your country?


No, this has nothing to do with what's 'normal' in my country, because my country has an award system.

What it has to do is how well you anticipated your expenses before you arrived in Singapore, and how well you negotiated during your interview.

You were happier with less. It's as simple as that. Others could justify asking for a higher pay.

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Postby IOP » Sat, 21 Aug 2010 10:06 pm

Splatted wrote:You were happier with less. It's as simple as that.


Nope. I didn't have many options because of my background. You maybe do not know, but for people from some countries is very hard to get a job in western countries because of the politics. I cannot easily go to UK and start to work because they do not recognize my diploma. What is wrong with my diploma and education? Nothing wrong, actually.

I wish you to feel the taste of life like that and to see all these segregations - maybe for a short time, but you will see a real life.

Buy the way, I'm still thankful to my employer, because I learnt a lot.
Anyway, I hope God will bless me and my country and we will take over. Amen.
Last edited by IOP on Sat, 21 Aug 2010 10:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Splatted » Sat, 21 Aug 2010 10:27 pm

IOP wrote:
Splatted wrote:You were happier with less. It's as simple as that.


Nope. I didn't have many options because of my background. You maybe do not know, but for people from some countries is very hard to get a job in western countries because of the politics. I cannot easily go to UK and start to work because they do not recognize my diploma. What is wrong with my diploma and education? Nothing wrong, actually.

I wish you to feel the taste of life like that and to see all these segregations - maybe for a short time, but you will see a real life.

Buy the way, I'm still thankful to my employer, because I learnt a lot.

Anyway, I hope God will bless me and my country and we will take over. Amen.


Everyone has a choice. You could have said "too low".

Your problem, however, was that the offer was a lot better than what you could have got back home (and usually, the employer knows that.)

But at the end of the day, you always had the option of refusing.

Re diplomas, this is another topic entirely. There are equally experienced people in my field who cannot work in Singapore because their degree is not recognised. (eg, those that studied in India, and Philippines)

The process of recognizing a degree is a time-consuming one. The registration body (that deals with my profession) actually visits the universities, looks at the syllabus, etc etc. It's not a simple task, and there are thousands of universities & institutions. As you can imagine, it's impractical to look into approving every single one.

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Postby IOP » Sat, 21 Aug 2010 10:35 pm

Splatted wrote:Your problem, however, was that the offer was a lot better than what you could have got back home (and usually, the employer knows that.)

Yes, and people from countries like yours use this knowledge to pay us less - it's what I call high-level racism: people segregated not only by skills but also by geography and of course by races. I don't like like that.

Splatted wrote:But at the end of the day, you always had the option of refusing.

Well, I'm not westernized (I didn't know anything about western world, only from tv) and even moving to Singapore was for me like a shook - it is absolutely different. I hoped that my employer will be very good to me, but as a result it is only good, but not very. And it's very hard to move to other country and then back - it takes a lot of time and I don't want to spend too much of my life for this - it's what I meant when I said about Social Responsibility: employers should understand that some decisions may seriously affect our life.

Splatted wrote:The process of recognizing a degree is a time-consuming one.

Well, it is not about surgeon or stuff like that - I agree that you need to process here very seriously.
It is just software engineering degree - nothing special, but UK gov. doesn't accept any diplomas from my country.
Last edited by IOP on Sat, 21 Aug 2010 10:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Splatted » Sat, 21 Aug 2010 10:41 pm

IOP wrote:
Splatted wrote:Your problem, however, was that the offer was a lot better than what you could have got back home (and usually, the employer knows that.)

Yes, and people from countries like yours use this knowledge to pay us less - it's what I call high-level racism: people segregated not only by skills but also by geography and of course by races. I don't like like that.


Well, now you're just trying to be inflammatory.

As I stated, my country as an award system. Awards set minimum pay rates for many profession. They are there to protect everyone from unscrupulous employers.

So get your facts straight before trolling here.

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Postby IOP » Sat, 21 Aug 2010 10:42 pm

Splatted wrote:
IOP wrote:
Splatted wrote:Your problem, however, was that the offer was a lot better than what you could have got back home (and usually, the employer knows that.)

Yes, and people from countries like yours use this knowledge to pay us less - it's what I call high-level racism: people segregated not only by skills but also by geography and of course by races. I don't like like that.


Well, now you're just trying to be inflammatory.

As I stated, my country as an award system. Awards set minimum pay rates for many profession. They are there to protect everyone from unscrupulous employers.

So get your facts straight before trolling here.


Nothing wrong with you country, but with people from country like yours who are doing business here.

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Postby poodlek » Sat, 21 Aug 2010 10:46 pm

IOP wrote:Yes, and people from countries like yours use this knowledge to pay us less - it's what I call high-level racism: people segregated not only by skills but also by geography and of course by races. I don't like like that.



I thought I explained that in my post--it's not a WESTERN ("countries like yours") thing it's a SINGAPOREAN thing. I know for sure Canada (and I would expect most other western countries also) have laws against this sort of discrimination in the workplace. Like it or not, Singapore doesn't.

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Postby IOP » Sat, 21 Aug 2010 10:53 pm

poodlek wrote:
IOP wrote:Yes, and people from countries like yours use this knowledge to pay us less - it's what I call high-level racism: people segregated not only by skills but also by geography and of course by races. I don't like like that.



I thought I explained that in my post--it's not a WESTERN ("countries like yours") thing it's a SINGAPOREAN thing. I know for sure Canada (and I would expect most other western countries also) have laws against this sort of discrimination in the workplace. Like it or not, Singapore doesn't.


Well, I'm not sure that it right to blame Singapore, because maybe business law is not so social like in Canada or other countries.
I have never worked for Chinese or Malays, but I work here for people from the kingdom who are westerners... and according to the statistic they pay less to others.

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Postby Splatted » Sat, 21 Aug 2010 11:03 pm

IOP wrote:
Splatted wrote:
IOP wrote:
Splatted wrote:Your problem, however, was that the offer was a lot better than what you could have got back home (and usually, the employer knows that.)

Yes, and people from countries like yours use this knowledge to pay us less - it's what I call high-level racism: people segregated not only by skills but also by geography and of course by races. I don't like like that.


Well, now you're just trying to be inflammatory.

As I stated, my country as an award system. Awards set minimum pay rates for many profession. They are there to protect everyone from unscrupulous employers.

So get your facts straight before trolling here.


Nothing wrong with you country, but with people from country like yours who are doing business here.


That's just nonsense.

The hiring and firing is usually decided by whoever is hired as a general manager of a company (depending on it's size).

I can tell you, I used to work for a UK company that has one of it's network offices here in Singapore.

When they employed a new GM, who was a PR here, but originally from Malaysia, he started hiring only staff from Malaysia.

So, this has nothing to do with what upper management policies or any form of discrimination, but rather has to do with the GM choosing staff he knew he could work well with.

Did he pay them top dollar? No, he had a budget, and cut expenses every way he could.

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Postby beppi » Sun, 22 Aug 2010 1:39 pm

There are several factors the OP overlooks:
- Intangible benefits of hiring a "Westerner" over a third world employee: E.g. the Westerner is possibly better able to understand the working style at headquarters and communicate well with colleagues there, or with (Western) customers/partners. Since over 80% of all problems in international collaborations come from miscommunication, companies are often willing to pay a premium to avoid intercultural issues.
- Market forces: If you need a certain skill here and now, you are likely to get it at whatever it costs here and now. You also pay extortionate cheese prices at Cold Storage although the same costs a third of that in the West, and you don't argue with the cashier that you want to pay more for your tomatoes because the Indonesian farmer who grew them is grossly underpaid. If somebody offers you what you want and both sides are happy with the price, you have a deal. That's how it works!
- Mismanagement, lack of far-sighted planning and/or ignorance: In my experience this is a much more common cause for inequality that outright racism.

But in case of real discrimination (which does not normally manifest itself financially), I would speak up against it.
I (Westerner working in a mixed local/foreign group) did in the past complain about my boss (Westerner with a strong bias to prefer Westerners over Asians) to his boss (Asian), although I was at the gaining side of his discrimination. It didn't change a thing, though.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 22 Aug 2010 2:23 pm

IOP, are you, by chance from an Eastern European country? :-|

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Postby EADG » Sun, 22 Aug 2010 2:25 pm

And it is getting even more expensive. And some of us are double-taxed.

And most make less money here than back home. And the currency for some countries is stronger then the SGD, so we earn less that way as well.

And unless you are a PR, (and even although you are for some things) you have still less rights, opportunities, perhaps even basic knowledge about ways to live a more economic life.

Plus there are still some people, places or situations, from taxis to stores to apartments, where a westerner will get a higher price or different service, and sometimes get ripped-off.

I'm not complaining, it's just not the joy-ride some seem to think.


Splatted wrote:As is another friend of mine who has also just arrived. Half his pay goes to rent, while locals he works with live in HDB. Who do you think, of the two, finds it harder living in Singapore?
Ape Shall Not Kill Ape

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Postby EADG » Sun, 22 Aug 2010 2:51 pm

agree with all of your points in your last post beppi, for this one:
beppi wrote:... my boss (Westerner with a strong bias to prefer Westerners over Asians)


The opposite also exists, and not only for cost reasons but to be seen as observing diversity. I have witnessed more than a few Western bosses do that here and in another country. And it was not always a merit-based consideration.
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Postby beppi » Sun, 22 Aug 2010 3:04 pm

I didn't say it cannot go both ways, just mentioned one case I observed.

In fact I do prefer working with Asians over Westerners. They are easier to build a team with and to put all efforts into one direction (less individualism and a willingness to accept decisions once made helps in this). There's also much less frictional losses and inefficiencies in Asian teams, as group harmony and cooperation is worth more to them than principle.
Therefore, if all else is equal I prefer to hire Asians. I stand to this and I think it is a merit-based consideration. You are free to disagree and call it discrimination - but it won't change a thing either.

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Postby EADG » Sun, 22 Aug 2010 11:04 pm

I wasn't directing discrimination towards you.

But your last post is a generalization, and one which I have not found to be true in my many years in Asia. Group harmony and cooperation etc. are not solely Asian traits and Westerners at home and overseas are certainly concerned with these. They definitely rank highly with me.

Those who know me on this board know how I tend to get about the G word.
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