myth 11

'Citizenship is attractive. We treat our citizen well.' Below is posted by anonymous which i reposted here. i'm sure many of you have heard the story of the shepherd tending to his sheep when a storm intrude and the shepherd and his flock seek shelter in a cave laden with food for such an emergency. in came a few lost goats and the shepherd gladly took them in and fed them with the only food he had and calmed them when they were afraid of lightning. after the storm, when no one came to claim the lost goats, the shepherd decided to make them his but the goats refused. the shepherd was angry and denounced them as ungrateful. the goats replied that they were grateful to the shepherd for taking care of them but they do not want to be a part of his herds saying:"you took good care of us and gave us your only food but you did not take care of your own flock. therefore, we do not want to be a part of your herd." i think the above story says it all. to attract foreigners to take up citizenship, we need to demonstrate that citizens are valued about foreigners. when citizens, PRs and foreigners are treated equally, is there any reason to take up citizenship?


Ned said...

Other countries also accord almost equal privileges to PRs and citizens so Singapore is not an exception in this respect. The problem with Singapore is that the govt doesn't allow a naturalised citizen to retain his/her original citizenship. A new citizen is expected to sever all ties to his original country of citizenship which is not a very fair thing to ask of anyone. Couple that with the inherent limitations of Singapore in terms of geographical size, is there any wonder then that most PRs refuse to complete that last mile ?

Anonymous said...

Dual citizenship must not be allowed. Do we want a two headed snake as a citizen? Where would his/her loyalty lies if ever there is a conflict of interest between his/her birth and adopted country.

Let's get real. Giving up your original citizenship does not mean you have to serve your ties with your birth country. Many S'porean and naturalised Chinese citizens are still going back to China to visit their relatives.

Dual citizenship is an excuse for those who wanted the best of both but are unwilling to commit to either. In short,

Dual citizenship => NO LOYALTY

This is especially true if "best of both" no longer holds.

redbean said...

hi ned,

welcome to the blog.

i think we can adopt what other countries are practising with regard to dual citizenship. if we want to best of the world, we need to be competitive on this.

but we still need to make our citizenship a privilege with better deals than a PR. otherwise why be a citizen? what so great about being able to vote?

we cannot erode the value of our citizenship. it must be seen as a prized item, something good and desirable. not something that comes with a lot of responsibilities and burden and restrictions. and whatever privileges a citizen has, the PR also has.

if there is a real and significant difference between PR and citizen, then the issue of dual citizenship may not arise. a PR must be a second rate resident and not the other way round.

loyalty cannot be bought. and transient citizens are likely to have transient loyalty.

Anonymous said...

redbean, the truth of the matter is there isn't much that we can do to make Singapore citizenship more attractive. What's so attractive about coming to live in an overcroded, tightly controlled 640 sq km island with hot, humid weather all year round ? Singapore is a unique proposition in this respect because citizenship also places an onerous burden in the form of NS for its male citizens. The govt is not eroding the value of our citizenship. There was never much value in the first place. Coming from a Singaporean who's now residing overseas, I dare say the only real value of our citizenship is the singapore passport which provides visa-free entry to many countries. However, to enjoy this 'privilege' you need to be out of the country. See the irony there ?

In the age of globalisation, you have to accept not every one who comes here will eventually sink roots and make a commitment to Singapore. Most will be as you term transient residents with no emotional attachment to Singapore and there is nothing wrong with that. However, if you make it such that PRs are disadvantaged in a major way as compared to citizens, those people would not come here in the first place and Singapore will be the loser. What I am saying is in the fierce race to compete for global talent Singapore cannot afford to lose out. Hence, why PRs and citizens will always have near equal privileges.

Anonymous said...

i agree with the above poster that there is nothing attractive about s'pore citizenship and that's why we need to enhance the value of citizenship, making it more appealing so that foreigners would want to convert.

again it is an irony that we have to give PRs near equal privileges to attract them here and this is also one reason driving our very own citizens to leave.

Ned said...

To anonymous, what makes you think that a piece of paper or travel document can dictate loyalty ? History is littered with examples of turncoats and traitors going against the very nation they belong to in times of crisis. At the end of the day, most people will always have their own best interests at heart. There is nothing wrong with having the best of both worlds if indeed one has the talent and ability to. The only people who think it's wrong are those who do not and hence believe other people should similarly be deprived. A cerain story about a fox and sour grapes comes to mind :)

redbean said...

hi anonymous,
you missed out what i said which is similar to your view. i said that we must be competitive and adopt the same practices as other countries...in attracting prs. but we must improve the benefits for our citizens. attracting good talented prs is an agreeable policies.

sad to say, our citizenship is good only when you trade it in and quit. it allows singaporeans a step into a foreign land and then all the savings in the cpf, to live in a land of our choice, preferably where our sing$ is bigger.

and as ned said, the able are highly mobile and will find where the grass is greener. this is a new world where the only guarantee of a good life is ability and not citizenship. then again, if a govt practises this, it will lead to the collapse of the country or be thrown out of office in a matter of time.

Anonymous said...

redbean, it has been a decade since the floodgates have been opened to the foreigners and in that time we have seen three general elections, with the govt being returned to office with handsome majorities each time.

You're seriously deluded if you truly believe the foreigner friendly policy is going to get the govt thrown out of office. The odds of that happening is as good as that of Singapore winning the World Cup.

Singapore has chosen to participate in the globalisation game and hence, has no choice but to accept all the rules, without any cherry-picking. The rules dictate that the talented foreigner needs to be given equal privileges in order to attract him to come and establish his base of operations in Singapore. If that rule results in the born-and-bred citizens being disenfranchised and marginalised, then so be it.

redbean said...

you just won't know.

when a mosquito bites me i will shoo it away. sometimes i even catch it with all care trying not to hurt it and release it out of the window,

but when i got up every morning and there were several big itchy bumps on my legs or hands, and caused me so much discomfort, i smack the mosquito the next time i see it.

when things are in small dosage they may be tolerable. when excessive, all the variables change.

you just won't know.

how did durai remain in nkf for so long?

Anonymous said...

yes anonymous is right. in a few elections, naturalised citizens would have outnumbered true blue s'porean.

"If that rule results in the born-and-bred citizens being disenfranchised and marginalised, then so be it."
it is sad that certain people would resort to marginalising their fellow citizens just to keep up with the race.

redbean said...

which ever party is elected to power, they will decide what they think is good for the country or for themselves. how the decisions are made, what were the considerations, only they know.

we are at best guessing based on our limited knowledge of what is going on.

the political leaders decide, right or wrong, good or bad. the people have to live with the consequences. that's the name of the game.

marcos and suharto stashed away billions of the people's money. will we be done in by our govt or will we grow and prosper with our govt, only the future will tell. for the next 5 years our fate is sealed.

if we are marginalised, we asked for it.

Anonymous said...

well redbean, like i always tell my friends, apparently the majority of singaporeans are just suckers for punishment. In the last decade we've been hit by various whammies, wage cuts, cpf cuts, gst increase, public transportation fare hikes, downward spiral in property prices and then to top it all having foreigners come in and compete on our home turf for increasingly scarce good jobs. Amazingly, after all this, 66.6% of the eligible voters in the just concluded elections apparently regard these as just minor irritants. Frankly, I've given up on things ever changing for the better in Singapore. In three months time, I will qualify to renounce my Singapore citizenship, and which I will gleefully take up so I can cash out while my cpf money is still intact and the sgd is still worth something. good luck to the rest of you guys who're stuckers in the little red peesai.

Anonymous said...

during the recent election, many foreigners wrote in to praise s'pore on this and that. But, there was one canadian writer who condemned her own country(yes, you heard it. she condemned her own birth country.)saying the canadian government was corrupted and praising the pap for good, clean government.

this set me thinking- if foreigners find s'pore so good, why didn't they take up citizenshp? now, if the canadian writer took up citizenship and denounced the s'pore government as corrupted, i'm pretty sure she is not going to get away lightly without an introduction to our world class judiciary.

finally, what do foreigners know about s'pore besides raffles and lky? i have foreigners telling me that s'pore is a part of china!

NB: we are not bashing foreigners here nor are we xenophobic. we are just discussing why foreigners won't take up citizenship.

redbean said...

you are so lucky. and i am sure many of the rich and famous will follow the same route as you. our systems is engineered in such a way that people must quit to benefit from it. how sad.

people are quite adaptable to pain. but there is always a threshold after which the pain is either intolerable or a state of shock will cut in and immobilise all the senses.

small changes no pain or small pain.

big changes big pain.

Ned said...

to anonymous, you've hit the nail ont he wall. I too have many Malaysian friends of Chinese origin who praise the Singapore system and bitch about the discrimination back home. Some have been here for more than 20 years but yet are still just PRs. When the question on why that is so is put to them, no prizes for guessing, they all tell me the same thing ie. Singapore is good just for earning money but not for living and retiring. They endure the short term pain of living in Singapore so that they can amass a tidy nest egg which will become even tidier when it is converted into MYR. What more proof do we want ?

Anonymous said...

redbean, Singapore's situation cannot be compared to the people power revolts that threw marcos and suharto out of office. The instruments that precipitated those revolts such as the military and the internal security apparatus are firmly in the hands of the powers that be in Singapore and are shamelessly used to ensure the status quo remains. You're going to die a very disappointed man if you still believe a revolution on the scale of what happened in Indonesia and the Phillipines will happen here.

Anonymous said...

perhaps we should introduce an expiry date into the PR system such as say 5 yrs to convert to citizenship or the holder would lose his PR status. i doubt that's going to happen as pap is desperate to pop up our population.

WJack said...

fat chance of that happening, anonymous. Like what I have often told people who continually complain about the foreigner friendly policies. If you want to live in Singapore, you would do well to accept this reality and recalibrate your psyche to deal with it. The only other option is to pack your bags and become a foreign talent yourself, just like I did. Sadly, for the majority of those I know whom I've given that advice, they've chosen the easy way which is to continue being bitter and bitch and whine their woes away, unsuccessfully, if i may add.

redbean said...

hi wjack,

welcome to the blog. i hope all of you can enjoy the chat and make some friends here.

everything in small doses is good, just like vitamins. too much and it can become poisonous. the foreign talent policy is a good policy if carefully managed, but when it is left to run wild and the people start to feel the pinch and get hurt or very angry with it, then it is turning bad.

singapore will never go the revolutionary way. the furthest they will go is an internet petition, and on a very safe issue. : ) we are not only kiasi and kiasu, also kia cheng hu. and also very smart in this. push up to a point and not too far. do not tread where the angels won't.

but we can keep talking about it and hopely the policy will be modified. if not, just too bad. gods know better than human beings and gods will take good care of us. : )

there is always a last option, pack up and go.

Anonymous said...

oh no, we are not whining here, far from it. we are examining why foreigners won't take up citizenship and how to entice them to convert.
one way i proposed is to enhance the value of citizenship (read story).

many opposed "cheapening" the value of PR citing a reduction would lead to an exodus. i beg to differ. people would go where the jobs are. as long as we keep generating jobs, people would still come even if they are treated UNEQUALLY. just look at those migrant workers from china and the subcontinent. some are exploited and live under inhumane conditions. yet, they still arrived in large numbers because they need the jobs to feed their family back home.

likewise for high end jobs, as long as s'pore remain vibrant and we continue to generate high end jobs, talented people would still flock to s'pore. why do people take up dual citizenship? the answer is that these people could not find jobs in their birth country, they therefore took up dual citizenship in a host country to take advantage of the job opportunity there.(Of course there could be other reasons but jobs is the main reason.) by giving citizen priority for jobs, these foreign talents would realised the advantage of taking up citizenship in order to get a good job.

by giving more to PRs and foreigners, we are actually being held ransom. how much more can we give? can we compete with larger countries that can give more?

Wally said...

You guys can propose to your heart's content but fact of the matter is the govt isn't likely to do anything about it anytime soon. The reasons why PRs do not want to become citizens boils down to one thing. There is nothing attractive about being a Singapore citizen, period. Being a PR is as good as having dual citizenship. You get all the benefits and yet still retain an exit mechanism in case things go horribly wrong in Singapore. I should know because I am one of the PRs :)

redbean said...

hi wally,

welcome to the blog. we are just chatting and sharing, maybe letting off some steam. and we do not think that it will really matter. even posting in feedback unit will probably get an acknowledgement that they have heard you. but if they are not in agreement with what you said, they will just say thank you.

the issues and problems of pr policies are quite obvious. there is no need to bend backwards to accommodate all the prs and foreign talents. but there will be exceptions that we can make for the very good ones.

the rest of the mumbo jumbo, well, they need us more than we need them.

our pr and foreign talent policies today are anti citizenship. they are actually telling the prs and fts that there is no need to take up citizenship and enjoy the best of both worlds.

how contradictory can we be?

redbean said...

my apologies for all the grammatical mistakes i made in the last few posts. i normally read it again to minimise them. but yesterday there were a lot of posts and i was rushing as well.

Wally said...

Hi redbean, taking on citizenship is a very heavy commitment that one doesn't decide on a whim and fancy and certainly not just to enjoy some 'privileges'. Most of the anti-FT singaporeans fail to realize this. Now I know some singaporeans seem to view their citizenship status with disdain and often proclaim they'd throw it away if given the opportunity so they can collect their CPF, yada yada, but where I come from we are really proud of our country even though we may not necessarily agree with the actions fot he govt of the day. This is the one thing that I noticed about Singaporeans. Their extreme dislike for the govt of the day seems to have filtered over to hating their own country. I have been on some other boards like sammyboy where I see Singaporeans calling their own country Shitapore, Sinkapoor, heck even one commentor here called Singapore peesai, now that truly amazes me. You guys just have to learn to distinguish between the govt and country.

redbean said...

hi wally,

your observations are valid. some got to do with our history and the smallness of our country. with only one govt all the way, people tend to loosely treat the party/govt as synonymous with the country. and some dislike the govt so much because of personal reasons, the govt to people distance is so close, that they are very venomous in their postings.

we have some problems that are distinct to us, especially national service which is a whole life commitment and responsibility that are very disruptive to the male populace. then there is the ever rising cost of living. not everyone is a millionaire to keep a few hundred thousand in his cpf and feel nothing about it.

many singaporeans are cash strap and would be very frustrated to know that they have a couple of thousands in the cpf which they cannot touch while at the same time they have to go abegging to live day to day.

these are some of the paradoxes of being singaporeans. we appear to be rich, of course there are many who are very rich, but in reality very poor.

Definitely Talented said...

To anon-June 12, 8:05pm

You're right that people go to where the jobs are. The question is if you adopt a citizens-first policy hence constricting the freedom of overseas investors to hire whomever they want, would those investors even come in the first place ? If they don't come, the next question would be can Singapore relying just on its own domestic capital and talent base generate those jobs. I urge all you anti-foreigner locals to be honest with yourself and reflect upon these questions. Then you will understand why your government has done what it is doing.

Wally said...

hi redbean, NS is there for a reason I presume. Instead of moaning why don't you guys propose an alternative arrangement to your govt that will meet the defence needs of Singapore just as adequately ? People in other countries also grapple with cost of living issues, my friend. Just ask your northern neighbours what the recent 30 cents hike in fuel prices are doing to their personal bottom lines. That certainly is a lame reason for hating your country.

You think governing a tiny island state with a diverse population and no natural resources and economic advantages to boot is easy ? You guys could have ended up living in a basket case state like what Timor Leste is currently degenrating into but you didn't because you had good leaders who weren't afraid to do the right things. Think about that, my friend.

redbean said...

hi definitely talented,

welcome to the blog and the discussion.

i always believe that a policy that is introduced, especially in our singapore context, would have been thoroughly thought out and is meant to serve a specific need.

often, as time goes by, and when things get too complicated, people get lost of the main objectives and its other consequences. a glaring example is our housing policy. it has gone bonkers. a very good policy to build a roof over every citizen's head is now a huge stone hanging on the neck of many singaporeans.

i don't think anyone here is totally against the foreign talent policy per se. but some fine tuning is required to refocus and to look after the interest of singaporeans as well.

we have a large pool of highly educated singaporeans who needed work. this is middle group, not really super talent and not the manual or factory worker type. we need to cater to this group of singaporeans whose level of training and skills are at par or better than foreign talents. it is tragic to see singaporeans in this group being displaced by average fts with marginally lower pay.

fts are needed in the top level where the very skilled should be welcomed and embraced. we should even bend our rules to accommodate these real talents.

and at the bottom of the rung, the construction workers, labourers, etc, we need them as most singaporeans shun such works. there is no need to protect the flesh trades or the hospitality trades unless we want our singaporeans to take on these vocations.

it is all a matter of fine tuning the policies.

redbean said...

hi wally,

you got it wrong as far as ns is concerned. other than a few individuals, ns is accepted as part of our lives. many singaporeans may dread ns, but they will take it in their stride. non issue.

the issue of ns being raised here is that it is a big sacrifice by the male citizens. and if the govt took this casually and willingly accept prs and fts on an equal basis vis a vis citizens in jobs and other things, it is only right for the people to be angry.

it is not a good example to compare with timor leste or else we could compare with some of the best western countries as well.

let's deal with this particular issue as it is, air out the wrongs and grievances. your suggestion that we should come out with a solution for the govt, and i disagree. we do not have the resources and expertise to come out with a complete and workable solution.

give me a team and the budget, anyone can do a serious study into the issues and come up with valid and reasonable proposals.

Definitely Talented said...

dear redbean, if as you claim, that this large pool of talented locals are better than the foreigners, why don't they venture overseas, just like the FTs here have done. Surely if they are really that talented, they'd have no problems landing a job.

Wally said...

"give me a team and the budget.."

well redbean therein lies your problem, you Singaporeans expect to be spoonfed. There are no free lunches in life. You want something you work for it. Talk is cheap, so those who can't are contented doing just that. Actaully making something happen is a different proposition altogether.

Anonymous said...

"The reasons why PRs do not want to become citizens boils down to one thing. There is nothing attractive about being a Singapore citizen, period. Being a PR is as good as having dual citizenship. You get all the benefits and yet still retain an exit mechanism in case things go horribly wrong in Singapore. I should know because I am one of the PRs."

there, the typical response from foreigners. this only affirm that we have to enhance the value of citizenship and at the same time cheapen the value of PR. otherwise, no one would want to take up citizenship.

Anonymous said...

can foreigners or PRs here pray tell us under what condition(s) would s'pore citizenship be desirable?

Wally said...

So, redbean, you're saying that you guys have 'devoted' 2 years of your life to your country and hence your country now owes it to give preference to you in the race for jobs. There is one slight problem with your argument. As Definitely Talented has implicitly suggested, most of the jobs that you speak of are actually generated by foreigners themselves. So in essence, your country do not have the right to allocate such preferences in the first place.

Wally said...

anon-June 13, 2006 10:17 AM, I for one would put in serious consideration if the govt drops its requirement for naturalized Singaporeans to give up any other citizenships they may be holding.

Anonymous said...

but you are already a PR and that's as good as having dual citizenship as you said yourself.

redbean said...

hi definitely talented,

singapore is home to our own talents. there is no need to go overseas unless the return is higher than what one can get at home. and it is not easy for singaporeans to get more than what they are getting at home because of the value of our currency. even at the same income, it is not attractive enough as the relocation and all the social costs would add up to quite a bundle.

for fts whose national currency and level of income, standard of living are much lower, it is so easy to be here as the net income is much higher. unless we are comparing on the same basis, otherwise singaporeans will be disadvantaged locally and internationally.

redbean said...

hi wally,

we are not asking to be spoonfed. you are asking someone here to offer a solution to a national problem for free? even my consultancy work for individual companies will never be done for free. you said it, there is no free lunch.

and when the people responsible for the solutions are paid in the millions, why would anyone come up with a solution for free? nothing is for free is the driving mantra of this island.

your second point on special privileges for citizens. i must say that it is our right as citizens to demand special privileges. otherwise what's the point of being citizens? and this the govt must take note on this.

as for ns, it is not 2 years. our responsibilities continue till the age of 50 with incamp training, physical fitness test, being recalled at anytime, etc. it is a big sacrifice for the country which no prs or fts need to do. our passports and travelling are restricted in many ways as a citizen. a child cannot go overseas for his education at certain ages, passport valid only for the duration of his overseas trips etc. these are not minor irritations.

it is the right of citizens to demand to be treated better than foreigners. and we do not need to apologise for this.

as for foreign companies located here, they will have to weigh the pros and cons. they don't come here to give us a free meal. they made their calculations and will only come if it benefits them. all mncs are not charitable organisations.

Wally said...

anon-June 13, 2006 10:27 AM. But you asked me (I assume you're the ssame anon that broached the original qn) what it would take for me to become a citizen, so that's my answer. This is another aspect of Singaporeans I found hard to understand. Why are you guys so obsessed with getting PRs to become citizens ? In other countries where I've worked in, the citizens do not begrudge permanent residents for not becoming citizens.

Definitely Talented said...

dear redbean, you obviously missed my point. Your original point was that this so-called large pool of talented Singaporeans re currenly displaced by the alleged influx of FTs and so cannot get jobs. So, are you saying it's better for these guys to stay at home twiddling their thumbs and bitching on the Net than to venture out to somewhere where they can at least get a job and the reason for that being Singapore is home ?

Anonymous said...

as citizens, we stand as one and fall as one with the country. the same cannot be said of PRs and foreigners.

we are not obsessed with trying to convert PRs. as s'pore is a tiny country without any resources except hr, we therefore try to augment this limited pool. it is a fallacy to use the word augment as replacement would be more appropriate as some of our very own talents are leaving for "greener pasture".

Anonymous said...

dear all,

this topic was started to discuss
1)why foreigners or PRs won't take up citizenship.
2)how to make citizenship more desirable to foreigners and PRs so that they would want to convert.

this topic is NOT about
1)bashing foreigners or PRs
4)all others

do focus on the topic and thanks for contributing.

Wally said...

redbean, please don't put words into my mouth. I never asked you to work for free. You said "give me a team and the budget.." and I remarked that you're asking to be spoonfed in the sense that you expect all your requirements to be fulfilled by someone or some organisation, for argument's sake let's say the govt. My point was that if you want to do something, it's your responsibility to get everything you need yourself. Now whether you undertake the expenses out of your own pocket or sell books at Raffles Place to fund the study is immaterial to the argument. If I was the govt, I would ask why I should fund this study because as far as I am concerned my current NS policy works. You want to come up with an alternative, do it at your own time and expense. Asking the govt to fund it is as absurd as asking the PAP to fork out the election deposits for opposition candidates to stand against their own.

redbean said...

thanks anonymous,

for getting the topic back to focus. some of you are foreign talents and prs here. i think, from my personal experience, the singaporeans are not hostile to fts or prs. we are raising this issue on the ground that as citizens we should be treated better.

the goats story is a good example. if the govt does not treat its people well, how would fts and prs think they will be treated well once they become citizens?

Wally said...

Forgot to add, yes you may have a right to demand to be above foreigners but only as far as those rights belong to you. If I am a foreign investor pumping millions into the country and I am not given the leeway to employ foreigners, I will say "Stuff it" to Singapore because many other countries are also coveting my money. Do you think SmithKlineGlaxo would want to sink in the millions in their new plant producing children's vaccines if your govt tells them that they have to give preference to locals ? Ditto for the developer of the Marina IR.

redbean said...

the fact that citizens have to fight tooth and nail with fts and prs for a decent job when the dice is loaded in favour of foreigners is a failure in out govt's policy.

with the high cost of living for citizens, don't forget cpf contributions as well, citizens would have to go for lower pay locally or overseas. now that isn't a very sound option.

we are just raising the problems. our supertalents are expected to solve it. not the people. they are well paid for to do the job.

redbean said...


your suggestion that the people not happy shall go and do their homework and present the govt with the solution is equally absurb.

no one can just go to the govt and say this is what we think is the solution, please consider and implement. you will be very lucky if they are willing to even look at the suggesion.

having said this, a national policy is not something that someone can sit at home and say eureka, this is what the govt should do. it does not work this way.

Wally said...

redbean, if this govt will not listen to you then you should consider changing it. So why aren't enough of you guys convinced this current govt is not doing its job ? Simple, because they are. It's only the whiners like you who don't have the same view and thankfully for Singapore they'll always be in the minority.

Anonymous said...

redbean ah, is there anyway to make this topic sticky or in a more conspicuous position so that more can contribute? thanks for starting this topic.

Anonymous said...

"as citizens, we stand as one and fall as one with the country."

Hey, speak for yourself, dude. Though a Singaporean I may be, if Singapore is going to fall, I certainly don't want to fall with it. It's ridiculous to expect that of the citizens of any countries. People are always driven primarily by their own self-interest. I dare say you're not going to get many who holds the same view as you.

redbean said...

hi anonymous,

this is the problem with blogs. cannot stick. that's why i tend to miss out a lot of posts that i failed to see. and that's the reason i started the forum. it is easier to discuss there.

if you fellas don't mine, i can copy this topic to the forum and we pick it up from there. what says huh?

for wally, the mindset of singaporeans is very different from a mature democratic society. there is fear and the kiasi and kiasu mentality. but govt cannot remain in power once the people see its policy to be unfavourable. it is only a matter of time.

as for mncs, there are some with bigger muscles to negotiate and some lesser. what goes into the policies for mncs and fts, we are not privy to them. it all depends on who needs who more.

i am not so much of a whiner like those you see in other forums. i am just chatting and whatever i think of posting, i just post. that's how views are expressed and shared. otherwise no chance to chat with you.

Definitely Talented said...

dear redbean, it seems cost of living issues is a recurrent theme in your posts. Have you also forgotten that foreigners living in Singapore are also subjected to the same costs ? That hardly counts as an insurmountable odd stacked heavily in favor of FTs. As for salaries, you are only worth what an employer is willing to pay you. All things being equal, of course the employer's choice is going to be the one who's asking for less because payroll is a cost. If a foreigner is able to have a decent lifestyle earning a lower salary than you locals, then you should ask yourself why that is so ? Foreigners pay the same electricity tariffs to SingPower, are charged the same fees for cable and broadband subscription, pay the same price for groceries at NTUC. So, why can they still lead a reasonably comfortable life ? Have you ever wondered perhaps it is you guys who have high expectations, expectations that may have been the norm during th boom times of the 90s but are now no longer tenable ?

redbean said...

let me take a different position.

if i were a ft, i will be very happy with the arrangement. say my income is $3000. i try to keep all my expenses to $1,500 and save $1,500. after 3 years, with increment etc, i could be seeing $60,000 in my bank account. and if i convert this to home currency, the spending power is tremendous isn't it?

on the other hand a singaporean will have to contribute 20% to cpf and this will leave him with $2,400. expenses at $1,500 will leave him with $900. and as a singaporean, there are a lot of unplanned and unexpected expenses that will come his way. he will be lucky to have $500 left. at the end of 3 years, he will be lucky to have save $20,000. now what can $20,000 buy for a singaporean?

i don't mind being a pr in singapore.

redbean said...

hi fellas,

i have another similar topic 'Educating Foreign Nationals' in www.redbeanforum.com. please take a look and see if you want to add in your views on it.


definitely talented said...

Why do you regard CPF as an expense ? It is not. For comparison's sake, it should be regarded as savings, albeit forced. You also conveniently chose not to mention the $390 of employer's CPF contribution that your hypothetical local will get, somethign that his FT counterpart doesn't get.

redbean said...

if you know how much of your cpf will be untouchable when you reach 55, then you will know whether savings or not. many singaporeans will die leaving their cpf savings bursting at the seams. money that you cannot touch is not yours. money that one leaves behind after is not yours.

how about having $200k to $300k lock up and you can see but cannot touch?

redbean said...

let's see how many houses our indian and chinese prs can buy with that kind of money back home.

singaporeans are rich in savings but squeezed to live day by day.

Anonymous said...

hi redbean, sorry for the late reply.
got to put in an honest day work.
i leave you to decide if you want to post it elsewhere.

anyway, i think the topic is running out of steam.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, maybe you are as one of the posters above commented, suffering from delusion. If you say the CPF does not belong to you, then please tell who it belongs to. If it doesn't belong to you, then you would not be able to nominate who among your next-of-kin who will get the money upon your demise. And why do you keep on harping about Chinese and Indian nationals being able to buy houses back home ? No one's stopping you from doing the same if you want to. Such pettiness.

redbean said...

today's announcement on the new cpf ruling, minimum sum raised to $94,600, medisave raised to $33,000. i hope you fellas know what these mean to singaporeans. it means money you cannot touch. and yes it does not belong to us but to our nominees, if we have people to survive us.

the employer's contribution will also go to form part of this sum and unlikely to become disposable income.

it is necessary to compare with indian or chinese nationals as we are starting from different bases. for the same amount of money, we are less comfortable with the lifestyle that we are going to get. should singaporean live like a foreigner, lower his standard, or should he migrate to a cheaper country? i think many will and have been doing, after they denounced their citizenship.

it is an option to singaporeans, but a bad option. it is an option that is contrary to the govt's objective of keeping the singaporeans here.

if any of you were to be a singaporean, you will then be able to appreciate the views of singaporeans, just like i can appreciate the views of a ft/pr. i will be very comfortable being so and enjoying all the terms that this country can provide me, with no obigations.

redbean said...

hey you fellas,

anyone else supporting this thread to be copied to redbeanforum for discussion there? so far only anonymous has agreed.

doing in the blog format is a bit tedious.

Anonymous said...

Between lowering your living standards and being thrown out on the streets, which would you prefer ? Seems to me you locals still think you're living in the boom days of 90s. Wake up from your slumber, guys and fast.

I agree with you on one thing, though. The indians and chinese are starting out from different bases than you guys. They're on the way up while you guys are going in the opposite direction.

redbean said...

i think you have put up an interesting point, that singaporeans should be prepared to be jobless or walk the streets as the foreigners have a bigger right to be here, because foreigners are prepared to be more competitive. this is the same kind of reason the west is rejecting china and india for the cheaper labour which these countries find it as a norm, nothing to cry about. but the west will be screaming foul.

likewise singaporeans will cry foul too.

but i will assure you that that day will never come as this place belongs to singaporeans and singaporeans will not allow that to happen. singaporeans are docile but will have to stand up for their right to a decent livelihood in this place which they pledge to defend.

you cannot expect singaporeans to defend a place that they find it difficult to earn a living right?

we don't call this place for nothing. unless we have stupid leaders who think it is ok to sell out the rights of singaporeans to foreigners.

redbean said...

actually we can be in a better shape if we are not too ambitious and think it is a good idea to have a population of 8 million. the economists and planners may have their assumptions and inputs on this. but it is a hypothetical case.

there are advantageous in increasing the critical mass. but the stress may be too much for this little piece of land to bear.

and if life is now hectic, wait till we have 8 million people and we will see hectic having a different definition.

Anonymous said...

That day will never come ? That day is already here. That's what you guys are complaining about ie. foreigners taking away your jobs because they accept a lower pay and are prepared to put up with a lower standard of living. Man, you do really need to wake up.

redbean said...

this thread is getting too long and bulky. i have copied it to www.redbeanforum.com and my reply is there.

you are all invited to continue this discussion there. much easier than to scroll all the way up and down.