Just go back a couple of decades and look at the banking/finance landscape? Were not the top bankers mostly locals? What happened? Did these locals acted selfishly, foolishly by not training the next batch of talents to succeed them? Were they so irresponsible, so stupid not to see the need for succession planning? Didn’t they know that it was the govt of the day that consciously put them up into those positions of authority, to be indigenized, to be localized and be self sufficient with our own talents to run out own destiny?
Why is it that after this generation of top bankers had disappeared, there was a dearth of talents and the vacuum had to be filled by 3 world banking talents and not from local talents?
o reach such a state, assuming that we have clever people in charge, must either be a case of conscious design or someone fell asleep in his job. To take the position that someone fell asleep in his job is definitely unlikely. The dangerous one is conscious design, a conscious choice or a conscious neglect, some kind of hidden agenda to get to where we are today, with no local top banking/finance talents. It cannot be by accident or neglect!
Let’s look at the stages of development to make this pathetic and deplorable state possible.
Stage 1. There is no succession planning. This will mean that after the last generation of top bankers left the scene, no one is suitable to fill the top banking positions through lack of success planning. Now isn’t this bad?
Stage 2. Refusal or neglect, intentional or otherwise, not to train local talents or in a worst case scenario, intentionally by passing the local talents, not giving them the chance to move up, not giving them the exposure to gain experience to be at the top.
Stage 3. Consciously, by design, to go out to recruit foreigners in the name of foreign talents and so called international exposure as a prerequisite to rule out local talents, so local talents were swept into the dustbin. This becomes a vicious cycle, not given the chance, how to gain experience to become better, to fill the top positions?
Stage 4. Foreign CEOs were allowed to recruit more foreigners and giving foreigners more opportunities to gain experience and exposure and to move up. Local talents sidelined, by passed or made to do the unimportant tasks, backroom boys, office maintenance, jaga physical building security, anything but banking and finance.
Stage 5. The secondary and tertiary institutions were allowed to do as they pleased, even if they chose not to train banking and finance talents needed in the name of liberalization. But worst if the tertiary institutions were filled by foreigners who have different or hidden agenda. The result, no training of locals to feed the essential industries like banking and finance and no one would notice or be disturbed by this development. Bo cheng hu! No one in charge, no one consciously looking at the problem and allowed things to get worse and worse and the need for foreigners become more and more important and necessary. A self inflicted wound.
Stage 6. Allowing foreigners to call the shot. Foreigners said Singapore got no banking and finance talents, just accept it meekly and stupidly and let the foreigners in charge to bring in more foreigners. And let foreign recruiting agencies to have a field day recruiting whoever they want from 3rd world villages and calling whoever they brought in as talents.
Stage 7. Close one eye to all the fake certificates and degrees and recognize all the 4th and 5th grade village universities as good universities. No need to check. Accept everyone that produced a piece of paper as genuine and quality qualification.
Stage 8. The rice is cooked. The realities hit. No local talents. So? No one even bother to ask so? No one was there to ask so. No talent ah, never mind, we will train them in our universities and in 30 years time we will have all the top banking and finance talents we need. Hopefully there will still be a Singapore in 30 years times and not a Singapore with new owners that are not Singaporeans. By then, even if we produced our own talents, the new owners would rather choose to hire their own kinds.
It is not easy for a top financial centre to wake up one day and realized it has no local talents. It takes a long time, a lot of neglect, a lot of stages and things to happen to reach such a sorry state of affair. How can a first world country that everyday blows its own trumpet about how good it is in planning ahead with so many super talents it has to plan for the future and find itself without local banking and finance talents?
The only thing I can conclude is that it is a miracle to happen this way, an act of God, beyond anyone’s control. It happened. No one is responsible. Or was it part of the plan?