As our government continues to bring in 20,000 new citizens each year through the various easily-acquired work permits, Singaporeans continue to suffer in silence as there is nothing much that they can do except to wait for the balloting box every five years.
Many local Singaporeans also look at migration to other countries as the easiest way out and some parents even encourage their children to study and work abroad knowing that it is very difficult now with cheap foreigners competing against Singaporeans for work opportunities.
Starting salaries have gone down by at least 20% since last year and though we don’t have relevant official manpower statistics to support this, anecdoctal evidences from our pool of jobless PMETs have confirmed this fact.
Many jobless young PMETs have indicated that their pay was reduced by at least 20% from their previous salary range and more seriously, they remain the minority worker in their companies and are dominated by foreign workers in the ir work places.
Some have also told me that they are hired because one of the foreign worker’s work permit is not being renewed by MOM or they were hired to make up for the foreign-local worker quota.
Employers continue to hire foreign workers as they are cheaper, younger and educated. Many are hired using the S-Pass category with a pay scale of $2000 and 2-year contract.
More than 1.8 million foreigners lived among a population of 5.18 million and their presence is overwhelming. Half a million of them has attained permanent residencies and they carry the strongest chance of converting into citizens.
Transitioning will attempt to draw up a profile of each foreign nationality and wants to reiterate that we are not anti-foreigner here:-
1. PRC Chinese
Population: 800, 000
Personality: Business-minded, hard working but can be a show-off for those who are rich
Favourite hangout: Chinatown (they also took over a bulk of the businesses there)
Popular jobs: F & B, own businesses, entertainment, construction
Pay range: Depend on kind of jobs acquired but between $1500 to $2500 usually.
Niche skills: Business
Bad habit: Likes to talk aloud in public places oblivious to local environment. Seen as brash and rude. Women also portrayed as husband snatchers as many divorces occurred because our local men got involved with Chinese women here. They remain the number one public enemy of our local population now due to a spate of badly-publicised stunts.
Favourite past time: Working, shopping and eating
Social integration: Average as tend to talk only in mainland Mandarin and can’t communicate well in English with locals. Needs to brush up English so that they can integrate well with locals. Many young Chinese are also scholars picked from poor villages in China to study here with allowances.
Citizenship: Some PRC Chinese won’t mind becoming citizens if they have good jobs here but the abundance of opportunities in China now may lure some to return home. Many PRC Chinese like our hassle-free travelling benefit associated with our passport and many have use us as a stepping stone to apply for PRs in Australia, New Zealand and United States. However, many of them don’t like our humid weather here and lamented at our limited space.
Latest bugbear: A rich Chinese PR crashed his Ferrrari into a taxi killing himself, the taxi driver and a passenger at Rochor Road. Numerous other recent clashes with locals suggested that PRC Chinese immigrants may have difficulty assimiliating with Singaporeans whom they secretly look down upon. The PRC Chinese are also the ones who demonstrated at MOM twice last year against local employers for errant salary payment and may be troublesome on law and order issues.
Population: 400, 000
Personality: Polite and well mannered
Favourite hangout: Little India
Popular jobs: IT, management, construction, shipping
Pay range: If working in IT banking jobs pay can be between $3000 – $5000 depending on work experience
Niche skills: IT programming and software – tens of thousands of Indians work in the lucrative IT sector
Bad habit: Tend to group among themselves even in the workplaces and oblivious to local environment
Favourite past time: Working, eating, going to parks
Social integration: Don’t seem to integrate well with locals as they all group together among themselves even though many speak good English with an Indian slang. They also don’t mix well with our local Indians here and may even be viewed with envy as most of them are well educated and have good jobs.
Citizenship: Many Indians won’t mind becoming citizens here especially if they have a good job and house. However, if we bring in too many Indian citizens, it will change the multi-racial demographics alot especially when our Malay counterparts feel sidelined at the employment front.
Latest bugbear: Nil so far and remain the model immigrant with few social problem from this nationality.
Population: 200, 000 (80, 000 domestic helpers)
Personality: Friendly and polite
Favourite hangout: Orchard Road and Lucky Plaza remains the Filipino favourite shopping mall for the past two decades
Popular jobs: F & B, healthcare, entertainment, administration, executive
Pay range: Between $1500 – $2000 depending on work scope and experience
Niche skills: Service industry as tens of thosuands of them work in the two integrated resorts and many hotels here. Speak the best tagalog-accented English here among all the nationalities and highly sought after by tele-marketeering companies.
Bad habit: Tends to group among themselves alot forming cliques in the work places. Likes to bring in their own kind to the office as replacement. Speaks tagalog loudly in public places oblivious to public environment.
Favourite part time: Shopping, singing, going to parks
Social integration: Don’t really see them integrating much with locals even in the work places. Use alot of tagalog among themselves to ostracise locals at work. Seen as political and manipulative. They are also the most united among the many nationalities that congregate in Singapore and tend to take care of each other well.
Citizenship: Some Filipinos won’t mind becoming citizens but many are still fiercely patriotic and will return home after making enough money here. They also prefer to emigrate permanently to US, Australia and New Zealand.
Latest bugbear: Though they do not misbehave as publicly as the PRC Chinese, Singaporeans do not really take to them well as they tend to group among themselves and live in their own world. At the work places, they are not the best of workers to work with and tend to take care of their own kind only.
Population: 50, 000
Personality: Friendly and well mannered
Favourite hangout: Mostly town area
Popular jobs: Executive in most sectors
Pay range: $1500 to $2500 depending on work experience
Niche skills: Organised, listen to instructions
Bad habit: None so far
Favourite past time: Shopping, eating, upgrading one’s skills
Social integration: Like many other nationalities, they don’t integrate well with our locals though they speak decent English as many are educated here. However, employers have so far sang praises of their work ethics and this nationality remains their top choice for foreign hiring.
Citizenship: Many Myarmese won’t mind converting into citizens as their country is still backward and lacking in opportunities.
Latest bugbear: None so far
Population: 30, 000
Personality: Friendly and sociable
Favourite hangout: Joo Chiat
Popular jobs: Entertainment, F & B, office administration
Pay range: $1000 – $2000 depending on work experience
Niche skills: entertainment-related
Bad habit: None so far but some are seen as husband snatchers as many divorces happened because of affairs with petite soft-spoken Vietnamese women. Their publicised foray into vices at Joo Chiat also tarnished their image here.
Favourite past time: Drinking, eating, socialising
Social integration: As many Vietnamese do not speak English well they have difficulty integrating into our society. Tend to group among themselves for security and comfort.
Citizenship: Many Vietnamese won’t mind becoming citizens here due to our infrastructure and abundant opportunities compared to their own country. Vietnamese women also like our local men but the langauge barrier is a challenge.
Latest bugbear: None so far.
Population: 100, 000 (from all over)
Personality: Friendly, pleasant
Favourite hangout: Clarke Quay
Popular Jobs: Senior managerial positions, consultant, banking executives
Pay range: $5000 – $20, 000 depending on work experience
Niche skills: Consulting, communication, leadership
Bad habit: Tend to be seen as aloof and detached. May look down on the local people here due to their enhanced job scope and pay scale. Men may also flirt around with our local gals with some boasting that they could freely get into bed with them.
Favourite past time: Fine dining, sports, travelling, arts and music
Social integration: Men tend to mix better with our local women who flock to them. Other than that, there is little integration seen with the general population as many stay in expensive exclusive condos. Children also study in expensive international schools further alienating them from the mainstream.
Citizenship: Not many ang moh will want to become citizens as many just want to work and have fun here. They also dislike our country’s strict laws and gum-free society. Probably less than 1% of them will want to become citizens here but they remain our local gals’ perfect dream for a potential husband.
Latest bugbear: None so far though their exclusive lifestyle may draw envy from the local population. With a local colonist white supremacy mindset, many whites are well respected here though their brash mannerism – especially when they are drinking – may draw some criticism from the locals. They also need to be more careful when befriending our local gals in the pubs as there are many fights occurring because of this.
Population: 10, 000
Personality: Warm and friendly
Favourite hangout: Orchard Road
Popular jobs: Office, business-related
Pay range: $1500 – $2500 depending on experience but many go into businesses
Niche skills: Business development especially for the Indonesian Chinese
Bad habit: Tend to spend as if there is no tomorrow
Favourite past time: Shopping and spending money
Social integration: Though they can speak dialects for the Indonesian Chinese, many do not seem to intergrate well with our locals. They are also scattered all over the island with little concentration but many rich Indonesians have bought expensive private housing for investment.
Citizenship: Many Indonesians will want to be citizens here due to our safe environment. Probably more than 50% of Indonesian PRs will want to become citizens here.
Latest bugbear: None so far but wealthy Indonesians tend to use our country for money laundering due to the lax banking secrecy act here. Singapore remains their first choice of destination for emigration due to our safe environment and many Indonesians will want to be citizens here.
Population: 500, 000
Personality: Hard working and business minded
Favourite hangout: All over
Popular jobs: Executive, managerial, logistics, businesses. Many Malaysians have became successful corporate CEOs such as the infamous ex-SMRT CEO Ms Saw and Hyflux CEO. Dr Goh Keng Swee – our ex-defence minister and DPM is also from Malaysia and so is Housing Minister Khaw Boon Wan.
Pay range: $2000 – $5000 depending on work experience
Niche skills: Many Malaysians study in Singapore when they are young and move up the educational path together with local Singaporeans. I have heard of many Malaysians heading big corporations and seen to be doing very well. Many may now have migrated to Australia or the US during this period of mass foreign influx.
Bad habit: None so far
Favourite past time: Working and accumulating wealth
Social integration: By far the most integrated lot of the foreigners working here due to the close proximity with our country. Long accepted as one of our own and mostly welcomed to become citizens. In fact, our government should focus on this group and try to convert as many Malaysians to become citizens as possible as they are well accepted and has integrated into our society for a long time. Many Malaysians have also married our locals and their children have become citizens serving national service.
Citizenship: Many Malaysians have became citizens probably numbering well over 100, 000 throughout the past decade and lived among us like local Singaporeans due to similar culture and tradition. However, there is still a sizeable group of Malaysian PRs who do not want to convert into citizens for personal reasons.
Latest bugbear: None so far.