Feb 2, 2010

The Problem with Singaporeans

I was chatting with an old friend. She's a headhunter specialising in lawyers. 10 years ago, which was probably around the time I first got to know her, her work was mostly about recruiting Singaporean lawyers for local law firms and corporations.

That work has changed with the times. Like many other things in Singapore, her work has become much more globalised. Yes, she continues to be based in Singapore. Yes, most of her clients are still banks, companies and firms located in Singapore. But her candidates have changed.

The Singaporean lawyers are still around, of course. But as a proportion of her candidate pool, they have dwindled. As a headhunter, she is now also placing lawyers from Australia, the UK and India. In fact, she spoke about having to fly to India, to directly interview and recruit fresh law graduates from a top Indian university.

She made one interesting observation. She says that Singaporeans consistently lose out to the Australians, the Brits and the Indians in one important respect. Singaporeans are not as articulate. They don't speak so well. They are more reserved.

So at job interviews, Singaporeans consistently appear to be less capable than they really are. Consequently, the Aussies, the Brits and the Indians often get the job instead. ("In particular, the Indian lawyers," my friend remarked, "are excellent talkers").

My headhunter friend is a little saddened by this. She knows that many of these Singaporean candidates are at least as capable and competent as the foreigners. It's just that culturally, the typical Singaporean candidate does not feel comfortable aggressively tooting his own horn and singing his own praises at a job interview. This misplaced Asian sense of modesty/humility ends up killing his own chances.

Sad to say, you can extrapolate this into a wider context, and see quite clearly how Singaporeans have screwed themselves. The consistent failure of Singaporeans to speak up boldly for themselves has led to adverse consequences, politically, socially and economically.

I have more to say, but I gotta run. Talk more later, in the comment section.

111 comments:

ike said...

it goes both ways,
if i'm inherently outspoken,and i know the employers dont like that, i'll behave differently in order to fit in/get the job.

you can be sure they'd behave differently if they're trying to get a job abroad eg in the western countries.

what can i say, a lot of employers can bloody dampen the spirit if they see that as a big cross in their candidate attribute list.

Tan Kin Lian said...

Dear Mr. Wang,
Singaporeans generally do not have the moral and ethical values to guide them in forming their views. They are also afraid of offending people who are more senior to them, including the government. Unfortunately, this has become part of our character.

I encourage people to embrace the values of honesty, fairness, courage, being positive and public service (or social responsibility). I find that these values give me the strength to express my views. I hope that more Singaporeans can learn to speak out, and discover that it is all right to have a point of view.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised she sensed this in lawyers as well? Aren't lawyers supposed to be articulate?

Mr Wang Says So said...

That's what I would have thought as well.

I guess while the average Singaporean lawyer is more articulate than the average Singaporean non-lawyer,

and probably more articulate than the average Brit/Aussie/Indian non-lawyer

the average Singaporean lawyer is still less articulate than the average UK/Aussie/Indian lawyer.

My headhunter friend also said that the Brits, Aussies and Indians prepare very hard for their interviews ..... as hard as the Singaporeans prepare for their written exams.

She said that Singaporeans have a tendency that if they have the relevant work experience and skills, then they ought to get the job.

Whereas the foreigners do things like:

1. read the news and surf the Internet, to find out all about the employer and its latest business plans, products, strategies

2. think a lot about how to talk about their personal strengths; and why they are interested in this job; and what they hope to be able to contribute to the company etc

and pay attention to things like their own clothes, body language etc at the interview

Anonymous said...

I am surprised that Singaporeans do not do [1] & [2] listed by Mr Wang.

If that is true across the board, it only means that Singaporeans are suffering from the consequences of being mollycoddled and spoonfed in upbringing and education.

ed said...

Indians are great talkers because they are great thinkers - though not all of them.

'Great talkers' hides the fact that the talk is great because of the logic and reason utilised. What is deemed to be 'great talker', or 'only know how to talk', or, 'long-winded' is, for instance, known in the UK as 'great thinkers, and 'analytical'.

The low level of analytical thought amongst 'singaporeans', or more accurately, the chinese singaporeans, and their being the majority, is that which produces the criteria by which 'thinking a lot' is deemed to be 'talking too much'. In a confucian state where subservience and doing one's best without questioning the overarching circumstances is lauded, it is not surprising that the insightful are shunned and discounted as 'great talkers' as opposed to 'great thinkers'. India, as opposed to Confucian states, is, intellectually, a reason-based economy as opposed to rule-based one. Confucian states, logically, cannot produce great thinkers amongst the populace because of the absence of egalitarian multiculturalism, or non-fascist democracy.

I personally, have and can hold my ground with the Brits in numerous topics, and became popular amongst them whilst I was studying there. However, i couldn't help but note that that which was deemed an advantage there, is scorned here. There are many other points i could take issue with in this article, but I would say that a degree of critical introspection and attention to detail would enable the reader and writer to discern the true and sociological/psychological meaning behind it all.

And it's not just because Mr Ed says so;)

Ape said...

"I have more to say, but I gotta run. Talk more later, in the comment section."

And probably, Singaporeans are always so busy and efficient that we keep everything short and sharp... including job interview.

Anonymous said...

"In a confucian state where subservience and doing one's best without questioning the overarching circumstances is lauded,"

Nonsense! The confucian era is a period of great questioning and debate and discourse and argument between Confucius and his disciples, between Confucius and the various rulers of the various kingdom, between Confucius and other philosophers etc etc. All these have been documented in numerous books passed down from that era, including the Analect itself.

So, don't embarrass yourself by displaying your ignorance of Confucianism, while trying your best to curry favour the west. And don't bother responding to this comment by digging out (for the first time eh?) some out-of-context misinterpreted confucian sayings.

Admit the truth: you know nothing about Confucianism - you have not read the analect, or any book by Confucius or on Confucius. There was a time where bashing China is fashionable in Singapore - that's in the 1970s where fake ang moh in some fake ang moh schools burn Chinese books and boast about it. Now is 2000. For goodness sake, go read something about Confucius before regurgitating out-of-fashion blame-everything-on-confucius nonsense.

Anonymous said...

It's the loss of the employer, not the employee. Many of these talkers can do only just that - talk! They cannot perform.

I have observed that a lot in American students versus Asian students when I was a teaching assistant in the States. Only inexperienced professors would be fooled by those "talkers", and think highly of them. The experienced professors know that most of them are simply bullshitters who bullshit their way and it is the Asian students who can actually perform.

Anonymous said...

From my observation, great talkers are usually lousy doers. I'd rather employ not so great talkers but great producers.

Great talkers also my not be great thinkers. In fact, great thinkers tend to be introspective first before speaking.

Those who talk a lot, like salespersons, politicians, insurance/real estate agents and lawyers, cannot be fully trusted.

So, I beg to differ, Mr Ed

Anonymous said...

Anon February 2, 2010 9:55 PM,

Lol, great minds think alike :D

Fox said...

This is just an observation of mine: There is a flip side to what Mr. Wangs calls the misplaced modesty of Singaporeans. In general, Singaporeans are also quite hesitant when it comes to offering praises or criticisms of their acquaintances. This may be because we believe that others are as thin-skinned as we are and that we may hurt their feelings even when we praise them.

KAM said...

Shut up and sit down!

When did we last hear this one? From a forum? From a school? From home?

Singaporeans are always told to shut up and sit down. We were never encouraged nor condoned to speaking up.

I begged to be different when I was growing up and ended up facing lots of problems with my "minders" (mostly teachers) and having to be branded a "problem kid", just for speaking my mind and asking hard questions.

I can totally emphathise with your account. It is surely near the truth.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ed,

What a load of tosh!

You are just as obsessed with race as LKY is.

Now, what would a Brit say to that? I know! Pot calling the kettle black!

Ta-ta.

Anonymous said...

did you just say singaporean are modest and humble?

lol

had a good laugh at that one. more like singaporeans cannot speak proper english hence are too afraid to talk much.

or that singaporeans lack self confidence hence have nothing to contribute.

but it is definately not because they are "humble and modest"

brett said...

Great subject. I have been playing around with the idea of the comment structure recently.


Make Big Money All Profit

Agreed with Ed said...

Many of you missed Ed's point. In Singapore, Confucianism is used as a public policy tool to shape a subservient and conformant society. "Great questioning and debate and discourse and argument," a great Confucian tradition asserted by Anon 9:51, is never encouraged and practiced in this society.

Other than lawyers, Singaporean engineers also fare less favorably compared to peers from other countries in these areas: initiative, originality, creativity, out-of-box thinking. Yes, Singaporean engineers are generally hard working and have good work ethics, but that alone is not enough to succeed in the global marketplace.

On a side note, Australia, the UK and India, perhaps even China, are more democratic than Singapore. People are generally less afraid and more outspoken in those countries.

Anonymous said...

"Confucian states, logically, cannot produce great thinkers amongst the populace because of the absence of egalitarian multiculturalism, or non-fascist democracy."

As far as I understand it, Ed never mentioned Singapore here, but referred to Confucian states. It can only be concluded that to him, Confucianism, not the way it was practiced in Singapore, was the cause of "low-level" thinking.

So, stop defending him with your fluffy smoke.

We aren't as stupid as you think, great talker Agreed with Ed.

Teabie said...

I have to agree, Mr Wang. Having worked in Melbourne for the last 2 years, I have had to puff out my chest and start talking a lot more than I'm usually comfortable with. Being quiet at meetings makes me look less capable, being subservient makes me look like I don't have a mind of my own. It was alright in Singapore since I didn't stick out like a sore thumb, but over here, I felt the difference almost immediately.

I'm still very deeply Asian (darn, I AM Asian), so I prefer to be reserved for many other reasons. I proved myself at work that I CAN do my work without being heard much, and my colleagues have all accepted me as who I am - being quiet because of my culture, background, whatever. But unfortunately, I have seen the disadvantages of being TOO quiet, and I must admit, it makes us look like we don't have a mind of our own.

It really depends on the situation, ultimately. I speak out a lot more now, utilising my background as a law student. But really, I prefer to let my work speak for itself. And if I NEED to speak up for wotever reasons, I will. Singaporean or not. I appreciate the fact that I CAN speak up in Australia, which I know is a big boo-boo back home.

Anonymous said...

Schools should start preparing students to work in MNCs instead of Singapore companies where bosses don't like contary views or workers clever than they are.

Anonymous said...

Just look at what kind of lame organisation the Singapore Law Society had become.

How to expect Singapore lawyer to be articulate?

Anonymous said...

Take LHL 2 speeches and you will know why. First he say he worry Singaporeans no opinions. Then he say during election that he wants to "fix opposition".

RettAlexis said...

It's just that many Singaporeans are brought up to respect elders - whether elder in terms of age or position. I got into trouble in school for questioning things as well.

Fortunately my tertiary education introduced me to an environment where you HAVE to be damn thick-skinned to get anywhere in your career (media industry). I guess it all depends which industry you're in.

Anonymous said...

Do we think that the Taiwanese, Hong Kongers, Mainland Chinese, Thai and Koreans were thought to be less respectful of elders?

They are just as outspoken in my interaction with many of them, especially the Taiwanese, Hong Kongers and many Mainland Chinese...

Being articulate to me does not mean we need to talk all the time and must have an opinion about everything. Its about saying something that makes sense... If not, its just what we call here "talking cock." (to put it crudely)

It also has to do with the education and also Singapore's process in National Service (in other countries like Norway, Israel, etc. despite NS, people are still outspoken).

One trainer used to tell the platoon of recruits, "Do and die, don't ask why... MINDEF just need you to do this and that, perform what you are required to mark and fall out..."

I remembered vividly my experience in school when teachers used to ask, "Any questions, students?"

If there is a long pause of silence, my teacher would then say,

"No questions. Good students! See you in the next lesson."

Anonymous said...

Singaporean schools may have some of the toughest exams of any national education system in the world, but sometimes the end results just do not meet expectations. I recall a documentary on Singapore Port, which featured interviews with several high ranking (but young) managers from PSA. I would assume that they would all be highly educated, and they were indeed bright. But their spoken English was awkward. Given that this was a documentary, they had the opportunity to prep up or even redo their spots. And yet the end results were still less than you would have expected, given their level of education. I think that this is an indication that 'teaching to tests' can achieve some level of technical competency, but when it comes to producing articulate and expressive individuals, that is not a very effective strategy.

Anonymous said...

Food for thought - how do you know someone, like a PSA manager, is Singaporean? Maybe PR? Or have you guys considered PRs Stinkaporeans?

Anonymous said...

Two main reasons why the whites are better in projecting themselves.
1. Culture and tradition. It is in their tradition to engage in a conversion even if they have to talk nonsense.
2. Their education systems encourage their students to speak up. The emphasis on academic performance is not so strong.

I do find that Chinese Singaporeans going thru their education systems are much better in projecting themselves than Chinese Singaporeans educated in Singapore. However I also find Indian Singaporeans educated in Singapore are very good in their vocal skills.

KT said...

To be articulate, one must have strong convictions, and lots of practice in expressing the strong opinions. For most Singaporeans, the two conditions do not exist. I know that because I just got banned from a forum called Green Culture Singapore for starting a thread on female genital mutilation. Before that, mods and members were already outraged and shocked that my previous thread contained the word 'breasts' (the thread was about the bar giving free drinks to lady customers based on breast sizes). Mods said my threads were controversial. I thought controversy was a good thing and made the issues worthy of discussion but they obviously disagreed.

If you're interested, I have two posts on my blog about why GCS members, who are largely middle class Chinese Singaporeans, have a phobia of controversies and female body parts. Just follow the link for my name.

Anonymous said...

"However I also find Indian Singaporeans educated in Singapore are very good in their vocal skills."

If this is so, the problem doesn't lie with our education system. Then what is? culture, race, family environment?

Anonymous said...

In a typical Chinese Singaporean family (Chinese as a broad definition, and yes that includes all religions), the kids are brought up to "LISTEN TO ME" *sic parents.

The next generations may be better with all the money spent on speech and drama courses etc.

But one main item remains, content. How many Singaporeans have sufficient convictions to look out for and research into subject areas sufficient enough for content discussions and opinion formation? When you see (hear actually) Singaporeans talking, it's 99.999999% food or shopping or where to holiday next.

Hardly anyone has time for social science discussions on the role of taxation and subsidies on an economy, etc.

Plus, Sngapore education system encourages through rewarding, mainly technical (science) subjects. At PSLE it's 2 science 2 languages (with people calling for Mandarin to be dropped), O levels is 2 languages and 4-6 sciences, A levels 2 languages at a discount rate plus 3 sciences.

Such penalties being levied on borned communicators in Singapore, no wonder most of senior Management are technical/science people with little EQ and communications abilities!

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang,

Based on your experiences & observations,i am not surprised,first of all lets look @ our educational system.

1) What do school syllabuses teach?
Apart from getting straight As' in all our subjects,they don't teach you how to be street-smart,being book-smart is what our system does

2) In a Q&A session,why are S'poreans so afraid of asking relevant,thought-provoking,controversial,out of the blue questions?
Sporeans are kiasi n kiasu...

3) In a job interview,when the interviewer asks a simple question like - Tell me more about yourself,the reply is rather....i'd rather not comment,cause it makes me feel sorry for the interviewee.

4) Do Sporeans have entrepreneurial spirit?
Nope,but what we do is pay lots of money to attend seminars conducted by Adam Khoo,Anthony Robbins,Ron Kaufman,the list goes on...

So you see Mr Wang,being a lawyer yourself,how many times or rather how much have you experienced & encountered a typical Sporean who has a first class education,but can't express themselves clearly or speak properly,who do we blame?The system,YES,the govt,YSE,the culture & traditions that tie us down,YES,the bottom line is we blame ourselves for this predicament,the solution lies with us.

James Michael Parthi

Anonymous said...

UK, USA, China etc = lots of humanities education in "mother language" = putting forth ideas and defending them for 12 years

Singapore = lots of science education in foreign language = not enough people for new economy = enough slaves for mnc.

The difference should not be unexpected! :)


Note:
1. A "mother language" is more than a "tongue" - language involves reading and writing. "Tongue" is about being an illiterate (just speaking and listening). Chinese is a language. Mandarin/dialect are "tongues". Many fake ang mohs in Sg like to pit one "tongue" against another "tongue" (eg. Mandarin against Dialect), to detract from the LANGAUGE issue of comparing one language versus another to (eg. Chinese to English). Only they know why. lol

2. English is a foreign language to most Singaporean. FYI to those of you in your elephant-tusk tower: the passing rate of English is less than 50% during Wang's uni time, which means more than half of his cohort learn a bit of humanities and all in a language that they failed.


I am not steering the topic away to language issue. Language is very relevant to this discussion! If you were to spend all your study life studying (very little) humanities and furthermore in a foreign language (face the hard statistics, you elephant-tusk dwellers: English is a foreign langauge to most Singaporeans!). Then that's the result: people who are not trained in putting forth ideas and defending them!


Some people think it has to do with strict teachers or confucianism. RUBBISH! Go China today and see for yourself how their students are much more articulate than ours. Why? Because they are studying lots of humanities in their mother LANGUAGE!

anon 7:31pm said...

Children from Germany, France, Japan, China = master their own languages to a super high level which includes the study of literature in primary school BEFORE studying a foreign language at a lower level

Children from Singapore = adopt a foreign language as their own language but are unable to study it at the same high level as natives of that language, and SIMULTANEOUSLY study own language at lower level.


Which method leads to eloquent speaker? Which method leads to tongue-tied adult? The verdict is out: the result - a generation later since its inception - speaks for itself!!!


(Oh please, some of you, please don't start off now by chiding me on the non-existent topic of whether my mother TONGUE is mandarin or dialect. This is about one mother LANGUAGE (Chinese) versus one foreign language (English) which is the subject with the lowest passing rate at O-level. In any case, there is nothing to debate about. The result speaks for itself, as Wang has observed, except that none seem to want to look at the real underlying issue: LANGUAGE!)

7:31pm said...

If we give Wang a job interview in Chinese (never mind Mandarin or Hokkien or Cantonese since they are all read and written using the same script - unless one's aim is to pit one group of Chinese against another group so that they fight among themselves so that they won't talk about Chinese versus English. lol)...

If we give a PRCian a job interview in English...

If we give a Brit a job interview in French (which they did learn in school)...

...I am sure they will all suddenly "not as articulate... don't speak so well. They are more reserved... consistently appear to be less capable than they really are."


Wang's observation is nothing but a language issue - namely, the failure of LKY's adopt-foreign-language-as-mother-langauge issue!

Nothing to do with strict teachers or school "culture" - they are more or less the same all over Asia! So, why India no such problem? Why China no such problem?

Face it! L A N G U A G E

(and pls, reminder: it's abt LANGUAGE (English vs Chinese, in the case of CHinese Singaporeans), not abt TONGUES (mandarin vs dialect). But yeah, talking about the latter is a good way to let them fight among themselves so that we can sit back and champion English-for-everyone which produce this kind of pathetic Singaporeans today who speak both broken English and broken Chinese and in Wang's word: "the Aussies, the Brits and the Indians often get the job instead.")

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr Wang,

The problem that you described about Singaporeans is in fact a great blessing to the PAP.

It is a major reason why PAP have at least 98% seats at every election.

And also the streets are very peaceful, no matter how unhappy Singaporeans are.

So keep it that way.

Hahahaha!

Anonymous said...

PSA Interviewees - well, I cannot be sure whether they are products of the SG education system or not, but by the sound of their accents, I'd think that they were. Certainly no PRCs, although possibly Malaysians who have been resident since secondary school. But unlikely.

Onlooker said...

Mr Wang,You have a point there.

But one could say that Singaporean's reluctance to speak up for ourselves is mainly due to fact that speaking up for ourselves are frown upon by especially while being conscripted by the Nation.That is also the main reason why we must allow new citizens the "honor" of serving the conscription with us.preferably with the same number of reservist cycles and fitness level.

Just Look at the Lehman bond issues recently.If nobody took any action, it would not be resolved even now.Kudos to Tan Kin Lian.

And gradually More Singaporean will start to speak up for ourselves again but their voice might be drown out by people with vested interest in our current Liberal immigrant/migrant worker policy.

Anonymous said...

Re: Anon:"However I also find Indian Singaporeans educated in Singapore are very good in their vocal skills."

If this is so, the problem doesn't lie with our education system. Then what is? culture, race, family environment?

February 3, 2010 4:46 PM

________

All of them.
The Singapore system aggravated the natural tendency of the Chinese Singaporeans to be reserved. Nuture aggravated nature. The Indians are less affected as they are by nature more vocal and articulate. Nature overpowered nuture.
The Whites are vocal and articulate by nature and their system encourages it. Nuture enhance nature.

Anonymous said...

"Why? Because they are studying lots of humanities in their mother LANGUAGE!"

Hi Anon

I agree. When a person studies humanities in their mother language, their confidence levels are very high. Taking pride in one's native language, and from thereon to culture, society and heritage, does wonders for a person's sense of self.

Anonymous said...

Of those PSA managers interviewed, how do we know some of them are/ were not Malaysians?

There are many Singapore lawyers who are also working Internationally, particularly in Hong Kong and China.

Mary-Anne said...

Dear Mr Wang,

I like your article. On your comment regarding the 'homework' the foreigners do prior to job interviews, I daresay they are great effective tips, but only if the interviewers were interested to ask the right questions.

More often than not, companies and employers here in Singapore do not ask the right questions and instead, dismiss issues that ought to be addressed in job interviews. If the HR employed to do the job is below par, how can we expect our workforce to be stellar?

@ Anonymous: I love your comment:

"How many Singaporeans have sufficient convictions to look out for and research into subject areas sufficient enough for content discussions and opinion formation? "

The kind of education we receive here in Singapore is such that we learn on the basis of only looking good academically. Whatever innate thirst for knoweldge had long been killed in the name of scoring well in exams.

Anonymous said...

Just a thought:-


Singapore is not perfect but if all our forefathers were to be vocal and have an opinion, I wonder if we could get to where we are today as an economy and country....and have the luxury of voicing out here in this blog....

For those who voiced out, I believe we are the vocal ones, so why make so much noise when you have an advantage?

LuckySingaporean said...

hey what do you expect when people are put under semi-authoritarian rule for so long. The sort of learn to keep quiet and obey instructions.

I was reading the ESC and it was such a cut&past rehash of old ideas from the 80s,90s etc improve innovation? They have been talking about this for last 30 years!

I wonder if change, progress in the larger context of society and economy will simply happen once people feel liberate enough to stand up, speak up and exchange ideas freely.

Aiyah...it is all the fault of the PAP for locking people with different ideas up without trial ...now we have pervasive fear and this infected everything in our society.

Anonymous said...

It is the state of our economy. Or state(s).

We have been very much a manufacturing economy. Those promoted and are in commanding positions, are mostly technical people, not communicators. These people manage the workplace like a factory. Clock in what time, how many hours worked. Even Goh kept up his call for Singaporeans to "work harder", only to be "corrected" by Gan later to work "smarter".

Anonymous said...

Re: anon February 4, 2010 10:40 AM

-------

If Singapore is not perfect as u admitted, why should'nt we strive to make it so ?
While obedience of the masses is essential in the initial stage of economic growth, the silence of the masses will retard an advance society from moving forward.

Anonymous said...

my observation is the same as your lawyer friend.

I believe when she says Sinagporean, it will also include asian born and bred in the Asia region, excluding India.

IMHO, Singaporean are not well equip to sell.. or should i say "prositute" themselves to potential employers. The Indian and the Anglo-Saxon does not have these problem. It maybe their cultural and education background, but the fact of the matter is that they get the jobs and the $$$.

Diggo

Michael said...

As a university student, I always wondered why university doesn't provide more assistance or training with respect to working life. I understand the importance of learning about the specifics of our future professions, be it healing people, building things or even running businesses, but there is a severe lack in soft skill training.

It's not as though there is a shortage of material out there - walk into any bookstore and you'll be able to find shelves and shelves of books on body language, interview techniques, etc. The lack of soft/people skills is a problem that Singapore has identified for a number of years back as it is, yet no one seems to have proposed an integration of these skills into formal curriculum.

I can see the arguments against integrating such lessons into formal curriculum - some would include the feasibility of "teaching" such skills - but the fact remains that a lack of emphasis on such skills may be correlated to the lack of proficiency of these skills in working adults.

But setting aside these issues - does Mr Wang have any plans to help his children develop in these aspects? Another question: are there any books or courses that Mr Wang has personally come across, and would suggest others take a look?

Regards,
Michael

Mr Wang Says So said...

"But setting aside these issues - does Mr Wang have any plans to help his children develop in these aspects?"


I send my kids for a Speech & Drama enrichment class.

Anonymous said...

Hi Michael,

You began by writing this: "As a university student, I always wondered why university doesn't provide more assistance or training with respect to working life."

And then, in the next paragraph, you made this observation: "It's not as though there is a shortage of material out there - walk into any bookstore and you'll be able to find shelves and shelves of books on body language, interview techniques, etc."

I cannot help but wonder why can't you help yourself out then?

Regards.

Bloom said...

We really need schools to teach less content and give students more time and space to express themselves, whether it's asking questions or making comments as teachers are teaching. It needs to be part of school culture and it needs to start at the elementary level. To be able to raise your hands and make a comment without inviting dirty looks from the teacher, who is racing against time to finish the syllabus should be part of learning in the classroom.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anon,


Regarding below....
-------

If Singapore is not perfect as u admitted, why should'nt we strive to make it so ?
While obedience of the masses is essential in the initial stage of economic growth, the silence of the masses will retard an advance society from moving forward.

February 4, 2010 12:10 PM

1) Can u please substantiate that we have a silent majority?
2) That it is purely because of Government Policy...
3) That by not being silent and speaking out, the society can move forward...
4) By 'moving forward', what do you mean?

Anonymous said...

Mary-Anne wrote: "I daresay they are great effective tips, but only if the interviewers were interested to ask the right questions.

"More often than not, companies and employers here in Singapore do not ask the right questions and instead, dismiss issues that ought to be addressed in job interviews."

Interviewees can ask questions and initiate the discussion on any topics of relevance, remember?

Anonymous said...

To anon February 5, 2010 10:17 AM

________

1. The papist leegime strictly curb the freedom of Singaporeans and deprived them of their human rights. Recently they changed the rules to make a one person holding a placard as an illegal assembly. How more ridiculous can they get ?
2. Even top academics are doing self censorships. What more of the masses who shy away from commenting on politics and current affairs. This cannot be good for the intellectual development and general knowledge of a globalise world.
3. The MSM is controlled by the state.
4. Students are conditioned to toe the line and not to embarass the teacher by asking tough questions.
5. George Yeo expects Singaporeans to know their position in society when they speak to their ministers.
6. I can go on and on giving all sorts of examples of the silence of the Singaporeans by the papist leegime. U r just making an idiot of yourself by denying the obvious. One of the major platform of the pap is to silence the masses to perpetuate their rule. LKY policy is to chop of the heads of those brave enough to question and challenge him. He slaughtered the chicken to frighten the monkey. He ruled by instilling fears into the consciousness of Singaporeans.
6. Two thinking contributing minds are always better than one. So the more thinking and contributing minds there are the better it is for the society.
7. Competion of ideas lead to a better society.
8. The fall of Communism is a good example of the strength of freedom and respect for human rights over dictatorship and one man rule.

Anonymous said...

I am lucky I am not in North Korea/ Iran... where one literally gets head chopped off or allocated into concentration camps or locked up when one speaks up.

I am luck I am not in India and Philippines where everyone has an opinion and nothing happens...

Anonymous said...

aiyo ah wang,

the title should reads 'the problem with singaporean lawyers according to your friend'. I dont think it can be applied to other professions.

your friend's comparison and observation is flawed. Before the floodgate is opened for FT, she dealed with mostly sg lawyers and I am sure the quality of our lawyers (including ah wang) is well qualified for the globalisation needs. Ah wang, you and local lawyers are product of our education system. Is your friend having some kind of 'angmoh tua ki' symdrome? Ask her how an wang performs when compared with the FT. Not just the brit/indian but the top applicants of the world assuming an wang, you are among the top local lawyers la. :-)

that means in her opinion sg produces mostly mediocre lawyers har? Maybe in speech i might agree but not in knowledge or other skills rite?

in other jobs its been said that FT is preferred over local because the local like to 'talk back'.

Anonymous said...

Re :I am lucky I am not in North Korea/ Iran... where one literally gets head chopped off or allocated into concentration camps or locked up when one speaks up.

I am luck I am not in India and Philippines where everyone has an opinion and nothing happens...

February 5, 2010 12:25 PM

__________

1.I though we are in the first world ? If so why are we still comparing ourselves to corrupt third world countries and dictatorships. BTW what LKY did is similar to what they do in North Korea like feeding Singaporeans tons of propaganda everyday.
2. Why are average Singaporeans still struggling in a country with so much wealth hidden away. The return on this hidden wealth is more than enough to cover the total annual government expenditure.
3. Why are the good lives enjoyed only by those in and around the pap circle ? Why can't other Singaporeans have the good life as promised by LKY and the pap ?

Anonymous said...

Hi Anonymous,

Its good to be idealistic... And u think the Western first world government of Japan, Australia, Great Britain and USA do not have corruption...?

And u think the average American/Brit/ Jap don't struggle?

I am not saying we are great, but are we really that bad?

Anonymous said...

To anon:February 5, 2010 3:53 PM

-------

1.If the Free West is not better than others, how do u account for the fact that they have been dominating the world for the last 200 or so years ?
2.It is not a case of being idealistic. It is a case of being fair and just. If LKY and his pap promised the people a good life and secured retirement in return for putting them in power, why don't he deliver on it ? The country can afford it with so much hidden wealth. Why restrict the good life and secured retirment to only a select few ?
3. Sure, every society has its' own problems but in Singapore there are problems which are intentionally created by the pap leadership. Like the rigid housing rules depriving Singaporeans of a proper roof over their heads. The country is rich and yet avearge Singaporeans are struggling. The average Singaporean deserved a better life but are not getting it. All because of the extremely selfish papist leadership. They concocted all sorts of imaginery problems and scenarios to frighen Singaporeans into keeping them in power. They concocted ways to condition Singaporeans into fixed mould. They concocted ways to drive the Singaporeans like slaves. They concocted ways to squeeze avearge Singaporeans of their $ so that they are perpetually short of money and has to work like dogs till they die.

Anonymous said...

Haha ok my point is, we have only 1 Mass Comm Degree course in Singapore. NTU offers it.

It is offered under the "THE WEE KIM WEE SCHOOL OF COMMUNICATION AND INFORMATION"

Notice that to communicate in Singapore's highest level institution means only a singular one way item?

There you go! Just one way, you say it, I do it! One way communication = propaganda or instruction.

Nothing plural about it. Singapore context. :)

j said...

Anon February 5, 2010 11:08 PM

i think that's because 'communication' is a mass noun and therefore cannot have plural inflections.

Anonymous said...

To
Anonymous who wrote on February 5, 2010 9:51 PM

Hi,

So, what does your point got to do with the ability to communicate and do better at interviews?

It seemed that for most topics posted here, people would somehow blame it on the Government.

To respond to your claim that is better.... I think we all missed the point...

Whether is democracy or authoritarian rule, etc... history has proven that as long as abled people are in power, the society would have lesser problems...

By saying this, I am not defending or saying that Singapore is perfect or better...

Some cases in point... in ancient societies, as long as a country/ society gets good rulers and ministers, they truimph... whether its East or West, democracy or authoritarian...

I have several WEstern friends from EUrope, including UK who decided to be PRs and citizens here because they know how screwed up their system is...

A friend in her late 30s was molested by a 14 year old in London just 2 days ago.... and police can't press charges because he is a minor... and the London tube stinks... same with NY...

Last nite, a friend in LA was in town and he lamented how good the security is when we were walking in the city in the wee hours of the morning...

In the city he lives, shooting and homicide are common... people are accustomed with crime....and one go to high school have to get pass a metal detector.

I am just a citizen, and I don't care who comes to power as long as things work.... if my livelihood and day to day living are compromised, I would be prepared to speak up and vote someone else into power....or I would find ways to get myself heard.... In the mean time, its not necessary.

There is no point bitching and screaming for the damn sake of it....especially when you are off tangent to the topic.

My takeaway from this latest by Mr Wang is we must learn to speak better.... and if the GOvernment can't provide, then my kids are going to take acting courses... writing and bitching here is not going to make you speak better.

Anonymous said...

To: anonFebruary 6, 2010 10:34 AM

______

1. The Free West has dominated the world for the last 200 years despite all the ills within their society. This is ample proof that their system is better than any other system in the world up to now.

2. It has been shown that people in the Free West are better informed, more eloquent and hence able to present themselves better. The experiences of many employers in Singapore testify to that.

3. Sure Singapore is very safe but Singaporeans are deprived of their freedom and human rights. My point is we can be safe and yet have individual freedom and human rights. Singaporeans by nature are a law abiding lots. Singapore is also a relatively small place which make the job of policing easier. If we can do that then we will be a much better society than the Free West.

4. Singapore is attracting lots of foreigners because it is very easy to get into Singapore not only to stay but to work. These people come to Singapore to exploit the opportunities which I think should have been reserved for Singaporeans. Many of these people come to Singapore to improve their quality of lives. The same with the hundreds of thousands of Singaporens who are living overseas.
5. You can speak for yourself but u cannot speak for other Singaporeans who want to voice their unhappiness with the government. You have no right to tell others not to voice their unhappiness over the shortcomings of the pap government. This is our rights and responsibilities to contribute to improve our society.
6. Why are u so keen to silence people who criticise the pap ? If u are happy with your life, good for u. To come here and tell others to shutup exposed u as nothing more than a pap lapdog.

Anonymous said...

To Anon
February 6, 2010 4:13 PM

For one, its best for you to stop calling people names...And like I said before, I am not loyal to any party and would vote for my own advantage... that is democracy, isn't it?

I am not shutting you or anyone up... Please read thru my posts again. I know what I am writing and its a fact that you are off tangent on the topic...

What has being less eloquent got to do with PAP? How can it be proven? Can we be bullet-proof in our evidence?

Have u ever live in the West before?

The West dominated for the last 200 hundred years and because of that their system is better?

If your logic is true, then that similar inference, Chinese and Indian are a superior race because their populations size dominated the world by far....

That is a poor argument! So, I presumed you are definitely not eloquent enough.

The Western Government without the funding of the rest of the world would have stopped operating many years ago.

And democracy has made them to delay doing the right thing... Look at Obama Adminstration, do you think his Democrats would stand a chance if he were to cut Government spending? He would be booted out of office in any election in the senate, etc...

How well do you understand their systems? Have u studied them in depth, if you did not do so in school?

Mark my words, in the next 10 to 20 years, many of these Government would not be able to sustain their debt.... and their aging population would make them collapse.

I think you are just a sore loser who made it through the system as an average joe through our education system... probably an average tertiary-educated person with an average career, if you are old enough, that is.

So, what is human rights to you? To talk whatever we want, before we could put food in our mouth or vice-versa...Did political rivals ever killed by secret police Singapore?

Look at countries who adopted this so call superior system from the very start.... India and Philippines, and many Latin American countries... where are they now?

Have u lived in the UK, Australia, US, etc.?

Yes, I know... you would say we should compare to first world... But didn't these countries adopt the first world standards of democracy?

Philippines system is as close to the US system as it can get.

Do you know freedom of speech and free press could be abused? Who owned these media? The powerful and rich could own them and use them for their own advantage....

Our press is no better but many of these free press in the very democratic countries, including India and Philippines are prostitutes to their own masters... different system but same abuse.

Are u prepared to pay first world taxes because your parents and their parents made their Government overspend?

Have u tried getting service from their civil service? (BTW, civil service do not equate to a political party... they should work for any political parties that come to power).

I am not hung up on systems... just whatever that works...

And I think you did not demonstrate a bullet-proof case. Even if you did, you are still off tangent on this topic.

Amused said...

To: anonFebruary 6, 2010 10:34 AM

Many (bright) Singaporeans give up citizenships each year to become residents of Australia, Canada, USA, UK, etc. Yet Singapore attracts few people from those countries. Your view that Singapore is a better country than those western countries is simply not backed up by facts.

I am sure many great things have been written about Singapore (over other western countries) in your local press. But I can assure you that Singapore receives mostly bad press in the western media.

I understand you are perfectly happy with your present situation. But many Singaporeans have voted with their own feet for a better life for their children elsewhere.

Michael said...

To: Anon @ February 4, 2010 8:43 PM

I was in a rush, so I probably didn't make my point very clear. On hindsight, my comment probably was a little non sequitur.

My point is that there is a lack of emphasis on soft skills from the institutions. The reason I raised the information out there was to preempt the argument that there is a lack of expertise within schools to teach soft skills. Such an argument had been raised as a defense against the teaching of other types of courses, such as ethics, hence I felt it necessary to point out that just because none of the teachers/professors within a learning institution is certified to teach soft skills does not mean that there are no sources of information.

While this point goes both ways, as you pointed out, I personally feel that a stronger emphasis on soft skills by the institution would be more effective in affecting a greater number of would-be professionals and working adults, rather than having individuals graduate with the impression that grinding for 14 weeks a semester and exchanging that for a piece of paper would sufficiently prepare for working life, and then subsequently find that they're lacking.

If I were to put it another way - institutionalizing soft skill learning would theoretically equip students with the soft skills they need, or at least expose them to the idea that raw knowledge is not sufficient. It also allows them to develop such soft skills at an earlier age, hence allowing for more practice and (hopefully) higher proficiency.

While individuals have the resources to adopt such soft skills, they may not realize the importance of such skills, or may only do so at a lamentably late stage of their career. Schools, perhaps, ought to look into offering courses on such soft skills, and draw into the resources publicly available to start building a foundation amongst our students from an early age.

Anonymous said...

Dear Michael,

Thanks for your clarification.

I suppose we have very different conceptions of what the university should stand for. Allow me to sum up our differences in this manner, if I may.

Call me a romantic, but the idea of a 'practical' university scares the shit out of me.

Regards.

Anonymous said...

Hi Amused,

You are right, but not completely. I have many friends who migrated but largely because of marriage.

Where did you get the data to say many are migrating with their feet?

As a matter of fact (if you care to check the Dept of Statistics), this number has come down...

To be honest, I am not 'happy' with the current situtation here. There are many things that could be done better. I dislike the fact that we let in the lower skilled workers, which pushed down our wages of lower skilled workers...

This is a fact... In Dept of Stats, you will also see that although average income has gone up in Singapore (due to some industries like e.g. Finance and Pharmaceuticals)having higher rate of growth in salaries, but the median salaries (the majority) have come down substantially.

Now they want to push for higher productivity, which I suspect is to counter any loss in GDP because GOvernment plans to cut the number of foreigners in Singapore, as a result of locals' displeasure.

I think we should also call a spade a spade and argue according to the topic and based on facts.

Otherwise, 'the problem with Singaporeans' would soon include:-

1) Anyhow complain
2) Everything is because of lack of human rights
3) The root cause of all our problems is the Singapore GOvernment and the root cause of this Government is the PAP, which is a political party in power

Think deeper, and one could blame it all on God or some higher being that put us here to be born in Singapore....

All these will not improve our critical thinking and problem-solving abilities.

complainking said...

I'm in the midst of collating a history of what makes Singaporeans uniquely problematic. Always Complaining.

http://everythingalsocomplain.wordpress.com/

Amused said...

To: anonFebruary 6, 2010 10:34 AM

Aren’t you curious why marriage of different citizenships tend to result in couples leaving Singapore?

Many people have written on emigration, including Mr Wang! Here are some links from a search on Singapore emigration:

http://commentarysingapore.blogspot.com/2006/11/on-emigration.html
http://www.littlespeck.com/content/people/CTrendsPeople-080906.htm
http://singaporemind.blogspot.com/2008/07/dont-say-goodbye.html

Singapore has an emigration, or brain drain, crisis. It claims the second spot in the world, after Timor Leste, in emigration loss. To make the matter worse, its brightest citizens account for a large proportion of people who emigrate.

We are probably off topic and I shall stop here.

Anonymous said...

Hi Amused,

Besides the Nielsen poll (BTW, many years ago, I used to work in a well-known research company), the other 2 are just anecdotal evidence...

Nielsen poll is just an intention and may not necessary would result in action... because decision-making for such a move involves many other variables like loved ones, etc.

If you could do some calculation based on numbers from Dept of Statistics, you could derive (population of year X less year Y less number of deaths, then add number of biths) at the actual number of people leaving Singapore for good (means giving up citizenship), it actually came down substantially since 2005...

Go work it out...When I have time, I will post it here.

In any case, I could not care less if people are leaving, if they can. Its their choice... its their rights, or some of us here would say, Human rights... They could choose what they want...

I believe if some of those surveyed were to:-

1)live in Australia (and pay their taxes, as well as experienced their Government service;
2) Work in the UK (which is in the pits in my view);
3) spend a period of time in the USA (which is in a very bad state now; I studied in the US and one of my siblings lives there permanently),

the average Singaporean would still come back to home...like I did...

The only exception in my opinion would be HK.. which I would go there to work immediately if someone wants me to (problem is housing).

China is great but the tax is still high.

Again, you are still off tangent on this topic, which is about Singaporeans being less eloquent...

And by responding to you, I guess I am off tangent too...so, this would be my last post on this topic...

The said...

/// Anonymous Amused said...
Singapore has an emigration, or brain drain, crisis. It claims the second spot in the world, after Timor Leste, in emigration loss. To make the matter worse, its brightest citizens account for a large proportion of people who emigrate.
February 7, 2010 2:48 PM ///

Amused - what you just said is highly amusing. Singapore has high emigration rate. However, you just look at one part of the equation. Singapore's immigration rate is much, much higher. With the result that it is ranked 10th in world in terms of net migration (immigration minus emigration) at 7.98 per thousand population. You should know this fact - Singapore is now full of foreigners and PRs.

Please, next time, tell the truth, AND the whole truth. Not half truth.

http://www.geographyiq.com/ranking/ranking_net_Migration_Rate_top25.htm

Frae said...

Dear Mr Wang,

I agree with Tan Kin Lian that the reserved nature of Singaporeans is no longer a state but has become a trait that lasted for a couple generations.

I have almost lost all form of hope. But I still do hope that the younger generation of citizens can be trained to take on more interactive approaches like speaking out and voicing constructive thoughts etc. And also, embrace a positive attitude in life, not just lazily blaming the government and they themselves expect the government to do something for them.

What I conclude is that Singaporeans should not depend too much on what they are being given. Instead, they've to be a little more independent in searching for opportunities to contribute and share their positive values for other Singaporeans to emulate, other than whining about the fact of how hellish life is in Singapore.

My take on people who complain so much: If there seems to be no way, create or find a way, or just kill yourself. The easiest way to stop learning in life is to end your life. Else, live with courage and confront life head on!

Anonymous said...

I think we are reaching US standards in terms of whining and complaining... need to be listened to...

Some US Fortune 500 companies have a special team to listen to employees' complaints and greviances...

I guess Singapore's national system for this come in part in the form of 'Meet the People' sessions.

Whether one is in a place full of rights or not, there is more than enough cases to confirm that those who take the onus on themselves to better their lives, make niche, being entreprenurial, trying to their best at work(by real work or kissing up or both) etc... are tend to be more successful on average...

Anonymous said...

This is stuff I mined from the Net.

Number of Singapore-born persons living in Australia (by year):

1991 24,557
2006 39,969

Singaporean nationals who got Aussie citizenship (by year):

1996 443
1997 273
1998 343
1999 310
2000 370
2001 387
2002 392
2003 483
2004 627
2005 759
2006 948

Number of Singapore-born persons in US (by year):

1995 8000
1996 16000
1997 31000
2000 29000
2003 33000
2006 35000


Number of Singapore-born persons in UK in year 2001

40,474

Number of Singapore-born persons in Canada (by year):

1991 7,480
1996 8,580
2001 9,635

I leave it to you to draw any conclusions.

Amused said...

Thanks anon@7:13 PM for the data.

“The” @9:59AM is being disingenuous. Immigration and open door is a public policy in Singapore. It is a tool to grow the GDP and counter low birth rate and high emigration. No other first world country has such a lax immigration policy. When half of your youths desire to emigrate elsewhere, you should be very concerned and not find excuses.

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang, is is Mass CommunicationS or Mass Communication?

It seems that Engineerings and IT people prefer singular, but social sciences prefer plural. Because a one way communicative is not communication proper by instructions. To communicate, it must be at least 3 ways, express, feedback, answer.

Anonymous said...

("In particular, the Indian lawyers," my friend remarked, "are excellent talkers").

That's the reason why most Indians from India don't pass my interviews.

Too much past experience with them has taught me that too many of them talk far better than they work.

In our local context, they are what we call a "talk-cock-king". Yet sadly, it is the talk-cock-king who will successfully fool their interviewers.

I do agree that Singaporeans need to be more articulate.

Anonymous said...

An ang mo NZ friend once told me when recruiting for IT people in NZ:

"kiwis(NZer) say what they can do, Asians mean it."

The said...

Amused - I think you are the one who's being disingenuous and resorting to sophistry. You stated Singapore has the second highest emigration rate in the world. I agree. And I pointed out that you only stated half truth. The whole truth is that Singapore's immigration rate is also among the highest in the world, with the result that its net migration rate is 10th highest in the world. Obviously, a lot of foreigners find it attractive to make their home in Singapore.

What makes you think I agree with the Government's liberal immigration policy? What makes you think I like the idea that my kids are competing with foreign students who are one or two years older?

Anonymous said...

can i know the exact definition of emigration and immigration used in your data? does it comprise permanent residents and citizens, or just citizens?

Anonymous said...

I don't mean to be offensive, but previous past experience working with India Indians - most of them talk a lot - what we call 'smoke' in local context - but only a handful really delivers. Do not particularly enjoy working with them.

Another friend shared with me her experience whose new boss is India Indian: problem - she's responsible, and credit - he takes. This scenario could be common as well in any work setting, but perhaps in this case, her boss is too 'outright' in claiming credit. So again here, an negative experience.

They also build communities - before you know it, the whole department becomes mostly Indians because one got one after another into the company.

Anonymous said...

They are smart and cohesive, unlike Singaporeans, who do not know how to help each other

Singaporeans are more focused on complaining how shitty we are...than helping each other carve a career.

Something we should learn from Indians.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Wang

Off topic but I am sick of my work and would like a career in something more meaningful.

Would you be able to point me in the right direction. Like where I could get career counseling in jobs which are not highly paid.

It seems like in Singapore, everything is about money.

chengguan said...

i guess there is nothing right or wrong being an indian great talker. i knew indian colleagues who is a great talker and great doer in the same body. ultimately it's the interviewer who is responsible for being fooled by incapable candidates. if one has not master the art of interviewing people, spend more time improve oneself rather than throwing out racist/stereotyping comment.

i guess mr wang's friend is kind enough to give him some insights after interviewing people from varies countries. stop complaining and take her comments positively.

by the way, i really feel proud of the comment: "kiwis(NZer) say what they can do, Asians mean it."

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang,

Being an Indian myself,here are my thoughts for the residents from India

1) They know how to talk cock n sing song,in other words,no action,talk only

2) Indians can't stand one another,that ranges from the caste system that was introduced before the colonial system

3)Non-Resident Indians care about one thing,apart from investing heavily in properties back in India,they have no sense of belonging in a community,they don't have a strong bonding among themselves

4) NRIs'(Non Resident Indians) have a bad habit of bragging in front of others,they couldn't care less which country they are located,they are not willing to adapt to different systems,traditions n cultures

5) NRIs' like to show off as well,very demanding,very greedy,is worse than a miser,have a habit of shooting their mouths off in public without any respect or regard to other people,that's why in Australia,they are getting whacked,they just can't keep their mouths shut

6)Last but not least,NRIs' feel the world owes them a living,they are like leeches,they stick to you like glue,sugar coat you like chewing gum,after their flavor loses taste,they run,that means,if other countries offer them a bigger,better package,they take flight

James Michael Parthi

Anonymous said...

"Being an Indian myself,here are my thoughts for the residents from India"

You're not Indian, James. You're Singaporean, but of Indian origin. There's a huge difference.

"1) They know how to talk cock n sing song,in other words,no action,talk only"

WTF? What are you basing this on? Indians are known for talk + action. Look at the Indians here: at every level, from investment banker to construction worker, they are known for their industriousness.

"2) Indians can't stand one another,that ranges from the caste system that was introduced before the colonial system"

It's a love-hate relationship Indians have with each other. Can't stand them, can't do without them...which is why you'll see Indians in Singapore mixing mostly with their own kind, and bitching about each other. And we'd rather mix with our own kind than the local so-called Indians.

"3)Non-Resident Indians care about one thing,apart from investing heavily in properties back in India,they have no sense of belonging in a community,they don't have a strong bonding among themselves"

Bullshit! Indians have a very strong sense of bonding and community. This shows you are just spewing here.

"4) NRIs'(Non Resident Indians) have a bad habit of bragging in front of others,they couldn't care less which country they are located,they are not willing to adapt to different systems,traditions n cultures"

WTF again? The Indian diaspora is widespread, with millions of members in so many countries and cultures. Indians are great at adapting to local cultures, which is why we have such a vibrant diaspora. I can see where this is coming from: Singapore is one of the few places where Indians don't bother to go local, mainly because they have contempt for Singaporeans. And that's bothering you, since NRIs are getting away with it.

"5) NRIs' like to show off as well,very demanding,very greedy,is worse than a miser,have a habit of shooting their mouths off in public without any respect or regard to other people,that's why in Australia,they are getting whacked,they just can't keep their mouths shut"

Hahaha...you're just being mean here. And a Singaporean calling Indians greedy is...well, rich! Singaporeans are easily the greediest bunch in the world. You're simply jealous of the NRIs who are making money, having fun and who will fly away, while you rot on this island. You wish you could whack them, but being a Singaporean you are unable to, so you take vicarious pleasure in the Aussie incidents. Pathetic!

"6)Last but not least,NRIs' feel the world owes them a living,they are like leeches,they stick to you like glue,sugar coat you like chewing gum,after their flavor loses taste,they run,that means,if other countries offer them a bigger,better package,they take flight"

Complete BS! No NRI thinks the world owes him a living, which is why he works so hard. I would say it's the Singaporean who's forever grumbling instead of taking things in his own hands. And Singaporeans are also taking flight; the country with the second highest emigration rate in the world.

You're just a frustrated local who can't stand the fact that NRIs are making a living here and will eventually go back home, while you have nowhere to go to.

Anonymous said...

To : Anon @ February 12, 2010 12:57 PM

PS : James Michael Parthi is my beloved cousin

Why don't you identify yourself?you are indeed a pathetic low-life coward who only knows how to talk,what i have mentioned is what he has gone through personally in his life,James Michael Parthi was born in India,grew up in Spore,served NS for 2.5yrs,he's nearly 32,yet his feat n skills still amazes me,he deals with these NRIs' here in London England where he is studying @ LSE,stop being a pussy n be a real man,do the right thing!

Its not an open secret how NRIs' behave either in S'pore or other parts of the world,its just your narrow minded pathological excuse,i know people like u,i have met people like you,if you r a real man,just come clean,i know what you are up to!

In case if you are wondering who am i,i am just like JMP,a year older,but if you slam him online,it becomes personal,watch what you say,he's talking from his heart,he's got the balls,do u have what it takes?

Jimmy Raj Danker
London,England

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Who cares said...

Who cares
PS : James Michael Parthi is my beloved cousin

Why don't you identify yourself?you are indeed a pathetic low-life coward who only knows how to talk,what i have mentioned is what he has gone through personally in his life,James Michael Parthi was born in India,grew up in Spore,served NS for 2.5yrs,he's nearly 32,yet his feat n skills still amazes me,he deals with these NRIs' here in London England where he is studying @ LSE,stop being a pussy n be a real man,do the right thing!

Its not an open secret how NRIs' behave either in S'pore or other parts of the world,its just your narrow minded pathological excuse,i know people like u,i have met people like you,if you r a real man,just come clean,i know what you are up to!

In case if you are wondering who am i,i am just like JMP,a year older,but if you slam him online,it becomes personal,watch what you say,he's talking from his heart,he's got the balls,do u have what it takes?

Jimmy Raj Danker(whose fragile ego is hurt)
London,England

Anonymous said...

Bullshit! Indians have a very strong sense of bonding and community. This shows you are just spewing here. Among themselves. That's exactly what James is saying.

And we'd rather mix with our own kind than the local so-called Indians. That proves 2 of Jame's points. 1) Can only bullshit. 2) Refusing to integrate.


Singapore is one of the few places where Indians don't bother to go local, mainly because they have contempt for Singaporeans.
Name those FEW places.

You're just a frustrated local who can't stand the fact that NRIs are making a living here and will eventually go back home, while you have nowhere to go to.
Again supports 2 of Jame's points.

1) Good at bullshit since you are contradicting your own points about willing to integrate.
2) Unwilling to integrate.

Anonymous said...

"Among themselves. That's exactly what James is saying."

No. James is claiming the opposite. Apparently you have reading comprehension problems.
James said Indians "don't have a strong bonding among themselves." Which is false. And I was calling bullshit on that.

"And we'd rather mix with our own kind than the local so-called Indians. That proves 2 of Jame's points. 1) Can only bullshit. 2) Refusing to integrate."

Read my post fully, *&^%$! I said Indians integrate well in every international community, except Singapore. Know why? They refuse to integrate in Singapore because:
1) most are transients (from construction worker to Citibank staffer), who will either make money and go back home or make money and move to a better first world country
2) they "think" Singapore has no culture and that the locals are not worth integrating with
3) they are not forced to do so. Singapore is unique in that a foreigner can stay, work, travel, socialize and have a jolly good time with virtually no contact with locals or knowledge of local politics and problems.

I know many Indians who have been here 10 plus years, are PRs owning HDB flats, who say they will never ever become citizens, have practically no local friends. It's a win-win situation -- Singapore is a home away from home where you get Indian food, get to meet Indians and other expats, live the good life.

For many it's just a cleaner, far more efficient version of an Indian city - not a truly "foreign" place.

"Name those FEW places."

I'd say Malaysia and Sri Lanka are two other places where Indians don't feel the need to integrate. But Singapore takes the cake.

"1) Good at bullshit since you are contradicting your own points about willing to integrate.
2) Unwilling to integrate."

Let me spell it out clearly for you. Indians are ready to integrate with local communities everywhere in the world, except Singapore. Happy?

Localize said...

Anon February 15, 2010 3:46 PM
Let me spell it out clearly for you. Indians are ready to integrate with local communities everywhere in the world, except Singapore.

That's racism.

@ Tan Kin Lian, Lucky, Onlooker:
Authoritarian rule might have cause Singaporean to be come meek but We need to be more vocal if we need to get heard.I agree with TKL on this

@ ed : Empty vessel makes the most noise? Mr Wang have been my favorite read ever since he baked good karma with insightful comments.

Learn something from him.

Onlooker said...

Mr Wang is right to send his kids for Speech and Drama.

Localize
How did this thread turn into a thread about Indians when it is about Singaporean's reluctance to speak up for our own rights.

And Yes I must agree empty vessels does make the most noise.

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Anonymous said...

I really feel that this works both ways.

First and foremost, interviews have to be professional unless you are being interviewed for a creative type role of an actress etc.

You really do not want to end saying so much in an interview and talk your way out of a job so I think on the whole, it is just not fair for this headhunter to make a generalized statement that "Singaporeans are not articulate enough".....I think Singaporeans are very articulate....they just do not want the whole world to know about it and there is nothing wrong in that at all.

We must always celebrate our uniqueness and difference instead of always comparing ourselves with the rest of the world....

Anonymous said...

To that rubbish expat Indian, GET LOST. You have about 200 countries in the world to lose yourself. We have more than 1 billion Indians and more than 6 billion people in the world to choose who we want to let in.

Supply exceeds demand. Shoo get lost loser!

Anonymous said...

To that loud mouth expat Indian, you're worth nothing & contribute nothing here except use your talk big words. You expat indians are the lowest form of money chasing slaves here ;-)

Anonymous said...

I'd say Malaysia and Sri Lanka are two other places where Indians don't feel the need to integrate. But Singapore takes the cake.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
And why am I reading the same complaints in American, UK forums about Indians "sticking to themselves, hiring only their own". Then the attacks and unhappiness with Indians in Australia? The Koreans insluting Indians on buses and trains?

Basically, every world class city don't want your nationality. You guys live in your own world of warped logic. SHOO!

KH said...

That Indian expat sure can talk huh?

Indians are definitely one of the most diasporic communities in the world. Maybe because of the personal traits they possess, be it desirable or not.

If that's the case, then so be it. They wanna stay with their own community and away from ours, fine. We don't want them near our house either.

If you just came to our country just to get a shot at a better opportunity somewhere else, please remember this: You need the stepping stone more than it needs you. We don't need you but you need us.

If you think the above statement is not true, why not just pack your bags and leave this instance? We came a long way 40 odd years ago without you guys and I'm sure we wldn't do too bad without you either.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous asking me to GET LOST:

"You have about 200 countries in the world to lose yourself. We have more than 1 billion Indians and more than 6 billion people in the world to choose who we want to let in.'

No, you don't choose. Your elected govt decides it. No one cares for what you think or who you think should be allowed.

" Supply exceeds demand. Shoo get lost loser!"

Typical immature response from immature Singaporean. You are powerless to do anything against your govt, so you vent your frustration here.

"To that loud mouth expat Indian, you're worth nothing & contribute nothing here except use your talk big words. You expat indians are the lowest form of money chasing slaves here ;-)"

More immaturity on display. If I am worth nothing and contribute nothing, your govt wouldn't have made me a PR within 1 year. Get this sad sack! You are nobody, you don't matter, your govt is supreme. All you can do is sulk. And post such immature responses. Grow up!

"And why am I reading the same complaints in American, UK forums about Indians "sticking to themselves, hiring only their own". Then the attacks and unhappiness with Indians in Australia? The Koreans insluting Indians on buses and trains?

Strange why you are trolling US, UK forums for stuff on Indians. Anyway do you have any idea how big the Indian diaspora is? And how old the Indian expat communities in US, UK and Australia are? Learn some history. Don't be a fool, claiming Indians don't integrate.

"Basically, every world class city don't want your nationality. You guys live in your own world of warped logic. SHOO!"

You really need to grow up!

Anonymous said...

"You have about 200 countries in the world to lose yourself. "

But Singapore is great for us - clean, safe, close to home, no need to learn foreign language, plenty of Indian food, many travel options, so many SE places to visit, plenty of opportunity, easy to get PR>buy house>make huge profits...why go elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

"You have about 200 countries in the world to lose yourself."

But why go anywhere else? What better place than Singapura for Indians, especially the south Indians? The weather is great, quality of life is great, religious freedom is guaranteed, the currency is super strong. Now you tell me: why would any Indian leading a cushy life here bother to integrate?

Anonymous said...

Hi KH

"You need the stepping stone more than it needs you. We don't need you but you need us."

Is there any doubt? We flock to Singapore because we need it more than it needs us. Singapore has made rapid progress in such a short span, it's amazing.

Anonymous said...

Looking for redclaw phoon chee yong???????

Anonymous said...

foreign indian shit - "More immaturity on display. If I am worth nothing and contribute nothing, your govt wouldn't have made me a PR within 1 year. Get this sad sack! You are nobody, you don't matter, your govt is supreme. All you can do is sulk. And post such immature responses. Grow up!"

Govt made U a PR loser coz U sure can talk lots of cock here. Get your smelly ass back to your shit hole. Who's immature? U can go on responding to all comments against U, U'r juz another pathetic arogant talk big foreign trash from india. That's who U'r. Go back to home to suck mom pop juice, u immature low caste asshole!

Anonymous said...

Paranoid indian foreign trash responding to every comment against him? Pathetic piece of shit!

Anonymous said...

I think the hullabaloo generated by the article is dying down, so I'll give my quick two-cents' worth. I teach in a top research university in the UK and I'm not sure if the British undergrads are a lot more articulate than the Singaporeans. As is the case with many young people (and maybe also the not-so-young), the British students do not want to look bad in front of their peers, with the result that something as simple as being specifically called upon for verbal contributions in class can sometimes be considered face-threatening for them, to the extent that some even clam up. I have heard staff deride such behaviour as typical of 'mollycoddled white, middle-class kids' in the UK, of whom many here indeed are. I had never encountered something like this when I was teaching in Singapore, even when students were visibly uncomfortable at being put on the spot. While it is debatable as to how representative my experiences are, I do think that the putative articulateness of British students and grads may be overrated.

Arun said...

Indian foreign trash here.

I am truly sorry that some (most?) of my countrymen are such loud-mouthed, ill-mannered thugs. Their behavior repulses me even more than it does you! Please accept my apologies.

Also, I urge all Indian citizens in Singapore to remind themselves that they are GUESTS in this country. The *least* that we could do is to be courteous to our hosts. Please, FOR THE LOVE OF MOMMY INDIA, hold yourself in high-regard and do not stoop low. It doesn't take a lot of courage to be an arrogant lingam on the internet.

That is all. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

"Singaporeans are not as articulate. They don't speak so well. They are more reserved."

Years of conditioning by a larger force.

We have a culture of not daring to speak up in front of authorities. They are the problem.

sunshine said...

I agree completely with Mr Tan Kin Lian. The inability to speak up, I feel, stems from the lack of confidence that most have in their own opinion. And when you can't defend your opinions with moral or ethical values, it becomes paralysing.
Singaporeans may have been taught the ready made, textbook rights and wrongs but when it comes to formulating their own response to a complex, real world scenario, many find it easier to wait and see what the herd would do and then decide. It's so unfortunate but unless people start being told that they ought to have an opinion from a young age, and that there are a set of basic principles upon which any opinion can be based to be universally acceptable, the chances of them growing up to be confident and outspoken are very slim.

Singapore Can Speak said...

There are two groups of youth -- youth who speak out because they want to be heard n they want to be different n they learn to form opinions since young; and youth who do not dare to speak out because they are taught to follow rules and fit in. And you can tell which group they belong to during Q&A Session during Project Work or other project presentation. A pair of siblings decided to create "Singapore Can Speak", and currently, a team of outspoken youth are organizing a nation-wide speaking contest -- it's happening at The Cathay on 15, 22, 29 May n 5 June. It's like Sg Idol n The Arena, with celebrities involved.. i wonder how the youth will fare in this national campaign - www.singaporecanspeak.com