Friday, May 25, 2007

Price of Profits....

Yesterday I was at a coffeeshop in Bukit Merah. The coffeeshop helpers used to be aged Singaporeans who have been there for many years but yesterday I was greeted by a strong Shanghai accent. The new coffeeshop helpers were young, relatively pretty and were quite energetic at their jobs.
Actually, even in my job, I prefer to hire younger technicians from China because I'm responsible for saving cost and making money for my company. Many of these technicians have become good friends and they are actually good & hardworking people. I've nothing against them. They are here primarily due to policies of our extraordinary govt who brought them in great numbers to help businesses become more profitable. But ever wonder where that leaves old folks who are told to work longer and retire later? .....In the past whenever the economy booms, the job market tightens up and older workers get a bit of a chance for a decent non-menial job. Very often they are able to prove themselves. However, these days with an unlimited supply of youthful workers, most employers wouldn't give someone older a chance even when the economy is good.

The reason why you see so many old cleaners who are Singaporeans is because they have to take up jobs that even the foreigners do not want! I'm sure those Shanghainese girls at the coffeeshop rather stay back in China than to come to Singapore and work as cleaners and laborers. Now that they are here, it would be unfair to ask them to go back to China.

The foreigner talent policy was sold to Singaporeans as means to attract the best talents. It ended up as a open floodgates that depressed the wages of the lower income and old. Many are willing to take up lower pay because they are here for the short term and whatever they earn buys alot back home where the cost of living is much lower. Singaporeans who can't leave end up worse off as their wages go down and cost of living rises.

Company profits as a % of GDP is at a historic high, income gap is at a historic high. As we head for top 1st world status our cost of living is at historic highs. ....but the wages of the bottom 30% may be heading for historic lows if you adjust for inflation. Many can't even pay for necessities and end up with arrears for their utilities and rental.
Singaporeans are so lucky to have an extraordinary govt one that works for the interest of its citizens and know what motivates them to work harder. Nothing motivates better than poverty and income gap. ...and there is plenty of motivation to go around these past few years.


KIN said...

Interesting point of view. No wonder the drinklady at my coffeeshop suddenly becomes a dreamgirl for some.

Our govt dun have parents working as hawker helpers and janitors. How could we expect them to understand the plight our oldies are going through? Just as a transport minister dun commute using public transport daily, how does he or her understand the public's cry for better transport system?

I guess it's up to ourselves to take care of our parents and help our oldies whenever we could. Oldies can't work, the younger ones work doubly hard lor. If not, carry on dreaming about merging back to Malaysia.

nowheretogo said...

experiencing the same here. near may work place, alot of coffeeshops are hiring these china FT. Mind you, not only are they young, but also pretty. easily can pass-off as students.

maybe a strategy employed by the owners to attract customer. eye-candy for the custtomer. only problem is with communication. try order, kopi-c, kopi-c siew tai, etc.

anyway who cares?

blueheeler said...

pity the 'foreign talent' thing doesn't apply to our cabinet minister and MPs. I bet you that for their salaries, we can build the best mercernary govt in the world!!!

Anonymous said...

A taxi uncle once told me "In Singapore the poor help the poor, the rich help the rich". That's why you see ministers benchmark themselves to the top 20 earners, because the rich are their friends, they help one another to get richer.

LuckySingaporean said...


Someone was suggesting Clinton. He ran the USA smoothly for 8 years at a fraction of what our ministers are paid. The other possibility is Tony Blair.

Ned Stark said...

We can always get George Bush, Wolfowitz and gang. And i dun think Wolfowitz would need to worry about any back lash if he gives his girlfriend or even himself a pay raise.

Anonymous said...

Aiyah, the drink lady is foreign talent lah. With her looks, she is probably able to bring in more business $$$ for the coffee shop.

As for the elderly, do what one of our esteemed government economists said: go for the unglam jobs. They are plenty, e.g. cleaners, garbage collectors and tissue sellers.

Can't wait to see more screwing in progress...