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.