Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Can Singaporeans run fast, or are they "entitled" to win the race?

 

This Straits Times article has been rattling a lot of people lately. Read the comments and see at all the hidden finance and economics professors come out of hiding and rally to the Keyboard Warrior Army. Five Stars and a Moon had a great follow-up regarding the article, I'll leave it to interested people to read it.

Personally, my weightless opinion on a subject that everyone has already taken the opposite stand?

He's absolutely right.

I have been fortunate enough to travel to many places in the world and I have to say, most normal people work hard for a living and they don't expect anything from their government. In fact, they buffer in that their government is going to screw them over from time to time.

Too high standards of living and tough competition locally? They all either upgrade themselves, or migrate. What else can they realistically do? They don't complain about their lives and blame it on everyone except themselves, that's for sure. They just do what has to be done, not what they prefer to do. Therein lies the entitlement problem.

Maybe I've chanced upon rare cases of such tenacity and fighting spirit, but I feel most of my brethren would just lie down and complain, rather than stand up and do something about their situation.

The world is changing, and the ones that stay the same, are the ones that get left behind.
The only way to stay ahead of the labour curve as an individual is to learn, progress and keep running faster than everyone else to keep the advantage you have. The Red Queen Theory.
If you are unfamiliar with the Red Queen theory, perhaps now is a good time to think about it.


If we aren't improving ourselves, then your worst fears of "FTs come steal our jobs" will become an all too true reality.

If you're so damn good and skilled at your job, what do you have to worry about cheaper FTs coming to undercut you? After all, you provide such superior quality, right? /sarc 

Let's simply this: If someone is better, faster, cheaper and doesn't godamn complain so much all the time, wouldn't they get your job?

You bet your sweet ass, they will.

Just some food for thought.

Okay la, nevermind. Since you're Singaporean and this race is held in Singapore, you automatically win. This debate. This job. Your next job. And everything else you want. What else you want? Everything also can la. You're Singaporean, right?

Don't worry. You're entitled to it, hor?

18 comments:

  1. Hello GMGH,

    Your opinion struck a chord with me. I was reading the same article a few days ago and I was thinking about the issue.

    I had an example to relate. In my current position, I have the opportunity to interview candidates whom we'd like to hire to work in my department. In our job description, we had put in keywords like "training" so that we can attract new hires from outside the industry.

    In reality, we would prefer candidates whom had demonstrated a self-improvement attitude, since the job has a really steep learning curve and we cannot possibly teach everything.

    To my dismay, there are many young candidates who interviewed, and they were "expecting to be trained". They did not even take the initiative to learn more about the industry on their own.

    If spoon feeding is the mindset of our youth, then Singapore is in really deep trouble.

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    1. Hi SRSI,

      Did you read another article titled, "What dark secret is in the Singapore basement? "

      I thought it was also very interesting and gave me food for thought.

      Hopefully there is some mindset change soon, but I can't really envision it without our country going through some turmoil and hardship first, to come to that realization.

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  2. Hi SRSI

    I just got a feeling that with all the past election and upcoming one approaching, Singaporeans feel like they have a case to argue to get what they "deserve" to get without increasing the productivity. This is of course just apply to a minority bunch but we are feeling it.

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    1. Hi B,

      I'm actually quite excited for the upcoming elections. In the past I was not so interested in politics, but after I've come to the realization that politics and economics are largely linked, I have become a lot more interested.

      I wonder if the government will bite the bullet or end up placating everyone.

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  3. Hi GMGH,

    I totally agree with you. I have travelled and met many people from the region and none of them ever think the government should do more for them. They even know that their govt is corrupt, inflation is very high but they can't change it. Rather than complaining, they have plans to move away and send their kids overseas and do something with their own lives. All of the foreigners would love to stay in Singapore but yet some of our locals don't feel proud of their own home. I feel sad about it.

    Anyway, I am sure that there are still more people who are proud of Singapore and they don't complain.. empty vessels make the most noise after all.

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    1. Hi Jes,

      I think travelling really broadens one's perspectives. It is so easy to point out what is imperfect, but if people compared other governments to ours, I think is is objectively clearer whose government is doing a better job. Many people don't recognize the positives that we enjoy, but instead only focus and voice out the negatives.

      Aye, I would like to think that you are right Jes. Reading the comments on the Straits Times article is very depressing.

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    1. Sorry, what did you say? I accidentally deleted your comment. I must be having a very free day today. *yawn*

      Delete
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    1. Say what again about being a prawn?

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    1. 3 strikes, anddddddddddddd you're out!

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    1. Call police. Write letter to your MP.

      Come, I clap for you. What else you want?

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  8. I think people who feel insulted by this article should really take a step back and really look at themselves and also our society. The hard truth is that Singapore is in a very vulnerable position and we as a country must, to put it crudely, prostitute ourselves or risk becoming irrelevant to the rest of the world, whom which we rely almost entirely on. We have to compete and cut cost in all areas. We are already facing growing and imminent threat from regional and Asian countries, who have a lot more determined and hardworking people than us. Look at the major economic sectors in Singapore - financial sevices, manufacturing, marine and offshore etc, these can be gone in an instant once other regional players get their game on. If you are not willing to put yourself out there and strive to work hard, you are essentially a liability to this country and that is why the government prefers, or rather, has no choice but to bring in foreign workers/talents, to drive the economy. Complaining about shit won't help or change anything as this is the way our country is by nature of its economic situation. I concede that this kind of life is not for everyone and for those who do not like it, seriously consider to migrate overseas to somewhere with a slower pace of life. I myself am also contemplating a move.

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    1. Hi Anon,

      Thank you for preaching patience and perspective. Missing out the forest by focusing on a tree happens to all of us.

      Your view is very pragmatic. I agree with you that this kind of life is not for everyone. Before I landed my job, I was seriously considering working overseas. I didn't think I could handle the daily "grind". However, family, friends and food kept me grounded here and after a while, I don't find it too bad for me to adjust to this adult working lifestyle.

      Mostly it was the food though. I'd dream about roti prata when I was overseas studying, haha

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  9. Hearing it for the first time on the red queen theory ... Thanks!

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    1. It's a pleasure to share what bits of info I know :)

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