Friday, December 09, 2011

How not to be an economic migrant

I came across this hilarious interview of a foreign worker on Lucky Tan's blog. 34 year-old Norman Lu is an economic migrant, a foreign worker who is not even a permanent resident of his host country. IMHO, Norman can be used as a textbook example of "how not to be an economic migrant".

I commented my 2 cents on Norman's attitude on Lucky Tan's blog on 9/12/11 at 18:34.


[Addendum on 02-Feb-2012: My comment on Lucky Tan's blog on 9/12/11 at 18:34.]

At 0:48, Norman Lu said, “Another like 10% I will leave this country because I can EASILY find another job opportunity in another country.”

[Caps above added by me for emphasis.] Sorry to break your dream Norman. If your "another country" refers to China or Taiwan, then maybe you'll be able to find another job easily.

But if you are like many other China Chinese who are here in Singapore only to use it as a springboard to other English-speaking 1st world countries, then please listen up. With your barely passable English, you are unlikely to land an equivalent professional job as a health-care consultant in such countries. Most of these countries have labour laws to protect its existing workforce and systems in-place to ensure conversational and written English competency, equivalent job skills competency and recognition of professional/education qualifications before a foreign-trained worker is able to apply for professional jobs. Only Singapore is so cheap as to welcome any Tom, Dick or Harry into its professional workforce.

In fact, you may find yourself struggling to fit even in a minimum wage job if you venture to such countries. I am speaking from my observation of numerous China Chinese professionals who migrated to Canada. They had held professional job titles such as HR manager, IT manager, marketing consultant, accountant, financial specialist, statistician, PhD researcher, etc, before landing in Canada. Some think highly of themselves, self-appraised that their English is excellent and that they have experience in running businesses and corporations... only to fall flat on their faces and/or face repeated challenges at work because their English really suck (especially their inability to understand Canadian-accented English) and they don't understand that the western work culture don't run on "guan xi" alone (that there are rules to be followed).

So yes, I understand that the change in rules does not work in your favour and that you're disappointed. But you have a choice. You are welcomed leave Singapore if you don't like its new rules. There are many other equally talented (and possibly more humble) foreigners waiting to take over your spot in Singapore, given its open door policy to foreigners.

p.s. Learn some social grace before you decide move on to another country. Singaporeans are rather tolerant of arrogant foreigners (no thanks to the Singapore government's propaganda and the government-controlled media). In other countries, you are likely to be rebutted in-your-face (possibly even by the interviewer) for your assumption that "since I contribute some years to your country's economy, I should deserve the same rights a citizen".

Just to share, another socially-ugly PRC couple.


Just one more point to add. To be interviewed by the mainstream media (MSM) in Singapore is no big deal. Even a cannon fodder like me has had 2 in-depth interview requests from representatives of the Singapore MSM. These include a request which ding-donged several times through an intermediary organization because the MSM reporter/editor was trying to persuade me to agree to an interview (known or anonymous, up to me).
To put it simply, I turned down both requests. I did not want to be a propaganda tool of the indirect tool of the PAP government.
In conclusion, IMHO, being interviewed by the Singapore MSM is really NO. BIG. DEAL.

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