Dear Editors,

I worked in a financial futures company sometime in 2007. When I started with the company, the managing director, heads of department, back office managers were almost all local citizens with a few PRs occupying these posts. The staff were mainly Singapureans with a few Malaysians and Indonesians due to language ability as the customer base of the company spanned the ASEAN region.

About 2 years later, the managing director was replaced by an Indian from Mumbai. This new MD was mostly lost about what the company actually did and went about asking all sorts of basic operational questions that set us thinking ‘what the hell’? We know now that there was a high chance his academic qualifications were fake although we did not suspect it at that time. In any case why would someone from Mumbai get hired to run a financial company in Singapur?; the number 3 or 4 major financial center in the world after London, New York and Hong Kong?

As the months passed, all the local heads of department were replaced one by one by Australians and Britons. The customers who had interacted with locals suddenly found themselves up against the arrogant and racist outlook and attitude of the new managers with their “take it or leave it “attitude and the local staff were often caught in awkward situations between their bosses and the clients that they served. In the back office, the operations managers were replaced by Australians too. Was this even necessary? The company looked like an ethnic cleansing zone. They even employed this Caucasian to man the phone lines and he had to ask for help whenever he picked up a caller who spoke Bahasa Melayu, Mandarin, Hokkien, Cantonese and so on. This company ran itself into the ground in 2012 and is no longer in existence. Nobody in Singapur misses it, I would think.

When the esteemed ( to some people anyway) Lee Hsien Loong pronounced that foreigners create jobs, I tried to gel that statement to what happened in my career at that time but failed. Foreigners come and do jobs that Singapureans cannot and do not want to do is another motherhood statement that cannot find anchor in reality as far as PMET jobs are concerned.

This is just one company that I personally worked in that so blatantly discriminated against local born citizens and nobody could do anything about it. If our elected representatives allowed these situations to happen what do we want them for? I know that this is still happening in many companies in Singapur right at this moment in 2015 and there are many frustrated locals out there. If you have any such stories I encourage you to write and share them online in the lead up to 11 September 2015. We need to let as many people as possible know how dire the PMET employment situation is in Singapur and the only chance to do something about it is in our very own hands and on only one day this year.

It is your call to live a better and more dignified life from now on in your own country or wallow for the rest of your life here subject to discrimination, lack of opportunities and fade into shameful nothingness. You can choose to be meek but do not subject your own children to a fate that you can help prevent.

A.S.S. Contributor

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