What is really missing from MOM’s “Singaporean” first employment initiative?

September 24, 2013

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Providing better jobs and diverse opportunities to meet Singaporeans’ aspirations are the ultimate objectives of economic growth. Even as we remain open to foreign manpower to complement our local workforce, all firms must make an effort to consider Singaporeans fairly. ‘Hiring-own-kind’ and other discriminatory practices that unfairly exclude Singaporeans run against our fundamental values of fairness and meritocracy.”

No one in Singapore disagrees with that fellow. But how reasonable is it to expect conditions to improve to create a level playing field for the native looking to land a decent job in Singapore when there seems to be absolutely no solid commitment on the part of government to back up words with black letter law. 

Since these latest MOM initiatives lack that ONE vital element to make possible the issuance of punitive measures in a legal form on errant firms who practice empire building hiring policies – it’s fair to say this gives the aggrieved party hardly all scope for legal recourse or for that matter judicial review – so what do you really have at the end of the day? Maybe you should all go and ask that fellow?

As for me, I don’t really understand what’s the point of this whole exercise (if someone can explain to me like a baby how this is supposed to work, please write to me or better still phone me), if it is not back up with punitive measures – the best way to describe these sort of innitiatives that seem to suffer from a total lack of resolve is to perhaps to simply ask, ‘HEY! WHERE IS THE BEEF?” 

As always,  I give you the facts you go figure it out. Pleazzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzze don’t label me as cynical. If you want to do that supply me a cogent counter argument. As there is more where that came from. You all have no idea how much I am holding back!

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“When you create a system where there are absolutely no punitive measures to signal either seriousness of resolve or intent – then people WILL game the system. This is the first rule of gaming, we all know as the foundation discipline. The latest MOM roll out is no different, its a boh geh (toothless) tiger, positively gummy. 

Besides these are just employment guidelines – and guidlelines should NEVER be confused with black letter law –  they will always fall short of the rigor of black letter law. And make no mistake what is required is firm affirmative action, not panaceas dressed up as effective solutions.

So at the end of the day what MOM is really doing in my considered opinion is appealing to hiring firms to be “fair.” Now the way I see it, you would get far better results, by just handing out free mouse pads printed with Desiderata verses or better still get MOM to engage Deepak Choprak as in house consultant help them banish empire building in the work place – look folks, I don’t understand what is the objective of this exercise? How is this even going to be enforced in a way that solicits discipline?

This in my considered opinion is not the way intelligent and serious folk go about resolving what is obviously a very serious and intractable problem.

I think what we may all need to do instead of shouting out “whopeee!” is to press the pause button and ask ourselves, why are these guidelines necessary now? Think about it! They weren’t necessary before, so why did MOM suddenly feel the need to act now?

Something has shifted. Something must gone bump in the night.

So let us go through all the possible permutations. It is my considered opinion the reason why this is NOW necessary is because the custodians of power have detected an anomaly in their prehistoric radar i.e so many professional sectors in Singapore have been hollowed out of natives to such an extent where they no longer form the core any longer – that’s just another way of saying the intellectual raw material needed to sustain these vocational disciplines in Singapore by Singaporeans have been eroded to such an extent whereby foreigners now make up the core! Let me explain to you what happens when you lose that strategic beach head. They now call the tune. They now play the drum by which we all march! They have become the movers and shakers.

Now if you want to understand why this such a mother of a problem – and you happen to have only two cells of imagination like myself – then it pays to see the problem metaphorically or graphically – in my mind’s eye, it’s really not so different from one of those environmental horror stories we read about from time to time –  where someone who emigrates decides to take along a pot of colorful weeds from the old country to dress up their bonnet for Sunday church or brighten up the porch – suddenly, this innocous weed finds it’s way into the local ecology, begins to proliferate like some alien invader and proceeds to strangle out the local fauna till a tipping point is reached – when the local ecology is transformed to such an extent where the equilibrium goes out of synch and it can no longer replenish it’self. Then it begins to die out leading to an inexorable extinction event – it is conceivable this is the nature of problem we are dealing with in Singapore.

Do you fucks now understand how serious this is?

My point gentlemen is BEFORE you can even attempt to understand whether the solution will be effective. You need to first understand the nature of the problem. This is key. This is strategic.

This will allow you to scale the threats and opportunities to make an informed decision as to whether the latest roll out by MOM will be effective. In my opinion it is like trying to bring down a three metric ton wild elephant with a pea shooter. It’s not going to come around.

Am I exaggerating the problem? I don’t know. Am I right? I don’t know either. I have been wrong many times. All I know is, IF the catalyst for MOM action has anything to do with the erosion of the core that makes possible the very idea of perpetuating professional disiciplines in the Singaporean way – then it’s a very big problem – as losing the core is the equivalent of losing the strategic capability to steer a vocation or professional discipline according to your terms – that’s to say, if you want banking for that matter any vocation under the sun to have a Singaporean DNA just like how the Swiss are able to create impeccable time pieces which are markly different in their superiority to other watches produced by other nations – then what is needed is the intellectual reservoir necessary to create something like the Swiss Certificate of Chronometric Precision. Or to take another example, how the French have been able to differentiate themselves from new world wine through their uniquely French Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée – my point is these are core competencies which are all embeded in the national psyche.

To accomplish this what is needed is to nurture a critical mass of native intellectuals to be in power to perpetuate those disciplines under Singapore’s terms. Not to leave it all to the vagaries of the free market to somehow fashion this thing called competitive advantage – . Bingo! Did you feel the earth shake? Now you understand why neither Geneva or Bordeaux seems particularly interested in trying to squeeze 6.5 million people into a telephone booth – their custodians of power have a coherent strategy how to nurture the local talent to create a world class brand – ours appear to be clueless and have instead opted for steroid fueled growth through happy go lucky immigration in the hope that something spectacular will emerge. It will not.

The logic is not so different from our own game – where we create a hegemony or oligrachy to control the ebb and flow of e-commerce in the virtual – so if you happen to be an American or German, you can never usurp power from us – as we will make sure we have enough votes to control the destiny of the game, just like the Hasidic Jews who have managed to successfully monopolize the global diamond trade. Or the Mawari’s in India who have somehow managed to monopolize the clove trade from East Indian all the way to the Eastern tip of Africa in Zanzibar – the key to control is to have your kaki lang (own tribe) at the apex of the pyramid.

In the case of Singapore, it’s conceivable the custodians of power opened the doors so wide and worst of all they did not have a coherent strategy in place to nurture a critical mass of native intelligentsia to perpetuate many of these vocations and industries under Singapore’s terms. I suspect many people don’t realize how fragile a social ecology can be. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a vocation, sports or even the week end warrior line dancing social club that meets every Sunday under a bridge – when a critical mass of natives are not groomed and given the opportunities to hold on to the reins of power and the whole idea of meritocracy is gives way to free and unmitigated flow of skills or labor then what can only happen is, the means to perpetuate that vocation, sport or hobby under that countries terms will fall into foreign hands – that is why today, you find that certain vocations and sports which were previously helmed by locals have given way to what I can only refer to a ghettoism – as when too many natives are squeezed out, then the whole master and apprentice symbiotic relationship that makes possible the idea of perpetuating a vocation and handing over the baton fritters away. What you end up with instead is a social Chernobly.  

Just imagine if the Germans or French Guilds in our game control the Interspacing Mineral Rights, then where will we all be? We will be all be peddling virtual tissue paper in some space station and since no one ever falls sick in the virtual, we all be reduced to a pushing trolley cum bag man tribe – now you all understand why I have to regularly give speeches in the virtual along with start wars. You should all thank me for saving your bacon instead of regularly calling me hurtful names like Adolf Hitler and Stalin. My point Gentlemen is I do whatever that is necessary to ensure the survivality of our tribe by making sure power only remains with us and no one else! If they are smart. We milk them dry! But we never ever sell the shop! But I digress.

Understand this! Gentlemen this is a very serious problem. And the fact that it has been neglected for the last ten or more years can only prompt many to ask why was such a serious problem given such perfunctionary treatment – not only has it been given scant attention by the apparatus of mass assimilation that seems to do very little 24/7 except forward the sugary homily illusion – all is well in paradise – till today we don’t even have a means to scale the magnitude of the problem to even ask basic questions like,  how many native PMET’s have been discriminated or for that matter how many have been denied the whole idea of the level playing field in fields of employment or even what is the long term implications of what I can only describe in polite terms of “lackdaisal” immigration policies.

It’s even conceivable the problem has now escalated from acute to perhaps even systematic – in which case the latest measures would be akin to trying to cure terminal cancer with a Panadol. Good luck lah! That is all I have to say – that is all those clowns deserve. I rather watch that girl in Youtube swing any day…I believe, I can learn more from her than those bunch of losers. The way I see it, we have lost the ball – and let me tell you this, once you lose it, it’s game over. Don’t think for one moment, its so easy to reconstitute all the social attributions and social networks necessary to sustain a vocation – it isn’t and once you lose such a thing, it’s a very sad thing. As it gone and its best to just accept your lot. This is why stupid people should never dabble with things they don’t understand.”

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