London Olympics has proceeded towards the final week. Singapore’s Feng Tian Wei won a hard-earned bronze for table tennis female singles, making the Little Red Dot on the ranking #52 today. I think USA is going to lose its No 1 place very soon, taken over will be China. Let’s see.
My sons Robin, Dominique and I chatted over breakfast about general sentiments of the people in Singapore what they think of the achievement. As nation’s 47th birthday is drawing near, the winning rightfully calls for attention and patriotism. Few people really feel proud of it. I have mixed feelings. Some said medals were won by “Made in China” Singapore representatives. But ask again, is naturalized Singaporeans good enough?
My 2 teenage sons said some disgruntled Singaporeans voiced their denial to acknowledge that this is the achievement Singapore should be proud of. So sad…how long does these people take to finally come to terms that imported talents are here to stay?
Some “creative” fellows even came out with funny acronym of FTW for Foreign Talent Worker derive from Feng’s name. Certainly, deriding foreign-born talent for bringing glory to Singapore in the sporting arena while donning Singapore colours, name calling is unhealthy and contagious.
Last Saturday, I attended a Standard First Aid Refresher Course to renew my certification as a neighbourhood committee of Community Emergency Response Team. The course trainer Eduardo was a Filipino. He was funky, the class interesting. Our local trainer, unfortunately, paled in comparison.
The ex-paramedic from Manila brought with him the expertise from his hometown. Eduardo shared exotic stories about how his previous paramedics’ job are different from Singapore – it was a lot more challenging, of course.
Eduardo said Singapore Ambulance 995’s standard response time of 7 to 15 minutes is a far cry from Manila’s 40 mins to 1 hour. Equipment in ambulance for Philippines and Singapore differ greatly also. Eduardo said people in Singapore is a lot more fortunate. We should not complain.
Ya, it’s quite true. That’s about foreign talent and how we are fortunate to be in Singapore, in a foreigner’s eyes.
On the other hand, to relate to the disgruntled Singaporeans, as a mother of 3 boys, I think I can feel for them whom I suspect previously served NS. Some people created a video clip in Youtube “NS for Singaporeans, Jobs & Scholarships for Foreigners”. It’s quite emotion-provoking with newspaper cuttings of fatal accidents in army camps and during military trainings, scholarship and 6 out of 10 jobs to foreigners.
Tragic news about NSF died during duty are so negative. No mothers dare to say they are not worried for their sons’ safety in NS. I read the news with sadness. These kind of news came out quite often, some unreported.
My eldest son Robin is only 4 years away from national service. And what happens when he completes NS. With 2 years in military, he will be behind his foreign peers. From primary school, kids have to compete for places in good schools, good grades. When they are older, for university places and jobs. Some time back our dear Singapore ministers and PM Lee announced in news offers of scholarship to bright, eager, hungry foreign students. No wonder they lose one GRC and a single ward constituency to the opposition party. The people is not supporting the opposition but to give a wake up call to government not to be too arrogant.
This afternoon, I met my ex-neighbour Roy at the supermarket. Roy is an aerospace engineering student at NTU, but now doubting his choice of course. He cited starting pay miserable and prospects is limited. He wants to be Singapore Airlines pilot. I just checked on Singapore Airlines website, there were no cadet pilot positions available at this point in time. Instead, news that Singapore Airlines was asking their pilots to take no pay leave are nothing new. Where are job opportunities? The young men are cornered with limited choices….
This is a sad truth which Singaporeans have to accept. Unlike my era there was less competition, today’s youth’s life is filled with lots of challenges and changes.