“True Blue” Singaporeans? Be true-hearted, Singaporeans, not blue-blooded.

Having sat behind a computer reading resumes for coming 4th year now, I know the pains of hiring locals, and hiring foreigners alike. For the first two years of my recruitment experience, hardly a day goes by without moments where I have to do a facepalm, or starts cursing at my trusty Compaq. (For more details, please feel free to explore my archives)

GE2011 was over for almost half a year now. The newly elected MPs had taken their oaths and already the highlights of the Parliamentary debates were yesterday’s news. But yet, it seemed like the feelings of “anti-foreigner-ism” remained as fresh as it were in May.

In light of an interesting debate that took away an hour of my sleep last night, I feel compelled to write this blog entry.

For those who’d care less to read through all 70 comments, here’s the summary.

A popular online media site shared a link commenting how a local company placed an advertisement seeking specifically Filipino personnel for RPG/AS400 development.

Note: RPG/AS400 is an IT technology that is over 50 and 20 years old respectively. Essentially, it is the great-great-grandpa of the languages we learn in Polys and Unis.

Within 10 minutes of the posting, comments like the following appeared:

“Our Gov prefer the FT than the Singaporean ... That's why there's NO LAW to protect Singaporean.”

Me, having had a memorable experience in hiring AS400 people, simply could not resist posting up the fact that how aged this technology was.

To my surprise, the comments that followed were… “interesting”, to say the least.

“Adeline,the job ad shouldnt specify pinoys.period.”

“Such adverts amount to racism and discrimination. The company could simply advertise "Requiring RPG /AS400 Programmers and Developers". Imposing Race and Nationality requirements in Singapore Job Advertisements need to be dealt with. Meritocracy means Hire on merit. Not race, not nationality.”

“At least this company is honest enough to not waste the time of a job seeking Singaporean. Maybe websites like JobsDB should have a section or marker for us locals, indicating "Singaporeans and Dogs need not apply".

“Adeline you're blind.”

“Adeline Chan ....Maybe you are Pinoy or One of the brainless 60% ...”

Erm, no, the last time I check, my nationality is stated as Singapore, my brain is sitting happily in my skull and I’m only short-sighted.

And wow. “Meritocracy”, “Discrimination. Big, fancy words arrive. *drum roll please*.

The irony of the situation slapped me in the face like a smelly sock that has not been washed for years.

So, these “true-blue” Singaporeans are upset that:
1)      An advertisement posted “Filipinos needed”.
2)      Companies are looking for foreigners for a technology that is so old, even our parents might not have learnt it when they are in school.

For all the fairness that was obligated in the recruitment industry, I only see bitching, cursing about job advertisements with a tag that says “<Insert Foreign Country> needed” or “Singapore PRs welcomed” or basically, any job advertisement that contains the word “Foreigners”.

What about job postings that declares “Only Singaporeans need to apply”? There’re a dime a dozen out there in the Internet, and I see no media bitching and commenting about how “un-Meritocratic” it is to place a job vacancy that likewise, also only specify which nationals need to apply.

How is that not “Meritocratic” or not “Discriminatory”, Singaporeans? Or is recruitment fairness only applicable to Singaporeans?

It is even more so ironic how Singaporeans are being so righteous about a job vacancy not being available to Singaporeans when this is a technology so old, Singaporeans ROFL when presented with this opportunity.

Would they rather Singaporeans learn a technology that is the same age as their parents/grandparents?

Would they rather Singaporeans take up a job that has no career advancement opportunities?

Or would they rather Singaporeans to stay 20 years out-dated while foreigners out there move into the new decade ahead of Singapore with Microsoft, Oracle and SAP?

If that is how “true blue” Singaporeans should think, then this post-GE2011 “assumed-nobility” of Singaporean blood is truly ridiculous.

Yup, these people are “true blue” alright. But it probably will soon mean “truly blue-blooded”.

Be “true-hearted”, Singaporeans, not “blue-blooded”. It will only result in a further degeneration of our country.  

We don’t have to love foreigners either. But neither do we need be xenophobic or extremist.

A very micro-view of this foreigner-issue, but it is pretty clear to me that reiterating macro-views to these true-blue Singaporeans will only mean I am physically and/or mentally handicapped.

Signing off
From the Desk of a Recruiter

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