Questionnaire for foreign executives working in Singapore
Transitioning (T): Thanks Kumar for responding to our questionaire on foreign executives working here in Singapore. Can you please state your educational qualifications, salary range, age, marital status and work experience?
Kumar (K): My education includes MBA (IT), B.E. (CS), PMP, P2P, PSP, and some technical certifications. Salary approx. 6K SGD per month. Married. 9+ years of IT experience.
T: How long have you work in Singapore? Are you on a work permit or already a permanent resident?
K: 5 years. 4th year SPR.
T : Describe how you view Singapore both as a place of work and residence?
K: Residence: very expensive now. Work: A lot of bullying irrespective of Work Permit Holder, SPR or Citizen.
T: Why do you choose Singapore to live and work in?
K: I did not have the option to choose. I was asked to work here by my company.
T: How do you feel about the recent anti-foreign sentiments brewing in Singapore?
K: This is the real need of the hour. Victims like me need to be guided and helped to overcome such situations. There should be a proper jurisdiction/law in Singapore against such bullying irrespective of the resident status (citizen, permanent resident, or employment visa).
T: Personally, do you face any xenophobic reaction from the local people here?
K: Racism is visible clearly in public transport like MRT, Buses, OR in employment opportunities, OR while trying to get a house on rent. It hurts because we feel that we can never merge in their society, no matter what ever we may do.
T: What do you think the country should do to better integrate foreigners into the society?
K: MOM should change the employment act to accommodate bullying complaints from anyone on WP, EP, PR, or citizen. Labour laws of many other developed nations have already recognized this and given provision to listen such complaints.
T: Do you have any good local friends in Singapore that you can go out with or talk to?
K: Even citizens accept that they have been bullied badly at some point. Everyone is aware of it but eventually no one can help in this.
T: Will you take up citizenship and sink your roots into Singapore?
K: Never. The way new citizens have been treated here, never in my dreams also.
T: What one thing do you hope to see change while living in Singapore?
K: Think of the poor people (household income < 8000) also. Singapore has the highest intensity (1 out of 6 is a millionaire) of rich people in the world. The bullying victims are mostly from this poor category.
End of interview and thank you.
Editor’s note: We wanted to meet up with this FT to discuss more about his office bullying issue but so far he has rejected us. He prefers a voice chat online which we are not comfortable with. His story is highlighted in our blog before – Indian IT professional suffering from office bullying.