Support Site for The Unemployed & Underemployed
Monday January 14th 2019

52-year-old Malay retrenched safety co-ordinator struggling with prolonged unemployment

I am a 52-year-old unemployed of a Malay race. I have been unemployed for 1 year plus and the help I received so far is from the CDC.

I got retrenched from the position of safety coordinator I worked for due to end of contract and the person that is sitting on the position now is a foreign worker that I trained before.

I guess you know how I felt.

I am trying my best to find a job now but whenever I go for the interviews, the first question they asked me is how much are you asking for. I replied,  “Negotiable.” “ Do you want to go for the same pay as ten years ago?” how should I answer, of course not??? A foreigner took away my job that paid me $4500 per month to support my family.

I was the sole breadwinner of the family. Due to my unemployment, my wife started to find a job and is now working. They said can give me $2000 for the job role i was in but is it enough for me? To the foreigners, $2000 to them is a considered a lot and they are very happy with it. To me? I have housing loans to pay, household expenses, my children’s education and savings for the future and the transportations as well…

When I went to CDC to ask for help, they said there is no job so far for my job role in the safety line. I was stunned. Singapore is so big and there is no vacancy for my position?

Work is my life, and it is about money, everything in Singapore is about money. Work to survive, work for the family etc. Although I may not have decent food for my family now, at least we still have something to eat. I hate when somebody comes to complain to me that the food is no good, I will get mad. Just eat whatever that is still on the table. Thank God there is still some food on the table.

If the only food is pork on the table, I will eat it to live. I am not going to die. I cannot be dead. If there is only one food on the table and that is pork, I am going to eat it up. That is what my religion tells me to. You eat to live not live to eat. You just eat to live.

Luckily I have very supportive friends and family members, we talk about employment issues and all the stress I am facing. My wife is very understanding. I don’t mind do household chores when I am unemployed as she is now working. Even when I am employed, I do the cooking. We stay by our side and face the problem together.

I am just trying my best to work for my family and if they (the foreigners) take away my job how am I going to survive in Singapore? I did go for courses under NTUC to upgrade myself. But is it enough? I am not too sure now.


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10 Responses to “52-year-old Malay retrenched safety co-ordinator struggling with prolonged unemployment”

  1. jazzie says:

    The hard truth is $4.5k is way above market for just a co-ordinator job. Not surprised that the company would retrench once they have the chance. Most associate/executive roles for degree holders in SG is 2.5-3.5k, 4.5k is the pay of an experienced mid-career Assistant Manager in big companies or a branch manager in retail/F&B/hospitality side, definitely not a coordinator.

    Hamzah had a good run in the past clinging on to a job that paid way beyond the market, he needs to acknowledge that it’s over and move his salary expectations to a more realistic level. If this means lifestyle adjustments for the family then so be it.

    A local safety coordinator in civil service / stat board is roughly a Div III job that pays 1.8-3k depending on experience. Use this as a guide for setting pay expectations during interview. If you are going to insist on 4.5k for a coordinator job might as well don’t bother with the interview.

    • jj@41 says:

      Even if Hamzah doesn’t ask for $4.5k salary, that also don’t mean many companies will be interested to hire him as a safety coordinator due to his age n S’porean identity.

      Many companies aren’t interested in hiring S’poreans, they prefer hiring foreigners.

  2. Robert Yong says:

    My dear friend,

    I know times are very hard for you. But please take whatever job you can get for now. At least you would then have an income and pray that no one else (especially the lousy FTs) would take away your job. Remember this ; “When the going gets tough, the tough gets going”.

    Take care. God Bless You.


  3. Tony Voon says:

    Hi bro, not sure which industry you from, just share my perspective on the construction sector.

    Over here safety coordinator even local experienced type at most can only make 2.5 – 3k a month including all the allowance and OT. Only site managers get 4.5k

    So if you are getting a safety non-exec job in construction, even with experience and age at most will pay about 2.4k basic salary.

    • jj@41 says:

      At one time, WDA n e2i pushed out various safety courses n job vacancies for construction n shipyard sectors. Of course as usual, they will tell you the great career prospect of working as safety personnel. Many people signed for the courses n apply for the jobs.

      Now, it all went quiet.

  4. xyz says:

    Foreigners with so-called engineering degrees are doing the job for $1.8K. Those with 3-4 yrs experience are getting $2.2K. These are people in their 20s, trim & fit, know the latest international safety standards & techniques & equipment.

    Hamzah is in his 50s, may not know the latest international techniques & standards, know only from on-the-job monkey see monkey do, have medical issues, not very fit. Job may also be just admin-style — just talk cock & shoot simple e-mail & forms to different parties. Which even a foreigner from overseas countryside can do. And his salary can pay for 2 foreigner coordinators plus a foreigner admin assistant.

    Who do you think bosses will hire?!?

  5. Texas says:

    S$4.5k for safety coordinator is really bullshit all the way !!!

    • jj@41 says:

      May it is true that he used to draw a monthly salary of $4.5k bcoz of his experience, qualification, good performance n long servicing in the company, but as company mgmt felt that it is time to let him goes n replace him with someone cheaper?

  6. sal says:

    The politicians in Malaysia get paid cheaply, do you want them to be our ministers? ..its about policies, you only employ FWs where Sporeans don’t want to do the jobs?

  7. Norisham says:

    Hello Hamzah,

    There this saying goes ” WHEN THE DOOR IS CLOSED THE WINDOW IS STILL OPEN” so have faith in ALLAH my brother ALLAH will never for those who never ALLAH.

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