Support Site for The Unemployed & Underemployed
Monday April 15th 2019

Are all Caucasians earning expatriate pay in Singapore?

Most Caucasians in Singapore tend to refer to themselves as expats. However, 99.9% of them are on local salaries.

There is hardly any Caucasian here still on the expat package, which would include housing, kids’ school fees, first class tickets to their country of origin for the entire family annually etc. So please, please, please stop referring to yourselves as expats. It is “inward/reverse racism”. I feel really sad for you.

Would that then make the foreign domestic helpers and construction workers expats also? Going by the definition used here, it would seem that they are.

Our government opened up the doors to you as “foreign talents(?)” to make us more competitive, many of you have not been expatriated by the companies that you work for from your country of origin; you came here looking for a job.

Not every Caucasian is an expat; and not every expat is Caucasian (there are many Japanese and Indian nationals who are expats, earning far more than any local or Caucasian in Singapore). To all you “foreign talents”, stop all these “expat” thing already, thank you.

I am earning over $120,000 annually (after tax and after my portion of the CPF deduction) working in the advertising industry, earning far more than double what my “foreign talent” partner earns. That should give most of you an indication as to whether your pay package is good enough for you to want to be in Singapore.



Too true the term ‘expatriate’ comes from the Latin ‘ex ‘ meaning ‘out of’ and the Greek and Latin ‘patria’ meaning country. literally out of your country of upbringing and or legal residence. Expatriates differ from ‘immigrants’ because they do not intend to remain permanently in their new host country. of course some who started out as expatriates end up staying permanently and then the choice on whether to be seen as (or behave as) ‘expats’ or ‘immigrants’ should be theirs.

Whether you are deemed an ‘expat’ or not shouldn’t be dependant on what you are earning (if you go by the definition it doesn’t have anything to do with money) so lower income workers who are here to earn money and send it home could correctly be called expats too. Of course terms like ‘expat’ do get hijacked and over time become recognised as meaning something different from what they were originally intended!


Editor’s note: This article is retrieved from Singapore Expats forum.

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