Friday, June 19, 2009

Losing our competitiveness

Recently there has been alot of discussions about foreign talent, well almost in all industries there is a huge number of foreign workers especially Filipinos and Chinese Nationals. No doubt in certain aspects or sectors perhaps we are not as developed and may require certain specialties of the foreign talent but how much is sufficient? The recent badminton saga of JJC and RJC, having a full squad 7 Chinese nationals for female team. Well a few perhaps 2 to 3 would be good but having a full team of 7 what our own locals? No doubt many would have been poached to the top sports school, but wouldnt the school alone have other talents as well? Same as some of the industries, we spend hefty sums to hire foreign talent, cant part of the amount be used to nuture or scout for similar talents locally? There seems to be an over reliance on the usage on foreign workers, apart from your Maria maids, Filipinos can be all over especially in service sectors like telemarketing, customer service and retail line as well as healthcare sectors. Chinese Nationals are all around in food and service line as well.
Then again at times I feel some times we only have ourselves to blame for not being competitive giving people or employers reasons to hire foreigners than locals. Was at Action City the other day and asked for an item and the staff, a Filipino greeted with zest "Hello sir, welcome to Action City! Is there anything that I can help you with?" along with a smile. When the item I was looking for was not available she replied "Sorry Sir all our stuff for that series is all displayed there at the display cabinet", walking over and showing the display shelf. It was then followed by "Sir are you a collector of Star Wars stuff? If so if you want you can leave down your number so if there is any Star Wars stuff that arrives we will give you a call". This kind of service offered is excellent, compared to many of the people who just give you the blatant answer "You see do on the shelf have? No means no more" and dont even bother to check for you and many times many staff have poor product knowledge and they do not smile. I enjoy good service and having bad encounters of service seems common at many stores.
I must say foreigners are more passionate in what they do overall as compared to locals, although not all. Greater passion, more hardworking, less or equivalent pay, better attitude and less family commitments all give employers a good reason to hire them than us. If we remain as such, not suprised one day we get eliminated, though overall service has been better I must admit. A simple smile or thank you will give great encouragement or a letter of compliment can be given rather than the usual complains that we Singaporeans love.

Well time for some toys. One of my favourite anime or manga -- One Piece! This is a pirate adventure story highly recommended! The author puts in great effort in his drawings, story and thoughts. One of the best figures for One Piece is the Portrait of Pirates (P.O.P.) series. I have almost all the figures and adding two of my latest acquisitions -- Mihawk and Aokiji. Both are really big and tall and looks really good especially Mihawk. Check out the sword man!

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