Friday, April 9, 2010

Accusations that employers prefer to hire foreigners are so unfounded!


Ah Tan, Ah Lim, Ali and few other colleagues were seated in a newly opened posh Italian Restaurant. They were flipping and studying the slightly weighted posh menu seriously while the waitress stood by their table. After Ah Tan made his order, he turned to talk to Halimah who was sitting next to him.

AH TAN: Halimah, I heard that recently your panel has been investigating on some work discrimination issues?
HALIMAH: Yes, Tan, and you know what? Those accusations that employers prefer to hire foreigners over Singaporeans are so unfounded doi! Just like what we've expected!
ALI (speaking to the waitress in a slightly loud and impatient voice): What you say?

Waitress mumbled something in heavy accent.

ALI (frowning): Alamak, I don't understand you lah! Adoi!
AH TAN (shouting over to Ali): Ali! She's asking you how you want your Homestyle Roast Duck to be done!
ALI (still frowning and shouting over to Ah Tan): Brudder! This is duck not beef yah? How I know duck also got rare or not rare doi!
AH TAN (chuckled): Hahaha... so how do you want it to be done?
ALI (to the waitress): Well done, of course! Who wants to eat raw duck?

The waitress hurriedly wrote down Ali's order.

AH TAN (turned towards Halimah): Sorry, where were we?
HALIMAH: Oh... that we found out that it is so not true employers prefer to hire foreigners over Singaporeans.
AH TAN (nodding): Yah, sometimes I wonder where these folks get their ideas from!
HALIMAH: In the cases we have intercepted, employers say this is based on the qualifications of the person and not nationalities yah. If given a choice, they'll always want to hire a local yah!

Ah Tan and Halimah were again interrupted by some commotion on the other side of the table.

AH LIM (speaking to the waitress in a slightly loud and impatient voice): Har?! Can you repeat?

Waitress mumbled something in heavy accent.

AH LIM (frowning): Walau eh...

Ah Lim then spoke to the waitress in Mandarin. Delightfully, the waitress nodded and wrote down his order, then walked away.

ALI: Brudder, what she want sia?
AH LIM: Orh, she was asking me for the French Onion Soup, I want cheese on it or not lah! Walau eh, her English damn cannot make it leh!
ALI (nodding eagerly): Yah man!

HALIMAH (continued): You know, the vice-president of the National Employers Federation was saying, very often, there is some misunderstanding on why foreigners are hired over Singaporeans. In actual fact, it has got to do with the job requirements and it is never true that foreigners are chosen because they're cheaper and willing to work longer hours. Such words of wisdom right?

Ah Tan nodded in agreement.

HUA HUA (interrupted): You know, the locals must avoid developing irrational fears toward new immigrants. They ought to prepare for, rather than resist, an increased willingness among people worldwide to travel and relocate.
AH TAN (turned to Hua Hua who was seated on his other side): Yah, sometimes I don't know why are they so afraid of the foreigners!
ALI (speaking to the waitress in a slightly loud and impatient voice): Hey! I didn't order this!

Waitress mumbled something in heavy accent.

ALI (frowning): Adoi! I didn't order this sia!
AH LIM: Ali, what did you order?
ALI (frowning even harder): Brudder! I ordered grape juice but she gives me grapefruit juice sia!

AH TAN (continued): Anyway I heard that the mass recruitment at Taiwan went on pretty well!
HUA HUA (nodding and grinning): Yap! We actually started an agency to mass recruit thousands of Taiwanese PMETs in fields such as healthcare, engineering and social media to fill up vacancies here.
AH TAN: But how do you convince the Taiwanese to come all the way here to work? I suppose it's not as easy as recruiting in China or India right?
HUA HUA (shaking her head): No no, it's a totally different ball game. To bring in people from China or India is very easy and we never have problem bringing in truckloads of them. But for the Taiwanese, we need to attract them with a different strategy. We're paying them thrice the amount they'll ever get in Taiwan!
AH TAN (eyes wide opened): Wow! How can they ever resist that! So those positions cannot be filled by the locals here?
HUA HUA (with a stunned looked): Oh... that I don't know... Hmm... didn't thought of that man...

On the other side of the table, the commotion continued.

ALI (frowning and talking to Ah Lim): Brudder, this looks rare to me sia! I wanted well done! Can't they get someone who understands English to come talk to me?
AH LIM: Brudder, you can't see meh? All the waitresses here are not local lah!



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