This is one of those things that I talk about with some of my friends a lot. Don’t get me wrong, I love Singapore. I love the place, I love how clean we are, and also how most of us get all patriotic once a year during our National Day Parade. (Stand up for Singapore! Do the best you can! YAY!)
However, if there is one thing I could change about Singaporeans, it ain’t the fact that we are kiasu but it is how entitled we are.
I mean I love it that we put so much attention into things to make our country more graceful but don’t you think that sometimes it is because we try so hard to protect the weak and “the weak” just take things for granted that everything SHOULD be given to them simply because they are “weaker”?
For instance, we used to pay so much attention to the use of reserved seats on our public trains. We did campaigns, we name and shame people (by the way, I’m using “we” loosely here. As in the country), we did practically everything we could to get people to give up their seats to those who need it more. As a result, we have become so successful that fat ladies hate taking the train now - because every time they step on the train, everyone starts fighting to give up their seats.
I’m kidding. Or maybe not.
|Old image from coconut Singapore.|
Jokes aside, because we pay so much attention to asking people to give up their seats, now people who need seats do not ask nicely for a seat but instead they demand for seats. Worse, they might even post on Facebook complaining that he/she was sick and nobody wanted to give up their seats. My point is, nobody owes you a seat. If you needed one, just open your mouth? Why make it sound like it’s another person’s job to have psychic abilities and guess that you need a seat?
On a bigger scale? Recently Straits Times published an article titled “Singapore workers to get 2.9% pay raise next year”. You know how people on Facebook love to read titles and not the body of the article? I’ve like 10,000 friends sharing the article, with comments such as “tag your boss”, “ho seh liao”, “say only lah”. Nobody is against a pay raise, everyone loves more money but my point is if you are not exactly performing at your job, why would you be so entitled to believe that you deserve a pay raise simply because some survey suggested that it will happen? Put yourself in an employer’s shoe, why would you want to give someone a raise? Is it because he/she performed well in their job or simply because “it’s time”?
“Oh, you know, I want to give someone who worked hard a pay raise so why not I just pay everyone more?”
Does that sound right to you? If your answer is “siao ah?” maybe you should think about your own actions. Do you think you’re entitled? It can be as simple as “because I’m a woman, the guy should have let me go first.” Hello? If a guy lets you go first, it’s because he’s a gentleman and it’s a bonus. It shouldn’t be an entitlement.
One of the most ridiculous displays of entitlement I’ve seen online is, “I voted for you, you better do something now that times are bad.” I kid you not. I saw this comment from a friend-of-a-friend on a Facebook post when a mutual friend shared an article about retrenchment numbers.
Seriously, guys. I think there can only be so much the gahmen can do if you don’t help yourself.
Many of you might not know but there’s a lot of help out there that you can tap on to stay afloat during tough times? In fact it’s not even about preparing yourself for today anymore. It’s about preparing yourself for tomorrow. Remember my constant fear about being obsolete by 40?
Besides FJST and SkillsFuture which I’ve talked about previously, there are also things like the Professional Conversion Programmes (PCP) under WSG, e2i under NTUC that provides career guidance, professional development and training, networking and even placement into potential new jobs.
On top of that, there was a recent report on NTUC’s Assistant Secretary-General Patrick Tay’s suggestion to offer an allowance to unemployed Singaporeans who undergo SkillsFuture courses, and expanding the SkillsFuture Credit so that it can be used for courses related to career coaching.
So as you can see, changes and improvement don’t just come because “it’s time” or simply because “you are my citizen and I owe you a living”. Everything need to be fought for, and worked towards. If you are familiar with our local calendar, it’s the time of the year where citizens sit at the edge of our their toilet bowl and hope for some exciting news for the coming year’s Budget. In case you didn’t know, the Budget Statement will be out on 20th Feb.
The Labour Movement’s budget recommendations have also since been published some weeks back. To make sure that the workforce is prepared for the future, one of their calls is to ensure that we are ready for future jobs. (No lah, not like the future in the movies where we all become astronauts or space police lah.) We are no soothsayer or prophet, so how can we know how we will be ready for future jobs when we might not even know what jobs will be available? So NTUC wants the Ministry of Manpower to share information in the National Jobs Bank with them as well as for relevant government agencies and employers to work more closely with the Labour Movement in identifying employment trends so that they can share the information with the working people..
More attention is also focused on PMEs as our workforce today are mostly made up of PMEs. How does securing jobs based on skills instead of academic qualifications sound to you? I’m sure we all have this person in our life that ain’t too good with anything academic but is pretty good with picking up skills from trying or maybe even learning off YouTube.. In my life, that person is me. LOL. They also hope to see more modular courses to help improve the quality of PMEs.
So as you can see, there are really things out there that can save your life besides waiting for some extra cash from GST packages and thinking that you deserve it simply because “you voted”.
As cliche as it is, have you heard of this quote from Lao Tze?
So instead of expecting to get something for nothing… Why not help yourself and be prepared?