200 PRC SMRT drivers on strike and racist Singaporeans show faces

Just read news today that 200 SMRT drivers from mainly China (from the report) went on strike. Apparently, this is to protest against unfair salary payouts between them and Malaysians.

http://www.straitstimes.com/breaking-news/singapore/story/200-smrt-bus-drivers-refuse-go-work-over-pay-issue-20121126

In the meantime, riot trucks are standing by and getting ready to beat them up into behaving like ordinary Singaporeans, just the way PAP likes their subject.

My believe that it is unfair to pay people doing the same jobs different, just because they are from another country. However, without knowing more about it, it is hard to make any point at the moment. But whatever the real story, this is a classic case of bad management, bad communications to staff and bad decision making.

Unfortunately, I fear the worst for these 200 drivers whether or not they got their way. I foresee PAP deporting them back to their home country after this episode. After all, it will be an embarrassment to the PAP control freak if nothing is done and this means others can follow suit.

In the meantime, these are the comments that were left for the article:

The comments from Hate Third World is especially bad, in my opinion, and what was worst is that it garnered 9 likes. I am very surprised that in Singapore when they are so riled up about racist comments, they are practically blind to Singaporeans make racist comments about other races and foreigners.  If someone had commented “F**king Malay Trash” or “F**king Chinese trash”, the racial overtones becomes obvious isn’t it? Mind you all, in our Singaporean mix nowadays are also people from PRC. Okay, I am only assuming that the poster is Singaporean here, because I don’t believe foreigners would be THAT angry.

If the poor NTUC girl was sack because of her posting on Malay weddings, then this is poster and the 9 who liked it should be similarly investigated for sedition and  promoting racial disharmony.  Note that I am only making the point of the seriousness of this; I don’t support the sedition act and the way that our government “handles” racial issues. I believe that Singaporeans should learn to deal with such speeches through mature debate and not having the government treat us like little children shielding us from the horrors of the real world. Let’s face it, we are all racist some of the time.

That apart, I believe that the anger towards the so-call foreign talents is just too sweeping. Singaporeans just become angry with ALL foreign talents in ALL fields of work and in ALL areas of life without any objectivity. Some are specific to foreigners from a certain country, like my friend who works at Standard Chartered and hates the many Indian nationals works there, some of them in management jobs but are totally useless and they favor within themselves (you know what I mean). Even given that, anger should be directed only a few particular person instead of an entire class of people.

My question to the poster is whether the SMRT PRCs have taken away his job? Would he/she have applied for an SMRT driver job had they had not taken up those jobs? Isn’t that what the foreign talent issue is about, taking Singaporeans job away?

And what has the drivers going on strike to do with the popular bashing over Chinese announcements in our MRTs? Let’s face it, English is the language of economy, but China had move up so fast that even in European countries, they have sales people who can speak Chinese. This is just a natural consequences of economical powers. Had the Middle East became an economical power, we would probably hear announcements in Arabic. Nevertheless, I agree with some people that since the government have always been promoting this fake la-la-land harmony between the four major races, we should be consistent in our approach and continue to offer announcements in all four official languages.

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6 thoughts on “200 PRC SMRT drivers on strike and racist Singaporeans show faces

  1. Finally, someone with some level-headed-ness in the blogosphere in Singapore.

    Wasn’t it during the 80’s that we had a lot of Japanese signboards all around Singapore? How come no one complained about that?

    Wasn’t it our very own teachers who (out of desperate good intentions) sometimes blurted out “if you don’t study hard, next time become bus driver”?

    Being a bus driver can be a tough and thankless job, that many Singaporeans will heed the words of their teachers, and NOT become one. Yet, they form the basis of our public transport system, and without them, our transport system will stall. And that we need to keep their pay low enough, so that our transportation costs don’t escalate upwards.

    Some of the negative comments are beyond just being racist or xenophobic. They are totally devoid of compassion for the very people who provided us with our public transport.

    The striking bus drivers did not just demand for more pay. They demanded for equal treatment, and more importantly, for their dignity. They know they could be fired and sent back home. They probably know that they need their pay cheque for the next few months, so as to send home some money for Chinese New Year. Yet, at some point they chose to sacrifice the material gain for the sake of preserving their dignity. That in itself is something for us to ponder.

    Tks to Kelvin for making this post.

    Cheers,

    c.j.

  2. Pingback: Daily SG: 27 Nov 2012 | The Singapore Daily

  3. Thanks for the very good article, nice to get some common sense on the issue amidst all the blind anti-PRC hatred out there.

    Can I just comment on your statement “even in European countries, they have sales people who can speak Chinese” – I have been living in Europe since 1997 … Yes some European companies who deal with China will have Mandarin speaking staff, but they would usually recruit Singaporeans, Australian-Chinese, Hong Kongers, Malaysians etc – ie. Chinese people who are already bilingual in Mandarin & English to do that kind of job. It’s not like Angmohs are rushing to learn Mandarin – some have tried sure, very few have gotten anywhere with Chinese as it’s such a difficult language.

    • Thanks. Yes totally agree with, those sale people who speaks Chinese are mostly not Europeans themselves. I guess, I should have meant “even in European countries, some stores employ Chinese speaking sales staff”.

  4. Pingback: Weekly Round Up: Week 48 (26 Nov – 30 Nov 2012) | The Singapore Daily

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