Servile Joy at Commentary Against Singaporeans?

Hardly Anything Better Can be Expected from the Media Here!

A sense of servile joy is evident in the way The Straits Times has hailed the recent ridiculing of Singaporeans by Victor Mills, CEO of the Singapore International Chamber of Commerce (SICC).

In a four-column piece in the Op-Ed page today, Walter Sim says how right Mr Mills was in his indictment of Singaporeans for what he perceives as negative workplace attitudes. His argument is that the perspectives offered by Mr Mills have already been corroborated by some surveys that showed Singaporeans as being under-happy.

Mills and Sim Mr Sim infers that, going by the implications in the swipe of Mr Mills, being under-happy is an indication that Singaporeans:

  • have a poor attitude to work
  • lack the talent to deliver what is needed
  • scoff at the idea of continual learning
  • are a fussy bunch who cannot handle criticism

..and what not!

Being unhappy is a sign of bad work ethic?

Mr Sim is glad that Mr Mills used the expression, “my fellow Singaporeans”, many times in his vituperative commentary/interview to show that he cared for them.

Well, that seems to be an escapist strategy to avoid a backlash!

Naive or Obsequious?: Either the writer is too naive to see through Mr Mills’ comments are is being obsequious in lapping up the charges that, to me, appear aimed at toeing the Government line of going easy on foreign “talent” in Singapore.

Singaporeans are a welcoming lot and will embrace genuine foreign talent but are wary of imported mediocrity at the expense of local talent. Something the Government has chosen not to dive into, with a constant focus on how there are jobs that Singaporeans are not interested in.

Also, a 60:40 population ratio between Singaporeans and foreigners is not desirable in an already overcrowded environment. So, if a cataclysmic event such as a major economic crisis that Mr Mills desires for Singaporeans to mend their ways, who will get the boot more?

Perhaps this post will convince Mr Mills that criticism does not sit well with me, helping substantiate one of his allegations. I just did not get the impression that the criticism was constructive. Well-meaning comments will resonate well with me, but barbs can be difficult to digest! I just failed to see objectivity in his attack.

I had blogged about Mr Mills’ comments first on January 29 at

G Joslin Vethakumar


1 Comment

Filed under Media, SICC, Victor Mills

One response to “Servile Joy at Commentary Against Singaporeans?

  1. Pingback: Daily SG: 2 Feb 2015 | The Singapore Daily

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