The fugly Singaporean


Kit

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Jan 19, 2002
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#1
It's past midnight and I should be sleeping. It has been a 14-hour long day for my team at the office and site. I can't sleep. I can't stop thinking about what happened to a site supervisor in my team. Ainul, a 34 year old lanky 6-footer who came to Singapore to work as a construction supervisor, a position shunned by many Singaporeans. It all started last Saturday. While carrying out upgrading works in one of those flats, workers under Ainul's supervision inadvertently damaged some wall tiles. The owner was understandably upset. However, despite assurance from Ainul that the the damaged tiles will be replaced, he continued to shower profanities at Ainul and at one point, even threatened him with hostile gestures. Audio recording was made throughout Ainul's ordeal.

I was informed of this incident on Tuesday and listening to the recording made my blood boil. However, I had to call this owner to apologise and inform him that the damaged tiles were replaced. He did not accept my apology and the replacement tiles and soon insults started to fly. Temperature rose and his hostility was met by (as the misses would call) Kit's rage. I told him if he were to ever abuse or threaten any of the team members under my care, I will immediately stop the works in his flat and instruct my team members to stop communicating with him. I hung up.

Come Thursday morning..... Ainul received a call. The owner had demanded him to complete the works on the same day. Since the works were scheduled to be completed by middle of next week, Ainul could not accede to his demands. Profanities followed and the owner proudly proclaimed that he is a Singaporean. Ainul came running into my office, almost in tears. I was on the phone and signalled him to wait. When I was done with the call and found out what happened to Ainul, I wanted to kick myself for not responding to Ainul when he was calling out for help. I brought him to the police post to make a report. We were told that the police is unable to initiate an investigation. A magistrate's report must be filed first and the court will decide if the case should be handed over to the police for investigation. Ainul could not get the redress he rightfully deserves and this is all happening on the eve of Hari Raya. He continued to toll through the day without food and drink and was ready to work overtime. I handed him some cash at 6pm and "ordered" him to stop working and join his mates for the festival.

I appeal to all Singaporeans. Spend this coming weekend to reflect. The resentment towards foreigners have blinded us, including me at times. Does it make sense to resent the pair of hands that built the flats we stay in, built the schools your kids attend, built the shopping centres we hide in from the soaring heat?

Ainul, Selamat Hari Raya.
 

Nikonzen

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Nov 3, 2014
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#2
In America our FT tends to come from Mexico. Now it is not always like this by any means but the vitriol that some of these folks experience is just nuts. They are just trying to survive like all of us. They should not be begrudged the opportunity to better themselves. Personally I try to go above and beyond to accomodate and help folks like these...it is easy enough to see which ones are for real and which ones are phony.

Your actions are commendable Kit. You have a good heart and conscious sir.
 

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zaren

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Oct 27, 2003
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#3
The owner may be upset but he is not allowed to interfere in the construction works as the site has been registered as a factory, under the responsibility of the contractor. Shouting of obscenities and threats of physical assault are uncalled for and you can inform the owner that your construction team will not be working under such circumstances. Any delays will then be caused by the owner. Since the damaged tiles had already been replaced, the owner suffered no losses. From what you described, it is unclear to me whether the owner was picking on Ainul because Ainul is a foreigner, or whether he was venting his anger because his tiles were broken. In any case, bullying and threatening behaviour should not be condoned. In such instances, the supervisor will not be able to handle the owner. So it would be best for higher management (you) to deal with the owner. The foreigners don't have it easy here, Singaporeans should not make it even more unpleasant for them to earn a living.
 

Bukitimah

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2010
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#4
I want to believe this incident is happening in singapore you are relating? If that is so, you do know that if you have a contract, there are existing law to protect both parties?

Back to the broken tiles. Wonder if those workers sent to carry out the works are skilled and the one supervising knows what to do? Very often, I have seen people totally not trained doing all sorts of works. If you are the owner, how would you feel? Of course, there is no reasons for him to use those languages you mentioned. He has entered into a contract and just count himself unlucky. He need to take actions under the law and not his own way.

It takes 2 hands to clap. Nobody want to pay money and create a mess to his home, which is one of the most expensive investment, just to vent anger on workers.

I must also say this. The are all of people in any country.most are amicable and just want things to be right.
 

Likes: Nikonzen

Kit

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#5
It is not appropriate for me to go into contract matters here. The upgrading works is a national programme. Owners and contractors do not enter a contract like private renovation or building works. This is different.

Everyone wants to get things done right. Who here can proclaim that he/she is infallible? Anyone? Anyone at all? I didn't think so.
 

richiemccaw1

Senior Member
Feb 21, 2013
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#6
Well there is the correct/wrong thing to do argument, and then there is the humane thing to do argument. I guess sometimes we lead lifestyles that are too stressful that makes us forget about what it is like to be human and treat one another with respect. Seems somewhat like that in this case..
 

Bukitimah

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Nov 28, 2010
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#7
It is not appropriate for me to go into contract matters here. The upgrading works is a national programme. Owners and contractors do not enter a contract like private renovation or building works. This is different.

Everyone wants to get things done right. Who here can proclaim that he/she is infallible? Anyone? Anyone at all? I didn't think so.


Now it is clearer and I am sure we all know the nature of the works. Many have experiences with such upgrading. It is just the reactions of individual and their tolerance.

I am sure the government and the relevant authorities need to evaluate these upgrading projects and the DBSS given the problems highlighted. Whatever, it still did not provide a good reason for people to abuse the workers. Even such upgrading issues can seek HDB or even MP to resolve. Workers are just following instructions even they are not the right party to carry out the works.
 

Kit

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#8
I have said my piece and will not comment further. If something good comes out from this, fine. If not, I'm sure Ainul will move on. We will all move on.
 

Dec 3, 2010
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3rd stone from the sun
#9
I have said my piece and will not comment further. If something good comes out from this, fine. If not, I'm sure Ainul will move on. We will all move on.
not a nice story.

But I can reassure you, these are only exceptions and
there are everywhere, even in Japan, France, Germany, England, USA etc.,etc ..!
Such a thing is not typical "Singaporean".
I know Singapore and the people here for many many years,
business and pleasure, and I can only report good.
The manners of most of all Singaporean is correct and very good.
 

Bukitimah

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Nov 28, 2010
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#11
Not sure how long you've known Singaporeans for but I've been one for close to 40 years.


I have been one for more than 60 years and yet I cannot describe all the same. ��. Environment, upbringing, opportunity to interact and see more, etc affect a person.
 

daredevil123

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Oct 25, 2005
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#12
not a nice story.

But I can reassure you, these are only exceptions and
there are everywhere, even in Japan, France, Germany, England, USA etc.,etc ..!
Such a thing is not typical "Singaporean".
I know Singapore and the people here for many many years,
business and pleasure, and I can only report good.
The manners of most of all Singaporean is correct and very good.
You are delusional my friend... manners and behaviors of Singaporeans are no better than the PRCs nor Indians many talk trash about.
 

DSolZ

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Mar 6, 2010
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#13
You are delusional my friend... manners and behaviors of Singaporeans are no better than the PRCs nor Indians many talk trash about.
Not sure I can totally agree with this statement. All I can say is every national has its own black sheeps.
 

Bart Tan

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Apr 4, 2014
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#14
Those ugly Singaporean r mostly found in the the middle income group. I seem lots of such ppl too, will try to avoid them at all cost
 

daredevil123

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#15
Not sure I can totally agree with this statement. All I can say is every national has its own black sheeps.
Exactly. Good and black sheeps in every race and nationality. Just that PRC and India has the most population in the world... so it is a numbers game.

We truly cannot fault folks who grew up in a much more different environment and education, like in a farm or in the countryside. The real ugly folks are those who have had good education and brought up in good environment and nice/polite on the outside, but the heart is black. And every country has ugly folks like that. And as much as we love to think the folks in our country is very cultured and well mannered, sorry to say, I find Singapore society is pretty much generally a graceless one.
 

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G-man

Senior Member
Mar 2, 2006
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#16
... I find Singapore society is pretty much generally a graceless one.
I wholeheartedly agree with this statement. I find many of them to be extremely arrogant, self-centred and on a moral high horse.
 

Dec 3, 2010
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3rd stone from the sun
#17
You are delusional my friend... manners and behaviors of Singaporeans are no better than the PRCs nor Indians many talk trash about.
I stand by my statement.

The manners / behaviors of most of all Singaporeans is correct and very good.
These are my experiences here.
I know there are also black sheep in Singapore.

That's why I wrote "most of all" and not all. :)

I know, black sheep, there are in any country, anywhere.

Singapore is like any country not 100% perfect,
but still a nice place with friendly people.
 

DSolZ

New Member
Mar 6, 2010
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#18
I find Singapore society is pretty much generally a graceless one.
Can quote some common example?
I do see ppl giving up seats in public transport and helpful when ask for directions.
My gf did complain once that a senior citizen came up to her in MRT looking at her and saying youngster nowadays don't know how to give up seat to elderly in a loud voice
Gf wasn't feeling well that day but stand up and gave her the seat anyway.
 

Zenten

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Jun 13, 2004
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#19
I stand by my statement.

The manners / behaviors of most of all Singaporeans is correct and very good.
These are my experiences here.
I know there are also black sheep in Singapore.

That's why I wrote "most of all" and not all. :)

I know, black sheep, there are in any country, anywhere.

Singapore is like any country not 100% perfect,
but still a nice place with friendly people.

....... only Singaporeans understand Singaporeans ...... You good man. :kiss:
 

AlexS

Deregistered
Jul 19, 2015
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#20
I have to say, please don't generalise that Singaporeans are fugly.
As in all countries, there different kinds of people. That's diversity. If you came across one bad egg, does not mean all are the same.
I have many good friends and colleagues who are genuine.
 

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