Sunday 17 May 2015

Let's think about improving government videos about foreign workers

Last week, the Singapore Government released a series of videos with the tagline “Let’s think about it”.

At least, I assume it’s the Singapore Government since the YouTube videos were uploaded by “govsingapore” and look like they have been produced by committee.

They’re not good enough to go viral like the Jurong Point Mother’s Day video and not intentionally bad enough to go viral like the Un-Un-Unbelievable music video.

I would like to offer some suggestions to help improve the three government videos.

TITLE Then What Are You Complaining About?


The video shows a married couple seated in a crowded bus presumably on their way to work.

Another passenger walks by and bumps into the shoulder of the husband, who gets annoyed and starts complaining in Mandarin that it’s crowded everywhere you go.

He says: “I think there are just too many foreigners in Singapore.”

Then the wife says the weirdest thing: “Our home is crowded too. Aren't you forgetting Floridel who’s busy taking care of our kids?”

Husband replies: “I’m not talking about our domestic helper.

“Or bus drivers. Or cleaners. Or restaurant staff. Aiyah!”

The video ends after he whines: “You know, my colleague’s contract is ending soon. He’ll be sent back to India. My boss will definitely ask me to take over his work.”

This is meant to show the irony of him complaining about too many foreigners in Singapore and yet he is upset that his foreign colleague is leaving.

Unfortunately, what it really shows me is that the husband has bigger issues at work than foreigners. If I were his boss and I saw this video, I would probably fire his ass for his poor work attitude.


In the first place, how crowded can the bus be if the couple found a seat?

And not just for one of them, but for both of them, side by side.

For any rush-hour commuter, that’s like finding a unicorn.

To really show overcrowding on public transport, the couple could be on an MRT train that’s so packed, the wife is accidentally pushed out and her leg slips into the platform gap.

That’s when the husband can start complaining that there are too many foreigners in Singapore.

TITLE Now Even The Boss Has To Work


The video shows a homeowner on the phone, asking for his air-conditioner to be repaired that day.

At the other end of the line, an Ah Beng type says he can only do it next week due to the lack of manpower, blaming the Government for its “hiring quota for foreign labour”.

The homeowner says: “Singapore so hot. How you expect me to survive one week without aircon.”

Ah Beng replies: “What to do? Singaporeans complain too many foreigners. So Government send them back lah!”

The punchline comes when the homeowner says: “Like that, I think I must get two aircons. One just to stand by.”

I have one word for him — fans.


I understand the lack of air-conditioning can be an emergency for some Singaporeans, but it’s not dire enough.

Instead of a mere broken air-conditioner, the homeowner could be calling to complain that because of a choked pipe, his newly renovated flat is covered with shit like what happened in Punggol last week.

Never mind surviving one week without aircon. Try living one day with faeces on your floor.

Even fans won’t help.

What Matters Is That We Do A Good Job


The video shows a boy and a girl discussing what they want to do when they grow up.

The girl says she wants to be a lawyer and “make lots of money”.

The boy says he’ll be a banker and make more money than her.

Bursting his bubble, the girl says: “My papa says all the top banking jobs are going to foreigners.”

Unfazed, the boy says: “My papa says as long as you have the right attitude, you will always have the chance to succeed!

“Singaporeans or foreigners does not matter.”

He even offers to hire the girl to be his lawyer when he becomes the boss.


Why wait till he becomes a boss to hire a lawyer?

The boy could make his own YouTube video and be on trial for electronically transmitting an obscene image and uploading content that contained remarks against Christianity.

Just don’t expect the girl to work pro bono.

She wants to make lots of money.

Kids today...

- Published in The New Paper, 17 May 2015