It is not that Singaporeans want foreigners, it is the quality of foreign talents needed, said celebrity food critic and founder of Makansutra KF Seetoh in a Facebook post on Sunday (11 Oct).
Mr Seetoh was responding to an article published in The Sunday Times – titled ‘S’pore’s reputation for being open to talent at risk?‘ – which talked about “keeping Singapore’s doors open” due to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn, which have brought about a “locals-first emphasis”, accompanied by “anti-foreigner sentiments” among netizens.
The article, written by Justin Ong, a political correspondent, spoke about some of the “mixed experiences” that foreigners have about their presence in Singapore.
In his post, Mr Seetoh jokingly remarked, “Your Ah Kong [Hokkien for “grandfather”] and great grand yeh yeh [Mandarin for “grandfather”] once came off a boat from all over the world and decided to built this city, and they did. They were committed to making things better here.”
He asserted that Singapore needs more people like them, adding that the country ought to “use smaller holed manpower sieves” when it comes to filtering foreign talents.
Mr Seetoh went on to say that not all foreigners deserve to be frowned upon, as “some foreigners are here to help and contribute” to building the nation.
In fact, he shared that he personally knows some of them – whom he befriended – and that he has learned a lot from their ways.
However, Mr Seetoh hinted that some of the foreigners do live up to the negative labels and sentiments that were prescribed by the locals.
“The rest are mere highly paid long term tourist who brought the whole family along and impose their foreign kampung rules and habits here on us,” he wrote.