By: 永久浪客/Forever Vagabond
ST reported in yesterday’s paper that its parent company, SPH, and NTUC will be organizing workshops and events together to reach out to the unemployed PMETs. This is to help them “find jobs and gain skills”, SPH and NTUC said (http://www.straitstimes.com/
One such event is the U Future Leaders Summit, organised by NTUC and SPH in conjunction with the STJobs Career & Development Fair on July 2 and 3. “Attendees can get insights from industry leaders and tips on gaining skills and knowledge to prepare themselves for the future in their careers,” ST reported.
“We are very pleased to be a strategic partner of NTUC to reach out to Singapore’s PMEs. This collaboration will allow our PMEs to upgrade their professional skills and propel their careers forward,” an SPH spokesman said.
NTUC spokesman said, “This partnership with SPH will be a good way for us to reach out to these PMEs, equip them with the necessary skills, expand their networks through our ecosystem and offer them more opportunities to be future-ready.”
Minister in PMO, Chan Chun Sing, was at the partnership signing ceremony between SPH and NTUC.
It’s not known how listening to these talks would help our displaced PMETs to find jobs.
More displaced PMETs driving taxis
Many of the displaced Singaporean PMETs have resorted to driving taxis or uber cars to survive these days. Certainly, they are now making a lot less than before.
James Lim is a former PMET who was forced to drive a cab. He became jobless in his late fifties and, with a family to support and unable to find a suitable job, James became a taxi driver. He blogs regularly about his cab driving experience (http://cabby65.blogspot.sg). He quipped that he blogs about his life as a cabby so as to “make a dull job a bit more interesting”.
Expressing his frustration In one blog (http://cabby65.blogspot.sg/
“With unabated hordes of foreigners still coming in to depress their (Singaporeans’) wages or even displace them at the workplace, reduce them to second-class citizens and a minority in their own country, how much loyalty and love can we expect from local-bred Singaporean for this country down the road?”
“If Singaporean’s loyalty and love for this country are in doubt, who will then fight and die for Singapore on that crucial day? Sadly, I think not many will do it willingly. Surely, none of us would give up our lives to defend “Hotel Singapore”, a place of transit for a nomadic global population. I sincerely hope I’m wrong! Unfortunately, this sad paradox is further compounded as a result of this Government continuous pursuit of economic growth numbers to the extend of embracing foreigners as EQUAL to native Singaporean. They totally forgot the intrinsic value of loyalty and violated the sense of love and belonging of Singaporeans.”
Cabby who used to earn $15K as Regional Director
Another cabby is Mike Yeo, a PMET who used to earn $15,000 a month. He now struggles as a cab driver and had to sell his 5-room flat in order to settle debts (http://www.transitioning.org/
“I spent almost 10 years in the industry and company, since January 2005 and was made redundant in March 2013. I immediately made many changes of lifestyle and even went into a repayment mode with several banks and financial institutions and even got the car finance company to take the car back in and to change the shortfall of the loan into a personal loan.”
“After being unemployed for almost a year, I managed to join an Indian start up as its Business Development Manager and helped it to connect with the doctors I had contacts with and so on. But after 6 months. the management said that I was too expensive and got rid of me again. In my previous company, I was earning at least $15,000 per month, in the Indian company, I was only getting $5,000.”
“I used most of the $5,000 ($4,000 after CPF) to repay my debts and also to feed my family, but once made redundant again, I had no more income and could not make any repayments and or any other significant financial contribution. So I immediately got a Real Estate Agent license from CEA and also a taxi vocational license to enable me to bring in some income.”
Currently, Mike drives almost 15 hours a day (5am to 7/8 pm) every day just to make ends meet. He does not have enough money to put his 5-year-old to kindergarten.
“I can bring in $200-$250 a day, depending on the day and time I spend on the roads, but on average I am bringing in closer to $220. This is because of not being experienced enough to know where to catch passengers and or being able to drive fast enough to make more trips. I am sure that as I spend more time on the roads, I will improve my earnings. But my cost is $120 for rental and $50 for fuel and not including food and ERP and so on. So I am only confidently bringing home $50 a day. This is a far cry from my previous pay and an even further cry from my last proper job.”
“So I am in great financial distress and am also facing great pressure from the various banks and institutions to repay my debt… And I am not taking any significant breaks. So I am not able to answer phone calls, sometimes even from my own family like when my daughter was having high fever.”
Mike ended up selling his 5-room flat so as to repay his debts as well as to get more cash.
PM Lee’s jump shot
Meanwhile, ST also published PM Lee’s jump shot, which was taken at Moscow in May. PM Lee wanted to mark Youth Day with the jump shot to show that he and his entourage are still “young at heart”. He wrote on this Facebook:
“Happy Youth Day to all the young and young at heart! Your dreams today can become your passions tomorrow. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, because that’s the beauty of being young. You can experiment, try things out, and discover what you can be. The future often looks daunting, but go forth and create your own! – LHL”