5 Signs You’re Behaving Like A Singapore Bumiputra

We scoff at the Malaysian bumiputra policy, but expect preferential treatment as “sons of Singapore soil”, no?

We pride ourselves on being a meritocratic nation where we reap the rewards we deserve based on our efforts, instead of being conferred special privileges due to any aspect that we didn’t work for.

Some of us may think that Malaysia’s lack of competitiveness and depreciating currency is a result of the poor execution of their bumiputra policy, which was supposed to benefit the indigenous people and defuse interracial tensions after the arrival of Chinese and Indian immigrants made locals feel threatened.

Bumiputra privileges in Malaysia


Here is an example of a bumiputra privilege, such as needing less experience to enter university compared to non-bumiputras. Companies listed on the KL Stock Exchange must have 30% bumiputra ownership of equity.

Malaysian university entry requirements favour lesser qualified bumiputras


Yet after seeing the economic and social effects of a non-meritocratic policy on our closest neighbour, some Singaporeans still believe holding a pink IC and being born in Singapore should guarantee them more privileges, based on their need as a citizen of Singapore, and not because we are a meritocratic nation.

Are you behaving like a Singapore bumiputra?

1. You think we Singaporeans should always get jobs first no matter what, simply because we are Singaporeans

If you believe that foreign talents (FTs) are stealing Singaporeans’ jobs, blame rising retrenchments on FTs etc, and feel your rice bowl is threatened, it is natural you want to ensure you get preferential treatment as Singapore citizens.

You unwaveringly support a “Singaporeans must get hired first” policy, even if not all Singaporeans have the capabilities to carry out the jobs they want.

You think that there should be a law that ensures all Singaporeans keep their jobs, even that useless bum who slacks around and terrorises the boss, threatening to leave if his needs aren’t met, because he knows the boss needs to hire a Singaporean in order to hire the 4 other foreign workers.

Ornamental Singaporeans
Are you an ornamental Singaporean? Hired just for the sake of your citizenship?


2. You hate any employer who hires based on merit first, not Singaporean first

If you have a Singapore bumiputra mentality, you will completely hate this businessman, as featured in this controversial Straits Times article with headlines just screaming “anti-Singaporean” below.



This businessman, Edmund Koh, said when it comes to hiring decisions, he will choose the best person for the job, regardless of nationality.

He explained that an Italian client interested in investing in China who approached a bank in Singapore would be ill-served by an adviser who does not really know Italian culture, or how to build a relationship with someone from Milan, versus someone from Rome.

Does this sound like good business sense, or do you think he is a traitor to all Singaporeans?

Just check out the sentiments in the poll at the end of the article. 76% were disgusted with the story (we don’t know how many actually read through it carefully).



3. You think “Singapore core” means “Singaporean only”

Did you do a “WTF!” when you read how Minister Chan Chun Sing said in his Budget Debate speech that we should avoid a “Singaporeans only” attitude in developing a Singapore core, which is more about creating “a diverse team of talents from cross-sector, cross-cultural backgrounds and international exposure”?



You think the Fair Consideration Framework (the closest thing we have to a protectionist policy) is a failure because it doesn’t promise a “Singaporeans get hired first” outcome.

Even though the Ministry of Manpower has “increased scrutiny” of 150 culprit firms with weak Singaporean core, and weak commitment to building one, you dismiss this as wayang and think all foreigners should be fired with Singaporeans put in their place, regardless whether the Singaporeans are capable of doing these jobs.

4. You think “true blue Singaporeans” only include Singaporeans actually born in Singapore

Can new citizens ever be true blue Singaporeans?


New Singaporean citizens are not “true blue Singaporeans” because they are imported foreigners and not born here, even if they come from neighbouring Malaysia, which our tiny piece of land was once a part of.

Take the quiz!

Source: True Blue Singaporean Quiz

I got full marks, what about you?
I got full marks, what about you?

Even if new citizens contribute to our economy, serve NS, pay taxes like Singaporeans, believe wholeheartedly in our national pledge and can sing our National Anthem, they don’t deserve to be “counted” and given the same privileges as “true blue Singaporeans”.

5. You think if foreigners would just leave Singapore, your problems would be solved!

If only foreigners would just leave Singapore alone, you think there would be no more overcrowding, people defecating in public areas, driving up your property prices, stealing your jobs, occupying your school places, marrying your ladies, snatching your business clients and taking away your dignity to live in peace as a “true blue Singaporean”.

It’s ok if there’s no FT to rent your HDB while you live in a condominium, or bring in overseas business, clients and expertise. You think Singapore can afford lower growth because the government will think of something.

Think about it.