Hi guys, I see here and there, and heard it from a taxi driver, that Singaporean are not really happy to have expats in singapore. From my understanding they especially don’t like the privilege we may have when it comes to salaries.
I speak for myself, but while I personally understand the problem with the salaries being higher for expats (although it’s similar in many countries) I don’t feel any negative thoughts from locals against us. It is even the clear opposite, I feel welcomed by all locals and truly appreciate it.
I am an isolated case? Is there really this type of mindset?
- The short answer is no, expats in Singapore are treated and viewed no differently than expats in other cosmopolitan countries.
As with all other countries, there will always be a ‘base’ layer of people that will telegraph their frustrations and troubles of life onto expats simply because they are a convenient group to target (not my own people). You will find that in the absence of expats, these folks will find other targets. Thankfully, this is really the minority although social media has allowed the voices of such folks to be magnified – ‘vocal minority’.
With that being said, over the last 2 years, I am also seeing a growing anti-expat sentiment. This layer ebbs and flows with the wider economic situation. Just like citizens of any other country, Singaporeans expect their needs to be prioritized in tough periods. Expats, whether rightly or wrongly, are naturally seen as the first sacrificial layer to be cut.
I don’t think these perspectives are unique to Singapore.
Just another thought too: outside of bread and butter issues, what might be perceived as being ‘negative’ could simply be the growing confidence of Asians of their place in the world. With an increasing appreciation of our own values and practices, the perceived unwillingness of western expats to assimilate and adopt (to some degree) to local culture could be off putting. I won’t say this point applies to all locals but it is one for me.
- The negative always attract more attention than the good ones. I have expat friends but there are also some that I will avoid.
We (locals) are not jealous or envious of that lifestyle. We do not care too much about your salary or how luxurious your life is.
My friends, that happen to be expats, are humble and generous. I avoid those that are arrogant and too busy showing off their privileges here. Those that think being an expat is an important characteristic to making friends. Those that are lucky, but never tried to see/understand the others who are struggling.
You see, expats are also humans. If we strip away that title, what is left of them?
It’s not that we have a contempt for expats. But if they can’t get down from their high horse, why should we bother with them?
- Thai here. Dont know if we are an exception but people’s faces generally brighten up once they know where I’m from and starting to brag how they fly to Chatuchak 3 times a month (pre covid) but a few would not shy to openly share their negative views about our ..other neighbors.
Overall, I find it heartwarming and feel right at home because I can easily blend in (minus accents), unlike some places in Europe.