One of the first things on my to-do list was to open a local bank account. As an expat, it is always convenient to have a local bank account in the country you are residing in. So, I researched the various banks in Singapore and decided to step foot in a local bank.
I walked towards the relationship manager and explained my purpose of visit. To my surprise, she greeted me with a warm smile and started conversing with me in broken English with a Malaysian accent. At first, I was slightly taken aback, as I was expecting her to speak in normal English. But then it struck me; I was in Singapore, a country that prides itself for it’s English.
As I waited for my turn, I took a look around the bank and noticed that most of the staff were Malaysians. This was not something I had expected in Singapore, a country with a diverse population. I started to wonder why there were so many Malaysian staff in a local Singaporean bank.
Was it a coincidence, or was there a cheaper reason behind it?
Soon, it was my turn, and I was directed to a young lady who introduced herself as Hui Ling. I couldn’t help but notice her name tag.
The moment her mouth opened, It confirmed my suspicion that most of the staff in this local bank were Malaysians. I decided to ask Hui Ling about it, and she smiled and replied, “Yes, most of us here are Malaysians. We are a diverse team, but we work together as one family.”
I was intrigued, and as we proceeded with the account opening process, I couldn’t resist asking her about her experience working in Singapore. Hui Ling shared that she had been working in Singapore for five years now and that she loved the city and its people. She also mentioned that many Malaysians choose to work in Singapore due to the higher standard of living and better job opportunities.
As we continued to chat, I learned that the bank had a diverse team, with staff from various countries such as China, India, and the Philippines. However, the majority were still Malaysians. I also learned that the bank had a strong focus on promoting diversity and inclusivity, which was one of the reasons why they had a diverse team.
I was also a bit confused, am I in Singapore or Malaysia?