Saw this comic in ST a few days ago. Thought it was quite interesting. 


For me, I am still trying to row a boat with both oars properly. At least, I don’t see myself throwing any one oar away anytime soon. Anyway. There’s this news today: 

Foreigners must clear English test

SINGAPOREANS know too well the frustrations of not being understood by service staff from foreign lands when out for a meal or shopping in Orchard Road. New rules, however, are going to be introduced to help resolve the problem. 

 From the third quarter of next year, new foreign workers have to clear an English proficiency test before they can get a work permit as a skilled worker. This will also lower their foreign worker levy, saving an employer $90 a month for each hire. 

 The new requirement is part of a government move to raise standards in three industries where speaking English is key to delivering good service: retail, food and beverage (F&B), and hotels. 

 Employers are delighted with the change, which was announced yesterday by the Minister of State for Manpower as well as Trade and Industry, Mr Lee Yi Shyan. 

 Said Mr Lee: ‘English is the working language in Singapore. This is particularly important in industries such as hotels, retail and F&B, where workers interact regularly with customers.’ 

 Although I understand that some workers really cannot speak English and that there are really communication problems, I think most Singaporeans really don’t have such a good standard of English as well. Probably enough for retail and F&B inudstries. But whatever the case, watch out Singaporeans. With such a requirement, I predict foreign workers will work very hard to pass their English in order to work in Singapore, because the whole world is clamouring to work in Singapore, except Singaporeans.  Soon, Singaporeans will complain about communication problems again. That the foreign workers’ English is too cheem and the government should do something about it.