The Straits Times
Published on Jan 25, 2013

Work on our strengths, be aware of blind spots


CREDIT should be given to Ms Wee Rui Qi ("Do local grads lack 'quality'?"; Tuesday) for voicing her observations and recommendations to market our talent.

Before we start marketing our local talent, we need to look at the strengths of foreign talent, their educational backgrounds as well as the societies from which they came.

China and India are among the world's most populous countries. The hunger to stand out in a population of more than a billion people is extremely intense. The top 1 per cent in each of these countries already exceeds the whole population of Singapore.

The education stress in these countries is many times more intense than that here, and the numbers competing for a single job position are scary.

Here, Singaporeans are crying out for the Government to opt for slower growth.

Also, the call for companies to reach out to candidates instead of the other way round is puzzling. There are business costs involved for companies participating in job fairs.

On another note, what are the niche areas Singaporeans excel in?

The fact that we are outnumbered by the top 1 per cent of talent in most nations may not mean we need to work the same way they do. I am against a nation driven by the rat race. Let us look at our strengths and work on them, while being aware of our blind spots.

Koh Chern Peng