Know Anyone Retrenched?


With rising GDP and record housing prices, and talk of “dual economy“, this recession seems not so much of a recession at all.

Unless you have lost your job.

A BBC poll says two-thirds of the people in UK are “hit” by the downturn. What they mean is that about 67% of the people know someone who has lost a job.

Since we have a non-recession that is uniquely Singapore, I’d expect the hit rate to be much lower here.

Do you know someone who’s been retrenched recently?


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  1. It means made redundant, or being laid off. Usually doesn’t happen to foreign talent whom we welcome with open arms.

  2. I am retrenched on

    I know lots of retrenched people; a whole bunch of us was made redundant since last year, in multiple batches.

    Myself, jobless since end of 2008; enjoying life free from office stress.

    But dark clouds looming; honeymoon will end soon because savings is getting depleted.

  3. I’m sorry to hear it. I won’t be taking anybody’s job. I’ll be creating them if anything. I’m just sorting out the housing situation before moving with my wife and her company. Along with my company. Both headquarters will move to Singapore.
    Singapore is a very good base to trade with Asia and the rest of the world from.
    I’m not sure what your population is but it is pretty small, yet you have managed to accumulate foreign exchange reserves (8th largest in the world) above Germany the largest economy in Europe.
    Life may be tough for many individuals but from a purely economic outlook, you look like a success story.
    When you’re out of a job this probably doesn’t help, its just my opinion. I hope you both find work soon.

  4. It’s because the government here doesn’t believe in social security or welfare, which in a certain way forces the people to work till an old age, all the while contributing money to a mandatory (forced) retirement savings scheme called CPF. Low spending on social security and high savings in CPF allows the government to accumulate huge reserves so it can make big investments to generate even more reserves, but sometimes with disastrous results, like their 2007/08 investments in big banks like UBS, Citi and Merrill Lynch.

  5. its sad that it is always the singaporeans who criticise their own country. fortunate to be born here, yet not appreciative of what singapore has to offer.
    everytime i hear a criticism of how the ministers are paid too much (to prevent corruption), how the government investment companies lost money (it’s the global economic crisis…) etc, i look at the big picture and still find that singapore is one of the best governed countries in the world.

  6. Its often the people who are native who criticise a regime. Then again, they are usually the people with the most to lose or gain.
    As an outsider I’m not tied to having to live in Singapore or anywhere. I’m moving there to raise a family with my wife, for the standard of living and the appealing business and tax regime.

    If things go wrong, I will go somewhere else.

    Not everybody is fortunate enough to be in that situation and for those who aren’t in such a position it can certainly look like outsiders are being favoured regardless of whether or not this is the case.

    I do knoe that looking from my perspective, British National living in the Netherlands, owning a Singapore registered company and a wife in a similar position about to have kids. Singapore looks very appealing and the taxes we will pay (corporate rather than personal) will be considerable, if not in percentage definitely in quantity. By attracting companies to base out of Singapore ( and by extension many directors to reside there) the government is bringing in revenue to use for it natives and PR’s in what (again from an outsiders perspective) seems a very successful and well regulated manner.

  7. jack, we criticize because we have a stake in Singapore. The day I stop criticizing is the day I pack up and leave Singapore for good. I don’t deny we have a lot to be thankful for, but at the same time there are things that can be improved. The government demands a lot from the citizens eg work hard, don’t be picky, save to cpf, accept that they need high pay,, accept that foreign talent is good; in same vein, we in turn can demand a lot back from them.

  8. there are always two sides to a coin.
    its undeniable SG is an oasis in the world..some non SG frens describe it as Utopia..some decried it as u-noe-wat..
    it all boils down to expectations and experiences..if you have seen n hear will realise SG isnt as bad as what some say..SG might be lackin in a certain way..”freedom”.but that means a good chance you n i cannot walk around town feelin safe during anytime in the day or nite..its a give n take..welfare state breeds lotsa unwanted behaviour..are we ready? i doubt so..yet on the other hand, can we do more to help the needy, the lower income, the not so well off? i doubt it when we say we can’t..

  9. Greed is the new world order if you don’t know yet, a side effect of capitalism.

    As an open economy, Singapore is of course part of the new world order.

    Goldman Sachs just announced US$3 BILLION in profits and will give out an AVERAGE of S$1 MILLION in bonus to EACH employee.

    Read about their fantastic history of greed in this amazing and controversial article:…american_bubble_machine/

  10. johnny,

    i’ve moved around a bit, from HK to SG to down under and now married to Netherlands. I’ve done my fair share of complaining about every place I’ve lived in, there’s definitely something in everywhere that I wouldn’t be proud of… SG’s really well-governed compared to many places in the world, the standard of living is healthily high (unlike Europe)… There’s really no perfect place once you’ve lived long enough to discover all the dirty little secrets in every place 🙂

  11. to: sporean in nl
    I’m not denying Singapore is a good place. Even if it’s the best place on earth, there are still lots to be improved upon (e.g. just ask the heartlanders). As our honourable MM Lee said (and I paraphrase), we have got to move ahead, otherwise we’ll fall behind and become backwards again. So, what better ways to improve than to ask your own people – Singaporeans – for feedback and constructive criticisms?
    btw, if Singapore is so good, why are you in NL? 🙂

  12. there’s something to improve on in any place and yeah you’re right, who better to make suggestions on changes than the ones living there? 🙂

    like i briefly mentioned, i got married to a dutch so living in NL now. we don’t know how long we’ll be here but figured it’s a good place to start, considering my husband already has a job here and im a fresh graduate (yes ie in between jobs :P).

  13. To sporean in nl, previous suggestion about meeting up was meant for you not Johnny. I’m married to a Dutch/Vietnamese who also has her own business. We’re moving them out to Asia I’d be interested in your thoughts.

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  15. welcome to S'pore on

    to Sena Gbeckor-Kove, I say welcome to Singapore! The business environment is great, and so is the food. One thing you’ll have to get used to is the weather, though of course if you;re mostly indoors that should be ok.

    Only after a time spent here will you begin to see and hear the stuff you read on this page – the other comments. That will be up to you to interpret things as they are. Things can be tough, and so they are, but as a born and bred Singaporean myself, who has been around, I would say that there’s no better place than home – and that, my friend, is Singapore.

    Work hard, save like crazy, spend/invest wisely, and you should be fine. I wish you all the very best.

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  18. Jack, haven’t you noticed the disproportionate amount of cynicism in cyberspace? It’s all due to the disproportionate amount of sycophancy in our one-party controlled mainstream media, which admittedly is of high quality except for local political issues. The journalists and editors simply do not want to risk their livelihoods by going against the ‘norm’. Sometimes it is so bad that they practise totally unnecessary self censorship and excess lopsided praise, so bad that if I’m a party elder I would cringe when I read those sycophantic one-sided ‘editorials’.

  19. One of my good friend was retrenched from the Marine Sector after 1 year and 8 months of working… Now he is struggling with part time studies and work as a daily rate contractor installing internet modems.

  20. It is a painful experience, when one’s have commitment, of loan, car loan & family commitment. You could probably not able to find the same salary job as the previous one.

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