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Singaporean Indian Denied Job Interview Because She Can’t Speak Chinese

Regardless of race, language or religion?

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I do believe that’s what the Singapore pledge says.

Today the business practices of llaollao have proven this country’s beliefs wrong. It is to my understanding that businesses in Singapore, especially a non-Chinese affiliated business, should conduct their practices in English.

Again, proven wrong. I was at the West Mall branch of llaollao this afternoon, when I decided to apply for a part-time position as they were having walk-in interviews. So I asked the counter girls if I could have the interview and they asked me to head to the back entrance where the manager was waiting. Correction, it wasn’t the manager but who I believe to be the assistant manager, an older looking woman.

Without even asking me for my name, age, or qualifications, all she asked was (in very broken English) “Do you speak Chinese?” to which I laughed and said “No” and she said “My manager is from China and only speaks Chinese. Sorry” and she was about to walk away. So I said “So….I cant apply?” and she just shook her head and walked away.

Are you serious? I got turned away from a part-time job I am adequate for, simply because I was not able to converse with the manager in Chinese.

I’m sorry but when did Singapore go from English-speaking to Chinese-speaking, because I didn’t get the memo.

Why is it that the onus is now on me to learn a whole new language just so I am able to attain a part-time job at an F&B outlet? Are we not taking into account the fact that this is a multiracial country and that (surprise surprise) there are people who do not speak Chinese?

Also, why hire a manager who cannot converse in basic English, when businesses in Singapore are run based on English as a medium? Was he/she THAT qualified to be a manager of an F&B outlet that it didn’t matter that she was monolingual in a language that is not even the main language of this country?

Did it not occur that by only hiring managers who are able to speak only Chinese, you are therefore greatly limiting the pool from which you can hire staff?

Not only is it unfair on the part of eager potential employees who are unable to converse in Chinese, it is also (dare i say) a little prejudiced?

So with all that being said and done, Guess I gotta go work at a money changer now huh?

This letter was written by Karish Kaur.
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