This is how our National University of Singapore (NUS) pays its professors:
NUS terms of service for faculty appointments
- "Singapore Citizens and Singapore Permanent Residents receive statutory Central Provident Fund (CPF) benefits, in the form of monthly contributions to the CPF. For those aged below 50, the rates of contributions are 20% and 13% of gross monthly salary, by the faculty member and the University respectively, subject to a salary ceiling of $4,500 pm for year 2006. The rates for those above 50 years of age are lower. Contributions are tax -exempt and may be withdrawn at the age of 55 or when the faculty member leaves Singapore/Malaysia permanently; while
- Faculty members who are not Singapore Citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents may receive, in lieu of provident fund benefits, a monthly Special Payment for Foreign Staff which is calculated at 125% of the employer’s CPF contribution rate, on monthly salary, subject to the same salary ceiling as for CPF contributions. For those below 50, the rate is therefore 16.25%, subject to a maximum of S$731.25 for year 2006. The payment is taxable."
Let the good Human Battery help put a monetary meaning to all these mumbo jumbo:
Every month, NUS pays each of its foreign professor 125% of what it pays its local professors. This translate to (16.25 - 13)% * $4500 = $146.25 in cash (and NUS has the cheek to call it a "monthly special payment"). Meanwhile, its singaporean professors get nothing in cash or in cpf! Zero! Ling2 Dan4!
At the end of a standard 6 years tenure period (two 3-years contracts), NUS would have paid its foreign professor $146.25 * 12 * 6 = $10,530 more than an equally qualified local professor.
A: Meaning if you were a Singaporean who had decided to heed the government's call to do a PhD in some biotech field at, say, Harvard University, this is what might happen to you in future: you work closely with a China-born fellow student in your lab. Upon graduation, both of you receive job offers at NUS's science faculty - not a far fetched idea, since Singapore is expanding its bioscience research and the government opens its legs and pussy arms to foreign "talents".
You, the local, get paid about $150 less each month and receive about $10,000 less at the end of the two 3-years contract, compared to your buddy, the China-born foreigner, who is also from Harvard and who is working in that same biotech research field as you and who has more or less the same number of publications as you!
So what's the difference between the two of you that makes you deserve less and he more?
Nothing -- except that in the eyes of NUS/ MOE/ Matrix Master (MM), you are a lowly shitty Sink-a-Poor-人 by birth!
Q: Bigger meaning?
A: Meaning if you -- i.e. my readers from overseas -- don't want to suffer such humiliation and insults, don't come back to Singapore once you have left. You are truly a second-class citizen in your own country, and if previously you had any doubt about this "hunch", NUS has spelt it out in black and white to help you see things clearly in no uncertain terms. What more evidence do you need?
$150 a month is no big deal, especially when you are earning a 5-figure salary. But that's not the crux of the matter, is it? The point that matters is: why do you want to stomach such discrimination in your own country? Why should you? It's not as if you cannot find a job elsewhere where everyone with the same qualification is paid the same wage for the same job!
And do not think for a moment that you are abandoning your own country when you do that. Firstly, you are in effect helping to exert pressure on the Matrix Masters to treat locals fairly, lest more human batteries leave. Secondly, this country has abandoned you first, anyway...
Q: Biggest meaning?
A: Note that NUS has the audacity (or was it "stupidity"?) to state its discriminatory policy openly on its website. But NUS is merely an extension of MOE and takes its cue and instruction from the latter (even though it is supposedly "autonomous")!
So, I leave it to you guys to draw your own conclusion as to what it means in general: how do other ministries and statutory boards and government-linked companies - all of which are "cleverer" than NUS when it comes to publishing their HR policies on the web - pay/treat their employees/customers who are foreigners viz a viz equally-qualified Sink-a-Poor-人?!?
Time to leave!
If you can...
But alas, I can't. Sob!
Neo: Mr. Wizard. Get me the hell out of here.