Singapore (Introduction) By: Candice Trisha D. Tan
Where Singapore got its name… • Original name: “Temasek” • According To legend: "Singapura“ Sanskrit for "Lion City", from Sang Nila Utama, ruler of ancient region Palembang
As early as 13th Century… • Singapore is considered as the melting pot of different cultures. • It is considered as the site of trading for royalty, merchants and craftsman.
Into the 19th Century... • Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, an Englishman, established the British East India Company for trading. • On Feb. 6, 1819, Sir Raffles signed a treaty with Sultan Hussein of Johor and the Temenggong, rulers of Singapore, on the control of the British over the islands.
Into the 19th Century... • Its status as a free port and having strategic location enabled the territory to achieve its prosperity. • It drew different races like Chinese, Malays, Indian, Jewish, Armenian and Americans to set up their bases in the country creating a harmonious, multi-racial immigrant society up until today.
Into the 19th Century... • Gibraltar of the East • Impregnable fortress • Singapore was also held captive by Japan during the WWII • Total Defence Day
Singapore's Independence(1965- up to present) • Aug 9 1965- Singapore separated from Malaysia. • it became a sovereign, democratic, and independent nation. • Dec 22 1965, Singapore became a republic country.
Into the 19th Century... • Mr. Lee Kuah Yew-first prime minister • Mr. Yusof bin Ishak- first president • "Four National Taps” • 1967- cofounded the ASEAN
Major Governmental Bodies • Constitution • Executive • President • Legislature • President • Parliament • Judiciary • Elections Tan Keng Yam Tony, President Lee Hsien Loong, PM
Political Dynamics • Power Structure • Extremely centralized • Top-down style • appointment rather than election to most offices • Political Culture • Centralized, authoritarian, and statist • Pragmatic, rational, and legalistic • Not a Western country with a Western political system.
Foreign Policy • Konfrontasi (survival issue) • Minister for Foreign Affairs, 1981 • Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) • Maintaining a balance of power in the regions • Global rather than regional before 1975
Weird (Dumb) Laws in Singapore • Bungee jumping is illegal. • The sale of gum is prohibited. • Homosexuals are not allowed to live in the country. • Pornography is illegal. • As it is considered pornographic, you may not walk around your home nude. • Failure to flush a public toilet after use may result in very hefty fines. • It is considered an offense to enter the country with cigarettes.
Weird (Dumb) Laws in Singapore • Cigarettes are illegal at all public places. • It is illegal to come within 50 meters of a pedestrian crossing marker on any street. (motorists) • If you are convicted of littering three times, you will have to clean the streets on Sundays with a bib on saying, “I am a litterer.” • It is illegal to pee in an elevator. • No hugging without permission. • No poking adverse comments at religion. • Crooks go to jail.
Weird (Dumb) Laws in Singapore • Connecting on unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots means hacking. • No writing removable marking ink on someone else car. It’s called vandalism. • No sports or bar brawl. Its called Affray. One week jail. • No pocketknife in public places. Cane for locals. Deportation for foreigners. One Japanese fought his way out in court.
SINGAPORE Cultural Orientation
Education • Education is considered a key to the future success and reason for great endeavours of the family. • There is a great emphasis on higher education. • Primary education • It consists of a 4-year foundation stage and a 2-year orientation stage, for a total of 6 years. • Secondary education • 4-5 years • Secondary education is a specialized education system.
Education (continued) • Specialized Curricula • Special • Express • Normal (Academic) • Technical course • Post-Secondary Education • Students who graduate from secondary education can choose between entering a university or in a vocational course.
Language • Official Languages • English • Malay • Tamil • Standard Mandarin • Singlish is a mix of English with other languages mixed into the English
Inheritance • Traditionally, sons inherited family assets, while daughters were expected to marry out of the family. This pattern is less common today. • Yusok bin Ishak
Marriage • There is a high regard on the role of the father as the head of the family to provide well for his dependents. • Islam is one of the major religions in Singapore; therefore polygamy is something that they encounter around the country. • Interethnic marriages • Not common
Infant care • There is very little free space where children can play and few areas designed especially for children. • Filipinos and Singaporeans alike are passionate towards the presence of infants.
Religious Belief • Singapore is considered one of the most religious countries in the world. • Major religions: • Buddhism • Taoism • Islam • Christianity • Hinduism • Others • Judaism • Sikhism
Festivals • Chinese New Year/Lunar New Year • biggest and most significant event of the Chinese community, and it is observed by Singaporeans from all walks of life. • one of the most eagerly anticipated occasions each year. • Folklore is very much at the heart of this festival. • Chingay Parade • a traditional Chinese New Year procession • Chingay • the art of costume and masquerade • Reunion Dinner • Eve of Chinese New Year
Festivals (continued) • Huayi Festival • showcases traditional and contemporary Chinese arts in a variety of genres like theatre, opera and music, and includes visual installations by renowned Chinese artists from all over the world. • Singapore Arts Festival • displays works from both legendary and budding artists alike while bridging gaps in language, cultures and discipline
Gift Giving • Chinese • A gift may be refused three times before it is accepted • A sign that the recipient is not greedy • Do not give scissors, knives or other cutting utensils as they indicate that you want to sever the relationship. • Do not give odd numbers as they are unlucky. • Do not give clocks, handkerchiefs or straw sandals • they are associated with funerals and death. • Do not wrap gifts in white, blue or black paper • These are mourning colors • Wrap gifts in red, pink, or yellow
Gift Giving (continued) • Do not bring food if invited to a formal dinner party as it insinuates you do not think the host will provide sufficient hospitality. • Bring a small gift of fruit, sweets, or cakes, saying that it is for the children. • Malay • Do not give anything made of pigskin as Malays are Muslim. • Give the gift when you are departing, rather than when you arrive. • Gifts are not opened when received.
Meeting and Greeting • Introductions are always done in order of age or status. • When being introduced to someone of the opposite sex, nodding the head and smiling is usually sufficient. • Ethnic Chinese shake hands. • Their grasp is rather light although the handshake itself can be rather prolonged. • Men and women may shake hands, although the woman must extend her hand first.
Title/Name • Malay • The title Haji (male) or Hajjah (female) before the name indicates the person has made their pilgrimage to Mecca. • The name Sayyed (male) or Sharifah (female) indicates that the person is considered to be a descendent of the prophet Mohammed. • Many Malays do not have surnames. • Men add the father's name to their own name with the connector bin (So Noor bin Isa, would be Noor, the son of Isa.) • Women use the connector binti, so Zarinabinti Isa would be Zarina the daughter of Isa.
Title/Name (continued) • Chinese • Address the person by an honorific title and their surname. If they want to move to a first name basis, they will advise you which of their two personal names to use. • Some Chinese adopt more western names in business and may ask you to call them that.
Business Protocols • Do not try to schedule meetings during Chinese New Year, since many businesses close for the entire week. • You should arrive at meetings on time. • Punctuality is a virtue. • Never disagree or criticize someone who is senior to you in rank as it will cause both of you to lose face and may destroy the business relationship. • Always wait to be told where to sit. • The group is viewed as more important than the individual. • People observe a strict chain of command
Business Protocols (continued) • Business cards are exchanged after the initial introductions. • Exchanged using both hands. • Examine business cards carefully before putting them in a business card case. • Your own business cards should be maintained in pristine condition. Never give someone a tattered card.
Online Interview • Jennilyn Ami • SAP Consultant at Atos, Singapore • ATOS • is an international information technology services company
Question and Answers: • Impressions of a new immigrant on Cultural Orientation in Singapore: • “Health conscious ang mga Singaporeans.” • “Food, kelangan lagi may vegetable. ” • “Sa school, may weighing scale bawat classrooms. Pag overweight ang student, kinakausap parents ng student.” • “Mahilig kumain ang mga tao dito.” • Mahilig singaporeans sa spicy food.” • “Pero ung variety of food, halos lahat meron. May malay food, inidian, chinese, japanese,western food kahit sa food courts at hawkercenters”
Question and Answers: (continued) • “Sumisikat pa langangarawditomgabandang 7am. So ang 5am natinsapinas eh 7am ditoangitsurangpaligid.” • “Pagang holiday dito eh natapatng weekend, minumoveng weekdays. ” • “Mabilisangorassasingapore. Di koalam kung dahillagilangnagmamadalimgataodito. Di kapwedelumakadnaparangnasa park lalonasalugarngmadamitao.”
Question and Answers: (continued) • “Uncle at Auntie ang tawag sa matatanda dito.” • “Bawat bus at train, may designated na upuan ang mga matatanda. Mapapansin mo na mga tao dito, nirereserve tlga ung upuan na un. Di sila uupo. Kaya marami ka makikita dito na nakatayo lang. Babae o lalake.” • “Ang masaklap lang, ung parang pension na makukuha ng matatanda dito ung parang sa sss, makukuha lang by the age of 65. Dati nasa 55 lng daw. Kaya madami pa rib mga aunties at uncle na nagttrabaho dito.” • Ang mga janitors, cashier, saka tagapunas ng tables sa hawker centers ay usually matatanda. Inaallow ng government na makapagwork pa sila.”
Question and Answers: (continued) • “Sa mga public transpo. Mapapansin mo lahat ng tao may hawak ng smartphones. Di na uso dito ung nokia. Normal phones dito eh iphone at s3. Mapapansin mo lhatay hawak ng smartphone or ipad, sa bus or train man.” • “Ang traffic flow dito eh kabaligtaran sa pinas. Ang driver's seat eh nasa kanan.” • “Ang mga taxi dito nagbibigay ng sukli up to the last cent.” • “Ang mga expressways eh wala ng tollgates. Automatic na nachacharge ung fee pag pumasok ng expressway kasi bawat sasakyan may machine na. Astig nga. Parang naiiscan tapos mababawas na sa account nila.”
Question and Answers: (continued) • “Convenient ang mga transpo dito kasi kahit mainit sa singapore, nakaaircon na mga bus at trains. So di mo masyado ramdam init pg nasa labas ka. Un nga lang, kelangan mo tiisin ang amoy ng mga indian. Karamihan kasi sa kanila mabaho talaga. Sumusuot sa utak. Hahaha” • “Sobrang dami ng pinoy dito sa SG. ” • “Iba ang rates mg mga Singaporeans sa foreigners dito pagdating sa salaries and benefits.” • “Pinoprotektahan kasi ng government nila mga citizens nila dahil madami na foreign workers dito.” • “Karamihan ng mga tao stressed. Parang workaholic kasi mga singaporeans. Wala sila pakiaalam sa work life balance minsan.”
Question and Answers: (continued) • “You can go from east to west of sg in just 2 hrs.maliit lang SG” • “One thing na maganda dito sa sg eh ung security. Dito pwede mo iwan ang gamit mo sa food court at mag order ng food ng di mo inaalala na mawawala.” • “Per marami cases ng suicides dito. Di lang masyado nakakalat sa news kasi di hinahayaan ng government. Inaapprove muna ng government ang mga ipapapublish na news sa tv at newspaper. Kaya karamihan ung mgaganda lang nalalaman ng ibang bansa about sa SG.”
Business Meeting Etiquette • Appointments are necessary and should be made at least 2 weeks in advance, whenever possible. • The most formal way to schedule a meeting is to write to the person concerned. • Do not try to schedule meetings during Chinese New Year (late January/early February), since many businesses close for the entire week. • You should arrive at meetings on time. • There will be period of small talk before getting down to business discussions.
Business Meeting Etiquette • Since questioning authority is a taboo, it is important to encourage questions when after making a presentation and then smile when a question is eventually asked. • Presentations should be accompanied by backup material. • Never disagree or criticize someone who is senior to you in rank as it will cause both of you to lose face and may destroy the business relationship. • Pay attention to non-verbal communication.
Negotiating • Always send a list of people who will be attending the negotiations and their title well in advance. • Always wait to be told where to sit. • Business negotiations happen at a slow pace. • Singaporeans are non-confrontational. • Singaporeans give a respectful pause of up to 15 seconds before answering a question. • Be prepared with a mental list of concessions you would be willing to make that would not injure your own business.
Negotiating • Singaporeans are tough negotiators on price and deadlines. • Decisions are consensus driven • Avoid losing your temper or you will lose face and damage your relationship. • If you are signing a contract with ethnic Chinese, the signing date may be determined by an astrologer or a geomancer (feng shui man).