Uniquely Singapore: Monks face pressure of foreign competition

Only in Singapore, would local-born citizens fear job discrimination in our own homeland, even in the least expected of occupations:

Local monk Ang Juat Chong says he spoke to his MP, Mr Yaw Shin Leong, about unlicensed monks working in Singapore. -- ST
Local monk Ang Juat Chong says he spoke to his MP, Mr Yaw Shin Leong, about unlicensed monks working in Singapore. -- ST PHOTO: SAMUEL HE

Monks face pressure of foreign competition
Income from prayer sessions down as foreign monks charge lower rate
Published on Nov 18, 2011, Straits Times.com

By Lin Wenjian

Some monks here are feeling the heat of competition provided by their foreign counterparts.

In particular, the local monks claim that foreign monks, who are mostly from China and Malaysia, are undercutting them by charging up to 50 per cent less for prayer sessions conducted at funeral wakes.

Mr Ang Juat Chong, 59, a Singaporean who has been a Buddhist monk for the last 18 years, said his monthly income has gone down by as much as 70 per cent in the last two years because of this.

‘Local monks charge about $1,200 to do Buddhist rites at funeral wakes, but these foreign monks charge only $600 or $700. So of course, funeral parlours will prefer to hire them,’ he told The Straits Times yesterday.

The relentless onslaught of job competition continues for Singapore citizens. Yet our government policies continue to allow foreigners to stream in in record numbers.

We even need our Minister of State for Manpower, Tan Chuan Jin to explicitly urge employers not to discriminate against Singaporeans. That’s how sad we have become.

Yes, Singaporeans love to complain, me included. Most of the times, we cannot offer “constructive criticism (an oxymoron term in my view)”, but this do not mean the complain isn’t a valid one.

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2 thoughts on “Uniquely Singapore: Monks face pressure of foreign competition”

  1. No surprise there lah. Try asking the Prostitutes in Geylang or Orchard Tower. You’ll also get the same answers. The only way for PAP to repent is to let them taste their own medicine. Send more ‘competition’ into the Parliament House.

  2. these are not real monks. Real practising monks/nuns do not ask for money for prayer session. In fact, the Vinaya rules forbid monks from handling money. There have been a lot of opportunists who don the robes just to make a living but do not know much about the basics of Buddhism, except for rites and rituals to make a living.

    http://ahandfulofleaves.net/dhamma/?p=1873

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