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Swiss expats say Singaporeans not entitled to jobs in Singapore « Getting at the truth

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Swiss expats say Singaporeans not entitled to jobs in Singapore

Franziska Zimmermann

Haughty Franziska Zimmermann

Swiss lawyer Franziska Zimmermann may have been in Singapore for only 18 months, but she talked as if she has been staying in Singapore since birth and even found fit to lecture Singaporeans!

In an interview conducted by the Straits Times on expatriates working in Singapore, 37 year old Ms Zimmermann felt that Singaporeans are generally friendly to foreigners though some harbor anti-foreigner sentiments, that is to be expected.

“This anti-foreigner issue is in every city. It’s a natural debate and the Swiss are questioning it too. But no one owes anyone else a living; you cannot say you are entitled to jobs in your country,” she says.

Her colleague Ms. Elouisa Dalli added that she is “aware” that Singaporeans worry about a growing divide between the cosmopolitan rich like her she brags, and lower-income heartlanders, but praises Singapore as a society where “opportunities remain open to all.”

"Cosmopolitan rich" Elouisa Dalli

"Cosmopolitan rich" Elouisa Dalli

“Everyone in Singapore, regardless of his social background, has the same access to the MRT, education, safety and job opportunities. “Only if these opportunities are available only to the top in society that you have a true divide,” she was quoted as saying.

The insensitive and downright stupid statements by the arrogant ladies, Zimmerman and Dalli, are not only insulting to Singaporeans, but are harmful to the two ladies and even more so to Syngenta, the company for which they both work.

Ms. Zimmerman is Manager, Public Affairs Asia-Pacific at Syngenta Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd. It is unforgivable that a manager of public affairs would make such an inappropriate comment about the guest country, Singapore, where she is working.  

Elouisa Dalli is Media & Community Relations Manager, for Syngenta. She is supposed to generate good publicity for Syngenta, but has done exactly the opposite.

Franziska Zimmermann and Elouisa Dalli are not qualified for their jobs as they are insensitive to public affairs or community relations. In both these areas they have only damaged not only their own reputations, but Syngenta’s as well.

Syngenta for its own good, and as an apology to Singapore and Singaporeans, should fire both Franziska Zimmermann and Elouisa Dalli.

Singapore should withdraw their employment visas, as well.

38 comments to Swiss expats say Singaporeans not entitled to jobs in Singapore

  • JeffGoh

    Well said. They are in so called “Public Relations”. Their insensitive and half-baked comments show that these two so called “foreign talents” are no talent at all; they have betrayed themselves by showing they lack an understanding of the situation.

    Singaporeans do not object to real talents coming but will not accept these parasites disguised as “talents”. MOM needs to reinvent itself and do their job like they are supposed too, and policies have to be revamped to weed out parasites.

    Syngenta shares some responsibility too for employing these parasites. From this incident, it is clear that these two positions should be filled by locals; there are many locals in this field of work who are way above these two in terms of experience and basic common sense.

  • Local NSman

    Two half-baked PR should apologies to your host Singaporean for your dumb comments.Lets write to the company HQ to register our anger.

    • admin

      Agree, NSman:
      Syngenta Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd.
      1 HarbourFront Ave #03-03 Singapore 098632

      Tel : 6333 6400

  • Hi John, it is ok if we publish your article on TRE website (www.tremeritus.com)?



  • White Race Female Superior complex

  • Poooolitical SalesMaN

    I don’t think they R Highly educated person in Swiss.May B they R prositute in Swiss, just cross over to Singapore declare they R expat.Syngenta Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd like to habour Prositute in disguise.

  • ms

    Are these 2 are rejected hookers from Swiss and accepted by our great government as PR here? Pls get lost, We, Singapotean not welcome u both to hete dirty our homeland.

  • Thanks! Keep in touch. Email me if you have any interesting articles to post 🙂

  • Benjamin Lim

    How ignorant and stupid of these 2 women.

    Out of touch with people trying to survive in Singapore.

    Both have the good life.

    Swiss-born Zimmermann and the British born Dalli are “supposed to spread the goodwill”.

    Instead, they have both put their own feet into their silverspooned mouths!

    The swiss-company, Syngenta have these 2 on their company payroll?

    And I am sure these 2 women don’t come cheap?


    “Why don’t you hire Singaporeans instead of putting 2 ignoramuses in charge of PR? What a huge mistake!”

    “Fire them!”

  • Penny Koh T K

    We have here two FTs who have taken JOBS away from Singaporeans…correct?

    Why doesn’t Syngenta hire Singaporeans for their jobs?

    Something’s not right with this whole picture.

    Penny Koh
    NUS Graduate -unemployed

  • Albert Tan


    why are you hiring these 2 goats?
    Why don’t you HIRE SINGAPOREANS, who know what they are talking about?

  • Michael T SY

    One Swiss, one British, take our jobs, get the big money, talk rubbish about Singapore people, then go home.
    Ridiculous. Their company, really stupid and dumb to hire these women, who know absolutely NOTHING about Singapore people!
    I am outraged!##$#$%@

  • Amanda L

    Dalli, the Brit, has only been in Singapore for over A MONTH. Dalli came from Zurich, to her new job with Synjenta, based in Singapore.

    ‘When you’ve got rising stars such as China’s cities,you cannot be complacent.
    ‘At the moment, everybody wants to be in Singapore, but will that be so in future?’ said Dalli.

    Dalli n Zimmermann (18 months in Singapore)- have taken 2 jobs meant for Singaporeans.

    To be where these women are, is to be connected to ‘the right people’.

    These two obnoxious women know nothing about what Singaporeans face each day, to put makan on their table. These 2 high-fliers are rich, one with a Swiss passport, the other, British.

    They mix with the us, the natives, and they think they know us?

    It’s the “wealthy connections” that make them where and who they ‘think’ they are.

    Dalli and Zimmermann should be fired,—… they don’t even know how to work at their PR jobs.

    Connections is how you got to be where you are Ms Dalli and Ms Zimmermann.

    if everyone has equal opportunites for jobs, etc- We would have your jobs.

    Syngenta- Why don’t you hire me? I am a Singaporean, I have a degree from NUS in Business Admin. I am looking for a job. I was let go from my last job with Sintel.

    Amanda L
    Toa Payoh, Singapore

    • ms

      If these 2 are good, tjry don’t need to come to Simgapote to work. They should be doing well in their own countries. Why need to leavr their own countries & their families? Ladies what u both have today, don’t mean that tomorrpw u are still having it. Everything are impermanent. U both too freaking childish.

  • TengdangLah

    These two women are in PR? Fire them lah~!
    So stupid to say these remarks, show us what they ‘really think’ of Singaporeans~2 eextra jobs for Singaporeans!
    Lawah Lawah people.

  • Go Home

    Just look at their faces, you can see how spoilt they really are.

    Cushy lives, with cushy jobs, fly all over the world, and come here and tell Singaporeans that we are not entitled to jobs in our country’!

    of course not,!!! you 2 idiots have our JOBS.
    Go home, Zimmermann and Dalli!

  • Lucy Teh Kim Leng

    I hate these women, for everything they represent.

    They are the ‘haves’ talking down to the ‘have nots’ who cannot find jobs, no matter how hard we try!

    They think life and work is an equal playing field for everyone.

    how can this firm hire these women? Of course, from their ‘rich friend connections’.

    They represent the PR of Syngenta squatting in Singapore.

  • Boyden Gray

    …and from the mouths of rich and priveledged babes, Zimmermann and Dalli lectures the people of Singapore about jobs.

    This is the level of intelligence and ideology of rich FTs we have to show for in Singapore?

    God help every job-seeking Singaporean.

    Boyden Gray
    FT working in Singapore

    ps: not all angmohs are created equal either.

  • Taylor Lesley Wilcox

    John, an insightful post.

    I work in Singapore as well. These remarks were certainly out of line, and unwarranted. Singapore and the people of Singapore are wonderful people.
    You know,they probably “mis spoke”??? Quite unfortunate.

    Taylor L Wilcox
    Chee Hoon Ave,

  • Laurine Toner

    Their insensitive comments don’t represent the many foreigners who work and live in Singapore. Thank You!
    Laurine Toner

  • Roland Soh

    We BUTTER your bread. If you can find a job from where you come from, please GET OUT of here. We, SINKaPOOReans need the job. Arrogant people like you have no place in our society.
    You have STOLEN our jobs with the connivance of our IDIOTIC MINISTERS.

  • Tim P

    Sygenta’s into selling pesticides. One of the major lobbyists sleeping with some of the folks in the US Congress
    2010- swiss company american CEO, Mike Mack’s salary is $5.45 million. 23,600 employees.

    Hey Mike, you got 2 pesticides here in Singapore- Zimmermann and Dalli.

  • Winston Tan

    It has come to this where FTs like these are telling what they think are the “dumb Singaporeans” about jobs and life.
    I have been looking for a job for 1 year now, with no success. Luckily for me, the rest of my family are helping me.
    Jobs in Singapore are so hard to get now, that these foreign women who are lecturing us…me, about jobs, show how insensitive, intolerant, snobbish and cruel they are.
    What can someone like me do, when I cannot get a job? I have been sending out well over a 100 resumes, so far no luck.
    Do these women know how expensive it is to live in Singapore?
    Of course not. These women have no money problems.
    Just talk rubbish about “no one owes anyone else a living; you cannot say you are entitled to jobs in your country”.
    I am trying to find a job, but so far, there are none.
    Why don’t one of you give up your job for me?
    Winston Tan
    Hougang, Singapore

  • Adrianna Burkhalter

    Gruezi mitenand,
    I am Swiss, also living in Singapore. The Swiss woman here is very wrong to say this remark to the Singapore people.
    I feel bad, so I write to say my apologies.
    I have many friends in Singapore, I live here now for 5 years. I think she has only arrived here for a short time. She does not understand yet.
    Merci vilmal,
    A Burkhalter

    • Boh88

      Gruezi auch zu Ihnen.
      As in CH,democracy works both ways.
      The master is the servant and the servant is the master.
      As in CH,the people hold the true power and decide what to do or not do.
      As you have seen in SGP,we elect people to power but once they are in office,they no longer remember what is truly right or wrong.
      Overpaid ministers,inefficiency,lack of accountability,transparency, responsibility,poor foresight and oversight.
      These and a few more variables account for the seething Anger and Angst of the people.Yes,i used the word “Angst” deliberately as it fits the context well.
      The reason why your system worked well all these years is because the people,themselves decide their fate.
      Ther reason why our system would not work is because the fate of the nation is decided by only 1 man or at least,one man and a few of his closest MPs that must carry out his every order.To have the fate of a nation on a very,very select few who claims to have access to all info and understand the collective consciousness of each and every S’porean is fundamentally impossible.
      You know and i know what the real problem really is and it has been festering for ages but perhaps it will follow an old chinese saying based on an old ,almost 4,000 year ,old philosoply:
      After the darkest night,morning is just around the corner.

  • Tim

    hey… are you guys idiots?! this article is totally written out of context and re-packaged in a negative way. The original article is here: http://ifonlysingaporeans.blogspot.com/2012/03/city-is-like-bowl-of-yong-tau-foo.html.

    I’m saying c’mon man, it’s a swiss company so they will rather hire a swiss lawyer! give them a break. i personally feel (even as a singaporean), that this is really just singaporeans complaining for complaining sake. When she said “But no one owes anyone else a living; you cannot say you are entitled to jobs in your country,’ it’s quite obvious she meant tt if the job is better suited to a foreigner (e.g. swiss company hiring a swiss lawyer), it should not automatically be given to a singaporean just to appease or pacify our anti-foreigner sentiments. Singaporeans have to earn our strips too!

    Singaporeans complain when jobs are given to foreigners in top positions, but refuse to take jobs of lower positions (e.g. construction, cleaning, service staff) – tt end up going to foreigners too. We hate on foreigners getting top jobs but also make fun of foreigners getting lower level jobs. Seriously. This hypocritical, self-righteous, whole-day complain and complain attitude amongst Singaporeans is really embarrassing and pathetic.

    If you can’t get a job, it really either means (A)you haven’t worked hard enough (B)you are unqualified (C)you are too picky with your job hunt or (D)some “stupid” foreigner has stolen that spot from you. Ask yourself honestly, how often is it (D) versure (A+B+C)? Seriously.

    • Boh88

      I quote:
      Pause, engage brain, attain enlightenment

      I am a S’porean and let me ask all S’poreans what is the real problem here.
      If the foreigners work here,we consider them as stealing our jobs. We complain.
      When the foreigners get the citizenship and move out,we call them unloyal traitors.
      Tell me,is this not complaining all the time?
      Whatever the foreigners do or not do,we complain.

      Secondly,ask yourself who makes the final decision to offer work permits?
      The employers or the staff that work for the Government of S’pore.If it is the S’porean staff and you are not happy,then why vote for the so-called status quo and complain.

      Sit down,take many deep breaths,close your eyes and say nothing and read this reply and find the wisdom in them.

      If you do not find it,that alone is your problem.
      If you do find it,you have begun to see the beginning of enlightenment.

      That is why i quote this in the beginning:
      Pause, engage brain, attain enlightenment


  • Jim

    Every Singaporean should write to Syngenta’s CEO and express their outrage at the offensive and insensitive remarks!

  • Han

    What utter irony!

    I was doing my MBA at a European business school last year, and most companies based in Switzerland clearly state that they do not accept any resumes/applications from non-swiss, non-EU nationals.

    So, why are the Swiss entitled to jobs in Switzerland? Why is it acceptable, then, that the Swiss job market remains exclusive?

    This protectionism is, unfortunately, apparent in many other countries, albeit to a smaller extent.

    These 2 swiss misses should feel fortunate the the Sg government, unlike Switzerland, does not exercise such exclusivity.

    But seriously, do we need such rich yet clueless “talents”? More evidence, thus, that Singapore should be more discerning towards work visas.

  • Next Year In Jerusalem, Franzi

    “This anti-foreigner issue is in every city. It’s a natural debate and the Swiss are questioning it too. But no one owes anyone else a living; you cannot say you are entitled to jobs in your country,” she says. “Everyone in Singapore, regardless of his social background, has the same access to the MRT, education, safety and job opportunities. “Only if these opportunities are available only to the top in society that you have a true divide,” she was quoted as saying.

    ok oK oK, given that I think she could have spoken in a more clear and concise manner. Maybe she is Swiss and English is not her first language.

    Maybe it is best she explain herself exactly what she mean when she said, “you cannot say you are entitled to jobs in your country”.

    BUT if we try to put the whole sentence into perspective… with a focus and for singaporean english sake, re emphasis on the first part of the sentence, ‘But no one owes anyone else a living; you cannot say(whinge) you are entitled to jobs in your country(and here is the rhetorical missing part of her sentence)BECAUSE YOU NEED TO WORK FOR IT, FIGHT FOR IT, STUDY FOR IT, COMPETE FOR IT, HAVE THE SKILL, THE EXPERIENCE, THE SPECS FOR IT?????”.

    Hope it make cent now. Please don’t shoot the messenger cos I also spank singlish la la la…..

  • AnonymousWasHere

    Singaporeans are greatly disadvantaged overseas especially if we went working in Switzerland.

    I am going for Reservist training this May. While I am slogging in the mosquito infested jungle training to defend Singapore, it is reassuring to know these ladies in the safety net thrown by the sacrifices of Singaporean National Service personnel, can work comfortably in their aircon and their salary bonuses.

    Get these swiss cheese types out of our country. I am sick of it. I am a stranger in my own country and I am tired of being told that Foreign Talent is needed for this country!

  • Abbey Red

    I agree that as an international facing company, Syngenta should indeed consider the continuing role of these two individuals within their organisation.

  • Marcos

    I am a Singaporean currently working and living in Switzerland. I find it very insensitive and double-standard of Zimmermann to give her 2-cents worth of comments, especially in a country where she has lived for only 18months. Compared to Singapore, your dear country Switzerland does not even hire any non-white foreigners due to your work permit system. If I am not married to my wife, I would not have been given a work permit too. You should get out of Singapore and move back to Switzerland, where you will see how much your country practises discrimination and racism!

  • Marcos

    I really think that Zimmermann should seriously sincerely apologise! For your information, your country practises discriminatory work permit system which effectively shuts out all non-Swiss and non-EU citizens. So, why the double standard when you are living in Singapore? Judging by your logic, why are Swiss entitled to find a job in Switzerland?

  • Salaryman

    i didn’t know that Switzerland is for the Swiss?

    Sygenta pay Zimmermann and Dallis each-

    easy Sin$200,000 each!!!

    for talking rubbish! expat pay is higher than paying a Singaporean ok???

  • HatiPain101

    All the money is going to the FTs. What is wrong with this whole picture?…
    while Singaporeans are also lectured by them.
    very painful.

  • Sad Singaporean

    Two words “Ungrateful Parasite”

    This cemented my view of these foreign trashes.

    When in Rome, do what the peoples do. Guess these FT are too lowly to understand such a basic statement. Well, that why they are here in Singapore. Because they are rejects of their own respective countries.