My family don't buy the state controlled propaganda papers. Nevertheless interesting news published on the State Times will surface on the internet. Recently it was reported that foreign workers are moonlighting as barbers.
For many foreign workers which are imported in as cheap labor:
- $10 spam chain barbers --> expensive
- <$10 barbers in peasant heartlands --> also expensive
As i've blogged earlier about the cancerous GDP growth in SG, these foreign workers are primarily here to earn S$. They will cut their expenses in high cost SG & save as much as possible. Hence there are increasing number of businesses dying(killer rent is another big bugger) when locals are wage suppressed with little to no spending power.
Intense competition among barbers have led to many closing their mom & pop businesses here despite the price stagnation or cheaper prices. My neighborhood mom & pop barber closed shop around 2 years after i started cutting my hair in Malaysia.
The next barber business at the same premises just closed his business last month.
There are increasing numbers of those $10 express hair cut spam chain businesses sprouting up at train stations & shopping malls. I don't like these spam chain hair cut businesses because they treat the individual more like a sheep(trim fast) than as a human.
Despite the intense price pressure in the local barber business, i still chop passport to cut hair. There are advantages of cutting hair in Johor, Malaysia. These advantages in value for your dollar underlie why SG's barber business cannot compete with their Msian counterparts.
Extra services offered by Msian barbers not found in SG:
- very brief massage (whoa!! i'm treated like a human being instead of a sheep)
- fresh razor blade (in SG, the blade don't know reuse how many times)
- short wait cause there are at least 2 barbers
- standard cut last longer than SG (they are not desperate for me to go back)
Hair cut plus all these extra services at just RM12. Excellent value for $$. Is unfortunate that local mom & pop barbers are dying & i've played a part too. The current toxic business environment of high rent, high utilities & pressure for fast turnover for profits in which people are treated as sheep to be milked dry are all factors created by the hybrid regime making traditional barbers a dying trade here just like traditional hawker food.
In place of these dying trade/food, we have those spam chain businesses churning out 'robotic' services & tasteless food.
Thus after i cut hair in JB, Msia, i will also patronise their hawker street food cooked by their locals unlike the fake ones in SG cooked by foreigners (Msians are ok).
Why the Hassle Go Msia Cut Hair?
There are other intangible benefits as follows:
- Slow down my internal clock (feeling time pressure in SG)
- Feel more human, treated more like human over there.
- Switch off my cellphone while there as Singaporeans Reign as Mindless Slaves of Smartphones in S.E Asia
- Much less 'opium addicts' in Johor, Msia.
I'm sick of the rampant sight of 'opium addicts' in SG. Are you?
- BBC's article: Does Singapore deserve its 'miserable' tag?
Most unhappiest people in the world + 'opium addicts' in mobile phones = ?!?!?!
Happier service workers over in JB, Malaysia..