In the recent Qatar Open table tennis tournament, Singapore’s paid foreign talents lost their first match in the round of 16. Bought from China in 2007, Singaporean Feng Tian Wei whose world ranking is number 6, lost to German, Solja Petrissa, who ranked 13th at the International Table Tennis Federation World Tour event. This is Feng Tian Wei’s second loss to Solja Petrissa after her defeat in the Women’s World Cup in October.

Another foreign talent bought from China in 2008, Yu Meng Yu lost to her China compatriot Zhu Yu Ling from China. The Singapore team women’s double, Feng Tian Wei and Zhou yi Han, also lost to their China ex-colleagues, Ding Ning and Liu Shi Wen. The only category Singapore won is the Under-21 women’s singles, clinched by Zeng Jian, a foreign talent bought from China in 2015.

According to the Singapore government, the hiring of foreign talents is to elevate the country’s international reputation and also fill in the country’s lack of talents due to its small population. However the Singapore government refuse to grow local talent pool and prefer to hire paid sportsperson from overseas, offering them citizenship and luxurious sponsorship. The number of local Singapore table tennis national players is just 3, compared to 9 foreign talent players. There is also no integration effort made for the foreign talent players, as none of them can speak in English.