Thursday, October 26, 2006

Staying Together Moving Ahead....

"No Singaporean should be left behind, and everyone should have full opportunities, to realise his or her dream" - PAP 2006 Election Campaign Brochure.


I also kept the brochure that promised us a Swiss standard of living and I still haven't stopped dreaming about that yet even though my mom has turned my fondue pot into a flower pot.

40 years of PAP rule and we have the Tans, a Singapore family who lived in utter poverty along side a govt with immense prosperity. They control so much wealth that the billion dollar losses in Thailand can be considered peanuts and not worthy of lenthy articles and analysis in our local media. There is much aversion when it comes to giving aid to the poor. ...and the PAP have us believe that providing free medical care to those who cannot afford it will bankrupt us but excellent long investments in Shin Corp and Optus will be beneficial to us. Wealth is created by the PAP and poverty by less able Singaporeans. Wise policies to import foreign workers, sell affordable housing and medical care to Singaporeans did not create this poverty.

I was at the hawker center the other day when I met my neighbor and start chatting....we got to the topic about her son Beng Seng who started his primary one education early this year. To my neighbor her child carries hope of a better life. "How is Beng Seng doing in Primary 1?", I asked her in Mandarin. "Nowadays, Primary 1 very difficult", she replied. After 3 months in school, she received a call from the teacher who asked to meet her. "I'm sorry , Beng Seng is not coping well at school", said the teacher. My neighbor replied, "But he is a smart kid, he already knows how to count to 100, and his A-B-C when he started Primary 1". The teacher replied, "20 years ago that would have been alright, but nowadays when students come in for Primary 1, some of them are already able to read books like Mr. Midnight and are able to write full sentences, by the end of the year we will be teaching them comprehension and essay writing. In the New Singapore Maths they will learn concepts like number bonding. Many parents prepare their children well before the enter Primary 1. I'm sorry but Beng Seng will need to come for remedial class so that he can catch up, he can't understand the maths problems because of his English." I guess they can't slow the whole system down just because a handful cannot cope.....and this starts with primary school education. They have no choice but to expand the Primary 1 syllabus because many well educated parents already taught their children the old Primary 1 syllabus in kindergarden. So the system has to be revised to start at a higher baseline. ...and they remedy the problem of those who cannot cope by having remedial class and good old EM3. In some other countries, they might freeze the primary 1 syllabus and ask those over-enthusiastic parents to 'go fly a kite'. But the Singapore system always moves faster never slower.

We move ahead faster THEN we try to figure out how to get those who are left behind can catch up. Of course, the elites have no problems thriving in this system so all of should be able to do the same. Someone posted on my blog a list of quotes on how well they are doing in our system:

"Retrenchment is good for singapore. If there is no retrenchments, then I worry." - SM Goh

"I don't think that there should be a cap on the number of directorship that a person can hold." - PAP MP John Chen who holds 8 directorships.

"It's not for the money because some of the companies pay me as little as $10,000 a year." - PAP MP Wang Kai Yuen who holds 11 directorships.

"Save on one hairdo and use the money for breast screening." - another gem from Lim Hng Kiang.

"Only 5% are unemployed. We still have 95% who are employed." - Yeo Cheow Tong

"Singaporean workers have become more expensive than those in the USA and Australia." - Tony Tan

"...I regret making the decision because, in the end, the baby continued to be in intensive care, and KKH now runs up a total bill of more than $300,000..." - Lim Hng Kiang, regretting the decision to save a baby's life because KKH ran up a $300,000 bill.

The last quote reminded me of an incident last week. I met a technician whom I worked with some years back. He told me his wife is undergoing cancer treatment at a govt hospital and the bill is now reaching $30K. I told him not to worry as he should concentrate on getting is wife cured. Everything is world class in Singapore. When you go to hospital, you have to get world class treatment, there are no cheap non-world class budget hospitals around .....medical care has moved ahead and so has the costs. There were no cheap hospital care left around for those who cannot afford this 'best of the best' care. Singaporeans are so lucky only to have the best - the best govt that earns best salary, the most expensive public housing in the world, world class medical care.....

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

and in the ST today, forum pages, we read the case of a patient who was promised immediate attention only if he signed on as a private patient. And Khaw Boon Wan says medical services are affordable - but he failed to indicate this is only if you are willing to wait. Really - a month wait to find out if you have colon cancer? But pay now if you want to find out immediately? The whole Govt medical industry needs to relook if we should be revenue generating or otherwise. TC

LuckySingaporean said...

When I broke my tooth, I call up the Polyclinic. They told me the only appointment was 2 weeks away. So I walked right into NDC (National Dental Center) without an appointment, I remember that my tax money was used to build it.

There were very few patients in this big NDC building. When I appeared, they looked at me surprise and told me they will charge me the "full price".

I now go to JB once every 6 months to get my dental treatment done.

Anonymous said...

JB - where ahhhh? My wife reminisce about how she had to do braces as a kid and each visit was $0.50 only. Now it costs $2000 or something? Now my 3 sons need braces, but I guess those are cosmetic and are not subsidised. JB - where ahhh? Got telephone no or not?

Anonymous said...

Woa when I read this blog I understand Singapore is now One Country Two System. One system to take care of the rich elite and the other system that gives almost nothing to the poor and needy.

Widow of Mr. Tan, the poor guy who died leaping in front of the train said after setting aside some of the donation for her children and paying the family debt owed mainly to the PAP govt, she will donate most of it away. And the PAP is perpetually worried about giving too much help to these people and 'spoiling' them.

Yet for the elites no amount appear too much for these greedy segment of our society.

Whispers from the heart said...

It's not just one country, two systems ...

I think it's one word, two dictionaries.

The meaning of affordability is very different, depending on which dictionary you used - Book Of Life (of an elite) or the Book of Death (for undeserving, whiny peasants).

Anonymous said...

yeah, public dental service is one area that our dear "sporean" ah-khaw needs to look into urgently. i had to remove my wisdom teeth recently, and was told to queue at tampines poly as early as 7am. apparently, if you come in later, you won't be able to see the dentist at all as all slots available for that day will be taken up. alternatively, you can book an appointment for weeks later.

psst... sometimes i think dental hygiene is not so important for the descendents of the yellow-toothed coolies after all...

Anonymous said...

irony of it all.

woman earning $6,000 a year wants to donate the money the public has given her.

elites earning $300,000 to $1,000,000 a year continue to hold onto power. sending their children overseas and buying properties overseas with peasants money.

let's retrench these elites. it is good for them. if elites are not retrenched, then i start to worry.

- pea choke hum

Anonymous said...

elites say hire 1 singaporean = hire 5 indians or 5 chinese nationals.

why don't we retrench/outsource PM?

hire 1 PAP PM = hire 5,000 chinese PM or 5 australian PM or 3 USA Presidents

"Retrenchment is good for singapore. If there is no retrenchments, then I worry." - SM Goh

Anonymous said...

"No Singaporean should be left behind, and everyone should have full opportunities, to realise his or her dream" - PAP 2006

talkcock - gong jiao way. RFLMAO!

Anonymous said...

US Department of State:
http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2002/18263.htm

Capt_Canuck said...

Interesting how no one is ever happy with what they have but always wonder if someone elses is better. Here in Canada we have national health care where provinces dictate what they charge the individual for their health care. Some provinces pay as much as $88/month for a family whereas others are totally free no matter how many kids are in your family. All doctors and hospitals treat patients equally and there are no bribes (at least in the news). A rich member of society has to wait the same amount of time as the poor person with health care while waiting for a result of a test.

However, there is talk now of privatizing the system to resemble Singapores. Where you have wards in hospitals like in Singapore, you can get faster treatment if you pay the doctor for his time than if you wait for the gov't to pay the doctor out of the health care fund. I figured people would fight it, but there are people out there (no surprise the rich people) that actually want this to go through.

So, looks like Singaporeans should be happy that they have a system that the USA has in place (HMOs vs private doctors) and Canada is thinking of changing to.

Anonymous said...

this is what happens when elected government serves peasants.

"Employers have reacted with horror to the new Australian Fair Pay Commission's (AFPC) first minimum wage decision, which delivers up to $27.36 a week for the nation's poorest workers."

http://au.news.yahoo.com/061026/2/112bm.html

Anonymous said...

Stumbled across your blog and i share the same sentiments as you. Nevertheless, I really do think Singapore is really close to have her own V. We are just so close to boiling point at this moment.

Anonymous said...

I am the anonymous who started the first post above. Talked to a colleague who comes from Philippines and she said - where she comes from, the poor are nothing - no money, no medical help. I guess I should be thankful we do have a system here, and there are bloggers reminding us to mind the poorer people who needs help. Yes, I do need a reality check, things are not bad here, and yes, things can get better or worse, and we need to remind everybody to be better, not bitter, cos better is the only option.

Anonymous said...

USA Peasants Shall Rise: All Your Base Belong To US

Poll: Middle class voters abandoning GOP

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap
/20061027/ap_on_el_ge/
election_ap_poll_3

Anonymous said...

http://au.news.yahoo.com//061026/2/112ah.html

Sunday October 29, 11:46 AM

Minimum wage rise is reasonable: Andrews Workplace Relations Minister Kevin Andrews has defended last week's increase in the minimum wage as fair and reasonable in the prosperous economy. ...
"We are in a prosperous economy at the present time ... as I go around the country, wherever I go, business owners and proprietors say to me we simply can't find the number of people we need to do jobs." ...