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.....