Thursday, November 06, 2008

Singaporeans, change we can!

Today at the cafeteria, I heard one Singaporean asking another, "Have you heard Obama's victory speech?". The other Singaporean replied, "Heard it? I was so inspired...I've committed it to memory...".

"Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington — it began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston.
It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give $5 and $10 and $20 to this cause. It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation's apathy; who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep; from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on the doors of perfect strangers; from the millions of Americans who volunteered and organized, and proved that more than two centuries later, a government of the people, by the people and for the people has not perished from this earth. This is your victory." - President Obama's Victory Speech 2008

If you consider Obama's story inspiring, have you thought of your own story as Singaporeans?...
We, Singaporeans, are the children and grand children of men and women who travelled across the vast oceans to seek a better life and alter their own destinies. They came to an unfamiliar place on a lottery ticket to an unknown future. They came from bigger countries with longer histories that will not perish for a thousand years to a little island which you can hardly find on a map. Have you ever wondered what was on their minds when they stepped onto that old chinese junk or that rusty passenger ship.... what did they hope to find Singapore? Most did not come with loads of money to be bankers, lawyers or landlords, many came to be coolies, sweatshop laborers and construction workers...penniless and uneducated. With their bare hands they were determined to shape their own future so we ours can be better. It was an audacious they had to keep alive through the suffering of the 2nd World War. They did not flee this war torn nation, but stayed to reconstruct it and rebuild their own lives under British rule. They then fought their colonial masters so that they could be masters of their own destiny. They knew that unless they can decide for themselves, they would have no freedom and their dreams will be shackled by those who exploited them. We, Singaporeans, inherit the legacy of these men and women who are willing to fight for what is right, for freedom and justice. It is a legacy we must understand or we will once again lose what they fought so hard for.

Have the British left and disappeared or have they been replaced? 4 decades as a nation and we have come full circle. From the 70 year old cleaner who has no means to retire to the family whose breadwinner who put in 12 hour work days that cannot afford electricity because the state owned monopoly cannot afford to make less the ideals of justice and equality we pledge to uphold, mean nothing in this new society the PAP has constructed? Singaporeans don't believe that govt should solve all their problems for them but the govt should not be cause of their problems. To the 70 yr old who contributed to our society but cannot retire our govt says it cannot afford to help her - but it can afford to lose billions throwing money into troubled banks and regional telcos. We must ask ourselves of we are well served by a govt whose first order of business was to increase its own salary, up our taxes and take away affordability from everything from housing to transport. We have to wonder about the character of men who lead us when they are unable to stand on the side of the ordinary Singaporeans when grave injustice is committed. How many dreams of young Singaporean men and women dashed when our govt fill the places in tertiary institutions with foreigners and they cannot afford to further their education overseas. Make no mistake these young men and women do not want what they don't deserve, they just want a fair chance but what fair chance do they have when the govt sets up dozens of offices around the world to offer free scholarships to Singapore....they 'second bested' their own citizens, taking away their only chance work hard for a better life.

If we continue to march along this path that the PAP govt has laid out, the inequality can only widen, democracy will be weakened and justice will not be served. We can no longer afford to do nothing.... just like the men and women who have gone to Hong Lim Park the last 4 Saturdays to seek justice from mis-selling...we too will one day wake up to find ourselves victims of this system whose fine print we cannot read ... seduced by those we once trusted. There is no prospectus here to look at but you can tell intention from the decisions and actions of this govt..... the sacrifice they forced upon us for their own goals and interests. We have to pay more for healthcare because of our leaders' aspirations to be a medical hub for the region's rich. The PAP's desire is to maintain the status quo and they threaten to call in the army and sink this country unless we buy into their vision. They have set out to preserve this system for their own benefit and create a climate of fear of change. But we have now reached a point where we can no long afford not to change and you have to believe that there is a better way forward for this country. Just like our forefathers had to conquer the fear of uncertainty to come to Singapore.... and possessed the courage to fight the tyranny of colonism, it is now our time to offer a new direction for this nation.

It is now time remake this nation so that it may always reflect highest ideals we pledge to uphold - democracy, justice and equality. Singapore, yes we can!


Anonymous said...

A PAP govt is a govt of the elites, by the elites and for the elites.

Peasants like us can go fly kite.

Anonymous said...

U.S.A can have freak election results...but sadly not here or else the tanks will roll

Anonymous said...

Please be very clear about this.

You can have democracy and yet has no freedom-Singapore, but you can't have democracy without freedom-true democracy.

Freedom of speech
Freedom of press
Freedom of religion
Freedom of a just law court
Freedom of protest,
freedoms of all sorts.......
That's true freedom....first fight for freedom and then you will have a real democracy.......just look at HK.....that's true democracy...despite their China masters.

Anonymous said...

Well said, lucky, JBJ would have been proud of you. The PAP has lost their moral compass. The last straw to me was when they started enriching themselves with million-dollar salaries, no different from legalised corruption.

Borrowing a line from someone's signature: "Jobs for foreigners, NS for Singaporeans!"

Anonymous said...

I don't know about you guys but the stuffs I studied on ethics seemed to be all debunked by our gahmen.

Freedom of Speech (Hong Lim Park? Really Freedom of speech meh?)

Freedom of Choice (We have choice to vote meh?)

Right to due process (Really? I look at CSJ and Gang but feel differently lei)

Right to the truth (Truth? What truth? Nothing is made known to us, so how to know whether it's the truth.)

Right to What is agreed upon (Got this right in Singapore meh? Where the upgrading for Opp. ward ah?)

Haiz....outta a job, outta luck. I seek greener pastures elsewhere soon if it doesn't improve.

Anonymous said...


Unfortunately, change can only be effected by the people and Singaporeans, by and large, are politically indifferent.

Singaporeans forget and forgive easily and in three years' time, it will be the same old story again.

The Singapore Story is like a piece of rag, spinning repeatedly in the washing machine of political immutability and citizenry's indifference.

Daniel Ling said...

Mr Lucky Tan, well piece!!!

I especially like the part about

40 Years Ago
British Rule
PAP = Opposition
Non-British were 2nd class
Opposition fight to overthrow British Rule

PAP Rule
SDP, WP = Opposition
SG seems to be 2nd class
Opposition fights to ???
If Opposition wins = freak

I wonder y 40yrs ago, wat Opposition did was right but 40yrs later, Opposition = wrong. According to Ex Opposition Head (40yrs ago)

Onlooker said...

Thanks for this post Lucky.
Change is what we need here desperately.
Discard the belief that there is a mandate (by someone) to rule via lineage(the Familee).
Singapore belong to her ordinary citizens those who have sacrificed their life, time and effort for her in times of crisis and build her into what she is now.
It's not that we have to bear with the ERP and all those increase in profit of GLC through unjustified price hike. The PMs(Mai hum) is Wrong.
It is how we, The citizens of Singapore are force to face with the crap excuses and how they had treated our nation builders who now have to collect papers(which prices had drop) and cans(which is also competed for by F leeches yes there are PRC and Bangala who did that now too even b4 I finish my drinks they just took it without asking from my table in the coffeshop).
The ordinary citizens are treated like something that the millionaires had already owned or put simply dirt.
While they live in a fairy land,with the believes that The Elites are invincible without repercussion for their actions.
NO!, we are not owned by PAPer MPs.
So what if the bye election never happened and the Meet the people session goes on as normal with one less MP which just prove that the so called workload is very light. We know we are being replaced by cheap imports which is also caused by their silly stop at two scheme.
However, did they ever stop and think whether The imports will really stay here as citizens? From what I have seen, Becoming PR too easily here had already eroded that citizenship prospect (with NS liabilities) and unfortunately that will be the final nail to the PAPer Coffin.
We the citizens of Singapore
pledge ourselves as one united people regardless of race,language or religion.
To Build a DEMOCRATIC society.
so as to achieve HAPPINESS, prosperity and PROGRESS for our nation.
For the sake of our nation we will make the right decision.

And in our National language:-
Kami, warganegara Singapura,
sebagai rakyat yang bersatu padu,
tidak kira apa bangsa, bahasa, atau agama,
berikrar untuk membina suatu masyarakat yang DEMOKRATIK,
berdasarkan KEPADA, keadilan dan persamaan
untuk mencapai kebahagiaan, kemakmuran dan kemajuan bagi negara kami.

For Singapore.

REAL Talents who are willing to recite this pledge with me as a Singaporean citizen who are willing to serve Singapore are deeply appreciated.

AlphavilleSG said...

WooHoo! Those who came here for satire got a good dose of reality! I think young people should be force to watch rerun of 'The Awakening'. Also see how hot Xiang Yun was :)

Yesterday reading a speech by our million dollar minister Mr Lim Swee Say, acting in one of his character as secretary general of NTUC, he hinted that there may be a fund set aside for retraining workers. The sums presented was $5 million.

Maybe Mr Lim should take a reference out of PM Lee's rule book on how to buy votes and fix opposition.

Anonymous said...

You can be TKL No. two.
well done.

Anonymous said...

This gov only take care of its own pockets. To the peasants, they died is their own business.

Everyday when I went home from changi, I always saw a group of chinamen wearing SIA engineering uniform and SAT. They are having training under SIA.

This government own companies prefer to train the chinamen but refuse to train our retrenched graduate. What the &*^$.

Anonymous said...

They will bring in the army to sink Singapore?? Think again... what makes up the army. Me , you , him. Conscript soldiers. Thi sis not Thailand or Cambodia where the armed forces literally live their lives(together) with family in camp premises. It would be a mean feat just to activate citizens to fight for a (war?) for a hotel let along against fellow countrymen. Maybe some 'top-notch' ass kicking generals might respond the call to sink singapore though.

Anonymous said...

Singaporeans are largely indifferent to politics. Most don't even know the difference between Obama from McCain. They don't know, and they don't care.

You want Singaporeans to care, you hit them at their wallets. Look at the minibond and Lehman fiasco, and you know that I am speaking the truth.

Talk to Singaporeans about freedom of speech and human rights, and you might as well be farting in their faces. They don't know what you are talking about, and they don't even care.

And the best part is, they are proud of their indifference.
Have you ever seen the smug look on an a Singaporean face when they say to you, 'Do you think I care?'

Until you force Singaporeans to the point of desperation, they will not care. And they are proud of the fact that they don't care.

Anonymous said...

*clap clap clap*
That was fantastic.

Sgcynic said...

Just as in the US, "it's the economy, stupid", from our "leaders".

Anonymous said...

If the opposition ever wins, hope they sue lee and co. =)

Anonymous said...

Lucky Tan,

Anonymous said...

To anon @ 10:10 PM:
Heard of the Gurkha Contingent? Ever wondered why are they isolated in a barrack @ Mount Vernon, and their contact with locals are strictly prohibited?

Anonymous said...

Changes everywhere
US, Taiwan, Thailand and even Malaysia

Anonymous said...

Changes everywhere
US, Thailand, Taiwan and even Malaysia

Felt cheated by PAP said...

"Change, we must!" No to GRC so that every eligible citizen has a chance to vote. What kind of democratic country is Singapore,where most of her people don't even have the chance to vote in their life time??

Anonymous said...

the regime will give you change alright. they will change your address to changi prison or mental ward. they will change you by chaining you down with money woes. lol.

Anonymous said...

"Changes everywhere
US, Thailand, Taiwan and even Malaysia"

There maybe substantial Changes in Singapore too except that changes confined to Changi Prison where the food menu change from curry rice to chicken rice.
Dr Chee will agree with the change.

Anonymous said...

And now we are dependent on foreign countries for our electricity...

A country that does not provide electricity to its own citizens, but even sells out the electricity plants that was built by our hard earned money to foreigners...

How much mercy will foreigners have towards our inability to pay for electricity when our own government didnt give a d*mn?

Anonymous said...

After sweating for years in order that the Singapore Ministers today can pay themselves millions of dollars every year, these old folks have now become history, their existence long forgotten by our leaders.

One of our ungrateful Ministers even questioned whether they should be enjoying their meal at a restaurant when they should be thankful that they can afford to pay for a hawker's meal.

It's about time that we tell our GOVT that we need to CHANGE the LEE regime! So Sick of them.

Anonymous said...

changes may come suddenly & swiftly

Anonymous said...

There's no sense in getting all riled up every time that bunch of PAP idiots give us all a hard time. In the end, the universe tends to unfold as it should. All their actions that have created sufferings for us are being watched by all the heavenly Gods and once call upon during judgement time, it will be their turn to suffer.

THINK OUT LOUD, do you really need million dollars salary to live whilst many of your fellow citizens are pressured by high costs of everything, tough competitions in the job markets...? That kind of money can buy many packs of chicken rice to feed many hungry poors. Your small stomach can take them all? Since you are in Civil Service, have all of you ever think of sharing your really huge surplus $$$ to at least our groups of poor and old pioneers of Nation Building?

Elites, it's not too late to repent and make your U-turn - leave the Lee regime and create us an Obama!

Anonymous said...

>>Changes everywhere..US, Thailand, Taiwan and even Malaysia

NZ also...
John Key has said the country has "voted for change" after his National Party won the election..

"Let me say this: whether you voted for National or not, tonight you have my pledge - I will lead a government that serves the interests of every New Zealander and it will be a government that values individuals' achievement and it will be a government that supports those that cannot support themselves and it will be a government we can all be part of."

Anonymous said...

Even the strong supporters like old folks & educated retirees are angry now.

Anonymous said...

None of you here will have the gus to vote against PAP!

Complain and curse all you like. Come the next GE, you will still vot for PAP! You don't have the balls to vote them out!

Not even Lucky Tan will dare to put faith in the opposition. Majullah PAP!

Anonymous said...

Just a few months ago, nobody could imagine change could come to malaysia

Anonymous said...

malaysia people are more computer & internet savvy than sporean
May be they are "forced into"

Anonymous said...

sporean are more "lazy" to learn.
with internet, they can see more, and is much cheaper than newspaper.
malaysian are very much betetr than sporean in internet savvy.

Anonymous said...

"DBS to axe 900 jobs. Singapore's largest lender cities need to run tigher ship", reads the weekend today headline.

First, I like the word "biggest lender" and not investment bank which sold Lehman Brothers-linked structured products.

Second, being the biggest lender, how much of its default is coming from China, which has the services of a super heavy weight marketing guru called MM.

Third, perhaps the government too should run a tigher ship by getting rid of aging ministers with fancy titles and the bus load of scholars in the ministries.

Finally, the demise of Mr Ong in Bukit Batok has proven that the MPs can still do the work with one less effectively as the government has proven. So we can in effect cut down the number of MPs in GRC to save cost.

Anonymous said...

One day Singapore will be one big GRC. Either you elect the whole bunch or nothing. Then it will always be the PAP because no one else can come up with enough members. But even then, we can STILL console ourselves that we have a democracy because we get to vote. But it will forever be a walkover.
Singaporeans are strange that way, we are always consoling ourselves that it could be worse without realising how much we have capitulated to our servants.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone thought about why Lee Kuan Yew cried when singapore and malaysia had to split? They always claimed that it was because he was a true patriot, but splitting with malaysia, he'd still be a Singaporean wat? Could it be, that it was because as early as then, he was already dreaming of greatness - and by the split realised that he can now "only" be the emperor of Singapore, and no longer of the combined Federation of Malaysia?