A letter to the Straits Times Forum by a Canadian expat[Link] asking Singaporeans to be grateful, triggered more letters to the ST Forum:
"......my work with US multinational companies has allowed me to travel widely in the United States, Europe, Australia and Asia. I agree with Mr Brooks that few countries take care of their citizens like Singapore does. That is why I am grateful to Singapore for providing me with a good place to live and work" - MR CHONG THYE HIN
"It often takes a foreigner to praise Singapore openly for caring for its citizens. I am often chided by friends for 'apple-polishing' the Government when I say I feel blessed to be born in Singapore." - MR JOLLY WEE
"It is heartening to read that it has taken a well-travelled foreigner to teach some Singaporeans to be grateful for the Government's generous care for its citizens. Happy National Day, all." - MR LIONEL DE SOUZA.
When this blog was started, it was called "Diary of a Happy Citizen" and my online moniker is LuckySingaporean. My original url :http://happycitizen.blogspot.com/ has been taken over by some cyber squatter because I took it off when the PAP govt threatened to presecute bloggers before the 2006 elections. But seriously, I really consider myself a lucky Singaporean....I'm lucky not be one of the 30% of workforce who are low income workers without minimum wage, I'm lucky not to have been seriously ill and saddled with medical debt, I'm lucky not to be one of the many aged workers who are forced to work because they have no money to retire, I'm lucky not to be one of the 60,000 Singaporeans who have defaulted on their hefty public housing loans, I'm lucky not to be one of the many who have lost their life savings on bad structured products and I'm lucky not to be one of the many homeless who have taken up residence in bus interchanges and void decks. Yes I'm very lucky not to have fallen through the cracks of a system without safety nets.
Taking themselves and their families as the reference, a number of Singaporeans say the govt has done a good job. However, they forget the rest of the people who have not been so lucky and have fallen through the cracks. Whether a govt has done well cannot be judged based on your own well being alone. As for the Canadian, if he loses his job or get seriously ill, he will most likely fly back Canada where is easier to get govt help. It is difficult to compare 2 first world country and say which is better for you. It depends not only on the socio-economic system in place but the person's own situation. What is good for one person may not be good for another. However, if you want to figure out which country is generally better, you can look at the net direction of immigration....are more Canadians giving up their citizenship to be Singaporeans than vice versa? The new citizens we have attracted are mostly from developing countries and Singaporeans are leaving for countries like Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada. Being born in a 1st world country, we should be grateful....so should Canadians, Americans, Australians, Hong Kongers, Japanese etc. We are only clearly better than developing countries ...there is a lot more we have to do to be among top 1st world nations.