Saturday, August 01, 2009

Grateful Canadian, Lucky Singaporens....

A letter to the Straits Times Forum by a Canadian expat[Link] asking Singaporeans to be grateful, triggered more letters to the ST Forum:

" 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 : 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 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.


Anonymous said...

There's another group of people who love the establishment: Malaysian PRs.

Alas, some of them are losing their jobs to China, India and Filipino FT too!

Anonymous said...

I laugh whenever ST comes up with such cheap, clumsy propaganda efforts.

Ace Kindred Chong must be pulling his hairs now for letting Lionel De Souza beating him to that.

Anonymous said...

I laughed too this morning when I read this. Foreign prostitutes now! He probably couldn't get a job back in Canada... must be one of those imported during the financial crisis.

Anonymous said...

"As for the Canadian, if he loses his job or get seriously ill, he will likely fly back Canada to get some help." - Lucky


Lim Leng Hiong said...

"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."

Strongly agree with you on this, Lucky. The person's immediate environment is more important to her well-being than whatever the overall socio-economic environment.

So what if a company is getting richer and happier and more powerful at the top if more of its employees are becoming poorer and more marginalized?

Is it "luckier" to be a office cleaner of a large corporation or a office cleaner of a small company?

Actually I think being a office cleaner of a small company is better. Not so gek seem. At least don't have many rich managers show off to you or foreign talents bully you everyday.

Anonymous said...

The champion clown must be lionel de soosa, fucker really a running dog through and through hahaha

recruit ong

Anonymous said...

Desperate measures of a dying ruling class...
Now you need foreigners to tell singaporeans how good it is here.
Propaganda has reached a new low

Anonymous said... the Singtel iPhone guy who got out-queued...Ace Kindred Chong will get even next year...heck, he's probably started drafting his letter already

Anonymous said...

overreacted to his letter. the general masses have reasons to count their blessings but that doesn't equate or necessarily translate to loyalty to one's country or not.

so one can be grateful about certain things but if judged as a whole, the tilt, for those with sufficient resources, maybe in their(canadian, american,australian etc) favor.

furthermore, it is easier for asians to find a community of like minded people in a bigger country than for these angmohs to find their kind in a smaller country.

i think gratitude can't sustain his loneliness and lack of familiar surrounding and activities here.

Anonymous said...

i think gratitude can't sustain his loneliness and lack of familiar surrounding and activities here.

it should have been....gratitude alone is not enough for him to plant himself here because, his loneliness and lack of familiar surrounding and activities will eventually drive him crazy.

Anonymous said...

Lionel De Souza probably has a template letter ready. No need to change much. Can send it out to ST forum within 10 minutes when he senses an opportunity to bootlick

Anonymous said...

Whether these guys/gals love Spore as they claim,there is but one test,and it is damn easy.

That is for them to take up Spore CITIZENSHIPs,which has been on offer for more than 10 years.

So you know whether that guy is serious,if he is ,good for him.

But I do pity those who just listen and clap,they know not what hearts of men/women are made of!!!

kojakbt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Foreigners are happy with the PAP government; Singaporeans aren't.

What the fuck does that say about the PAP government?

The PAP has been prostituting the country to foreigners for the last 20 years. They did a terrific job as pimps, provide cheap and obedient whores and sometimes even refund the clients' money through loyalty programs like GIC and Temasek.

That's why the foreign patrons are happy with them.

But you expect whores to be grateful to the bloodsucking pimps who live off them?

kojakbt said...

With regard to your comment about the many Singaporeans who have lost their life savings on bad structured products. I think we might be able to see some lights at the end of the tunnel now.

Given the sudden change of stand by GE to return back $250 million to the investors caught up by the structured notes fiasco, my best guess is something is happening in the back of the scene. Probably, when MAS sees HK MAS forcing the financial institutions there to return the bulk of the money to investors and people in Singapore have been criticising MAS for not doing anything, MAS was forced to act. Yet, MAS can't slap his own face by publicly changing its stand now so they probably work from the back.

They must have been working secretly behind the back twisting the FIs here to return back the bulk of the money to investors after seeing what HK MAS did. Election is coming and so if they don't do this, PAP Govt will be seen by the electorate as being impotent and ineffective when compared with HK Govt.

My guess is, you probably might see more FIs here making announcements in the next few days returning the bulk of the money to the investors caught up by the minibond saga.

At the end of the day, the people we should really thank is the HK Govt....


Anonymous said...

Eric Brooks is a loser who worked as a garbage man back in Toronto but is branded as a foreign talent in Singapore.

Of course he's grateful to the PAP.

Anonymous said...

Now, those who went through NS know what is a Canadian Bull.

LuckySingaporean said...


I read that wonderful headline about GE compensating 18,000 investors a total of $250M. That is a hefty sum and GE took a hit. It is not clear if GE made this move on its own or were persuaded by the MAS. My feel is the company took an extra step - Minister Lim had already close the case in parliament by saying investors got a "fair deal". It is good news as it puts the pressure on the other banks to act.

The only mystery to me is the 18000 investors. So far the MAS and other reports indicated that about 10,000 investors bought these products. How come GE has such a big number of investors? ...the other thing to note is $250M is the amount of compensation GE's loss would be smaller if they can recover some of the value from the underlying CDOs..

Anonymous said...

I am glad that GE is compensating the affected investors.

If I want to buy a financial product, I will give GE first priority, given GE's courage in taking the first step to compensate all investors in the toxic financial products.

Kojakbt said...

Hi LuckTan,

Well, I guess we helpless peasants can only pray and watch.... hopefully, other FIs will follow GE's footsteps in the next few days :)


DanielXX said...

GE, of course, belongs to OCBC, the most humane of all Singapore banks.

No need to guess which is the least humane. Starts with D.....

Anonymous said...

lionel de soosa... the biggest ball carrier of all. Hope to immortalise and connote his name to ball-carrying for future generations to come.

Anonymous said...

When is the general election will definitely determine if those invest in structured products will get their money back.

If the Minibonds saga happen just 6 months after the general election, then too bad, still got another 4.5 years to next, most probably will not get back.

This is like somehow the Public Transport Council got the power to stop SBS and SMRT fare hikes before the general election.

Anonymous said...

>>l****.. the biggest ball carrier of all. Hope to immortalise and connote his name to ball-carrying for future generations to come

Future "Mentor" ball carrier to his son(s) if any???

Anonymous said...


A Canadian friends of mine told me that they need to work for 3 months continuously, quit the job and enjoy 9 months of unemployment benefits. That's why he need to go back to Canada to work for 3 months/year so that he can enjoy 9 months of unemployment benefit which he use to fund his travel.

so who is better?

Anonymous said...

Lucky Tan,
you might be interested with following information

"The Central Provident Fund has appointed two insurers, NTUC Income and Great Eastern Life, to take over the Dependants' Protection Scheme. CPF allocates their existing members to the two insurers in a random manner."

If GEL get sell the scam product and still get away with it, what about our CPF ?

Anonymous said...

i think he will choose a greater political and natural space over a tab better in efficiency and order.

put it this way, whatever we can do, they can do too with a bit more political will but we can't change our geopolitical disadvantages and a dry soul(part of our culture).

Anonymous said...

I think singaporeans are worst than whores, at least whores get paid for getting screwed. singaporeans pay their govt to screw ourselves.

Yap, we are worst than whores. Of course foreigners thinks we are lucky. They get to screw us too.

Happy National Day to All! Many more years of getting screwed!!

Anonymous said...

What happened to the Canadian pride? I know many Canadian friends who have worked and lived in the U.S. for years/decades and none has given up their citizenships! I can assure you that Eric is not a typical Canadian.

Given the liberal Singapore immigration policy, I'm surprised that he hasn't taken up the citizenship offer! That tells you a lot about his credibility.

His letter seems to be a script from the PAP. It wrote about the (mere) 20% rebound in the economy but failed to mention the precipitous decline in GDP that was the worse in the world.

He worked really hard to find good things to say about Singapore. Instead of social and economic policies, he wrote about garbage collection and walkway shelters. Enough said.

Does Straits Time publish letters critical of the policies and government? When it has to publish such petty letters to boost morale, the country is probably in serious trouble.

Fievel said...

Singaporeans who believe in a better tomorrow, please continue to believe in it.

As the old National day song goes

We have a vision for tomorrow, just believe, just believe...

Chee Wai Lee said...

I have once dreamed about migrating to Nepal or Bhutan, just to get away from it all. Ah ... the joys of youthful exuberance!

Anonymous said...

@ Fievel

Not enough to just believe -- that's just day dreaming. Need to take action too.

Too many Singaporeans expect others to risk their asses while they sit back and "just believe". That's why the PAP can continue to stay in power.

Anonymous said...

@ Chee Wai Lee

Why don't you dream about leading an uprising against the oppressive regime to change our country for the better? Ah ... the comfort of cowardice!

Anonymous said...

I believe when canadians apply (as in application) for a vocational taxi licence they must have paid $80 canadian because it cost S$40 just to apply for one and even sure the application will be approved.

$40 is just for the paper work of letting you know to go for an aptitude test at the taxi academy.

Anonymous said...

"gratitude alone is not enough for him to plant himself here because, his loneliness and lack of familiar surrounding and activities will eventually drive him crazy."

to a large part, canada will always be's unchanging national parks and great mountains and lakes and familiar places

here in sg, 10 years from now, you will get a new orchard road.

10 years from now, your hdb estate will change again

so who the fiak cares anyway since my memory of my past experiences has been erased or completely altered due to progress creation

whereas in canada, the familiarity and old places will generally remain for many generations to come and in the moment of our final hours when we have to relinguish our last suction of air, we can still bade a tearful farewell to that old shop at the corner of the street we use to play on as a kid

that's only one good reason to migrate for some people.

Anonymous said...

Lucky, since you are so lucky, are you part of the 66% at every election? Or you got no chance to vote?

Maybe most bloggers are lucky. If not where got mood and time to blog?

Anonymous said...

Lucky Singaporeans. Can go JB to die.

Anonymous said...

One asked:

"Does Straits Time publish letters critical of the policies and government? "

Yes they do so frequently-to scold them as foreign interferences in our domestic affairs.

But for Eric who praised PAP sky high,reward is in order.

Such is the value practised by PAP-the wonder government.

I hope Sir Eric(Canadian) would find out soonest.

Anonymous said...

I read Eric's letter to ST. I think he is talking about Malaysia! Where i live now, USJ, a private condo equivalent to HDB in terms of cost and standard, rubbish gets collected every working day. lifts get to every floor. highways, flyovers, etc are being built everyday. roads re-surfaced whenever pot-holes appear (see it for yourself). so there.

Anonymous said...

forgot to add that USJ, a private condo SP court 7, was built 12 years ago. several such buildings around the sub-urbs of KL were of such standards too. don't know why sporeans are always condemning msia. u need to see this for yourself.

from a sporean in malaysian court

the kachangputehman said...

Are we being trampled in the rush of citizens of other first world countries to settle in Singapore? Er, nope. They have to be bribed with lavish benefits to even consider coming here without their employer's insistence. And all will roll on the floor roaring their asses off at the amazing idea of exchanging their US, UK, EU passports for the red one. Stupid idiots, why wouldn't anyone exchange a $1000 note for a $10 one?

Dear oh dear, we really are our own worst enemies. Haven't we had huge budget surpluses and a rock-solid GDP like a Viagra-induced erection for simply ages? Protected walkways to keep us safer than a double condom, a garbage-collecting slave class that costs next to nothing to run because that's what we pay them? Don't we possess the famed cosmopolitan streetwalker site that is Geylang? Doesn't every last Singaporean enjoy the bounty of our World Bank per capita income of US$49,288? For heaven's sake people, the Yanks only got US$46,716 per head in 2008 - we're streets ahead of them!

Damn ungrateful Sinkies, that's what it is. When I think of the sacrifices Mr. Lee Kuan Yew and his family have made for us without so much as a single complaint ever, when I see him bravely struggling day after day on wobbly legs to serve the people way into his dotage, when I think of the tears of unfeigned joy rolling down Mr. Lim Swee Say's humble face as he goggles at the zeroes on his CPF statement, it makes my blood boil I tell you.

Some say Mr. Eric J. Brooks is a globe-trotting Canadian figment of the imagination of an imbecile SPH intern; some question the shade of rose-tint on the specs of the amazingly well-travelled and smug Mr. Chong Thye Hin; some even sneer at Mr. Lionel De Souza's talent for carrying testicles in a wheel-barrow; others might think that a blessed Jolly Wee sermon is more than flesh and blood ought to have to put up with. But all of that is obviously nothing more than the sheer naked envy of a piffling 33% and irrelevant to the magnificence that is our small hand grenade of a nation.

So this National Day, hang the cost, I shall splurge on a jolly wee bit of electricity and watch the ceremony on TV in my rather grand shared 1-bedroom HDB condo in Sengkang. And as the anthem plays and the bands march past I shall fall to my knees and cry, "For what we are about to receive, let us be truly thankful"! Then mine tear-filled eyes shall see the glory that is the coming of the Lees and my cup runneth over with pride and joy.

Mr. Brooks is quite right: nobody does it better.

xNSman said...

Lucky Tan, as usual, your posts have the clarity of thought that we dream of.

“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”
Theodore Roosevelt

Anonymous said...

on the contrary, nothing caresses those supple testicles like the hands that have been sterilized by the waters that runneth over from the cups of elitist poppycock

nevertheless, bountiful applause to anon 1806 if not for an outstanding effort of polishing ....wheel-barrow. LOL

Anonymous said...

When does it start tt a cleaner or a card dealer job become the best job to go after? Sinkies really haf no balls or backbone..

Anonymous said...

bet you there will be a lot of bus and taxi drivers, security personnel, production workers, cashiers, foot massager etc etc wanting a change

lets put it this way...many will shed any menial or demanding job, which carry a salary of under $2k, for shuffling cards and rolling dices even if it means working shift.

not only it is easier and may even be fun, one may get lucky and hook up with a rich client or favor upon another lucrative opportunity with some of these interesting and rich folks

ahhh.. the singaporean spirit

Anonymous said...

Everyone thinks now that Singaporeans are crass and stupid. And maybe they are. But I can still remember a time when life was simpler and relationships were more sincere. I can even remember playing with the Malay postman who used to deliver letters to my house. People were generally good-hearted and simple.
But all that has changed. Lured by materialism and oppressed by economic conditions, people think about nothing about money. Jobs are respectable only if they earn a great of money. Even students surf the net and practise trading strategies. It breaks my heart to think that after 30 over years, I have to plan how to escape from my country of birth, the only country that I know. But there is no future left here. Are you waiting to get retrenched, die of poverty or overwork?

yamizi said...


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Anonymous said...

If your ancestors had rose against the oppressive Manchus in the Qing Dynasty ... chances are u wont exist ...

If your ancestors had rose against the oppressive Japanese in WW2 ... chances are u wont exist ...

Pls remember ... heroes die young.

If you believe in Evolution and like to bash the Xtians ... Cowardice is a virtue. Cowards survive long enough to reproduce.

If you believe in the Bible .. the Meek shall inherit the Earth. Give unto Cesar what is due to Cesar and obey you master.

If you believe in Confucius ... obey your masters.


Anonymous said...

@Anon 00:17

Waiting to be retrenched.

In the past it was just the Chua Sisters and a few assorted SPH editors.

These days, there are Jolly Wee, Candian Bull, Lionels, etc, all showing astounding ball carrying skills way beyond my level :-S


Anonymous said...

I think the popularity in immigration is clear when you type Singapore immigration and Canada immigration. For Singapore case, not a single Adwords ads, but for Canada, more than 20 Adwords ads and Australia is around 8 Adwords ads.

Frnacis Mok said...

Singapore is a works-in-progress nation and from where we started 60 years ago, it is something short of a miracle.

It is pointless to compare ourselves with 1st world countries, most with relatively limitless resources and after many many years of growth, aided in many instances by their imperialistic powers.

Why don't we compare with our neigbours... it is also pointless. If we are honest count what we have achieved and the list is endless... thus we should be grateful.

That thus not mean we should overlooked our short-comings, and I am sure there are and will remain many now and into the future.

But remember, we are always a nation with the WIP mode and not much leeway for rest. With what we have have we achieved much much more than others better endowed than us.

We can't possibly provide welfare for all, some though needing them may not he deserving.

A little of poverty is inevitable and indeed many be necessary to serve as a lesson that we have to our own weight. In life it is at times necessary to be cruel inorder to be kind.

No hard feelings fellow Singaporean. But lets be realistic!

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