The first salvo was fired by a Canadian PR asking Singaporeans to be grateful. The next one was fired by Juliet Chua in a forum letter [Shame on you, young bloggers] berating young bloggers for being ungrateful and unappreciative and writing negative articles about the govt. This was followed up by The New Paper which quoted a number of different sources:
These people got it wrong associating criticism of the govt with being ungrateful. Most bloggers criticise the govt for one of the following: the economic inequality, high cost of living, the lack of adequate aid for the poor and old, the lack of a minimum wage for the low income and negative impact of imported labor on a large segment of the populace. Few of us are asking for these improvements for ourselves and I believe many bloggers who criticise the govt do it out of sense of justice and desire to make Singapore a better place for Singaporeans. I will tell you why these are the truly grateful people in Singapore....and who are those who ones who have really forgotten and forsakened those who held them up.
The current generation of old folks are those who were children during the 2nd World War and they were not well educated but industrous. They grew up in poverty but worked their way up to become the No. 1 workforce in the world during the 80s. It was this workforce - one that never went on strike, one that accepted 3rd shift work, lower wages, tough work and longer hours - that got Singapore to where it is today. They contributed in a big way to Singapore's success that is why many young Singaporeans, myself included, are grateful for their sacrifice. That is why I feel that they should have a graceful retirement rather than made to work in their golden years. That is why it pains me to see aged Singaporeans digging dustbins for aluminium cans. The PAP leaders seems to have forgotten the contribution of this group of people asking them to work longer and hard even when they are frail and weak...denying them sufficient assistance [Link].
I'm grateful to the thousands of Singaporeans who work as cleaners to keep Singapore clean, the drivers, the clerks, etc, who are the backbone of our economy. That is why I strongly believe they deserve a decent wage for doing a full time job - they cannot be left struggling as the cost of living goes up and their wages go down. We cannot keep importing foreign labor to depress their pay so that businesses can redirect their costs towards paying for higher rent, higher utilities, higher fees for govt services etc. It is because young bloggers are appreciative of this segment of our population (now living in poverty and struggling to make ends meet) that is why we write negatively about govt policies such as the FT policy that will hurt this group of Singaporeans further.
So who is it that is ungrateful and unappreciative of Singaporeans? These men have also put their bets on progress being possible only if they open the floodgates to foreigners - creating an unlevel playing field for their fellow Singaporeans [Link] and forgetting the sacrifices Singaporeans have made to serve the country. These men have created an inequitable system with a huge income gap that puts the many Singaporean families at risk. At the same time, they have paid themselves the highest salaries in the world for their profession. Why should we show them gratitude when they have shown none for ordinary Singaporeans?