Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Emergence of an ultra-underclass..

Twenty years ago, we all boarded this plane that was suppose to take us to Switzerland. Most of us were dropped off nowhere near Switzerland while the pilot and his buddies landed on a paradise island with a tall ivory tower. An unfortunate number had to settle for a place no better than a 3rd world country and perhaps worse.

A few days ago Minister Yaacob Ibrahim spoke of the emergence of an ultra-underclass among the Malay community after a series of tragedies involving young children from broken homes[Link: The ST online article used the phrase "ultra-underclass" when it first appeared but removed it later]. I believe this underclass is not restricted to Malay community but exists in all ethnic groups. This ultra-underclass is caused by a combination of broken homes and low income resulting in children with poor upbringing. Why is there surprise over having people poor and marginalised when the income gap is so large? 20% of Singapore households have monthly income less than $1200 per month. Try supporting a family with this income in Singapore. While there are many reasons for seeking divorce, money is one of the leading causes of divorce and when you are trying to support your family with $1000 a month, the strain on the marriage is just enormous.

We don't have minimum wages, we have no safety nets, the govt believes in passing as much financial burden as possible to families when they get sick and there is little help for the unemployed. The govt's piecemeal minimalist approach to giving help adds to the stress and strain of the low income families. At the end of the day, when these families breakup and their children end up poorly educated, the cost to our society will be even higher. Many of these families are poor due to no fault of their own. The govt allowed low wage workers to be imported by the hundreds of thousands causing the incomes of the bottom 20% to become stagnant as the cost of living rose. The PAP govt added more challenges to those who are already challenged so Minister Yacoob....don't look so baffled by the emergence of this ultra-underclass, you have to look no further than the policies of the party you belong to.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

But some will say that our underclass is much better off than those of say, Africa where there are images of starving children.

So we are lucky.

But anyway is there anything the govt can do to improve on this aspect? It has not been improving for years or may even have worsen.

Like the rich poor gap, they will attribute it to globalization and also unavoidable.

Anonymous said...

without PAP, we will be fishing at the kampung and dying from cholera. ;)

Anonymous said...

If education is the way to stop poverty, then why are we not achieving it?

lim said...

@anon 9/12/09 09:09

Correction, without PAST GENERATION OF PAP LEADERS, we will be fishing at the kampung and dying from cholera. ;)


With CURRENT GENERATION OF PAP LEADERS, we may well be on the way to fishing at the Esplanade, Marina Bay and dying from cholera. ;)

Anonymous said...

Even as we speak, businesses are clamouring for the govt to increase the quota of low wage and low skilled workers. Let's see, PAP govt will always give in to pressure from the business and corporate community.

Anonymous said...

How about channelling some of the millions $ of this PAP elite class & their cronies to the ultra underclass ?

They have multi-million dollar salaries already but still get special bonuses and pension ! Don't they get sick eating shark's fins soup and caviar everyday, how about giving some of their spare change to the poor ??

Anonymous said...

Plan is working well - that is to get the people so troubled by their own problems they don't have the time or effort to find out who is responsible for their plight. Such untalented citizens are a burden to the state anyway and better off dying so that they can make space for talented foreigners.

If you can't cope well, it is your problem. You can't expect the government to bend the rules for you right? Unless u r a talent. It doesn't matter what nationality u r, if u r a talent we will bend the rules for u. We r a meritocracy, we don't look at nationality unless the nationality is local born Singaporean (local born suffers from poor genes, an indicator of no talent)

5 kids dying every year at the hands of their own family is nothing because compare Rwanda and Singapore, these kids as acceptable collateral damage.

lim said...

@anon 9/12/09 14:29

Your post speaks volume of your moral upbringing... Obviously your parents didn't do a good job bring you up, probably delegate the parenting responsibilities to a foreigner maid...

>>> 5 kids dying every year at the hands of their own family is nothing because compare Rwanda and Singapore, these kids as acceptable collateral damage.

This I agreed 100%, provided they are your kids/grand kids...

BMW said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

BMW: Fuck you Spammer!

Anonymous said...

I think anon @1429 intended to mean the other way. : )

Satire, you get it or black humour.

Everybody knows that when you write 5 children dying every day is peanuts to the number of people of dying somewhere in other parts of the world.

Aren't you feeling lucky? : )

The worst thing will be that our leaders are really justifying their actions with such thinking and also in other issues. Then we are really in deep trouble.....

Come to think of it, it is not entirely impossible that they may be thinking this way...remember absolute power corrupts...even it will happen to all of us...

haha...but our government is different..they can self-check and also completely unbiased and fair and somehow so intelligent that they know how to push the right butttons all the time!!! heck, they can even predict the end of the world, they are just not telling you... ; )

Anonymous said...

No solution. Much have to depend on themselves (WILL POWER) to get out of the spiral. The garhmen can only provide support and temporary shelter. They have to work hard to get out of their familiar zone.(proverty spiral)

I know a lot tried but revert back once they crack up competeing in the real world... It is easier to stumble back to the old self.

I think only solution is that they not give birth if they are not unable to give the child a promising future. THAT"S LIFE.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lucky

//
so Minister Yacoob....don't look so baffled by the emergence of this ultra-underclass
//

He is paid to look baffled.
Surely you dun expect PAP to actually do something about it.
Btw you and us will have to foot the bill if they decide to do so and PAP's fees are usually very expensive.


Dear Anon 20:38

//
I think only solution is that they not give birth if they are not unable to give the child a promising future. THAT"S LIFE.
//

LKY already tried that which is why we have one of the lowest replacement rate in the world. I think Ministar Cow's suggestion of sending undesirables to JB is more cost-efficient.

DanielXX said...

I think our garment tries its best to create growth opportunities for Singapore. Let's give them that. The problem is that when they fail to do so, pushing the responsibility onto Singaporeans becomes a convenient fallback position because we have become so compliant and all mechanisms are in control by govt eg. mass media, opinion leaders, unions etc.

I believe that man performs better when pushed into a corner with limited options. This is the siege mentality which pushed our 1st generation to make Singapore what it is today. That's why I begin to think that to do Singapore a favour, we Singaporeans have to be less compliant and more assertive so that we can re-create that siege mentality all over again.

Anonymous said...

"without Pxx, we will be fishing at the kampung and dying from cholera. ;)"

speculative !!!

Without Pxx, small number of people will be fishing in clean clean water at the kampung & having big big big space and breathing clean clean air & leading good less stressful life -on the assumption there would'nt be any land grab by so-called forward looking influential people in the name of growth.also speculative !!!!

Onlooker said...

The Ultra underclass is caused by discrimination fostered by the concept of Meritocracy.

And merit as defined by the one who defined it is an ever changing goalpost with no end in sight until that is the person and his meritocrats are publicly denied of their "right to rule" by the public.

Anonymous said...

"we Singaporeans have to be less compliant and more assertive so that we can re-create that siege"

last time, ample psychological & physical space to explore and more room for value addition. Now, space is tighter now and more rules have to be in place to prevent friction to make it even more tigher.

law of unintended consequences.

Anonymous said...

" so Minister Yacoob....don't look so baffled by the emergence of this ultra-underclass, you have to look no further than the policies of the party you belong to."

GGGGRREAT comment, Lucky!

Anonymous said...

"Don't they get sick eating shark's fins soup and caviar everyday, how about giving some of their spare change to the poor ??"

wait long long, their programme is still in force to make you feel that they still deserve the shark's fins soup and caviar everyday.

Anonymous said...

PAP used to be a party of heroes selflessly contributing to a nation we can call home. Now they are just a selfish bunch clinging ferociously to their cushy tower.

Power, in the face of weak humans does indeed corrupt. In the end, who is going to watch the watchers?

Today, we can only watch helplessly as our fellow citizens suffer while our country is run by elites with their heads in the clouds.

Though the gap between rich and poor is unavoidable, the country with its vast resources can always reach out to help the very poor not by subsidizing things the poor do not need or giving handouts that barely sustain a person.

Give the poor a job with proper pay in the civil service. or let their children attend school with all expenses fully paid by the government. They can give this privilege to foreign students so why not the less fortunate singaporeans?

I for one will not see red if our fellow singaporean is being helped by our tax dollars.

Anonymous said...

"Now they are just a selfish bunch clinging ferociously to their cushy tower."

Very very expensive maintenance work.

Now the approach is too mechanical & economistic lacking the human element seen in the distant yester-years. They try to defend the party line too hard.

Rialce said...

Someone said,"Without the PAP, we will be fishing at kampungs and dying from cholera." Makes me think of ancient cities where one could often heard from the high priest saying," Without my rituals, the sun will not rise and you will die of cholera and rot in hell!" Nobody is indispensible. To quote a cliche,"The king is dead, long live the king." A hero is made, not borned. Whoever was in the PAP situation back in 1965, they will become heros too.

Anonymous said...

How nice if we can vote out pap when LKY is still around to witness it.

I will be very happy to see how he react to that.

Anonymous said...

I am fighting for all my might to leave Singapore because I do not want to be poor.

Its not that I don't want to stay and try and make things right. But with the government we have, it is going to be difficult, and in the end, only me, will suffer.

Anonymous said...

i wonder if someone can do interview a sample of charity organisations to get an estimate of the number of ultra-underclass singaporeans?

may not need to be accurate. just throw up a number and see how our million dollar ministers re-define or defend it.

Anonymous said...

what do you mean by" no fault of theirs". What you are today is because of the decisions you make yesterday.

These fucktards does not have the will and skill to better themself, why in the world should the taxpayers subsidize them. they should be buried with the garbage on a landfill.

we must instill a mindset that if you dont buck up, you will be eliminated. No exceptions!

by the way, Mr Lucky Tan, you should concentrate more on your finances than to spread separatist ethnic ideals on the net. the penalty is death by hanging.

Anonymous said...

Anon 04:16, who are you man? You sound like Himmler re-incarnated. I'm sure you won't be so smug if your children are slow learners destine for the scrap heap you described. It doesn't hurt to help those who can't help themselves. You should be grateful that you have to ability and good fortune to be where you are today. Perhaps I'm wasting my time. You are the product of PAP education system.

Anonymous said...

@anon 04:16

Perfectionist eh? Perhaps we should then let all our people go through an IQ test and flog everyone who are rated less than "genius", neuter them then condemn them to a life of slavery.

This will justify our need to import more foreign talents.

I leave you with this: What goes around comes around.

lim said...

anon 10/12/09 04:16 rightly reminded as "What you are today is because of the decisions you make yesterday.".. So people who you voted yester-years affects your life today, so come next GE, vote wisely, time to wake up, self-proclaimed elites and talents...

Anonymous said...

only recently, the almighty one admitted an error of judgment in assuming people can master two languages. now, policies, disciplines and programs are changing to accommodate reality. and the reality is that there are many people who couldn't cope with "progress".

if the almighty one don't wake up to more "reality" about the common species, he is going to push more off the edge of the "tall buildings" he is building in the name of progress.

Anonymous said...

or rather...not in the name of progress but...in his name and image and glory.

xl said...

anon 4:16,
Some people don't have the metric of academic genius advocated by present govt.

Jay Chou can't make it to University. Is he condemn? He probably is in S'pore.

People are born with talents. Even Buffett comment that he won overian lottery. Had he been born elsewhere his talent would likely not be recognised.

Is just that there is too much brainwashing here regarding power of paper qualifications.

Recent admission of flaw in teaching chinese is just 1 of the flaws of current education system.

If old man don't admit more would suffer. After all, who dare to question the status quo without fear of repercussions?

Ruling party prefer status quo as that's what makes them competent. If admit would make them incompetent which is very hard. Hence the issue may well drag on for years or decades.

Anonymous said...

Most of us were dropped off nowhere near Switzerland

They do take us to Switzerland - cost of living only.

Anonymous said...

"we must instill a mindset that if you dont buck up, you will be eliminated. No exceptions!"

Fair, then have the standard applied to everyone, if you know what I mean.

Do not try to kid people. There are plenty of knowledgeable bloggers & internet viewers who probably can spot double standard better than you when they see one.

Anonymous said...

"why in the world should the taxpayers subsidize them. they should be buried with the garbage on a landfill."

Talking about subsidization & taxpayers money, don't you think we have already done that already, albeit indirectly, for some Le Cordon Bleu class.

We sure have a lot of expensive people to subsidize & pay out from taxpapers money. Are you also one of them.

Alan Wong said...

Is it any wonder to Yaacob why we find that so many of our despatch and delivery drivers, traffic wardens, general clerks, parking ticket officers, etc. happen to be from the Malay community ?

Is it also any wonder to Yaacob why are mosques in Singapore built with public taxpayers monies ?

Is it also any wonder to Yaacob why we hardly hear of an influx of Malay new PRs & citizens, as opposed to new Chinese and Indian PRs and citizens ?

If Yaacob can investigate & find out the real answers to the above questions, maybe he can then enlighten us on what is PAP's position with regards to the above questions ? If he can't provide us with the real answers, then he should not pretend to be concerned about the welfare of this Malay ultra-underclass and it would be better off that he continues to remain silent and receive his million dollar salary.