Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Economist : Welfare in Singapore The Stingy Nanny

The PAP pride itself to be an efficient, pragmatic and effective govt. None of this is true if we look at the way the PAP helps the needy in Singapore. When it comes to helping the poor, the PAP is ideological, inefficient and unnecessarily stingy. Making it difficult for people who really need help to find it and get it has long term negative consequences harmful to our society and worsens many problems that the PAP created with its policies. If you have not been reading this blog, you may think that what I've written above is too harsh but the article below by The Economist is a good summary of what I've discussed in many of my blog postings. PAP insistence that it shouldn't give help because the poor people are responsible for the own poverty is untrue. Making the process of seeking help "tiring and humiliating" is cruel and especially so if the people seeking help have fallen as a result of govt policies over the years.

Sometime in the 80s, when we were heading for a Swiss standard of living, it could be argued that comprehensive welfare and safety nets were unnecessary. Singaporeans working full time jobs were able to save and start a family, income inequality was a lot lower and job stability was relatively high. Over the years, workers' benefits have been slashed, income gap has ballooned and employers adoped a "hire-and-fire" attitude towards workers. The Singapore pursued pro-business policies such as allowing a large influx of foreign workers, raising GST to cut corporate taxes, no minimum wages for workers and an export oriented economic model that is highly vulnerable to volatilities of overseas demand. At the same time, the cost of living escalated causing the real wages of a large segment of the population to fall. If you find it tough owning a flat working as a professional, imagine what it is like for other workers in Singapore. Singapore has the highest income gap of all developed countries, and one of the highest cost of living. So is it any wonder if there are many have fallen through and need state help? These people are poor through no fault of their own - unless you want to blame them for being born less intelligent or less lucky and as one YPAP member put it, they should blame themselves for coming out of the wrong womb i.e. not having rich parents. The PAP mantra to solve all this is "retraining" and more retraining along with work harder, work faster - they have been saying this for the past few decades and they will keep insisting that this is the solution because it helps to preserve the status quo requiring no major policy change on their part. The PAP insists being poor is all your own fault. Because of the high cost of living, many Singaporeans even those who are not needy are unable to save so they are one major illness away from poverty or one job loss away from poverty. Many Singaporeans walk the economic tight rope as our GLCs report record profits which have been growing as a % of GDP - so what about keeping the cost of living down? What about truly affordable housing instead of the most expensive public housing in the world?

Today is Chinese New Year and I would like to wish all of you a "Happy Chinese New Year". I urge all of you to look beyond yourself and think of the hundreds of thousands of Singaporeans who will find this new year to be another year of struggle and uncertainty. While you celebrate, think of those who are unable to do so...hopefully the new year brings new thinking...new thinking that will lead to much needed change.

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Welfare in Singapore The stingy nanny [Link]
The city-state stays strict with the needy
Feb 13th 2010 SINGAPORE
From The Economist online FOND of having the last word, Singapore's government can nevertheless be flexible. Who would have thought it would be building casinos? But one policy that shows no sign of reversing is Singapore’s antipathy towards public welfare. The state’s attitude can be simply put: being poor here is your own fault. Citizens are obliged to save for the future, rely on their families and not expect any handouts from the government unless they hit rock bottom. The emphasis on family extends into old age: retired parents can sue children who fail to support them. In government circles “welfare” remains a dirty word, cousin to sloth and waste. Singapore may be a nanny state, but it is by no means an indulgent nanny.

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The aftershock of a deep recession, which pushed unemployment among citizens up to 4.1% in September—high for Singapore—has not altered the popular belief that the dole is bad for society. The casinos, which open on February 14th, have already helped reduce unemployment, which by December had fallen back to 3%, seasonally adjusted.
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The government does run a handful of schemes directed at some of the needy, from low-income students to the unassisted elderly. But these benefits are rigorously means-tested and granted only sparingly. The most destitute citizens’ families may apply for public assistance; only 3,000 currently qualify. Laid-off workers receive no automatic benefits. Instead they are sorted into “workfare” and training schemes.
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Applicants complain that the process of seeking help is made tiresome and humiliating. Indeed that could be the point, supposing it deters free-riders. Officials take a dim view of European-style welfare systems, which are said to beget laziness. The Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS), which administers the various schemes, says theirs are designed as a “springboard” to self-reliance. Getting people back to work takes priority over relieving any temporary drop in income. In a fiscal stimulus unveiled a year ago in response to the financial crisis, S$5.1 billion ($3.6 billion) was allocated for employment measures, including grants to companies to retain staff. Those who remain out of work can join a government training scheme; by December, 169,000 unemployed workers had done so.

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Many Singaporeans are wedded to their jobs and look askance at idleness of any kind. The government is leery of generous handouts, fearing they might undercut the work ethic while burdening taxpayers. But the thinness of the safety net also reflects a widespread article of faith, recited and reinforced over the years. Even among the social workers who work in hard-hit communities there is surprisingly little frustration at the meagreness of the handouts on offer or at the lengthy application process. One explains that Singapore needs to weed out undeserving claimants and shakes his head at the potential cost of a comprehensive welfare service. Yet in his next breath he mentions a number of local families who have been forced to sleep rough since mortgage lenders foreclosed on their flats.
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Nobody doubts that wealthy Singapore could be more generous. In 2008 the World Bank rated it the third richest country in the world, in terms of GDP per head at purchasing-power parity. And the idea that its Big-Brotherly government might be outfoxed by conniving welfare queens seems odd. When a visiting news crew filmed an elderly woman scavenging in Chinatown and bemoaning her homelessness, the government promptly identified her as a miserly flat-owner who did not need to beg. Indeed, acute poverty is hard to spot in Singapore. Public housing is in good shape; no slums are allowed to fester. Soup kitchens do exist, but foreign labourers are often first in line.
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But Singapore still faces the challenge of rising inequality in a society that is also rapidly ageing. By 2030, says MCYS, one in five Singaporeans will be over 65 (UBS, whose largest shareholder is Singapore’s sovereign-wealth fund, has estimated the date at 2020). Incomes have stagnated or even fallen at the bottom of the spectrum, as the rich pull further ahead of the middle classes. Long-term unemployment among middle-aged professionals, who do not qualify for workfare, is on the rise, says Leong Sze Hian, a financial expert and blogger.

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Native resentment is also growing against the influx of migrant workers: 35% of the workforce of 3m is now foreign. It is often cheaper for companies to import semi-skilled and unskilled workers—there were 680,000 at last count—than to hire locals, who require pension contributions. Official reassurances that migrants create growth do not convince those competing for scarce jobs. Lee Kuan Yew,
Singapore’s founding father and still its "minister mentor" has maintained that ambitious migrants help to keep citizens on their toes. In an interview given to National Geographic last July he said that if native Singaporeans lag behind “hungry” foreigners because “the spurs are not stuck on [their] hinds”, that is not the state’s problem to solve.

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This nascent backlash may eventually soften the anti-welfare tone set by Mr Lee. The Economic Society of Singapore (ESS)—not exactly a radical cell—recently proposed to a government committee that it should build a more robust safety net, starting with unemployment insurance. This would promote social stability and help muster public support for Singapore’s open-door migration policies, it argues. Properly designed, such measures would not create disincentives to work and thrift. “While self-reliance is a good principle in general, it may be neither efficient nor just if taken to extremes,” noted the ESS.

93 comments:

tiredman said...

Happy Chinese New Year Lucky!!!

This is a no new issue. The solution to these entire problems is no new either. These highly paid morons have already run out of ideas.

Anonymous said...

I am a school teacher, and I hate the working conditions at my workplace.

Many of us are overworked; handling oversized classes, having multiple portfolios, having to do everything from teaching to disciplining to events management to counselling to organizing overseas tours.

We need more manpower, but we won't be getting it. The system wants to squeeze as much as possible out of us, and management always cites some stupid reason about teacher: student ratio and teachers needing to teach a minimum number of periods each week, to justify why we don't need additional manpower.

I suppose most workplace have the same problem. Management is exploitative, and wants us to perform multiple roles just to save costs. It doesn't matter if we are grossly overworked, and that our benefits have been slashed.

In the past, teachers were entitled to pensions when they retire. We no longer have pensions. Only ministers have pensions. We get some stupid scheme where the total payout is at best, 50% of a normal pension scheme.

Welfare is a dirty word because welfare cost money. If welfare was profitable, Singapore would welcome welfare with open arms.

Not surprising, teaching has a very high turnover rate, despite it being an "iron rice bowl" job.

cy said...

pap belongs to a group of ppl who believes that you are poor because you do not work hard,you do not plan your finances or you indulge in vices, all in all, it is your fault that you are in this situation.

Trust me,there are many in the world who thinks like this,just see economist comments.

Whereas there is another group of ppl who believes that the destitute,unemployed etc. are victims of circumstances not of their own doing, they deserved a helping hand to get them back on their feet.

PAP always cites examples of ppl who cheat govt of welfare money, but they are in the minority. should we penalise the majority who need help just because of a few bad eggs?

By helping the weak, we are strengthening the social fabric of a society and this benefits the govt too. pap is practising what i call penny-wise, pound foolish policy due to their obstinancy in clinging on to their ideology.

Anonymous said...

The only time they are not stingy is when they reward themselves!

Lim Leng Hiong said...

"I urge all of you to look beyond yourself and think of the hundreds of thousands of Singaporeans who will find this new year of struggle and uncertainty."

The upsurge of voices against these government policies is precisely because it is no longer other people's problem anymore.

There may be no need to "look beyond yourself" since more and more Singaporeans from all walks of life are personally experiencing struggle and uncertainty.

Since we cannot protest in public, we only have two outlets for our frustrations - the Internet or the ballot box.

Anonymous said...

Is it just me, or do many of you find that this year, the Tiger spirit is really lacking?

I don't feel the festive cheer in the air this Chinese New Year.

Has it anything to do with the economy, the lack of welfare support for those in need, the shrinking salary, and the competition of jobs against cheaper FTs?

the last tiger said...

Still can find time to post and share your thoughts on less fortunate fellow Singaporeans during first day of Chinese New Year,
I take it as your Angpow to all, Lucky. :)

ps: if Sporeans do not look out for each other, they will end up like the tiger, facing extinction.

Anonymous said...

The PAP has calculated that there are and will not be any negative political repercussions for them by being "the stingy nanny" to the majority of Singaporeans.

How do they know? Don't forget the govt has a old mentor. I believe he makes the final judgment where issues like these are concerned. He is and will never be wrong on this, although other things like investments he got it very wrong.

Anonymous said...

Happy Chinese New Year to all Singaporeans. May the new year see much needed change. For too long have we been governed by an insolent regime that cares for no one other than themselves. We do not need a government that would prefer to lose billions in foreign investments than to invest in it's own people, the needy, and those striving for whatever little. It is time for the PAP to be shown out the door.

Michael said...

Heh Lucky!

Micheal here!

Just thought I share you this clip on Google video. There is a portion that discusses the ideological assumptions of meritocracy and its flaws. You may need to watch through all the parts as I got the original version.

http://video.google.com.au/videosearch?q=Status+Anxiety+%28part+1+of+3%29&hl=en&emb=0#

Allan de botton is one of my favourite philosopher.

Anonymous said...

Basically, the government is bullying us. I can't wait for another ang pow before election. In the last election, LKY's son asked something to the effect: "Who do you trust to take you out of this recession?" And many voted for the PAP, including my nieces. Then I realised something. Many you were voting were women. And I wasn't surprise how quick they change their hearts when you put some cash in their wallets. You need to target the apathetic women voters and AMK GRC if you want things to change. About having a protest, you can definitely hold a public protest in Singapore against a law that violates our right to express our disagreements with FT policies and the sky-rocketing pigeon-holed HDB flats, etc., simply by appropriate organization. Just organise it like the flash mob and then mobilise. It would be too big and too impossible for the police to stop.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anon 14/2, 8:32

If you want to survive in teaching without cancer, (my previous mentor died from lung cancer, I know many teachers who underwent vocal chords surgery, etc.) you need to first not bother about discipline TOO MUCH. Let it go.

Next, don't bother about counselling. Just fill the forms. Take care of yourself first.

Before my mentor died, he was hoping that there will be more manpower recruitment in teaching, so that teachers do not need to be overwork. Many teachers are hoping that the parents would speak up on their behalf why the classes are oversized and teachers are overtaxed. Only then, can teachers find time to nurture each child well. What is happening is that the government wants a system where the Singaporean child is not cared for. If you want to care for a kid, you coould reduce class sizes to 30 pupils; that would make a big difference to a child's well-being. And not hide such UNCARE under terms like trying to "holistically developed the pupils". Is it not a fact that there is a lot of hypocrisy?

By the way, according to MOE, you're not a school teacher. You're a GENERAL Education Officer. Just remember to take of your health and stay in touch with colleagues who have a well-balanced perspective of a good and decent life. Also, don't worry about the D-appraisal and the gentle threats used to get you to avoid the D with additional exploitative work. Worry about your health. My mentor was a straight B but he died from all that disciplining and overwork. He left behind two school-going sons, a wife, a car and an unpaid condo.

Ex-school Teacher.

Anonymous said...

When LKY said: "If there is a freak election, we will have to bring in the army."

He said so in the aftermath of the recent Burma campaign.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtPUAJMilZE

Anonymous said...

Hi All,

I am the new poor.

My old job have been taken by the Indian, Mainland Chinese, Filipino and Myamese. Can't blame them but thank to our esteem miw.

After so many years, I have become "obsolete". Soon I will be working as a graduate general worker in a mnc. Thank again to our esteem miw for creating so many low-level jobs otherwise many graduates with years of valuable experiences will not survive while all the mid and higher level jobs goes to FT.

I have used to being poor. So I taught myself, overtime, to lead a simply life and let go as much as possible. And I feel much happier and "lighter" than before.

yangpunk said...

Guys ... you have to be objective! Before I continue let me state that I am no fan of PAP.

Which country in the world hasn't got some poor and destitute, some unemployed and handicap? It's a question of percentages and I dare say Singapore's is relatively low. If you expect the government to have such a widespread net that catches all such cases, take care of every unemployed (those by choice also?) then ask yourselves where is this money coming from? Are you willing to pay more taxes?

How many of you have tried to evade the saturday flag sellers even if it meant giving a couple of coins? Already there are complaints that they are overworked (as teachers) Then why is our productivity not amongst the top tier in the world?

Those who complain about your employers expecting too much whilst paying so little...why don't you reverse the situation and then tell us how generous you can be! How kind are you to your maids? What time do you make them wake up in the morning and when are you happy to let them go to bed at night? How many off days do you give them in a month?

My grandparents are very poor immigrants from China but they were able to put their 3 children through school and one even to university. My father and mother had to feed 10 mouths, with my mother teaching off shore at an island village school and coming home to the mainland only on weekends. My father slogged as a salesman covering Singapore and South Malaya! They never asked for handouts. I was fortunate to get a uni education and put my 2 children also to unis. Each generation things got better because we worked hard for what we expect out of life...not whining how much more the government or others should do for us.

In gratitude of whatever opportunities we got out of this country we try to pay forward by helping the less fortunate whenever we can.

Anonymous said...

So much for objectivity.

Anonymous said...

yangpunk must have bought into MM's talk about Sinkies being too comfortable and complacent. But he fails to see the double standards in MM's life and the life that the common man is leading.

Anonymous said...

Hey guys!

What is happening is that the LEEregime has, due to it fallout, been involved in economic mismanagement. And they do want to hold accountable to it. This is one of the reasons why crucial datas are blanketed and not made transparent.

Anonymous said...

Anon 15:05,

How true.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anon 15/2 0:935am,

Thanks for your advice.

I am very unhappy at work. And it has a lot to do with our work culture of getting two people to do three people's work.

We have a techincal assistant (TA) in the school. She is Malaysian, and she is our 4th TA in 5 years. The pay is low, and the workload is heavy, heavy enough that we should have hired another TA. But the school won't do it, because it wants to keep its costs down. And also because if we get another TA, the TA can do the HOD-IT work as well, making her redundant.

But why should a teacher be doing data analysis job? Is that a teacher's job in the first place?

Many of us hate teaching, hate to be in this job, and we are only in it for the money.

Thanks for your advice.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anon 15/2 0:935am,

Thanks for your advice.

I am very unhappy at work. And it has a lot to do with our work culture of getting two people to do three people's work.

We have a techincal assistant (TA) in the school. She is Malaysian, and she is our 4th TA in 5 years. The pay is low, and the workload is heavy, heavy enough that we should have hired another TA. But the school won't do it, because it wants to keep its costs down. And also because if we get another TA, the TA can do the HOD-IT work as well, making her redundant.

But why should a teacher be doing data analysis job? Is that a teacher's job in the first place?

Many of us hate teaching, hate to be in this job, and we are only in it for the money.

Thanks for your advice.

Anonymous said...

Target the women. Once you've won them over, their husbands and children are yours.

Anonymous said...

Stingy is the wrong word. PAP is beyond stingy. Not only do they deprive you of all benefits, they fleece you actively. They enslave you all your life so that you are too busy working for a roof above your head and trying to survive - trying to live on the bare necessities. No other country does this to its citizens, oh I forgot we are not even citizens - disposable, serfs and slaves whose sole reason for existence is to enrich the PAP's pockets.Oh, just read that GIC has another loss again. What a loser! I think the worst investor in Shenton Way cna beat them. I think they should close shop completely and use the money to invest in fixed deposits. At least we make money not lose money. So people, start preparing to pay $$$ cos GIC's going to get us to cough up for their losses as per normal.

yangpunk said...

Tsk ... tsk... so many Anonymous clones! Don't even have the guts to pick a personal id!

Anonymous said...

Hey Anon 14:52,

No problem. It's my pleasure. If your school has about 70-80 teachers, it should take in 2 TAs. One is overtaxing the poor guy.

Unless the HOD IT addresses this matter with the AM and P, it would remain status quo. This is because it is easier to hire someone on GeBiz. Chances of this going on would be high since principals are replaced every 5 years.

I would suggest that you take it easy. I have seen many teachers who become overperfectionist (whatever that means) to avoid a D, and end up overstressing themselves. Refrain from doing this. Do what is needed. As much as we desire to be accepted, APPROVED and appreciated, there is a limit we have to observe in terms of our resources: time, loved ones, personal time, hobbies, etc.. MOE's recent policy to work towards work-life balance is an impossible dream. This is because when you spend so much time in school (some teachers do numerous camps, projects, excursions, departmental duties, events managements, etc.), something has to give. It's either their personal time, time with family, social life, chronic singlehood (not by choice but married to the job), hobbies, among other things will be affected or short-changed. Take care of your physical health (my ex P and VP have heart diseases and hypertension), intellectual (make sure you are learning new things), emotional well-being (make sure you maintain your relationships: self, friendships, family and a few good colleagues) and your spiritual health (make sure you relax and now take things too seriously or hard, avoid resentment and negative office politics; be more self-aware and replenish yourself so that you can teach the students better from your heart). You are not alone. I know many teachers in such situations. Remember, you can still keep your critical mind, diplomatically. Best regards.

Anonymous said...

http://vodpod.com/watch/1969328-ted-alain-de-botton

Anonymous said...

yangpunk said...
Tsk ... tsk... so many Anonymous clones! Don't even have the guts to pick a personal id!

15/2/10 18:31

How hilarious U anonymous yangpunk!

Anonymous said...

Not only is he an anonymous yangpunk, he is not even young. MUAHAHAHAH~~~

Anonymous said...

Thanks anon 15/2 19:17

Thanks for your advice on taking pro-active measures on our part for work-life balance.

We are supposed to be in an "iron-rice-bowl", but yet working conditions here in teaching are bad. Long hours, heavy workload.

There are close to 10 teachers in my school who are in chronic singlehood. They don't seem to have much social life outside of work.

It is part of the working culture here in Singapore; where there is general lack of welfare in the workplace or benefits for those who need a helping hand. All the boss wants us to do is work work work work work.

I am venting my anger here, because I am fed up with the stupid policy that teachers are not suppose to say anything, except pretend to the public that all is good and well.

Is this communist China?

Anonymous said...

The papist leegime are stingy when it concerns average Singaporeans. For themselves, they are very generous. In order to justify and lessen the obscenity of their greeds, they will throw some spar cash to those around them. That has has been their characteristics and that will be their characteristics. How Singaporeans can tolerate their nonsences for so long is a wonder to me.

Anonymous said...

The papist leegime is WORST than communism.
First communism takes care of your from cradle to grave.
Second under communism all are equal.
Third even under strong communist leadership like Mao, there are factions within the party. Now PRC leaderships are changed every 10 years.
The papist system is a one man dictatorship presiding over a very harsh ultra-capitalistic market systems.

Anonymous said...

Hello anon 14:52, reading your boring discourse pisses me off. Obviously you have come to the wrong address, this is not a budget clinic for depressed teachers. The topic here is about welfare in the nanny state, so if you have a personal problem go see your MP, a freaking psychiatrist or wait for the next topic that has the keyword, depressed teacher. Please.

Anonymous said...

To yangpunk:

Singapore has enough wealth hidden away to last forever. U see just a decent return of 5% on our hidden wealth will generate more than enough money to cover the total government expenditure with plenty of leftovers.
For all the hardwork, sacrifices put in by the older generations to Singaporeans to build up this place, their decendents deserve much better than the way the papist leegime are treating them. There are enough $ for a free health service, free education to university level as well as support for the poor, homeless and unemployed.
There is only one obstacle between having these better quality of lives and average Singaporeans - LKY and his pap.
Get ride of LKY and his pap and average Singaporeans will experience a huge jump in their standard and quality of life.

Anonymous said...

Aren't you people tired of talking rubbish?

Anonymous said...

hello anon 21:54. Shut your piehole.

Anonymous said...

When the people are too busy fighting amongst themselves, they'll have no time to battle against the real enemy.

That is exactly why blog posts on sensitive and important topics usually have people who incite trouble. The flag these people are bearing, be it pro-govt or pro-oppo, does not matter.

Anonymous said...

??? hmm.. wat talking u?
can u try to be more coherent?

Anonymous said...

Police accused of using provocateurs at summit

http://www.thestar.com/News/article/248608

3 policemen caught trying to incite protesters' violence against uniformed policemen

Beware of false flag operations conducted by men with vested interests. They may bear your flag, but are actually working for the other party.

Anonymous said...

so you are an inciter?

Anonymous said...

With that in mind, how did the Hock Lee bus riots come about?

Anonymous said...

WOW what's that?

Anonymous said...

Hi anons.

We would like to know more about workplace issues, like what the teacher was talking about. All of these are part and parcel of the work culture and welfare in Singapore.

Very long working hours and low pay usually goes together with a "stingy nanny" state. These are all part of a big story of why wages are being depressed, and why our govt is so stingy with helping the poor but very generous in bailing out failed banks like UBS and Citigroup.

Anonymous said...

It is perhaps easier to retrain, work harder and longer hours or smarter than to deplete our reserves through free meals and later have to deal with wide spread poverty and an uncompetitive people in a dog eat dog world.

Unless lucky can turn dogs into saints, I don't see how his ideas can provide long term stability and quality of life for all.

yamizi said...

Lucky,

Just to note, people who wish to Rony getting his justice done is not necessary having a lot of hatred and not allowing their beliefs to transformed.

Just like how you have explained the situation in this entry in a very objective manner.

Seeing justice done and getting angry have always been 2 seperate issue.

Of course you may be really angry with the policy makers, who knows right?

Lim Leng Hiong said...

"Hello anon 14:52, reading your boring discourse pisses me off. Obviously you have come to the wrong address, this is not a budget clinic for depressed teachers." - Anon 15/2/10 21:54

That is too harsh. Be it lack of welfare or understaffed workplace, there are government policies that have resulted in hardship for Singaporeans from all walks of life.

There aren't many outlets for the people to voice their frustrations. Whether they are general workers or teachers, it is interesting to hear about their work experiences.

"We would like to know more about workplace issues, like what the teacher was talking about. All of these are part and parcel of the work culture and welfare in Singapore.

Very long working hours and low pay usually goes together with a "stingy nanny" state. These are all part of a big story of why wages are being depressed, and why our govt is so stingy with helping the poor but very generous in bailing out failed banks like UBS and Citigroup." - Anon 16/2/10 00:05

Well said, and I should add that though it seems like the government is one giant machine where all its members are of one mind, but the reality is that only a disproportionately few people in the government stand to gain the disproportionately huge benefits.

Anonymous said...

Anon 21:54 is a fine example of an ungracious Singaporean and LLH is a fairly decent example of a gracious blogger.

Anyhow, I wanted to point this out guys. It was said to me by a guy who was investigated by the ISD for supposed fraudalent investments. His bank account was logged. And even though he had an international account in Thailand, the ISD (according to him) also froze it.

He said something to me that stuck for a long time. This is adding on to the anonymous teacher who commented earlier that Singapore's politics run akin to communist China. When I told him that most of the time when I was working in schools, I observed a high degree of hyprocrisy and teachers witholding making comments that would actually improve pupils' welfare and fellow teachers' welfare. The appraisal system is what that is chasing many teachers out. It changes the meaning of what it means to be a teacher. When I told this man that we were not allowed to think (even though we were graduates), he said: "If you are not allowed to think, what is that? Communism."

Just follow.

Ex-teacher.
[You can draw the links to working culture being shaped by government policies. Quite frankly, we're being led by desperate greedy leaders who condescend the voters.]

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:26 probably never lived overseas for any number of years. His reality is circumscribed by the island's borders, not knowing that there are alternative ways of being. He needs to get out of his comfortable worldview that grass is not greener on the other side. It is.

Anonymous said...

Hey LLH,

Do you have your a blog of your own? I like to visit.

Anonymous said...

booger. as if living overseas can make your land bigger and oil erupting in bukit timah hills.

with brains like that, we don't need the oppositions.

Anonymous said...

Mr Lucky

//
Even among the social workers who work in hard-hit communities there is surprisingly little frustration at the meagreness of the handouts on offer or at the lengthy application process.
//

Lets start a jihad against the uncaring social workers who are obviously in for the money or worse *gasp* trying to spread their religion! *horror*

PS:
Mr Yamizi ... in your opinion, what would be "justice "?
Life imprisonment for Rony?
Or death sentence?

Anonymous said...

a clean government is not good, a good government is not clean.

Anonymous said...

"booger. as if living overseas can make your land bigger and oil erupting in bukit timah hills."

living overseas can increase our IQ by 100%.EQ by 200%.

Anonymous said...

no no no, you live overseas, you can bring back their fashions, food, culture, mountains and lakes.
and nice weather too!

yangpunk said...

To Anonymous 22:02

Isn't there the wise old saying that the 1st generation build the wealth, the 2nd expand on it, and the 3rd squander it.

Yes Singapore has accumulated a reserve that is the envy of nations far bigger than us. That is why this little red dot carries a clout that is far beyond the proportion of our size!

The young nowadays are already enjoying a standard of living unimaginable 2 generations ago. So pampered by maids that some can't even tie their own shoe laces. All this "give me...give me" attitude will only make life harder for you when you grow up and have to survive in a competitive environment. And it is so obvious that opposition politics is latching onto this weakness to arouse sympathy for themselves.

All governments are NOT perfect and have flaws and make mistakes. But you just have to use your common sense and maturity to choose the one with less imperfection!

Anonymous said...

Definitely cast my vote for the opposition. No fight.

Anonymous said...

Dear yangpunk,

You are not young and I seriously doubt punk, otherwise why the young ppl nowadays buiness. Even if you were young, your views clash decidedly with your nick.

Dude, let me tell you whats wrong with the pap trolls internet campaign. They think that they can sway thoughts by repeating opinions again and again and again. For young people these days, we need logic and facts. You cant just spout an opinion and say or I am entitled to my opinion and expect people to believe you.

I like luckys discussion forum because the debate is rigorous. People dun just blame the govt for everything and anything. I remember there was a guy who was blaming the govt for his credit card woes and everyone rightfully told him it was his own fault.


I say the young people work a lot harder for less money than their parents. Declining or stagnating wages and massive asset inflation. How are we a coddled genration pray? Please produce some facts to subtantiate your statement.

Anonymous said...

Just checked out Alex's speech on Temasek Review. Vote for Alex people!

yangpunk said...

A nik is just a nik to identify myself...almost every one here is Anonymous...so difficult to reply to!

Well, I happen to be the sandwiched generation. I have seen the hardship my parents went through being the immigrant generation, progressing from the attap huts colony at Bt Merah to SIT flats to a SD house in a middle class housing estate. My children (and I presume your generation) were born in relative comfort, never slept without air-conditioning, fetched to and fro by car or air-conditioned school bus in primary school...attended to by maids when young and never have to lift a finger to do any housework... ate in air-conditioned food courts and restaurants whilst we had our lunch sitting over covered stinky drains behind the hawker stalls... We worked 6 day week for a starting graduate's pay of $495 in the civil service...and often 12 hour day in the private sector for a little more.

Now what facts do you want?

Anonymous said...

Laugh,

Dude, I work a 18 hour day 7 days a week for a pay of $3,700k. I sleep in my office.

You know and I know that in real terms the graduates pay has gone down. Please dun be an idiot.

Most peole are not chauffered. Most families do not have cars. Look at the sats please. That you have lived a molly coddled life and only moved in privileged circles exposese ignorance. Anecdoates are not facts.

Anonymous said...

yangpunk is obviously out of touch with the realities of our generation. He graduated from the politics of fear. He doesn't have to grapple with unaffordable 3-room flats and a volatile economy. He doesn't have to grapple with ministers being paid greedy salaries. He comes from a generation that doesn't understand basic human rights. Just chew your fingers, shut up and kow tow to an alluded fact that LKY and PAP are ominiscient. They are perfect. They are not responsible for the hectic lifestyle that Singaporeans are living. But heh! I don't expect an old hardened fool to understand my generation. Personally, we don't give a fuck about your generation. That's a bygone generation. The past is dead. So stop living in the past. Your generation has been wired with LKY's logic that you guys are always right. Many of your generation were stupid. You can count the degree holders of your time. LKY was able to milk you guys well. Not our generation. We are a global generation. We see more at a younger age. The problem is that PAP is milking Singaporeans very early now. CPF is being witheld longer and the minimum sum is raising and will continue to rise. By the time you realise something is wrong with their policy, you'll be in old age, devoid of energy to fight the misactions. You would just suck it in. This is happening right now. And Singaporeans are too busy to think about it. They are floating on at sea with a no life-jacket on a decaying piece of plank. They are mistaking the horizon for the beach. The closer they get to the horizon, the more they realise the horizon is being shifted away from the grips. This is what is happening to the CPF. DOn't talk abt welfare. Talk about how little the ministers are paid. They should raise the salaries even more. Why not? With their flawed, logic, they will tell you. We should maintain this amount of million dollar salary simply because things COULD HAVE GOTTEN WORSE.

Majulah Singapura!

Anonymous said...

"A nik is just a nik to identify myself...almost every one here is Anonymous...so difficult to reply to!"

Erm...we don't have a problem here except you.

Anonymous said...

To yangpunk:

After all the hardworks and sacrifices put in by the older generations to build up Singapore to where it is, don't u think their descendents deserve a much better life than what LKY and his pap is prepared to give them. Why do they have to slog as hard as the older generations when the country is so rich now. We have developled from a third world to a first world. So it is only fair that the people should have a first world standard of living comparable to countries like Australia, America and Europe. To expect and force Singaporeans to continue to slave like those in the third world now and the third world of yesterday Singapore is absolutely unreasonable, cruel and destructive to national cohesion.
Let's face it. Lee Kuan Yew have screwed the older generations thru and thru and they quietly accepted it. That is the price they are willing to pay for all the works that LKY and his old guards did to lift up Singapore.
However, the pap has changed for the worst over the last 20 years. It has moved from a democratic socialist platform to a platform catering to the rich and powerful. So even the older generations are waking up and many of the baby boomers are now diehard anti-pap voters.
The only pro-pap babyboomers are those in or around the pap.
The pap is a dying party. Stuck in the past, unable and unwilling to adjust to a modern and fast changing world. Protected from competition, and dominated by a senile old fart, it is completely devoid of new ideas and out of touch with reality on the ground.
Long live Singapore and Singaporeans. Death to the papist traitors.

Anonymous said...

I am seriously afraid that if one day, our PAP leaders run road, we will find that our reserves are empty, if they are not empty already.

Too many people from the same family or clan hold sensitive positions in running our country or reserves.

Maybe that's why they are so stingy with helping the poor, but so generous when it comes to paying themselves.

Does Singapore have an equivalent of Mossad to hunt down any villian wh thinks he can escape justice by fleeing abroad?

Anonymous said...

"Does Singapore have an equivalent of Mossad to hunt down any villian wh thinks he can escape justice by fleeing abroad?"

Of coz we have, but they are under direct employ of the LEEgime. That's why run-road romanian under 24-hr guard by their secret service and special forces, otherwise our "Mossad" will have coordinated with SOF to liquidate that fella.

When LEEgime finally also run-road, this "Mossad" will be their bodyguards in Argentina, Paraguay, Myanmar, Laos etc.

yangpunk said...

Well all I can say is there are so many of you here who seem so anti PAP. You are obviously well educated and articulate, though I will refrain from using the word intelligent, so why hide behind a computer screen?

Sure if you have enough conviction and courage, you can do better than the Filipino peasantry who brought down their dictator. Or are you people only armchair warriors? Show us your mettle at the next GE!

Anonymous said...

Frankly, I am anxious of this coming GE. The reason is that I want to see personally if there is ANY significant or somewhat radical change in the number of opposition being elected into parliament or a minister loses a particular seat. I'd made up my mind that unless I witness at least 2 seats going to the opposition (this is my worst cast scenario prediction), I will make active measures to migrate and leave this country for good. Because with all that has been happening for the last 10 years in this country, and to see nothing cracks; it only points to me how deep the machinery is and how heavyly conditioned the Singaporeans minds are. There are less than 3 million NATIVE Singaporeans in this country. (There are only 3 million of us NATIVE Singaporeans in this world). We deserve better as a first world country. We've been workin' so hard. Surely, a FIRST CLASS government in a first world country with the world's highest paid ministers in the Guiness Book of Records can deliver better than other countries? No? Well, this comin' GE will make it or break for me. I respect my values, intelligence, free-spiritedness and self-assertion as a human too much to be indoctrinated for a lifetime by the present government.

Anonymous said...

I can assure you LKY would have a large number of us believe that we are a SELF-INDULGENT GENERATION. Look at who's paying himself million dollar salaries and in a state of self-indulgent and condescending the voters?

Anonymous said...

To yangpunk:

How many good and dedicated people who wanted to contribute to improve the lives of Singaporeans were massacred by Lee Kuan Yew ?
He is still doing it on Dr. Chee Soo Juan. So long as u r a real threat to him, LKY will use anything including illegal means to finish u off. So long as this monster LKY is around, many very able and loyal Singaporeans will miss serving their country be it under the pap or in the opposition. It is a disgrace to be associated with such an evil group like the pap. LKY has cheated his way to power and has cheated to stay in power. What can be worst ?
The day when LKY is dead will be a great day for Singapore. For it will herald the return of freedom and human rights to all Singaporeans. Singaporeans will be rid of the fear (justifiable by the actions of LKY) which has shackled them for 50 years. The day when LKY dies will be commemorated as LIBERATION DAY.

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sXGzFuoF8g

Anonymous said...

I don't want to be mentally bullied by the government no more.

Anonymous said...

but you want to be assaulted by rubbish rambling? lol

Anonymous said...

Some of the worst ramblings are from the papist ministers. Singapore in golden era to be followed by worst recession. Foreigners cut, no change in policy. Which is which. Why are they talking thru their arses ?

Anonymous said...

because we are in an economic war. tell me, in war, you dare to sleep for long hrs knowing some joker may slit your throat whilst you are asleep?

Anonymous said...

We don't need to be in any war let alone an economic one. We need to focus on improving the quality of lives of Singaporeans. We need to fulfill the pledges we made everyday in school - democracy, freedom, fairness, justice and equality. We don't want a few fat arses to decide everything for us. Why should they have the luxurious lives while driving Singaporeans like slaves ?

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 22:21

If you are not Dr CSJ youself, would you vote for him if he stands for election? How many of you actually want the likes of him to lead the next government?

Those who are capable are already earning big money and leading a cushy life...a life too good to give up for politics. That in short is the problem of Singapore politics today.

yang punk said...

What about CST? He has successfully stood for election for many years...why don't you pap haters join him if you are genuinely interested in politics, not to line your own pockets but for the betterment of your fellow Singaporeans.

"Dude, I work a 18 hour day 7 days a week for a pay of $3,700k. I sleep in my office.

You know and I know that in real terms the graduates pay has gone down. Please dun be an idiot."

Look who is the idiot? If you think you are being exploited by your employer why stay on? Isn't there many here who claim the world is their oyster? Or is it because you are mediocre and there would be many only too happy to replace you? Heard of the Peter's Principle? You can only rise to the level of incompetence!

"Most peole are not chauffered. Most families do not have cars. Look at the sats please. That you have lived a molly coddled life and only moved in privileged circles exposese ignorance. Anecdoates are not facts."

Look at the highways...every morning and evening the traffic is crawling and choke-a-bloc. We are not talking about most families...we are talking about percentages and I dare say the percentage of car owning families in Singapore is higher than any of our S E Asian neighbours. You tell me which society can survive with a lop-sided wealth distribution where you have a majority of millionaires and a minority of middle and working class. Can an army of more officers than non-commissioned soldiers be practical?

Singapore is already heading towards that kind of a situation and that is why more and more 'cheaper' foreign workers and labourers have to be brought in to fill the essential jobs that people like you consider too low to take. It is people like you too mediocre to more up the ladder but on the other hand thinks too highly of yourself, who are here to kpkb. If you are so good go find a better job or migrate to another country that YOU think will give you a better deal.

Everyone can complain but how many can come up with solutions? Talk is cheap! Your forefather didn't achieve what they did by complaining...they worked hard! This is the real world and there is no such thing as equality for all without equal intelligence and effort! The past generations have worked hard and they have already handed to your generation a better lifestyle, better opportunities, better infrastructures. What more do you want? A state- provided nanny to wipe your ass after you shit?

Anonymous said...

Hi Anon 17/2 14:55.

Why are you angry about others complaining and not giving solutions?

Nearly all of us here are NOT PAID to come up with solutions for Singaporeans.

However, there is a class of millionaire ministers and perm secs who ARE PAID to solve our problems.

Instead of thinking hard on how to help Singaporeans, they show more interest in helping themselves to big fat salaries. And they have shown to everyone how incompetent they are, in protecting the interests of Singaporeans.

Look at the newly opened IRs. Most of the jobs which pay well don't go to Singaporeans. They are mostly given the foreigners because employers here are so addicted to cheaper foreign labour.

Anonymous said...

"Singapore is already heading towards that kind of a situation and that is why more and more 'cheaper' foreign workers and labourers have to be brought in to fill the essential jobs that people like you consider too low to take."

Nonsense! Anon Yang Punk!

We are losing jobs like engineers, doctors, nurses, IT specialists, managers, technicians, to FTs as well.

The FTs threaten most jobs in the private sectors, not just the traditional construction worker or dishwasher jobs.

Even the Pinoys here are no longer solely maids. I have seen Pinoys working as F&B managers or as computer technicians. Are these jobs that locals shun??

As long as wages are being depressed by the huge influx of workers, it makes no sense to train a local for any job; from doctor to engineer to teacher to surgeon; After all, we can also get a cheaper FT to perform all these task.

Don' tell me that there aren't cheaper FT engineers or doctors or accountants or teachers.

Anonymous said...

@yang punk - I know personally of ex-colleagues in the IT industry who have lost jobs cos they are in their late 40s and are facing competition from "cheaper" Indians and PRCs. I emigrated to NZ where work permits can be given to foreigners only if the employer has evidence that the job cannot be filled by a local, even in jobs that are known to have skills shortage. Employers must show evidence that they have advertised over a long period and no citizen / PR can do the job. Work permits and PRs are not given out as easily as in SG and there are minimum wages; so that employers cannot take advantage by giving jobs to cheaper foreigners...

Besides friends in IT, I also know of PMETs in other industries who have lost jobs to cheaper foreign "talents"...I can sense your loyalty to the PAP; but no govt is perfect and the article does highlight areas that the PAP should improve on, purely becos they were elected to serve the people, not the other way around..

Anonymous said...

To yangpunk:

Many Singaporeans have left and many will continue to leave. Most Singaporeans who left are doing much better and happier than if they had stayed behind in Singapore.
Singaporeans are already studying so hard and working the longest hours on earth and yet they cannot even have a decent life. Something is terribly wrong with the papist policies. They have betrayed the trust Singaporeans have given them. LKY promised Singaporeans that if they vote for him he will give them a good life and a secured retirement. Singaporeans have done that for 50 years and they are still waiting for LKY to deliver on his promise. As it is the good life is only restricted to the elites and their families and cronies.
No other developed countries in the world pursue such a liberal policy on foreigners. Name me one country where it is so easy for foreigners to come to stay and work.
If LKY and his pap had not played dirty, they would have been ousted long time ago.
They can fool and cheat the people for so long but not forever. Eventually they will be overthrown. No doubt about that. The moment LKY is dead is the moment when the pap will disintegrate. That is when the pap asslickers and cocksuckers will change colours.

Anonymous said...

yangpunk,

You spout so much nonsense, I stopped half-way when I was reading your entry.

Anonymous said...

yanpunk said:

"It is people like you too mediocre to more up the ladder but on the other hand thinks too highly of yourself, who are here to kpkb."

You have my compassion for your myopic view of successful. You are always welcome to live in the society that has imposed itself on you and you choosing to accept that imposition.

Anonymous said...

You know what they say about old people like yangpunk. Just ignore him. He needs a lot of attention. He needs to tell how right he is and how wrong us younger generation is. Nothing new with LKY's poisoned bygone generation.

Anonymous said...

"It is people like you too mediocre to more up the ladder but on the other hand thinks too highly of yourself, who are here to kpkb."

In the first place, not everyone defines success in the same way as you. To some, being ordinary human beings is a great attraction. 'Cos every motherfucker who has ammassed everything he possibly can in his lifetime will be surprisingly EQUAL in death.

Suppose we grant your aboved claim, there are still many reasons why people don't move up a ladder. There are not enough for everyone. How many presidents are there in Singapore? Other reasons include unfair practices, cronyism, biases, prejudices, racism, negative office politics, ill-health, life setbacks, etc.

I want to insult you but I thought: "Heck! You almost dead already, why bother?"

Anonymous said...

I suggest we don't feed yangpunk's troll!

Anonymous said...

"If you are so good go find a better job or migrate to another country that YOU think will give you a better deal. "

This guy obvioulsy never lived overseas for a number of years.

Anonymous said...

They are corrupted. The only difference is that their corruption is not from the back door. It's from the front door. They are not meeting expectations. Their report books for the last 10 years proves they have performed below expectations. But when you have a supposed MENTOR who tells you that you are having it too easy, and that his team didn't underperformed, you have zero accountability. They need to be put into account for their failed policies. If you don't put their to account, they will start to normalise their behavior. And this has been going on too far and for too long. Make the difference.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Anon 19:26 for reestablishing sense in yangpunk's bullcrap.

Anonymous said...

i can only repeat this quote:

Quote from Thomas Jefferson


"We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt.
We must make our election between economy and liberty
or profusion and servitude.
If we run into such debt, as that we must be taxed in our meat and
in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and
our amusements, for our calling and our creeds...
[we will] have no time to think,
no means of calling our miss-managers to account
but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves
to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers...
And this is the tendency of all human governments.
A departure from principle in one instance
becomes a precedent for [another ]...
till the bulk of society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery...
And the fore-horse of this frightful team is public debt.
Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression."

Good day to you all.

yangpunk said...

Why did none of you anonymous "frogs-in-the well" comment on that last posting of Thomas Jefferson's quote? Unless the language is too chim for you guys to understand...

Is the American brand of democracy what you guys are hankering for? Look at the deep shit they got themselves into IN SPITE of the wisdom of their early forefathers.

In spite of all the shortcomings of the PAP govt at least they did not burden you guys with public debts and you are able to enjoy the current standard of living for which you have not shown the least bit of appreciation for the effort your previous generation had put in...all you guys can do is behave like little spoilt brats with the gimme..gimme attitude! Still expecting to be breast-fed by your mothers when you should be working your ass off to support them!

@ anony "Thanks Anon 19:26 for reestablishing sense in yangpunk's bullcrap.

18/2/10 13:42"

Yah .. one of the typical frogs in the well ...can only see the tiny patch of sky above and not beyond...

@anony 19:26 "We are losing jobs like engineers, doctors, nurses, IT specialists, managers, technicians, to FTs as well."

If you can write something as stupid as that then it is obvious you are NOT in any of those professions.

Singapore has excess supply of doctors and nurses? Then you must be very young and healthy...never need to visit the polyclinics and A&E of our hospitals! Obviously never waited for 3 hours for a consultation at your neighbourhood polyclinics or similarly at the A&E. You tell me which country in the world today has got sufficient health care professionals? UK and Australia are attracting our Singaporean nurses and doctors with higher pay, we are filling up our shortfall with doctors from India and nurses from PRC and the Philippines, not because they have too many but because we are paying them more than what they can earn back home.

Even UK is guilty of keeping their inflation lower by importing all the cheaper workers from its former colonies. When the US government restricted visas for the young scholars from south asia after 9-11 and from PRC after some political spats with the chinese governments, even Bill Gates cautioned that America will NOT be able to sustain their lead in the IT field without these foreign talents staying on to work in their silicon valley.

yangpunk said...

The few of you who waste your time and talent to kpkb here should instead go and make full use of your higher education and talent to secure management and leadership roles, to occupy that 10% top tier of society to take care of the rest and future generations.

"Suppose we grant your aboved claim, there are still many reasons why people don't move up a ladder. There are not enough for everyone. How many presidents are there in Singapore?"

To the anony who wrote the above quote ... either you are too stupid to understand simple English or do not even know where your ass is located! That was precisely what I am trying to tell you guys. Not every Singaporean can occupy the top strata of society. You have to compete for every step of the ladder. You don't expect to cry father cry mother here and hope for the goodies to fall on your lap.

Yes Singapore may not have a perfect job market, but you tell me which country has? There will be mismatch and it takes time for talent to be properly channeled in the right direction. IT is overcrowded.. why? because too many kids are addicted to the pc and they all pursue what they LIKE in the poly and uni resulting in over supply in that industry. If you are the entrepreneur with your own factory isn't it to your benefit to be able to employ the cheapest labour and maximise profit? Do you think they will be as stupid as you to say... "no we are Singaporean and we MUST keep our jobs FOR Singaporeans who expect to be paid higher salary than the cheaper Indians and Filippinos" Wake up man!

"This guy obvioulsy never lived overseas for a number of years.

18/2/10 12:17"

No I have not lived abroad but I have probably been to more countries than you...and each time I am glad to be back! You tell me which country with negative birth rate is not trying to adopt the policy of attracting foreign talent?
cont'd...
The majority of Singaporean is benefitting from lower cost of living because of the import of cheaper foreign labour and talents. Of course there will be lamers like you frogs here who are "left out" but I assure you, fortunately you people are in the small minority. I know of one poly accountancy diploma holder, aged 40, working as senior accountant drawing $150k p.a. gross. Now you tell me what you make of that!

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