Sunday, May 09, 2010

Are Singaporeans better off than they were 4 years ago?

The cost of watching the FIFA World Cup in Singapore has just been announced. The two operators are offering subscribers early-bird World Cup football package priced at S$66 on or before 31 May, after which it will cost S$88. Do you remember how much the subscription cost 4 years ago for the 2006 FIFA World Cup? It was offered to Singaporeans at $15 subscription fee for those who signed up during their early-bird promotion and $25 subsequently[Link]. Singaporeans are going to pay more than 4 times what they did in 2006. Many soccer fans are hopping mad at this and have started a Facebook campaign to call for a boycott[Link].

Soccer is important to many Singaporeans but many have found alternatives such as getting good antennas to receive the Indonesian broadcast or watching it over the Internet for free. Also, while the companies involved in the bid are GLCs, you can't really pin it on the govt because part of the blame has to go to FIFA for having an inflexible policy that links their World Cup fees to what a country pays for EPL. Clearly, Singapore soccer fans are much worse off than they were 4 years ago and they will begin to question what has gone wrong to result in them having to pay one of the highest if not the highest subscription fee in the world. Starhub and Singtel can easily come up with a metric like Minister Mah to show you that the subscription fees are highly affordable to Singaporeans ....they can even argue that you receive a subsidy because advertisers pay for part of the cost and so on. But you know something is not right and you know for sure you're worse off than you were 4 years ago...

The 3 things that affect Singaporeans the most are housing, healthcare and transport. Are we better off than we were 4 years ago? Housing affordability has declined as the price increase of flats purchased from the HDB has increased faster than income. Healthcare costs have risen and the govt has implemented means testing to cut subsidies[Link] to keep its own expenditure low and shift the burden to Singaporeans. Transport? The trains have become so crowded during the morning rush hour, I couldn't take the ride anymore because it gets me to work tired - feeder to super packed MRT to another super-packed feeder - so I switched to to taking long haul buses because I have a higher chance of getting a seat trading off half an hour for a more comfortable ride. Imagine my dismay when the announcement about getting rid of long haul buses came out - hub and spoke? I was about to write a suggestion about having very frequent express buses from population centers to areas where people work will relieve the pressure on the MRT system. It seems that the transport minister, Lim Hwee Hua, thinks otherwise. The hub and spoke will result in greater efficiency and shorter travelling times but will add more load to the MRT system. I'll accept the hub and spoke if results in greater comfort. Transport is not just about efficiency - getting people from point A to point B in the shortest time - there is another dimension which is comfort. Has the transport improved over the last 4 years? Not for me....I was pushed from taking taxis by the exorbitant increases in fares to taking bus+MRT then by pushed the overcrowding on MRT to taking long haul buses. For me, transport has become more expensive, less comfortable and less efficient over the past 4 years.

4 years ago, Singaporeans voted for a govt that claimed to be world class during their GE campaign - one that is highly competent, honest and pragmatic. Shortly after the elections, they hiked their own salaries which were already the highest in the world. Singaporeans really have to ask themselves if their lives are better today than what it was 4 years ago for the things that the govt has responsibility and control over i.e. housing, transport and healthcare. If you vote the same way in the coming elections, the outcome will the same 4 years from now.


Anonymous said...

Hi Lucky,

"Are Singaporeans better off than they were 4 years ago?"....

I feel that unless one already comes from a well-to-do family....then the answer will be an unanimous "NO"!!!!

Anonymous said...

TV viewers in North Korea don't have to pay to watch world cup. Go figure

Anonymous said...

Singapore is a great place...
1) To pay and pay (To PAP).
2) To work until you die.
3) Having a world-class hospitals for the rich.
4) Having an advanced public transport which are over-crowded.
5) Having a taxi infrastructure which fare is so complicated and always going up.
6) Having a complicated, stressful and expensive education system.
7) Having a public housing which is not affordable.
8) Having newspapers and TV channels which are not objective.
9) Having a worker's union which is pro-companies.
10) But unfortunately not for Far Eastern Economic Review (FEER), Al Jazeera,...

Anonymous said...

"Are Singaporeans better off than they were 4 years ago?"

It depends on who you ask.

But rather more important is to ask whether 66% are still the same or better off than they were 4 years ago.

Of course the 66% now not necessary the same 66% of people 4 years ago.

One important clue. Many foreign talents became citizens during the past 4 years.

So it may even be more than 66%!

If so PAP really got strategy man!

Anonymous said...

of course not!

we can only be better off we get paid like our millionaire ministers!!!

Anonymous said...

I am a foreigner (PR), have been in Singapore for more than 10 years, at the beginning I love this country very much but now I feel to leave this country just because of these two reasons:
1) Singapore is getting more and more expensive. My salary can no longer cover all expenses.
2) Singapore is becoming more and more discriminating country. For most of the Singaporean, foreign talent is the one who is coming from western countries.
Although as a PR, I have identified myself as a local and I have contributed to the country not less than what most of Singaporean do.

Anonymous said...

Continue to vote for the pap and average Singaporeans will continue to be screwed hard.

Anonymous said...

Therefore, vote wiselee. Vote for better,faster and cheaper ministers to be better off.

Anonymous said...

dont blame the government if you cannot afford your aspirations!


Anonymous said...

Anon 21:13

As long as you are not a citizen, you should expect to be discriminated against.

Why do you call yourself a "local" but yet, refuse to take up citizenship?
Please spare us the rubbish of sentimental feelings to your hometown and family back home. You refuse to renounce your citizenship because it's your safety net in case things go badly here. Or you plan to leave Singapore anyway.

At the end of the day, we Singaporeans cannot flee if things go badly. You, on the other hand, can just pack up and go back to your real home within 24 hours.

That's the difference between us citizens and foreigners like you.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lucky,

Readers of your blog know much of where you're coming from. But using the example of World Cup is simply a bad choice.

Soccer may be important, but is it a necessity? While the government, FIFA all have had a role in the "CRISIS", please re-evaluate whether singaporeans, or more accurately the subscribers, have voluntarily subjected themselves to the killing, setting themselves up for the next precedent.

God bless us all.

Anonymous said...

hk government announced thay will provide real subsidy for the poor & masses to afford a house.

taiwan government announced they will pay the poor for having baby..not just pay, but pay every month till like 5 years old

of course e govt shld take the blame if the masses citizens cannot even afford a roof..

Anonymous said...

People tend to confuse electing candidates with qualifications (Q) vs with having a heart (H).

Q- Prices are the only effective way to allocate scarce resources.
H- What of the poor, weak and needy?

You see, people have been hood-winked into thinking that they should vote for those most highly 'qualified' without any regard for their values. Much like the selection process for scholars.

Anonymous said...

i still remembered in 1998 where we can watch world cup off the free to air channels. with the introduction of paid cable tv, i don't remember watching it anymore except for the semi-finals and finals. i wonder is the development direction of singapore correct.

Roy said...

To Anon 21:13

Discrimination? Have you spoken to local males who had 2.5 years of their productivity life taken away from them? Do you have to do reservist etc?

Yes you may be discriminated - I am concerned about the rising hatred against foreigners hate the policies but dun hate the people - but the locals males are worse off.

What do were you expecting? Name me a country where you can be a PR but not be discriminated by the locals. I think the PRs here may need some spurs in their hide!

Anonymous said...

4 years older and closer to the grave, does that answer your question?

Anonymous said...

its prostitution i tell you

we lie prostrate and offer all and sundry to anyone who will give us jobs.. semi-conductors, wafer plants, pharmaceuticals,casinos, shipping..etc

with a job, we will pay mortgage, pay credit card bills to banks, pay governmt for car, pay for GST

Jobs are important to you and the master.. we have nothing else.

So 4 years ago it was better
Now, because of financial crisis,
we have to lower our prostitution fees.. otherwise the customer will go to our neighbours.

Anonymous said...

I think Lucky's use of the World Cup is most apt.

We are told we are fortunate because:

1. Each WC match is priced at roughly $1 per match.

2. All our million-$-a-year ministers cost us about 2 plates of char-kway-teow per citizen.

3. We are paying the highest electric tariff in the world, and the bill comes to about $4 a day at most for most family.

It all sounds very little, but at the end of the day, it really adds up and eats into our purchasing power.

And if our ministers are as capable as they boast, then why is our cost of living always going up, while our pay is stagnant?

Anonymous said...

4 years ago, i get 4 fish balls compared to 2 balls for the same price now.

at least, still got 2 balls.

Anonymous said...

A definate NO!!

Anonymous said...

It is true that there is a rising resentment for the PRs. Just feel the ground. Hopr the economy REALLY improves soon or we may see some wierd surprises.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

While I was in China in 2006, World Cup was free to air in all their TV channels! Singapore is too small! Anyway, I only watch the final 8-)

Anonymous said...

To: Anon 22:14 and ROY
The way you posted a comment showed clearly that there is a rising resentment for the PRs.

To: Anon 22:14
I am from the Philippines. I applied for citizenship but rejected twice. BTW, if things go bad in Singapore, why do you need to flee??? As a Singaporean, you should defend your country. It seems that you do not have a true nationalism.

My sons are doing reservist. Based on your government's policy, as a first generation, I do not need to do reservist, not that I don't want to do.
BTW, my expectation is just simple,"Be True, Do not blame the PRs and Foreigners". We are just looking for a better place to live. You should blame your government's policy.

Anonymous said...

no, PRs are better off than singaporeans because they are cheaper, better and faster than i can run

BBQ king said...

Hi Lucky,
will Sporeans be smarter than they were 4 years ago ? Or

will Sporeans be more daft than they were 4 years ago ?

Towkay said...

The answer is a resounding YES!

Haven't you noticed many new BMWs and Mercedes on the roads? I bought two myself when the COEs were just $10k a year ago. I was flushed with cash from the job credit scheme that Gov has given to companies. I was also able to save a lot of money by replacing fussy Singaporeans with cheap foreign labour.

With the money I saved, I invested into multiple properties and made bigger profits now that housing prices are sky high! The new IRs and orchard shopping centres let me enjoy luxuries beyond my imagination.

All these were possible because of our brilliant government. Singapore is going through such an exciting period yet you people are worrying over $70 world cup subscription??? Why don't you just fly over to South Africa to watch the world cup live?

TokyoSingaporean said...

Lucky T,

With regrd to: "Healthcare costs have risen and the govt has implemented means testing to cut subsidies[Link] to keep its own expenditure low and shift the burden to Singaporeans."

Either that is the case or the government is implementing means testing so that those who need help with the appropriate subsidies would get it. This is a effective allocation of resources. Those who could afford non-subsidies should not deprive those who genuinely need it.

So I think you have overshot your analysis there.

TokyoSingaporean said...

You're not alone when it comes to transport hikes. I hear you, man. When I was working in Singapore, I felt thos taxi hikes cutting deep in my pockets. It used to be what? Morning surcharges starting at 7.30 a.m.. Then they moved the timing earlier to 7.00 a.m.. That was OK. But next, they start charging additional fares on the morning taxi rides. What this means is that when you take a take past midnight, you start noticing that your cab fare on the electronic meter is increasing at a faster rate. And you know that it's the midnight charges running. Now, when you take the morning cab after 7.00 a.m., the same midnight charging is at work ( just a bit less from the midnight charge, I believe it was 1.25 when I was in Singapore then). I went from $7.80 to work to $8.80 to $12.80 within a span of 3 years. So, I know what you mean. What was worse was that they start employing the same midnight charges on the evening rides as well. That means $25.60 for a return trip. That's madness I tell you. And it got even worse when taxis are only allowed to fetch and drop passengers at designated taxi points. This means that if you get down to the city, you need to pay an additional 80 cents to $1 because the cabbie needs to drop you at the taxi stand if your location does not have a taxi stand. That sucks ass. FYI, I won't vote for the money and blood-sucking PAPies...yet again. Cheers! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Talking about the FIFA World Cup, I have never bother to watch a single match for the past 40 years. I just don't have the interest.

So all these subscription and what not don't bother me.

I also don't crave for a car so all these ERP and COE don't bother me. My BMW (Bus MRT Walk) suits me fine.

I know not many people are like me that's why they kow pei kow bu.

Alan Wong said...

I recently paid a visit to the CPF office asked about the minimum sum to be set aside when one reaches 55.

I was told the minimum sum is currently set at S$117,000 + an unknown amount to allow for inflation for each year. The inflation amount to be added for this year is S$4,000 but for the next few years before I reach 55, the amount is still unknown.

This is reaaly news to me. On top of the minimum sum, they still want to load another factor for inflation. Isn't this ridiculous ?

One thing is for sure. For those going to reach 55 in 4 years time, it is certain that Singaporeans will not be better off. And for those Singaporeans who are destined to die when they are between 55 and 65 years, it is as good as saying goodbye to your minimum sum that the CPF Board sees fit to lock it up for you even if you are starving ?

What kind of country in the world will tell its citizens that around S$120,000 of their owned hard earned savings will be locked away for their usage when they are between 55 to 65 years of age?

Anonymous said...

Singapore has become Sinkapore.
You will sink if you stay. Bye!
Bye! Sinkapore!

Anonymous said...

Thw world cup saga epitomizes everything that is wrong with SG Inc. Privatising profits & socialising costs, all in the name of the "free" market.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anon 23:37

I am glad to read you applied for citizenship. Sorry that you got rejected.

Regardless, it should be an official policy that citizens should always come first, at the expense of PRs and foreigners. Every country is morally obliged to care for its citizens FIRST. That is what a citizen should expect.

You might not be a citizen, but your sons are entitled to, since they are doing NS.

Most of us resent PRs because of the following reasons;

1) Many of them are just cheap labour. We locals can't fight cheap, because our families live in expensive housing, and not in Third-World Housing

2) Many PRs, once they become managers, have a tendency to fire Singaporeans and replace them with their own countrymen. If you were one of us, wouldn't you be angry with the foreigners too?

3) Many PRs are arrogant. They actually dare demand for the same rights and privileges as citizens.

4) Many PRs and foreigners think they are some big-shot just because they pay taxes. So what? They pay enough tax to cover all our salaries and the public services? If not, they should shut up. We pax taxes too.

5) Many PRs import into our countries the same bad values that keep their own countries poor and downtrodden; corruption, nepotism, dishonesty, laziness.

Not all Singaporeans are good. There are corrupt Singaporeans too. But enough of us are hardworking and not corrupt. That is enough to get our country going, and enough to make you come to our land, instead of us going to live in your land.

5) Many of us think that PRs and foreigners are only fighting with locals for limited jobs, jobs that can and should be performed by a citizen.
Many of us feel that Singaporeans won't get a job if the manager if Filipino or Indian or PRC, because the Filipino/Indian/PRC manager would rather give the job to his own countryman.

That makes us hate the PR very much!!

Anonymous said...

Alan Wong 09:30

You can't count solely on your CPF money. You need your own savings and other assets to retire decently here.

Another way is to migrate to get your CPF money out. For instance Malaysia has the Silver Hair scheme for foreigners (above 50 yrs) who have RM500K. They can stay and retire there under the Malaysia my 2nd home (MY2H) scheme.

With the HDB flat proceeds and CPF money, easily more than RM500K.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anon 10/5/10 09:54,

> 2) Many PRs, once they become managers, have a tendency to fire Singaporeans and replace them with their own countrymen. If you were one of us, wouldn't you be angry with the foreigners too?

This mostly due to large import of those IXDIX people who will bring over relatives, cousins and brothers even those people are total shit. But at the same time also one must understand that it takes a ang mo (ang mo really better? think about it) to especially like them (probably due to they think they still colonize them like last time 400 years) to appoint them as high rank managers, which eventually being the cause of those effects.

To solve this, locals shall be employed at high ranks first, and not always regard ang mos (even ang mos mainly BS all way only).

Anonymous said...

Most Singaporeans are not better off. Most Singaporeans are heavily saddled with long-term debts like housing and car, which are the most expensive in the world. Remember that Singapore's wages are NOT the highest in the world. WE are expected to keep our wages low, and our rents high, so that corporate profits can go up for the "Greater Good".

Salary not world-class, but cost of housing and car is First-Class, way above World-Class, how can average Singaporean be better off?

My parents were better off. Flat fully paid up, savings of easily $1 million, had a well-paying job from the 1980s till retirement that is much higher than mine, not taking inflation into consideration.

PAP first generation leaders like Goh Keng Swee and Toh Chin Chye are worthy of respect. The later batch of leaders are largely incompetent "yes-men", who are bringing our country down a slippery slope through their incompetence.

Anonymous said...

"My parents were better off. Flat fully paid up, savings of easily $1 million, had a well-paying job from the 1980s till retirement that is much higher than mine, not taking inflation into consideration."

ah, the wonders of our "trickled economy".

Anonymous said...

The Government could have just pay for the telecasts and let the viewers who pay Television Licence Fees to enjoy the games. Period.

What's wrong with the Leadership giving its' people some leisure/enjoyment for free?

Must the Government always take money from the people for everything? Sick.

4 years down the road could very well mean 4 years of more sufferings unless the consciences of the leaders are recovered by themselves.


Anonymous said...

The Polyclinic I visit has increased its outpatient fees three times last year (2009). The price of medication has also increased for certain drugs, although I try to keep to generic drugs to keep my polyclinic bills low. Anyone who has a drug dependency for life maybe go overseas to buy same drug cheaper.

I can foresee that MediShield premiums will be revised again. One thing I know about my hospital bills is I always co-pay but never can claim MediShield. Fortunately, hospitalisation rare or else ...

Does anyone know that at age 80, MediShield premium is about $1,000?

Anonymous said...


harder to hoodwink said...

Lucky, financially most lesser mortals cannot be better off But in terms of knowledge it has to be.
The internet and ownership of computers has helped many Sporeans to see through the PAP's deceit.

ps: input from bloggers and netizens are better than 4 years ago....PAP deserves to be sent to the stone age.

Anonymous said...

Open our eyes BIG and vote WISELY.

For me,
I'm voting NO to public transport that packs us like cattle for their profits. Unregulated.

I'm voting NO to 30 years of housing debts n calling this affordable.

I'm voting NO to working till I die.

I'm voting NO to locking up my cpf savings till I'm half dead, maybe dead.

I'm voting NO to having floods of foreigners filling up jobs that Singaporeans should be filling in. Even tissue paper selling elderlys face foreign competition. Absurd to the max.

I'm voting NO to the most expensive cabinet of ministers who cares more to raise their own salaries than improve Singaporeans' lifes in all the above.

I'm voting NO to the heartless and untalented.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:30,

I hear you. That is also news to me. If you can vote, don't vote for PAP. Vote for any opposition. I'm getting more of my friends to do the same.

Anonymous said...

4 years ago, Singaporeans voted for a govt that claimed to be world class ... cos competent folks like Mr Lucky were sitting on their arses sucking thumb.

If you behave the same way in the coming elections, the outcome will the same 4 years from now.

Anonymous said...

4 years ago, we probably have less idiots then today. 4 years from now,some of these idiots would have raised more idiots. so with the growing number of idiotic citizens, and leadership, we could be labeled a modern cosmopolitan city inhibited by a bunch of first class idiots with straight Ass.

Anonymous said...


I did a quick calculation. In May 2006, the average number of comments to each of your article is 8.8.

In May 2010 so far, the number has jumped to 26.7.

That means your blog has gained more influence over the period.

Now we also have popular websites like TR and The Online Citizens compared to 4 years ago.

So in this sense, though we suffer even more under the PAP, we are in a better position to give them a hard kick in the next GE, as people are better informed now.

NoName Coward said...

Yup. Better off dead? heh just jokin la.

Its definitely a YES if you are in the "circle", Hiding behind big strong names, raking all the profits and pushing all the blame.

For everyone outside, I believe I speak for everybody else. It is a negative. To put it bluntly, I think we are in a big national ponzi scheme.

When will the cards collapse? I wonder....hahaha

Anonymous said...

I am voting for any opposition party because the current PAP leaders DO NOT have any track record to speak of.

Let's examine the evidence;

1. Romanian diplomat run road after hit-and-run case. Our MFA totally bungled the handling of the case

2. Mabok Tan totally botched up the supply of HDB flats, and allowed property bubble to form.

3. Mas Selamat escaped from prison. Security lapse at Changi airport

4. Our pay getting depressed by huge influx of FTs, and NTUC doesn't even have a clue what's going on. Or they prefer to act blur

5. Sheng siong muscles into wet markets, raise rents to unnreasonable level, and the MPs act blur

6. We have the highest paid Minister of Arts and Information in the world, and he nearly didn't get us World Cup coverage. And when we finally get World Cup, we are also to pay the highest fees in the world to watch it.

Are we paying him millions each year to censor our news, and to make the Straits Time carry PAP balls all the time?

7. Many investors lost money in the minibond saga. The highest paid Finance Minister in the world did NOTHING to help the cheated investors. Neither did MAS. Instead, it was Tan Kin Lian who took the public stand to fight for the people.

Tell me, what track record PAP want to speak of?

I am voting for any opposition! They seem more competent, or at least, less destructive to Singapore than any PAP MP or cabinet minister.

Lim Leng Hiong said...

"Poison is in everything, and no thing is without poison. The dosage makes it either a poison or a remedy." - Paracelsus

When comparing the situation of Singaporeans today with the past, it is important to keep in mind not only the direction of the changes, but also the extent of the changes.

A starving person needs carbohydrates to survive - but would you then recommend that he consumes a whole bag of sugar daily?

A freezing person needs warmth to survive - but would you then recommend that he sets himself on fire?

For a nation, even the most brilliant move must include some limits, and the wisest leadership must have some checks and balances.

It is indeed foolish for a country with limited resources to have high population growth - but would you then recommend such harsh population control policies that the fertility rate crashes from over 3 children per woman to below replacement level in less than a decade?

It is indeed foolish for a small country to shut its doors to foreigners, to become isolationist and xenophobic - but would you recommended opening the floodgates so wide that more than a third of the population is foreign born?

It is indeed wise to create a public housing programme for more people to have a roof over their heads and maybe own a gradually enhancing asset - but would you recommend pricing strategies that cause flat owners to be in debt for 30 years, and finance their homes mainly from their own retirement money?

Take a good look at the number of luxury cars on the roads today, so many people are driving Lexus and Audi, etc.

Then take a good look at the number of "tissue paper" uncle and aunties on the sidewalks beside these very roads.

The answer is clear.

Some Singaporeans are much, much, much better off than they were 4 years ago.

And they will continue to support the system that promises them everlasting and limitless growth at practically any cost.

And even if everything goes wrong, why, they can simply pack up their millions and leave - especially new residents who are specifically here to make tonnes of money.

And they can do that, because we let them.

Anonymous said...

How to be the next government?

Attack the roots that will usher in an economic collapse of the country and the people may just vote for change?

Begin by attacking:

1)Foreigners: They fuel housing prices to competing with jobs. Reduce their presence will definitely hit our economy hard.
2)Housing: Unaffordable and take too long to repay debts.By bursting the housing bubble, similar to japan, it will definitely strike at the heart of the economy and result in major hemorrhaging. A quick death.
3)Population: Opening the floodgates to foreigners contribute to over crowdedness and quality of living. But not increasing their presence to sustain economic activities will also result in economic and social inefficiencies.

The above are some sticky issues played like an old tape recorder which is on a reset button.

Realize these tactical maneuvers are mostly related to foreigners and foreign talents?

Take them out of the equation and we may have a new government?

Anonymous said...

There is short-sighted goals when greed and corporate commercial considerations takes over what should be having far-sighted visions for the future good. Looking into the minds of those who make the rules and/or allow without stepping in and over-rule these happenings says very much of their mindset. By charging fees will turn citizens off from watching and have a good feel factor for the government. Where else can a large number of citizens who enjoy the sport turn to without the benevolence of good leaders? Moreover, if support for Singtel and Starhub is much desired, does that require support by way of digging our pockets without any protest? I will support any telco that let me watch a world event without resorting to force me to pay up.

How come we do not hear of any objections by the FAS? Surely not all our young wannabe footballers comes from well-to-do families that can afford to pay $! per match. Come on and be a sport and let citizens let their hair down and have some bloody fun for an event that happens every few years. Do not let your greed take over commonsense. You have already taken alot of profits so give some back as goodwill for whatever is lost you will regain.

For our leaders, you want citizens to work hard and accept you as leaders. When it comes to play we have to pay? Should it be heads I win, tails you lose mentality? When you were all out to have citizens to Stop At Two, and now the country suffers, who wins? It all boils down to bad and short-sighted policies and citizens are made to pay for it.

Anonymous said...

Vote wiselee.Vote for change, $mall change.

Lim Leng Hiong said...

"Realize these tactical maneuvers are mostly related to foreigners and foreign talents?

Take them out of the equation and we may have a new government?" - Anon 11/5/10 16:51

Everyone is involved in the equation, including foreign residents and new citizens.

Any foreign talent policy is a double-edged sword, equally sharp on either edge.

It is easier for a government to impose forceful policies on their own citizens if they have less contact with foreigners.

Less contact with the outside world means that there is less comparison with the outside world.

People remain "blissfully" unaware.

A government can justify all sorts of policy directions and extent by claiming the nation to be "unique" in some way or other, and by constantly portraying the outside world as hostile and barbaric.

Few can check if it's really true, even fewer can check on a routine basis.

But if the floodgates are opened, the situation is very different.

The native citizens of a country now have DIRECT access to so many people who were born elsewhere - practically every minute of every day!

Natives and foreigners are now compelled to interact vigorously beginning from childhood: fight for schools, fight for scholarships, fight for jobs, fight for love etc.

Comparison is inevitable.

Discontentment and jealousy will soon follow.

Imagine this scenario in a hypothetical country:

1. A local who discovers first-hand that despite years of government propaganda, foreigners from a "dictatorship" actually have a much happier, more carefree and less competitive childhood under a more enlightened education system.

Or a local who discovers that a foreign "communist" government is more supportive of small businesses than their own "capitalist" government which creates powerful state-owned corporations to wipe out the smaller players.

With copious opportunities to compare living standards and political systems with so many foreigners, the locals will gradually realise that their own government policies are not that wonderful, and their own politicians are not as high calibre as they claimed to be.

2. Not only are locals doing the comparing, foreigners are also doing the same!

They can clearly observe how the government treats their citizens and some may decide never to take up citizenship. Instead, they prepare their families to return home or migrate elsewhere once they feel they have made enough money.

And those who originally wanted to stay and contribute to the society by becoming new citizens may face prejudice from the native-born population, or worse, be caught in a double whammy because their home country no longer welcomes them. In addition, their children born here will now have to face the same competition with foreigners as any native-born citizen.

After a while, nobody is really happy.

The government touts its shiny economic growth rates as a benefit of the foreign talent policy, propelling some in its elite inner circle to supermillionairedom, while most other people, local or foreign, face stagnant or plunging real wages.

In a functioning democracy, popular resentment against the policy is expressed via the elections, resulting in significant changes to the government.

Even in non-democratic systems, political change will eventually occur, maybe after a long period of social disintegration.

Results can be quite unpredictable.

CA said...

Good work Lucky!

Anonymous said...


What don't philosophize part-time someplace else? You and your fucking moronic misused analogies and metaphors. Sorry if you're ego is bruised.

Anonymous said...

What LLH said seem logical to me. I don't understand why Anon-21:18 is up sad. I would appreciate it if he/she can help me understand why LLH's comments may not be valid.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if the new citizens would be happy settling down here eventually. As long as the government keeps the gates opened, you can always import more people who are hungrier and willing to do more for less. They would have to compete with these people and would find themselves perpetually stuck in the 3rd world standard of living. Of cause the policy would allow those who explode the system to get still richer.

Anonymous said...

Dear Towkay

Audi\Mercedes\BMW are all commoner's car.
If u cant afford to have a Ferrari or Lambo up in flames ... its means it u are still a nobody.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lucky

Obviously we are worst off.

But if you (and your supporters) think the number of comments you get are impressive(or mean anything) .. check out random inane post on XiaXue's blog and weep. Seriously, is the air that thin up your ivory tower?

Btw, you may find this interesting.

Btw, seems like your Timmy G aka Messiah's sidekick is busy fighting EU regulators efforts to fight speculators like GS and JPM. Interesting few nights ahead.

Lim Leng Hiong said...


What don't philosophize part-time someplace else? You and your fucking moronic misused analogies and metaphors. Sorry if you're ego is bruised." - Anon 11/5/10 21:18

I have observed a Filipino manager having a long and exasperating talk with her Singaporean subordinate who sounded very unconvinced.

I have seen a mainland Chinese cleaner sit in a corner of a shopping mall, weeping quietly to herself.

And I wonder to myself, who is REALLY benefiting from the government policies?

Maybe to you this topic is "philosophy", but it involves real human beings in real situations.

Bottom-line is that there are some people in our country, both Singaporeans and foreigners, who benefit a lot from high rent and low labour costs who are obviously happy with the government's FT policies.

Anonymous said...

Reply to 9/5/10 22.51
At least you still got 2 balls.ome Singaporeans now got no balls.

Anonymous said...

we need change. swift and drastic change.

the singapore inc is a sinking ship. she has hit an icebergs but her officers are still reveling in their new-found riches.

see how the british have thrown out their government of 13 years, and formed a coalition with various parties. listen to how their out-going prime minister pays tribute to his office, staff and family in his resignation speech. compare that to any of our ministers e.g. lim swee say and vivian. You got to believe it that even with multi-million dollar salary, we have installed only monkeys in our cabinet.

vote out pap. fast.

Chris said...

I used to enjoy/explore Singapore when I was very young. I didn't come from a well-to-do family but I did not have to worry about the incurred expenses everywhere I go (except Sentosa).

I am now in my 40s and as a working adult, I have not visited any of the latest "attractions" (eg. Flyer, IR, Universal Studio etc.) as everything is just too expensive nowadays.

It doesn't matter how well my country has progress economically, I felt left out as all these are not affordable to me anymore.

It just don't feel like my country anymore. People are getting colder towards each other too. Something is very wrong!!!

Anonymous said...

I will vore for the PAP so that we, elites, are kept aside from you losers.

Anonymous said...

Singaporeans are now cheaper, better and faster.

How can that not be better?

Anonymous said...

12/5/10 17:46

ya, maybe a day will come, like in china, men/women are driven to take it out on poor innocent children.

hopefully, your kids will not be the chosen ones. lol

Chinapore said...

Do we have any sense of who we are as a Singaporean? What does it mean to have a Singaporean identity?

Anonymous said...

even if one loses an arm and leg also cannot have basic things like house and car. rome is not destroyed in one day.

Anonymous said...

we have two identities. one is in your report card(school) and the other is in your account(bank) book.

pls refer to your card and book if you have lost your way or forgot who you are.

Anonymous said...

You got yourself identified with a report card and a bank account. Clearly, you have lost your way. Hope you haven't lost yourself completely.

NoName Coward said...

Life is more than just afew figures.

Being a top notch scholar doesnt makes one a better person. Nor will it guarantee a glittering path of riches.

And having multi billions dosent make a person who does not appreciate life any happier.

Life is more than numbers. It is just something our government want to make us believe.

When you leave the earth - which nobody knows when, will you be able to let go of what you had, if given a choice?

10 dollars buy you a watch. So can 10,000 get you a watch. Is it better?

I choose the 10 dollars watch. Life should be simple.

Anonymous said...

you take the 10 dollars watch because you can't afford the 10k dollars watch lah. LOL

Anonymous said...

Britain has gone gay. Sg not comfortable in bending that far so expect the usual straight fart.

NoName Coward said...

Dun snub me la. Lets assume I can afford la. haha.

Migrant said...

"I choose the 10 dollars watch."

At least you still have a watch

Lim Leng Hiong said...

"you take the 10 dollars watch because you can't afford the 10k dollars watch lah. LOL" - Anon 12/5/10 21:51"

There are many reasons why someone would prefer one watch over another - better accuracy, functionality, weather-resistance, shock-resistance, size, weight, design etc.

But to you, Anon 21:51, the ONE and ONLY defining characteristic of a watch - is its price!

Whatever the watch is or does, if someone paid S$10,000 for it, that person must have a higher social rank than someone who didn't.

To you, Anon 21:51, the most important function of watch is not to tell time, not even as a fashion accessory, but as a tool of comparison.

A tool of comparison, which you immediately used to provoke jealousy and discontentment.

Now imagine such comparisons happening between millions of Singaporeans and foreigners - not only about watches but about practically every aspect of daily life.

Anonymous said...

LLH, trying so hard to educate ppl here when no one asking for ur comments. So ur analogy of ur personal point of views are only based on ur individual experiences and preferences.

Keep ur hands off the keyboard for awhile and let others speak up before u think u can come in again.

Lim Leng Hiong said...

"LLH, trying so hard to educate ppl here when no one asking for ur comments. So ur analogy of ur personal point of views are only based on ur individual experiences and preferences." - Anon 13/5/10 10:52

Hmmm... interesting.

You're right though, nobody asked anybody who post comments here for their comments, including your comments.

I am just expressing an individual view, maybe other people don't find my view educational because they are already familiar with what I'm saying, but you find it educational because you have just heard it for the first time.

"Keep ur hands off the keyboard for awhile and let others speak up before u think u can come in again."

Are you saying that only one person can post comments at a time? I think the way blogs work, you can post your comments while other people are still typing, should be no problem.

Anonymous said...

LHL, educational or not, your post always does seem trying to teach pple about something... its not getting used to it, its ur personal writing style that encourages such thoughts...

anon is right to a certain extend...

and besides, the original watch comments was a casual remark that didnt needed such critical personal remarks...

Lim Leng Hiong said...

"and besides, the original watch comments was a casual remark that didnt needed such critical personal remarks..."

Which anon? I thought that was the regular lol anon. A bit hard to keep track.

Anonymous said...

anyone knows what was the PM's pay prior to the last election?

is there a formula to work out how do we equate the salary increase to the quality of life in singapore for the CITIZENS?

Anonymous said...

I spent all my income on taxi fare and food only, because I cannot afford a car and I feel sick taking the congested trains and buses. May be I should really move out of this place.

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