Thursday, September 02, 2010

Singapore population crosses 5M....Part 2.

From Paul Krugman's famous paper Myth of Asia's Miracle[Link]:

"Even without going through the formal exercise of growth accounting, these numbers should make it obvious that Singapore's growth has been based largely on one-time changes in behavior that cannot be repeated. Over the past generation the percentage of people employed has almost doubled; it cannot double again. A half-educated work force has been replaced by one in which the bulk of workers has high school diplomas; it is unlikely that a generation from now most Singaporeans will have Ph.D's. And an investment share of 40 percent is amazingly high by any standard; a share of 7O percent would be ridiculous. So one can immediately conclude that Singapore is unlikely to achieve future growth rates comparable to those of the past. ".

Krugman was wrong! The paper written 1994 failed to foresee that the PAP will resort to brute force expansion of the workforce and population to keep the economy growing. Never in the Nobel Prize winner's mind could he imagine that a country would import foreigners in large numbers to maintain high economic growth. Countries usually keep their economies growing through innovation and increased productivity - it is a tough approach but leads to higher incomes thoughout the work force and a higher quality of life.

The only countries where there are comparable rates of immigration and size of foreign workforce are rich middle-eastern countries that have their native population comfortably positioned on top and foreigners to do all the hard work. In Singapore, foreigners are brought in at all levels intensifying the competition for jobs, space and services. A large segment of the Singapore population has been crushed both in the literal and figurative sense. We are crushed in the MRT trains and many are crushed by the competition for jobs and education.

Whether you need a hospital bed, a home or a place in the university, the large influx means there are fewer vacancies for Singaporeans. Singaporeans who were to be able to gain entry to various courses in universities now cannot get places with the same grades (Average Grades? Getting into Uni is a squeeze). At the masters degree level, the 'squeeze' is even tighter. Richer parents send their children overseas to Australia, UK etc so that their children can have the advantage of a university education. Poorer Singaporeans cannot afford to send their children overseas and these kids will not have the opportunity to get a university degree. The reality is human intelligence follow a bell curve - half the people are of below average intelligence. When you start to import the cream of the crop from China and India in very large numbers giving them scholarships to study free in local universities, you leave fewer places for Singaporeans who could have benefitted from a university education.

PAP leaders frequently lament the lack of talent among Singaporeans to justify importing foreign talents in large numbers. The leaders of many other countries accept and work with their own citizens and whatever talents they are born with to try to develop every person to the fullest making the best of what they have. They don't belittle their citizens as 'lesser mortals' lacking talent and drive. They don't call their own citizens daft and ignorant ...and they don't threaten stick the "spurs under the hide" of their citizens as if they are animals or slaves in their own country. Every year thousands of highly talented Singaporeans leave the country because they have enough of this type of leadership. While they are talented and can make a good living in Singapore, they don't want their children, who may be born average, to struggle in this system.

We need leaders who believe in their own citizens. What is happening today is the govt proactively bringing in foreign students in large numbers from developing countries, using tax-payer dollars to entice them with scholarships to study free in Singapore. When they do this, many Singaporean children especially children of poorer families will lose the opportunity to get a university education. One of my friends failed to get into NUS in the 90s because he failed his GP - he appealed but he was rejected despite having decent grades in other subjects. However, when the govt wanted to give students from China opportunities to get degrees in local unversities, requirement to be proficient in English was waived. They are willing to create opportunities for foreigners but not for their own citizens. It is too late for PM Lee to say "Singaporeans come first" - the fact that he has to tell Singaporeans explicitly that they come first just shows how deep the feeling of being relegated to 2nd class in their own country runs among Singaporeans.


Anonymous said...

Lucky,thank you for the post,I pick up the following:

(1)36% of Singapore population are foreigners.
(2)10.6% of Singaporeans are foreigners(PAP calls them permanent residents by they are bona fide FOREIGNERS)
(3)Our GDP growth was a miracle,as conventiaon economic dictates that Singapore reached its growth limit about 20+ years ago.

(4)Unconvential leader LKY decided to over come the economic growth obstacle by opening up Singapore to anyone who wants to get a job and divert all the money in Singapore into his pocket(not to mis-use them but manage them with fund managers,infrastructure development,etc),thus a new market of 6.6 billion people and billions of dollar was opened to PAP

Anonymous said...

Under this regime, Singapore has been transformed into a globalised corporation. Even the latest "concessions" (more MRT trains and lines, scaled back immigration, $9k for NSmen..etc)should be seen as just an appeasement strategy under the "growth at all costs" overarching goal. Taking one-step back in order to move 3-steps forward, the final objective has not changed.

Anonymous said...


(1)36% of population are foreigners,1.84 million out of 5.08 million

(2)14.3% of Singaporeans are foreigners,540,000 out of 3.77 million Singaporeans

lim said...

That is the price we are paying now, and our children will be paying a heavier price in future, all because we failed to "grow" our oppositions..

It is now or never, this coming GE to do what is right..

Anonymous said...

The following are quoted from Page 3 Prime Section of The Straits Times reported on Thursday, 29 November 2007.

Local includes Singaporean and Permanent Resident
In reality, if a company employs local, the company has a tendency to employ only permanent residents.

Page 3 PRIME
Doors open wider for foreign workers

Rules on quotas eased to allow more hiring at all levels, especially S-pass holders

Companies hungry for workers cheered ...

They are a very welcome, very timely and very significant response ...


All sectors
Increasing S Pass
Jan 1 '08: 25% of company's total workforce

Enhanced Personalised Employment pass (PEP) Scheme from March 1 '08:
PEPs are granted to individuals based on their own merits, and are not tied to specific employers.
Foreign professionals whose last drawn fixed monthly salary overseas was at least $7000 will be eligible for a PEP.

Construction and Process sectors
Jan 1'08: 1 local worker to 7 foreign workers
Mar 1'08: 2-year work experience needed to be exempted from Man-Year Entitlement quota

Marine sector
Jan 1 '08: 1 local full-time worker to 5 foreign workers

Manufacturing sector
Jan 1'08: Up to 6.5 out of every 10 workers in a company can be foreign

Services sector
Jan 1' 08: Up to 5 out of every 10 workers in a company can be foreign


Anonymous said...

Guys, I too would like to see a shakeup in the next election.

Do you think there is a critical mass of unhappy voters to send a strong signal for change if the election is held soon? My fear is that the garmen will throw enough sweeteners to make people forget, then we will be back to square one again.

Your thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Anon 3/9 10.53: Food for thoughts. .........You can elbow a person once ...maybe twice and say its an accident but unlikely the third time.

Anonymous said...

There are too many residents who are not born in Singapore - I'm not sure if they will swing their votes to the opposition since the ruling party is the one who liberalize the immigration policy.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the analysis, Lucky. It appears that the PAP's strategy of growing the economy involves sacrificing the less able singaporeans. I believe that the less educated and less wealthy singaporeans are being left behind to fend for themselves as our economy moves forward. Sadly, I also realise that the PAP will continue to secure the necessary votes in the coming GE because:
(1) They have a strong new immigrant base that will vote for them.
(2) Most Singaporeans are just too scared to vote for the opposition (they believe the myth that the opposition are incompetent and will not manage Singapore as well as the PAP)
(3) People are easily enticed by pre-election sweeteners.
There are more reasons which I am sure fellow readers can think of.
Sigh. I am just doing my best to help those left behind but I am staying out of politics. I have great admiration for people like LTK, CST, Sylvia Lim, etc who stand up publicly against the PAP to make a difference. May God bless them!

Anonymous said...

The point that irks me most is talent. What is the yardstick in determining one as talent?

After working for a number of years, I have realised that unless you are in a position where tangible results can be verified, accounted and attributed quite distinctly, then you can be compared with others e.g. like a property agent or salesman. Of course, there may be circumstances where they are not so clear.

Point is that in this real world, many things can be justified rather biasedly or with other ulterior motives in mind. There is no real talent in this world except for the really exceptional, maybe like someone who invented something or contributed in a larger way, perhaps only people like Einstein, Edison or Wright brothers. As for the rest of us ordinary beings, I think it is probably a farce that one can be labelled as talent so easily. Look no further than sports, if it were so easy to spot a talent, I think organisations would not have spent so much money and resources on the people looking for them. In my opinion, spotting ot labelling somebody a talent is just like a hit and run affair with the probability bordering similarly in the same vein of s lottery stakes.

Anonymous said...

Just by looking at the current state of our opposition, I think PAP will win again with at least a 2/3 majority.

Hence those looking for change will be greatly disappointed.

So those local born or served NS who suffer hence need to find ways to adapt so as not to suffer too much. Or better still try to find ways to benefit from it.

Like the saying, "If you can't beat them, join them."

Or like animals, they eat a lot before and then hibernate during the harsh winter.

Or escape from it. That is,
emigrate to a better place.

Seriously, no other better choices.

Anonymous said...

"When you start to import the cream of the crop from China and India in very large numbers giving them scholarships to study free in local universities, you leave fewer places for Singaporeans who could have benefitted from a university education."

Isn't that ironic? Every other country spend more time and resources on the academically poorer kids to help them catch up because the smarter ones will do just fine. In Singapore, the PAP impose streaming to further disadvantage the poorer kids while pouring free scholarships and fueling the egos of students who are already doing well.

No wonder Singapore's education is so f*cked up. said...

The most piss off thing about this talent is this perpetual suppression of our local middle and under class.

I give you an example. When I was at NTU during the 90s, somewhere around 100 students of EEE cannot graduate within 4 years.

In NTU Comp Eng, I heard around half cannot graduate within 3 years.

Out of the whole NTU civil Eng, only 4 first class honors.

In UC Berkeley, the average GPA in Engineering is 3.2 even that was considered strict.

The local Uni trash our GPA so much that prevent most students from pursuing post graduate degree.

At the same time, NTU graduate watched those bottom SG students who cannot even pass o level -- many got 1st class honors in UK US Austrailia.

They are able succeed in getting to any graduate school in future becuase their lecturer help them in inflating their grade.

I heard Singaporean students was over-represented in many prestigious Uni in undergraduate level, more so than HK students.

HK students also complained that Singapore has an A level grade inflation -- while that of HK "A level equivalent" was depressed.

Obviously, our fucking elite help their own scion by inflating A level grade. When fucking elite children was shipped off oversea, they trash the GPA of those middle class students leaving behind in NTU and NUS.

Kojakbt said...

(am posting this letter here as this is also 1 avenue of PAP getting FTs... the non-committal ones)


from BT Kojak
date Fri, Sep 3, 2010 at 11:51 AM
subject Abuse of MOE scholarships by foreign students

hide details 11:51 AM (1 minute ago)

Ministry of Education
1 North Buona Vista Drive
Singapore 138675

Dear Sir,

I'm writing to you to highlight the problems that many of the foreign students who are on MOE scholarships here are abusing the system. Not only are some of them breaking their bonds upon completion of their studies without returning to Singapore, they are planning to break bonds even before they set foot in Singapore to study! This is a quote from one of the would-be "scholar" from a news article of Temasek Review today:

TR Exclusive: PRC “scholars” thinking of breaking bonds even before arriving in Singapore

"I want to study in Singapore and take the 'O' levels there before enrolling in a Singapore polytechnic to complete my studies while enjoying 80 percent financial assistance (for my studies from the Singapore government) at the same time. However, I will need to work in Singapore for at least three years if I accept the scholarship. Considering that I need to spend a year preparing for the 'O' levels, three years in the polytechnic and three years working, I will have to spend seven years (in Singapore). The time is too long though I can return to China midway, I will be away for too long.

Is there any way for me not to work in Singapore for three years? Just take away that 3 years will be good enough. Can those who know help me? Please be detailed. Thanks so much. This is urgent!"

The Ministry of Education needs to give an account to the public since public money is involved. How many foreign student scholars are being sponsored by MOE to come to Singapore to study in our schools, polys and universities over the years? How many have broken their bonds? Of those who have broken their bonds, how many have been caught and made to pay back? What is MOE going to do about those cases which have successfully "escaped"? Who is going to be responsible for such losses to the nation?

The Government's rationale for offering scholarships to foreign students is to “catch” the “talents”, hoping that when they are younger, it's easier for them to take roots and settle down in Singapore ultimately even after finishing their 3 year bonds. After giving scholarships for so many years, can MOE provide statistics to convince the public that such Government's policy is working? I recalled that MM Lee stated some years ago that only about 30% settle down in Singapore eventually but I can't confirm. If this is truly the case, then in my humble opinion, the Government's foreign student scholarship policy has failed and needs to be tweaked to minimize further losses from our national coffer.

Hope to hear a response from MOE in view of the public unhappiness over the "foreign talent" issues these days.

Yours sincerely,


p.s. there is another article on Temasek Review which talked about NTU PRC student moonlighting as freelance prostitute. Not sure if she is a scholar too:

Kojakbt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kojakbt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Towkay said...

If we can have 100% FTs companies in Singapore, why can't we have 100% FTs universities? We can convert these FTs into PRs to meet the local quota.

Local born Singaporeans are daft, complacent, ignorant, no spurs stuck in their hide. Due to NS, they are also overaged. PAP will be wasting good money on bad apples if they get Singaporean students into local universities. said...

I am blaming FT. The real wicked one is our fxxking elite.

The whole FT problem began earlier than most Singaporean observed. During 90s, FT was already over represented in all post graduate school. I was doing 4th year project in NXXX, I still remember there is just 1 Singaporean doing post grad, the rest are FT.

NTU justify by saying they "cannot" find local students interested to do master (that year 700 EEE students graduated).

In retrospect (after I have many years of R&D experience in industries), I realized the NTU lab is a SHAM.)

The lab was suppose to work on MXXX, a multicast system. But I have not seen them writting a single line of code.

But when people from the top came down, they are simple able to wayang wayang.

I heard from A* friends things are same down there. said...

Typo 3/9/10 12:18
I am NOT blaming FT. The real wicked one is our fxxking elite.

Re Kojakbt said...,,,

Ho Peng is sister of Ho Ching., was principal of my former school TK, taking over outgoing Principal Miss Seah Jiak Choo(former Director-General of Education).

I heard teachers in TK gossip that when during Seah's inauguration, all big shots in MOE came down. (when Seah was till peanut then)

Anyone still say Singapore got no nepotism?

Anonymous said...

The pap is very bad for Singaporeans and Singapore. Simple as that and the sooner Singaporeans wake up and realise the truth, the better it is for them and Singapore.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what the fuss about.
It is survival of the fittess. If the foreig labors are better, too bad.
Keep up or ship out.
If can't ship out, beg or die.

Anonymous said...

why would I want to hand over(vote) the key to the jackpot, created by the incumbent, to the opposition for basically talking air and eating caviar?

Anonymous said...

Anon @1240,

The issue is that you will never know they are better....

As for issues, they are more than just about competition and social interaction...

1. Why do all (should be) countries impose currency controls?
2. Why are countries concerned about 'dumping' from foreign countries?
3. Why are there immigration controls in almost all countries?

Perhaps these are questions to ponder about instead of the following answers...

1. let's move on
2. it is inevitable
3. Singaporeans are not striving enough
4. We should be tough and resilient
etc etc

The point is always about the extent of it and not the absolutes. That is why we have debates, that is why humans progress, and that is why there is always reflection and being open to new things.

Life is always about the search for answers, though we may not find the answers or we may actually not know that they are the answers even if we found them...but simply in the search, we have convinced ourselves that we have strived and done our best, eventually passing on leaving some sort of legacy that we can be proud of...hopefully it is of integrity and for the good of our fellow beings...

Anonymous said...

Hi Lucky Tan, I've been reading your blog for more than a year. I enjoy reading your posts because you write with great intellectual sense, based on keen observations and sharp analysis. However, for many of your comments on government’s immigration policy, I beg to disagree.

The extent of paradigm shift in how businesses are conducted around the globe now is far beyond the imagination of the majority. The inter-connectivity among nations demands knowledge of local cultures to ensure success, or just to open the door for opportunities to enter the markets. Therefore, for a business environment that is as open as Singapore, as export-dependent as Singapore, and as cross-border transactions driven as Singapore to carry on standing at the leading edge of economic development, Singapore has to carry on having an open-door policy towards immigration to ensure competitiveness. Foreign talents, or just mere presence of foreign personnel will help bridge Singapore and the target nations with business opportunities. At times, being able to speak in the same tune and accent will help to smooth relationships and tension in business transactions.

We cannot and must not attribute many of the woes that the society is facing now to the influx of immigrants. Rather, the problem lies in the (lack of) coordination among different ministries. Developments in areas including housing, communication infrastructure and education opportunities should have kept up to ease the strain on the capacity from a relaxed open-door policy.

Singapore was once a country filled with immigrants from Asia and beyond. They found roots in Singapore and these people, together with their off-springs proudly call Singapore home. If that was how Singapore started prospering, why couldn’t the bustle in Singapore be continued to be driven in a similar fashion? In my humble opinion, I think the issue is not about welcoming immigration, but about how to better integrate this group of people into the society, and about how to make them (qualified ones of course) find homes in Singapore.

In many forums, whenever anyone tries to defend immigration policy, he/she would be labeled as “traitor”, “dog” that should tuck his/her wagging tail and go home, “agent of government” and other uncivilized tags. I don’t expect myself to enjoy immunity to such hurtful remarks, but I am just hoping that readers of Lucky’s blog would be as cultured and civilized as his postings, and use this space as place for intellectual exchanges and sharing. Thanks.

Kojakbt said...

Lucky, really enjoy reading the Part 2 of your article. You are pretty sharp. I miss out the part that Krugman failed to foresee how discipline PAP is in using the same brute force method to stuff the economy with "bodies", thereby defying Krugman's prediction on the growth of Singapore.

Indeed, Krugman commented earlier that Singapore's miracle "turned out to have been based on perspiration rather than inspiration: Singapore grew through a mobilization of resources that would have done Stalin proud."

I think if Stalin had been alive today, PAP would have put him to shame. I'm sure even Stalin could not have foreseen PAP doing better than he could! Stalin would have awarded the PAP the "Order of Lenin"... HAHAHA!

lim said...

anon 3/9/10 12:46:

>>"why would I want to hand over(vote) the key to the jackpot, created by the incumbent, to the opposition for basically talking air and eating caviar?"

Well, if pap created/build up the "jackpot" single- handedly, without contribution from the people (ie, you and me, and many others), then by all means pap can keep the jackpot, but as far as I know the jackpot is called "Singapore's Reserves", and NOT "pap's reserves"...

Also, isn't the current incumbent "talking air and eating caviar" too?

Anonymous said...

you undermined pap role in building up the reserves. sweat alone can't buy you a villa.sweat alone will get you a hdb. you need a good business acumen and bold leadership to build up such a reserve.
the jackpot I am talking about is the cushy mp job. why should we see more of chiam and ltk in parliament?
i think political bloggers and the public did more to move the hands of the garmen than these mps and we don't even have to pay them a single cent let alone eat caviar.

yes, the incumbent is eating caviar but they also shoulder the nation's weight on them. can you say that about chiam,ltk and the likes? said...

Re Annon 3/9/10 15:14

If immigration is so good, why don't we open our doors to Indonesian Muslim.

They have 200-300 Indonesian million and I believe plenty are more intelligent than average Singaporean.

Why we want to take migrant further down, from China and India.

Why even Nobel Laureates and thinkers such as Samuel Huttington going against Mexican migrant even though 99% of US people are scion of migrant?

You tell me why?

Anonymous said...

@Anon 15:14

To debunk what you have written, the misconception and widely interpreted view of the pro-immigration policy writers are that Singaporeans are against immigration of FTs. The truth is the open door policy do not differentiate the kind of foreigners allowed into the country. Singaporeans do not, I repeat do not, object to having foreigners with the right credentials in, but are very much against having foreign TRASH lumped together as foreign talents.

Your argument do not mention example of countries that rely on their own citizens, rather than FTs to be a success. Taiwan, Korea and Japan do not depend on FTs to spur-drive their economies. They have taken a different route altogether because they believe in supporting and encouraging their home-grown industries. Singapore took the easy route by relying on MNCs and latching on to the flavour of the month industry such that they became jack of all trades but master of none.

You also mentioned:

"We cannot and must not attribute many of the woes that the society is facing now to the influx of immigrants. Rather, the problem lies in the (lack of) coordination among different ministries. Developments in areas including housing, communication infrastructure and education opportunities should have kept up to ease the strain on the capacity from a relaxed open-door policy."

With the monopoly of talents that the PAP has, why were they are caught "off guard" and unprepared with the "sudden" increase of immigrants? LTA did not plan to have more MRT Lines and trains until 2 years ago as reported. It will be 6 years before these new lines and trains are incorporated into the system. So, we have plans to increase the population and the infrastructure to support the increase comes much later? The same applies to other ministries including housing, environment, security and etc.

Goodness knows what other worms in the can that has not been made public. One thing I have doubts relate to the number of Singaporeans born and bred remaining in Singapore. There had been reports about hundreds of families having migrated out since the 1990s. When the population was 2.4 million (many were not born in Singapore), population growth was already at zero. Today, information widely circulated said we have 3.77 million Singaporeans, of which, 540,000 are foreign-born. I say, this is definitely not right, and the figure is closer to 2 million Singaporeans born and bred, making the ratio of 34% real Singaporeans and 66% foreign bred.

The upheaval and make-over of Singapore, using quick fixes and U-turn policies will be Singapore's undoing. The future is definitely not bright and more uncertain, compounded by the uncertainty of the world's major economies. One thing is certain though, I foresee a drastic drop in the popularity of the present government, unless the foreign immigrants are there to vote for them, which I suspect is also one reason for this policy.

lim said...

@anon 3/9/10 16:29:

ltk and cst are just 2 against 82, so when it comes to voting in parliament, do you think they can do much?

Granted, I give credit to the earlier generation of pap leaders for shaping our nation, even though they too have contribute to our present problems (e.g. 2 is enough)..

If you are worried that singapore's reserves will be squandered away by oppositions if they form the govt, then can you tell me how much of singapore's reserves currently did the 2 opposition mps lost? Does ABC learning rings a bell? How about those us banks and ubs? These are undisputable facts..

Sure pap can claim 10 years, 20 years later that they have recouped the losses, but if the losses are recouped via increase in taxes, etc, then it is not recouping, as far as I am concern..

lim said...

@@anon 3/9/10 16:29:

Just to add:

Do you think that just via netizens and the public will give us the transparencies and accountabilities that are lacking currently?

We still do not know why the budget for yog was overblown?

Anonymous said...

in investment,you win some, you lose some.but the final tally,so far, we are still very loaded,and that's all that matters for now. but can you attribute this wealth to political opportunists who want to take a bite at the caviar by mouthing unworkable ideas and rousing dissent?
i seriously doubt people who eats plenty of caviar can be fair at the end of the day - political opportunist or not.

Anonymous said...

"Do you think that just via netizens and the public will give us the transparencies and accountabilities that are lacking currently?"

the Internet is a powerful medium and I think the incumbent wants to capitalize on it.
these people are no fools. If fires are coming, they want to be prepared.

lim said...

@anon 3/9/10 16:54:

>>"in investment,you win some, you lose some.but the final tally,so far, we are still very loaded"

Well, saying this is as good as saying "long-term" investment..

>>"political opportunists who want to take a bite at the caviar by mouthing unworkable ideas and rousing dissent?"

I have to ask you what kind of workable ideas did most of the pap mps contributed? I can still remember dr.lam asking health minister his secret of looking youthful..

So, how many of the pap mps (other than ministers), in your opinion, shouldered the nation's weight on their shoulders?, and how many are free-loaders?

Anonymous said...

God is great Lucky, I know its mean and I hate myself for doing this but I cannot tolerate anymore. I wish, no pray to god our elite ministers and their future generation be blessed with daft children. May this selfish and arrogant people one day suffer the anguish that we the lesser mortals suffer when we think about the future of our children. Money will not be a problem for them as they have enriched themselves legally. Only form of repentence is for them to have daft children whose future they worry about. I wish the day will come when this people realise that money alone cannot buy happiness. God please don't betray my faith

Anonymous said...

I don't take side and why would I sound their horns?
i am more interested in how they manage their caviar.
the final frontier is in the caviar.

Anonymous said...

Caviar? Why so protective about it when it does not belong to you? That Caviar you righteously covert belongs to PAP. What you have is the common fish roe in CPF of which a large portion probably will be swallowed by the hospitals and other expenses before your eventual death. Even the promise of 9K Caviar for a few NSMen will be set aside in CPF, which they will never get to eat until 20-40 years later.

Anonymous said...

If they say those who eat caviar carries more weight than those who don't, we are in trouble.

Anonymous said...

my main problem with foreigners is the volume that has been allowed in, in the space of time.

foreigners are like intravenous injections of antibiotics. they need to be dripped (introduced) slowly into the system. in too large amounts over a short time, the injection is very painful.
especially when the system is not prepped for it.

Anonymous said...

In various blogs, one point often raised - as it is raised here by one commentator - is How can we vote for the opposition as they do not seem competent.

The question that should be asked in reply is Are the current incumbents competent? Isn't our present situation the result of incompetence and lack of foresight? Not to mention an unawareness of the social consequences of many decisions?
Why have so many left if things are so wonderful here?

Yes, great things were done - once. But are they still being done now? Looking at spore as a business, would a company keep on an older worker who did good work in his first 10 years but has been performing way below his best for the next 10? The answer is no. So why this sentimentality, esp when our future is dependent on it?

One thing that has to be realised though is that having more oppostion members in does Not mean things will change Now. Too much needs to be undone first. Why even fixing a few train signals takes 6 years. Dealing with flooding is estimated to take much longer.

Anyway, it will be too difficult to pack in and stomach the kind of change that is needed in just a couple of yrs. Look at how we'r struggling with the huge amount of foreigners being brought in in a short time.

But a start must be made. The longer a disease is around, the harder it is to cure. If the rot is allowed to worsen, it may reach the stage where it is not possible to get rid of it at all. Like cancer, the tumour becomes too large. See how the 2-child policy has come back to bite us hard

Anonymous said...

What ! Old fart has proved that Paul krugman is wrong. We should requested the PAP to strip nobel prize off Krugman and hand it to Old fart ! Here's come the fart ! Can u smell it ?

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Lucky

As your friends Mr Lee Chee Wai and Alex Au has already pointed ... our gdp growth over the last 3 years is only 4.7% (or so).

So it is still too early to take away Dr Krugman's Nobel Prize.

...and they don't threaten stick the "spurs under the hide" of their citizens as if they are animals or slaves in their own country.

Eh, Singaporeans are animals (sheep) and (wage) slaves (to their employers, mortgages, loans, gahmen).

... just shows how deep the feeling of being relegated to 2nd class in their own country runs among Singaporeans.
Local *mere* millionaires like yourselves (and FTs) are 2nd class behind the elite ruling class. The average locals (like moi) are actually 3rd class.

Anonymous said...

Look, by now these FT policies and charity begins at home woes are tired old stories which we have been discussing since the late 90s when it firt began. (yes, and where were u guys back then, dreaming?)

Dun u guys think it is time to accept these thing which cant be undone as bad luck and just move on? I mean, soes no doubt abt that but then there are such big challenges ahead for our small country that u shud ask what each of u can do for the country instead of lamenting abt what is past!!

Anonymous said...

Pack so many people into such a small place.
If this theory is proved to be wrong, who suffered?

Anonymous said...

More people means in future more mouths to feed.

Anonymous said...

Singaporeans should just make the right and proper moves. Get your foreign friends or relatives and friends abroad to find You a place to settle down. It is definitely hopeless for Singaporeans who believe a change of hands in political power or having a few more oppositions in the Cabinet is going to make much difference to the fate of the citizenry. The situation will only gets worse as time progresses. Singapore was driven into a vicious cycle the very moment a senseless pursuit to be an economic first world idea was put into action. Due to its insignificant landmass, Singapore's future role in the world stage will be diminished and be as insignificant as the landsize. When it becomes too compact and overpacked, living will not be interesting for most people, even for tourists. It will also lost it's hub status as other countries develop their ports and trade directly with each others. The middleman that Sin has been playing in the past many centuries will grind to a stop slowly and surely. The vice trades in casinos, nightlife and entertainment industries are unlikely able to compete with other countries nearby that are likely to provide cheaper and better entertainments soon to come. Foreigners come here to work and send back some miserly sums to their families. Singaporeans have to learn from them and venture elsewhere whilst the Sin currency is strong. This is an opportune time to plan and make the move. Be wise.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3/9/2010. 17:17

Your wish will materialize when old fart kicks the bucket.
Be patient . It's just a matter of time

Anonymous said...

'Your wish will materialize when old fart kicks the bucket. Be patient . It's just a matter of time'

I have searched the internet, posing this question on yahoo, google, and what have you, i haven't found the answer for that day to come. i have searched in vain. bitter. despair.

Anonymous said...

Me am in full concurrence with Anon 00:12 that Sinkapooreans be wise to plan, at least for their children. Wealthy folks need not bother as livings anywhere for them will not be a problem.

Those who can afford to send their children to overseas for studies, send them and encourage them to find jobs and settle down abroad. Young people not only need opportunities to study and find works, they need better futures for themselves and their children.

It is only fair to say that they need spaces both physical and spiritual(emotional/artistic/humanities) to develop and live a more fulfilling and meaningful existences. Older Sinkapooreans have had these spaces in the past(me says before the 90s). But we are squeezed in every aspect of living now, low job opportunity, stiff competitions, crams in living spaces and the worst, ever increasing cost of livings. Me dares say a very bleak future awaits our future generations and it gets worse as time goes.

The older generations, those sixty and beyond had it easy in the earlier days, before the eighties, it was then easy to carve a living which the new generations are deprived. There were lots of home industries and trades that old Sinkapooreans succeeded in making Singapore into what it is today. However, the tides are receding and livings are now very much a struggle for most.

Having said the above, me thinks younger Sinkapooreans have the versatility due to exposures to World Affairs and living in a multi-cultural society, to venture beyond our shorelines. IF WE CANNOT SOLVE OUR PROBLEMS INTERNALLY(domestically) LET US FIND SOLUTION ELSEWHERE(by going away from the problems).

Let us all encourage our younger people to venture in the larger world to have better opportunities to live a better life.


Anonymous said...

You guys really trust the figures don't you?

A monopoly does what it wants, takes what it wants, gets what it wants.

So long as Singaporeans accept living with an institution that cultivates a monopoly on thought, policies, economic clout, etc, they will have to accept the rest of the things that come with it.

Anonymous said...

It is reported that private tutors are earning big bucks. My question is, why aren't these people taxed?
I know of tutors buying condos and driving european cars whose income are not taxed like most hard working citizens. These are revenues passed off that could have been used for social good. I hope the authorities will take a serious view in tax evasion by this group of people.

towkay too said...

PAP must win...... i cant imagine how Singapore will be like under a regime who pratice populist policies and erode our competitiveness. If your grade is not good enough for UNI, dun blame the govt. blame yourdself for not being good enough

Anonymous said...

Let the PAP government rule Singapore! But let them be ruling over these so called "foreign talents" since they are so bent in importing so many foreigners. Let the native Singaporeans all go elsewhere to look for our opportunities, where land and housing are plentiful, no stupid rise in flats pricing due to imcompetent fools like MBT, cheap cars, no COEs, no ERP right at your doorsteps. Let the foreigners enjoy such privileges given by the PAP government.

Anonymous said...

the changing faces of singapore:one out of two is a foreigners.

Anonymous said...

soon, we will see millionaires tutors with no tax burden.

Anonymous said...

""""soon, we will see millionaires tutors with no tax burden.""""

So easy to make monet? You must be dreaming!!!

Do you jnow many tutots can't even make S$500 per month?

Anonymous said...

According to the Department of Statistics, the local tuition industry was reported to be worth $820 million in 2008, up from $470 million in 1998.

In the same period of 10 years, 400 more tuition centres sprang up across Singapore, bringing the total number of tuition centres in Singapore to 500.

So what is causing such a great demand for tuition? Is it mere 'kiasu-ism', or does tuition really improve a student's grades? The lack of transparency in the industry makes it difficult to tell.

Koh Sheng Jie was graded Band 3 for Mathematics in Primary 4. That's just a pass. Post-tuition, his Maths grade improved to an A2 for 'O' Levels.

Anonymous said...

No tax? Foreigners will soon join in the 'fun'.

Anonymous said...

Tuition good money??
It is an insult to those older & jobless prof who worked as an tutor and learn less than S$1,000.

The good money goes to those teachers who have already earned good money on their jobs, plus these "side incomes".

Anonymous said...

Our Leaders have ignored for too loo long the sentiments and the feedbacks(reactions) of the people(citizens). Evidences are aplenty in the Straits Times Forum(Internet Version).

Recently, the Top Cabinet Members are imploring the people with quite pleading tones to understand their policies and to bear with them.

BUT, the question they have to ask themselves is: are they listening to their people ? Do they understand their people ? Collecting multi-millions remunerations and asking their subjects to empathise and sympathise with poorer fellow countrymen. The Rulers themselves have no humanities, no feelings ??


Anonymous said...

Good fruits comes from good trees...... bad fruits comes from bad trees..good fruits does not comes from bad trees.

See the fruits (results)and your will know whether the sources is good of bad.

Do listen to the words(deception), watch their actions---I am aged to know the difference.

Anonymous said...

"in investment,you win some, you lose some.but the final tally,so far, we are still very loaded,and that's all that matters for now."

anyone will be more happy if he does it with someone's money and has a good cut for doing well.

as for not doing well, there a few places which still allow you to continue for doing so. no prize for guessing right where few places are.

Anonymous said...

"Good fruits comes from good trees...... bad fruits comes from bad trees..good fruits does not comes from bad trees. "
Christianity screwed with that allegory so much so, it has been misapplied and even misleading.

Therefore, "good fruits" may not be a good indication at all. And often than not, it is not.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Lucky

Any plans to comment on the new HDB policies?

I see many liberals applauding the move which no matter how I see ... benefits PRs the most.

I must admit my IQ is rather low. Could you help? I think it is also a important issue for many of your supporters.

Anonymous said...

Mr Lucky Tan,

Thanks for your great articles. I wonder why Straits Times "journalists" cannot write like you - with passion and sense of justice.

Our problem is not foreign talents. Our problem is that our political leaders do not have the compassion we expect of them. While foreign talents are good for Singapore, Singaporeans must be taken care with grace.

Kojakbt said...

>I wonder why Straits Times "journalists" cannot write like you - with passion and sense of justice.

Don't expect them to. They are just work horses for the regime. To put it even more bluntly, they are more like Pavlovian dogs fetching sticks for their political master when ordered to, then expecting a reward at the end...

executive coaching said...

As leaders, they must prove that they believe in the abilities and talents of their citizens. This shows everyone they'll get a fair chance to demonstrate what they can do.

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