Friday, March 23, 2012

Singapore : A country of Extremes

I just checked the latest results for COE bidding out today and found that the COE for big cars has crossed the $80K mark[Lnk]. Singapore has the highest cost of car ownership in the world and I wonder if we have the highest cost of car ownership excluding the price of the car! In many places you can get a brand new Mercedes for less than the price of that piece of paper[Example].

The COE is just one example of an extreme that Singaporeans have to cope with in their struggle for a better quality of life. While it is often argued that these schemes are necessary for various reasons, we should think about the outcomes and the cumulative effects of these extremes on  ordinary Singaporeans. For me, I find it quite amazing how Singaporeans have come to accept these extremes - the same situation that will make citizens of other countries jump and scream - yet our leaders express their view that Singaporeans lack resilience [Resilience building challenging for S'pore]and are too dependent on the govt.

Singaporeans pay the 2nd highest electricity tariffs in the world[Link]. Our leaders are paid the highest salaries in the world even after the recent 'cuts'. We have the most expensive public housing in the world. The biggest income gap among developed countries - nobody comes close except USA which occasionally beat us...but the people there have been occupying Wall Street for months due to the income inequality and we can't even find people to show up at Raffles Place. Our fertility rate has plunged to be the lowest among 222 countries. [See CIA's factbook]. We now have the 2nd highest population density in the world[Link]. Highest foreign influx outside the middle east. We have the 2nd highest per capita execution rate in the world[Link] after this country known as Turkmenistan which is run by mad dictators.

Singaporean workers work the longest hours according to ILO[Link] (without minimum wages). Workers have the 2nd highest stress level in Asia[Link]. Singapore has the fastest growing number of millionaires [Link] likely due to the naturalisation of high net worth individuals here for the low taxes. The 2 casinos here have overtaken the total revenue of casinos in Las Vegas[Link], Lee Kuan Yew left his PM job as the world's longest serving prime minister[Link]. We also have the world's the longest-serving prisoner of conscience, Chia Thye Poh [Link]whose detention exceeded that of Nelson Mandela[Link].

Singaporean workers are the world's unhappiest[Link]. Singaporeans shoulder the heaviest share of healthcare expediture among developed countries and our govt % expenditure of healthcare is the lowest. Our expenditure on defense express as a % of the govt budget exceeds that of Israel.

The foreign maids in Singapore are the among lowest paid in the world[Link] - large part of what you pay goes to the levy yet the whole country can debate for months over giving the maid one day off per week when this is mandatory in every other country where they are better paid. Singapore probably has some of the best educated cabbies in the world due to severe structural unemployment - it is not uncommon to meet a cabby with a degree and if you're lucky, you can meet the one with a PhD from Stanford[Link].

Our team based (GRC) election system is quite unique in the world and generate results that are also very unusual - a govt opposed by 40% of the people has 95% of the seats in parliament.

We have elderly cleaners [Elderly toilet cleaners a sad reflection of society here] - they are sometimes so old that even people from developing countries like China and Phillipines get a shock when they see these cleaners. Singaporeans have the highest savings rate in the world due to the CPF scheme but more than half will not have enough (minimum sum) to retire on. Singapore has one of the highest reserves per capita in the world - large part of which comes from the the sale of public housing to Singaporeans many of whom now have great difficulty retiring unless they are willing to lose their homes.

It is strange how we have come to accept some of these extremes as normal over time. When you talk about spending a little less on defense some Singaporeans will worry about being less secure. When we discuss about giving maids one day off Singaporeans worry about what the maids will do during their day off - yet they trust the maid to look after their expensive homes and their children. When we cut the pay of our leaders which was the highest in the world, we cut it to a level that is still the highest in the world. The govt is terrified of giving a little more aid to the poor elderly so that they do not have to work yet they are okay with with losing a few tens of billions of our reserves in bad investments.

There is a tipping point when people begin to see reality for what it is and the distortion becomes hard for the mind to accept. There will be a point when change becomes inevitable and people begin to push things from the extreme back to normal - the propaganda can only do so much for so long. I often wonder if it is going to be a long slow process towards normality or we are going to snap out of this deep hypnosis by a single event in 2016.

201 comments:

1 – 200 of 201   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

Just got out of bed to read this article. It really wakes me up.

sgynic said...

When I read your post, a few thoughts and titles for the article came to my mind:
1. This is home?
2. What am I defending?
3. The formulae for our success
4. World class government?

Ministry High Flyer said...

It is indeed ridiculous.

so1trg said...

Thank u lucky. You had just verbalised my repressed thots. Change is inevitable, and we r marching twds it day by day.
MERDEKA!!!

Anonymous said...

You have written many good articles but it takes time for the effect to set in. Like what u said, i still dont understand why most of us refuse to change.

Hang on there, Lucky...we still need u.

Anonymous said...

Hi lucky,
Any chance you can add a share icon in ur blog?
People like myself inspire by the article can share with our friends via fb , tweet or email.
Regards ,

Joe

Anonymous said...

Hey
good stuff!
you need more exposure
i agree with 8:50 above

Anonymous said...

Not extremes, but more like a constant pussy-footing over issues like the car ownership issue that shows them to have no clear ideology and direction in the way they work.

The incumbent party loves to have their cake and eat it too, don't believe me?

States everyone can afford a car but increase Road tax/COE/ERP

Privatise public transport but pump in public funds to buy buses

Claims to want to aid birthrate but increase cost of living and childcare costs

Worries about water dependency but sells power plants to foreign corporations

Endorse burmese junta dealings one day and suck up to Aung San Suu Kyi the next.

Imprison alleged communists two decades before but embrace communist mainlanders two decades later

Claims 'Meritocracy' but have family members and extended family in key positions.

I could go on, but you get the idea.

Anonymous said...

Not extremes, but more like a constant pussy-footing over issues like the car ownership issue that shows them to have no clear ideology and direction in the way they work.

The incumbent party loves to have their cake and eat it too, don't believe me?

States everyone can afford a car but increase Road tax/COE/ERP

Privatise public transport but pump in public funds to buy buses

Claims to want to aid birthrate but increase cost of living and childcare costs

Worries about water dependency but sells power plants to foreign corporations

Endorse burmese junta dealings one day and suck up to Aung San Suu Kyi the next.

Imprison alleged communists two decades before but embrace communist mainlanders two decades later

Claims 'Meritocracy' but have family members and extended family in key positions.

I could go on, but you get the idea.

Anonymous said...

"I often wonder if it is going to be a long slow process towards normality or we are going to snap out of this deep hypnosis by a single event in 2016."
Lucky Tan

Tell you lah, if in 2011 it didn't snap, forever won't snap one lah.

You see, in GE 2011, 60% voted PAP.
Just 3 months later in PE 2011, 70% voted for candidates (ex PAP MP, minister)closest to PAP.

At this rate, I think PAP may even win Hougang by election. Better still, if got 3 corner fight, we may even get a 35% vote PAP MP, just like a 35% vote President in PE 2011!

Snap in 2016? Wait long, long lah.

Anonymous said...

How come nobody asked PAP members and supporters how they can inflict so much pain on Singaporeans and yet behave as though their conscience is clear?

Anonymous said...

The pappies are not only lying through their teeth. Their lies are oozing out of their gums, eyes, ears, pores and all other orifices imaginable.

We got to snap out of this wicked spell cast by the senile dehydrated lizard master, and soon if we are survived!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Lucky. I was quite angry when LKY called Singaporeans daft but now I not only agree but think that they dumb and stupid as well.

Anonymous said...

I really marvel why 60 % vote for a party which has made life worse off since the era of LKY. There is nothing worthwhile in Singapore for ordinary citizens to defend for. Why defend a lifestyle where you have to work until you die to pay for a pigeonhole flat and even the highest saving rate is insufficient for your retirement. The high cost of living, the big medical cost you have to bear when you are old and sick and the congested environment you have to live in caused by the influx of foreigners. The PAP elites and the rich who benefit the most from the system created by the PAP should be the one to defend the country.

Anonymous said...

Swiss standard of living (costwise) is coming soon.

And not forgetting that you need to be CBF (cheaper better faster).

Ng Eng Hou said...

Goh Chok Tong few years summed this very clearly about Singaporeans specifically the male folks. He said Singaporean men are kia si (scared die), kia boh (scared wife),kia cheng hu (scared government). So, how do you expect? Basically people are scared of changes, so they can tolerate all these nonsenses and the government can go on abusing us this way, thinking that in the end, people will still 'surrender' to them.

We Deserve The Type Of Government By Our Behavior!

Anonymous said...

LKY n his pap has over 50 years distorted the natural human values of Singaporeans. This has resulted in lots of paradox in the behaviour of Singaporeans. Singaporeans are a very unique specie. They are easily identfiable inside and outside Singapore. Yet our traitor leaders still refuse to accept that we indeed have a unique national identity. I am proud of some of the characteristics of Singaporeans but I am also disgusted at some of their questionable values. This is what u get when people are subjected to a daily dosage of selfish propaganda. They behave like selfish robots. Good examples are our pap political leaders. Where on earth can u find such argument that increasing GST helps the poor ?

Anonymous said...

nice article.... keep it up

we must take back our country

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Lucky, thank you for your article. I have always reading your blog and the insightful comments. I feel compelled to share a story

Allow me. It a short Japanese movie, titled 'the hole'. I watched it from youtube.

Its about a small town in Japan, one day, the town residents found a big deep and black hole in town.

A small boy accidentally dropped a ball into it. Strangely, they could not hear it hit the bottom. 3 men were tasked to investigate the hole. They tied a bucket with a string and lowered it into the hole, again, it was not able to reach the bottom.

They shouted into the hole but there was no echo.

Soon, the residents started to throw things into the hole secretly.

The 2 of the 3 men saw the business opportunity from the bottomless hole. They started a waste management co. They were so successful, they became the no 1 waste management co in the country. year later , they became filthy rich.

To cut the long story short. Many years later , while they were celebrating their own success on the roof of their co building, They saw a hole in the sky and then the ball dropped down, then they saw the bucket with the string, they also heard their owns shout. Then all the rest of the things that they have thrown in....

U can guest what happen in the end.

The hole is not bottomless, its just a time hole, what ever u threw inside will come back to haunt you later.

The moral of the story:
The policies that lead to the extremes, the isa, osa, immigration policy and so on are just like this hole.

In time to come, all the ill effects will come back and haunt the MIW. While the foreigners can always retreat to their home land. I am afraid, the locals be the collateral damage !

Hsq

Anonymous said...

Just vote for the Opposition if you are serious about wanting change in Singapore.

It's the only feedback the Proud Arrogant People understand.

Amused said...

I thought I was having a nightmare when reading your post, and then I woke up.

This is one of your best posts. Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

People are quick to point out the flaws but what about the good things?

As usual the nitpicking and premature judgement of things surrounding us also reflects the Singapore mind; a superficial one.

How many of you have lived in other countries?

We have a greedy government but at least we have a stable one. Try having a corrupt one like some of our other neighboring countries.

We may have an expensive medical infrastructure but at least we have a world class one in terms of efficiency and standard. Try waiting for a doctors appointment while in pain or a 24 hour wait at the emergency department.

We may have expensive housing but at least then we are asset rich. Try experiencing the collapse of the property market like in the UK, Ireland or USA recently.

Of course I also do not agree with some of the practices which the Singapore government is heading Towards, but instead of just lamenting about them, why don't we write constructive articles about the possible solutions instead?

sgcynic said...

World class joke:
"We have a greedy government but at least we have a stable one."
So one gets to be sucked dry over one's entire lifetime.

"We may have an expensive medical infrastructure but at least we have a world class one in terms of efficiency and standard."
So we have world class healthcare; too bad if one cannot afford it.

"We may have expensive housing but at least then we are asset rich."
So we can live and retire in our bare expensive asset, cannot afford much else.

sgcynic said...

Hey, let's look on the positive side of things. We have a lousy state of affairs but at least we had it good before.

Anonymous said...

" ... instead of just lamenting about them, why don't we write constructive articles about the possible solutions instead? "

You must be mad.

We pay highest salaries for politicians.
And still we have to spoon feed them with solutions?

We are not their mothers.
We are not going to hold their dicks while they take a leak.
They are not small kids anymore.

Anonymous said...

The Pro Alien Politicians do not reward Singaporeans for our loyalty and support over the last 45 years.

I'm going to vote Opposition.
At least there is a chance I will get some free Teochew porridge from the Proud Arrogant People when they lose my GRC.

Anonymous said...

I planning to enjoy a good break of free Teochew porridge with Desmond Choo every weekend. That free breakfast is worth more to me than expensive home, overpriced cars and the welfare of my fellow Singaporeans. I can be bribed by free porridge!

Anonymous said...

Lucky

I have known all these plot coming from PAP as far as 15 years ago. Last year watershed election is a good start to shift the power back to opposition parties, but it is not enough. 60% of this population need to be hard-hit to wake up their peanut mind. I am all for the complete shift of power come 2016 and let PAP retain less than half of the parliamentary seat. Otherwise, the whole generations of SINGAPORE is going to fail and suffer and the crooks-in-white who implemented all these ill policies will not be held to task if they died. It is better to be sooner than later to have a complete overhaul of this failing government. Your article are all written with fact, there is no denial about it unless someone is new citizen and clueless of what went wrong in Singapore. Statistics have also shown that many naturalised citizens eventually gave up this citizenship and leave...for reason still remained a secret held from govt agency and Singaporeans know those secrets were no difference from examples written in your articles.

Snark said...

Rebuttal Time! @ Anonymous 23/3/12 14:43

Man, I love it when the fanboys come out in full force, especially after people have presented logical arguments to make improvements, the fanboys come in whining in full force 'stop nitpicking!' 'Wah! Don't keep picking on my favorite party! I love them so much!'



'We have a greedy government but at least we have a stable one. Try having a corrupt one like some of our other neighboring countries.'


So you are admitting that they are greedy? Congratulations, acceptance is the first stage of conquering delusion. Bravo!

Yeah, having high pay really makes it all the worthwhile to avoid corruption. Wait, what?

So you are going to pay people more money monthly with lots of hidden benefits so that they may not take kickbacks. WOW! Putting aside the circular logic, do people really need to take bribes when their pay is astronomically high?

I wonder if character tests, reference checks and general good upbringing are relevant for a candidate?

Nah, let's just pay the candidate more. Problem solved.



'We may have an expensive medical infrastructure but at least we have a world class one in terms of efficiency and standard...'


So world-class that we are running out of ward space.

http://www.sgh.com.sg/about-us/newsroom/News-Articles-Reports/Pages/Publichospitals'borrowing'wardspace.aspx

Hey, don't worry though, maybe one day you will get that $8 heart bypass, eh?



'We may have expensive housing but at least then we are asset rich. Try experiencing the collapse of the property market like in the UK, Ireland or USA recently.'


Asset rich? Can I have whatever you’re smoking? Or you know what, I probably shouldn’t cos it’s docking major points off your intellect. I’m surprised you are able to use a keyboard and find this blog in the first place.

99 years of lease on a small piece of space ain't something you own. The only time you can cash in on your ‘asset’, as it were, is to sell your house and emigrate.

Thanks, Mr Horse!

Wipe that jizz off your mouth first and try harder, fanboy.

Brendan said...

Although you are correct in your assessments about Singapore and many Singaporean attitudes, if I were you, I would categorically attribute the 'extremities' to the result of the dominance of a single political party but I would be cautious with the current title as it suggests an overall generalisation and it portrays all Singapore and Singaporeans in a negative light.

Remeber you can hate the ruling party (as much as I do) not equates to hating your country :-)

Anonymous said...

The PAP government is getting too expensive for Singaporeans.

It's time to look for a cheaper, better, faster alternative.

Anonymous said...

'We may have expensive housing but at least then we are asset rich. Try experiencing the collapse of the property market like in the UK, Ireland or USA recently.'

This statement had me LOL for a long time.

Just before the collapse of their respective property markets, the Japanese and Irish and Americans were also asset rich!!

We could be next!

Anonymous said...

'We may have expensive housing but at least then we are asset rich. Try experiencing the collapse of the property market like in the UK, Ireland or USA recently.'

This statement had me LOL for a long time.

Just before the collapse of their respective property markets, the Japanese and Irish and Americans were also asset rich!!

We could be next!

Anonymous said...

Let me try to give a positive spin on this article.

High COE ? Don't drive. Save mother earth and $$.

High electricity bill ? Use less. I am sure we all can do a lot more on our utilities.

Long working hours ? Be glad that we are still working. While working longer, work even smarter to get to where you want to go.

Someone tell us that we are an unhappy lot ? Happiness derives from ourselves not someone.

High health care cost ? Eat healthy and move more. Never allow people to help us to get up from a chair.

Lowest paid maid ? In this case, increase our maid's pay today. If not, treat our maid better in terms of non monetary way like saying thank you or lighten her workload by doing it ourselves.

Best educated cabbie ? High education does not mean free ride to life time employment. Structural unemployment comes at a pace where many well educated people can see it and know it. Teach our children to learn this lesson.

SMC or GRC ? Everyone still has one single vote. The issue is not SMC or GRC, it is the fight of the quality of the people who stands to serve.

Elderly cleaners ? Other than to say more should be done on this, I offer no solution here.

I hope your day is better after reading my positive spin.

If not, I am sorry.

A Simple Minded Singaporean.

Anonymous said...

"We may have an expensive medical infrastructure but at least we have a world class one in terms of efficiency and standard. Try waiting for a doctors appointment while in pain or a 24 hour wait at the emergency department"

Bro, which world do you come from. PappyAssWorld or what. I waited bloody 26 hours in pain at SGH A&E

Anonymous said...

And we all know and are agreed on who are the most extreme of extremists! No prize for the prize getting it right.

Lye Khuen Way said...

Wow! What a write up. Cannot agree more, Lucky. We are sure a Unique country or City-State.
I for one am sad that we have become like this despit good intentions, initially any.

Eddy Blaxell said...

This is a fabulous article. One of the hardest-hitting pieces I've read about the current state of Singapore and the incredibly absurdities within it. What makes it all the more amazing is that you hardly needed to say anything at all - the facts speak for themself.

Anonymous said...

Understand this:

We have no rivers of beauty
No mountains with snow
No lakes that mirror the moon.

We dont even have talent.

We do know one thing: Money.
and we love lots of it, from cleaners to MPs.

What else do you expect?
Love, compassion and appreciation of Mozart?
Yeah right. maybe Gurmit Singh & Hossan leong with laticia

Anonymous said...

But we do have a Opposition parties.

Let's give them, our fellow Singaporeans, a chance.
After all, they are not quitter politicians like the Aljunied GRC team that lost recently.

It's time to grow a 2nd wing in our politics.

Anonymous said...

great rebuttal. actually I never believe that KBW paid $8 for heart bypass. as a minister he is ENTITLED to Class A medical, why would he claim his insurance? much that I dislike him, I don't he is an idiot

Anonymous said...

a simple minded sporean indeed. the pap govt LOVES your kind - don't question, vote for them and hope for the best. I presume u are still young. has it ever crossed your mind the possibility that when u reach 40, u might be retrenched and can't find job to feed family and repay mortage?

Anonymous said...

2016 gen election is going to be very exciting.

It would be first GE where at least 2 seniors pap cadres could be taking a back seat.

One at 92 yrs, highly unlikely to be fielded.

His former DPM would 76 by then...if he is also not being fielded then

Marine Parade and Tg Pg could be anchored by the new military men.

Atfterall ministers 'no enough'

Cant wait for 2016 GE, afterall it is a first in 57 long years, where Singapore goes into a election without his participation.

Watershed again?

Anonymous said...

"We may have expensive housing but at least then we are asset rich. Try experiencing the collapse of the property market like in the UK, Ireland or USA recently.

Of course I also do not agree with some of the practices which the Singapore government is heading Towards, but instead of just lamenting about them, why don't we write constructive articles about the possible solutions instead?"

@anon 23/3/12 14:43
When our property market collapse like in the UK, Ireland or USA, you will start a blog to post about the practices of the MIWs you do not agree with? If you have the solutions, ever wonder why they are paid millions and you are not?

I read your comments and all my teeth dropped out! By the way, which GRC are they parachuting you into in 2016?

Saycheese

Anonymous said...

"We have a greedy government but at least we have a stable one."

I LOLed quite hard.
There are just so many out there who presents greed as a normalcy. Just like how PAP leaders presented the case for obnoxious salaries. It's one thing to glibly say that we have a stable one, is another to prove that the system is truly stable, that can be passed on generations to generations, party to party regardless.
If the recent episode of SMRT haven't woke people up (profits over safety at expense of maintenance) and I am sure many more worms coming our of cans, you have to wonder what's inside the big cans of 40years of single party ruling, that has done a marvelous PR & propaganda job of 'stability' 'harmony' through great cover up skills.

Finally, here's one article by Bernie Madoff who said ' I was an honest manager once..."
http://blogs.forbes.com/dianabhenriques/

Anonymous said...

I am a Singaporean living in the US for 12 years now. Of course US politics has its darkside but it is still the only country that has the most freedom for ordinary people.
I am on the fence of giving up my SG citizenship but really I would love dual citizenship. The SG government has performed too much social engineering on Singaporeans; to the point where few Singaporeans understand the concept of freedom. Freedom to choose your own lifestyle, freedom on how to make a living, freedom on choice of education etc. Freedom within moral boundaries of course!
Singapore is too materialistic, the gov just throw some freebies come election time and most Singaporeans will stay with PAP to be on the safe side.
There is risk in freedom but its well worth the risk. Life is just more than which Condo do you live in? which car do you drive? which school your kids go to? how much do your earn? how much is in your bank acct? We are born in a box, live in a box, drive or ride in a box, work in a box, leave this world in a box.
Therefore, search for our purpose and meaning for the life you are meant to live and defend the freedom to do so. There is more to this life. Lucky's article is powerful and we need to continue fighting the freedom for our children's sake. Singapore needs a revolution (not one that overthrows the government) but one that brings hope and open eyes that helps Singaporeans find their purpose in life. Singapore is on the verge of loosing its distinct culture to a mix of foreign culture because of imported 'foreign talent" and low-cost foreign labour....

Anonymous said...

"Our leaders are paid the highest salaries in the world even after the recent 'cuts'."
Lucky Tan

But is it really an issue with majority voters?

Why I say that?

You see, Presidential candidate Tan Jee Say in PE 2011 said he was OK with only $500K per annum Presidential salary.

And Tan Kin Lian( another Presidential candidate) said he would donate at least half of the Presidential salary if elected.

But what was the outcome? 75% of the voters rejected Tan Jee Say and 95% rejected Tan Kin Lian, causing him to lose his election deposit.

And the 2 candidates closet to PAP (ex PAP MP, minister) who said nothing about cutting or donating high Presidential salary, together won 75% of the votes!

This episode was enough to convince me that despite the hooha on blogs, etc over high Presidential or minister pay may not even be a issue with majority voters!

And in fact the many other issues which Lucky Tan raised in this posting too.

What do you say?

Anonymous said...

"And the 2 candidates closet to PAP (ex PAP MP, minister) who said nothing about cutting or donating high Presidential salary, together won 75% of the votes!"
Anon 24/3/12 08:37

Correction to above. Should be closest, not closet and 70%, not 75%. Otherwise don't add up to 100%.

Anonymous said...

Despite what Lucky Tan and other bloggers said, I think PAP brand name is still very good. With majority voters, that is.

And which is what really matters.

Blogs good, proposals good but cannot win majority votes, got use or not?

Anonymous said...

Great post! One interesting fact you left out. Singapore has the oldest serving politician in the world. No prizes for guessing who.

Anonymous said...

" Blogs good, proposals good but cannot win majority votes, got use or not? "
ANON: 24/3/12 08:47

Of course the blog has got use.

It opened my eyes and I voted Opposition for the first time in GE 2011.

The blog also keeps the pappy running dogs busy.
Otherwise they will be very free and have more time think of new ways to bully Singaporeans.

Sgcynic said...

To those who keep harping that 60% of the electorate voted for the PAP and thus this blog is useless and such, take not that the support has slipped from 75% to 66% to 60%. What makes you think that the 69% figure is cast in stone? The electorate is changing. What more, that they have seen and experienced first hand how they are screwed by the PAP. Trust and respect lost are never regained easily. Furthermore, The generation that benefited from the efforts of the early PAP are dwindling. Even many of them are opening their eyes. So what do you think will be the new normal?

Anonymous said...

Hougang by election outcome to watch.

In GE 2011, PAP got 35% and lost.

Win or lose, if PAP can get more than 35% in by election, it means they will do better in GE 2016.

If got 3 corner fight, better still for PAP. PAP may even win with only 35% votes!

Just Like how President Tony Tan won in PE 2011.

That means opposition has become from bad to worse. They and those who wish they will do better in GE 2016 can forget about it.

Anonymous said...

One thing to remember is that opposition is very unlikely to grow strong in Singapore, at least not within the next 5 years.

Let me give an analogy.

For instance, after working for 20 to 30 years, a person is still stuck in a junior position in the company.

What is the chance of him/her becoming head of the company or in another company in the next 5 or 10 years?

Hope my analogy will better explain what I said about the opposition.

Sgcynic said...

If you had given your analogy before the last election, what would you say now?

Hope my post clarifies the absurdity if what I said to the PAP supporters.

Anonymous said...

But 2016 is not coming fast enough... How many more casualties must the land bear in the meantime?

Anonymous said...

Saturday March 24, 2012

Talent buy becomes sore point

INSIGHT DOWN SOUTH BY SEAH CHIANG NEE

Virtually an entire populace has been imported in the past 20 years as Singapore aspires to become an international city to attract the top brains and the wealthy.

IF you don’t have enough local talent, buy it from abroad whether in sports or research science, beginning with schools and universities. This attitude is reflected in Singapore’s oft-expressed fears that declining birthrates will threaten its long-term survival.

In addition, Singapore aspires to be an international city to attract the top brains and the wealthy.

Its solution to prevent a falling population has been dramatic.

Virtually an entire populace has been imported in the past 20 years, raising the dense population by two-thirds, from three million to five million.

It begins from pre-teens and secondary schools. But it is at university level, where thousands of foreigners are given scholarships, that the controversy is upsetting locals, particularly those who can’t afford it.

To the government, expanding the talent pool is crucial for the economy.

Since the birthrate is declining, why not import youngsters from the region by the thousands, especially from China and Asean, to come and study here free of charge.

The issue is developing into another controversy, with critics labelling it as a short-cut development of human resources through imports rather than focusing on home talents.

It is not only pursued in sports, where young foreign winners are brought in to win gold medals, but also extends to bio-medical research scientists.

The issue took to the media last month when the government re­­vealed in Parliament that at least 2,000 scholarships worth S$36 million were awarded each year to overseas students.

Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education Sim Ann said that most of these scholars served out their bonds and the few who defaulted were made to pay liquidated damages. No numbers were given.

It is not known if the total included a large number of scholarships by companies linked to the government, like Singapore Airlines, Nep­tune Orient Lines and Singapore Press Holdings.

But dishing out so many pre-tertiary and university scholarships to foreigners is becoming a sensitive issue.

Getting a degree has always been a life-long dream of most Singaporean parents and youngsters, many of whom spend thousands of dollars in private tuition every month.

However, to the government, it is crucially important for Singapore’s future.

The (then) Minister for Education, Tharman Shanmugaratnam (now DPM and Finance Minister), said several years ago:

“We must continue to take in foreign students from all over Asia, and the world. Each of them brings a different bit of the world into our schools, and into Singapore.”

They are required to serve a three-year bond after graduation, but to locals this is a double blow since they’ll have to compete also on the job front.

Continue below

Anonymous said...

Continue from above

For years, the idea had been knocked into our heads that our low birthrates – not unusual in develop­ed countries – are a threat to our future survival.

Actually, the government is not wrong in saying that the world is witnessing a sharp contest for foreign skilled personnel; every country big and small (including China) wants an infusion.

Most countries, big or small want to lure in skilled foreigners or wealthy investors to generate prosperity, but few do it to Singapore’s extent.

As far back as 25 years ago, I met a professional Canadian recruiter in one of Hong Kong’s posh hotels.

The competition for global talent was then already rising.

The gentleman’s job was to “persuade” residents to migrate to some of Canada’s less developed regions.

The timing was good, he thought, since many Hong Kongers were worried about China’s takeover.

“We wanted professionals and entrepreneurs, not the Li Ka Shing level, but the poorer mil­­lionai­­res. We’re sure they can make our sleepy provinces come alive,” he said.

If it is so crucial, why are Singaporeans objecting so vehemently?

Mainly, people are annoyed over the loss of opportunities and salary undercutting by these newcomers from poorer countries.

Besides, as former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew once admitted, the majority came to enjoy the scholarships, not to settle down.

They use Singapore as a jumping-off point for the West.

Lee once remarked that if only 20% settled here, the government would be satisfied. As a general rule, taking in foreign students adds value to tertiary studies.

“Besides, some scholarship students return home to assume top posts in the government or private companies, which can help smooth bilateral relations with Singapore.

Critics point out that a limited number of top foreign students is generally an asset to any university, but few are subsidised the way they are in Singapore.

In the United States, the premium institutions set very strict entry requirements and charge foreigners higher fees than locals.

“Compared with other countries, Singapore likely has a larger proportion of scholarships taken up by foreign students as compared to locals,” said David Loong.

Opposition Reform Party politician Lim Zi Rui criticised the government for treating Singaporeans as second, and even third, class citizens when it comes to education.

He said: “Our local students lose out, lose the chance, even though they are of the same calibre.”

The rapid intake of foreign students and professors, many of whom are poor in English, may have been one cause for the drop in rankings of Singapore’s two top universities.

The National University of Singa­­pore had fallen from 18th in the world in 2004 to 34th in 2010, according to Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings. And Nanyang Technological University dropped from 50th to 174th position.

There are other reasons, for Singa­pore’s decline. One is the fast improvements of other universities in Asia, including China.

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/3/24/focus/10969821&sec=focus

Anonymous said...

There are literally hundreds of Aljunied GRC cronies who have suffered a drop in PAP's pecking order.
Because they lost.
And George Yeo decided to quit politics "for a while."

There is a limit to the number of political appointments (I mean jobs) that are available on the MIW gravy train.

The Opposition does not have to win in GE 2016.

Just win another GRC and political infighting will break out within the Millionaires-In-Waiting.
No MIW wants to wait too long before becoming a millionaire.

Anonymous said...

High COE for cat B and open cat is good. The rich can afford and furthermore, it is a form of indirect tax.

Likewise for housing. The garbagemen,the cow, is working on a price correction in the property market. If he succeeds, the rich will laugh to the bank.

What's the point of bringing down luxury homes when eventually rich people will chase up the market?

We should engineer a two or more Cat housing, like COE, to tax the rich indirectly.

Keep the prices firmly grounded on the upside to discourage speculation is better.

yao said...

Seriously, if you feel that the government is not doing good enough, you could have the ability to go off to another country, no one is stopping you. Till the end, you might be also grumbling with all this shit in that new country that you are in. Or even more problems to face.

yao said...

And to all who commented,
if you really are well educated enough, you know wad the COS is all about, you know why the property is so expensive.
If you just dont like it, move away to another country? since you just dont feel this place as a home anymore. you wanted to move but worry hardship to start anew? then face the fact, this is singapore, land contains is always present. without all these rules. you might see that you walk faster than a car. or no more flats for you to buy.(because the rich buy every one of them,a block maybe?) and ended u are renting it providing money to them to purchases more flats.

Anonymous said...

well said indeed LuckyTan !

just to add on why spore is "a country of extremes"....

2 "traitors" who served the Japs in WW2 can engineer their way to become PM and President of Spore....not to mention both are on multimillion $$ pensions for life, courtesy of 60% sporeans.

even china, n korea, cuba, syria, iraq, etc cannot match such an extreme....LOL

Anonymous said...

"Singapore : A country of Extremes"

If I were PAP, what's wrong with that?

As long as at least 60% are sensible to vote PAP because PAP is the best available political party.

All 81 (elected and walkover)PAP MPs are united and accept PM Lee as their leader.

Can you find 81 opposition candidates under one party willing to accept Lucky Tan as their leader?

If that day comes, maybe opposition got hope to win and become govt lah. Then Lucky Tan will move the country from extreme to normal.

Anonymous said...

Lucky Tan is very good in blogging.

As good leader of a strong political party like PAP? Don't know leh.

Anonymous said...

What is the point of having the latest gadgets and the materials goods if your parents keep a very close watch on your every move,

treat you like as if are not capable of independent thinking, dictate what you wear, what you eat, what to do in the future , give you curfew, shut you up whe speak, force to do thing against your will and life's interests.

Would one be happy if one have everything in life except FREEDOM.

Anonymous said...

Who are you to think that the 60% of the population cant evaluate the facts and the performance of our government using our peanut mind? The world not only consist of black and white and please do not for a freaking second think that we dont care about our country or that we are brain-washed just because we have a different opinion.

Anonymous said...

Living in this costly city (created by the goverment) is bad enough but many Singaporeans stressed themselves out by pursuing a highly materialistic life style. Keeping up with the Joneses syndrome ?

It is a disgrace that we have to debate so much just to give the maids a day off. It is miserable to have to work 24/7 ! Singaporean guys should understand this well. No book out from your army camp during your whole 2 yeras in NS ? Anyone ?

yao said...

Lets think wad if one day Singapore lands in opposition hands. which is <60% of the seats are opposition. What will Singapore be? i would feel our economy would go downward within the years the reign power. Why i would say that. You see for the most recent parliament debate, MP Low, suggestions were all well answered by the finance minster. His suggestion were to the welfare of the people, but does he look at the bigger picture? Will foreign investment be drawn away? Though more jobs would be created for Singaporeans, will the foreign mnc stay with the policies suggested by MP low, be effective to make them stay? There's alot question to their ability to handle these issues. Do they really have the thoughts of a better Singapore or trying something they are also uncertain with? Its like having the shell without the fruits in it where the fruits are the we want. Unless most of the people just like to judge its book by the cover. Think people. You might be feeling that you are stuck in the lower end of the country and kept kbkb the gov to provide a more affordable life for you. Why not you start using the time u kbkb to learn and try hard to make your life better. Like a saying, NO ONE OWES YOU A LIVING. you have to fight the live of your own.

Anonymous said...

Frankly why the car trader is given a blank cheque to bid on behalf of car owners still remain a mystery to me ?

Isn't it a fucked up bidding system that we have allowed someone else to dictate what we can afford to pay for a COE when that someone has their own interests as priority over ours ?

Is it any wonder that our own leaders has dared to refer to us as daft ?

Anonymous said...

Keep voting Opposition.

No need to beg the Party Against People to give us cheap housing.

If Opposition wins 2 GRCs in GE 2016.
You will get a U-turn in HDB housing prices & policy.
Then suddenly we will have “inclusive” housing policy.

Just like you vote Opposition in GE 2011
You got a budget U-turn in 2012.
An “inclusive” budget.

40% votes = 6 Opposition MPs
80% votes = 12 Opposition MPs

Don’t worry.
There will be no freak election results in GE 2016 because of gerrymandering.

PAP will win in GE 2016.
But vote Opposition to get the goodies.
Like free Teochew porridge in Hougang.

Cyril said...

After reading the article, I find it quite interesting, that recently, the papers has been talking about the aging population in Singapore. And the possibility that we have to embrace the increase in government revenue (through taxes or other means) in the near future.

But here we are paying for the highest cost of car ownership (COE of 80K), and most expensive public housing in the world.. etc etc. On the other end, these extra money went to our leaders whom are paid the highest salaries in the world even after the recent 30% cut.

Anonymous said...

"Like a saying, NO ONE OWES YOU A LIVING. you have to fight the live of your own.

24/3/12 17:54"

Agreed.

So don't expect make mistakes here and there and is still ok.

Anonymous said...

yao said;
"Why not you start using the time u kbkb to learn and try hard to make your life better. Like a saying, NO ONE OWES YOU A LIVING. you have to fight the live of your own."
24/3/12 17:54

And yao completely misses the point.

The Ministers don't owe Singaporeans a living.
We agree. Our lives are quite miserable thanks to the government policies, thank you very much.

And Singaporeans don't owe the Ministers a living either.
What do we get in return for paying you the highest salaries in the world?
You call us daft.
And you tell us you don't owe us a living.
So what the fark are we paying you for?

If you Ministers think we Singaporeans are ungrateful, please leave us.
Please emigrate to another country that can better utilize your talent.
You are not doing us any favours by hanging around in Singapore.
Please go.

Many of us are just waiting for the big day when some of you go up the lorry.

Anonymous said...

The way forward for the country is to narrow the extremes and improve the life of ordinary citizens.

Hope the Government will take steps to make it happen soon.

Start with affordable healthcare policy and Singapore "first" manpower policy.

Anonymous said...

Ok... Less whining more problem solving time. 10,000 uncles and aunties everyday complaint about the same things again and again. You give me the solutions to the problems listed above and if they're any good then I'll vote you no doubt. I don't want to vote for someone who is all talk and no substance. What are the answer to these problems mate?

Temasek Revealed said...

yao:"Lets think wad if one day Singapore lands in opposition hands. which is <60% of the seats are opposition."

when <60% of the seats are non-PAP, they are the ruling government and PAP is the opposition.

get your facts right

we don't owe PAP a vote

Anonymous said...

COE should be even higher in my opinion. It would be a disaster if cars are cheap and every singaporeans can afford it. What will happen to our roads? Do you want to take 4 hours to travel from the West to the East because of traffic congestion? Do you want to wait up to an hour for a parking lot on a weekend?

As for public housing, have you considered Hong Kong? An average Hong Kong graduate earns less than a Singaporean graduate and they pay ridiculous amount for a public apartment which is the size of a Singapore 3-room flat. Another thing to note is that most HongKongers do not get to vote when it comes to selecting their chief executive, Singaporeans do and most chose PAP.

As for stress level, try asking the Koreans and Japanese if Singapore is stressful. Most of them who are living in Singapore would say Singapore isn't. People in Singapore do not study 16-20 hours just to get into a 2nd or 3rd tier University (Tokyo University is virtually impossible to enter for most students no matter how hard they work). Also, Koreans have so many graduates and there are not enough graduate jobs for everyone. Therefore, many of the korean graduates ended up being cab drivers in order to have some sort of income to feed themselves, how's that for stress?

I'm not a PAP supporter and I agree with some of your point but no government is perfect. There's certainly a tradeoff to be made if we want Singapore to be prosperous because we lack land, resources and talent in many areas.

Anonymous said...

////
COE should be even higher in my opinion. It would be a disaster if cars are cheap and every singaporeans can afford it. What will happen to our roads? Do you want to take 4 hours to travel from the West to the East because of traffic congestion? Do you want to wait up to an hour for a parking lot on a weekend?
////

Our road are congested not because we have too much car, but under investment on transport infrastructure to build property for foreigners.

PAP told us land is limited, so we must have COE. The next second PAP told us Singapore is too big, we must import more foreigners.

As for Korea and Japan, the people are screwed by highh property price.

There is no reason why Nordic Europe is able to enjoy welfare while Japanese, having more capital and more advance are not able to.

The Japanese languish simply because of their blood sucking elites who want to oppress their citizens.

Anonymous said...

Anon 25/3/12 08:15

Exactly lah.

Because I believe Singapore is still better than Hong Kong, Japan and Korea.

If not how can PAP got at least 60% votes for the past 46 years?

Also maybe that's why intelligent people like Lucky Tan still don't want to join opposition, despite how extreme he described Singapore.

Anonymous said...

Singapore is so small & disadvantaged yada, yada.
So we must vote PAP yada, yada.
Please be constructive yada, yada.

If you are out of ideas.
If you are tired.
If you have no vision.
If you have no energy & desire to give Singaporeans a better life.

Please.
Do everybody a favour and get lost.
Emigrate to a country who can pay you better for singing the same old 45 year old song & dance.

Take your elitist-fascist message to Africa, America, Russia, China, or India.

Just go & get lost.
And take your gerrymandering shit with you.

Anonymous said...

"Japan’s health-insurance system covers everybody, including illegal aliens. It pays for physical, mental, dental, and long-term care.

Japanese are the world’s most prodigious consumers of medical care; they see the doctor about 15 times per year, three times the U.S. norm. They get twice as many prescriptions per capita and three times as many MRI scans. The average hospital stay is 20 nights—four times the U.S. average.

Cost: And yet Japan produces all that high-quality care at bargain-basement prices. The aging nation spends about $3,500 per person on health care each year; America burns through $7,400 per person and still leaves millions without coverage."
http://www.johnharding.com

Anonymous said...

Warning! PAP Internet brigade mobilized! Beware of imitations! Choose genuine branded products.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I do agree with your opinion that we should have more opposition representation in the parliament as well, but that cannot be the only reason we vote opposition members in. Some of the opposition candidates are still very questionable, and if voted in, would be just tarnishing the overall image of the opposition candidates. Yes, we should give more quality opposition candidates a chance in 2016, so lets just wait to see who the opposition parties can bring out.:)

Anonymous said...

The Pro Alien Party is the problem.

Anything that keeps the Pro Alien Party out.
Even a monkey.
Is the cure.

40% votes = 6 Opposition MPs
80% votes = 12 Opposition MPs

Don’t have to worry.
There will be no freak election results in GE 2016 because of gerrymandering.

PAP will win in GE 2016.

So vote Opposition to get a more "inclusive" Singapore from the Proud Arrogant People.

Anonymous said...

i wonder how many comments could link what you say above to the governing party. Most issues are obviously the results of over demanding singaporeans. Low birth rate? if you cant recreate for your country, are we all gonna sit here and wait for the country to die?

Anonymous said...

" Some of the opposition candidates are still very questionable, ..."
anon:25/3/12 10:44

You just don't get it.
The Opposition is not the problem.

The Party Against People is the problem ... right now.

Anonymous said...

"Low birth rate? if you cant recreate for your country, are we all gonna sit here and wait for the country to die?"
@ ANON: 25/3/12 11:16

The Pro Alien Party is the problem.

No Pro Alien Party.
No problem.
A happier Singapore.

Anonymous said...

// Anon. 25/3/12 08:53

Because I believe Singapore is still better than Hong Kong, Japan and Korea.

If not how can PAP got at least 60% votes for the past 46 years? //


Common sense!
A ruling party with absolute control of almost everything should have no problem to obtain more than 60% of votes.

Anonymous said...

This is an amazing blogspot. It is incisive and seen as a whole, is surgical. You're a blessing, Mr. Tan.

Anonymous said...

Your answer to the last part of your blog entry is this:

It will be a slow and painful process. Many Singaporeans will fall sick during the process and it's has been happening for the past 15 years.

Concerned said...

Anonymous 23/3/12 14:43,

Mark my words, I can see the collapse of our property market. It is looming in the horizon. In 30 years' time in Marine Parade and in many other areas, when the remaining leases of the HDB flats fall to around the 30-year levels, can you honestly believe that such flats can still hold on to the high prices of today? It is a depressing thought. What is going to happen to the many citizens, after placing their trust and faith in the asset enhancement policy, when they find themselves saddled with a depreciating asset and insufficient CPF savings to meet retirement needs? When that happens, the MIW today will not be around to answer any questions or to be accountable to the people of Singapore.

Anonymous said...

The reason why spore is all that stated in the article, is because pple love to sit back, be arm chair critics, wirte a few articles and post it online and then do nothing to change their lives.
Who are the real hypocrites?
Let me give all u pple an advice ur parents or ancestors wld agree. Stop the pathetic whining on the Internet and get ur hands dirty.
Whatever the kind of life you want, you have to work for it.
"Dont pray for easier lives, pray to be stronger men"

Anonymous said...

"Dont pray for easier lives, pray to be stronger men"

Totally agree.

Be a strong man.
Vote Opposition.
Voting Opposition is like making love.
It gets easier with practice.

The Pariah said...

@Anonymous 24/03/2012 00:14 hours - About Minister Khaw Boon Wan's $8 heart surgery ... it's true.

Pls re-read Gerard Ee's Ministerial Pay Review on "Medical Benefits" under Medisave-cum-Subsidised Outpatient (MSO) scheme.

QUOTE: Under the MSO scheme, political appointment holders do not receive any hospitalization benefits. They receive $70 per month (capped at 17 months ie $1,190 per annum) in their Medisave account which can be used to buy Medisave-approved medical insurance. Outpatient subsidy (including co-payment of medical expenses at restructured hospitals) is capped at $350 a year. They are also reimbursed 50% of their dental expenses, up to a maximum subsidy of $70 per year.
END QUOTE.


As MOH policy maker and then as Health Minister, Khaw Boon Wan mandated "10% co-insurance" and "min $1,500 deductibles/policy year" as inherent checks-and-balances against potential abuse of medical resources and claims.

However, Minister Khaw then crafted a bypass where those who can afford it can buy riders to cover such co-insurance and deductibles, thus UNDERMINING the very same checks-and-balances in the national healthcare insurance scheme.

That's why Khaw only had to pay $8 cash for his heart surgery in Class A ward!

What's sauce for the gander is NOT sauce for the goose.

It's all LEGAL ... just as our Parliament has passed laws:

- to give Pay And Pension (PAP) for ministers and political office holders;

- to accord higher priority to HDB Lift Upgrading based on higher % of PAP votes;

- to gag the President who can only speak "under advice" despite being elected by all Singaporeans;

- to appoint PAP cadre members as "advisors" in opposition MP electoral wards;

- to give sole discretion to one man (viz, the PM) as to when (if at all) to call for by-election if an electoral seat falls vacant;

- to make "national wealth redistribution" pay-outs just prior to every GE which makes vote-buying a moot point;

- to empower 80% of your neighbours to force-sell your family condo home despite your objections to such en bloc sale;

- to sanction demolition of a condo on the same day that TOP (Temporary Occupation Permit) is issued when keys could be handed over by developers to end-buyers if 90% of the owners agree to an en bloc sale ... all within the framework of Sustainable Redevelopment, of course;

- to have no distinction between those who are owner-occupiers with only one condo as their family home and those who are flippers who bought condos for immediate "en bloc potential" ... so much for URA's "Endearing Home" whose new focus is on "A Great Place to Live, Work and Play In"

CASINO HOTEL SINGAPORE INC - Way to go, my fellow Singaporeans!

jasmine said...

the price of COE has gone crazy and we don't even receive a piece of paper to begin with...

Anonymous said...

Welcome to XINCHIAPORE....Where the rich survive...the poor dies....by the BLOOD SUCKER ruler....

Anonymous said...

Honestly, if you ask me, do we have any solutions to problems stated? The answer is No. I have asked some of my smart esteemed colleagues and none of them have solutions to income disparity, global trade imbalances, global inflation and etc. Do you think the opposition parties will have? I won't become a politician because it is not very tough. How many PMs has Japan seen? You want to see change but will you become the Gandhi?

Anonymous said...

corrected, "it is very tough "

Cherry con Carne said...

We are too dependent on the government? More like the government is dependent on us to continue lining their fat pockets!

Anonymous said...

first world problems

Anonymous said...

EXACTLY!

Anonymous said...

Maybe you can contest for the next election and try to solve all these problems and complaints :)

ibatawi said...

This is a strange place , Earn $10K a month but quality of life is Zero.

Anonymous said...

//Honestly, if you ask me, do we have any solutions to problems stated? The answer is No. I have asked some of my smart esteemed colleagues and none of them have solutions to income disparity, global trade imbalances, global inflation and etc. Do you think the opposition parties will have? I won't become a politician because it is very tough.
Anon. 26/3/12 10:54//

Very tough ? Our ministers are having an easy life. Problems not solved yet they still enjoying exorbitant salary for many years.

robs said...

Well, on a good note, it keeps our roads empty and we won't be complaining about traffic jams if Gov does not control vehicles. Anyway, came across this interesting service that pays people to drive by putting advertising decals on their cars. Anyone seen such cars?
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Get-Paid-to-Drive-in-Singapore/313651772023206

Anonymous said...

The concept of animal spirits in good times and bad times:

"When times are good; people will take advantage of 'loopholes in the system' across the country and maximize profits from the old, uneducated and very sick people."

"When times are bad; people will take advantage of a chaotic situation across the country and grab whatever valuables they see and run for the exit."

Anonymous said...

23/3/12, Anon 12:01

My thoughts exactly. In Japan, you get subsidised healthcare and you don't even work as much as singaporeans. Singaporeans work the longest hours in the world. Many think that the Japanese work a lot.

They do. Albeit, they have 8 more public holidays than Singaporeans. Golden week and silver week to a name a few.

There are also many unofficial holidays on the calender such as Obon day for the dead relatives, which could go up to 2 to 3 days for those who live further away from work.

So there are plenty of pockets of rest periods and so the japanese could work longer and better.

Coupled with a retirement age of 60, where they get state pension as long as they have been gainfully employed.

The japanese housewives who do not work also get state pension when these women reach 60 years old.

In Singapore, you have to reverse mortgage or downgrade to a smaller flat to eke on a paltry sum each month which can't sustain your lifestyle.

It is my view that Singaporeans are strongly short-changed as citizens.

This is disheartening. Here in Japan, everyone who is gainfully employed get subsidised healthcare by the state. Including a foreigener such as myself.

If Japan could provide subsidised healthcare for foreigners, why are Singaporeans not accorded even such a basic requirement?

Our government is not working hard enough for the Singaporeans.

Anonymous said...

I am an Australian who lived in Singapore for 5 years and I was horrified by the actions of the PAP to stay in power- the crazy gerrymander, use of defamation law, banning public assemblies and publications, calling elections with no notice, requiring huge financial deposits from candidates, lack of transparency on the ownership of government assetts, threatening to cut off voters form services depending on their vote, etc... Singapore in no way resembles a true 'democracy'.
Why do people keep voting for a party that makes them work 6 days a week? That controls where you live, and maintains a high price for that housing? That seems to make life as hard as possible for its people, but easier and more lucrative for foreigners like me?
The Singapore Govt is not even great with its finances- Singapore has one of the highest government debt ratios to GDP (over 100 percent like Greece/ Australia 16 percent) and has lost billions of your retirement savings in non-transparent investments.
BUT if you keep voting PAP you get what you deserve- a country that may or may not be rich (dpending on the hidden Sing Govt investments) and a soul owned by the almighty dollar..

Anonymous said...

Change your perspective, change your life. Dwelling solely on the negative would unfortunately, turn anything you see into something negative. And perhaps you could conduct this exercise by yourself:

With regards to all these phenomena that you have mentioned (in a negative light), write down what you think are ideal situations for them. Then critically think of what you can be done to achieve an ideal with respect to other areas.

For example:
Observed: COE has reached $80 000.
Ideal: COE is non-existent. Everyone can own a car.
To achieve ideality: Infrastructure has to improve greatly. Build more roads, so that when there are more cars, there won't be huge jams. (question: How bad are current jams, with regulations in place to decrease car prices? What will happen to a Singapore if everyone can get their Hyundai with just SGD15000?)

If you can manage to reconcile all these observations with idealities with the welfare of Singaporeans in mind, then go be a politician. If you cannot, just admit that our complaints are myopic, and start thinking of plausible solutions. Talk is cheap, friends.

Anonymous said...

I love my country, but right now it really is a choice between slightly smarter thieves and populist retards. There is not much of a choice. I voted for the retards to punish the thieves, but really, either way, I lose.

Anonymous said...

'Change your perspective, change your life'

That is a convenient way to excuse the corrupt behaviours of others- and not how democracies work.
Elected officials are expected to perform- if not they should expect to be thrown out at the next election. It is not up to you to continually change your pespectives to excuse their mistakes and failings.

Anonymous said...

Let us all make the correct choice in 2016, and may the 60.1% wake up their ideas.

Anonymous said...

If you watch "The Hunger Games", and in retrospective put yourself in their shoes, will changing your perspective change your life?

If things are broken, fix it, before it gets worse. Selective perception does not make issues go away, or do you not see the problem with our country?

I agree that talk is cheap, but I have exercised my rights and out it into action by casting my vote for WP in GE 2011 and till date, they have proposed decent solutions to some issue - The question is, have you?

Anonymous said...

I totally couldn't agree more than what you have written.

As a Singaporean, I have not feel a sense of belonging. I'm looking for every opportunity to migrate with my entire family if possible .... We are a family of 10 and are so much willing to give up our citizenship and get every single cents out of our CPF. What the point of working till we pay off our house when we might die earlier then expected. What's the point of having your hard earned money guarded by a bunch of people who say they are looking after your future and these people are complete strangers to us. What rights do they have to hold back and decide when we should our retirement be ....

Therefore, I totally agree with young married couples who decided that having children is suffering. Beside you suffer, the children suffer too either in school or society.

Anonymous said...

Keep sharing. These articles will wake Sinagporeans who are still sleeping.

petunialee said...

What I find shocking is that the government puts everything down to the electorate's perception. Perception is not truth and therefore the government need do nothing. Clearly, the tuition industry boom is a direct result of teaching in schools that cannot keep up with the rising testing standards. But no... the tuition problem is parental perception.

Anonymous said...

i think those sitting in the higher up positions are too complacent andlazy to make changes even if they know it'll benefit the people. They even more scared they'll be shaken from their own comfort, so they cannot be bothered to make changes unless it benefits them.

Anonymous said...

i think those sitting in the higher up positions are too complacent andlazy to make changes even if they know it'll benefit the people. They even more scared they'll be shaken from their own comfort, so they cannot be bothered to make changes unless it benefits them.

Anonymous said...

Dear Tan,

"Singaporeans pay the 2nd highest electricity tariffs in the world" - that's among a list of 21 cities. There are 2.47 million cities in the world.

"We have the 2nd highest per capita execution rate in the world" - that's until 1999, which in case you don't have access to a calendar is 13 years ago.

"Singaporean workers work the longest hours according to ILO" - that's in comparison with 12 other countries. And that was during an economic downturn; we ought to celebrate.

"We also have the world's the longest-serving prisoner of conscience, Chia Thye Poh" - I think the Wikipedia article said perhaps. You might want to check that word out in the dictionary.

"Singaporean workers are the world's unhappiest" - please, don't get me started on how the world consists of more than 14 countries.

"Singapore probably has some of the best educated cabbies in the world due to severe structural unemployment" - what are you trying to suggest about the correct level of education for taxi drivers? Maybe you'd like to check out London cabbies, who complete a three-year course before they receive their license.

That's just a sample of the bullshit you've tried stuffing into your trusting, unsuspecting readers' minds - a sample because I've only cross-checked data with the links that you provided. I didn't bother checking the rest because it's probably all rubbish.

Anonymous said...

"The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppose."

Frederick Douglass

Anonymous said...

Good for you, dumbass. You actually bothered to verify the data...
Probably rising COE & home prices... are all just myths. No such thing!
I'm glad you are happy to be in this box.

Well, I don't like it here and I'm not going to do anything about it. I'm just gonna leave to somewhere else one day. Singapore will just be another holiday destination for me to visit my relatives and old friends.

Honestly, I don't think the opposition can do anything about the mess that govt has created over the years. Either way, the system will soon collapse.

But as for you.... GOOD FOR YOU! Congrats to be among the delusion. Happy that you are 'Happy"

Anonymous said...

The foreign maids in Singapore are the among lowest paid in the world[Link] - large part of what you pay goes to the levy yet the whole country can debate for months over giving the maid one day off per week when this is mandatory in every other country where they are better paid.

What is exactly the rationale for the levy?
Maid $300, Levy $300?
Why not Maid $580, Levy $20?
You will have happier maids, who will work weekends happily...
Higher pay means less problems right, didn't we apply that to the govt's salary already?

Whatever!! I don't need a maid anyway...

Anonymous said...

You hire a maid to look after your elderly parents.
Maid levy = tax on filial piety

You hire a maid to look after your children.
Maid levy = tax on having more children

Anonymous said...

While I agree that there should not be elderly workers around in Singapore, why are you giving outdated information?

(And to the haters out there: Go get UPDATED information before you all go hater mode. Some of you present very good arguments but if you present someone with outdated information, it is just plain silly)

I don't see why have you pointed out the death penalty as a problem in Singapore. I've not ever seen ANY political opponents get executed in Singapore's history. The death penalty was introduced to end the live of criminals that commits heinous crimes and so far, it has done well as a deterrent to prevent serious crimes from happening. Have YOU ever considered why we are regarded as one of the safest countries in the world?
To the opponents of the death penalty: I suppose you like people who commit murder, serious crimes and get away with it.

Why include HK(electricity tariffs) when they clearly have a country to back them up? If you plan to argue on me with this, I'd only say this, do you think the PRC would give up on a place like HK? Think again.

I don't see what is the big issue with the electric tariffs when really, no one is really complaining/bitching about it at the moment. Still it is a good move to bring 'hatred' to the the government in power.

Singaporeans workers have high stress, as much as how much that really SUCKS(stress is bad), don't make me mention Japan please. They have a high rate of suicide there.
Go look up Aokigahara and Chuo Rapid Line. Bedok reservoir will strictly pale in comparison.

So what if Mr LKY was the longest serving PM in the world? I dare you to find a BETTER PM than him. I can't help but say most of you here are a bunch of ungrateful brats that simply just can't be appreciative of the changes made. Maybe you like living in a third world Singapore?

Chia Thye Poh = Barisan Sosialis(
Perhaps Mr lucky failed to see the word, 'perhaps'.

Foreign maids in Singapore are paid the lowest? Yes you are absolutely correct but the PROBLEM lies with the PEOPLE. Singaporeans are UNWILLING to increase the salary of their maids. If you really wanna argue about a foreign maid's wedges, you could probably change the mentality of the people around you first. I guarantee most of us don't even respect the work that foreign maids do and some of the living conditions maids go through is absolutely horrible.
You guys talk so much shit but yet you guys lack basic respect. Can't respect foreign maids, can't respect normal people, confirm next time even if the opposition is in power, you guys will talk the same shit all over again.

It really sucks to see someone with a PHD from stanford become a taxi driver but like what some above posters have mentioned, getting a degree isn't a sure guarantee to a permanent job. It's a harsh reality out there. Graduates in other countries are also not able to find jobs.

And to the people who say the current government is bullshit, name me a government that is better.

If you call me a PAP dog/lackey whatever, you're an opposition dog/lackey yourself. Contradicting yourself makes you look foolish.

Anonymous said...

Is COE really a solution to motor population? Does it really help?
Do we have to increase prices to everything in order to restrict ownership?

Solution to Traffic Jams without the use of COE

1) Minimum clocking of 100km mileage per day on weekdays.
- If you are desk bound, just use the public transport.
- Restrict usage during peak periods to Outdoor Salesman, Despatch, Delivery Drivers, etc. Don't see why a doctor, lawyer, teacher, hotel manager etc, should even be driving to work...

2) Compulsory usage of school buses/public transport for every student. No driving of children to/from school.
- Stop spoiling your kids!!
- Students (above 18) should not be driving to school

3) Maximum One Car per home, regardless of the size of your house.
- You want to buy a car, buy a house first.

COE is not a solution but another revenue.

Anonymous said...

Another Happy Dumbass...

Again... Maids in Singapore are paid the lowest because of the levy, you dumbass!
The international rate for a maid is $600, our govt just decided to take half... Nothing to with paying our maids lesser.... get it you dumbass?

Urmmm, do you know it takes a lot of guts to take your own life? SGPreans are bred to be afraid of everything.... fines, traffic police, govt, death...
Japanese, on the other hand, love to kill themselves... since the Samurai days... they're probably suicidal not because of stress, but shame... get it you dumbass??

Being the govt gives you the right to be God and take someone else's life, regardless of the reason?
Death Penalty make your streets safe? Are you sure? SGPreans are afraid to break the law just because it is too small a country and too easy to be caught doing so... nothing to do with death penalty... get it you dubmass??

If you have enough lifetimes to live in enough countries with several governance... you will realize that all govts are bullshit, and ours is no better...
And I don't see how is it so difficult managing such a country as small as SGP as compared to all other larger countries...

You know what dumbass... just stay happy in your little box... one day you will understand... unless you are an old old man...

Anonymous said...

guys guys.. do you know that LKY was pretty in favor in communist? he actually had this communist thinking in his mind. he like that old fashion system on how they choose their people based on their family background, how good in their studies or what sort of holder they achieved. which i think its unfair.

for example, choosing a manager for the SMRT corporation. look at Saw Phaik Hwa. She is totally have no background knowledge in transportation. She only know and cares on how to made lots of profits for SMRT. well that may be good for the company. but then, in the end, the company image suffers. transportation breakdown, increase in transport fares. this will have quite an impact to the commuters. why SMRT dont just choose a CEO who is really knowledgeable in transportation system? and who have the passion in providing world class transportation to the public? i bet there are plenty of people who wanted to serve the public by providing better services for the people. everyone wants a better quality of life. not making life more and more difficult and suffering. agree?

Anonymous said...

In USA the government has already implemented a rule that protest are no longer allowed.

Privation is the caused of the increase in electricity. Try nationalisation.

just_a_poly_guy said...

well said, buddy! that guy is really a retard. government only know how to make lots of money. and keep into their pockets. they should use that money to give more subsidies and invest on the country's development

Anonymous said...

"Singapore probably has some of the best educated cabbies in the world due to severe structural unemployment" - what are you trying to suggest about the correct level of education for taxi drivers? Maybe you'd like to check out London cabbies, who complete a three-year course before they receive their license.

Erm, i won't be using londno cabbies as an example. It is necessary that London cabbies to have 3 years course. The course is entirely different from having a PHD. At least cabbies have to memorise and know every streets in london and plus plus plus.

Anonymous said...

Just watch let's make money. See how Singapore operates. O well, heck with globalisation.

Anonymous said...

LOL, even the symbol for Communist represents communist.

Anonymous said...

Well said, though some of these rules sound a little draconian, but i'm certain if these rules are in place, u'll see the same bunch of pple bitching about them again. ;)

Anonymous said...

Seriously. Can people like Lucky Tan or the many passionate folks out there join the opposition? Form a good strong party to lead ordinary Singaporeans like me. Lead us to Freedom and show us how we have suffered. We need enlightenment from people who can offer better solutions and show great love for the nation. I am waiting for that HERO or that GROUP of HERO to arise from amongst you guys.

It is sad to see that some of you ask those 60% of PAP voters to get lost. We are all countrymen. If you are right, the 60% will soon see. At least you guys should stand out in unity and show them. I see many passionate folks here. With great ideas and directions. So why not stand in line to fight for your beliefs? I am sure if the oppositions can unite, and you talented folks can join power to stand up for what you believe in, the 60% of the nation may be win over.

No point blogging and blogging and just blogging...and asking your fellow countrymen to get lost. If your causes and arguments are valid and firm, you should seek to convince and show your fellow countrymen the way.

We all love the nation in our own ways and as Singaporeans we have every right to stay here, in our home, whichever party we vote for. I would love to see people like Lucky Tan debate in the parliament and not just blog about his thoughts. Put those passion into actions.

In any case, if I still vote for PAP, please do not force me out of my homeland. Try convincing me and win me over.

Anonymous said...

as usual, complain, complain...the article leaves a lot to be desired in terms of facts.

Anonymous said...

Of course you/we there is a never-ending list of complains but Singaporeans are generally not aware of how lucky they are as compared to many other countries, even the US, where many 'think' is a wonderful place. There are always 2 sides to a story and people do move into SG for things like education (i'm not saying it's the best but the standard is undeniably there) and safety, intangible things which you cannot put a price tag on. So while you may be voicing your thoughts, it bothers me that people want to share your article just so as to 'protest' against the government.

Dr De said...

I laughed at

"Structural unemployment comes at a pace where many well educated people can see it and know it. Teach our children to learn this lesson."

What if I changed it to

"Murder and rape cases come at a pace where many well educated people can see it and know it. Teach our children to learn this lesson."

Its a true statement for sure. Certainly we should be aware of it's prevalence and teach our children the same. I just wonder if that's the right attitude towards such a thing.

"High electricity bill ? Use less. I am sure we all can do a lot more on our utilities."

Yes don't waste electricity writing dumb blog posts. Turn off your computer and room lights, go outside and smell the reality instead. But make sure you walk and don't drive.

"Eat healthy and move more. Never allow people to help us to get up from a chair."

Because thats the solution to all of your health problems from now till the day you die. Getting off your seat by yourself will keep away cancer, dementia and arthritis and everything else. Keep smoking dumba*s.

I for one am all for positive vibes and feeling better, and this post certainly made me laugh and feel better about myself. Thanks man.

Anonymous said...

Singapore is not the PAP, and the PAP is not Singapore.

Singapore is a wonderful place, full of great people, and the PAP is just one political party in the country. It is possible to criticise, even hate the PAP, and still love Singapore.

All one party states eventually fall- even the enormous Soviet Union fell apart eventually. The PAP will fall, the only question is when, who to, and will it be peaceful and gracious in defeat.

Those who argue that Singapore will fall apart, and its economic miracle will collapse without the PAP just prove what a fragile and weak economic state the PAP have created. If the PAP has built a solid and secure country over the last 45+years, a change of government should be of no concern at all.

Anonymous said...

The election is not "team-based" but rather the system is call first past the post, or FPTP which are generally practice in commonwealth country.

anteje said...

There are some fair observations, but many are not fair. One can spin any facts, consciously or not, to support one's view. Elderly working as cleaners for example, is that such a bad thing? Some do it out of necessity but some prefer to work and not be dependent on their kids. This is admirable trait, whether the children agree or not.

Taxi drivers having degree? How about prostitute? I have spoken to one with a law degree from the Philippines, plying her trade in Singapore. So what's so extreme about Singapore again? (for the record i was not using her 'service')

As they say, little knowledge is more dangerous than no knowledge. Having a view is important, but check your facts, and more importantly your biases. Otherwise you end up poisoning other people instead of illuminating them.

Anonymous said...

You have forgotten to add a few more extreme:

1. Singaporeans complain about rising car and housing prices, yet many still continue to buy them. This is in contrast to people in other counties where they complain only when they CANNOT AFFORD them at all!

2. We have extreme neighbors who can be exceptionally friendly when things go well but can be extremely hostile when there are crisis or disputes. Have you forgotten how Malaysia and Indonesia treated us during 1997 Asian Crisis? Have you forgotten that during one of our National Day in the early 1990s they held a joint exercise near our border, triggering a massive mob recall? So, we definitely need an extreme defense budget to counter this.

3. We are an extremely small developed nation and thus housing and car will definitely feel the squeeze yet we have very decent and extreme ownership rate for both!

4. We have one of the extremely low income and corporate tax. So, if you want higher healthcare subsidy, we will have to compromise some of this.

5. We have one of the extremely low crime rate and our hefty penalty for serious crime plays a part.

6. We are one of the country that took an extremely short time to become a developed nation; many people doubt that we can even survive at all with no water and 20% unemployment.

In addition your comparison of the communist prisoner with that of nelson mandela is extremely absurd.

Anonymous said...

High stress level and unhappiness at work is the corporate culture here and has nothing to do with PAP. Don't blame the government for everything. As Asians, this is part of our culture to work and earn hard. Just look at HK, Japan and South Korea as examples. This is a virtue that somewhat becomes a burden as well. But overall it is better than eating away the countries resources and make the next generation suffers. Look at the PIGS in Euro.

Anonymous said...

"many people doubt that we can even survive at all with no water and 20% unemployment.
Anon 27/3/12 06:49"

Thank you for your comment. I like to see some healthy arguement.

Hong Kong and Taiwan do not have much space and resources they are doing well. They do not have PAP or LKY.

If 50 years ago Singapore population is 90% african, you think Singapore still the same in 2012?

If LKY was born in Africa, say Mali, can he turn Mali become like a Singapore.

Anonymous said...

I am skeptical of what was mentioned in the post. The data obtained are skewed towards the negative reelection of the situation in spore. I'm currently living in London and I must say, Singapore cost of living is not as high as what you people are making up. Don't challenge me by saying that they are paid higher in the uk. As a matter of fact, their starting pay for undergrads are not high and in fact low taking into acct og the high cost of livingin London.

keongzai said...

Thoughtfully written. I was just discussing with my friends about this. I think you summed it all up nicely. I hope a tipping point comes very soon.

Snark said...

Lucky must be so proud. His blog entry has had such a intense debate over issues in Singapore. How much is the brigade is being paid to post here, I would like to know?

Anonymous said...

"Hong Kong and Taiwan do not have much space and resources they are doing well. They do not have PAP or LKY."

Hong Kong and Taiwan are not even independant countries in the first place.

Hong Kong always has British and now China as big brothers to look after them. They do not need to bother about water, defence, etc.

Taiwan is a country of extreme interest to the US in order to counter China. Do you know how much $ Taiwan has received from US? If Taiwan is to fail one day, it can just obediently listen to its mother China and return to them. Do we want to return to Malaysia if we fail one day and be subjected to their race based policies? Think again.

Anonymous said...

When extreme demand resulted from the affluence of the mass population met extreme supply resulted from extreme small land space, we will have extreme prices. Government has already subsized and allocate newly built public houses based on needs rather than price. If we expect the same for resale market and cars, we will need extreme resources and land space for these. So where does extreme resources come from? Deplete ourreserve? Heavy tax? Many suggested cut defence spending. But imagine with me if you are the only rich household in the midst of a place filled with poorer ones, won't security will be your utmost concern? Many have forgotten, that our neighbours threaten to shut off the water, and called us little red dot, Israel of the East and a cat waiting to be skinned not too long ago. Smaller developed state like Lux, Hong Kong, etc do not need to be concerned of security as they have big brothers to protect them. Do we have? US? US interest here is not as strong as Middle East where there's oil or in Taiwan where they use it to counter China. What do we have here to offer them? Maybe we can consider cutting defence spending if we join the NATO.

Nelson Mandela fights for the rights of the blacks. The communist prisoner you mention fight for communism. Do we want communism here? Look at Mynarmar, Cuba, North Korea and Mao-era China. Do we want that? I am glad we imprison them. Its extremely absurd to compare them.

Anonymous said...

To the dumbass guy that replied to me:
You didn't spell all the 'dumbass' correctly, dumbass,

So what? It still depends on an individual to decide how much to give to their maids, DUMBASS. Are you so stupid that you can't figure that out, dimwitted fool?

Now you don't get my point when I compared to Japan on suicide rates. It may take a lot of guts for one to commit suicide but it is the amount of desperation and stress that leads a person to suicide. Get that right.

Oh please spare me that morals bullshit, you are clearly someone that believe evil criminals shouldn't die and they should be given the second chance to roam around and kill someone again. I hope you don't become one of those victims. Are you a retard? It is precisely the death penalty will kill you, that's why NO ONE dares to commit a crime. Get it, you foul-mouthed idiot?

Why not you give me examples of a better country instead of giving me bullshit?

You too can live in a shithole till you die, believing that you are going to be in some utopia where you get a 'perfect everything'

NOW back to reality.

Grace-yi said...

Hmm.. I usually like to stay out of politics. But it seems like only way to solve the problem is for a change of heart.. For selfish people to start caring about others.. They have the resource to help.

Let each of you esteem and look upon
and be concerned for not [merely] his own interests, but
also each for the interests of others.
Philippians 2:4 AMP

Prayer does work.. Should not be used as a last resort..

If things can't work out naturally, perhaps it can be supernaturally..

Keep the hope alive..

Anonymous said...

"We have the most expensive public housing in the world." Have u ever been to China before??? Go travel more, before u make comments please..

Anonymous said...

It is always easy to comment and criticize with misleading statements. I think you can do better. Please give some original analysis on the reasons why and what causes all these issues.

dontbeextreme said...

yeah, maybe the current government sucks. but that doesn't mean the opposition is good either? how is the opposition gonna solve all this? comparing singapore with other countries isn't gonna get anywhere. we are a land of extremities and it is sad but is there really any other way to run this country? being angry with the current govt doesn't justify putting your trust in the opposition. that would be very childish. we can talk about rights and happiness all day but if you want the country to be succcessful, you're gonna have to cut back on conventional ideas of 'happiness' and 'good standard of living'. pap has done a bad job at delivering that but the opposition has not much to go on except words that incite the people. let's not equate this to skill. think wisely. don't bandwagon. both sides are not great. don't take an extreme.

dontbeextreme said...

singapore is a tricky case. if you don't want your children to grow up to be construction workers, how else are you gonna build all these buildings without pulling in tons of foreign workers? if you don't have expensive schemes for car ownership, don't complain about how you encounter traffic problem every day because that's precisely what it's working towards solving. if you don't want old people to clean toilets, would you like your children to grow up with that aspiration? if you think singaporeans give poor service, don't complain about the filipinos taking over the service sector. if you are not willing to be paid less, don't complain about our own singaporean employers choosing china employees over us.

our policies are dealing with all these little intricacies that are exclusive to small, resourceless yet ambitious singapore. if you want change, join a political party and jump into formulating policies. if you don't have the skill, first don't argue like you do.

i don't. this is a portal by which singaporeans should be united in a pro-improvement stance. it's appalling the number of references to blowjobs and the name-calling going around here. be pro-improvement, not pro-pap or pro-opposition. it's amazing the number of people who say 'i'm pissed off with pap. i'm voting opposition.' yes, pap does practise tyranny, and that's a good reason to reject them, but find a better reason to embrace the opposition because these should be 2 separate reasons.

what we can do, as non-politician citizens, is make the parties work. everybody's attitude right now is making each party cozy. pap is not gonna buck up much until the their supporters criticize their policies and can substantiate how the opposition could do a better job.

the opposition is not gonna buck up much unless their supporters show that their support is based on their show of skill and not just because they're cheesed over pap's politics.

make them work.

Anonymous said...

A single event in 2016 which is ?

OutsideIn said...

Coming from a Singaporean who has lived outside of singapore for more than 2 years now this article is really on point. Don't get me wrong i love my country but living outside of Singapore has opened my eyes as to how judgemental and rigid our society is.
Almost everyday i read on facebook about some of my singaporean friends complaining about PRCs. Does anyone realize how Racists, ignorant and judgemental it sounds. We are living in the era of globalization. Anywhere in the world you go to today is filled with globalization it is just a way of life now. However Singaporeans complain that there are foreigners stealing their jobs. Somewhere in the world there is a Singaporean stealing someones job too. Its because we dont have as many people we dont see the impact.
Also, the part about how we treat our maids is another thing that has bothered me. Even in the united states, bangladeshis and Filipinos are treated as equals and go to the same restaurants and bars and enjoy the same things in life. But in Singapore we treat them like they are of a lower class than we are.
If we do not expect to work 24 hours a day for the whole week how can we expect someone who is just as human as we are to do that? if we expect off days we should give off days too.. Just because they come to our country to work does not mean they should not have a life.
Singapore is wonderful beautiful country. I still today cannot find a better country to be a citizen off as it provides the best safety and security for everyone of us. However i suggest many of us should step outside the country for awhile to expand our minds and not constrict our thinking to the brand/image concious/ everyday complaining minds that it makes us become..

myfang said...

Interesting and well written! But would be good if u could share ur insights further on how possible we could mitigate the situation to the points that were brought up.. COE, healthcare... Foreigners

Joseph said...

Just migrate out, problem solved...

Anonymous said...

Interesting Article...

However, I don't think people who understand the intricacies of policy should attempt to prescribe your own solutions.

At least do some research. all these feelings of indignation alone will not get you anywhere.

The Pariah said...

Make the day for PAP - Emigrate and leave Singapore!

Fellow Singaporeans, this is your country. Why should you up and leave?

"Singapore is larger than PAP", as ex-Head of Civil Service Ngiam Tong Dow said.

Stay and fight ... and unite to shove PAP out if they can't and won't change their Progressive Corporatism of Pay And Profit (PAP).

PAP (People's Action Party) no longer acts for the People for the past 20 years after the Old Guard of Goh Keng Swee, Toh Chin Chye, S Rajaratnam, etc, stepped down.

steve said...

like it or not, that is just the way it is and always will be in singapore.

remember that we are only 700 plus square kilometres. our country cannot grow enough food to sustain our population, we cannot produce enough drinking water, heck, we can't even produce enough electricity without buying our oil and gas from other countries.

this "better quality of life" that you want cannot be had simply by wishing it into existence. so the PAP is voted out. some other party comes in. will your standard of living increase? maybe, if the new party decides to scrap the COE and increase the minimum wage. all singaporeans to be guaranteed a 50k annual income.

what will happen? inflation in the short run followed by economic stagnation in the long. yeah, we'll have more robust politics. maybe our people will be happier - but they will also be poorer. income disparity falls but it is because the middle to high income groups get less wages as the economy shrinks.

instead of grumbling, why don't we just put our heads down and work on our own lives? our own careers? get what we want ourselves instead of blaming the government for everything? hate your job cos it pays too little? improve your skills, polish your resume and find a better job. our economy is doing well enough that the jobs are still out there.

Anonymous said...

I am a singaporean. I stay in vietnam. I thought this would be a low cost place for me to stay. But I was wrong. This cost of corruption. High inflation. Height bank interest is killing everybody. But no people understand. We have the government that prepare for us. Not like vn, they take everything and yet do nothing. The average monthly salary is 150 usd. We can complain. But they can't. I do appreciate what I have in singapore after I stay in vn. For those who cannot appreciate try staying other country for a short period and you will know.

Anonymous said...

words without proven facts are like farts..u can smell em..but u cannot see it. opposition supporters talk a real good game. bitch n moan about how lousy our gahment is..either u do something abt it..go improve yer life? or gtfo from SG n go stay in USA or HK or Jpn..see how GOOOOD those countries are. How u are treated there..FULL medical benefits? homeless taken care of?? where does this money come from? THEIR TAXES! wake up n smell the coffee!? high electrical tarifs? switch off yer bloody pc/tv and woteva shit..go out n play..no AC then..look at the big picture before you pea-brains actually condemn our gahment..it's not the best..but at least they are trying to help everyone..even u dumb asses who cry abt how unfair life is..working hard for success nv hurts!

Anonymous said...

What can we do?

Anonymous said...

We are all being led by the nose, no matter which party or which person we choose to support/ follow. Even if we choose to be neutral about it we are still being led by the nose.

We chose to hide behide our computers complaining/ suggesting/ feedback/ commenting, but no action done just mere typing and talking.

I guess even if we migrate to our "desire or dream" country we will still be complaining. We are sort of brought up to be like this- unhappy grumpy people.

Even though Singapore is expensive but I CHOOSE to live here. I love Singapore, I appreciate the cleanliness, security, technology etc... I think it's a choice, either you stay, leave or do something about your unhappiness.

The government people, our leaders are so highly paid but I don't think they get to enjoy much... Like eating a plate of chao kway tiao from the hawker centre? Do they even have time to spend so much money? I respect them (pap, opposition parties whatever), because I think they are a group of people who needs to sacrifice a lot of their personal time for us. Making big responsibility decisions for us. Even lousy decisions are still decisions. Maybe you should try, since you think you can do better or make a better choice or a better idea to build up Singapore.

Anonymous said...

"Maybe you should try, since you think you can do better or make a better choice or a better idea to build up Singapore.
28/3/12 02:15"

So if you do not like BMW you will make one for yourself?

NO, we can choose. And we can influence other people how to choose the same.

Just like what you have just said.

Anonymous said...

"I think it's a choice, either you stay, leave or do something about your unhappiness
28/3/12 02:15"

Yes we are doing something about our unhappiness!

Anonymous said...

Another interesting post. As a foreigner, the Singapore you describe as it is today, is the product of many years of strong vision and stealth leadership. I'm sure it didn't become what it is today by accident. Some of you may be proud of what the country is made of or renowned for. But for some like you, the recipe for economic success has taken its toll. Because it's taken years to reach this point, a lot of factors have become engrained into your culture. If the citizens as a collective whole, really believe that it is time for a paradigm shift, then you as a whole must send a clear message to your leaders that you as followers are ready for change. But you need critical mass to do so. Ordinary citizens have an obligation to tell their leaders what they expect.

Are you ready to give up more money, that is, pay more tax, in exchange for more social services? so that the elderly are taken care of, the sick on a mediocre wage are able to access developed-world standard health care, etc? I'm just asking because it sounded like that was what you were alluding to.

Anonymous said...

I am a foreigner and I do feel for Singaporeans. The society has somehow been engineered to think the ways the government wants them to think. It all boils down to simple psychology. Slap you a fine, you will not behaveAnd accept whatever they have been spoon fed. I agree with some of the comments here, you do need to live in another country to see and experience for yourself other aspects of living. Until then you will always be like a frog living under the coconut shell.

Anonymous said...

Is Singapore running the biggest Ponzi scheme in the world? Why do we need to increase the population so rapidly if our country's reserve is getting such good return? Shouldn't the good return be sufficient to support a ageing population? Are we missing something?

Norway does not need to open up their economy to foreigners because their foreign reserves are giving good returns. Maybe the difference is that they invest a large portion of their money in the country rather than outside the country.

Anonymous said...

Wah!
Suddenly got so many PAP Internet Brigade coming here.

How to join?
Please tell me lah!

Right now I blog for free on behalf of the Opposition.

If PAP pays me to blog, then even better.
I argue with myself and get paid for it.

Anonymous said...

Good post. The stress of living in Singapore can be unbearable. The income gap is getting wider. The government is getting profit from the policies they implement. Eg. Too many cars and traffic jams, increase coe and erp, they get $. Problem somewhat unsolved.

We are working so hard just to support our basic needs. For those who say we could be much worst, that doesnt mean that we should not address our problems. Why cant we be better off? Its time for a change. Let our voices be heard, and not the racial slurs what we see in the news from the result of social decay..

singaporean said...

just a quick 2 cents worth. I always wondered if it's lack of trust and low self confidence due to prolong stagnation in the comfort zone. begin a fellow singaporean who had lived out of the country for 5 years. constantly get into debate with other singaporeans either living abroad or not. the one common phrase is 'aiyah, what to do or what can we do?' or more commonly (because i'm currently living in the west). we (asians) are different. we have be to practical. but being pragmatic to a cause that's not even to one's own benefit.

Is this pragmatism then not the same source that the gahmen draws energy and confidence from?

discuss.

Higher Education ERP said...

Hello Friends.........

Great information.Thanks for sharing this useful information with all of us.Keep sharing more in the future.

Have a nice time ahead.

Thanks

Keyang said...

This is so funny. For an article on Singapore the country, why are there so many shallow claims and voyeuristic comments on the government, and the government only? As though Singapore is really made up of 95% ministers and the rest of the 5% are out here typing their way to 'liberation' and 'progress for our nation'. Come up with some real suggestions and ideas please. We need to be a more constructive society.

The article is ludicrous in many ways. To begin with, it seems like the more 'extreme' the claims, the more they constitute a damning logical end. You certainly forgot a great deal many other extremes. I'll just add on a few (one Anonymous did come up with a lot of good ones). With an 'extremely' high GST rate of 7%, we certainly far exceed the 20% or up to 25% in the UK and Sweden respectively. Diversity wise, we are certainly very extreme in the eclectic mix of races right here. And that we lack so many 'desirable' things like pension and state welfare and a high level of job protectionism also adds to how extreme-ly we have deviated from the practice of other (may I add, uniquely different) welfare states like the United Kingdom.

Indeed, this is how a country should be run right? Shun the extremes, don't step on anyone's toes, pacify and satisfy every single soul. Let us forever strive to be average, no less, and of course no more.

And when we regret about that last part, write a grumpy article pretending to be well-researched and supported, or excitedly shoot off comments blasting the government for not helping people improve their lives beyond what is average with beyond average demands.

Isn't this good enough already? Look at all the comments, seems like everyone is feeling the same way. You're average enough. What are you unhappy about again?

Anonymous said...

"Come up with some real suggestions and ideas please. We need to be a more constructive society. "

Screw You!
Pay you million dollar salaries.
And we have to come up with ideas & suggestions?

You are no longer a kid.
And we are not your mother.
We are not going to hold your penis while you urinate.

Anonymous said...

"Come up with some real suggestions and ideas please. We need to be a more constructive society. "

Get a million dollar salary.
Still want Singaporeans to subsidize you further with ideas and suggestions.
What are you? Still a kid?
Still need spoon feeding?

It's you who's got a welfare mentality.
You should be ashamed of yourself.

Anonymous said...

"Come up with some real suggestions and ideas please. We need to be a more constructive society. "

Oh please help me.
I earn a million dollars a year.
And I still don't know how to do my job.

Please be constructive with your ideas.
Please be gentle.
I'm still a virgin when it comes to using my brains.

Anonymous said...

This is the best statement!

Anonymous said...

"Come up with some real suggestions and ideas please. We need to be a more constructive society. "

What do you want?
3 constructive suggestions given in the hawker centre, food court or restaurant?

Singaporeans owe you a living is it?

youngfranco said...

Lucky, please go and google the term "confirmation bias". You've hand-picked the stats you wanted to hear. And left out positive stats to mislead people to your conclusion.

BUT the biggest flaw, in your argument is that your string of examples, doesnt prove that displacing the PAP will make it better! In fact it may get worse! And here's why...

Mediocre track record: No opposition party has demonstrated any form of stellar governance in any constituency. It is imperative they prove that they are better than the PAP, they are the challenger brand!

Lack of talent: The oppositions dont have a robust succession of talent. They need a whole team of top talent. Dont have.

Big spenders, small ideas: All oppositions are spouting tactical solutions to spend money in the national coffers.Give, give, give... None of them has any idea on creating more jobs or making more income for the country through legislation and policy.

AT the end, we will get the opposition party govt you all wanted, but it will not be the saviour that we had expected.

Politicians are all leopards, its just that they come in different spots.

That conclusion became evident recently with Chiam See tong stepping down and then his wife taking over??! This is a bit of calling the PAP kettle black, isnt it? OR when the WP hesitated on the YAW case. Obviously, they were weighing the ramifications of acting or not. And not based on principles. And YAW basically decieved his wife, his party members and his constituency.

Are these the saviours we are waiting for in 2016. And can they make us average like they way your readers want.

Anonymous said...

@ youngfranco:

"Lack of talent:"
Opposition = lack of talent.
Gee!
I don't know what to say.
(Stomp my foot)

"Big spenders, small ideas"
$1.1 billion tax payers' dollars subsidy to private profitable transportation companies.

How much again to;
rename Marina Bay ... Marina Bay.
rename Budget Terminal ... Budget Terminal

Gee!
I don't know what to say.
(Stomp my foot again)

This is not confirmation bias.
This is called being a deaf frog.
Selective hearing.
Hear only the good stuff.
Emperor's new clothes.

Anonymous said...

" It is imperative they prove that they are better than the PAP, they are the challenger brand! "

And voting for PAP has benefitted the average Singaporeans ... how?

National Service?
Being called daft?
Still waiting to touch our CPF money?
Enjoying floods only once every 50 years?

Regular timely maintenance of our MRT?
Paying school fees AND private tuition fees for a quality Singapore education?

Lowest home ownership (about 10%) in the world since HDB flats all belong to the government?

Disenchanted Singaporean said...

The level of propaganda in this country is so intense that singaporeans who are lazy to think will be taken for a ride.

It was only a few years ago that a singaporean wrote to the Straits Times to enquire whether Singaporeans do own their flats and to mak clear what HDB means by home ownership where it is actual leasehip. It's leasehip and not ownership. Singaporeans are renting their flats from the government for 99 years.

They don't own what they paid for. It is not theirs nor their future generations to keep. This ensures the government future generations of Singaporeans can be made sheep and obliging.

Your CPF as a retirement pension is an illusion and the government is still selling the idea that you should not worry....that there is enough savings in the CPF when you finish paying your flat at age 60-65.

This manipulation has been repeated numerous times.

There is a thick layer of hyprocrisy in this country and there is a need to start cutting through it.

Another common misconception is the quality of life.

Singapore's cost of living is high. But its standard of living is low.

Look at the overcrowded MRT, concrete jungle of hadly any green spaces, poor air quality, no service when you purchase items, NS for citizens and jobs for foreigners, etc.

The list goes on.

What kind of life do you expect living in Singapore?

You will work till you drop.

You won't have time for your children and see them grow up as you're too busy doing work for your boss.

And it doesn'teven offer the best of climate for a good night's sleep.

There is no land. No nature. No made in Singapore product.

But there is a bloody load of propaganda running around , alright.

Anonymous said...

"Mediocre track record: No opposition party has demonstrated any form of stellar governance in any constituency. It is imperative they prove that they are better than the PAP, they are the challenger brand!"

If you mipulate the mainstream media and oppress dissenting voices, are you playing fair?

When you gerry mander, are you being fair?

When you prevent PA to allow you to hold a constituency event in your own voters-elcted constituency, are you being fair?

When you introduce GRC instead of SMCs, are you being fair?

Are you fucking living in the same island and serving ns like the rest of us OR are you blindly to these facts?

Under such a backdrop, you judge them?

40% voted against the PAP's policies...40%!

Under such a biased, prejudiced, arrangement of circumstance coupled one mn's view that he'd need to fix the opposition...

40% disagreed with the incumbent's party.

If you want to judge opposition, one must first insist that there is fairness as in to build a democratic society based on justice and equality...or are these mere aspirations?

Then serving NS is a mere aspiration too, is it when it comes to war?

How in hell are you going to build a track record when you deprive people of an opportunity to even build one?

The deposit to enter an election has been raised, mind you.

Democracy...my foot! More like leetocracy.

Benjamin R. Tucker said...

"If the individual has the right to govern himself, all external government is tyranny."

Also, people should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha !
What a whiney article; and what whiney comments.

This is a free country and anyone not happy can migrate to another country.

Unfortunately whiners usually have no guts to do that.

Anonymous said...

What a lazy personal attack on people making legitimate comments. Can you address a single issue on this page?

Also people whine in blogs and forums in Singapore bacause the PAP does not allow public assemblies, publications, fair comment in the print and electronic media, threatens people with defamation etc... people have no other avenue but to whinge in here! Notice how nearly all comments are anonymous- people are frightened of retribution even in cyberspace!

"This is a free country"- is that some kind of joke? Why should people who oppose the PAP leave their home country?

"A life lived in fear is a life half-lived."

KL said...

Great minds and interesting inputs. Take the SMRTC for an example. I just took a train from City Hall to Ang Mo Kio and the system on board made the wrong announcement. Dhoby Ghaut becomes City Hall station and Somerset becomes Dhoby Ghaut station. All my feedbacks to them went down the drain

Another example is the wrong pronunciation of EW3 Simei station. In Mandarin is on the fourth sound, which means four beauty as it reflect the locality. No change after the feedbacks and arrogrant too! Refuse and do not want to make amend till today.

Anonymous said...

Firstly your thoughts are too shallow to begin with. Short term and micro. Go figure out how you like and want Singapore to be in 20 yrs.

" In many places you can get a brand new Mercedes for less than the price of that piece of paper". Your quote. Yes, cars are dirt cheap in certain country. But where are they now, if you do read the news? Bankrupt like Iceland if you know that. Go read the reasons behind their demise. Am sure you can do that. Sovereign debt should not be new to you since you appear to be well read. Go figure out. High unemployment, unstable govt just to name a few. Do you have that in Singapore?

Collin Ng said...

Hey, ever consider migrating since SG is so extreme in your opinion. With some luck, perhaps u can find your dream home. Wishing good luck.

Anonymous said...

Live in another country and then you'll know how lucky you are here!

Anonymous said...

Developed country no old pple cleaning toilets meh? Hello!!!geHave U been to Japan before?

Anonymous said...

Lucky, you are so typical of 95% of Singaporeans, complaint, complaint but NO action .....how dare you critisize when NO action is taken ...so Singaporean open mouth but don't dare to do anything....

fine art printers said...

Wow, you really do paint a bad picture of singapore. Its the same in all countries though. Its so easy to look on the negative side of things. Try to look at the positive instead. I've heard many a good tale from Singapore and hope to visit one day soon. Especially for the GP this weekend. Although the GP is one of the worst places to see a divide between rich and poor.

Charles of homes in philippines said...

Hello Mr. Lucky, I just take a peek and I discovered your blog. I appreciated your efforts and I am glad that I came across here. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your post of extremes. Unfortunately, it shouts a lot but doesn't say very much. Yes, Singapore seems to have made it on many lists (top and bottom).
As a Singaporean living in Europe for the last 8 years for my work. Let me share with you some real experiences instead.  
My partner and I make what would be considered a comfortable enough salary to be considered slightly above average. We fork more than 50% of both our pays over for private rental because we cannot get social housing (€100 too much income and we couldn't wait for 5 years to be under a roof). We could buy but the housing market has all but collapsed and we'll be slave to the mortgage for the next 30 years.
In the meanwhile, car and transit infrastructure are failing. My partner leaves for work at 4:30 am to avoid jams on a 20-25 min drive. I take the train which sometimes decides not to show up (leaves on rail, thunderstorm, snow, suicides) for a 45min commute that costs around $35sgd one way. If you're lucky you can get treated to some violent aggressive displays of fellow travellers. That's if you don't get mugged around the train station.
Did I mention that crime is pretty much tolerated here? A convicted pedophile who molested mentally handicapped girls is being let out after 4 years. Sometimes the police decline to come or perhaps it's the emergency line not working again (yes, that happens too). I believe since moving in I have witnessed a riot (40 teens and their parents with parangs), a girl getting punched on the street with her dog, our car getting stripped (that's when a gang of Eastern Europeans in a van crash into the secure underground car park we pay €70 a month for and proceed to remove all removable things from your car and leaving you with a metal frame).
That's fine though according to the reluctant police, our insurance would cover that. It did... down to the price of the scrap. Not enough for a car though. Just a note we 'must' buy insurance. That's >€500 a month including car, home and medical. Just to sweeten the deal, for medical insurance we're expected to cough up to €700 at the end of the year as own risk. This is legislated. Just like the type of insurance you have to buy. Yes. Even if you don't fall sick...you have to be social and contribute. For those guessing, Obamacare was modelled after our system. Well the upside of this is that if I get cancer or some debilitating disease, I'm set! Until I hit the claim limit that is.
So for those keeping financial track. We have to pay 30% income tax for our slightly average income. That amounts to €1000 a month and 55% on bonus. In addition every march/April the city taxes and extra energy and water bills come in. Try handing over €1500-2000 a year. That includes €125 for the dog, yes giving it the right to exist...but you have to still pick up after it.
Saving is therefore out of the question because you don't have much left over and the interest rate for a savings account? Less than 1% and dropping every year. This is also the case with my compulsory pension. The only letter that comes from them informs me yearly how the pension return will be reduced due to GFC. I can count on €16 month when I retire. Give me HDB and CPF any day!
<1/2>

Anonymous said...

<2/2>
What about this great welfare state, some might ask? That exists. If you are uneducated, jobless and decided to have 3-4 kids before you were 21; you'd be earning the equivalent of my salary in welfare. Congratulations! I'm paying for a future society of unwed, uneducated and unfit mothers. No, this is not an option for me. I have my pride. Not that I'm not considering it at times.
This being said, we are planning to return to SG next year after our jobs conclude. To the shock and horror of our SG friends. It's hard to make a living in SG...granted. It's hard everywhere. The key is to figure out what's important to you. I don't want to support a society of idiots who buy fighter jets for €16 mil. a pop while we have no active army or just spend €600 mil. on trains that don't work. I don't care for the media censorship planned on blogs or the satelite ERP plans. But just a little less worrisome than I care about general crime and public safety. No...not a PAP supporter here...never voted PAP and attended WP rally while still in SG. PS:
Sorry for the long post, but yes most of those complaining here have probably never experienced real democracy or welfare states with opposition. I urge the author and your friends to try it. Who knows...you might like it better than me. But be careful what you wish for.
Ps: I'm talking about the Netherlands. You know where kids are the happiest? I teach here and i've had to explain median and mean to 18-21 yr old university students. No wonder they are happy kids! Democracy...yes as long as you say what the majority thinks! Social welfare...fantastic...it's also attracting the wrong type of immigrants! See how we do on those lists. I've decided to leave medical care out but I assure you there are better medical available in third world country. See for yourself...search hospital closures/accidental deaths/medical fraude in Netherlands.

Anonymous said...

Consider the alternative. Could you do better?
And posting links to articles everywhere isn't conclusive. There are tons of other articles that say otherwise.

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