7 Mar 2005

Lifting the veil

The Straits Jacket

Comments: Mellanie Hewlitt
Singapore Review
6 March 2005

The Straits Times will have you believe that life is a bed of roses for the average Singaporean. And Singapore's propaganda machine is working overtime this year to spin the good news on the good life as it is a election year.

But we lift the veil and reveal some of the harsh realities which are conveniently overlooked by Singapore's million dollar ministers.

The figures reveal that the average Singaporean is a far from happy creature and is afflictaed by a host of social-economic ailments ranging from;

a) Escalating Costs of Living
b) Insufficient Savings For Retirement
c) Unemployment Concerns
d) Shrinking Real Income
f) Marital Blues and declining Birth Rates
g) Mounting Work Pressure, long work hours
h) Mounting academic pressure
i) An Unforgiving academic and work culture which places a premium on
qualifications over actual performance
j) Competition from Foreign Talent
k) Bureucratic Government Policies

The list goes on. Small wonder that suicides rates are on the rise.

But according to previous "figures" released by the Singapore Government last year (2003), Singapore workers were better paid then their US, UK and Australian counterparts.

Life is also supposed to be rosy here in Singapore and Singaporeans should be grateful for the safe and comfortable environment provided by the local government.

But if Life in this "Wonderland with the Death Penalty" is so good;

1) Why is disposable income (and CPF rates) falling ?
2) Why are more and more people leaving?
3) Why are the birth rates falling?
4) Why are suicide rates on the rise?
5) Why are unemployment rates on the rise?
6) Why are daily living costs escalating?
7) Why is there the emergence of the "educated poor" as a new social class?


The silence is deafening.

Peering beyond the smoke and mirrors which are part and parcel official government press releases to the public, the harsh reality confronted by the average Singaporean is that shrinking incomes, escalating living costs and 12-15 hour work days have taken their inevitable toll on personal happiness and emotional well-being. All is not well in Singapore and this is an ugly truth that the Singapore Government is not anxious to accept or confront.

Some where along the lines, the "Directors" of Singapore Inc have implemented grand plans to sell Singapore Inc to the world, but have conveniently forgotten to include in their sensitivities the fact that employees are flesh and blood and cannot work 24 hours a day. Even duracell batteries need time to recharge,and human beings are no different in this respect.

To make matters worse, the "Top Brass" of Singapore Inc continue to receive hefty salaries even when the company itself announced a dismal 0.8% annual growth rate. This begets the looming question whether a director who takes home approx SGD100,000/- per month (or SGD1.2 million a year) can ever understand and relate to the plight of an employee who takes home SGD3,000/- a month on average.

We put back in what the Straits Times takes out. Read on and see the truth for yourselves.

You can view it in the context of the entire discussion by going to:


ain't no drama... said...

doing anything to change the current economic/political situation is virtually impossible. come on we're in singapore. call it a 'democratic' country but the fact of the matter is the only democratic party in singapore is the one that is governing right now. somehow the legislation set now is one that is built in such a way having another credible party even coming close to it is practically unimaginable. i mean you cannot say this and that, you cannot put policies up for questioning and sorts. it's a ludicrous sad reality one that of a 'democratic' country? of course leaving for another country is much easier than reforming or reinventing singapore. the idea of reforming or even running against the current party is absurd because nooone that is the product of today's education system would even understand what it is to question the policies let alone have the courage to understand the meaning of protest or disagreement. well maybe we do not need a major reformation, but we do need CHANGE! we need to be heard! i mean hey...what can you expect from the drumming of "pap is good" ever since kindergarten all the way up to university?!

Matilah_Singapura said...

The People get the Government they DESERVE.Back in the 90's there was massive inflation of the money supply - asset prices skyrocketed. Remember how people like William Safire et al were 'cussed out' for criticizing freedom in S'pore?

The people were rushing to the defense of the statist mechanisms - there was negative unemployment and rising real estate prices. People living in HDBs were experiencing an increase in net worth and it seemed the good times would never end.

Remember the slogan of the PAP "More good years."

Well, the piper has to be paid. And it seems The People - those "true believers" in the state are now... buggered.

Next time you sing the national anthem, do like I do