I have, for the past years, believed that the Singapore government is doing their utmost best for the well-being of their fellow Singaporeans. Somehow, after writing my last entry, I had a sudden revelation that the ministers, MPs and administrators are probably living in a different world from mine.

I had a feeling that they don’t seem to understand the challenges that the average Singaporean faces – be it with the coping of GST or transport hikes or the hikes in essentials or oil. Rather, they seemed to be indulged in problems of their own, particularly in the renewal of the nation. I agree that this is an important issue because we do not want to end up having an ageing population which is no longer competitive or economically viable.

However, what the government seemed to completely miss is that in order for the nation to have renewal, the people must have the means to do so. If the idea of renewal means raising children regardless of family financial situation; that, as long as the government is able to ensure that we have at least 2-3 meals a day (to quote Dr Vivian Balakrishnan:
How much do you want? Do you want three meals in a hawker centre, food court or restaurant?) and a roof above our heads, then this probably explains why all the carrots (bonuses) are not working that well.

If the average Singapore has to give up everything he has just to help cope with nation renewal, then who is going to provide for the cost of bring the children up? At the end of the day, it’s still the parents’ responsibilities. As I have mentioned in the last entry, asking women to put their career on hold just to raise children is not going to work out well if the husband is not able to provide for the family. Unless the husband holds a relatively well paying job, it is quite unlikely that the average new family is able to cope with housing loans, cost of raising a child and putting aside a reasonable saving at the same time.

At best, the new family will be barely scraping through, but they can probably forget about “quality of life”. I do hope that the government realises that it is unrealistic to depend on or coerce the children into taking good care of the parents when they grow old in the future – which probably explains why they are starting to consider making annuities compulsory.

Somehow, the entire sum doesn’t quite add up at the end of the day. If I have to debate about this one day, it’d be on renewal vs. cost of living vs. quality of life. I do hope that the government is not really detached from the people’s lives, but this is as much as I can do – hope.

Reader's Comments

  1. Eddie Loh | November 12th, 2007 at 9:21 am

    The PAP is only interested it ensuring she rules Singapore forever. PAP’s interest is more important and great concern to her than whether you poor peasants can make it in your life.

    Get out of my elite uncaring face. F*** off and move elsewhere if you cannot survive in Singapore Inc.

  2. Miccheng | November 12th, 2007 at 10:26 am

    Heh… welcome to the club.

  3. spyer | November 12th, 2007 at 10:50 am

    I don’t believe that the party does not have people on the ground keeping track of the hardship of the people. As one leader has said the Singapore’s image is important, so whatever they said will be picked up by the worldwide media. Their image of world class Singapore cannot be dampened by the exposure of the harsh reality of the people on the ground.

    MM had already said: Singapore is a brand. Now, would they want the investors to know that our old people are working as cleaners and collecting cans & cardboard.

    Everything in the Singapore government is about the projection of an good image. Be a world class brand.

    And for Vivian, he needs straws up in his a**.

  4. spyer | November 12th, 2007 at 10:59 am

    With reference to the above comment on Singapore’s image. An article on Singapore and Burma.


    Foreign observers also know the importance of image to Singapore.


    “They are extremely jealous of their squeaky clean image – and the idea that they uphold more internationally accepted norms than other places,” he says. “This has the potential to embarrass Singapore and tarnish that competitive edge.”

  5. Tianhong | November 12th, 2007 at 11:07 am

    The points mentioned really hit the nail of the difficulties faced by every Singaporean. How to heed the advice of govt of having babies when many had to face the pressure of various loan and also the problem of job insecurity?

    When one get married, one is already tied down to decades of debt. This is really a sad truth of a sg life.

  6. Miccheng | November 12th, 2007 at 2:51 pm

    @spyer: foreign investors honestly don’t care how the PAP governs. As long as they get the investors benefits and profits from the Singapore government – do they really care how they are telling us (the people) how to raise our kids or live our lives? To them, its just a peculiarity of paternal Asian culture.

  7. edsperience | November 12th, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    Well, basically, they want the renewable asset that is ‘the singaporean’ to be a self-renewing one that they can acquire from with minimal investment, i.e. welfare. They are aware of it all. They aren’t lying or pulling a fast one. They just view you as one who is born to serve your servants. I, personally, have refrained from procreating simply because i refuse to allow my children to be used.

  8. Alan Wong | November 13th, 2007 at 8:59 am

    I fully agree that the self-interests of PAP and its leaders reigns supreme to the interests and welfare of the heartlanders and the poor peasants.

    Firstly, I’m sure our annual budget surpluses are more than ample to provide better social benefits to those who are marginally poor.

    Secondly, even if we do not have budget surpluses, I’m pretty sure a lot of our excesses in ministers’s salaries, defence spending, building of ego-maniac projects and image building campaigns like National Parades, Tourism Board Promotions, etc. can be channelled towards such causes.

    There’s a saying “If there’s a will, there’s always a way”. But it’s just that the priorities of present day government are misligned with the expectations of the people!

  9. Daily SG: 13 Nov 2007 « The Singapore Daily | November 13th, 2007 at 11:22 am

    […] Singapore – Hear ye! Hear ye!: Get on board the parenting train more quickly? – Simply Jean: A little disappointed with the political arena in Singapore – All Sundry and Singapore: Democracy’s Root: Diversity – The States Times: Like Father, Like […]

  10. Simply Jean » Blog Archive » Lunch with my blog reader/friend… and everything we talked about =) | November 13th, 2007 at 5:03 pm

    […] actually not anti-establishment if the establishment is doing a good job. As per my previous post, I just feel that the government is a little detached from the people. I think the Chinese have a […]

  11. zeezzen | November 13th, 2007 at 7:14 pm

    The government is SQUEEZING US DRY!

  12. Get Real! | November 13th, 2007 at 7:48 pm

    when come to costs of living, most bloggers only look at basic expenses such as food, utilities, transport, etc. probably, these are the concerns of the current forgotten generation in their last lap of life. those under 40 now are a completely different breed from the samsui women days. they enjoyed modern conveniences such as air conditioning, fridge, HD tvs, computers, broadband connectivity and many many other technological conveniences. all these costs and have made some people very rich for selling these lifestyle products to you.

    and the point is this: many of these products have a limited lifespan. your computer is going to FAIL or break down one of these days. so is your fridge, air con, tvs etc. it costs to repair or replace them. all those technological services such as broadband, 3g phone etc will not be free.

    now how many of the new generation, when it is their turn to retire, can live without these services and modern conveniences they have been attached to most of their lives?

    so when you work out your retirement monies, be sure to factor all these costs especially many modern gadgets are MADE TO FAIL on you in a few short years so they can maintain jobs and bless the fat pockets of CEOs(etc) and a few lucky talents!

    i can’t imagine the new generation can live without hp services etc. can you?

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