Is this my Singapore? My home and my country? – a Lone voice says

Based on this article : 

  • Is this my Singapore? My home and my country?

a Lone voice of reason commented in the article from Cepheids :

The truth is, I am not very satisfied with the way things are in Singapore from a personal point of view. I cannot get a decent employment for my qualifications. I very much love to be home in Singapore but I will also have to sacrifice the opportunities that are opened to me elsewhere.

I do not know if political or economic change will affect me much, but I can tell you that my profession faces much competition from foreigners. But, I do not resent them coming here to take whatever few decent positions left, because while I was in university, I learned that unlike foreign students, Singaporeans are either elites, or simply CMI. The number of Singaporeans who are really good are painfully small, and most of them are here with me in the USA. Foreign students, most but not all, on the other hand happen to be the “cream of the crop” from where they come from – India, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines… They are a much greater joy to work with, than other Singaporeans. So, with all honesty, if my industry in Singapore has to deal with tightened control against foreigners even more, it will most likely go downhill.

You are right, I am indeed complaining about complainers. But I don’t think that is hypocritical. Such dissatisfaction in the populace is dangerous and unhealthy for the nation. In terms of political environment, we have a very strong and capable (in comparison to the rest of the world) government, and some equally capable opposition. But at the same time, we also have opposition that are simply dissidents, who I will go far enough to call trouble makers. I recall an amusing episode I overhead that an opposition candidate promised to reduce CEO, eliminate ERP and solve congestion all at the same time. People cheered.

It saddens me that elections has degenerated to a mass marketing campaign. Whoever appeals more to the sentiments of the public wins. It is a solid fact that governance is not a simple task. Policy making is considerably complex as well. We, citizens on the ground, tend to have a rather narrow point of view, myself included. We mostly see what affects us directly, some more than others. It is troubling to have opposition candidates gathering votes by saying what the people want to hear without considering what is truly good for the nation. Complains fuel such things. If complaints get out of hand and gather enough critical mass, we will head toward anarchy, total chaos.

This is why I urge everyone to trust in our leaders. They are not perfect, but they are pretty much the best we have. They make mistakes, and sometimes they make mistakes that we can plainly see. But they probably do other things well too.

I don’t know what to think about your situation, and I don’t want to. I believe I will end up in your position in the near future, give it 20 years perhaps. No matter how I look at it, I know that in 20 years, there will be younger and more energetic people, with more up to date knowledge, more agile minds willing to do the same job for less. I’ll like to ask you though, what would you do if you were the government? What would the consequences of making a policy change be, a change that will allow people like you to keep your jobs till retirement age. Would it be better for the entire country? Or just yourself?

I honestly don’t know, but I can also say I trust that they make all decisions after careful consideration.

In the past, we were an excellent port, but with the progression of technology, geographical location is no longer that important. We have no natural resources, the people living here for sure will need to struggle hard to survive. We are a small island nation, with nothing valuable in particular except our reputation. We can survive now, and possibly survive in the future because we had a head start and I strongly believe that if we do not do anything else, safe guarding our reputation, and maintaining our head start should be our highest priority.

We do not have control over where we are born, but we can choose where we want to be, and where our descendants want to be. We may want to remain in our homeland, but we must understand that Singapore is just this tiny island where everyone has to work hard. I honestly cannot imagine how our government can create any policy that will allow us to enjoy sustainable idyllic lifestyles.

I would venture to imagine Singapore as an “upgrade center”, where people from less fortunate environments fight to come, and struggle to upgrade their lives over a few generations, and their descendants will eventually leave when they can. Those that cannot will stay until they can.

Our ancestors were also migrants once. Some of us found a better life elsewhere and have migrate away, others, stay to struggle. Meanwhile, more migrants come. They take root here, but only temporarily. And it continues this way. Sadly.

 **  This is his most speculative paragraph in the comments, many people may indeed view Singapore as an ‘upgrade center’ and their descendants eventually leave when they can. But surely if Singapore is any good, there will be many descendants who would choose to STAY when they can leave.  -> sh says  **


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