Singapore, How Can We Reconcile?
I am sad. What has happened to Singapore? What has happened to the Asian miracle? Years of success and this is where we are. People, angry at the government, at one another, at ourselves. We are really quite laughable.
I am sad. The turn of events has been upsetting. It doesn’t have to be this way, Singapore. But why are we so angry? By now, the government should realise that after years of educating people to become engineers, doctors and scientists, and neglecting the softer skills, this is what you get – a people so deep in the numbers and being so calculative that there’s very little to spare in terms of introspection and awareness. Years of drilling rationality into people have created a pragmatic society – yes, a society useful for the economy, but where is the heart? Just as well, our government leaders are a byproduct of this education and they’ve themselves lost that heart, empathy and understanding for people.
I hope by now, the government realizes how this sole drive towards creating workers for the economy has resulted in a people who think only about money and rationalise in terms of money. You can throw more money at people, but when they are angry, they will burn your factory down. Here, in the Singapore factory, you can’t retrench us all and employ new workers because like it or not, our lives our intertwined, because even though we are your workers, we happen to be citizens as well. Just that you forgot.
And what do we do now? What do we with people who are so angry and whom we cannot do away with? We bring in all these other people, but they don’t come in quick enough and they cannot replace these angry people. And somehow, these angry people are starting to realise what we are doing and that’s why they are angry – we are trying to replace the workers. And only now, are we starting to realise – shit, they are our citizens too.
Where can we go from here? PM Lee, I appeal to you to do something drastic now. It’s time for the government to be bold, to do the right thing. Now, we have become an example for other countries to look at where they know that they cannot have a singular focus towards developing the workers without developing their hearts. And that’s why you are now working with China to try to jointly develop solutions to social issues. But Singapore is not China. The problems that we now face are very different from them.
Actually, you know what needs to be done. But this is the time you need to have the courage to do something. PM Lee, please, I am appealing to you. Please do something now. Everyday, I see Singaporeans get angry. And now our ministers are joining in the fray. They are saying things to protect themselves too. Everyone is protecting themselves. I started this blog initially to provide alternative truths of the government. But as I dug out more things, I also begin to realise why the government do certain things. You have your reasons. But I also realise that you don’t do certain things which you need to. I wanted to stop writing but everyday, there’s something else. And I want to write so that I can help Singaporeans understand. I want to help to understand why the government do certain things so that I can help explain it to Singaporeans. But how far can I go with this?
There are many things that we don’t know. We don’t know why the government do so many things, why you are taking our money and keeping it. Then why some of you are getting richer. Why some people are getting richer while the rest of us get poorer. Yes, it is about money. But it’s about something else. People feel that they are not respected. Why are you doing something without asking me? Why are you taking away my money and then telling me that there’s not enough for me? Why can you not give me more money when you want me to help you produce more workers? Why are you not giving me enough time to rest but making me work like crazy? Why? Why must I sweat and toil for you and your economy? What’s in it for me? I see you getting better. Your GDP per capita has increased to being the first in the world. But my pockets aren’t any better. Why?
It’s about respect. PM Lee, all people want is respect. They are angry because they feel that they are not respected. You won’t know how it feels because you are doing so well. But for the rest of us, we are worried.
PM Lee, people just want respect. Can you please do something to fix this? Please, you need to. It pains me to see Singaporeans angry. It pains me, when we have everything in Singapore, but we feel we don’t.
PM Lee, PAP, please, you have to do the right thing. You have to do what is right. And you have to be bold. I know you believe in doing things in measured tones so we don’t suddenly shake things up. But this is not the time for that. Not when day in, day out, people are so angry. Not when it feels like we are a time bomb waiting to explode.
You know what the people need. You know what you can do to respect the people and make things right. PM Lee, PAP, please, find ways to give people their money back. Find ways to let them pay less for healthcare out of their own pockets. Let the poor earn more faster now. Let families have more time off and pay more for their childcare needs. Let it be cheaper for young people to want to study university. Please, I am appealing to your better senses. Please, please, do the right thing.
Please PM Lee, PAP. Please find ways to help people find happiness. Please find ways to create more shows, more carnivals, which are all about good old fun and enjoyment. Please just let it be simply about being fun, relaxing and being yourself. Please, you need to give people this. People need to be themselves. They need to be free and to enjoy.
Please, PM Lee, PAP, you need to do the right thing. You need to do what is right. You need to respect the people, as human beings, who actually do really want to enjoy their lives. Who want to love, to be free, to be themselves. And then, when they are all these, they will work, they will make their lives worthwhile, they will do their best in what they do because they believe. Because we want to come together to make Singapore the best that it can be.
Please, PM Lee, PAP, please do the right thing. I had some hope when I saw the government did some right things in the past few months. You were trying. In the face of all that anger, you had hope. You were smiling. You believed. And then you try to make things work. But people continued to be angry. And I’m sorry. They still do not feel respected. They still feel hurt. So they continue hurting you. And now you feel their hurt, and now you feel hurt as well. And now you want to tell them to stop it, because you can get hurt too.
PM Lee, PAP, I am sorry. I am sorry that you are hurt. But I am sorry that we are hurt too. I’m sorry because what has Singapore become? I am sorry because who have we become? What have you become? I am so sorry … But you must continue to hope. You have to continue to believe. PM Lee, PAP, please help us, please help yourself. You need to continue to hope. You need to do the right thing. And you need to be bold. You know what needs to be done. Please do it. Please do it now. To the right thing. Save the people. Save my country. Save our country. You really need to do this. Because we can be so much more, if only we come together and make it happen. Please.