A friend was talking to me about how crime has increased in Singapore. He blamed it on foreigners.
I think it is more complex than that.
Studies have shown that the more unequal a society is, the higher the crime rate and the higher the prisoner rate.
Indeed, Singapore has the highest income inequality among the developed countries. It thus also has the highest prisoner rate among the developed countries, after the United States.
Where Singapore has the highest income inequality and poverty rate, this has resulted in many Singaporeans having difficulties to make ends meet.
Today, the poverty rate in Singapore is estimated to be about 30%, which is the highest among the developed countries and on par with even other Third World countries. The rich in Singapore are paid the highest salaries in Singapore but the poor are made one of the lowest salaries among the developed countries, and thus we also have the widest rich-poor gap.
30% of Singaporeans are unable to earn enough to spend, even on basic necessities. 30% of Singaporeans are never able to save and have to go into perpetual debt.
The government has refused to define an official poverty level so as to then set a minimum wage to that level. Instead, it has forced low-income Singaporeans to live on handouts, but only if they are willing to bow down and ask the PAP for money. But for many Singaporeans who have pride and want to live with dignity, they would rather struggle to find their own jobs to support themselves. But even then, the jobs simply don’t pay enough.
If the PAP keeps demanding that Singaporeans should be self-reliant, then shouldn’t the PAP ensure that people are able to earn enough? Why is the PAP forcing them to beg for handouts instead? Instead, the PAP has continuously increase their own salaries to millions of dollars – and the highest in the world – and with each time that they do so, also cause income inequality to become worse in Singapore and widen the rich-poor gap further.
If we were to earn only $1,000 a month, as many Singaporeans do today, life would be so tough it would also cause us to have poor mental health. It is no wonder that suicide rates have increased and the mental health of Singaporeans have deteriorated. Also, where life is now truly hard for a significant portion of Singaporeans, it can sometimes cause them to snap. Imagine if it were us, we would as well.
When foreigners come into Singapore, we expect them to integrate into our culture. But where life is now increasingly hard, and where anger is simmering, what culture are we expecting others to integrate into?
Add to that, where lower-income foreigners earn low wages as well and are also affected by the stress in Singapore, is it any wonder why crime might increase? Yet, for higher-income foreigners where laws are lax towards them and where the PAP government is also more tolerant and lenient with them, we are also seeing some of them become more brazen in their condescending attitudes against Singaporeans.
But this is by no means representative of all foreigners, and of all Singaporeans. There are foreigners who do try their best to fit in and might Singapore their home, even if temporal.
But the social problems that have resulted are real.
When income inequality and poverty increases, crime increases. Where people earn low wages and they are unable to earn enough to survive, this affects their psyche and do result in more mental health problems, stress, depression etc. When such social problems are allowed to persist, they will grow and this will affect the stability of our society. In the long term, mental health problems become more widespread, crime increases and the prisoner rate increases, as is the case for Singapore.
Where foreigners come into our midst while all these social problems are getting worse, the problem becomes compounded. Foreigners come in, in too large numbers and are unable to integrate. Singaporeans have become so incensed with the government’s open door policy that we have turned our anger against the foreigners. Foreigners similarly become defensive and get angry back at Singaporeans.
But when will this ever end?
The root problem of all these is that life in Singapore is getting harder not just for Singaporeans but for foreigners as well. Wages are so low and the cost of living has risen so quickly that the people living here simply have to struggle to be able to survive. Mental health is at its worst in Singapore and will only continue to deteriorate.
The increase in crime we see today will only get worse.
To fix the problem, we need to increase wages, reduce the cost of living, increase subsidies for basic essentials while we try to find a new balance. Only when people are able to get their lives back on track will we be able to take a breather and start working together to build Singapore again. And only then will our society start to become gentler, smoother, more together and stable.
But as long as the PAP pursues a pro-business objective, as it has over the past 30 years, it will continue to depress wages and artificially inflate prices. They will continue to import too much cheap labour into Singapore to depress wages and will continue to allow Singaporean professionals and executives to lose their jobs because there is a lack of adequate employment protection laws. As long as the PAP continues its path as it will, the PAP will compromise and sabotage Singapore’s social compact.
If you ask me, I put the blame on the PAP for the increasing crime in Singapore. The PAP does not want to recognise the social impact that its pro-business objectives has done to Singapore and in its want to continue to make off with more money from Singaporeans and foreigners alike, it is willing to see Singapore be torn apart and to see Singapore go down the drain.
But for a government to be so irresponsible so as to do this and cause Singapore to deteriorate, this is wrong. Our forefathers, which the PAP likes to so affectionately call the “pioneer generation” has worked hard to build Singapore up but the current PAP politicians have over the past 10 to 20 years dragged Singapore back down, and in the process, is destroying what the “pioneer generation” has worked so hard to build. Why pretend to champion what the “pioneer generation” has done when the PAP is so eager all the same to tear down what they have done?
Where Singapore once had a golden age up until the 1990s, we are at risk now of losing all that.
The PAP and the rich affiliated to them claim that it is Singaporeans who have grown lazy and selfish, they claim that poorer Singaporeans are the ones who will do Singapore in. But low-income Singaporeans never had a chance to grow. They were never given higher wages, they were simply never given the chance to properly live a life, because the PAP and the crony capitalists with the PAP took the money from the poor in Singapore to enrich themselves. Now who exactly is the one who is selfish and lazy and who is relying on Singaporeans to make them rich?
Yes, crime is increasing but can we blame low-income Singaporeans for it, or even Singaporeans? Or should we blame the PAP and their business affiliates for forcing low-income and even lower-middle income Singaporeans into poverty?
The solution to Singapore’s social problems is to increase wages by implementing a minimum wage, and to reduce costs. It is also to increase subsidies for basic necessities and to relook how many foreigners we should bring so that we can sustain Singapore into the future. The PAP has shown that it is unwilling to do so. It has refused to define a poverty line or implement minimum wage. It insists on artificially increasing prices. It refuses to increase subsidies to a suitable level to protect Singaporeans. And yet, the PAP pretends to Singaporeans that income inequality has stabilised when what they have done is to fudge the income inequality statistics to make them look lower, but when income inequality is actually very high.
To me, the solution is clear. We have to vote the PAP out of government if we want to protect Singapore. Singaporeans have been asking the PAP to fix our country for a long time now but the PAP has turned a deaf ear to it because they want to continue to earn their money. But this is tearing our country apart.
For the sake of our country, we need to change the government. Yes, the new government might be weaker but what we need is a new government which will listen – and which will listen to the civil service, academics, civil society, think tanks and Singaporeans like you and I, whom have been telling the government what the solutions are for the past 10 to 20 years, but which the PAP government has ignored.
No, a change of government will not result in instability. Instead, it will bring Singapore back to stability. It is under the PAP that Singapore has become more and more unstable and where our economic and social lives are now at risk. Our civil service, academics, civil society, think tanks and Singaporeans have been giving new ideas and solutions for 10, 20, even 30 years now. We are actually the ones running the country and who have the country’s interests at heart.
We need a new government to finally listen to our solutions and to implement them, to bring Singapore back on track.
For that, we have to ask the PAP to leave government.
For that, we have to work together to bring in a new government and see to it that this happens, that we can bring the Singapore we know back.
Singaporeans, are you willing to do what is needed to protect ourselves? Are we willing to start being firm and being sure, and to speak up, and vote out the PAP?
Your lives, your family, and that of your children, now lies in your hands, our hands.
It is up to you to find out more, be aware and do what you need to, to protect our home.