On Citizenry, Wealth and Equality in Singapore

Singapore Flag Dove 4

I wrote this on my Facebook and thought to share it here.

If we think philosophically about things, in a country, is anyone person better than the other person? How should we judge someone as better? By education level, academic intelligence, or can we? If we can agree that it is not possible to determine who is better than the other, can we say that everyone is equal, or equally as good?

Then, when we look at the wealth generated by a country, if everyone is equally as good, should we not ensure that the wealth that is earned by each individual is as equitably allocated as possible? Sure, some individuals might be more entrepreneurial than another, or better at picking up on wealth-making opportunities and so we should allow them, because everyone is equally as good.

Similarly, there are people who do not believe in picking up more wealth but who want to advance society socially or in terms of its welfare and these individuals should also be equally respected, for everyone is equally as good.

The purpose of money is, at its minimum, to facilitate the transfer of basic essentials to people. But if money is used by those who control it to limit the access of people for these basic essentials, then how can the system be changed to protect people’s access to money and thereby their access to basic essentials?

Where individuals or groups of people come together and take control of power and start hoarding the wealth at the expense of others, is there a responsibility by the other individuals in society to call out such behaviour and ensure that wealth is more equitably allocated?

Where people enrich themselves by hoarding the wealth, it would result in certain segments of society receiving less, and thereby creating a pool of poor in the country.

However, where the people who hoard the wealth hope to justify their riches and thus blame the poor for being less smart or less hardworking, is it fair? If we have decided that no one is better than the other and everyone is equally as good in their own ways, by coming out with reasons to demean people so as to keep them poor, are we coming out with unreasonable excuses so as to hoard the wealth?

It is thus the responsibility of a government to ensure that it has the philosophical understanding of its role and to ensure that it enshrines the equal goodness of its citizens, for is it not that the Singaporean society is based on justice and equality?

If so, a government has to fortify itself from business-centric interests and prioritise its citizens access to wealth and essential services first and foremost.

Where we believe that everyone is equally as good and will thus be able to achieve their fullest potential if we are to respect their individual capabilities, then we have to ensure that each and everyone of us have equitable access of wealth, to advance our personal well-being and talent and thereby grow the country together.

To do so, we have to limit and constraint those who go into positions of power to expand their control and hoard over wealth. Citizens also have to organise themselves and develop ourselves as formidable counterforces to such power so that balance in society can be reached, and where the good of each citizen can be equally enshrined.

It is the case in Singapore where as those in power continue to hoard more and more wealth, that they have demonised the poor and even elderly poor more and more. From a society which used to have greater respect of one another, and where everyone was treated more equally, our society is at risk of losing the balance we used to have, and which had created the dynamism that we had.

For Singapore to be put back on track, we have to dismantle the centres of power and control, and decentralise these, such that balance, and equality, can be brought back to Singapore once again, and so that equality can be the modus operandi in Singapore once again.

When we are able to vote in a new government and where the citizens of Singapore are able to regain our power and balance equation, we can put our country back on the right track.

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14 comments

  1. Plim

    Basically you are saying we should become a communist country where everyone earns the same regardless of merit. Well done Roy.

  2. Hardeep Saini

    Dear Plim
    Do not denigrate the idea of any political system.
    Democracy, socialism and communism all have their good points.
    The concept of communism was based on an idea of bringing equality to everyone.
    Large democracies like the U.S. have consistently hammered into our heads that communism is bad by only mentioning the negatives. But these negatives were a product of the powerful modifying the system to work in their favour.
    We have been brainwashed by American propaganda for too long and have begun to believe it as truth.
    Alas, like all religions, such political systems have been abused by the people in power, just like the unique system in Singapore that has been abused (for PAPs own benefit) by those in power the last 50 years.
    No system is a good system when in the hands of the corrupt and powerful.

    • Han

      Singapore has been abused by PAP ? Go out of Singapore and look around, and be grateful for what we have. You are surfing the net and have a job and a house and security and education and what not, you ungrateful spoilt brat. If Singapore is so bad, why are you still here ? Why did even Han Hui Hui moved here ? In japan, the macdonalds and subways are crowded by homeless people every night, i know as i travel there frequently. If you cannot even be honest with yourself that Singapore is a much better country than the majority of countries in the world, then no wonder you are blinded by your hatred. It is sad that singaporeans are simply spoilt by their own success.

      • jogget

        this exactly, its the very fact of our success that it has bred these form of views and thoughts within our society, “nothing is ever enough” and while its true in many areas around the world the level our discontent that exists here is beyond me. People ought to think about conditions elsewhere and when i mean elsewhere i dont just mean selecting your sources just from a few countries etc. there will always be poverty everywhere and anywhere. i think the most rudimentary idea i can say is that we are afterall a country that is based around the people in itself and whatever minimum wage scheme that this man is trying to propose would not exactly be optimal for our society. i assure while i too disagree with the pap’s stance in some issues, their dominance in the political arena has nothing to do with their capabilities but rather the incapable opposition that we have. the best way need not necessarily be the other way, we dont need revolution but evolution.

  3. Han

    Except the few regulars here who are faithfully defending roy, if you go read about every forum in Singapore, everyone is calling him crazy, delusional and dishonest etc. Just go read, see for yourself. Even though I voted for opposition and will still vote for opposition the next time, I still think Roy is a total liar and brings only disgrace to himself and his supporters. It is crystal clear this fellow talks nothing but rubbish and makes zero sense except piecing things together and attacking the government. Honestly, I think the conspiracy that Roy is being planted by the government to smear the opposition, does make sense. Roy, I will just tell you this, grow up. You have a long life ahead, be more sensible and rational. Otherwise you have a long way to suffer for your own antics. No one else will, because you will never be a leader, you think about it, only for your own good.

  4. Hardeep Saini

    Dear Han
    Do you always say/write things without knowing the full facts?
    You have assumed that I am still living in Singapore.
    Let me blow your argument out of the water.
    I left Singapore 26 years ago.
    Yes, I lived in Singapore for 36 years before making my move.
    I regularly visit my mum in Singapore and, sorry to break your bubble, I still see very old people collecting bottles, empty drink cans and card box boxes so that they can sell and make a few dollars.
    I agree that there are homeless people in Melbourne too. You got it. I am happily living in Melbourne.
    There is a vast difference between the homeless and the poor in Melbourne and in Singapore.
    These people are mostly alcoholics or drug addicts. They much prefer to stay on the streets and spend their social welfare checks on alcohol and drugs.
    Whereas in Singapore, these old people collecting cardboard boxes are neither alcoholics nor drug addicts.
    They simply don’t have anyone to take care of them. The PAP government doesn’t want to know that these people exist.
    There is no respect and compassion afforded to these people.
    Many of these people are Singapore’s “pioneer generation”. They worked hard all their lives and one would expect that society would be kind to them in their twilight years. Sadly that is not the case.
    If you think that security and education is only available to Singaporeans, I got news for you. Melbourne is a far better place to live in than Singapore ever was. That is why Singaporeans are flocking to Melbourne to gain their university degrees. Many don’t want to go back to Singapore…..I wonder why?
    What security do these “cardboard collectors” have in Singapore.
    Obviously you have only lived in Singapore all your life and think that you understand everything just by visiting overseas countries for a short period.
    To understand what is really happening in other countries you will need to live there for at least a few years.
    I lived in Singapore for 36 years and have lived in Melbourne for 26 years. I think that I am suitably knowledgeable to comment on what is happening in both countries.
    Since you have not lived in another country you have no right, or knowledge, to comment on what the state of affairs is in other countries and thus is unqualified to make any judgements.
    I have no hatred for Singapore, the PAP or the government. I still have family in Singapore. That is why I continue to be concerned about Singaporeans. I believe that it is you who are blinded by what is happening in Singapore. Remove the blinds over your eyes and open your mind and you will begin to see that all is not honkie dorey.
    There are things happening in Singapore that are not happening elsewhere.

    • to Singapore Prime Minister

      Precisely.

      in an real First world country , homeless is not a kind of real ” homeless. some dislike ” home “, they like to live the wild life, but monthly they still got a basic living cost , Every Christmas , their city hall ( mayor working place ) organized Chrismas dinner for all of the homeless people . invite them coming , ask if they need a new blanket ……

      I think, it need to take 100 years time, ( until year 2115 ) Singapore will become an real First World country where to get everyone are respected and cared, Citizens may have the right to have the distribution of national resources, no matter who are you or where are you from , no matter low ability or sickness. As long as they live here’s every life, are subject to decent treatment.

      Roy and the others did each of efforts today, are for an hundred years later Singaporeans. By that time, Singapore court will no business… The suicide rate is zero…

      • lolz

        where did you get this definition of a first-world country? Generally a first world country is defined as a modern, developed country, although this term is quite outdated since it was initially coined as a Cold War term, and was then used to describe countries that had a US alignment (i.e. capitalist democracies). First-world has no correlation to equity or welfare.

        And your idea of what Singapore will be like in the future, while very idealistic, seems unrealistic – Singapore’s core values include meritocracy. So obviously more resources will be diverted to the more capable. And the National Budget has been taking a more leftist slant anyway, to redistribute more national resources to the poor. There are also schemes to give financial assistance to the poor who need it for medical care. So the government has been compromising with the people already, but becoming a welfare state like the one you described is probably not in the cards for Singapore.

    • to Singapore Prime Minister

      Seen begging on the street are outsiders, such as Gypsies, Even from the war-torn country, Have been received school fee free and a basic living cost monthly. the so called first world country ‘s Singapore leader , I hope every time you visit an real first-world countries, in addition to sightseeing , but also to learn how their attitude to their nationals.

      the first world country -not means only a few are super rich , not means the airport ‘s flower are so beautiful , but refers their legal restricts selfish and unlimited greed.

      To achieve this state in Singapore, First to achieve democracy. Also needs efforts by several generations

  5. Crooked bridge

    The crooked causeway bridge is the pet project of LKY and Mahathir. Does LHL like crooked things as well , just like the endorsement photos he took with the crooked china tour guide, Yang Ying?

  6. The fallen party

    Although LHL is neither a Christian nor a godly person, he has been using a number of godly language on his facebook page. Perhaps, we should return him with some godly advice too. My favourite biblical quote to him is – “HE CAST THE MIGHTY FROM THEIR THRONES AND RAISES THE LOWLY. HE HAS FILLED THE HUNGRY WITH GOOD THINGS; AND SENT THE RICH AWAY EMPTY HANDED” LUKE 1;52-53
    LKY’s kingship-turned-ash is infact a fulfilment of the above prophecy. It is a consolation for the weak and oppressed. It is a blessing that humpty dumpty had a great fall.

  7. Singapore Citizen Mr. Teo En Ming (Zhang Enming)

    Subtle Denial of Medical Treatment by the Singapore Government for Mr. Teo En Ming (Zhang Enming)

  8. kring

    Hi, i know this is rather abrupt coming from a stranger but
    please take some time and effort to look into my artworks and philosophy ( About me )
    If there’s any glimpse of hope and faith that we can work together please
    do not hesitate to contact me. Have a lovely day ahead.
    100005874017026@facebook.com

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