Observation on S’pore after returning from Australia
Posted by temasektimes on August 29, 2012
After coming back from Australia, I look at Singapore and the policies of the government and with PM’s speech about searching for the Singapore soul, I can’t help but wonder how the government is going to find this Singapore identity when the policies that it puts in force are all about making money.
They let in FT’s so that companies can hire on the cheap and at Singaporean’s expense and so government can collect more tax revenue. They say they help the poor/elderly/needy but how much of it does the government really give out? Is it loose change compared to the billions of dollars stored up in our country’s coffers? Then the government tells the world that we have the world’s highest GDP per capita. But what about its citizens? Are Singaporeans really that well off as what these statistical figures show them to be?
Compared to Australia, the education system is such that if a student don’t excel academically, he or she can always learn other trades and be equally respected in society. The garbage collector walks in public in his dirt-streaked uniform (but not smelly of course) with as much pride as the white collar worker sitting at the next table to him at Starbucks. Workers are not allowed to work overtime so as to encourage its citizens to lead a balanced lifestyle.
Employees who are pregnant or take parental leave to care for their children can sue their employees if they feel they have been unfairly appraised or dismissed from their jobs, with the government’s tangible support and not just lip service. The government provides significant tax breaks to encourage people to start their own businesses, so that even if they fail, they don’t have to declare bankruptcy and risk being branded a failure for the rest of their lives.
People who cannot find jobs don’t have to starve as they receive welfare payouts provided they show proof that they have been actively looking for jobs. Australia has a high proportion of middle income families and their citizens do not have to fight tooth and nail for survival with FT’s let in by the government who are willing to work twice the duration for half the pay.
The government doesn’t tell their citizens to accept lower wages and work harder and smarter so that they can compete with these FT’s. Its citizens willingly reproduce because their lifestyle is much more balanced and they find time for rest and recreation. They find the time to say “hi” and “how are you”.
In Singapore, people have no time, no energy to raise kids, as they are so busy making money, afraid of failing and being left behind should they even take a short break for a breather.
Coming back from Australia, these are the things that I have learnt and observed. I think there is something really warped about the way the PAP runs the country. Or is this the only way Singapore can survive in this rapidly changing world?
*The above was first posted on Channel News Asia Forum