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Open letter to PM Lee from former PAP MP Maidin Packer

Posted by temasektimes on September 7, 2012



EITHER SINGAPOREANS PRODUCE MORE KIDS OR WE MUST BRING IN MORE OUTSIDERS TO BECOME CITIZENS need not be the only options available to us. As the Government invite the people to think deeper into this and other issues raised at the PM’s National Day Rally, we should also look into other possibilities.

Many countries, including the middle east, have been employing foreigners for decades now, and yet all or most of them remain foreigners on work passes. In some countries, the foreigners far outnumber the locals. They are there strictly for professional and economic reasons.

As they grow older, these workers (from cleaners to construction workers to executives, engineers, bankers & more), will go back to their respective countries. They are then replaced by newer workers. And life goes on. Almost no foreigners became localised or given citizenships because it carries certain responsibilities, rights & benefits AND THESE ARE RESERVED FOR LOCALS ONLY.

Locals are represented in their government service, the private sector as well as employed by many enterprises that set-up shops in Dubai, Qatar, Saudi, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan, etc. And locals seldom feel threatened by the presence of foreigners. Their interest are looked after by their governments.

There is something in the way they did it that can be studied and considered for Singapore. Here are some examples:

(i) Qatar. Out of the total population of approximately 1.7 million (2011 est.), the make up of ethnic groups is as follows: Qatari (Arab) 20%; other Arab 20%; Indian 20%; Filipino 10%; Nepali 13%; Pakistani 7%; Sri Lankan 5%; other 5%. (Qatar – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

(ii) In 2010, the UAE’s population was 8.2m, of whom only 13% were UAE nationals or Emiratis. Majority of the population were expatriates. Many expatriates have been demanding citizenship but there is no naturalisation process in the UAE. (United Arab Emirates – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

(iii) BAHRAIN with land size almost like Singapore, has a population of 1.2 million in 2010, of which 568,399 were Bahraini and 666,172 were non-nationals (Bahrain – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

(iv) KUWAIT – population 3 million, with about 2 million non-nationals. Kuwaiti citizens are a minority. The government rarely grants citizenship to foreigners to maintain status quo. In 2008, 68.4% of the population consisted of expatriates, making the country the 4th highest ratio of expatriates of the world. (

In our case, some of the best can become citizens, maybe as PRs first. If they stay long enough, got married and have children, then they can be considered for citizenship as the children are born here.

There is no serious need to give citizenship to so many as we have done the past few years. Lets not forget, those who became citizens early in their working life, will face similar issues to deal with, just like other Singaporeans, and they may end up not marrying or having a very small family. And we will be back to square one. By then they already have citizenship rights.

If we can keep most foreigners as PRs or work passes, the financial burden on the government will also not increase so much more as we add services for families and the elderly. Therefore the need to increase taxes or GST will be limited.

Like in the middle east, Singapore citizens also get regular handouts from the government, sharing some of the economic surplus dished out during the annual budget. It has been very useful for the lower income group. If we are strict in granting new citizenship, the size of the handouts and other welfare budget will not increase so much.

Singaporeans whose families have been here since before & after the 2nd world war, and since before and after the independence of Malaya (1957), as part of Malaysia (1963) and then independent Singapore (1965) have at least some common short history together as one people.

In the 1960s to the 1980s, as we embarked on economic development programme, people were asked to make early sacrifices for the sake of the country. One of which is when the Government acquired their land at around $1 psf for economic purposes.

Most villages were torn down and the established communities were dissolved. People were uprooted from their villages and moved to housing estates. Everyone had to adjust to new surroundings.

My village head used to own a 50-acre coconut plantation. We were all moved to Toa Payoh, Hougang, Kallang and Whampoa. We still stayed in touch. I met the children of the village head recently. They are mostly taxi drivers, property agents & hawkers.

They had to struggle hard to make a living and could only imagine what it would be like if their land (estimated to be worth a few billion dollars today) had remained with the family.

There are many other stories of locals working with the Government to ensure Singapore’s survival as the future looked very uncertain in 1960s. We all felt that we were all in ONE TEAM, as if everyone were looking after each other and have a greater common interest in mind. The government was seen as very caring and the people responded accordingly.

Back then we rode on Democratic-Socialist values – a mix of democracy with some essence of socialism that allowed us to come up with pro-people national policies – cheap education, housing, medical care and welfare assistance for the needy. We even erected stand pipes in villages.

I think we were all poorer but somehow I could feel that THE SENSE OF UNITY WERE A LOT STRONGER. This include the SENSE OF BELONGING and TEAM SPIRIT between the people and the government. It felt like we were all ONE BIG MULTI-RACIAL FAMILY. We moved as one, act as one – all for the good of the people and the nation.

Today we are so much richer – one of the richest country by per capita income. But I am not sure if the SENSE OF UNITY, SENSE OF PURPOSE & NATIONAL TEAM SPIRIT between the people and the Government have all become stronger. I suspect it has not grown stronger. Not everyone is doing as well. Not everyone earns as much as the per capita income number. But property prices had skyrocketed.

Naturally with one of the highest income in the world, our cost of living here is also one of the highest. Everyone understand this. But I cant say that THE SPECIAL FEELING OF BEING ONE BIG SINGAPORE FAMILY STRUGGLING TOGETHER FOR THE COMMON GOOD is still there. Maybe not as strong as it used to be. Although it should have become stronger.

And I suspect the newer development motto of Singapore Inc – CAPITALISM – had a lot to do with this situation. Capitalism, in extreme and especially as it is advocated in America, means to each his own. You do well, you enjoy your good life (even to the extreme). If you don’t do well, that’s too bad. Its your own fate or fault.

While some argued that capitalism will also bring out some good in people and the nation, I worry it will bring about some serious social problem. It can weaken, even tear, the fabric of our society. We may end up with a class society – the super rich, the rich, the upper-middle income, lower middle and the lower class – the ordinary folks.

The problem is, under such a system, everything will be priced according ‘to the market value’ – be it housing, medical care, food etc. And such prices are easily affordable by the richer people in our society. The not so rich will face problems.

For example, in 1971 when my family moved to Toa payoh, my father could only afford a 3-room flat. The price was $6,800. While his salary was so small, he had no problem to service the loan. While most people today are earning many times more than my late father’s generation then, they will not feel as easy to own and service the loan of a 3-room flat. The price has gone up like 30 times.

Somehow this and many more experiences of our people, has eroded the sense of ‘being cared’ by the Government. More people felt they had to struggle on their own all their lives, beginning at kindergarten age, in order to have a life here.

And today, with so many ‘new citizens’ included, whatever surpluses and economic benefits through Government ‘giveaways’ had to be shared with all the ‘new Singaporeans’. More people sharing the same cake.

But they, their fathers and grandparents, were not here then in our poorer days. Back then our parents and grandparents had to make sacrifices (land, home, kampungs etc) and sweat it out for our families, the people and the country.

This will forever mark the difference between the original citizens of Singapore and the newbies.

Will the capitalist system that the Government adopted and the big jump in demographic changes that has occurred the past few years create a wider gap between the people and government? Will we end up with LESSER UNITY AS ONE NATION, ONE PEOPLE? I feel it has happened. I just hope it wont get worst.

If we are to move ahead stronger and more united, I think the Government need to study these carefully and make the necessary move to RE-UNITE THE NATION, so that we can all MOVE AS ONE again. I doubt we are.

It has become more fashionable these days for people to disagree with the government. That is to be expected as the people becomes more educated and discerning.

The more worrying trend is, many more people than before simply disagree with everything that the Government does. They even criticise good government efforts. But why? For them, its like there is no more trust left. They have entered a mode of less trusting the government.

It’s sad if we end-up a more fractious society with the people looking at the Government far differently than the earlier generation used to. Whatever has happened since about a decade ago, must have caused some hurt in the hearts and minds of the people. It caused a rift to occur. We need to do something to address and heal this.

The key to this healing is to BUILD TRUST between the people and the government. Otherwise, a DISUNITED Singapore, is not at all good for this little red dot’s future.


Maidin Packer, Singapore


105 Responses to “Open letter to PM Lee from former PAP MP Maidin Packer”

  1. Daft Peasant said

    wah lan eh….si beh cheong hei…….

    someone pls summarized….thanks…..

    • whatcanisay said

      like you said si beh cheong hei…
      so i just tell you..what mr. LEE…..will said after reading this cheong hei letter.
      WTF..u teach me what to do….Maidin….i dont fuk a damn i just got my way to skinned those on the ground alive.

      • John said

        The regime’s end is near.

        They are getting desperate.

        They will try anything to silence the people and cling to power.

        It is courageous of Mr Maidin to speak up now.

        Other former MPs and influential Singaporeans would probably like to speak up as well but may lack the courage.

        Mr Maidin stepping up now and speaking up against this failed policy of flooding the island with foreigners will set a good example for others to speak up courageously as well.

        Soon the voices coming from the people will be too loud for this evil regime to ignore.

        Mod’s note:

        You are wrong – the PAP is getting stronger with its ‘B’ team aka the ‘Wayang Party’ on its side to split and weaken the opposition.

    • seorang said

      @Daft Peasant, at the very least, read the last 4 paragraphs 😉

  2. singkey said

    why only when becum ex or former then speak up?

    • SIBAY SONG said

      georgie yeo might be the next one to come out and stole the limelight if there is any.
      anyway, if he really spoke from his heart for all singaporeans then it one step for all Singaporeans to look for other constructive alternatives rather than always using outsiders to increase our Singapore population lah.

    • whatcanisay said

      eat full full 1st lorrr…
      like those MP now…lorrr eat 1st la.

    • Ramli Hamid said

      During his term the situation wasn’t that bad. Now the problems with foreigners are very bad.
      Also when you were in service, it is human nature not to tell off your boss.

      • Kenneth said

        Its not human nature, its asian nature

      • laughing balls said

        To: Paker Maidin : Pigs will squeal only when it is now their turn to have their balls sqeezed.

        It is as if the people manning our mighty government didn’t know about the foreign workers policy of the middle east countries. There is our very senior guy who can reach up to the camel’s balls stationed directly in the middle east.

        You can wayang_wayang the young ones. We the seniors are used to it. We can second guess the agenda.

    • IronMan said

      U think when u r under PAP, u can speak up! Why do u think he left? He helps me n my family a lot as an MP. But too bad even as an MP, his hands are tied. There is a limit to how much help he is able to offer to us. He did wrote letters to HDB, town councils etc for us.

    • John said

      Whether he spoke up before is immaterial.

      What is important is that he is speaking up now.

      The situation in Singapore currently is very bad.

      We need influential Singaporeans to speak up against this failed policy of flooding the island with foreigners.

      Everyone can see clearly that it is destructive to this tiny country of ours.

      I am glad to note that one by one, influential Singaporeans are getting the courage to speak up against the failed policies of this regime.

      Previously, only brave ordinary citizens have spoken up against the injustices.

      But the regime is getting desperate and wants to silence the people.

      It is imperative therefore for influential Singaporeans to speak up now.

    • i say what i think only said

      to show they are fighting for people since the past, now is overspill. well, maybe if they voice out earlier, they become EX much earlier

  3. rongY said

    che maidin, thank you for this well written letter to PM i sincerely hope he take urgent actions. now is the time for him to show the world he is his own man and not forever in the grip of LKY

  4. Free Trolley said

    What if the cause of low birth rate comes from PAP policies.

    • SIBAY SONG said

      you don’t have to follow PAP Policies as they don’t come with insurance attached. kidding! We just need to take care of ourselves if the Gahman cannot do it for us lor. As individuals we listen to our hearts and plan our next move, depending on the present gahman is like jumping into a sea of fire lah.

    • whatcanisay said


  5. Naivety said

    Well written & excellent suggestion but I doubt very much Pinky Lee & his wicked & evil Pro-Alien Party will ever adopt his suggestion & proposed solution as they will never ever listen to its own COS!

  6. xiaofamilies said

    Accept it as a fact!
    Do remedy action to solve the problems.

    Fact had proved that your example are not appropriate!
    Fact had shown that China have racial problem in the past!
    American had immigrants problem in the past as well.

    Chinese and non Chinese have different culture, value system, way of thinking, etc. What you have quoted those countries are non Chinses.
    When doing comparison, please try to use as close as possible. This
    involved culture, values system, location, way of thinking, etc

    The fact is, Singaporeans did not welcome so many foreigners, and this is the fact, and do not use Statistic or examples to outright the fact! You should analyse the fact and find out the reason why and not deny the fact and what Singaporean to accept it.

    To make Singaporeans to accept the way of other countries, is like to force a normal person to behave like talent people, and can he do it?

    The most important part is to find out the reason of the problem, and find way to solve it!

    • Panglima Kodok said

      Please don’t be such a bodoh.. do you know what is the land mass of America and China? Do you know how small is Singapore? Oh I just realised something, you don’t because you are not from Singapore, you are a new immigrant !

    • Tsa74 said

      I really doubt the majority of Singaporean Chinese would even want to associate themselves to mainland China.

      Besides, you sir, are an idiot the moment you say that Statistics and examples do not outright your supposed ‘facts’. Because Statistics and examples ARE FACTS.

      Please read proper and understand before making a fool of yourself in a public forum. Shame may entail a broader definition in less civilized and intellectual cultures, but not here. You speak blatantly and stupidly, you should be ashamed.

  7. Anon said

    Dr Maidin, fantastic heartfelt piece, and thanks for speaking out!! We need more people like you!! Your criticism is constructive and brave.

    However, I also feel sorry that from now on, you’ll be blacklisted. They will do to you what they did to Lim Chong Yah (ie. drown out your voice). You will lose your ambassadorship. You will not be a director in Temasek or GLCs. You will probably be called for a tea session and be made to publicly backtrack.

    I do hope that more ex-MPs will speak out, like you did. Ex-MPs – ask yourself : why did you enter public life in the first place? Is it not to serve the people? With the country at this state, isn’t it your obligation to continue to speak out?

  8. Angry Bird said

    We have given more than sufficient time for LHL to perform and in return this is what true born Citizens get today. Its way overdue to replace him with someone who truly want to serve from the heart for the love and good of all its citizens; not expecting a humongous salary, without a elitist and self-serving mindset.

    • Dr Ken MANSUKHANI said

      So Angry Bird, you can do PM Lee’s job?

    • Tsa74 said

      Im sure there are people who are willing to lead without humongous and inflated salaries. People who wont even have the thought of corruption from a lack of it. People who simply want everything to be better. Who simply expects a decent means of living rather than an extravagant paycheck.

      But will they be heard fairly?

  9. jack said

    Good suggestion, but did not resolve pap losing votes issue

  10. Me said

    It is such a moving and real narration of what had happened in Singapore history
    I lived through the times, believing that if i put all my effort for my country, me and future generations will enjoy the fruits of our labour. And yet at this moment of hardship, our govt betray us … It s very sad!

  11. HAHAHA Now write this letter a bit too late right? Weren’t he an MP until 2006, when the floodgates has long opened?

    When in power to make a different, he choose to go with the flow, vote ‘AYE, AYE, master’ because of party whip.

    When not in power, and no ability to make a difference, he choose to write ‘heartfelt’ open letters to his ex boss.

    Who cares? Yawn!!!

    • alexa said

      Better late then never write at all. U WTF know how to talk can u write something like this. Dont just talk cock here. Atleast somebody is doing their part. IDIOT!

    • whatcanisay said

      EAT FULL LIAO ..

    • Zam said

      Maybe he did wanna voice his concerns when he was MP…. He may be censored and now Former MP…. He may be our next honorable Tan Cheng Bok…. All the way Che Maidin.

    • Distant Drum said

      This person is a moronic idiot his premise is similarly to the abject PAP government with their malevolent attitude towards netizens,besides bringing in Foreign Thrashes to meet up the shortfalls of our population thereby,whereby and thereon Singapore will be with a population of “NINCOMPOOPS” just like him and the PAP government

    • Jack Sparrow said

      relax bro. put yourself in his situation. if you are earning good money to feed your family as an MP, will you speak up to jeapordise your family’s rice bowl? the answer is no. no one will ever bad mouth his own boss. the fact that he is speaking up now means that his future is bleak. pap will blacklist him, and it will be difficult for him to get good posts in the future.

      at least mr maidin is speaking up now. where is mr sr nathan? why so silent?? an exMP speaks, why not an expresident? is he that blind or simply a coward?

  12. Jay said

    Encik, There are differences between Singapore and Middle Eastern countries. Singapore’s population is shrinking whilst the populations in the Middle Eastern countries cited are expanding. Singapore has no resources and therefore no income to handout but Middle Eastern countries have oil and gas to look after their populations. Until and unless Singapreans have more babies, we will have no choice but to attract more foreigners to sink roots in Singapore. There will be no Singapore to speak of if we stop the immigrant flow.

    Mod’s note:

    You are wrong. Bahrain and Dubai have smaller population than Singapore and they don’t have oil either.

    • Factcheck said


      You are wrong. Qatar. UAE, Kuwait and Bahrain all have oil. Nowhere was Dubai mentioned in the letter for the obvious reason that it is an emirate, not a state. While Dubai does not have oil, Abu Dhabi, which is the capital of UAE, sure does. Bahrain does not have little oil because it contributes up to 11% of its GDP. You should really learn more about the Middle East before telling your readers they are wrong. Either way, this letter is about the value of citizenship and the erosion of trust between the government and its people especially the post-65ers.

      • Tsa74 said

        Shouldn’t the way to solve the problem be to look at the dissatisfiers inherent that lead to the declining birth rate and address them, rather than bullishly throw foreigners and old supply side policies at it with hopes that it works out?

        Our mentality must change and evolve with the times. We dont have oil. But what do we have? People. Singaporeans. A downright unique and quality bunch who can hold our attractive prowess on our own.

        Rising prices and costs of living, accelerated also due to the irrelevance of age old policies are the main deterrent for the declining birth rate.

    • Kuomintang said

      You’re right, Mod – but have u been to Bahrain. It’s sometimes difficult to find Arabs on the streets. You see Indians and Fillipinos everywhere – for the same reason as S’pore.

      • Tsa74 said

        Yes. But they take care of their own. Like HK. Like many other countries which are prospering. They have resources. So? We should use what we have as resources. US. The people. Instead of taking the lazy way out. They call for intuitive thinking yet there is no innovation from the direction of the drivers.

    • Naivety said

      Precisely, I fully agreed with the Moderator on this aspect…please use ur brain to think not ur ass before you talk if not STFU!

      You must be an FT yourself which is why you are so in favour of this relentless Pro Foreigner Immigration Policy!!!

  13. salapow said

    Don’t give citizenship to PRs and families, then how to gain more votes for the next election? Tell me how?

    • K T Peri Peri said

      Salapow, because the newly turned Citizens from PR-status and their families will vote for the GARMENT…100% will vote for GARMENT, none will vote for opposition

      Mod’s note:

      If they do not vote for the PAP, they are likely to vote for the PAP’s ‘B’ team aka the ‘Wayang Party’ and so the end result is the same.

      • Tsa74 said

        How then? Any intellectual debate at forming a different opinion will just be marked as dissent. This is not democracy. Not meritocracy. Not anything.

        Lax the laws and let others who really do genuinely care for the future have a say, legally and unobstructed, and maybe things won’t keep going from bad to worse.

      • exsingadownunder said

        what is b party aka wayang party?

  14. ganina utama said

    Damn stupid! If ah lee listen to u, it will make him stupid! If he dont listen to u, he make us stupid! In order to justify his intelligent so as to justify his pay, he would rather make us stupid!

  15. Piratetoon said

    Our minister still ask us to embrace new citizen , they don,t even realize the crux of the problems they had created.

    • SIBAY SONG said

      they do know. and they know . What if you know and when you know, what you do in the future is more important then what the present Gahman do next. Get over it friend. A stone will be a stone and will become a Rock as times grows. Let them be. Carry on our lives in the way we want, if we don’t give PAP a shit. Everytime we let these Gahman knows how we think and what we going to do next we ended having more problems. JUST THROW THIS SING GAHMAN into the rubbish bin and closed the lid!!

    • whatcanisay said


  16. Reply To Mod's Note said

    To mod’s note on Jay’s comment:
    Are you sure there’s no oil in Bahrain and Dubai? Please know your work

    Mod’s note:

    Bahrain has a bit of oil, but definitely not Dubai which is why it was being developed as the financial center in the Middle East. Then again, it’s not really a sovereign state as it part of the United Arab Emirates. Go and read up more yourself.

    • kiwisg said

      Mod, please read up. Oil was discovered in Dubai in 1966. This signals the start of growth for Dubai.

      • Tsa74 said

        No. Even if there is an abundance of oil, that applies to the whole region. Meaning, competition. As such their situation may even be worse than that of ours. Yet they have prospered.

        Having oil means nothing if everybody else have it too.

  17. Don said

    Come on they have oil we have nothing.. Not valid argument..

    • Dr Ken MANSUKHANI said


    • SIBAY SONG said

      Actually Singapore have oil. The blackiest money is hidden in Bukit Batok, Bukit Gombak and under the ISTANA.
      Guess you know what I am saying is there is black oil hidden underground in Singapore.

    • Tsa74 said

      We have US. You. Me. Singaporeans. We have the quality, the comfortable standard of living (before), the experience of having a boost in economy and dealing with MNCs and their operations, the unrivalled rate of progress and development in the region, way ahead of everyone else.

      Yet nothing has changed, we’re still ‘serving’ everyone else as a hub rather than being an independent global entity. It will lead to a decline. A retrograde motion without the eventual right turn.

      • Julie Ong said

        Hello, Tsa74.

        This government has certainly lost it’s way. Instead of being ‘for us’ they turn ‘against us’. I’m totally with you that we Singaporeans can cut it with the best in the world. However, we are being dumbed down by this incompetent, self-serving and greedy government. The result will be that Singapore will eventually ‘go down the drain’. We need to invest heavily on our own born and bred citizens. Give each and everyone of them every opportunity to reach their full potential or ability. This will never happen under the PAP. Never has and never Will! The PAP government is only interested in consolidating their power and money, i.e. more money for themselves. They are definitely not worth it! Just look at the situation now.

        We need foreign talents. Real talents, I mean. This will raise our standard as we can learn from them. They in turn can also learn from us. Win/Win.
        Also, foreign workers are certainly needed and welcome in jobs where we cannot get our own citizens to do them.

        Unless we start looking after our own I don’t see how we can truly forge ahead. As I’ve said earlier this PAP government is a ‘government for the rich, to the rich ………and all out to enrich themselves’!

        The sooner we are rid of them the better!!

        P.S. It then remains for the capable among us to step up to the call for real leadership. If we leave it at ‘status quo’ the situation can only worsen. We need a radical change for the better.

      • Tsa74 said

        Yes exactly. But the question is, whether there will actually be an avenue for change to take place? The probability of it is mind numbingly low. Take my GRC for example, where its either the PAP or the B team. How then?

        I guess at this point in time, we don’t really care where the person is from; as long as they are capable, embody all that is Singaporean, of good character, humility and sensibility to remain connected to the people, we will whole heartedly follow the said leader. A leader who don’t need efficiency wages as a safeguard, as even the very thought of corruption doesn’t enter his or her mind.

  18. kk said


  19. jf said

    Sir, this is the year 2012. We have 47 years and the people voted PAP into power. The PAP know how to stay in power. One way is the GRC The current “conversation” is part of their program to stay in power..

    It is always easier to criticise. Severe criticism was always there. Now it appears to be everywhere because of internet.

    We can’t go back to 1965. Hope Singapore continues to grow rich and become a strong and intelligent society, when other countries’ oil ran out. But don’t take that for granted. Try and protect what we already have and improve on it.

  20. Foreign Trash Bin said

    Thanks Mr Maidin Packer for your letter to your former boss! If you were to write this letter during your service to PAP, I think you will be summoned to LHL’s office and chances are you will be asked to pack and go.

  21. alexa said

    Guys we should support his writting rather than dismissed it cos what he said is a facts. It is happening now to us. We should make so much noise here cos its the only way to let out our frustration tru internet media to let our governments know.

  22. Iceman said

    so sad leh …

  23. patriot said

    Never mind that he had failed to say it whence he was in Parliament.
    At least he said it now whilst many other ex-parliamentarian are enjoying
    themselves with their fat pensions and their huge incomes whilst in office..

  24. teo cheap buy said


  25. KYX said

    As much as I agree with this article, I disagree at the same time. Work passes given to construction workers are explainable because not many Singaporeans want that job, and that, we have to agree. But work passes just given so they could have a profession? I disagree strongly. This is gonna be a long answer, but I have to still get it out.

    Polytechnic students, NIE students, NUS, NTU, SMU, all these institutions provide a carefully planned out education with the hope of giving young Singaporeans a head start to a bright future. However, its no longer enough. I have seen hiring signs stating they hire only Malaysians and PRCs. So are we saying these places should help them get a work permit and the government should approve them? Professional jobs… some institutions want what they call the ‘branded’. Meaning, they barely even hire people who graduates from local institutions unless you’ve got the connections and money.

    I’m not being a party pooper. But, Singapore might need more people for ‘economy’ purposes, but let’s face it. Its a small island and its only going to get smaller. Unless scientist has the technology to magically expand land size, I believe the island is already fully developed as it is. Until someone decides to build something underwater and find a way for us to breathe underwater, Singapore is crowded. I return to that sweet island once a year when I was a child and I remember people stopping to help one another. Now, its a city filled with stress and its so crowded, sometimes we overlook things.

    So in my honest opinion that many will see as ridiculous, its time to stop overcrowding it and start focusing on the quality of life! I’m only a 20 years old majoring in Political Science and have no direction. But I know one thing for sure. If more foreigners are gonna go in and take the jobs that Singaporeans are supposed to step up to, then we might as well just open the immigrations and let people come and go freely.

    P/S lifestyles in the countries you’ve stated, you cannot compare Singapore to them. Singapore wants equality. In those countries, the rich remains rich and the poor becomes poorer. That’s really not the way you want to go. And I do recognize the good efforts of the government, but they just need to improve their approach. In simple terms, stop giving out permits and PRs and let the Singaporeans step up.

    • DIY said

      Your 3rd paragraph drew my attention “Unless scientist has the technology to magically expand land size, I believe the island is already fully developed as it is.” Finally your statement, “ Now, it’s a city filled with stress and it’s so crowded, sometimes we overlook things.” Yes, it’s quite true, when we ourselves become the ‘economic animals’, the Law of Non Return is inevitable. Hills were cut to reclaim the sea for housing purpose. Vegetation were cleared and the atmosphere becomes hotter.

      I remember a TV program hosted by David Nielson in 1988. Scientist made a study in 1960 on human environment when their lives are clustered in high-rise buildings.

      Three pairs of mice were under study. They made up of white, black and brown rodents. All of them were being observed under a hygienic condition. A model of 4-storey HDB flats with 20 units with common corridors were constructed and enclosed inside an aquarium cubicle. There are playground and turf to roam about. Food and water were supplied daily.

      Most of the mice will collect grass to made bedding. They mated and multiplied easily. Their intermarriage with neighbours produced multi-coloured offspring. It was a happy community.

      After 3 months things began to change. Once a happy neighbours, the mice become a quarrelsome lot. They nipped and fight amongst themselves. Some tails were bitten and infection sets in. Those don’t bother to fight will stay indoors and became obese. Their lack of exercise and plenty of food made them lazy. Others refuse to eat and anxiety wears them off and died.

      The scientist noted the events and compared their findings. After 2 years of study all the mice died.

  26. sniper said

    it is very simple one. NO need write such a long letter. Let me summarise = NS IS KILLING SG.

  27. Ren said

    No hope, no heart, no home…Your hdd has been defragmented. Thank you.

  28. Jay said

    Mod, you must be joking that Singapore should learn from Dubai or Bahrain. They are not viable models. You have also not answered the question about Singapore’s shrinking population whilst the populations are growing among the ME countries.

  29. keksim a lang said

    Thank you,Inche Maidin for your details comments.Nevermind that you are a ex-MP.At least you have shown your true singapore’s son spirit.I am not sure myself but with your comments, it looks like still got some hope.Hopefully those clowns who like to compare our fathers and forefathers time with the present FTs influx.They were totally out of line!.$1 per sq ft is something most of us had forgotton!We still have one living ex-President hanging around enjoying his pension but totally unable to offer something which a ex-MP can !Your hands were tied once.Now that you still hanging around and able to offer such a good recommendations is something very few ex-MP can offer.Kudos to you Sir.

  30. welovesingapore said

    We have to thank Maidin for his piece of history lesson. We hear about Democratic-Socialist values a mix of democracy with some essence of socialism that allowed us to come up with pro-people national policies – cheap education, housing, medical care and welfare assistance for the needy. We hear from him about extreme capitalism can tear the fabric of society. So today when Hong Kong has ban the sale of targeted private property to non resident is a socialist act. Doing so for the sake of people. What we can see is resale property from Bishan just broke record of $980k. Which means it will filter down to higher valuation and sky rocket the price further. HDB did not even bother to issue a statement. What we can see is the 532k number of PR were not seriously asked to become citizen. Some have even stayed in Singapore for more than 10 years enjoying direct and indirect gov subsidies which our national budget must cater for them. So tax must be raise. But when telling the reason that tax will be raise in 5 – 10 years time, they say it is for the sake of an inclusive society. Why don’t the PR be asked to make up their mind and turn to citizen and reduce their share of the national budget. I am sure more than 90% would not want to be Singaporean. They would tell you they are not stupid. Think how much can be save for the budget and reduce our GST back to 3%. Even as we speak, the salary of MOE has raise their salary by 8-10%. So when ex-NWC chair spoke of wage shock therapy, the gahman shoot it down totally and deem it not workable because of salary increment not syn with productivity. But think again the MOE Ppl vote happily for who?. So, before the 2016 GE, gahman already raise most of the salary of these base voter be it army,airforce, police, ica,mom, GIC, …. You name it. While they care less about our ordinary folks, they are using our tax money to pay their base vote top market rate with no concern about productivity. So this a divided society by the hand of ……something sound familiar, Upgrading of public housing… No end to dirty politics. Hope Obama lose presidency and be Singaporean, pay him 1 million less cheaper he would fight for you.

  31. cow138 said

    Hear hear Dr Maidin.

    Its really encouraging to see that so many influential and discerning born and bred singaporeans are stepping up to contribute in their own way to the current discourse on the untenable situation in our sunny isle. Contributors to the national debate like Lim Chong Yah, Tommy Koh, Tan ChengBock,
    Ho KwonPing, Yeoh Lam Keong, Ngaim TongDow etc .. I salute you!

    It is a reflection of how badly the previous govt leaders have mishandled the system set up by the first generation of leaders. They just cant deny it anymore. Hopefully LHL can really turn things around before it gets any worse.

  32. Commando Pants said

    We have the Middle East Arab Spring, do we need a Singaporean Autumn!! if you get what I mean. Forgive my lack of knowledge but has only one party ever ruled Singapore?

    A brave guy to speak out though – hoorah.

  33. Miss Ria said

    Well said, Mr. Maidin!

    Really hope this message will nail into LKY & LHL ‘s Brains. even my local chinese friends do not appreciate having mainland Chinese here. this is not abt the problem of not accepting the foreigners, its abt having to compromise most of our Citizen Rights and share the cake with new ‘Chinaporeans & Pinoyporeans’!

  34. mahbok tan said

    Daft SGporean are WE….!!!

    did we see and listen wat obama says in his speech…..its because of YOU…..!!! The citizen of America….!!!

    Did or PM have that kind of attitude……???? How much does the USA tax payer giving him…? How much does Lee and Familee rec’d…????

    Rest my case….SGporeans….we should BLAME ourselves…for who we vote….!!!
    Open you leg BIG BIG and get ready to shout….loud loud….!!!

    KNNBCCB to those who Vote for them into office…..!!!( Meaning taste your own medicine )

  35. Lee said

    It seems a lot like he’s blaming the lack of Singapore’s disunity on foreigners turned Singaporeans.

    ” But I cant say that THE SPECIAL FEELING OF BEING ONE BIG SINGAPORE FAMILY STRUGGLING TOGETHER FOR THE COMMON GOOD is still there. Maybe not as strong as it used to be. Although it should have become stronger.”

    Fallacy. There’s no clear correlation between time and stronger national unity.

  36. zorop said

    i cant believe this is happenning. more and more open letters to pm? why the need when those miw in parliament right now can oppose in totality. just like the casino resolution which the opposition were overwhelmed by the pros, i dont think there are that many upright standing miw who is not papcentric who will go against policies which they themselves would stand to lose like ‘what will happen to their condos if property price were to drop?’ or ‘what will happen if too many tom dick harry can get into universities?’ Protect Arewere Party 1st is the way to go.

  37. Uncle Phil said

    If either or is the option and neither of which is practically acceptable. What a bloody mess the future will be!

  38. Robin hood said

    Mr Maidin is not very old yet, I think. So, I hope he will re-enter politics as a potential candidate in any of the opposition parties. There is nothing wrong with it, to serve Singaporeans as a fellow Singaporean. Hope he will consider it for GE2016.

  39. david low said

    Hope the concerns raised here can be featured in the national conversation

  40. If only there is an undercover boss program in Singapore, I’ll make the PM sit in the ICA counter and clear thousands of his “foreigner talents” and PRs!!! regardless of country, Malaysia, Thailand, India, China etc going in and out of Singapore. Then he’ll know that they are all here not to stay but to just get some money and head home… and sadly that home is not Singapore…

  41. Eugenia said

    I got this web site from my friend who informed me concerning
    this site and now this time I am visiting this web page and reading very informative content at this time.

    • Robin Hood said

      Welcome Eugenia,

      I too was introduced to this site. It’s time that we take notice of what is going on around us. I suppose you are true blue Singaporean who is concerned of the many burning national issues at hand.

      Look forward to your comments.

  42. Disenfranchised Singaporean said

    Singapore has no natural resources except human capital – Singaporeans – and yet there is no protection whatsoever from the government for the low income segment to the white collar workers.

    Are there quota and directive to make sure MNC companies continue to employ and career track & groom locals?

    Just look at the banking industry…..These days, there are many local senior bankers being replaced by their foreigner bosses who protect their own kind and these banks transfer folks from outside Singapore to take over locals. What does our government do – grant them employment passes without due diligence and these fair weathered ‘FT’ are here to live off the fruits of our labour!! They do their song and dance, whilst the locals left behind do all the hard work!!

    Even in resource-rich countries like Indonesia and Malaysia, they make sure that homegrown talents have opportunities to step up and flourish.

  43. TanBinSiva said

    To the original Singaporeans out there, ask ourselves:

    Have we been always opposed to FT? Not at all. Right from the time when I was a student till when I started working we had many Malaysians amongst us, who were stuyding and working in Singapore, who became PRs and also citizens. Malaysians ARE FT, aren’t they? The anti-FT feeling was never there. So why so now?

    The reason: we were (and still are) completely supportive of bringing people who into this country we are similar in culture, values and thoughts. On the contrary, it irritates us to the core, when someone who has not a single strand of similarity in value and thoughts, who claim that they are now Singaporeans.

    So, let’s get this straight: Singaporeans are NOT opposed to FT. It is a question of WHO this FT are.


    • Robin hood said

      The definition of FT does not apply to Malaysian PR. Before 1965 Singapore and Malaysia were one having had the same history and the same different kinds of inhabitants, i.e Malays, Chinese, Indian, Eurasians. All have relatives on either side.

      Other than those who are from Malaysia, the true definition of TF holds – Foreign Trash, Foreign Troublemaker. Like Mr Maidin said, they should only be given passes to work and to leave when not required, NOT to affect the political landscape.

  44. amransan said

    Dear Mr Maidin,

    Why do u speak up now it really puzzle me why not 10 years ago when u were still with the pap?

    If u really wanted to make a different u should speak up to your boss long time ago . Now even u write to your boss will it change anything?

    Don’t u think it’s too late to do anything as the damage is beyond repair now.

    I believe there are mps feel the same way like u but don’t want to step forward and say it out because good salary and benefit and good life.

    So sorry I never trust the papies even they no longer in that party😃


  45. DIY said

    Quotes from Maidin @ :
    (Para 24) And I suspect the newer development motto of Singapore Inc – CAPITALISM – had a lot to do with this situation. Capitalism, in extreme and especially as it is advocated in America, means to each his own. You do well, you enjoy your good life (even to the extreme). If you don’t do well, that’s too bad. Its your own fate or fault.

    (Para 32) Will the capitalist system that the Government adopted and the big jump in demographic changes that has occurred the past few years create a wider gap between the people and government? Will we end up with LESSER UNITY AS ONE NATION, ONE PEOPLE? I feel it has happened. I just hope it won’t get worst.

    (Para 37) The key to this healing is to BUILD TRUST between the people and the government. Otherwise, a DISUNITED Singapore, is not at all good for this little red dot’s future.

    Reply from :
    No 12 Jay said : Singapore has no resources and therefore no income to handout but Middle Eastern countries have oil and gas to look after their populations.

    No 12 Tsa 74 said : But what do we have? People. Singaporeans. A downright unique and quality bunch who can hold our attractive prowess on our own. Rising prices and costs of living, accelerated also due to the irrelevance of age old policies are the main deterrent for the declining birth rate.

    No 19 Jf said : We can’t go back to 1965. Hope Singapore continues to grow rich and become a strong and intelligent society, when other countries’ oil ran out. But don’t take that for granted. Try and protect what we already have and improve on it.

    Dear Netizens, have you notice that not a single word of welfarism is being mentioned. The nearest notion is at (para 20) when the word Democratic-socialist values was hinted. The rest are relatively speaking market values.

    Comparatively speaking, President Barrack Obama was also struggling to promote the State’s assistance to help the poor.

    Hence, how to build trust?

  46. Dreamlord Joe said

    Good points about capitalism vs. social democracy.
    Interesting theory to make citizenship harder for foreigners. However, I think that we should consider that the majority of the foreigners working in Singapore are not rich Western expats, but humble folk who come from economic circumstances equal to or worse than our forefathers. They have made sacrifices to leave their families and come to Singapore in search for a better life. Do they not deserve the same compassion that you advocate for Singaporeans who have been here for a couple generations longer? I think that perhaps it is this compassion towards them that makes Singapore a desirable destination compared to the Middle East, where they have no rights and can fall very foul of the law. To remove such benefits may affect on our ability to sustain our desired population levels.

  47. Amarjit singh said

    G’day…have been out of Singapore for more than 20 yrs…. Came back last year to sort out my cpf….. The first thing the Chinese looking female who spoke in a china accent not Singaporean accent ….asked me on looking at my turban, beard n tanned skin (I m a Sikh)…. Was ” can I have your work pass” ……. Bloody hell…. She thought at one look at me that I was a foreign worker…..bloody shit….. Served Singapore …. Doing my NS n she got got guts to ask me for my work permit……too many china man n Indian origin ppl in Singapore….. To be Singaporean….. U must have a relationship with the land…… U cannot just get off the plane n claim your right to be a Singaporean……even though I spent my first 30 yrs of my life as a sporean…. These days when I return to spore….. I do not feel in my heart the sense of being a sporean…. Time to move on …I guess….

  48. ahmad said

    There is limitation to everything especially size wise. The govt is topping up the population like a cash card. Mr Maidin had written very well and it covers a wide ranging issues about their merits. Hope the govt will not ignore his constructive comments.

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