Wednesday, 9 September 2015

"I Voted For The Opposition in the 2011 General Elections. I Believed Blindly in The Picturesque Image The Opposition Painted"


I spoke with a young man who shared about how his views has changed. In GE 2011, he was so intent on voting for the opposition, that he spent a tidy sum of money to travel to an embassy just so his vote would be counted.

However, his views today are far different from those he had in the last GE. 

He describes himself as a typical Singaporean son who believes that contrary to what many youths think today, nobody owes us a living. He would like to share his message here because he feels that "our future, and the generations to come; their future, depends on our ceaseless faith in the correct government. These youths are the future, and I do not want to leave them to chance".

This is what 28-year-old Cedric Yang has to say:
Years back in 2011, I was an avid, enthusiastic, die heart opposition supporter. Because I was studying in Switzerland at that time, I was unable to cast my first vote against the ruling government. At that time, I was so convinced by the rallies and speeches made by the oppositions about the high salaries our government is taking home, the overcrowding situation in Singapore, the disconnection between the people and the government. I wanted so much to cast my vote against the ruling party that I was willing to spend a few hundred euros to travel to London embassy just to do that.
Then the election fever went down after the results were out; Aljunied was won by the opposition! Total votes against the government went to a historical high at 40%. I was jubilant. Finally, we can overturn the government together! Finally, we can stop paying ministers high pay! Finally the population density in Singapore can be further reduced! Finally the opposition can have the chance of taking more seats in the Parliament and represent our voice! I was naive, so so naive.
Right now, at this moment, I have decided to pen down my experience as a 28 year old, to as many of my fellow Singaporeans as possible, whom are still disillusioned by the flowers and butterflies painted by the heated rally speeches from the oppositions. I have deadlines from my work, from my part time post grad, and analysis to be done for my investment portfolio. But despite all that, right now, I want to be a voice, regardless of its insignificance.
After my graduation from NTU in 2012, I was employed by a government statutory board, A*STAR. In it, I was given a role of industry engagement, where I have opportunities to interact with executives from MNCs, LEs, and SMEs. This has shed a new light on how I view the government in the past. There are countless of initiatives and funding made readily available for these companies to apply, encouraging them to be more capable, more well equipped, deeper knowledge, and better developed. Accepting all these were not easy as this was the party that I was so adamantly opposed to, just 4 years ago! Then I started to really sit down and reflect on my life.
My life was a simple one, as many others, with a humble background of a housewife mother and a taxi driver dad. I was not born with a silver spoon, not even a bronze one. But me and my 2 other siblings were blessed with a roof over our heads (3-room HDB in Yishun), more than sufficient food on our table, very affordable education through our lives. I started questioning myself, what went wrong? Why did I hate my government? In university, my hardworking parents paid $26K for my education. Expensive, but affordable! It took me only 3 months of working plus my existing savings to pay my parents back. Compared to my foreign classmates, they were paying in the range of $50K to $60K for their education in a internationally recognized university. I had the chance to go Switzerland for attachment, a really expensive trip. I thought I couldn't afford it. The government and the university once again funded me 70% of the cost to send me there. I had the chance to travel and explore Europe, without much of a slightest hassle because I was holding onto the proud red Singapore passport. Whenever I talked to people overseas and introduced myself as coming from Singapore, they would jump in recognition and admiration. I was so puzzled as to why, why would a country smaller than most cities be known? We shouldn't even exist! Our natural resources are nil in counting, our land is limited, our talent pool is small.
I faced dangers in Europe, once at knifepoint. The police there could not do anything about it. Reporting does not help. It is just a formality to claim insurance. I went to Greece, and people were rioting outside the Parliament. There was violence and the train service was stopped for a whole day, disrupting my planned trip to Rome. I was buying some souvenirs from one of the stalls in Athens, and the keeper was complaining to me how heavily the government taxed them, and how deep in debt their country is. I went to Oslo, Norway. Shortly after my visit, a terrorist gunned down several tourists. I went to Italy, where the quality of intra-EU trains can be compared to that of a third world country. I went to France, and I saw litter everywhere. I went to Bulgaria, where teens not older than 18 were roaming the streets as prostitutes. I went back to Switzerland, and had a Mcdonald meal. It cost 20 swiss franc ($35 SGD), and I had to put the tray back to the collection point myself! All the while when I was backpacking through Europe, only one thought was in my mind: I want to be back in Singapore. I can't wait to go back to my home. My budget in Europe for a month was $3000 SGD. I had to sleep in airports and train stations at night to save up so I would not run into deficit. Comparatively, I do not even require more than S$1000 in Singapore for a month!
It was then I realised how fortunate we all are. We are able to comfortably afford a hotel at $200 a night, we are able to have sufficient capital for investments, we are able to walk in the streets alone without panicking, we are able to have data connection everywhere, we have countless opportunities and funding to encourage us to upgrade ourselves, to spur ourselves, to make ourselves more useful for Singapore, and to teach ourselves that NOBODY OWES US A LIVING.
We are able to practise our religions freely, we were forced to learn English that ultimately proved so useful in our lives today, we are able to practise responsible freedom of speech unlike the restrictions seen in so many countries today. We are fined for throwing things on the ground, we have tough laws on drugs and illegal immigrants, we have a strong SAF force to deter and mitigate terrorists attacks or sudden invasion. If not for such order to enforce discipline, our streets will be filthy, our youths high on drugs, and our country no more. We have foreign investors putting in billions of dollars in Singapore, developing our local SMEs suppliers, with many of them turning to become MNCs themselves! Jobs were created by them as a result, contrary to popular beliefs. There are Singaporeans who had fallen through the cracks, and the government never ceases to help those who are in need. I have seen them with my own eyes.
How strong is our identity? I was in Barcelona watching a football match and not far away, I recognised a voice. I was so sure they were from Singapore, and I was right. Our accent and Singlish (by choice) cannot escape us.
How strong is our unity? We stopped to help those in need. We volunteered in worthy causes. We stood in the rain as we sent Mr Lee Kuan Yew in his final journey. Our tears, our sorrow, our sadness mixed and mingled that day. But in them, our hope to build on the beliefs of the pioneer generations, our resolve to carry on the iron will of our forefathers, our faith to see Singapore land in good hands for our children and grandchildren.
I did not realise how fortunate I was in 2011. I believed blindly in the picturesque image the oppositions painted. I believed in taking without giving. I believed in a perfect society where there are no compromises.
Now in 2015, I realised many have fallen in those steps I had walked in 2011. I realise how, in the heat of election fever, people make wrong misinformed choices which others have to pay. I realise how much we take so many things for granted, how many things we thought should naturally exist in today's world; wealth, stability, sound financials, harmony, health care, education, housing. I realise that instead of counting what is missing in my life as compared to an ideal world, I need to dig my feet down, work hard, and count what is given to me in a real world. How should I contribute more to this country, how much more can I do for the community around me, what can I do to be a positive influence, and how happy and grateful I am to be born and raised here.
This country did not happen to succeed by chance. It is by hard work, a never-give-up attitude, a mentality of making oneself better and contributing back to the country.
The vote coming 11th September is crucial. Not only for us youths, but for many generations to come. And because of this government, I am confident of raising many children in years to come. Why? Because I know my children will receive things much better than I, have greater opportunities than I, and live a better life in gratitude and contentment.
With this, I end a quote from the man we all respected.
"I wrote this book for a younger generation of Singaporeans who took stability, growth, and prosperity for granted. I wanted them to know how difficult it was for a small country of 640 square kilometres with no natural resources to survive in the midst of larger, newly independent nations all pursuing nationalistic policies. (...) We cannot afford to forget that public order, personal security, economic and social progress and prosperity are not the natural order of things, that they depend on ceaseless effort and attention from an honest and effective government that people must elect."
Excerpts: From third world to first, The Singapore Story. (Mr Lee Kuan Yew)

171 comments:

  1. Check this out everybody for those who are still indecisive.

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  2. Well said. Singaporean needs to learn to count their blessings and be grateful.

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  3. Well said!

    When we drink our water; think where is the source of this water!

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  4. If you are casting your vote based on our roots or how strong our identity & culture have become, then perhaps you've missed the point of the elections

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    1. no, but i think you missed the point of the essay. maybe you wanna try reading it again.

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    2. The disadvantages of electing the opposition is not mentioned in the essay. Who says the opposition cant maintain the same standard of living at the same time improve other parts of our society that ppl r unhappy with?

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    3. Hi Edwin, I've already written on the possible disadvantages of voting the opposition, or more accurately speaking, my take on why I don't think the opposition's policies are good enough to get my vote. You can read it here:

      http://sgbudgetbabe.blogspot.sg/2015/09/general-election-2015-why-opposition.html

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    4. In the writing, I thought I implied that it is through seeing how fortunate we are to be here as compared to elsewhere, as well as realisation that nobody owes us a living, that I decide where to cast my vote. The opposition parties have been preaching about unsustainable "should-be"s to be given, while the ruling party has been tell us over and over again to work with them towards the future. In the same note, do not cast your vote on the opposition just because you want an alternative voice.

      Singapore is at a vulnerable juncture at this point in time. We cannot afford inexperienced leaders to make mistakes and crumble the framework and foundations the government and singaporeans have built on, and upon.

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    5. It's easy to decide on who to vote. Look at the rallies of the oppositions and you will realise how utterly baseless their resolves are. Providing minimum wage, giving out cash, terminating CPF system. Noted, the current party isn't exactly transperant, but to be honest, even if it was, is there anything we can do? Or more importantly, should be really change something that has been working since it was started? I agree with thiscedric as well, on the point where the country is at a critical juncture now and we CANNOT risk for it to crumble.

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    7. Well you didn't mention about the previous election where due to the less difference of votes , we got 2 new university and as such ....??

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  5. Totally like your article! i think ppl always forget their roots on how Singapore has become so amazing today.

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  6. Wow BB, I think your post is going viral! I can see quite a few people shared it from my newsfeed!

    Travel not only helps you know more about other countries in the world, but it also helps you understand your own country much better!

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    1. Hi GMGH! Good to hear from you.

      I agree, travelling has helped me to appreciate Singapore so much more. When I was younger, I used to always proclaim that I would move to the U.S. the moment I had the chance to. However, that view has changed drastically now :)

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    2. I do agree with you. During my recent trip and having lived with the locals, I get to know what the hardships the locals are facing even though they are living in a supposing rich and advance country, make me appreciate what we have here.

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    3. Travelling do open one's eye. Was fortunate to have the chance to see how others handles the hardship. It is for this same reason that there must be an alternative voice for the sake of Singaporean.

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  7. We should be thankful for what the incumbent had done for the past 50 years. But bear in mind! The times had change, people will change, the hands who once held power to improve our lives might change to become selfish and corrupted. Corrupted may be wrong word to use .... But they are definitely arrogant.
    Pap as the incumbent had led Singapore from 3rd world to 1st.. Now we can live a life with stability and social order. But the leaders had become COMPLACENT and arrogant. no self checking, no room for discussion. Alot of new policies are not desirable or have loopholes. They may be competent in their ways but hey, they are out of touch from what is going on.
    As far as we can see, most opposition parties (safely says...WP and SDP) wants to be alternative voices in the parliament, and not overthrowing the incumbent.

    But my dear singaporean, being thankful for being singaporean doesnt mean we can sit on our bless and be oblivious of what is going to turn bad. Other countries are worse off doesn't mean we can be oblivious of what is going to go wrong.
    Supporting Pap for their policies, if you strongly believe in their integrity. Your vote is not an angbao, for thanking them for the happy life you are leading now. Your vote is for the right people with the right qualities in your ward.
    We need the incumbent and alternative voices to form the government who can listen to the people, hear our problems, solve our problems. This is the government this is the leadership we should be electing for.
    Although this utopia is easier said than done...
    Well.... You get it.
    Hope your are not paid to write that.

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    1. PAP is arrogant, yes. But at least their candidates are capable.

      Take Roy Ngerng demanding Lee Hsien Loong to reply to him for example. Is Roy Ngerng placing himself on the same pedestal as Lee Hsien Loong, seeing himself as capable as Lee Hsien Loong when we all know he isn't, not as arrogant?

      Between an arrogant, capable person and an arrogant, incapable person, it's evident who is preferable.

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    2. Hi YW, I am certainly not paid to write any of my posts on the GE so far, and neither was I paid to write this post.

      Like you say, my vote is for the right people with the right qualities in my ward.

      In my case, my ward is PM Lee vs. Roy Ngerng. It is quite an easy choice for me to make, even if the opposition wasn't Roy.

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    3. Hi YW, it feels a little insulting though, upon the suggestion of a paid post.

      In the writing, I thought I implied that it is through seeing how fortunate we are to be here as compared to elsewhere, as well as realisation that nobody owes us a living, that I decide where to cast my vote. The opposition parties have been preaching about unsustainable "should-be"s to be given, while the ruling party has been tell us over and over again to work with them towards the future. In the same note, do not cast your vote on the opposition just because you want an alternative voice.

      Singapore is at a vulnerable juncture at this point in time. We cannot afford inexperienced leaders to make mistakes and crumble the framework and foundations the government and singaporeans have built on, and upon.

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    4. No offense, but just because they both support PAP doesn't mean that they are paid to write. I think this is an insult. They are free to support who they want, just as you are. On the same token I can also say that anyone who writes pro-opposition party articles are paid to write. If we are moving towards true democracy, I don't see why they have to be accused of this just for expressing their views. Everyone experiences life differently, so they see things from different perspectives. You may think that Roy will be a fresh voice, but when I imagine Roy as an MP, I sweat. How could I let him represent Singapore in the international arena? You see? Maybe singapore's international reputation is not so important to some, but it's important to me. How else do we attract investors? Without investors we are quite doomed.

      So, if you truly want this nation progresses as a democratic one, then it starts from you; you should be able to tolerate differing views without insulting other people's integrity.

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    5. And during your work at A*Star, wanna enlighten us to the fact that researchers have hands tied behind their backs by their own bosses, and how Army generals/colonels without any experience in leading an R&D position are being parachuted in to lead research divisions? How many brilliant local or foreign professors were either edged out or simply didn't want to use Singapore as a base because of such caste system?

      Yes there are loads of schemes for SMEs, so does 30 other developed nations, and ironically, while our grant scheme is one of the easiest to obtain and most rewarding, we are still behind other countries in terms of entrepreneurship and innovation. Is it a failure of the scheme? Maybe/Maybe not, but the root cause is probably in our mentality that we yearn for normalcy instead of challenging the norms.

      Are we the only country without natural resources that succeeded? Really? Look at Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Israel, they have no natural resources either, and one of them is surrounded by 6 nations that want to destroy it.

      Heck, Singapore is blessed by its natural location, being at the tip of the Malaysia peninsular, deep port and sitting right smack at the narrow corridor where goods have to traverse between China and Europe. Hong Kong has none of that, yet they managed to developed into one of the world's largest sea and air export port not withstanding that half of their land area is made up of fucking mountains.

      How is Singapore any more unique?

      Looking ahead 10-20 years down the road, Singapore will lose her competitive edge as a sea port as the Northern Polar sea route will open, offering a much shorter route from China to Europe. Malaysia is gearing up with Tanjung Palapas, and with the RM3-SGD 1 ratio, and the fact that 2 of the largest shipping providers, Maersk & evergreen has also shifted there, AWAY from Singapore Port.

      After our port is done, then what do we have? World's best shopping malls?

      Gearing up for 6.9million?

      Will we have enough jobs to support 6.9m? Or is everyone going to be taxi drivers, insurance salesman, or bus drivers?

      LHL isn't stupid, he is a very smart man, he knows what is coming, but unfortunately his solution is to import more lowly skilled FT workers and he decided to embark on building green cities in other countries inspite of the spectacular failure in Suzho park in China.

      Maybe those cities are for Singaporeans to stay in when shit hits the fan.

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    7. Hello Slushpuppy,

      Firstly, I had an experience of a full col heading technology adoption group. His methods are currently working with figures of improved productivity and supplier value over past 3 years.

      Secondly, I also had a full col in my institute who is not doing well in his sector, but he was subsequently demoted and there was no renewal in his contract. So i do not get your point. If you do have names of those who is incapable of excellence or leadership yet has gone unnoticed, please report it base on integrity.

      for HongKong, granted, they are almost similar to us geographically. but look at their housing. you know home ownership is only for the rich? ordinary people like us rent flats, yes, flats smaller than half of our living room in 4 room flat. have you been to their streets? how's the culture there like? are they as racially tolerant as singaporeans? japan and south korea have land. when you have land, that is your resource. have you considered the frightening ageing population in japan? birthrate is low, together with the unwillingness to start a family due to high cost of living.

      Israel has the backing of the united states, with the USA providing billions of funding annually. go read up on the number of vetos USA used to protect the political interest of Israel. what does singapore has, other than economical sound relations with other countries?

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_world%27s_busiest_ports_by_cargo_tonnage
      look at the ranking. is HK port really as successful?

      granted, if that northern polar sea route opens, it will affect singapore's competitive edge. so, do you have any suggestions on the mitigation or alternatives? does the opposition have them? does PAP has them? if you think our sea port and shopping malls are our only edges, please read: http://www.medtech.sg/singapores-economic-climate-competitive-advantages-in-the-biomedical-sciences/

      The suzhou china-singapore deal is for an internationally recognized skills and capabilities transfer. If you think that's our backup plan, please quote relevant references. the government is constantly matching employment numbers and foreign influx. do you think the influx will still proceed if unemployment numbers rise? foreign workers acts as buffer in times of crisis, so that the ultimate interests are still for singaporeans. many will lose their jobs, but as seen from many crisis 2-3 decades ago, we picked ourselves up much faster than our neighbours.

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    10. You only met 2 colonels, one of whom is a dud while the other is only good at "productivity and supplier value" AKA meeting KPIs. On my side, I seen talented people leave A*Star to join private manufacturing sector because of disagreements with management who generally tend to be ex colonels or generals.

      Why are colonels even put there to manage researchers and how everyone incl. you accepts that as the norm is beyond me,

      Singaporeans don't own their homes either. We are glorified tenants on 99, 50, soon 30 year leasehold(1-2 room flats if i am not wrong). Even freehold land can be and has been seized by the government, so please don't try to hoodwink me with that home ownership crap.

      Hongkongers are not particularly tolerant, but they have 1 thing that most Singaporeans don't have- Pride in themselves & in their country. They know when they are being screwed, and they will take to the streets if need be.

      Necessity is the mother of all inventions, and guess what? Japan & Korea is now one of the leaders in Automation & Artificial intelligence. Japan & Korea are leading in home automation race(reducing the need for human caretakers, maids), and they even have dabbled with robots that serve in the service industry

      http://www.zdnet.com/article/robot-staff-at-japanese-hotel-spell-doom-for-service-sector-jobs/

      Meanwhile our friends at A*Star & DSTA are still fumbling with driverless golfcarts

      Realistically, how is a human(Singaporean or even a 3rd world FT) going to get any cheaperer fasterer & betterer than a robot? Are we going to import Refugees from Africa once the Chinese and Indians get too expensive?

      Is aging/low birthrate a problem that can only be solved by importing 3rd world foreign talents? Japan/Korea proves otherwise.

      -I may be out of date regarding sea tonnages, but for Air cargo tonnages, HK is still tops Changi by more than half
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_the_world's_busiest_airports_by_cargo_traffic

      Most of our industry(biomed included) is centered around our port & geographic location. The moment that port is gone, everything else follows.


      There are loads of really smart people in Singapore capable of solving our future problems, but they are not the decision makers in the PAP. Instead an ex army general & his army buddies are being championed as Singapore's future prime minister....

      Remember, PAP was once the opposition and while Lee Kuan Yew lacked the technical know-how, he knew to enlist the help of GKS and other advisors to help & challenge him. I don't see that kind of organization in today's PAP.

      Maybe the opposition has solutions, maybe they don't but like what LKY said about people getting comfortable? This also applies to the leaders. ATM the leaders are too comfortable.

      & FYI "The suzhou china-singapore deal is for an internationally recognized skills and capabilities transfer" - that is just PR tag line, the reality is, while Singapore was pumping tax payer's money into the project, the Chinese were watching and copying everything we were doing. Eventually they started a competing industrial estate and forcibly ousted us

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China%E2%80%93Singapore_Suzhou_Industrial_Park#Suzhou_New_District

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  8. How about your views on the 6.9 million white paper? Just want to know.

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    2. https://www.google.com.sg/search?q=Singapore+working+demographic+2015&espv=2&biw=1920&bih=979&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMIy_vssbPqxwIVTleOCh3aDAj3#imgrc=HZLtvrFKs7zz2M%3A

      Look at that demographic and note the 25-29, 30-34, 35-39 they are the biggest which is currently our working population, then note 10-14, 15-19, in 15 years those people will be the working population and the working population would be tax heavily to help sustain and keep the benefits going for the aging population which will be the current 30-34..as time passes, there will be a decrease in the working population.

      You need an increase in population to prevent that from happening, only way to prevent a backlash due to low birth rate is to bring in people from other countries to boost our economy now, to gain enough 'Profits' so as not to burden the future generation. Think about it.. Just my 1c worth thought.

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    3. Hi Unknown,

      I agree with K[I]RA. I've also just published a balanced entry with my thoughts on some of the PAP's policies, including Population White Paper right on top of the agenda. You can take a look to know my views :)

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    4. Totally agree. The 6.9 million is a projection based on, above all, economic growth to sustain the country in the future. It involves all the various ministries' projections on housing, job, food, health care, education, trades, etc. Why 6.9 mil.? Why not 7 or 8 mil ? Smart government like ours would had consider 5 mil if it is possible. Why not, when the cost saving is so obvious. So 6.9 is not a zero sum game. It is a projection that all our national infrastructure will be preparing for. Maybe if we don't have these increase then we not to expect lower quality of life. For example, no new hospitals because not enough nurses and doctor which means longer queue in existing hospitals. Not enough replacement drivers for buses and ambulances means increased costs to employ the few available. Cost of care for the greying seniors citizens would increased, which then the blame will be conveniently dump on the government.





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    5. Hi Unknown,

      The population white paper suggesting 6.9million is a economically sound projection. Singaporeans' birthrate is crawling to close to 1, we have a going-to-be ageing population crisis (take Japan for example), and we need our MNCs and SMEs to survive in Singapore. Why? Simply because we do not have any resources at our disposal, even our drinking water needs to be imported (at least for now), and we have no land for farms and self sustainability.

      What would happen if, without the foreign talents and workers influx based on projection?

      1) Well, MNCs will not invest here. MNCs invest billions of dollars, in attempt to set up a full value chain local suppliers. I have been working with alot of them, and my colleagues in EDB can vouch for it too. Without immediate foreign talents, why would MNCs want to wait 3 to 4 years to train locals before investing here? It does not make economic sense. They want immediate talents, and Singapore being small with our talents poached overseas, we need that supply.

      2) Labor. Singaporeans are well educated to even want to get their hands dirty. That's our shortfall. Pay is low and sun is hot and sweat is disgusting and mud is revolting. Think about it, with expansion plans ahead projected 10, 20, 30 years into the future, land expansions and skyscrapers and attractions and more extensive transport, who will do them?

      3) Macroeconomics. We need to sustain our GDP growth. In UK, the growth is negative. Where in the world can a country without anything but its people (small pool though), find itself top in several fields, positive GDP, and boast about its first world status?

      Hope it clarifies.

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  9. 1. everything is the internet... do your own research from tax policies of Scandinavia to immigration policies of Aus and Canada... just remember when LKY came into power how he turned a fishing village to what singapore is now is foreign advice from drainage systems of Holland to army training of the Israel...
    2. http://mothership.sg/2015/09/ex-gic-chief-economist-yeoh-lam-keong-issues-badass-reply-to-dpm-tharmans-now-viral-speech/ this article clearly shows the the opposition (SDP) in particular makes sense and is not total bull like what budget babe view it as.
    3.http://edition.cnn.com/2013/05/13/business/singapore-rich-switzerland-wealth/ another article which u can read.
    4.PAP keeps harping on track record go read PAP history and see whether is it all roses.
    5. PAP is no longer what it is under the leadership of LKY go look at LKY speeches. They filled with gusto, feel, and direction for singapore. Once LHL took over with team thats downhill. LKY is such a great man that his foresight cant be denied. He even foresaw votes dipping why simply because PAP isnt what it was.
    6. Budget Babe i hope after u reading those articles u can see why opposition( WP & SDP)

    p.s vote for change

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    1. So. Aaron, u mean by follow doctrine from internet any country can be successful? Can tell what r the countries has donr so beside spore as u have suggested

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    2. I hope you all understand that we are a country without natural resources. So I don't think it's fair to compare with the other countries. The policy now is to ensure jobs are available to all of us. I agree that we can do better to help the less fortunate, but the government also need to balance between helping and not getting the citizen taking the welfare for granted.

      Whats worries me on the opposition policy is not if we can afford to help the needy or reduce ft, what worries me is if these policies is implemented, how will it affect our labour market, and will more ppl fall into the needy group as less job is created due to less competition

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    3. I hope you all understand that we are a country without natural resources. So I don't think it's fair to compare with the other countries. The policy now is to ensure jobs are available to all of us. I agree that we can do better to help the less fortunate, but the government also need to balance between helping and not getting the citizen taking the welfare for granted.

      Whats worries me on the opposition policy is not if we can afford to help the needy or reduce ft, what worries me is if these policies is implemented, how will it affect our labour market, and will more ppl fall into the needy group as less job is created due to less competition

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    4. Hi aaron,

      to answer you:

      1) Singapore is an inexperienced country from the start. Of course advice was needed from more successful countries. May I know your point?

      2) He is the ex GIC chief, means he is currently not in a full understanding of the immediate operations and goals. To point out, just because we have excess, does it mean we have to spend it? Triple the scheme, add more to subsidies? Come on. What if storm comes and we do not have sufficient reserves to buffer and tide us through? We take alot of things for granted, and thought all should be handed to us in silver platter. I tell you, work hard and see everything as a blessing. You compare how fast we recovered from economy crisis again and again, compared to other countries with far greater resources than us? I rest my case.

      3) Refer to point 2.

      4) Of course it is not all roses. We are all humans. We make mistakes. But can you see the result of a consistent and experienced party? Look around you. Can we afford to make the mistake of allowing an inexperienced party to take over? Sure, if we don't mind going back to the Singapore in 1965.

      5) He did not think that the votes will drop because of a downhill PAP quality. Have you read his books, or maybe listen to his speeches? His reason is that Singaporeans will become more complacent, and take alot of things for granted. Singaporeans will start to think that things should be as it is, and it is the natural order of things. Singaporeans will one day start to think "hey, maybe we can do better with new government!" These are the thoughts that can potentially destroy us.

      6) I speak on behalf of BudgetBabe and my writings via the 5 points above.

      Thank you.

      Delete
    5. Hi Aaron,

      To add on to the sound arguments provided by Cedric, I quite like Yeoh Lam Keong's rebuttal, but I feel you got it wrong in saying his speech "clearly shows the the opposition (SDP) in particular makes sense and is not total bull like what budget babe view it as".

      His speech do not support or lend strength to what SDP is pushing for. In my opinion, SDP's policies are unsustainable. I've not said it is "total bull", but if you view it as such, that is your own judgment. Please do not impose your judgment upon me as claiming it is my view.

      Yeoh's argument argues that while our DPM may be right, there is still much leeway to be done to help the groups who are lesser off, without resorting completely to raising taxes. SDP, on the other hand, is calling for excessive benefits in my opinion which may end up running our reserves dry.

      Two different arguments here my dear.

      Delete
    6. If yeoh is in the opposition, then yes, I would say the opposition is in a good position to take over the government because they have a plan on what they want to do. Yeoh was replying in his own capacity and not for opposition, which meant anyone can review and implement if they are sound, which means both sides can implement them.

      What change are you referring to? What changes have the opposition offered, or what solutions have they given? Change can be done anytime by anyone.

      I have the utmost respect for some of the oppostion leaders, and believe that they are absolutely capable to lead.

      But vote only if you believe that he or she is truly capable of making the change with solutions you are asking for, not just because you want the opposition to be in because, you just want it.

      Delete
    7. By reading the 1st line, i stop reading.... since when LKY transform a fishing village to 1st world... thats the quality of the people here... know your facts...

      Delete
  10. The opposition (wp) suggested the public transport system model where the govt own them during ge2011 election.. it was then implemented 4 years after that. How can they say they didn't contribute?

    1.) We need to realise and mindful not that because Opposition Parties didn't contribute, but they are not given any Ministry to oversee/run. So tell me, how to implement the ideas? If they can't, then how do we know whether the ideas don't work?

    2) yes, indeed we are doing better than other countries, not just our immediate region countries. Since we can and able to do even better, then why do we just stop here? You mentioned about complancy, now, isn't that your chain of thoughts is also complacent?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi james very much i would like to believe u the govt has already start looking into it before, so went govt implement it, it become wp credit? Lol

      Delete
    2. James, I actually don't get your train of thoughts. How are my thoughts, or that of Cedric's (to be accurate), complacent?

      Complacency is defined as "a feeling of smug or uncritical satisfaction with oneself or one's achievements".

      I don't think Cedric or myself satisfy either of that requirement - being smug or uncritical. We've acknowledged that we've done well, but that there is still much to work on.

      Delete
  11. U can c my humble summary on the ge issues on my fb wall. Merc choo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi KellerCC, for the benefit of everyone else here, would you like to post and share here? :)

      Delete
    2. I try n it says limt to 4096characters. U may copy over here.

      Delete
    3. And this is the link https://www.facebook.com/merc.choo

      Delete
  12. I read, find that some are not doing an apple to apple comparison. Like the author said, nobody owes us a living. I am blessed with LKY at the helm of Singapore which I admit he is a person that have the foresight which no other countries have. The only thing I am not happy are policies not well thought through meaning not 100% , maybe 90%, so the incumbent or someone taking over can improve on it.Whatever you vote is your right, but do think of our future, be it the incumbent or the opposition, think smaller first - did you see your MP coming around and help the constituency with improvement, way in which your MP present him or herself in arguements against or with policies.I am not a yes man as I see what I see, and have to try to see from all angles before deciding what is the next course of action and not based on whatever or whoever telling me that it is a norm in other parts of the world.

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    Replies
    1. Jimmy, actually both Cedric and I have stated that we do see MPs doing work. I see many changes and improvements in my AMK ward, I see PM Lee at events, etc. Although my only grouse is that I never seem to be home when they've done door-knocking all these past GEs. Would love to have a word with them in my house, and share what I've written about in a separate post last night detailing why I think PAP and their policies are still far from perfect.

      I do not vote based only on domestic issues. I have a macro-view of Singapore as well, given our external influences and vulnerability, and the PAP has shown that they are capable to handle that. This, I do not hear much from the opposition, who has mostly focused on bread-and-butter issues.

      Furthermore, I have already stated in my other post that if a worthy opposition candidate should appear, I will not hesitate to vote him / her. Unfortunately, in my ward that is PM Lee's team vs. Roy Ngerng, so my decision is an easy one.

      Delete
  13. Mr Cedric yang gave a good comparison to Europe. Indeed it is not that fancy place that was painted to us. Our government has done well in comparison. But what about the less fortunate? By less, it's lesser than a housewife and a taxi driver. Mr Cedric yang pointed that he has to clear his own tray in Switzerland after paying $35, in sg u pay 5$ and u get someone to clear ur tray. How often does he turn around and look at who is it clearing his tray? An elderly or a fervent young worker?

    Pap has done a good job. But we need to grow some sympathy to the vulnerable who live among us

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. That is why we as Singaporeans should step up. When we see such people, help them. If they are struggling with daily necessities, bring them to MP, set up funds to bring food to them. I am currently doing that and thinking of further expansion to allow more Singaporeans to join. Hope I can see you in my team one day.

      Delete
    2. BBQ, curious you mentioned about the elderly who are collecting trays. I am wondering why can't we just carry the trays back to the collection station?

      Also, would a fervent young Singaporean collect dishes? No offense please, but us the younger generation does not like and does not want. So who is going to do it?!

      You understand?

      You asked why can't we have sympathy? Maybe we should stop asking why and start doing something as individuals? For example, have we stopped changing smartphones once a new one is released, so we can perhaps donate that few hundreds to someone in need? Or are we gonna be complacent and act blur and say hey that's my hardearned money, taking care of underprivileged not my dai ji? Have you donated on the side other than to the school children collecting every weekend at mrts? Have you actually volunteered even for one day for any underprivileged group? If not, stop criticising others or implying that they are not sympathetic. I say this and I dare to say this. Everyone just complain about government not taking care of lower income group families, I think it is just an excuse because we have grown so complacent. Like Cedric said, we want more by doing less. And what about the elderly? Well, let's not kid ourselves. So many Singaporeans are not even willing to stay with their parents, and there we are, discussing about pioneers' welfare when we don't even care enough to stay with them. I rest my case.

      Delete
    3. BBQ, curious you mentioned about the elderly who are collecting trays. I am wondering why can't we just carry the trays back to the collection station?

      Also, would a fervent young Singaporean collect dishes? No offense please, but us the younger generation does not like and does not want. So who is going to do it?!

      You understand?

      You asked why can't we have sympathy? Maybe we should stop asking why and start doing something as individuals? For example, have we stopped changing smartphones once a new one is released, so we can perhaps donate that few hundreds to someone in need? Or are we gonna be complacent and act blur and say hey that's my hardearned money, taking care of underprivileged not my dai ji? Have you donated on the side other than to the school children collecting every weekend at mrts? Have you actually volunteered even for one day for any underprivileged group? If not, stop criticising others or implying that they are not sympathetic. I say this and I dare to say this. Everyone just complain about government not taking care of lower income group families, I think it is just an excuse because we have grown so complacent. Like Cedric said, we want more by doing less. And what about the elderly? Well, let's not kid ourselves. So many Singaporeans are not even willing to stay with their parents, and there we are, discussing about pioneers' welfare when we don't even care enough to stay with them. I rest my case.

      Delete
    4. Hi Jenny,

      Funny, I don't think I fall into your generalizations.

      1. I've told my boyfriend that after we get married, I WANT to stay with his parents. He has said he wants a place of our own, but I've maintained my stand that as the only son, we ought to take care of them, especially since they're not getting any younger.

      2. Yes, I've donated.

      3. I return my own trays most of the time. Unless the coffeeshop auntie or uncle comes up to take it from me.

      Delete
  14. It is more about accountability and transparency above all else. One cannot liken the old PAP to the current one. Times have changed, the leadership has certainly changed hands.

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
    Or
    "who watches the watchmen?"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's why we have WP in Parliament right now isn't it?

      That's what social media can do, isn't it? When the ST reported a front-page photo of PAP members going around distributing masks during the haze season, social media showed us that it was the opposition who might have actually started doing this first.

      What I fear, is whether we are voting in the opposition just for the sake of "change" or having a "watchdog". We should question if the watchdog is in this case is a capable and talented one.

      Democracy also allows us to vote out the ruling party if we don't think they've been doing a good job.

      The system is not perfect, but there are checks and balances in place as well. Instead of asking, "Who watches the watchmen?" how about we start asking, "If not for the opposition, what else can we normal Singaporeans do to watch the watchmen?"

      Delete
  15. If you can afford 200/night hotel room and thinks that is the norm for most Singaporean, you have lost touch with reality just as PAP has lost touch with those they promised to serve. As someone who owes no one a living and can afford such luxuries, yes that is a luxury, it is our duty to ensure that those worse off are taken care of by means of proper policies to ensure the live a decent life, not by means of handouts or scrap at the bottom of the barrel.

    Vote PAP if you think they are doing a great job but don't forget who they have left behind.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What I meant was the general public who are working in this era.

      And to your point, that is why we as Singaporeans should step up. When we see such people, help them. If they are struggling with daily necessities, bring them to MP, set up funds to bring food to them. I am currently doing that and thinking of further expansion to allow more Singaporeans to join. Hope I can see you in my team one day.

      Delete
    2. Hi Azhar, I beg to differ. York Hotel, Oasia Hotel and Studio M are but 3 good names where you can stay for $200/night.

      Cedric did not claim this is the norm for most Singaporeans. In fact, my friends are booking staycations at more expensive hotels! One of them just celebrated his birthday at the Fullerton for $500/night.

      When we see people who are left behind, let's not just rely on the government to help them, but also ask what we can do for them.

      Like I've written in my other article yesterday, on why I think the PAP is still far from perfect,

      "Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country".

      Delete
    3. Cedric and Budget Babe, you both missed the whole point. This is why we say PAP is clueless.

      To you York Hotel etc are not luxury hotel. Yes they are not, by hotel standards, but by those who can't even afford to pay for their rental, that's like a 5 star hotel! See from the view of those who do not see it the way we, who can afford these as 'standards', see. We may be able to eat at Swenson's etc but to some, even a simple meal at Kopitiam chain is a luxury. I have met these people before. They are not made up stories by the oppositions.

      Yes, you can direct these people to public assistance scheme but then again, you missed the point. Why are these people where they are now? Is it simply because they failed to ride the wave of meritocracy? That if they simply lift up their ass and work harder, things will be different?

      The simplest way to see that PAP is going the wrong way is when they demand a minimum wage for ministers and defended it tooth and nail but fight against it just the same to accord that to the masses even if it is a meager 1k/m.

      PAP is not all that bad but its refusal to listen even after being warned again and again justify a hard knock for it to realise that it is going the wrong way. Case in point, the housing mess it made until 2013, when it made a TOTAL U-turn on a policy they defended as hell before that.

      The measure of success of a nation is not by how well the rich is doing. True measure of success of a nation is by how well the poor are doing.

      Delete
    4. Hi Azhar,

      There will always be poverty. Find me a country that doesn't have a single person in the cracks, and I will shut up.

      I've not said the poor are "made up stories by the oppositions". I've also acknowledged in my recent post on why the PAP is still far from perfect, on that more can be done to help those falling in the cracks.

      Minimum wage is a double-edged sword. By the way, did you know that apparently PAP's MPs already raised the idea of minimum wage in Parliament years ago, but was rejected by the Labour Chief then? The WP is not the first party to push this idea through. Also, there has been a $1000 wage level in place for cleaners since 2014.

      Agreed that the PAP still has work to improve on, but they aren't that bad either. Let's push them for further improvements and raise feedback where we think it is necessary.

      Delete
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  17. It cost 20 swiss franc ($35 SGD), and I had to put the tray back to the collection point myself! - You lost me there.

    Paying $35 should not entitle you to forget basic manners/courtesy of putting your trays back. 1stly, you should not even expect such a service. It is a fast food estab not a table service bistro. Because they have such high wages in Swiss, they can eliminate basic jobs that pay at most $1000 a month in SG. Who is the person clearing your tables in SG? Foreign labour, old men/women? Ever ask yourself why? And if this is the Singapore that you are proud to live in?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Unknown,

      It is a principle of comparison. It is not meant as what you imply. Please read the examples I had listed out in other countries before and after the quote you listed. Read in context, not as and when you think should be ok to stir negativity. Thank you.

      Delete
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  19. I beg to differ, I used to be a staunch PAP supporter, believing that Singapore has the best education system, healthcare system, etc. After studying abroad, I began to see flaws in our system and realise that there is still much we can learn from other countries.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Unknown,

      Please, let me know our flaws in our system, in healthcare and education etc. Let me know. Thank you.

      Delete
    2. Yes, please raise these flaws to the public and PAP's attention. It is only through debate and open discussion that we can all improve and let the government know our suggestions on how to improve them, or even if it is to highlight certain flaws people are not fully aware of.

      Delete
    3. Healthcare- It's a universal right IMO, govt should budget more money to healthcare. Healthcare is so expensive here, one of the most expensive in the world. It is difficult to access funds in the CPF. Complicated process for applying for MediFund means that the people who are most in need might not know how to apply. Even so applying for MediFund is such a long and tedious process that people just give up. (I know of many people from both middle and lower income groups who are strrugling to pay their bills).
      If you think the low budget for healthcare is due to Singapore being efficient, check out Hong Kong healthcare system. The quality of healthcare there is comparable to Singapore, yet HK citizens pay much less for it.

      Education system - We come in top in tests, but do having citizens who know how to complete tests make our education system a successful one? Does it really prepare us for life?
      Going through the system, I do not feel encouraged to think out of the box. It was just drilling and drilling to achieve perfect scores. And what about the other life skills? Many students do not have much time to pursue their own interest/ learn other skills if they do not want to do badly accademically.
      For one, how many youths actually know how to do housework, cook, clean, look after themselves? One reason why our reliance on domestic workers is so strong compared to most other countries.

      Delete
    4. These flaws are already widely known. Its just that the PAP and some members of the public prefer to gloss over them.

      Delete
    5. Hi Unknown,

      Healthcare - Can you give a quote on HK's healthcare price and their standards or quality? I would like to know. Refer to my replies to your "fairy tale" comment below.

      Education system - The education system we have have proven its worth internationally. You see Singaporeans working in countries and big corporations. thinking outside the box is also encouraged. perhaps we differ in generation, but i was taught to be creative during management training class, as well as attempts to solve questions based on an open end.

      I find it funny if you think youths looking after themselves should be the government or education responsibilities. I really doubt your parenting skills. As parents, we should teach them to do housework, not government, not education. Enough said.

      Our reliance on domestic workers? Let me point out 2 points.

      1) I do not have a domestic maid in my life, and I live fine. My parents taught me the correct values in upkeeping.

      2) You would rather have domestic worker or our citizens be domestic workers overseas? Please look at things in a bigger picture, not the tiny little circles you live in and think the world owes it to you.

      Delete
  20. I call this a Classic Fairy Tale. One that ends "happily ever after". At least for the writer.

    Throughout, the tale is punctuated with "I" and "me"; "I was studying in Switzerland..., I was employed by A*Star..., I had the chance to travel to and explore Europe..." etc.

    As it is a Fairy Tale, there is no mention of the writer :
    1. Being displaced or discriminated against by foreigners in the workplace;
    2. Not being able to secure a seat in varsity becoz free scholarships worth S$400mil per annum are handed out to foreigners who only need to attain a 2nd class lower degree
    3. Struggling to afford a roof over his head due to skyrocketing housing prices
    4. Having his security/safety threatened by a foreigner (My own daughter was recently stalked by one)
    5. Fighting for standing space on the train or being a victim of regular train breakdowns
    6. Not being able to afford the ever-increasing medical/healthcare costs
    7. Seeing his parents collect cardboards to eke out a living etc, etc.

    As it is a Fairy Tale, the writer is on the right side of the widening divide between the "Haves" and "Have-nots". Being on the side of the "Haves", the writer regrets giving his vote to the Opposition in the last GE. Why is that so? Not that the Opposition did nothing for the people but because nothing that the Opposition did benefitted him. After GE2011, the PAP was forced to tweak its policies in Immigration, Healthcare, Education, Housing, Transport etc. because of pressure from the Opposition. But the writer is blind and oblivious to all these because the ones who benefitted are the "Have-Nots".

    In the Fairy Tale, the writer sees evil (think riots & violence) in foreign lands and has frightening nightmares of the same evils visiting his kingdom just because a few more of the Opposition are voted into Parliament. Just like the bimbo, pea-brained Snow White, the writer cannot see the real evil who is the wicked Queen with the poison apple. In this Fairy Tale, the wicked Queen is dressed in white.

    As the story of "Snow White" goes, the Princess rides off into the sunset with her Prince and they live happily ever after. But what happens to the Seven Dwarfs? Does the Princess give two hoots about them? So why should the writer give a damn about the plight of his fellow S'poreans? After all, he does not belong to the "Have-Nots". After all, he is not the Engineer-turned-taxi-driver who lost his engineering job to a less competent foreigner or, worse still, one with a fake degree. But he should heed the warning of the taxi-driver; the taxi-driver once had his own Fairy Tale too, which turned into a Tale of Horror. He was once a "Have" before he took a bite of wicked Queen-in-white's apple and turned into a "Have-Not".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll leave Cedric to reply on his story, but here's my two cents worth:

      1. When I feel I'm discriminated against by foreigners, I choose to leave my job. In my job today, I'm valued for being a Singaporean, and I don't feel like I've been discriminated against.

      2. I was given a local scholarship where similarly, I was only required to maintain 2nd lower class. I attained first class in my very first semester of university after getting the scholarship though.

      3. I am still trying to buy my own flat for when I get married, but right now, I do have a safe and secure roof over my head, in PM Lee's ward too. PM also says you can get a house even with just $1000 salary. You should also read what SMRT Feedback has just shared on how it IS possible to buy a HDB flat, a response to an ignorant guy who claimed that he earns $2000 and it is "IMPOSSIBLE" to buy one.

      4. I've never had mine threatened by a foreigner. Maybe your daughter is just prettier than me? In that case, she should be more mindful of her own safety. Try calling for a protection order if that persists, or just send her to self-defence classes lah!

      5. Yes there are train breakdowns, but it's too much to call them "regular". Also, I do get seats on the MRT 5 out of 10 times when I take it! Were you only referring to the rush hour? But hey, when I was in HK recently, during rush hour and non-rush hour I barely got seats too.

      6. Did you buy insurance? My dad just got hospitalized for 10 days, his MP was kind enough to come by and visit him, and at the end of the day, the bill was quite affordable after deducting government subsidies. The PAP has also recently introduced Medishield Life which has more benefits.

      7. I'm glad my parents aren't collecting cardboards to eke out a living. But that's also because despite their low education, they worked hard at their jobs and SAVED MONEY for their retirement. My mom also went to upgrade herself by taking ACCA examinations despite failing numerous times (perhaps I got my hardworking genes from her). Otherwise, both my parents only had O levels. Both their daughters today are degree-holders, and one (myself) is a proud scholarship recipient. Is the Singapore they live in unfair? No, but that's because we all got to where we are with sheer hard work AND government subsidies.

      If you expect the government to take care of you without you lifting a finger, that's being too naive too.

      Delete
    2. It's all about "I"...what can I say

      Delete
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      Delete
    4. Hi unknown,

      I love the fact that you resorted to name-callings to degrade yourself. (I quote "Just like the bimbo, pea-brained Snow White, the writer cannot see the real evil who is the wicked Queen with the poison apple.")

      That aside, let me tell you a little about my life. Perhaps you do not know me, or I do not have the time to write a full biography of my life in my post, here's the enlightenment.

      1) I have not been displaced or discriminated against by foreigners in my workplace. Contrary, I work well with them. Why? Because I understand the dynamics of things and human relationships, unlike Xenophobias.

      2) You know what is the point of those scholarships? To bond them so that they can contribute to Singapore's workforce after they had graduated. If you want free scholarships, study hard. Remember, you are not bonded, and the universe does not revolve around you.

      3) Struggling? Please tell me who. Read the newspapers during the NDR 2015 and people with under $1000 income can afford a 2room flat. I am currently on BTO for a 5 room flat. Tell me, who. I need names. So we can help them together. If you cannot provide names, then your speech is an empty vessel, hogging on the pointless furies set on fire by the rallies. Cool your head first.

      4) I never experienced it in Singapore. I suggest you make a police report, ask your daughter to take a photo of that man, and request for a protection order. And may I ask, how do you know if that person is a foreigner? Why are you this judgmental and discriminative? Do you teach your children these values?

      5) I take train and bus to work everyday. I squeezed with workers from tuas area as my workplace is in NTU. I have traveled here for the past 7 years, 3 years of working and 4 Years of studies. I have to squeeze with students and workers during peak hours. And I do not complain about the high prices of cars, because I love public transport. Why? It is green, sustainable, and frankly, I can go everywhere I want without needing to drive or be stuck in jams. So, what's your point? I got stuck in trains before, I walked on the tracks from Yew Tee to CCK before, but I did not complain. Why? think about it. go outside and experience their transport. live there long enough to tell.

      6) Recently I had 2 accidents. First, I broke my ankle while playing soccer. Hospital cost for 5 day stay at B2 ward, $270 (inclusive of x-ray and food and etc). Case 2: I had food poisoning beginning of year and was so serious I had to be hospitalised 4 days in KTPH. $150 including A&E fee. To make everything smoother, I brought well informed insurances to ensure I am covered sufficiently. Tell me who cannot afford their medical bills? Tell me names. And where can you find more affordable and first class medical treatment without heavy taxes on middle income group?

      7) My parents do not collect cardboards for living. My grandmother collect cardboards, but not for living. She has 6 children, and we grandchildren frequently gives her pocket money. She has the PG card in her wallet. And she told me she had nothing else better to do. Tell me who collects cardboard for a living, because it is definitely not the way.

      Perhaps you do not know me, my small little church is an advocate to help these old people. We buy food from our own funds and top ups to deliver daily necessities to them. And I would love if you can give me more names, so I can do the same for them. Please read my replies to your baseless and shallow comments above for further clarifications.

      And oh, I would appreciate the gracefulness in you by not resorting to name calling. It is uncalled for, and definitely not the way to influence people and children. Thank you.

      Delete
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    6. Thiscedric ur story telling is so boring..... :(

      Delete
    7. Thiscedric ur story telling is so boring..... :(

      Delete
    8. That is essentially the mindset, isn't it? Don't write more, people don't understand, blame. Write more, people say boring, blame. I rest my case.

      Delete
    9. BB do you ever think that there are people who studied very hard and yet can't get good results? that there are people who have to work night jobs to help the family while juggling school? if these people don't get scholarships and only manage to graduate from ITE, it is their fault for being lazy and stupid? or they deserve it because their parents were lazy to study hard in their younger days ("O" level is pretty decent for our parents' time) or lazy to work hard to provide for the family. Just because you are privileged and blessed don't mean there aren't people who are not.

      Delete
    10. Again, it's nothing but "I', "me", "my"...

      Delete
    11. Hi unknnown,

      If that's your only argument, i applaud your intelligence to hold reasonable grounds.

      Delete
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      Delete
    13. What's there to argue when you have so unwittingly proven my point? Thanks Snow White!

      Delete
    14. Casethat, did you delete your comment where you said:

      Epic reply. Yea bb probably has a family car to drive as well :)

      I hope you didn't, but anyway I'll repost it here.

      Such sweeping statements are exactly why I fear for the future of the next generation. Perhaps you didn't read my posts before you jumped to conclusion. Its also in my About Me page.

      Budget Babe does NOT drive a family car, nor do I own any. I travel around mostly by public transport.

      Hope that answers your fleeting assumptions.

      P.S. I also don't see how the time Cedric spends with his grandparents have any relation to your argument

      Delete
    15. its ironic that your statement is a similar one too..i deleted my post after reading your blog, before you suggested and found out about your uphill struggles. your perseverance and determination have enabled you to overcome your odds! you might not realize but us locals can relate to that in one way or another. be it the streaming system and high tuition costs,. being a tutor yourself, you have indirectly benefited from that? we know how well paid it is teaching jc subjects. why are under-grads compensating/supplementing for school teachers. even year 2 fmaths students can easily 'tutor' yr 1 cmaths.

      Delete
    16. Hi Casethat,

      I hope reading my About Me page has changed your initial impression of me, because it felt like you were just judging based on what was presented in a single post and in the comments before getting the full story. I'm glad you did.

      Yes, I've benefited from tutoring. But it was a conscious choice I made as well. When I was in JC, I made up my mind to work hard despite my failing grades (especially in math, economics and more) and become smart enough to tutor other people and use that as a way to earn more income for myself while helping others with their studies.

      There are many avenues for tutoring. One doesn't necessarily need to be a straight A student or even a uni grad to teach at certain levels. I get offered assignments for primary school all the time and I turn them down, because I know of other people who can probably teach them and with more patience too. My friend, for instance, is not very smart, came from the NT stream, but she teaches primary school kids tuition with a patience that even I cannot emulate.

      Where there is a will, there is a way :) I found my way by working hard, and I hope others will do that too.

      Delete
    17. Hi Kenneth H,

      If people study hard but cannot get good results, it could be that they are studying wrong too.

      I started working in JC even with the A levels looming over me because my mom said she needed me to start contributing money and pay for my own pocket money.

      I taught NINE kids in university because my family had no money to send me on exchange studies, but I wanted desperately to go. I also did not take a single cent from my parents to pay my university school fees or living expenses.

      There are far more people who are more privileged and blessed than me. But I find myself extremely blessed, because I know how to count my blessings, and make a conscious effort to be aware of what I have, rather than focus on what I don't have.

      I sense cynicism in your comments. Perhaps you would like to head over to my "About Me" page to read more about my background before judging for yourself?

      Delete
  21. Giving too much power to a person will make him arrogant. This is what the sentiments of Singaporean. No doubt ruling party is good, no harm improving the system.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. The ruling party is good, but there are also areas they can improve on, as I detailed in my other post on why the PAP is still far from perfect :)

      Delete
  22. This article smacks full of pro-pap leanings disguised as "neutral","balanced" and "unbias"

    i would not go into the details as there are enough rebuttals on FBs and other public forums dissing and arguing on the pros and cons of the plans each and every other party.

    what i am calling out here is a prime example of co*ksuckery(not even sure that word exists) a so called "pro-opposition" turned pro-pap, going out and posting things to appeal to people to vote in pap because he finally "realised" pap is the best there is, best there was and the best there ever will be...and he is not ashamed to promote his leanings and urging others to follow his "enlightenment" (all hail cedric yang???)

    but his actions is also another fine example to all other fence sitters/non-hardcore pappies to learn from. and that is, with changing times,comes changing needs...in heraclitus words,everything changes,nothing stands still.

    the winds of change have been blowing for a long time,chances were given to pap to renew itself,pap has and still have the finest advisers but it all fell deaf into the ears of cronyism,nepotism,bureaucracy and most of all ignorance.so what's the point of having good advisers and not heeding good advice?what other intentions could there possibly besides self?

    This GE is simply just an outright display of people wanting change.this is not something that happens because of rally speeches,oppositions riling up the masses against pap or an overnight phenomena.its something inside of them that they recognise, something they acknowledge to be a need.

    Do do not oppose for the sake of opposing and do not disguise your agenda behind the vile of neutrality or biasness.and if are not well equipped intellectually to appeal people based on intellectual discussions then try not to beguile them with emotions of guilt,complacency and reminiscence of times long gone.

    yours ever so sincerely,

    a "unenlightened" sgrean

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think it is fair to claim Cedric's post is pro-PAP "disguised as neutral, balanced and unbiased".

      If you think that's a disguise, fair enough. But I sensed sincerity and genuine awakening from this guy. Cedric is a fine young man who is also smart enough to think for himself. I don't think your accusations of him are fair.

      I also disagree when you liken him to "co*ksuckery". Whose c*ck exactly? I don't see him being promoted at his work or getting any other sorts of benefits from PAP just for sharing his sentiments on this.

      I agree that one should not oppose for the sake of opposing, and there is nothing wrong with wanting change. Staking a claim on the way Cedric, or myself, have disguised our agenda is purely your own opinion and you have no right to impose that on either of us.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for your comments, unenlightened singaporean. I hope you do not teach such name-calling values to your children (if any).

      If that is how you wish to view my writing, I cannot do anything about it. I hope you can be the change instead of the complainer. I hope to see you someday achieving something you strongly believe in, rather than empty name-callings and baseless emotions.

      Delete
  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Agree with you that Singapore has built itself to be reputable and our trade and economic development policies are admired and proven success. I am proud to travel with my Red passport too. But like anywhere in the world, not everyone is well educated, have good family upbringing and earning decent income etc. Hence their social discontentment are real. For me, I would like about 50:30 (ie. PAP:Opposition) seats ratio, being PAP handling major trade, economic, national development policies while Opposition could counter on policies affecting social aspects of Singaporeans. It is always good to have insightful debate in Parliament.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Very well-written. I worry that the future generations start taking things for granted and our foundations unravel. It is scary how people start taking opinions as facts and perception as reality.

    Post 2011, there has really been a significant change in the government's attitude towards its people. I used to be very pro-opposition too. Buying into their brimstone and fire speeches but over the past few years, I start to realise as well that we as a nation have been taking many things for granted. Hence I could understand the points Cedric was trying to convey.

    Clean water, well-connected road networks, a roof over our heads (be it rented or purchased), clean food, convenient access to shopping for basic items, safety, basic education and many other necessities. While there are those who have fallen through the cracks, there are also those who have benefited.

    Be it opposition or PAP supporter, I hope we can rationally think who can actually continue to ensure that we have a better chance of survival not just for the coming year but for the next 10 years and beyond with sound policies that won't burden our future generations.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I don't even understand why people are compelled by the non-argument the writer is making. The assumption, here, is that we should only vote for opposition parties if we fail to show any appreciation whatsoever for the efforts of both the 2011 and 2015 incumbent. Why must voting for the opposition be about tearing down a regime? Why can't it be about building on the institutions we do have? The only narrative I can discern is that he somehow stumbled upon how awesome Singapore is, and somehow there's also no explanatory gap between the fact of Singapore's awesomeness and and why we shouldn't support the opposition.

    And at the end of it, the writer still fails to explain why it would be a heinous mistake to vote for the opposition, why it would be so grossly "wrong and misinformed", nor does he engage with the proof that the modest opposition representation in Parliament *has* resulted in positive change, rather than a total obliteration of past generations' work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Desiree,

      Cedric has merely shared his story. If you are looking for reasons why I think it might not be a good idea to vote for the opposition (solely my own views), you can read this:

      http://sgbudgetbabe.blogspot.sg/2015/09/general-election-2015-why-opposition.html

      For balance, I've also written on what I think is lacking in the PAP's policies too:

      http://sgbudgetbabe.blogspot.sg/2015/09/why-i-think-pap-is-still-far-from.html

      Delete
  27. It's surprising that someone who boasted about saving 20k a year supports the PAP when the opposition policies would directly benefit the poor. While there is no doubt that our education system, general safety and even transport system is excellent, it generally is not fantastic for retirees and the lower income.
    Youngsters like yourself who are making a bit of money now do not see the benefit of raising taxes for better healthcare and cheaper higher education, when it will directly benefit people like you in the future
    Good luck for your future, and update us after you save 200k in 10 years (yay!!) and enjoy your 99year hdb loan flat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi John,

      I don't get your cynicism.

      What does saving 20k got to do with whether I support the PAP, or for that matter, the opposition?

      Yes, the opposition's policies can benefit the poor, but it comes at a high cost. Thus, I do not agree with their policies. You can read more here

      http://sgbudgetbabe.blogspot.sg/2015/09/general-election-2015-why-opposition.html

      I'm actually earning less than most of my peers, to the best of my knowledge. So I really don't get your criticism at all.

      And for that matter, I struggled to pay my university fees too, until I was lucky enough to land a scholarship.

      For healthcare, it is not always as expensive as we think. There are government subsidies in place, and we should take self-responsibility with insurance (I've shared on my blog what types of insurance to watch out for as well). For instance, my dad was hospitalized for 10 days recently. I was super worried that the bill would be huge, because there were so many specialists visiting him to understand his condition as well, but it was only $2000+ after deducting government subsidies.

      Sometimes our expectations are not reflective of the reality too.

      Delete
    2. I apologize sincerely for not properly reading the article before commenting. I assumed the main bulk of the content as being yours when instead it was from this Cedric Yang fellow, and as such directed my angst at you wrongly and unfairly.

      My comments reflect my puzzlement of the middle/lower middle class supporting the PAP when most of their policies are catered to the upper class of Singaporeans. Given your site is for those ''looking to take charge of their finances'', i was highly surprised by your readers views.

      Take your recent unfortunate experience of your father being admitted for example. $2000 is definitely affordable per se for a ten day admission with an unknown amount of investigations and procedures done, but if you then compare it to a country with free healthcare, people with lower savings and lower income would find the high tax they pay a better investment than having to cough out $2000.

      Several posts online highlighted that the fact that countries like Denmark had free health care and free universities, but 51% tax. Those posts also failed to mention that Denmark has frequently been ranked one of the happiest countries in the world.

      High taxation would obviously affect the rich more, and though your good grades/performance might have earned you a scholarship, we still hear of above average (but not outstanding) students not being able to afford university and instead settling for any job just to make ends meet instead of pursuing higher education.
      I'm sure we will hit the saturation point of insurance/housing agents/bankers soon enough.

      Delete
  28. 4 years ago, I wasn't impressed by the PAP.

    4 years hence (instead of 5, as the Prime Minister has called a snap election after calling a boundary review in a secret, unsportsmanlike manner), I remain unimpressed.

    I don't expect, and have never expected, a free lunch from the government. But surely there must be some improvement, and not continual degradation, lack of checks and balances, and too much discretion given to the holders of power.

    Those who trade their liberty for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Censorship arises when someone is unable to convince their opinion upon others. It stamp out creativity, impedes freedom of expression and as a result, silenced individual rights. In Singapore, the government has always maintained that censorship is vital and necessary to protect the national and social interests. Ordain with top-down approach, citizens of the country are expected to follow the states economic ideology.

    For decades Singaporeans accepted this arrangement because being a small country with little natural resources, lacking national identity and history, it has always depend on the government to perform and crave out a better living standard for them. It is therefore not surprising for Singapore to wear the name tag of a nanny state by other countries. With a confine environment, people are structured, uniform and predictable. It closes the door on mind stimulating where most of them get on their lives in anticipated motion. I believe Singaporeans do have dreams and a creative mind of their own but most do not have the courage to step out of their “iron cage” due to the controlling atmosphere that we are in.

    To move into the next 50 years, we have to be creative, take control of our destiny and draw our own narrative. Freedom of expression is a fundamental right to every person and in Singapore’s statutory acts, but more often than not this basic right is taken away from us. The real evil in the world comes not from the disagreeable people, but from those so convinced of the absolute rightness of their opinions and beliefs that they would impose what they think and feel upon others.

    We do not want the day when Censorship serves to protect those who have attain power, wealth and control within the society so as to legitimize their eminence and the various social, political and economic arrangements they oversee.

    This election is without doubt, about the past, the present and the future of singapore. It is about how we, as citizen of singapore can voice our concern without fear and constraints. It is about how we can have the choice to be free to live our lives and not be burden by mortgage, rising costs and overcrowding. It is to tell the ruling party that we have grown wiser and will not be sway by carrot dangling. It is to tell the ruling party how it has completely crippled our rights to claim the power of our narratives as a living community and worthy individuals.

    Main stream media will continue to chuck out propaganda news to cajole its master. But the tide is changing with new media and with savvy acumen, we shall not be fool any longer. In this election we have the power to dictate our destiny. Please vote wisely for your children, your grandchildren and your future.

    ReplyDelete
  30. My response to this article.

    https://www.facebook.com/notes/10152921802536525

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well written, with Actual statistics to back up the arguments. Well worth the read!

      Delete
    2. Hi Ying Cong,

      I hope you use your argumentative skills to score an 'A' at your GP exam, if you're sitting for that later this year in PJC.

      Cheers,
      BB

      Delete
    3. Hi TIPTOP,

      I will go through it point by point.

      "1. You are not supposed to demand change about something when there are other places getting it worst then you are. Thats ungrateful!"

      - Please quote me, if you will, where did I demand change? The main point I am driving at is, vote not using your emotions, but by sound logic and observations. You are totally wrong here. As a GP student, please brush up on implying the otherwise unnecessary meaning.

      "2. First there seems to be a common misconception that the opposition parties once they get into parliament will systemically dismantle all the good policies that are there to support companies like funding , subsidies to send workers for training etc. Well that is nonsense, to date there have been no parties that have said that they will dismantle any of that! Infact i will vote for the opposition knowing that programs like that to support businesses will continue! "

      - No where in my article did I assume that, if yes, please quote it. On a related note, of course these plans will not be torn down. They are sound policies. But will careless spending due to lack of understanding of macroeconomy happen? Look at their manifesto and tell me. As a GP student, please do not assume what the writer meant, and look at social, political, economical factors internationally. Domestic views will not garner much points in your essay.

      "3. 2ndly its great that the author managed to do all that, but how many in Singapore can afford the 26k university fees as easily as he mentioned and going on a trip to Europe sponsored mostly by the govt ? How many Singaporeans can do that?"

      - Please save prudently, young one. Study investment at young age, and learn to pick excellent counters. You think I managed to afford 26k easily? Have you been in my shoes to realise how much savings I have to do, plannings I have to formulate, and lunches I have to skip? Nope. You assumed again. As a GP student, that is not the way to tackle a debate.

      I would appreciate also, if you can quote the latest figures from a credible source instead of wikipedia (2009). As a GP student, make sure you have standing facts, not superfluous stuff.

      In a related note, though I do agree that we are named the most expensive city and lowest wages, it is up to us to help those who had fallen through the cracks. Be the change, not the complainer. And let me know if you know of anyone who cannot afford his/her education. As a GP student, do not quote examples you cannot cross examine.

      Delete
    4. "4. There are definitely certain things like crime rate and economic stability that Singapore is doing better compared to CERTAIN COUNTRIES IN EUROPE. BUT why compare ourselves to the worst points in a certain country? "

      - If you still do not get the nature of this piece of writing, it is a reflective essay. I believe you do not require me to define for you the meaning of a reflective writing. I have been to Europe and many other countries in SEA, but there is no where I'd rather be than Singapore. And thus my comparisons. Yes, you have the right to say that I have to compare the good points as well, granted. However, the bad points outweighs them from my point of view. Limited yes, because I cannot afford to stay there for long. But at least that is a perspective you should respect, and propose a counter perspective instead of meaningless bashing.

      "5.Ill just point out 2 points that he makes in there, first its not contrary to popular belief that foreign investments are generally good and those create jobs. There is no one in the opposition camps that disputes that so again stop misleading people to think otherwise. 2nd he claims that govt never ceases to help those in need, well then why is it that someone like Vivian Balakrishnan can say something like
      “How much do you want? Do you want 3 meals in a hawker centre, food court or restaurant?”

      - To your first point in 5), go to the ground. Hear it from the opposition supporters. Have you done that? They are generally dissatisfied with the number of jobs "stolen" from them. Do me a favor and scroll through the comments on this blog. How many quoted jobs getting stolen or snatched? Please, facts.
      To your second point about a quote by Balakrishnan, you have taken it out of context and drill your argument based on that. What do you think he meant? Let me tell you. If you read the whole context instead of just that quote, I believe you will have a separate viewpoint, if you are objective enough. He meant that help is there for the poor, but the financial savvy-ness still needs to start from the individual. As a GP student, do not quote things out of context.

      "6.And yet we have our first major riot just last year , MSM has called "locals" as Xenophobic and cautions against that. The number of foreigners in Singapore is one of the highest in the world at 39% as of 2014 as compared to Canada and Australia and the USA numbers with 21% , 28% and 14%"

      - Yes, first major riot. What is the cause? Is it due to wages? Or dissatisfaction of any policies? No! It started with alcoholism and an accident! Please, I implore you to do more research. MSM is media, young one. Why are you influenced by media or what people blindly tell you? I am in a workplace filled with foreign engineers and researchers. We worked well together, because we know what is at stake, because we believe in harmonious working environment. It is up to one's values and upbringing, to be classified as Xenophobics.
      Since you are a GP student, go read up on what is happening to Japan, and its economic projection in the next 5-10 years. Then you will understand why foreign influx is important. And I am amazed by your lack of depth by comparing Singapore with countries like USA, Canada, and Australia, countries big enough to form a continent by itself! As a GP student, be prudent. Do not be swayed by others. Do research in proper manner and comparisons at a higher level.

      Delete
    5. "7.he opposition DOES NOT advocate giving without taking, that is a blatant lie."

      - Give 300 to the babies, and 300 per month to age 65 and above. Increase more subsidies, give more grants, lower the limit for application of grants. Did you even read their manifesto? Did their manifesto tell you where to get the extra money to do such stuff? As a GP student, make sure you find out in depth of the effects and consequences of certain movement before taking a stand.

      "8. if the author believed in a perfect society than i would say that he was dreaming ALONE."

      - If you get the gist of what I am talking about, you would have deduced that I was dreaming of a perfect society in the past. I am past that. Please learn to read with care.

      "9. Those steps of voting WP in parliament has brought about the first real positive change to Singapore in many years and you should really congratulate yourself. "

      - Please substantiate your claims. What is the real positive change?

      "10. The first generation of PAP is gone and the current generation have pushed Singapore onto a path that is dangerous to our well being, only by voting for more competition in the political scene can ideas and competent leadership be rejuvenated into Singapore."

      - The world evolves, so must we. If you hog on to the WP rallies telling you this generation is different from first generation PAP, then I can only plead you to look deeper. How effective is first generation policies in our era now? Have you seen their face to face debates in the parliament house? I reckon not. They promised to be your voice, but ended up getting muted over sound logical arguments based on figures and statistics.

      In conclusion, I know your current emotions. I was in your shoes 4 years ago, believe me. You can even go to my facebook and click on 2011 to see my one-sided hatred for the ruling party. You are 17/18. You lived your life in comfort, as do I. This reflective writing is not here to make you vote for PAP. This reflective essay is here to help you understand that casting a vote based on emotions is a wrong and misinformed vote. You should not vote because you want a opposition voice in the parliament. You should vote because you know the person is of quality, foresight, leadership, and solid track record.

      Your post seemed so hasty, and angst. Check your tone. As a GP student, never let your emotions do the writing.

      A final note: Although I know you may hate me more after reading this rebuttal and may forever vote for your party, I still want you to know that I went through what you went through before. So maybe perhaps after your national service, university, and finally into the working arena, you may have the slightest chance to view things objectively, rather than selectively and subjectively.

      And all the best for your GP. Remember my points, no matter how much you hate me now.

      Delete
  31. Sorry but this article sounded like a self centric brat that even returning of her tray after a meal at Macdonald's in Europe is a chore. Goshhh

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1. Original author is a guy. Not a "her".
      2. If the "her" is referring to me, please read my comment above on how I mostly clear my tray when I'm eating out. In Singapore, not Europe, that is. I hardly go to Europe.

      Delete
    2. Hi I.Low,

      I would appreciate it if you read in context. Context bashing is common, do not be part of it. The whole paragraph is dedicated to comparisons. I too, clear my tray outside, if there is a collection point. So do not read it out of context, please.

      Delete
    3. The point is that most people will view clearing their trays as something very insignificant. Most people won't even be bordered by it, let alone write it in a blog for 'comparisons'.

      Delete
  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  33. First off I agree with the sentiments and message you are trying to drive across. It is important for us Singaporean citizens not to take our current benefits and state of life for granted. I live by the motto "知足常乐", but of course with discretion so as not to be gullible to the winds of change and also to preserve my desire to strive for better.

    However what I fear most of us citizens and the government is how our political environment has 'degraded'. What I think politicians should be doing on election campaigns such as addressing economic/social issues and proposing solutions have become petty and distasteful disputes between the ruling and the opposing. There are many examples: Lawrence Wong bringing up decade old stories to defame CSJ; LTK and GCT's exchange about ships; Chen Show Mao and (forgot which PAP MP, I think GCT)'s exchange about roosters; Sim Ann "chu pattern"; Grace Fu's aggressive and arrogant declaration about SDP leading people onto path of return etc.etc. (no need to mention other parties RP, SF, NSP... too much inconstructive bullsh*t from them). What's more worrying is seeing us, voters, are feeding such 'gutter politics' (as claimed by CSJ) by participating in immature slander on the politicians they are voting against without any meaningful debate on real issues online.

    How are we voters supposed to vote for assurance that the parties we support are going to lead us on the positive route for the next 5 years? Based on who gave the most heartwarming speech? Or should the seats go to those who are best at bringing down their opponents by cheap name-callings?

    Though I'm glad I can still see some logical debate going on here in the comments, as a Singaporean citizen who is proud of what our country has achieved, I feel ashamed and worried. I agree with some of the contributors above that our country is indeed in a critical and vulnerable juncture.


    “Elections are won by men and women chiefly because most people vote against somebody rather than for somebody.” ― Franklin P. Adams

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with you, and that's a great quote.

      It disappoints me to see the character attacks on other candidates as well. I hope people can focus on criticizing policies and not the political candidates for better debate.

      Delete
  34. If this was a GP paper, it would fail miserably.

    The supposed reflection of the author's time in Europe is simply just that; a trip overseas. It details only the unpleasant things that happened. There was no mention of any of the attractive qualities that made the author visit those countries in the first place.

    Given the short time spend there, how much of each country's policies did the author research, compare and experience, to come up with the simple logic that some unfortunate incidents abroad translate to our government doing a good job across all spectrum of society?

    And it sounds absurd that the identity and unity of a nation is something you find casually at a football match or standing in the rain. True identity and unity surfaces during times of adversity and hardship, not at a NDP.

    If anybody is swayed or even convinced by the quasi-arguments presented by the author, then as LKY would have said, "we will be in serious trouble."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If.

      I am amazed that you are not able to discern a reflective writing from a GP paper. The initial intent of this writing is to convince people not to be swayed by rally promises, as I were 4 years ago. It is a reflection of my 8 month stay in Europe, and my desire to come back as soon as attachment ended. I wish to reiterate the point of this paper; it is not one that tells/forces someone to vote for the ruling party, rather it is to help people understand emotions should not play a part in the vote. A clear and logical mind set towards the future policies and track record of parties is vital.

      Each of us finds our own identities and sense of unity in different terms. For me, that was the moment I felt connected with a fellow Singaporean few thousand miles away from Singapore. It was in the rain that I felt was the turning point in many lives of Singaporeans, that regardless of any differences, stood together as one. Sure, you can look at it in different perspective, put in words of indifference, but you have absolutely no judging rights to determine how others view their perceived sense of unity, belonging, and identity.

      PS: You may want to unquote LKY, that is not what he said, nor what he implied when he said those words.

      PPS: That last sentence just made your criticism of the un-GP like paper null.

      Delete
    2. Perhaps you fail to realize your statements are so contradictory they are laughable. The blog entry title alone tells others not to vote for the opposition, which you purport not to do.

      It seems pretty clear that you know emotions play a part in the vote, hence the existence of this emotion-laden piece of writing. You have not talked about the merits or failings of any policy, whether it is the incumbent's, oppositions' or of foreign countries', just your unabashed disappointment with your unpleasant experience during your attachment, for which you conveniently contrast with Singapore.

      So are you not casting your vote based on emotion, which your writing is explicitly expressing? Because I fail to see any objective discussion of substance.

      If standing in the rain sending off LKY is your definition of a turning point in life, try telling that to the middle-aged PMET who has been displaced by a cheaper FT and unable to secure another job.

      Delete
    3. Hi Caitlin,

      It was me, not Cedric, who chose the blog title.

      Enlighten me on how my choice of title "tells others not to vote for the opposition"? Please re-read the title again carefully. None of those words are there, nor is there any encouragement of any sort. We only encourage voting wisely and I personally advise readers to at least first read the manifestos of the parties they are voting for.

      If that's your own judgment, then you should not impose your own judgments as accusations at me. That's not a fair comment.

      If you're looking for "objective discussion of substance", please refer to what I've written here instead:

      "Why the opposition still isn't good enough for my vote":

      http://sgbudgetbabe.blogspot.sg/2015/09/general-election-2015-why-opposition.html

      "Why the PAP is still far from perfect":

      http://sgbudgetbabe.blogspot.sg/2015/09/why-i-think-pap-is-still-far-from.html

      Delete
    4. Hi Caitlin,

      Let me know which statements are contradictory.

      Probably you do not understand the meaning of reflective piece of writing, let me define it for you.

      "Reflective writing is a practice in which the writer describes a real or imaginary scene, event, interaction, passing thought, memory, form, adding a personal reflection on the meaning of the item or incident, thought, feeling, emotion, or situation in his or her life."

      Let me condense my writing for you.

      Initially I voted for opposition because I hated the ruling party. Then after reflection and seeing things with my own eyes, I realised that I should not vote based on emotions, but rather observable policies and quality of team.

      Like I said, each of us have our own turning points in life. Tell me what makes you so superior to decide or judge whether or not our definition suits you? Your lack of understanding of my sentence is what that is, may I quote from you, laughable.

      Delete
  35. People are by nature selfish! They write to support the system when they benefit from it! And of course it is not surprising (im must agree) that majority; like 70%; benefit from it! Take away his AStar job, or the highly subsidised trip, and assume he is struggling with a small Sme being paid 3k as a fresh graduate?? Will he still write these?
    What about the 30%, whether rich or poor who did not benefit (but mostly the bottom 30% now).
    Come on people this is soooo obvious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi John,

      My starting pay is $2950 3 years ago when I started working. Is that lower than your quoted price? Take away my subsidised trip, that is fine with me too. I was actually considering China, India, or Vietnam (those 2 are much cheaper thus zero subsidies) until the subsidy came up. And yes, I will still write it because I know nobody owes me a living. You work hard, you achieve something. You don't, and you sit around complaining, waiting to be fed.

      Delete
    2. @johnchia , u're shallow...

      One does not get good / grade/job without sacrificing , and putting in effort. The reasons he had a job at AStar and high subsidised trips ,its because he earns it with his bare hands.
      If you didn't sacrifice ur time and effort in ur studies or work, of cos u will be ended up at the btm 30percent;whinning , complaining and even blaming the gov.

      PS: no offence john :) peace .

      Delete
    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    4. @CALIX YON
      So according to you, the bottom 30% are just whiners who too lazy to put in time and effort into their work or studies, LOL. Let them rot at the bottom of the heap, after all they deserve it.

      Delete
    5. @unknown

      where in calix's argument did he mention that, and i quote "the bottom 30% are just whiners who too lazy to put in time and effort into their work or studies, LOL. Let them rot at the bottom of the heap, after all they deserve it." ? you purely implied it, did you?

      the gist of what he said is simple: work hard, study hard, take advantage of the various schemes and opportunities, and you will not lose out.

      stop putting your false assumptions based on superficial observations to stir such negativity.

      Delete
  36. People are by nature selfish! They write to support the system when they benefit from it! And of course it is not surprising (im must agree) that majority; like 70%; benefit from it! Take away his AStar job, or the highly subsidised trip, and assume he is struggling with a small Sme being paid 3k as a fresh graduate?? Will he still write these?
    What about the 30%, whether rich or poor who did not benefit (but mostly the bottom 30% now).
    Come on people this is soooo obvious.

    ReplyDelete
  37. "When you are older and wiser a lot of the ego has gone out of the window."
    What an apt quote to use for this blog post.
    Judging by the condescending tone in which thiscedric respond to commenters with differing points of view, I wonder just how much of his ego has gone out of the window.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. It is amazing, actually, that you do not have a mirror. =)

      Delete
    2. I beg to differ, I think Cedric has been very objective in his responses, and perhaps commenters ought to first reflect on themselves and their tone before jumping the gun at Cedric.

      Delete
  38. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  39. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  40. Dear all, before the voting day, I would like to apologise if I sounded harsh. I have no intention of doing so.

    May we still remain united, regardless of who wins tomorrow, not divided, because we cannot afford to be divided.

    Please vote for your party because you believe in your party's ability to bring Singapore forward. If you wish to vote for opposition due to their sound policies and manifesto, go ahead. Because ultimately, our progress is decided by our ability to stay together as one.

    The future may be tough, smooth sailing, and uncertain, but as long as we continue gritting our teeth and digging our feet to work hard and have a positive influence around our community, our progress is certainly not far off.

    Thank you for freshening me up with a whole lot of different perspectives. Let us try our best to help those who have fallen through the gap, and may those who have landed on the net appreciate the things around you.

    God bless you all.

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    1. Hi THISCEDRIC, really thank you for ALL your quality argument presented in this blog.
      You help ppl like me who is less exposed/articulate to be heard loud and clear. Keep up the good work . May God bless you too

      Delete
    2. Thank you for being appreciative. I hope it helps in an objectified vote, rather than a subjective vote. Regardless of which party's victory, end of the day, we only have each other to depend on.

      Delete
    3. Thanks for putting efforts. Singapore needs people like you!

      Delete
  41. Even after 5 years, OP doesn't get what voting represents.
    When you vote for the opposition, it doesn't mean you hate the existing government. It doesn't mean you think Singapore sucks, it doesn't mean you want the opposition to overthrow the government.

    In this election's context, it just means that you want a parliament with more diverse viewpoints represented leading to more thoroughly debated policies.

    P.s. Furthermore, the Singapore you love so much are also based on the policies set in store decades ago, whereas the recent policies have been steered more towards making the rich even richer.

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    1. It is funny you read it that way. Let me condense it for you.

      Initially I voted for opposition because I hated the ruling party. Then after reflection and seeing things with my own eyes, I realised that I should not vote based on emotions, but rather observable policies and quality of team.

      On a parallel note, if everyone wants a parliament with more diverse viewpoints, how is it not possible for the government to be overthrown? This year, all seats are contested.

      P.S Policies can be set it stone, or whatever more concrete, but it takes a capable team to carry them out.
      As to your generalisation of recent policies aimed at making the rich richer, let me know what are those policies you are referring to.

      P.P.S It's 4 years, not 5.

      Delete
    2. THISCEDRIC if you were to do a bit of research. out of the 89 seats contested this year, 45 seats is needed for a majority to form the government, but even the largest size opposition party is contesting in 28 seats only, how do u "overthrow" a government? "Overthrow" a government exists if there is one, but it has being dissolved for the elections to be held, its a harsh word. We should think in the perspective of having quality opposition MPs, able to hold their grounds in the Parliament with enough support, for the people of Singapore.

      Delete
    3. Elson i couldnt agreed more with you,,.. thecedric, u once vote for oppostiin, stay in that believe, it take s time, im am one a PRo PAP supporter right up till 2013, theres thingsthat needs to change and having a 2nd voice in the parliament is the.main reason opposition exist. To say no to policoes that is baseless and ridicule. Have faith and patience.. Even a tree takes time to grow

      Delete
    4. Elson i couldnt agreed more with you,,.. thecedric, u once vote for oppostiin, stay in that believe, it take s time, im am one a PRo PAP supporter right up till 2013, theres thingsthat needs to change and having a 2nd voice in the parliament is the.main reason opposition exist. To say no to policoes that is baseless and ridicule. Have faith and patience.. Even a tree takes time to grow

      Delete
  42. Hi BB,

    Wowow, I saw ur post publicly and was wondering hey.. that is Budget Babe our financial blogger writing about politics and getting viral.

    It's commendable on ur effort. I shall not comment on the article per se though. Just want to drop by to say well done! :-)

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    1. Hey! Good to hear from you. Eh my previous url was worklivesingapore - I write on SG issues, with finance being my pet topic, but PR, politics and other stuff could come up occasionally as side topics too :p

      Delete
  43. Having opposition party members is a way to check the current government, we are really grateful to the PAP for what's its done, bringing Singapore from a unknown, unstable government, to one of the world's busiest & best country with stable economics, housing for everyone, low crime rate, etc.

    But its time for PAP to step aside slowly, not by stepping down, but to allow for more voices & willingness to accept their mistakes or errors, to move the country forward for the next 50 years, their ways of doing things is not suitable for the current situation, especially not appealing to the next generations, the 1990s n 2000s. Their aggressive way of controlling everything, media, internet, bills, GST, CPF, immgrations have to change for the better of Singapore.

    Another point i notice is, MPs from other parties excluding PAP, do not get to be in the Cabinet. It will be good if they could get into the Cabinets, not all but maybe 1 or 2 people, in order to gain experience & learn from the other Ministers. It may not be a bad thing, the main point is to learn, not checking or transpency. There should be equal standings for MPs to get into the Cabinet, whether or not PAP, WP or other party MPs, they are all there to serve the nation, for the nation.

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  44. Hi Cedric I have 2 question for you.
    1) On what Base you refer to that $1000 is enough living in Singapore. Are you talking about expenses or wage?
    2) Since when we have freedom in practicing our faith? In case if you do not know I'm a Muslim.

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    1. 1) Based on my experience. See my breakdown of finance below.

      2) You should have the freedom. Tell me an instance the freedom is taken away from you. You should report it instead of complaining, am I right? Be the change, not the complainer.

      Delete
  45. So the guy works for A*Star and has learnt to root for the government... Wow, I totally did not see that coming!! (",)
    Then he relates some selected horror stories from his travels in Europe. Cherry-picking much? Let me get this straight, if we don't get robbed at knife-point, or see riots in front of parliament, then we're world class? (I'll let the suspension of train service slide because we don't even need riots for that to happen here!) In any case, to borrow the words of our beloved PM: "If that's the benchmark you're going to use, then I think we're all in big trouble!" Oh wait, does that kind of talk only apply when he's referring to the opposition? There's a term that springs to mind when I see people like you, Cedric. Please Google "house slave"

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    1. Thanks for your objective view of me. It dawned onto me that there is absolutely no way of opening the minds of people like you to logic and constructive debates. All there exist are name-callings and quotes from rallies.

      Delete
  46. A sided view on someone whose not realise the true PAP back then and now, spending too much time overseas make u less knowledge of whats happening in real ground in SG, dont be fool by the new PAP then the old formidable PAP led by respecred LKY, things change so has people, its time we vote for a change if 1 way doesnt work, theres always another way. One thing we need is pateince, PAP took 50 years to reach where there are, this person doesnt realise that, and expect change within 5 years.

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  47. that is what happen when people fail to distinguish the work of our forefathers from PAP did and the current PAP. You need to be able to recognise that the current team is not as capable as in the past, they don't have the integrity to do what they say. Media controlled, gutter politics, no accountability when mistakes made. The person who wrote the article need to wake up.

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  48. that is what happen when people fail to distinguish the work of our forefathers from PAP did and the current PAP. You need to be able to recognise that the current team is not as capable as in the past, they don't have the integrity to do what they say. Media controlled, gutter politics, no accountability when mistakes made. The person who wrote the article need to wake up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please quote some examples, instead of copying and pasting what the opposition rallies have been talking about. Thanks!

      Delete
  49. You are right in casting the vote to the party in exchange of what you want out of the government. You want a good standard of living, safe and harmonious society. Affordable homes. Secure jobs. These are reflected from the specific points you highlighted from your overseas experience. ( even though some are not fair comparison, for e.g. If you made a living in Switzerland, you wouldn't complain it's expensive. Its exactly because you are Singaporean that you it works out for you in Singapore. You cab stay in your parents house, save the rent etc. ) everyone has the right to cast the vote to a party who is trusted by the voter to give what he/she wants.just like the writer did four years ago, and four years later. Its wrong to attack someone's opinions just because they want different things from you

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    Replies
    1. Hello,

      Let me know which sentences of mine is an "attack" as you claim it is. Thanks!

      Delete
    2. Hi, the statement is not directed at the writer, but at people who have done so in the comments. I have acknowledged your views right from the beginning.

      Delete
    3. Thank you, apologies for the misunderstanding at the bracket portion. =)

      Delete
  50. "My budget in Europe for a month was $3000 SGD. I had to sleep in airports and train stations at night to save up so I would not run into deficit. Comparatively, I do not even require more than S$1000 in Singapore for a month!"

    Is he really a graduate? Totally no brains? All books and no sense!

    In Singapore, you stay in your parent's home, sometimes your mum probably buy food for you and you save a meal.

    Now, he is travelling to Europe! IN EUROS! NOT SGD! Of course the expense will go up. Simple financial knowledge, FOREIGN EXCHANGE RATES BRO!

    Euro have lots of hostel that cost less than SGD30 per night. OMFG! Is he a special kind of stupid? It's like comparing Apple and Orange!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. While I appreciate your use of colorful assumptions and doubts, let me do the finance for you.

      1) I have to compare both in SGD, why? It is the basis of comparison. It is the spending power of SGD compared to overseas. Get it? No? Be a graduate. :)

      2) I once stayed in a rental room, it was $550 per month. $150 for transport and the rest food. I did not eat outside, nor my mum's cooking. I had to do budget grocery shopping and cook it myself. It accounts for less than a thousand. You require more explanation?

      3) Have you been to Europe? I do not generally select hostels or bunks as I have to share the room with a total stranger. There was once they took drugs while inside the same room as me. Therefore, I'd rather get a one person room. Thus it is in fact comparing a one-person room I stayed in Singapore.

      4) I am not your bro, and I don't intend to sink myself to your unnecessary insults.

      5) Please, do not transfer such values to your children if you have any. If you have no children, protection is the way to go until you truly grow up.

      Thanks :)

      Delete
  51. I cannot accept the Millions dollars Salary that our Ministers and PM is getting.

    If you do the math, PM is getting around SGD10k per hour and the ministers from SGD5K per hour.

    WOW! That is a lot of money! I can accept about 1m MAX! But not anything above that.

    LKY said we should pay our ministers according to what the public sector CEOs are getting.

    Let me ask PAP's supporter, Is George Yeo and the other ministers that lost in GE2011 earning millions now?

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    1. Hi Fezqu,

      This is just a typical example of how much brainwashing you are exposed to.

      I had passed my nephew your mathematics question. He solved it better than you.

      Please see below:

      You claimed: "PM is getting around SGD10k per hour"

      How true is this? I heard it in opposition rallies before. Let me count it for you. (Oh, you can't use your fingers for that, Fyi)

      10,000 x 24 x 365 = 87.6 Million a year. (Aw... Did you skip your primary school math class?)

      Ok, let's assume it is not 365 a year. Let's calculate working hours and working days.

      Please see below:

      $10,000 x 9 x 5 x 52 = $23.4 Million.

      Come on, my nephew aged 10 solved it. Surely you can do better?

      If you need some money to re-attend your primary school, let me know. Oh, clear your mind and stop being so easily brainwashed. Do your own research, press in your calculators, and believe in facts than rallies. All the best! :)

      PS: If you need money for calculator, let me know. Of course, I am pretty sure it will not cost me a few million bucks.

      Delete
    2. THISCEDRIC even so, the salaries of the PM & his ministries is still too much in my opinion.

      In this article, http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/singapore-pm-lee-hsien-loong-remains-highest-paid-country-leader-1-7m-annual-salary-1493952, PM LHL has the highest annual pay of S$2.2m as of 2015, even after a reduction of 28% due to public unrest. A MR4 ministerial grade earns S$1.1 M, and due to the fact that the ruling party being PAP, all the ministers in the Cabinet comes from PAP party. PM LHL pay is large enough to pay for the leader’s salary of India, Brazil, Italy, Russia, France, Turkey, Japan, United Kingdom, South Africa, and Germany. (10 countries, all major countries)


      3 qns to ponder,

      First, why is the Singapore PM's & Ministers salary so high?

      Secondly, Healthcare & Housing needs to be the first priority to solve, but has the Government done anything? And is it enough?

      Thirdly, Should the Election rules be changed? Is having a 10 day election rally enough for voters to read about, hear about, walk about the importance of his/her vote? Is being loyal to the government aka PAP, good or bad?


      Delete
    3. Really? Is it too much? You are running a country, and you get paid 2.2million. MNCs CEOs run a company and get paid more than that. If 4000 SGD per month is offered for you to be the PM of Singapore, with tonnes of complaining and whining Singaporeans who are never satisfied, subjected to internet scrutiny and mockery, will you be ok?

      Singapore is now a first world status, you are taking it for granted. Without strong government, excellent leadership, you think we will be where we are right now? If you disagree, stop complaining, be the change. Set up crowdfunding or take your own money and run an election as an opposition. Convince the people to vote for you, BE THE DIFFERENCE, BE THE CHANGE, NOT THE COMPLAINER.

      Take a look at the countries you listed, how can you compare them to Singapore? Come on. See the geographic properties, the demographics of the region, the dynamics of their history. You think they are successful? It is through brilliance government we have what we have now. Do not take this for granted. If you can do it better, reveal your real name here, as I have revealed mine. And I wish to see you competing in elections. Make a difference.

      To your questions:

      1) See above.
      2) What do you mean healthcare and housing is the first priority to solve? Do you know of anyone who cannot afford healthcare and housing? Please be the difference, bring them to see their MP. If MP cannot help, take it up to higher authorities. Quote names of people who cannot afford any of these. So many grants and subsidies are available and you are just making a general opposition rally statement. Be original. Do your own research. Quote people who have fallen through cracks. Help them yourself first. Be the changer, not the whiner.
      3) Just because opposition doesn't win, people start to blame on several stuff. I had heard enough of those noise:
      - this year SG 50, of course PAP will win
      - this year our founding father died, of course PAP will win
      - not enough time to prepare, of course PAP will win
      - blah blah blah anymore excuses?

      PAP won because of its assurance of its policies to the public, to the majority of Singaporeans. Imagine PAP's manifesto is as shortsighted as oppositions, its candidates without track records, tell me who is likely to win?

      Being loyal is not good. I reiterate. IT IS NOT GOOD. Being smart is. Making the intelligent vote, instead of believing every word that comes from rallies. Cool your head, be the difference, and if you think you are good enough, then present your case. Else, stop all these nonsensical whining.

      Delete
  52. Election is over. Let us see how they fare and what they will do in the next 5 years. Cheer on Singaporean.

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