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Who is the devil?

Singapore-in-crisis The new heroes In these times, it is not the elites that that deserve mass public accolade - but the simple food hawker who keeps his fare down. A tribute to them from Seah Chiang Nee. Dec 20, 2008 IN TODAY’S crisis, what group of people do Singaporeans most likely accept as their regular heroes – politicians, company CEOs or bankers? Answer: None of the above! I believe it is the simple food hawkers who keep their prices low in adverse conditions, something that exerts a major, repeated impact on every family. Let me explain my choice. Recently, I was attracted by a queue in front of a suburban hawker stall that was selling breakfast at a price I thought had long been extinct in Singapore. An overhead sign reads “Economic Beehoon (rice vermicelli) @ S$1.60”, a simple, nutritious dish that included a fair portion of vegetable and an egg. During these harsh times, with the cost of living at a 26-year high, vendors who sell food at this price are few and far between. They have become Singapore’s new unsung heroes... The above is part of an article posted in by Seah Chiang Nee. When the hawkers can think of holding down their prices at times like this, mind you, they are talking about saving a few cents, taking a little lesser from the people, how would this compare to the $180K price hike of Pinnacles Duxton by HDB? And HDB said it is fair, the fairest! And many Singaporeans agree that what HDB is doing is fair. Unbeliever, but that is how these Singaporeans believe in. The only reason for people to think like this, is that they must be benefitting from the inflated prices in some way. Just ask a simple question. Who is the main cost of high inflation and high cost of living?


Anonymous said...

People's Action Party simply do not get the message.

Stop the propaganda!

The PAP politicians are heaping praises on themselves and giving themselves limelight like nobody's business. Their stories are always splash across the newspapers, television and the radios, even on buses!

Getting elected do not mean they have the right to intrude into others' lives.

What a bunch of selfish politicians and their supporters.

Fancy using public money for their own selfish purposes!

When is that old man, his son and his daughter, and his supporters going to stop meddling into others lives. They are ridiculous!

I cannot believe that I had been brain washed and exploited for so many years by these ruthless bunch of robbers! The statements put out by government agencies are just so unconvincing.

It is time that Singaporeans wake up to the excesses of these selfish bunch of politicans and their supporters. Using public properties to entice others to vote for them during elections. This is ridiculous. Talking about high principles while doing unscrupulous misdeeds.

Francis Chua, Singapore

Anonymous said...

See, propaganda again!

They are not even my relatives, yet
I see them in the papers more often than my own relatives.


Francis Chua, Singapore

Anonymous said...

Singaporeans are excited when PAP make annoucements for some
changes to benefit their and our lives, but they often forget that PAP is the devil that deny us our freedoms or liberty in Singapore in the first place. When we are free and are able to make our own livelihoods, we do not need the PAP or any other political parties to give us benefits.

Francis Chua, Singapore

Anonymous said...

It seems that the PAP and the news medias are actually looking forward to glowing comments about their misdeeds.

They have no problems when comes to making lives miserable for others.

It is insane living in Singapore!

Francis Chua, Singapore

Anonymous said...

Can anyone imagine that in Singapore, I and others like myself have no control over my and our lives?! The ruling party members and their supporters almost always have to come up with something to control me and others. It is so ridiculous! PAP, I and others do not owe you anything! Please back off from my and others lives. It is such a turn off!

Francis Chua, Singapore

redbean said...

hi francis,
you seem to have a lot of things to unload off your chest. and your feelings are so intense.

like to share why is that so?

Anonymous said...

how does one hold down the prices of properties in one's country when property prices are rising outside the country? if our property prices are capped, smart monies will somehow find its way into the market to adjust the anomaly.

the biggest beneficiaries to a low cost entry into our property market cannot be singaporeans becos the majority are already owners. the ones who will likely find favor with a suppressed market will be new entrants to the country, foreign immigrants from china, india and the region.

so, we embrace and welcome them into our job market to compete with us as well as hold down our property prices for their sake and comfort, becos we are a gracious society?

redbean said...

you sure the prices of properties are going up?

the next issue is the govt's mission and the interest of the citizen. what is the govt for, to make more money from the people or to give the people a better life by reducing cost of living, providing employment, improving standard of living etc?

we here people kpkb for higher transport cost which is actually a few cents and on the other hand, we are seeing prices of properties raised in the hundreds of thousands for more profits.

the new citizens and PRs are different problems. do the people agree and support this huge influx of PRs and new citizens? in good times ok. in bad times more people means more unemployment as more jobs are needed.

Anonymous said...

i think whether it is going up at any given hour is not the actual basis of your argument. i suspect you are unhappy becos prices rose when it did, and you are unconvinced about market pricing or measures taken with regards to that even though free market practices is clearly the best way to go. interference with the market is not.

redbean said...

leaving it completely to free market is the recipe for disaster. free market will lead to extremes, like what is happening in the US.

some interference or moderation is impt and good. but we must know interfere for what? interfere for the good of the people or for something else?

in our public housing scheme, it is all within the control of the govt. and it is wiser to keep public housing affordable. allowing public housing prices to runaway is creating a time bomb for the future.

Anonymous said...

.. in good times ok. in bad times more people means more unemployment as more jobs are needed.

it seems that you are understating the present dilemna, in reality the situation is much more complex than that. to some degree, displaced singaporeans will find it alot harder to march back into the jobs that are occupied by the foreigners even though they may be qualified. how do you issue a directive to tell the foreigners to get lost becos the singaporeans needed the job in these times. how do you retrench the foreigner in favor of the singaporean. what are those who came under the cover of new citizenships, to some degree they are competing with those sg born and bred. this is a meritocratic place afterall, where there shudnt be any distinctions between the nationalities. talk is easy when things are complex.

redbean said...

you shuld read my discussion on meritocracy and nationhood. complete meritocracy must do away with nationhood, no borders, complete freedom to be in any country. but this is not realistic and not the time.

when there is a construct call a nation state, and the people are called citizens with rights and privileges, then the people must be accorded them. when a country walks down a part of 'meritocracy' blindfolded, it is asking for its own destruction.

public policies of a nation state must be for the good of the nation and its citizens. if the interests of the citizens are compromised, there will be stresses to the system.

who shall the govt serve? or who shall the rulers rule for?

Anonymous said...

to slow down the inflow of foreigners to our market and to selectively renew the work permits of the incumbent foreign workers only addresses a small part of the unempolyment problems.

The main issue is, have we allowed in too many PRs and granted new citizenships to foreigners in the boom years, that created unnecessary job competition against the locals in a tight labor market?

you may start to argue that the foreigners ONLY take up jobs that singaporean does not want or that the foreign workers are here to HELP CREATE jobs for the locals. but when more singaporean loses their bread and butter, eventually they will start to point their fingers.

i think either we come up with new measures, policies to address these problems (which is difficult) or more convincing arguments in these times.

redbean said...

'foreigners ONLY take up jobs that singaporean does not want or that the foreign workers are here to HELP CREATE jobs for the locals'

you believe in the above? i think many singaporeans will want the jobs taken over by the foreigners, other than the manual and menial jobs.

they came to create jobs for us? how many came and how many jobs created for us?

Anonymous said...

If you as a stakeholder wants to know the detailed breakdowns of those figures, perhaps you could write in to make the request; I am sure you will get some answers.

Anonymous said...

Actually your first statement doesnt seems to hold water.. that 'foreigners ONLY take up jobs that singaporean does not want', when the jobs taken up by the foreigners vary from bank clerks, managers, analysts, programmers, researchers with pay packets from Sgd 18,000 to 100,000 pa and above. Singaporeans must be pretty well off to not want those jobs, that's why i too felt that it is a loaded and sweeping statement.

Like you asked, what are ALL of the jobs taken up by the foreign workers, PRs and those on fast track citizenship, not just piecemeal figures about road sweepers, chambermaids, stackers and sorters or welders, and then explain why anyone would think that Singaporean doesnt want them. That would be helpful for the discussions.

Anonymous said...

Quote: "this is a meritocratic place after all, where there shudnt be any distinctions beween nationalities", unquote.

Anon December 22 2008 10:47 AM;
May I ask, will You allow Foreigner Talents to rule Singapore? This question is premised on your above Quote.

And I shall add that this World is globalized too.

Yours sincerely: patriot

redbean said...

hi patriot,

you are posing an unfair question. : )

Anonymous said...

with all due respects, if you haven't noticed, some of the brightest talents who have contibuted tremendously in our nation's growth originated from malaysia, china and sri lanka. the ft policy is the best thing that happened since sliced bread was invented, it is reported that sg has lots of brains per square than any other in the region. this has brought us many benefits too. unlike the big countries, china, US for example, it is not wise for us to rely solely on our limited local pool when scale is found in an extended catchment.

redbean said...

as far as foreign talents are concerned, no disagreement. the more the better. but we need to moderate a bit on the not so talented.

then there is the issue of obligation to the citizens. unless we are going to adopt the policy, black cat white, can catch mice good. citizens that are no good can go to the dumps.

i don't think we can do that.

Anonymous said...

agree completely, most dun have an issue with the ft, the way the whole thing was handled is the issue.

it is one thing to bring in the talented, and another to bring in toms dicks and harrys and brand them as one and the same. also, it is one thing to bring in a manageable pool of workers with clearly defined exit strategy, and another to bring in pools of workers, PRs, fast track citizens who are allowed to compete overnight with the locals on an equal footing under the policy cover, on a massive scale. how do you manage the problems that arise when the bubble bursts such that the bread and butter of the locals are unaffected in a downturn.

displaced or affected singaporeans must be compensated for the inconvenience caused to them, it is only equitable. since we had copied the immigration and foreign talent policy from the developed countries, why did we not adopt their unemployment and social security systems for the locals as well. citizens who are retrenched and find their career move impeded by the massive inflow of foreign workers directly across the path of their career change shud be compensated or taken care of by the state in some ways. it is not just unsubstantial trickles of foreign workers into the system that is the problem. when the country let in foreigners on a massive scale, the locals who might otherwise have avoided job placement difficulties, to these people the state, in all fairness OWES THEM A LIVING. you may think that training a retrenched bank manager to work as a macdonald's captain discharges your responsiblities, becos of the uncertainties ahead i think it is far better that you reappraise the policy entirely instead.

redbean said...

it is time the citizens ask the govt what is in it for them. that is the right of a citizen for electing a govt to look after their interest. if there is nothing in it for the citizens, then say so. if the foreigners are more important than the citizen, say so.

the citizens have a right to know where they stand. this is a question that they must ask even if they get a silly answer.

Anonymous said...

Dear redbean;

the Question was inspired by the Quote, I apologize if it appears unfair to anyone.

Despite your responses and those of others, i feel the Question not answered, but, never mind, still thankful for the Responses.


redbean said...

we can have foreigners as national leaders if we remove the concept of nation or we sell the country away.

i have repeated this position many times, as long as there is a me nation against you foreigners, there is a divide. and i think the divide is still necessary for a long time to come.

anyone thinking that this divide should go at this point in time and embraces foreigners without considering the feelings and interests of the citizens is doing a disservice to the citizens.

Anonymous said...

Thank You! redbean;

the concepts of origin, ethnicity, nationhood and being have escaped many an educated modern man.

How can one be patriotic without a nation ?


redbean said...

can, patriotic to money.

Anonymous said...

That's the Most Reasonable Answer I can ever get.

You have fully convinced me, Wise One.

Yours Respectfully: patriot