Notable quotes; Vladimir Putin on greed and hostage
'You have made thousands of people hostage to your ambitions, your lack of professionalism - or maybe simply your trivial greed.' Vladimir Putin Putin used these words to humiliate a top oligarch for causing a crisis in a town all because of greed. Take a moment to ponder over this statement and ask how relevant it is to our context. How many people have been made hostages by greed in paradise? How many policies could fall into the same category? I think we all know what they are. No point mentioning as people will not be happy to be told the truth. This year we will be celebrating 50 years of self rule, not independence. Is there a difference? Definitely, but I have dealt with this earlier. Let's look at the 50 years of success and 50 years to go full circle and probably going backwards. When PAP came to power in 1959, there were great promises of independence and a better life. And PAP delivered. And still delivering, except that some roads were leading to paradise and some to little chicken coops. Singaporeans have gone through living in little cubicles, attap and zinc roof wooden houses. We progressed to modern housing. There was a time when everyone was looking forward to better housing, 3 rm to 4 rm, to 5 rm, executive flats, condos and private housing. The govt even promised a future of a Swiss standard of living. There were high expectations and an air of confidence. The govt delivered. Many have attained Swiss standard of living and better. It is distressing to see that instead of continuing on that same path, the promises of tomorrow is no longer the Swiss standard of living but smaller housing, 2 rm and 3rm flats, at exorbitant prices. Are we promising a new standard, the Hongkong standard of living when a 50 sq m flat is considered a luxury apartment? The hard fact now is that people cannot afford the expensive public flats. So instead of bringing down the prices, they bring down the size of the flats, plus extended repayment terms. Why exorbitant prices? Why would people have to pay a life time, held at ransom for a life time, for a 2 rm or 3 rm flat, or any public flat, 4 rm or 5m? In today's paper, the Americans are buying landed properties costing only US$100k or less. Some in not so good condition could be had for US$10k and could be repaid in 2-3 years. Ok, different country, different conditions. They have big land, more choices and big problems. But these do not escape the fact that average Singaporeans still got to pay a life time for a small little space which they don't even own. I am not referring to the 20% who are living in paradise like lifestyle. We are a country, a nation. The people were with the govt for the last 50 years and prospered. What would be the future when the people, I mean the hardlanders, the majority of the people, feel that they have been left out of the prosperity boom? The basics, like decent housing, which I believe is a 4rm flat, not getting smaller, should be the standard for the average Singaporeans, to be affordable and not having to pay a life time for it. Now we are regressing, going down and smaller, while the other end is going up and bigger. If the govt is all calculative in the dollar sense, in housing policies, why shouldn't the people be calculative in sacrificing for the country, eg National Service. Can the value of NS be quantified in monetary terms, or should it be quantified in monetary terms? The people must see that their sacrifice is worth it, that there is a better tomorrow to look forward to. Are we heading that way? Would the next slogan of the govt be like, we will build more affordable 2 rm and 3 rm flats for the people? Or will it still be the dream of a Swiss standard of living?