A frightening letter in ST forum

'Begrateful, Spore' was sent in by a Canadian Eric J Brooks telling Singaporeans how lucky they were in such a well managed country. He compared our efficiency and our caring govt with what he used to live with in Toronto where rubbish were cleared only once a week. And Singaporeans only need to pay a pittance, $40 a month for conservancy fee. That is a steal. Now, what is so frightening about the letter. The praises are in the right places. We have a good govt and a well managed country. So, what's wrong? The problem is in the $40 conservancy fee that Singaporeans are paying for a clean environment. Some clever little kid is going to crack his head and say, 'Hey, this is too cheap man. Let's do a comparison on the cost of providing such a great service with all the big cities. This is a great opportunity to raise the conservancy fee since an ang moh is so overawed by it.' And raises his pay or bonuses too. This is the same kind of logic that sees the prices of our properties, taxi fares, public transport fares going the heavenly way. And so were the other goods and services. Our star attraction as a value for money tourist attraction where quality goods can be had at cheaper prices than other places is losing its glitter. Soon we will be just another expensive destination. Tighten your seat belt and wait for the next hike in all the service fees. We are living in the best city and we need to pay for it. Nothing comes free and good things don't come cheap.


Anonymous said...

Canuck angmoh loves to ... D ...from asian canuck... what he wants


Anonymous said...

simply giving bj, give him PR lah

Anonymous said...

"After living and working in six countries, I have known for a long time that no country takes care of its people the way Singapore does."

he should re read his statement... no country take ... should qualify how...

Wally Buffet said...

To the Editor of the Straight Times.


I concur with Mr. Brooks. A conservancy fee of $40 is a steal. When I call the town council, the property officer and the Bangla is at my doorstep in a jiffy. All my complaints are promptly attended to.Frankly, I don't mind my conservancy being raised to $60. What you pay is what you get. Everyone has to make a decent living so the $20 extra will hopefully be used to raise the salaries of the town council staff and give the Banglas a better deal. My caveat is that they learn the lessons of the past and not put my money into dumb investments.
Singaporeans are really one of a kind. They never seem to be satisfied and can splurge thousands on annual holidays and shop at the malls or eat at the food courts till they drop, yet, when it comes to some miniscule increases in rates or charges, they raise a big hullaballoo and becomes ingrates. I am very satisfied with the way things are here. My only complaint is with the weather. Too hot and too humid. Can we please aircondition the whole country if it's at all possible? I don't mind to make a small contribution to the technological wonder and breakthrough.

Your loyal Subscriber,

Wally "Up and Up" Buffet.
Contented Citizen.

Transitioning said...

I agreed with you here.

Many expats like Singapore as they get to enjoy all the life's trappings.

In China, I enjoyed the lifestyle there as I lived like a comfortable expat. However, all my Chinese friends hated China and wanted to egt out of their own country!

Sounds familiar?

Gilbert Goh

redbean said...

hi Gilbert, nice for you to drop by. we have kopi again huh.

one must understand that expats, i mean the professionals, in all countries are the better off and live a different lifestyle from the locals. and their perspective will be different from the locals as well as the foreign workers. but then again, the foreign workers here will see this as a haven for making a small fortune.

but wally, don't forget that for many of the hardlanders, their income hardly improve or in fact dwindle when inflation and cost of living are cost in. $40 is a big deal to them but not to you. and $600k is peanuts to some too.

a $20 increase in conservancy fee can be the feather that breaks the camel's back.

this is one thing that people living in cloud 9 can never appreciate. as i often said, the tips they throw to the waiter or doorman could be $50 or more. why grumble about $2?

solo bear said...

In Canada you have social security. Health care is free. You don't have to worry about being sick when you are old.

In Singapore, it is better to die than to be sick - or grow old - unless you earn $1m a year like Old Lee.

In Canada, the weather is dry and cold. It takes quite a lot of time before the things start to rot.

In hot and humid Singapore, leave your sandwich out in the open for one hour and that sandwich looks more like an overgrown mould farm.

That's why things are literally smellier in Singapore than in Canada.

solo bear said...

Sorry, need to post one more time to activate follow up emails. Forgot to do that just now.

redbean said...

hi GST, welcome to the blog.

didn't really get what you meant. but can only guess : )

Wally Buffet said...

What Hardlanders or Heartlanders? They are more like Fakelanders. My neighbour to the left,Ah Ter runs a zhi char stall, drives a Mercedes, goes to sing song halls every weekend and has three children, two of them doctors and one a lawyer. $20 increase to him is like the proverbial peanuts. To my right is Samy, an employment agent of Banglas. He drives an Audi and has a Bangla aide-de-camp following him around like a lap dog. Next to him is Latiff who has Malaysian politician relatives in high places. He drives a Lexus SUV and goes up country every other day to do "business".

Downstairs at the car park when everyone comes home at night you can see all the expensive car marques-almost vulgar and unbecoming in an HDB car park.

So where are the people who cannot afford a miserable $20 increase?

redbean said...


you got your point about the cold in canada or temperate land. that's why they need not bathe everyday. things don't rot or smell at our rate.

that may even determine their collection of rubbish routine.

in a general discussion, it is a normal tendency to look at isolated incidents or cases. there is always a bigger picture and there will be pros and cons and a lot of grey areas.

Anonymous said...

The Letter Writer, liked most other expatriates, I assumed had selected some isolated positive aspects of things in SIN and heaped praises of SIN.

He/She did not factor in prices of realty/property, car/fuel and other social benefits in his own home country. He/She also failed to understand/explain why many Singaporeans have migrated to Canada.

What about political situations and the differences in freedom of speech and other political activities ? Is that something he/she has no interest ?

Nice to see Gilbert Goh(Transitioning) here. Let's have kopi again when You return.


Anonymous said...


just to add that the Letter is sickening rather than frightening as it was writtened with little understandings of the local social and political culture.


redbean said...

hi wally, i must agree with you. the rich people are staying in 3 rm HDB flats. the pretenders are living in 5 rm or exec condos.

the richer ones are in 1rm or rental flats. and one more will join them when you sell your flat to the sucker. : )

Wally Buffet said...

Me and the wife opted for the one room rental flat just to store our memorabilia knick knacks as we are mostly in our mansion in Lijiang PRC. If you do come to Yunnan, please let me know so I can show you our pristine environment still untainted by the tourists. Hehe.

Anonymous said...

ask him to be a citizenship loh,I would exchange mine with his,it may be my mistake but I am responsible for my & my furure generations life.

Anonymous said...

I do agree that we are lucky to get rubbish collected everyday.But the main reason is that we employ CHEAP FTs,mainly fr India to do such job for us.

I suppose with min wage in Canada,they still manage to get the White citizens to do such jobs,hence no complaint fr their government of Canadian being lazy,as we hear so ofter fr PAP.

This Canadian guy is not thinking,pity that company that gets him as FT and pay him a salary in lieu of 5 Singapore citizens who sit at home waiting for jobs to come!

Anonymous said...

The Town Councils shouldn't be collecting any maintenace and conservancy fees because the areas covered are government property and do not belong to HDB owners, unlike in condominiums.

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