The Booms and Fear
Seah Chiang Nee posted an article in the Malaysian Star paper titled, GDP up, but no cheer heard. It is a true reflection of the sentiment on the ground. Who cares or is interested in the 15% GDP growth? Who would such a number benefits? Only those that will benefit from it will be quietly patting themselves of the good news and the goodies coming their way. The surprising reaction is that the booming economy is going to lead to more fears. The fear of high inflation and higher cost of living. The first frightening news is the arrival of another 100,000 foreign workers to meet the demand of a booming economy. What this simply means is that more people crowding the public facilities and transportation system. Higher property prices. More social problems, more competition by cheap labour. Singaporeans would likely ask, what is in it for me? Economic boom, bigger reserves, GIC and Temasek’s holding in record high. For who, benefit who? Singaporeans would be lucky to be given an angpow of a few hundred bucks. The trouble is that no sooner than the angpow is received, they will be taken back in many other ways. The public transport companies have already started to raise their fares by a whopping 40% and the people are asked to tolerate and wait for it to benefit them. This is new. In the past, they give first before taking back. Now take first then give and probably take back more later. Maybe this will answer Seah Chiang Nee’s observation on why no cheer for a booming economy.