Completing a cycle of change

The poor peasant Chinese were pouring out of China about a hundred years ago. They were driven out of their motherland to seek work to feed themselves. Staying back in China was not an option. Jobs were scarce and earning a living was tough going.

By mid 1950s onwards, they were still poor. Poverty and going hungry were the normal then. Things started to improve in the 70s onwards. Life was more bearable and food was not so scarce. The common mode of transportation was the bicycle.

For the Chinese that headed out to Singapore, the 70s and 80s were times of rapid growth. They were getting richer and faster and living was less of a challenge. Buying a home and a car were the norms. Bicycles were discarded for the four wheels with a roof, a prestigious symbol of success.

Fast forward to the present, some Chinese are returning home as jobs were in abundance and livelihood is no longer such a big challenge. Singaporeans too are marching back to China when job opportunities were more challenging in the island.

In China, the Chinese are building homes like Singapore did in the 60s and 70s and buying properties, and property speculation became a national past time. Bicycles were swopped for the four wheel status symbols. More people are getting rich faster.

Singaporeans are downsizing and buying smaller and smaller homes with more money to pay. Cars are getting out of reach and more Singaporeans are taking to public transport and bicycles. The story will come full circle when Chinese Singaporeans start to return to China in hoards, to seek jobs and better living conditions, to buy bigger homes and be car owners once again.

PS. The super rich are having a good laugh at such articles. Get out of my elite and uncaring face.


Anonymous said...

Fengshui lun Liu zhuan, the fortune rotates.

Anonymous said...

Riding bicycles is a healthy exercise and good for health. Driving is no good, no enough exercise.

Two wheels good, four wheels bad.

Anonymous said...

Before mainland China, there is always JB and Batam (for medical treatment and retirement?)

Matilah_Singapura said...

You don't have to be Chinese to live and make (or lose) a fortune in China.

Wealth is not a "race" thing.

China has come a very long way in a very short time thanks to the (so-called) communists embrace of free wheeling private enterprise.

However most of the wealth is concentrated in the urban areas or the newly "urbanised" and "gentrified" areas. Rural China is essentially still poor, but they are moving albeit slower than the city folks.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

This is just an observation about the average Chinese swapping their bicycles for cars while average Sinkies are swapping their cars for bicycles. Nothing about racial thing.

Anonymous said...

The things that are valuable in Singapore to the rich mainland Chinese is a red password (for travel convenient) and a place to divert their ill-gotten wealth (often through dubious channels).

Matilah_Singapura said...

Funny story!

Anonymous said...

Property and COEs come in cycles. We have seen the ups and downs. Now it is up, doesn't mean always up.

Sinkies swapping cars for bicycles? Is it? I see more sinkies driving bigger cars and luxurious cars now.

Anonymous said...

There r more condos n continental cars than ever, Eg even running out of carparks, maybe shld make mote noise abt d last one

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

The widening income gap manifesting, the rich gets richer and buying bigger cars and houses. The lower income and average will be hard squeezed. How many can afford to renew their COEs at $60k or $100k?

Maybe you can. I can't.

Anonymous said...

We buy what we can afford.
If possible, I would also like to live in a big bungalow and drive a ferrari. But no. I live within our means and I dont blame anybody. If one is envy or jealous of the rich then there will be no ending to it. Life will be bitter. The rich have always been around. Should I go around and shout Bersih and hoping things will turn around? It will not. The rich are rich because they have taken some huge risk at one time or another, and until the time we do something about it, life will continue to be the same.

Matilah_Singapura said...

The people who whinge and whine about a widening income gap are:

1. People who feel guilty for being rich, because they've acquired their wealth dishonestly

2. People who are lazy and/ or inept and thus resent the success of others

3. People who don't understand REAL WORLD economics, but can quote chapter and verse on the rubbish taught in academia by monthly-waged professors who are clueless about how money is made in the world outside their ivory towers

...and of course

4. Politicians and their agent provocateurs who seize on the opportunity to play on, then augment the fears and negative emotions of a gullible, already insecure proletariat -- in order to con the masses into voting for a "messiah". The savvy politician coats his forked-tongue with honey and promises "salvation" and (the big one) -- equality.

"Salvation" being nothing more than punishing production and the producers and re-distributing unearned "rewards".

It sends a message: if you work hard and become rich -- you lose. If you don't give a fuck and are indolent and "needy" -- you win.

Good luck with your society, if its culture embraces those ideas.

Anonymous said...

Some are rich because they perpetuate exploitation of the masses. They brinwash others to accept their destiny that they are born poor and to remain so. You get paid pittance, but they steal the wealth from your labour.

Anonymous said...

Plis dont blame the evil or the weak.

Just blame your almighty for being impotent or alternatively is just unkind to You, the whinners and losers.

Anonymous said...

Now you know why so many sports cars and luxury cars on the road? There are many black money to be laundered by the rich foreigners and they will just throw at the big properties, the higher the price the better. And they could buy more Ferraris to race on our roads.