Organic News

5 Major Facts about Singapore that every Singaporean should understand


Lately there has been an ongoing trend of Singaporeans lashing out at the government, voicing out unhappiness and dissatisfaction. We saw a article of how we are ranked in the top most expensive cities, we had Roy Ngerng causing a huge stir about the CPF system, we had photo comparisons of what a 3-room flat in Bishan can be like a bungalow in Pennsylvania. Many people are saying that our ministers are getting paid too high and there is a large widening gap between the rich and the poor.

To make things worse, the recent boom in foreigners has caused upset amongst Singaporeans, citing that “Singapore has less Singaporeans than foreigners”. We love comparing to successful first-world countries. “Oh, look at how great Germany is doing. Look at how wonderful it is to live in the Scandinavian countries. It will be so much better to migrate to the UK or Australia”. What I can tell you is that if you are someone who follows world news, global economics and politics closely, you will realize that every country has their own problems as well.

1) Population Control A.K.A. “Why are there so many foreigners in Singapore?”

No, Singapore is NOT the only country that is facing an immigration issue. The United Kingdoms, Germany, Australia, United States of America, Canada is also facing the same issue. Ironically, these are the countries that Singaporeans want to migrate to because they believe they can enjoy a better lifestyle there. Before you start to tell everyone about your dreams to migrate, have you considered that when you ‘migrate’ to a foreign country, you automatically become one of those “foreign immigrants” which Singaporeans are so upset about?

Here is the hypocrisy when Singaporeans point out they are not happy that so many foreigners are overtaking Singapore, and Singaporeans say they want to migrate to other countries, and eventually they end up being a foreigner in a different land. And this is exactly how our first-world counterparts feel. People in Europe and the U.S. are complaining that there are so many Asians flowing into their country. Their own local populace is also crying out that there are too many people coming into their country.

And this is why we must look into the reason on why immigration happens. People immigrate in hopes of finding a better lifestyle than staying in their home ground. Countries allow immigrants to come in, if they can provide the countries with benefits. Why has Singapore become a hotspot for immigrants?

Let me introduce to you jobs which pay about $1,600-$1,800 a month, to do cleaning services, waitressing, laundry, bus operators, cashiering, clerk assistants or construction labor. Too many proud, and ‘elitist’ mindset Singaporean graduates want the easy life and cannot handle hardship.

If every Singaporean refuses to do blue-collar jobs, who will do it? Who will be the ones who keeps our streets clean, construct awe-inspiring buildings like the Esplanade, Singapore Flyer, Marina Bay Sands, operate our MRT and bus services, serve our food at restaurants, maintain proper roads and infrastructure?

5 marina_bay_singapore

The governments and employers have no choice, they need to open up the job offer to anyone outside our country, who are hungry for jobs and don’t mind taking up the offer. And yet certain, bad-mouthing Singaporeans still complain that they get bad service from foreign workers. The notion here is, “If you think you can do a better job than them, go ahead and do it instead of complaining”

2) Treating the CPF system like it is a complete scam

A certain blogger Roy Ngerng has churned out many infographs about how menacing the CPF system is. While the the information cannot be proved to be true, what we can comprehend is very clear. Personal income tax in Singapore averages 6.5%. The top marginal income tax you could ever hit is 20%. CPF contribution is also another 20%. This may sound harsh to you, but please take note that in other ‘first-world’ countries, their personal income tax is higher than our maximum 20%. Some countries go up to 50%. That’s like an employer promising you a $4,000 salary but you only get to take home $2,000.

In Singapore, we may only take home 70-80% of our net supposed salary. However, 20% of that amount is still technically yours. Unlike other countries, our government has not completely removed that 20% away, never to be seen again. It is simply kept in a retirement account. And the bonus is that you can still use your CPF to pay off any medical bills, insurances and housing bills. The CPF money can still be used and planned to a certain extent.

I don’t know about you, but I much rather have 20% in a retirement account than have it completely taken away by ‘income tax’. No matter how bad you might assume CPF is, it’s already a system that is much better than 90% of other countries. If you blatantly say you just want to migrate to other countries “because there is no CPF there”, you are forgetting something called “2-3x higher income tax rate”

3) Complaining about Real Estate and Car Prices Thousands of motorists sit stuck in the

Ladies and gentlemen, this is what our roads and highways will look like if the government makes car prices as low as that in the United States ($20,000 avg.) If we let every Singaporean have the privilege of owning a car, we will have infinite traffic jams, and even commuters who choose to take the bus will find themselves caught in these massive jams. Even motorcycle users will be affected. Air pollution indexes will raise higher than what our “forest fire hazes” have given us, and everyone will have to walk out with N95 masks everyday like the situation in Beijing. Is this what you want? Low car prices?

Flash news! Singapore is an island state that is no more than 42km wide. It is irrational to blame the government for having such a small island to work with. Since we are born into a small country state, maybe it’s time to accept the fact that not everyone can be allowed to own a car. The COE system is put in place so that people with higher status, eg. businessmen, professionals, managers, politicians who have a bigger need for cars can afford the $70,000 to travel around. The notion here is that if you can’t afford a car, simply settle for public transport. It only takes a maximum of 1 hour 15 minutes to travel from Tampines to Jurong via MRT.

Anyway, if you are a financially educated person, you will know that owning a car is having more liabilities, which is a bad financial decision especially if you are aiming to get rich ASAP. In a way, the government is discouraging people from buying cars, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

Which brings me to my point of soaring real estate prices in Singapore. HDB_10_2_1

We simply love comparing that our $400,000 3-room flat in Tampines/Bishan can afford us a freakin’ Villa (complete with poolside and balcony) in Thailand or Mexico. Let me emphasize again that we are a small island, so it is simply irrational to blame the government for having such a small island. We cannot build 1,000,000 Villas for the 1,000,000 households in Singapore for everyone to live in. There is not enough space. This is common sense that you cannot fit so many big houses into a small country.

Take a look at other countries who are suffering from land shortages. Real estate prices in Hong Kong are more expensive than Singapore’s. Japan’s real estate prices is almost similar. Everywhere in the world, real estate prices are generally rising due to demand and supply from people who need a house.

Another notion here is, if you cannot afford to buy a big house, settle for a small one, or just rent out a flat. And if you really want to live in a Villa with $400,000, please consider migrating because you won’t find anymore hope here.

4) Difficulty of finding employment, even with a degree

In agreement to point number 1, it’s really not the case that it’s hard to find employment in Singapore. It’s more about us Singaporeans being too elitist and picky for own good. What do most of us always say we want to be upon graduation? 

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“Oh, I wanna be a [insert industry here] manager” Well, captain obvious, if the entire population dreams of becoming a manager, who will become the employee? Think about that just for awhile.

Working as an employer’s assistance, I have posted out job listings calling for receptionists and customer service executives needed for SMEs. The pay given was $2,200, which includes potential commission if sales deals are closed over the counter. I specifically stated that the education level required was not necessary, as long as the applicant knows how to speak fluent English and their natural mother tongue. The catch? You must commit to a 6-day work week, 9 hours a day. This sounds like a grind, but,

I got 0 replies from Singaporeans, and 20 replies from foreigners.

You see, it’s not that it’s hard to get a job in Singapore. It’s just that if everyone wanted to become managers, there’s simply not enough. Once again, simple demand and supply concept. As for people who rant about how so many foreign workers are taking up managerial positions and commanding Singapore employees to do jobs instead, I believe that from a HR perspective, these ‘foreigners’ have already achieved a good reputation through networking and work experience.

Because honestly, if you are a Singaporean with a good track record of experience, and your foreign rival has no experience at all, any logical HR manager will hire you instead. Before we start jumping to conclusions, we need to take a step back and appreciate that some foreign workers indeed have the necessary years of experience required and have displayed good working habits in order to get the promotion to a managerial role.

Trust me, if you set up your own business one day, and get a chance to be your own boss, you would also choose your employees based on their work attitude, personality, and years of experience. Nationality is a very weak subject in the world of employment.

5) No explanation needed 

Singapore-River 1_marina_bay_night_2012

Our government has transformed Singapore from 3rd-world kampung island to 1st-world global recognized state in a matter of 40 odd years. If you can’t even appreciate this fact, it’s time to do some self-reflection of whether you can do a better job in their shoes, if we reset time to 1965.

Jackie Loh
Writer
The Influencer Media

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229 comments

  1. This is the biggest load of horse shit I have read in a long time. Nice try justifying the PAP’s screwed up policies. How about things like freedom to assemble and the right to free speech?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Its funny how ignorant and stupid people keep saying there is no freedom of speech in Sg when in fact they mean no freedom to bad mouth other people. You people have no idea what ‘no freedom of speech’ means, so shut the fk up. Wanna open your eyes? Travel to China and see for your self

      Liked by 1 person

  2. everything u wrote in the article is true. i take full understanding to every word. however, if this is the case, then why does PAP wants a population of 7 million? we are at 5 million and having more people, be it birth rates or FT, will only raise up more prices….
    transport systems are not as bad as our internet have said…..
    there are all kinds of clowns but don’t forget u are one too!
    there are occasional major delays but that is a whole other issue…..
    i, as a Singaporean, am no different from a clown like i mentioned….
    i am young struggling with my IPPT every year….
    there are many things our GOV is doing that are questionable….
    like their high pay….

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Dear Writer,

    I have no interest in discussing which party is better my only interest is your flawed argument.

    I just have a few points you need to note which are listed below and did your moderators delete my previous reply ?

    1.)
    While I have to agree that SG do require some form immigration.
    Your argument is based on the facts that Singaporean does not want or prefer the blue collared jobs which you claimed to be “cleaners, bus driver… etc” however you have failed to address it issue of EP system and how the PMETS face a problem in finding a job because several MNC prefer to employ PMETS because they prefer to employ someone from their country/speak their language. I agree with you we will need foreign workers for alot of these blue collar jobs but what about white collar jobs why is one prefer over another ? if its by one is more skilled than the other so be it. But if its because or low balling of wages or preference of nationality i would think is not ideal.
    The jobs you have listed are mostly WP holders who are more than likely unable to stay long term unless they work hard and upgrade then get and EP/PR status these are the people we want in SG.
    3.)
    You look at vehicle ownership as luxury item so it will be obvious you should be rich enough to own one. However if you look a families which are caring for their kids and old parents at the same time this vehicle becomes a necessity item which you might argue other wise. In that case how about businesses, if my business involves purchasing of vehicles to help run it my cost will go up as COE prices goes up and the businesses will have to charge higher to maintain the cost.
    Your “endless traffic jams” are already solved by the quota of the COE which is limiting the number of cars on the road the prices does solve the “endless traffic jams” it only ensures people who can afford the crazy prices can own the prices.
    If they just control the quota of cars there will be no “endless traffic jam” that you speak off.

    5.)
    Your point 5 is even more ridiculous, your grandfather is a war hero so I should not question you.
    Times change, systems change do judge a system base it well it perform last year but make sure it can perform next year.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. 1. Not all Singaporeans can fill up all PMET roles. Lets take for example university lecturers and researchers. The good ones tend to be the foreigners and some obscure majors like European Studies cant be taught by a Singaporean.

      3. I agree that some families may need vehicles. Probably aged parents or disabled family members. But not kids. There is a quota on the COE already, that is why the prices are high, demand and supply. Goods vehicles for businesses do have a lower COE.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 1. I agree that not all PMET jobs are suited for Singaporeans, but there is a lack of system in place to protect more of them. Currently if I’m not mistaken the are no restrictions in Quota for EPs as long as the company can afford them they can put them on EPs(assuming everything else is eligible). If the jobs that aren’t suitable for Singaporeans are taking in Singaporeans to train them to be come suitable there won’t be any jobs suitable for them forever. Part of effective governance should also ensure that in time of crisis who would be more subjected to leave Singapore and never come back? Is it Singaporeans or are this foreign EP holders ? If majority of them leave and no one is left to replace them what would happen then ?

        Lets talk about the system as a whole and not pick specific examples.

        3. Yes COE Prices are affected by the quota set. However have a quota doesn’t mean that it should be subjected to a bidding war resulting in only people who can afford it to own the COE (Not the car cars are more affordable than COE).

        If the COE prices are fixed and the slots are balloted out to people who apply (not transferable) and those who have special need cases are given higher chances of getting the COE. The quota still solves the number of cars on the road. Just that it’s no longer a free market much like the HDB flats.

        Obviously there’s a might be flaws in the system I proposed I would like to hear more from you on what you think should be done to solve the issue.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. “The good ones tend to be the foreigners and some obscure majors like European Studies cant be taught by a Singaporean.” Untrue. There are both good and bad lecturers, be they Singaporean or foreigners. Interestingly, I had a module on Europe taught by Dr Yeo Lay Hwee, who is Director of the EU Center in Singapore. Her view of the EU from the outside perspective is probably more interesting and different from a European perspective.

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      1. Do note that there is NO quota for EP. If you meet the minimum salary floor, you can fill up a whole company with EPs and zero locals.

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  4. (1) SG squeezes 54 people in a soccer field size land, while UK and Germany is about 2, US is about one person to every 4 soccer field, and Canada is about one person to every 40!!

    It’s mathematics, let alone competition for jobs, housing, transports, not sharing the burden of NS etc.

    On the other hand, if every single true blue mother father daughter son is deported to any of the above countries, it is still only 1% to 9% of their population.

    Lets banned Singaporean from “cleaning services, waitressing, laundry, bus operators, cashiering, clerk assistants or construction labour, in return barred all others from bank jobs, mid management, civil service, jobs in People Association, Stat Boards, PMET etc.

    (2) There are 26 or so countries where the maximum personal tax is higher than 40% – 15 of them will be flooded with immigrants, if they were given the slightest chance.

    On the other hand, there are 50 countries with max person tax at 20% or less. Most of them you probably just want to go as a tourist for a short while!

    Those countries that “completely taken away by income tax” are the same ones that gave it back via high social welfares expenditure and had drastically reduced poverty among their countrymen!

    (3) No everyone can own a car is true in SG but only the rich and super-rich are exempted – “Flash News II” ! – Some people are more equal than others and needs = $$$ !. But is our train or transport service even on par with those in HK, Taiwan or Japan?

    And if we can’t build 1,000,000 Villas, why build so many golf courses, why let none-citizen own public housing? why let so many people in? How easy is it to buy and sell to reap great profit from the HK public housing scheme? By the way, only Tokyo has a shortage of land, not Japan – they are still able to grow enough rice to meet over 90% of their consumption each year!

    (4) In the entire world of 7 billion people, there must be someone that has more experience, personality, work attitude than any Singaporean in Singapore, let alone fresh graduate. But which other country in the world open their door so freaking wide and so callously string up their very own sons and daughters each time they aspired to be what our education system had drummed into them? These very people that stuck with the nation through thick and thin, some of them are even required to give up their very lives protecting it!

    (5) If one can only manage to transform Singapore but not Singaporean to a 1st world standard, then with or without explanation, perhaps is good to reflect maybe it’s time for re-assignment to sub-con, vendor, usher, facility manager, etc and not bother too much as the leader of men!

    And don’t need to reset time so far back to 1965 … 1980s will do!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. If you expect a $1,600 salary, do the maths! After paying your utilities bills, phone bills and public transport, how much are you left with? Don’t forget that eating out these days even at hawker centres are now averaging S$5 per meal! What if this person has to look after his parents and/or grandparents? Isn’t the government encouraging you to look after your old?

    I think the government has to review the basic needs of the people at the very least. I have been working overseas for many years in Hong Kong, Taiwan and now Beijing. I am just amazed at how cheap utilities are in both HK and Beijing. I am not sure about Taiwan since the company pays for it. I am paying less than S$40 a month for electricity/water/gas bills all in. Public transport in Beijing is S$0.40 cents by the MRT and public bus! Taxis cost me S$10-12 for a distance for example, Pasir Ris to Bukit Merah. But look at what we are paying in Singapore for these basic needs?? Beijing has a rather high cost of living, but at least these basic needs are taken care of by the government. What I have been hearing is that these basic needs are increasing at a faster and higher rate than the increase in salaries! If we can afford to pay our ministers and their members such high salaries and lost so much in our investiments overseas, then don’t we look into these basic needs of our people as the priority??

    I agree wholeheartedly with D re housing. At the current rate, the younger generation will have no means of buying their own flat.

    On CPF, I agree this is good thing to have, but why is there a need to raise it to 65 years old before you can draw it out? and why is there a need to keep at least S$155,000 there? If I had been working so hard all my life, I will want to look forward to retiring comfortably and be able to travel round the world before I pass on. By the time one reaches 65, they may have other “grander” things that they want to do, e.g. ensuring that their children are married happily with no worries about incurring debts to get married, travel the world with their other half, sending their children to universities (esp for those who married late), Honestly, how many of us can live past 65 years old healthily to enjoy life before we pass on??

    Don’t get me wrong, I am proud to be Singaporean and agree that the government were doing a good job!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you’re < 55 years old this year, your CPF min sum will be MORE than $155k. The average increase in the past few years are at 7k per year.

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    2. hi! yes I do agree with you. however, I think the author is just trying to point out how worse off Singapore could be without he government? While your concerns are valid, they are more of the flaws in the current policies I believe?

      For example the CPF issue has already beeen addressed in the ND rally. The increased minimum sum is exactly due to what you mentioned briefly – inflation. It is to ensure ppl can live a life not having to worry abt money after they retire! With inflation and rising up prices now, who will know how expensive it is in future? and who can help you if you can’t afford basic necessities due to their high price in after you retire? what if you *touch wood* happen to fall ill, can’t work, who can provide for you? and do you really want to continue working to support yourself because there isnt enough cpf to last you when you’re old? when you can enjoy life? its either save now enjoy later, or the opposite.

      and yes. no one likes high cost of living. do you think the government will like her ppl to live with high cost everyday? it’s real hard to solve such problems that are out of control. and governments are humans too, they’re not gods with superpowers to solve any problems in the world. I think we should start appreciating the food we have here instead. yes times have changed, A plain bowl of fisball noodles no longer cost $0.30/$0.20/$1.50/$2.00 . that’s cause our economy is growing. yes things were cheaper in the past, but our living standards were worse off too. Plus if you want cheaper food you can always go msia, I mean its just nezt door…

      moreover, It is easy to point out flaws and say that other countries are better off. Like how a coin has two sides, have you considered the flip sides of govt in other countries? For example you say basic needs in beijing are taken care by govt. ( Actually im not sure what they take care) ,did you consider if the govt spends money on ppl, they lose out spending money on other aspects that could be more important? not saying people aren’t important, but if people can be independent, govt have one less worry to care and focus better in improving on other areas. and one thing, im pretty sure other countries with cheap utilities is cause they have the resources, the supply, so they can price it lower? not the same for SG though, given our limited resources.

      While I do not agree with everything the author said due to some over generalisation here and there, he is merely trying to highlight then incredible work (I mean from 3rd to 1st world country in such a short timespan??? :O) of the singapore govt. Why not just appreciate the work the government has put in to improve the welfare of her people throughout the years and be thankful to these changes instead of picking on flaws that would otherwise make our country an idealist one?

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  6. Hi I found a picture of that 3rd world kampung you were talking about:

    Ok here’s one more:

    What a third world kampung island eh?

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    1. And your point is? Do you think this is better than what we have now? Pls simply, use your common-sense and ask anyone who lived in that “Paradise” of yours in the 60s and now and see which one the pioneers prefer.

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  7. 1) I believe most Singaporeans understand the need for foreign workers to fill up workforce gaps, but don’t believe that out of a population of 5.3mio only 3.4mio are Singaporean. The issue was never truly xenophobic, it’s a matter of excessive-ness.

    2) I think Singaporeans who think the CPF is a scam is a small minority. We may not like it, and speak out against it, but we don’t truly believe that it is a scam.

    3) I concur with this point. Although I’ll like to point of some factors to consider 1) If we have a fast-paced life, it is also less likely we will take public transport. And our fast-paced life is a result of our previous economic growth model 2) Unfortunately we have uncomfortable weather, though there’s nothing to be done about it 3) imo not aggressive enough with building public transportation (bus lanes on all routes) and make car ownership more difficult (paying a steep premium doesn’t work on Singaporeans, we are quite used to paying prices higher than international standards and we will adjust to paying more. How about making parking difficult, like europe.

    4) It’s not difficult to understand why some graduates may say its hard to find jobs. If you graduated with a degree, you would most likely want to have a ‘return on degree’ (which isn’t cheap and takes 3-5 yrs). Hence, generally they would want to work in a field that the degree has some perceived or real use for. The job you stated is quite uncompetitive, unless the commission is high. Remember that employment is near full, and that similar sales job vacancies like yours are aplenty. Also, not everyone can like to, or can do sales – hardwork doesn’t replace aptitute.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting focus of this article. But I hear this whole gratitude thing too often.

      What I (and of course, this is a choice, one that I am happy to make) see when I understand Singapore is freedom of speech, press and assembly, censorship of books and movies, gerrymandering, I could go on. This goes so deep that we accept it as okay, we censor ourselves. And whatever the successes are that can be claimed, this is still inexcusable.

      “Our government” transformed a “3rd world kampung” into a 1st world, expensive, and yes, pretty comfortable, cage. “Good” and “better” are subjective. The question Singapore asks me is “what rights and I ready to surrender for economic prosperity?” People blame the government in Singapore for a lot of things, and mostly, I would say the wrong things. There are a ton of right things to blame the government for.

      Also, don’t knock the 3rd world kampung, I’ve lived there and life is hard, but there are certain goodness and happiness there that you don’t find in the 1st-world global recognized state.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Well said. Jackie.. Bottom line.. Singaporeans complain too much!! If you’ve lived outside of Singapore you will understand how lucky you are to be Singaporean. There is no such thing as a better country. every government has it’s Pros and Cons. Just a matter of settling and adapting well. If you think you can do a better job, have 40 million dollars and buy your own island and govern it.

      CPF is the best thing to have happen to Singapore. it’s money you can get back. Everywhere else it’s money down the drain. You never get to touch it again.

      Yes, we have an influx of foreigners… only because no Singaporean wants to do the shitty job that needs to be done. Wanna hold high-class positions that you don’t want to work hard for.. (-_-”)

      Yes the price of COE is high bla bla bla.. it’s exclusive-ness!! Doesn’t everyone want that? Small area man!!! Little Red Dot! Does NO ONE GEDDIT?!

      I say make “Overseas experience” compulsory for every youth so when they settle back in Singapore.. the only thing they’ll complain about is the heat!!! Singapore government is doing a fairly great job managing 4+million people on the red dot… Be thankful…

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      1. Singaporean dont complain.. they are just expressing their thots.. of coz every country got their pros and cons..
        LKY dont need to have 40million to make Singapore his own.. but is he making a good job?? Maybe yes to some.. if not, why are some other ppl still unhappy??

        CPF is a good thing?? Let me ask you.. what does “retirement” means to you? You reap what you sowed.. but isnt the CPF holding back what we sowed after we had work so hard all this year??
        Does retirement means every month u get $1000 and end up needing to work to meet with daily expenditures??
        Lets say you work so hard.. at 66yrs u died.. so u died just to taste that $12k for 1yr of “retirement”?? So did you actually reaped what you sowed?? You dont even get to touch that money when you died.. so what are you implementing when u say “its money you can get back”???

        Did LHL work hard to get his position?? I dont even remember when i voted him as my PM.. Lets say this shitty jobs pay the same as what our Minister is getting.. you thing ppl will reject?? Its not a matter of skills.. i believe most Singaporean have the skills.. just that most company are not paying well enough to match that skills.. singaporean with skill 10/10 but pays $3k and foreigner with skills 8/10 but pays $1800, who do you think the company choose?? No no.. who will choose if u are an employer?? What shit are you talking abt, “no Singaporean wants to do a shitty job”
        if ask u also u dowan correct?? Is it because of the job or is it because of the pay?? You can see young men Australian working as cleaner by tge road side.. why?? Coz the pay is right.. thats the fact!!

        COE to control car qty here.. ERP to control road congestion here.. but what amaze me, during the time when there is no ERP, lets say during school holiday at PIE, i dont find the jam.. coz ppl can plan better to get to work on time..and NOT to plan their time to avoid ERP.. coz its always jam when ERP is abt to start.. and most accident happens when ERP started.. reason, ppl are rushing to avoid the ERP.. so its pure bullshit system..you can just reduce the qty of car and it solves the problem.. i’m working in a marine industries.. working hrs are not flexible.. thats the reason i need a car.. you think Singapore public transport system is good?? I doubt so.. if i work past midnight at lets say Marina South Pier(if you know the location where) how am i suppose to go home?? A colleague of mine had to wait up to 1hr till the time past midnight when trying to call for a cab.. not reliable at all..

        As an engineer, i had flown to some countries and work there.. most of the country i went to (lets say in the Asia Pacific region), especially New Zealand, Canada and Australia, you can earn up to $8k/mth with relevant experience.. but in Singapore, you will only get half that amount with a degree and some experience.. in general as an Employee and not in Managerial post.. but are they paying 50% tax to match our pay and have a better pension scheme??

        They did a great job managing the 4+million.. but they are doing a better job managing the FTs here.. they got better job position and pay.. are they better?? I doubt so.. we work so hard to serve NS and protect Singapore.. compared to them, arent they getting a better treatment?? Well, i’m not complaining.. im ok with all what the government is doing.. but spare a thought.. for the pioneer generations, your parents, other parents when they are struggling to survive with the expensive living in Singapore.. subsidise doesnt means free.. so pay using CPF monthly payout?? think again..

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  8. I wouldn’t mind longer hours and lower pay as a new graduate if i was working for a boss and company who i know is looking out for me, taking care of my development and value added to my abilities and career.

    Most local bosses/companies are only out to milk their workers for maximum productivity at the cost of their welfare, and limiting workers’ choices and options to retain their ‘assets’ and manpower. This is especially so in SMEs without resources, and actually made worse by the tight labour market.

    Add this to the fact that profits often do not translate into better working conditions for employees (only bosses and landlords benefit), and that many employers are not actually offering a salary sufficient to raise and maintain a family – you get a chronically unhappy problem.

    As much as you are right that young Singaporeans have begun to develop a sense of entitlement, we also desperately need to learn to be better bosses and managers.

    The writer also conveniently doesn’t mention how foreign managers will tend to hire ‘their own’. The playing field is not as level as you imagine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 1. I totally agree with you here.
      2. Please! CPF is a freaking scam! Seriously, my money but I cant touch it? That’s the worst nonsense I ever heard and don’t start on me on the interest I get, Please if I do not use the money in there the gov in actual fact does not need to give me the interest until I use it for something like buying a flat which by then they can just take from people who just started paying their CPF and pass it to me first and also during that time my money is with them, they can technically loan out all my money and request for higher interest and I would not even know what they did. All they have to do is record into the system that the interest is added to the account I would not be any wiser.
      3. I agree with your points but I would also like to add that perhaps it is also the road designs that cause the traffic jams.
      4. Agree. But What I want to state here is that for the Job the author stated, I find it alright. except for the fact that 1) I still have to work on Saturday(Unless you telling me this is something like retail or F&B)., that is a huge turn off and also, 2) he does not seem like he was forthcoming on the commissions scheme. That will turn me off even more. To me you ether tell me or else go find someone else. Its the same like some food stall in hawker center nowadays may not display their prices at any. To me it be thanks but no thanks. I do not care how good you food seems to look or smell show me what I will need to pay for it or else sorry, I will be walking away.

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  9. Points 1 and 4. Your points about immigration in other countries are valid. But it’s not that Singaporean’s don’t want to do labour jobs. Young adults spent a large sum on their education, and many of graduates are fully capable of getting a job earning a salary of at least 3K. Why would anyone in their right mind take a low-wage job that does not have good benefits, good social standing, and let down their parents, their grandparents and their boy/girlfriends?

    Your all other points are very valid though. With the kind of jams we experience on our major expressways, private transport and public bus transport is such a PAIN. And we have what, 6 lane expressways now?! It’s still not enough! Our car population should be halted. No more new COEs unless old ones get scrapped.

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    1. I kind of agree with that last point. Buses and public transport should be given more priority and more attention. Buses carry 20-30 people while a car on the way to work carries only 1 which is a waste of space.

      Like

  10. I wouldn’t mind longer hours and lower pay as a new graduate if i was working for a boss and company who i know is looking out for me, taking care of my development and value added to my abilities and career.

    Most local bosses/companies are only out to milk their workers for maximum productivity at the cost of their welfare, and limiting workers’ choices and options to retain their ‘assets’ and manpower. This is especially so in SMEs without resources, and actually made worse by the tight labour market.

    Add this to the fact that profits often do not translate into better working conditions for employees (only bosses and landlords benefit), and that many employers are not actually offering a salary sufficient to raise and maintain a family – you get a chronically unhappy problem.

    As much as you are right that young Singaporeans have begun to develop a sense of entitlement, we also desperately need to learn to be better bosses and managers.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. 1) Yes Singapore is not the only country with immigration issue. But which other country in the world faces our ratio of immigrants. London, one of the most cosmopolitan city in the world, has 44.9% (as of 2011) White Britons. However 63% of the population are BORN citizens. Compared that to Singapore, only 62% are citizens. The percentage of citizens that are new is unknown, but there were 20,000 new citizens just in 2012 alone! Do you blame Singaporeans for feeling alienated?
    Yes there are many blue-collar job most Singaporeans preferred not to do. But having so many foreigners to fill those jobs are also creating problems for the less educated Singaporeans. Cost of living has risen so much over the last decade but wages have been depressed because of foreign workers who will settle for any money. There are no minimum wage nor unions to protect this sector of our population. Using foreign worker levies and ratio may help to prevent unemployment for them but doesn’t really help the problem of wage depression. I have an uncle who finally bought his own HDB in his 50s after toiling for decades as construction supervisor. (Once again I’m not saying there shouldn’t be any foreigners, but controlled.) Contrary to what the author believes, there are also many white-collar and professional jobs taken by foreigners. Some of them may be needed because of their niche experience but do we really need foreigners to fill in many of the regular roles?
    2) We do not pay average 20% income tax. That is the maximum that you will pay in Singapore earning more than 300k per annum. Even as most of us pay less than 10% income tax, many Singaporeans are struggling with education loans, housing and healthcare. Income tax for developed countries are not “completely taken away” but actually help in these needs. Yes CPF is our money, but actual value is heavily reduced because of inflated housing prices. There are goods and bads in any system but comparing it unfairly to other systems and not seeing the flaws in one is just that, blind.
    3) Yes we do not have enough land. But we do not have to pay exorbitant prices for it. Comparing to HK, Japan or New York is not fair because they own the property after paying the money and not just a 99 year lease. If you want to call HDB public housing, then don’t subject it to market supply and demand and make huge profits over base construction costs. Housing is a necessity, you can make the profits from the private properties. Even if you want to subject it to basic market forces, you can reduce the demand by many ways. Other than the current cooling measures, you can also cater HDB more for citizens such as restricting those on EP passes to only rent private property. Allow the expatriates to feel the ‘real’ cost of living in Singapore instead of passing on the cost to citizens.
    4) Yes it is not that hard to find a job in Singapore. But no, if you have the same track record as the foreigner, the logical HR manager may not hire you. Because the foreigner is willing to take a 20% lower pay than you, that is being logical.
    5) Brazil has won the world cup 5 times. Does it mean that they will always win the world cup with different players and coaches? ‘Nuff said.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Everyone have their own views and in this case, this blogger have chosen to look at it from a perspective that the govt seems victimised. There are too many things that re being manipulated on the top levels that will not be discussed to the ppl. If you really want to discuss this topic, be neutral and open.
    U seem pretty naive and to talk about ppl complaining on certain issues like ppl wanting to live in villas, cant take hardship, etc, u re missing alot. Many dont have such aspiration, to live a luxurious life. Some just want a 1 bedroom or 2 bedroom apartment.
    If Influencermedia supports blogger like u, trust me, im sure many others will read elsewhere becos its more like a propoganda for u-know-who.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Every personal contribution is also a contribution to the Whole. “Your” government did not transform Singapore to 1st world country just by snapping their fingers. You should thanks your grandfather, father, uncles, aunties. They built Singapore together.

    Need not reply.

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    1. Hiaz. I dunno why singaporeans keep assuming foreigners are here to work only as blue collar workers. Most foreigners I know are here as managers, directors, VPs, Uni professors. And this trend will become more obvious as they control the number of work permit holders but not on professionals holding employment passes. Gradually most of our bosses will be foreigners and us working under them. Wake up author! !

      Liked by 1 person

  14. “Our government has transformed Singapore from 3rd-world kampung island to 1st-world global recognized state”

    Yes, I’m sure the British ruled over a 3rd world kampung island….sarcasm intended.

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  15. Actually I really don’t understand why people are talking about blue collar jobs being taken over by foreigners. I am seeing more white collar jobs being threatened in my work place. I believe this is what we are all talking about.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Agree with this article. Bottom line, if only people were more appreciative, life would so much be happier.

    We can’t possibly demand everything to perfection for there is no such thing. Whenever a demand is satisfied, people will start looking for other loopholes to pinpoint. I think the needs of the people are well taken care of, which I guess there are people who probably take it for granted.

    I think it is funny how some particular people discriminates the blue-collar worker due to their nationality, in fact, these particular people are mocking themselves instead. As this article has mentioned, blue-collar jobs are refused by Singaporeans. Sometimes, it is absurd as to why we are heavily relying on foreign workers to clean our own country. Shouldn’t that be our own responsibility? Talk about being a first-world country.

    When everybody only wants to take and seep in benefits, who are actually giving? Before complaining, the complainers should stop only looking things from the surface. Sometimes, it is good to reflect upon themselves and decide whether if they could play a part at solving the problem. At the end of the day, knowing that you have played your part at becoming a gracious citizen would definitely give you a sense of accomplishment. See, it’s that easy.

    This statement is not generalizing all Singaporeans, there are many people out there who work hard and play their part to make a better society for this country. When there is a gracious society, who else but we, the people in it benefits the most. More people are at least putting in the effort and try, the key word being “try” to play a part and i think that is more than enough as of now.

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  17. You’re wrong.

    People are against the influx of PMETs, *not* workers in cleaning services, waitressing, laundry, bus operators, construction industry.

    Some people really need to get that into their heads instead of resorting to the same ol’ excuse about how Singaporeans are too elitist to take up these jobs.

    Geez.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. 2) Fact 1: not all Singaporeans treat CPF as scam. Not everyone is as stupid as Roy Ngerng.

    Fact 2: it’s true that foreigners are paying almost 40 to 60% for their taxes. BUT, do you know that they don’t have to pay for their studies, medical or even hospitalization fees? Also, their government will return those additional taxes if they realised that you had overpaid for the year. Now, that’s called honesty. Is Singapore government as honest as them? I seriously doubt so.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I am one of the foreign expat who worked in Singapore for 5 years and have just recently moved to Canada. I have been lived in several countries for over 20 years so I have decent knowledge of how the livings are in other countries.
    And let me say, only valid point you have is the car. Other points are either biased or short-sighted.
    Few points.
    1. Small land -> Limited housing -> Expensive prices… yes this much, it makes sense. BUT… how about the quality? You compared to Japan but have you actually lived in Japan? The price might be similar but the quality,.. no way near. When I was living in Holland Village and was looking at some of hdbs, I was shocked to see how much I had to pay for the quality of the units. I’m not kidding. It was a shit-hole and they were asking 2200 for a small two bed unit. It looks decent outside but inside, just terrible. During my 5 years, I moved almost every year so believe me, I’ve been to many housing from cheaper HDBs to expensive Condos and they are not worth their money compared to counter parts.
    2. CPF – Tax, stuff. Yes there are many foreign countries where the tax is like 40%. BUT.. because of that, the salary is much higher too. I’m not talking about those top 5% exec salary. I’m talking about 10 year industry veterans. If Singapore pays 100,000, other countries pay 130,000. So after tax, it’s about the same. And on top, the rent is way cheaper. So in the end, you actually end up getting more money in your pocket.
    During my stay in Singapore for 5 years, I had good times and bad times and one thing I can definitely tell my friends is that if you are really rich, go live in Singapore. You will like it there. Singapore is money-driven country to the core.
    Someone mentioned Singapore is a luxury prison. And I’m in a total agreement.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I do not completely agree with point 1 and point 4.

    Point 1- why are you like the ministers harping on the point of foreign invasion goes to only cleaners, retailers, laborers.

    Please visit any bank, chemical plant, shipyard and you will find so much of these people from junior to executive levels. These people with some unknown qualifications and experience to us fetch as much as 0.7x to 2x our salaries for a matching singaporean candidate. You say they have better experience but what makes you think the equal singaporean does not have? We have heard too much. It is demoralizing and stop deluding that 2k is suffice to live your life, get married, have kids and buy a house.

    Point 4 – Why settle for peanuts when you know gold is just next door. Technician grade locals could easily double their salary by pursuing a sales job. Many of them can now match a fresh degree holders salary, so why settle for a 6days a week peanut job. Dont forget that local degree holders are equally demoralized by this fact.

    Wait 10 years and you will never find a singaporean fool to fill this gap.

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  21. There is a very big different between facts and opinions. I think you should look up the dictionary for the meaning of fact and opinion before suggesting the title. Please do get your facts right before posting propaganda.

    Firstly, your first point is so invalid, Uk, USA, Canada and Australia. What do they have that Singapore don’t? Land. I believe that Singapore don’t mind foreigner from the start. The only reason to why we hate them so much now is cause of the over crowding they caused.

    Did you check the land size of USA, Canada, Australia and uk? If the land were to be divided equally among all the people staying there, do you know how much land each of them will have? Now, you take Singapore land size and divide by the number of people staying here. How much land size will each of us have?

    Did it even went through your mind that all along Singapore have been allowing foreigners to migrate? How come we didn’t stir up about that 10 years ago? Only until now then we start to complain and blame?

    And lastly, who on earth told you that Singapore is a first world country? And how do you know that the first world country are feeling the same way as us? Do they feel overcrowded? USA, uk and the rest of the first world country have a million more jobs than us. When we Singaporean migrate to their country, we are only limited to certain type of jobs, mostly dealing with technologies. Just look at how many technological university we have. I don’t believe any Singaporean staying in Singapore for the past 20+ years can migrate there to be a farmer or astronaut.

    You don’t even know your facts right and you are here spouting non sense for people to read.

    Please. You should change your title to 5 opinions every Singaporean should know.

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  22. Where got normal construction workers on $1.8k.?
    Im working construction and the going rate for labourers is as low as $9 or 10$ a day.

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  23. Point 1.
    Are you asking graduates to do those jobs!? If thats the case can you justify the spending of thousands for our education!? Does that make any sense to study that far to do cleaning services, waitressing, laundry, bus operators, cashiering, clerk assistants or construction labor!? And your looking at this wrong. IF our education system is that good that all of our citizens are qualified to perform higher level jobs that is a PLUS!

    Point 2.
    If that money runs out thats the end of the line for you… In other countries while that 20% is irrecoverable, you can still count on goverment support for medical at least! Not to mention the other benefits for the Society at large… Also, if CPF does really belong to us why can’t we decide how much we put in it? Shouldn’t we have a choice on how much to save and how much goes where!? But even if it was forced, the scaling system for CPF DOES NOT WORK! The cap (1.5k and above) is to low! Even as a forced saving, it’s my opinon that the cap should be increased to the average which is around 3k! each category should be doubled at least!

    Point 3.
    COE is a faulty system. Unless the point is for only the wealthy to drive and all others to take public transport then sure it’s perfect for vehicle control. Even our govt knows it and are finding ways to get a more comprehensive system to replace it. Hence, why the 50% loan system was implemented to slow down that growth while the find a solution. As for housing… It’s True that we shouldn’t be comparing with countries with plenty of land.. To do a fair comparison we should be comparing with places like japan or within the city of highly populated places like beijing or south korea.

    Point 4.
    Most of the people complaining are in mid level or entry level management where foreigners come in and undercut them! For example an position like a Payroll Accountant goes at the market rate of 2.5k… the FT comes in and is willing to work at 2k… and thats okay for them cause they get 2k cash not including they gains they get from the exchange rate… But for Singaporeans we will take home a pay of 2k WHEN on the contract it is 2.5k. To escalate the issue employers has to fork out another extra 400 to our CPF! That’s a total of 2.9k for a Singaporean vs a FT @ 2.5k (0.5k levy estimate). As an employer who would you rather hire? The playing field is skewed towards the FTs… the only way Singaporeans to even up the playing field is to take a pay cut to 2.25k and take home 1.8k thus our employeer will then have to fork out 2.5k. And whoever said that the “FT has no experience”. That is a bullshit assumption. Most professionals do have experiences.

    And and point 5 is Kudos to the Singapore govt… We all know what a good job they’ve done. But there are issues that they are ignoring and just because they’ve done well in the past does not make it all go away. If they are stagnanting, then new leadership should be injected before the unrest happens. I do not want it to reach a point where we have no other choice but to protest or go into civil unrest to have changes occur.

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  24. Point 1.
    Are you asking graduates to do those jobs!? If thats the case can you justify the spending of thousands for our education!? Does that make any sense to study that far to do cleaning services, waitressing, laundry, bus operators, cashiering, clerk assistants or construction labor!? And your looking at this wrong. IF our education system is that good that all of our citizens are qualified to perform higher level jobs that is a PLUS!

    Point 2.
    If that money runs out thats the end of the line for you… In other countries while that 20% is irrecoverable, you can still count on goverment support for medical at least! Not to mention the other benefits for the Society at large… Also, if CPF does really belong to us why can’t we decide how much we put in it? Shouldn’t we have a choice on how much to save and how much goes where!? But even if it was forced, the scaling system for CPF DOES NOT WORK! The cap (1.5k and above) is to low! Even as a forced saving, it’s my opinon that the cap should be increased to the average which is around 3k! each category should be doubled at least!

    Point 3.
    COE is a faulty system. Unless the point is for only the wealthy to drive and all others to take public transport then sure it’s perfect for vehicle control. Even our govt knows it and are finding ways to get a more comprehensive system to replace it. Hence, why the 50% loan system was implemented to slow down that growth while the find a solution. As for housing… It’s True that we shouldn’t be comparing with countries with plenty of land.. To do a fair comparison we should be comparing with places like japan or within the city of highly populated places like beijing or south korea.

    Point 4.
    Most of the people complaining are in mid level or entry level management where foreigners come in and undercut them! For example an position like a Payroll Accountant goes at the market rate of 2.5k… the FT comes in and is willing to work at 2k… and thats okay for them cause they get 2k cash not including they gains they get from the exchange rate… But for Singaporeans we will take home a pay of 2k WHEN on the contract it is 2.5k. To escalate the issue employers has to fork out another extra 400 to our CPF! That’s a total of 2.9k for a Singaporean vs a FT @ 2.5k (0.5k levy estimate). As an employer who would you rather hire? The playing field is skewed towards the FTs… the only way Singaporeans to even up the playing field is to take a pay cut to 2.25k and take home 1.8k thus our employeer will then have to fork out 2.5k. And whoever said that the “FT has no experience”. That is a bullshit assumption. Most professionals do have experiences.

    And and point 5 is Kudos to the Singapore govt… We all know what a good job they’ve done. But there are issues that they are ignoring and just because they’ve done well in the past does not make it all go away. If they are stagnanting, then new leadership should be injected before the unrest happens. I do not want it to reach a point where we have no other choice but to protest or go into civil unrest to have changes occur.

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    1. 1st Point. I’m sorry to tell you this but, in Australia and many other western countries, many people end up doing jobs such as cleaning, waitressing, taxi driving, etc. They don’t see it as something wrong either as I was told that “beggars can’t be choosers.”

      2nd Point. That’s actually not the only factor for employers to hire people. Believe it or not, most jobs are reserved for Singaporeans and PRs. Those who are not Singaporean citizens or PR don’t stand a chance to get employed. When it comes to experience, employers want to know what you have done in your life. For example: have you worked in (name of the company)? Or have you done any volunteer work?. Most of the times, you’ll find applicants with ONLY university degree and no experience at all. And even then, sometimes they need experience gained in Singapore and not overseas.

      Lastly, I do hope the problems get solved but, I urge everyone not to leave Singapore. It may seem like the grass is greener on the other side, but it isn’t. I know a Singaporean working in New Zealand and he had the toughest times of his life there. People over there generalize a lot about Asians such as “unsuitable for hire”, “Don’t know English”, etc. He couldn’t find a job for more than 6 months even though he had the working experience they needed.

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  25. I can understand that you would like to increase readership of your website. But please travel and go out more before getting behind the keyboard. In Beijing air is bad, but it is not to the extend of wearing N95 everyday. Have you been here before, I wonder.

    Like

  26. Reblogged this on SG Hard Truth and commented:
    5) No explanation needed

    Singapore-River 1_marina_bay_night_2012

    Our government has transformed Singapore from 3rd-world kampung island to 1st-world global recognized state in a matter of 40 odd years. If you can’t even appreciate this fact, it’s time to do some self-reflection of whether you can do a better job in their shoes, if we reset time to 1965.

    Like

  27. No offense but I beg to differ on some points. For example. The government was the one who screw up the COE system. The system was doing fine until our government decided to cut it to 1 dollar. The result was horrendous. And now they are trying to rectify by pushing it up way beyond what it should had been. Can’t exactly blame us when we have no say in all the policies.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Who wants to graduate with a degree and work as a construction worker/ waiter/waitress / sales personal? The problem is there are more and more degree holders hence lesser and lesser people want to be in a job that pay less than $3k.

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  29. 1) Utter strawman argument. Very few people complain about the foreigners that come in to do our blue collar jobs. What Singaporeans have an issue with is that foreigners are treating Singapore as a pit stop per say. They come in with their degrees, take jobs that would normally be taken by Singaporeans and then leave in a few years to go back home. Also, how the fuck would you expect Singaporeans to survive on a salary of $1600-1800? That’s too little for a family to survive comfortably. I’ve talked to several Bangladeshi workers who work for around the same amount, and they told me that they come to Singapore, work for around 10-15 years and then return home to buy land and start a family. That’s the reason why foreigners are willing to accept these kind of jobs while Singaporeans refuse.

    2) We no longer need the government to hold our hands and tell us what to do with our money. We should be trusted to hold on to that sum of money instead of government restricting us from it. Also, you compare us to other states but you conveniently forgot to mention that in those states where income tax > 40%, many of them are provided with free/heavily subsidised healthcare, public transport and housing.

    3) That still doesn’t change the fact that housing in Singapore is ridiculously expensive and that the price could and should be lower if the government did something about it. I

    4) Foreigners are willing to take these kind of jobs simply because they don’t have to contribute to CPF, and when that money is converted back into their native currency, it’s still a lot more than what they would be earning back home. Furthermore, this may sound callous but foreigners don’t have their families here with them. They don’t have to spend time with their families or commit time for family matters, which allows them to work longer hours.

    Overall a really pathetic argument, but it did serve your sole purpose of attracting views.

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  30. 1) I agree that we need foreigners to do the jobs that locals don’t want/cannot fill. However, the whole point of having different levels of work permits and quotas for each level is that we want to bring in foreign talent to augment the workforce here. There really is no point in bringing in a PRC citizen to work as a cashier in McDonald’s if he or she cannot speak basic English, and I’m glad the government has taken steps to rectify this.

    The point is that we want to import human resources that improve us, rather than cast offs. Less people would be complaining if we were importing quality. To this end, I don’t see the point in the government handing out free scholarship packages (scholarship+citizenship+guaranteed work) to foreigners who need convincing in order to come here, especially when we hear of some of these people jumping ship the moment they get their certificate…leaving ah gong hanging.

    2) Having a few noisier people speak up about the CPF system does not mean that their views are representative of every Singaporean. It’s not perfect, and some will inevitably resent the forced nannying the government is subjecting them to…but most do recognise that this system was brought in to plug a social gap when an older generation expecting their children to look after them in their old age found themselves having to fend for themselves as the cost of living rose. The CPF system eliminates this issue to an extent, and some parents are now in the position of being able to help their children kickstart their new families. In calculating the 20%, you also neglected to include the contributions employers make towards their workers’ CPF accounts. In essence, CPF has done more good than harm.

    3) Yes, we have tiny land mass, and yes, the government isn’t at fault that we’re living on a small island. But surely there are better, more efficient ways to manage traffic volume than using money as a deterrent. A quota system perhaps:

    Each family can purchase 1 car for with an extra loading (that is far lower than the current COE).

    This surcharge/loading is adjustable against:

    – the family’s residence (i.e. surcharge drops if the family stays more than 5km away from an MRT station/bus interchange or bus stop with less than 3 routes servicing that area)
    – occupation (i.e. surcharge drops if a parent works in sales/at Jurong Island
    – size and nature of family (i.e. surcharge drops with each child below the age of 6 at the time of purchase, or disabled family member).
    – driver skill (i.e. an incompetent driver is more likely to cause congestion/slow down traffic, and should be penalised with higher loading)
    – other considerations

    If a family wishes to purchase a 2nd car, they are subject to a higher loading/surcharge with less remit for reductions. A 3rd car will have even higher loading, and no remit for reductions. In this way, people who need a car can get one, and those rich collectors who typically drive 1 out of 8 of their cars will need to pay more (perhaps higher than prevailing COE prices) to obtain a 9th…which they can easily afford anyway. More specifically, this deters those families of 5 who have 1 vehicle per family member (Father drive Merc, Mother drive BMW, son drive Porsche, daughter drive Fairlady, dog drive Scirocco to go for a family dinner that kind…)

    The current COE system is effectively a blanket deterrent that hurts the people who need vehicles more (disabled, dispatch, delivery, etc) than those who already have alternative modes of transport and are clogging up our streets for their own vanity. Considerations towards businesses will also mean lower operating costs, which translates to lower expenses for the customer if these discounts are passed on. Sounds better?

    I’m more ambivalent with housing issues. Yes, we have very little land…but this is government housing we are talking about! Alarms should surely be raised when a resale unit under government housing comes just shy of what a unit under private development costs. Having shelter is one of the necessities of life, and while the older generation benefits from the government policy of pegging wealth and assets to our property (which are ironically, leaseholds), the emerging young adults struggle to afford this basic necessity.

    This is essentially a transfer of wealth from the young families (who need money more to support hungry children, don’t have money and must borrow), to the older generation (who need less money just for retirement, have their CPF as an augmentation). And then the older generation see their own kids struggle, and use that money to help their kids…and the cycle continues. I’m not sure the government saw this happening when they first envisioned this policy. Makes you wonder if anyone really benefits at the end, really. People will probably be more satisfied if the price commensurates more evenly with the size of the unit. Is there another solution? Maybe, but it won’t be easy given how long HDB flats have been on the open market.

    4) Here is where my opinion takes a definite turn away from your interpretation. Thinking that graduates have ‘elitist mindsets’ and are unwilling to do the dirty work is just that…your personal interpretation. This is more a cultural effect than your simple explanation that points to a sense of entitlement as the root of the issue.

    Think about it. The parents of these graduates generally held lower educational qualifications; an ‘A’ level holder was looked upon highly in those ‘pioneer’ days. They worked at mostly blue collar jobs, and I’m sure you’ve heard many anecdotes of how maybe a certain parent took up 3 jobs to see their son through medical school. See, that was their motivation to work hard….to give their children a better shot at life as they knew it, to ensure that their kids wouldn’t have to experience the hardships they endured. So imagine now, your parents worked themselves to the bone to see you through your degree course. And then you go out there, and the only work you can find is as a cashier, or a road sweeper, or a construction worker. In a culture heavily influenced by the idea of filial piety and respect/honour to our elders…what would happen?

    Here are examples of what the average responsible young adult may feel:
    -guilt (what did my parents work so hard for? If I was going to become a construction worker, I could have started earlier and they wouldn’t have had to work so hard, possibly incurring health issues)
    -shame (how am I repaying my parents’ effort and faith in me? how am I going to give them the life I wanted to after I graduated?)
    -etc

    Don’t underestimate social and cultural forces. The graduate may eventually settle into the construction industry and carve out a niche for himself, but the first step is always the hardest in the face of these values.

    Like

  31. Referring to the comments on getting a job, I agree that you would want to recoup your investment in an education. Nearly everyone tries to get a degree nowadays. With the degree, you would want to get a job that would commensurate with the kind of qualifications that you get. Because there are so many degree holders, or people who have qualifications, people simply don’t want to get low paying menial jobs. Is the government responsible for creating this situation where everyone is highly educated? Yes. Therefore more people are brought in from abroad to fill in the menial jobs that people do not want to do. To these foreigners, our salaries are really high for them. And then people complain that only 3.4 mio out of 5.5 mio pple are Singaporeans. So who do you want to blame for this?

    On the CPF, we conveniently forget about the employer’s portion that is also paid into the CPF? That makes for quite a bit. Likewise for the taxes, no one pays a flat 20% tax – that is only the top marginal rate. Most people will probably effectively pay tax as a single digit percentage of their gross income, not even 10%. So that is comparatively low compared to most western countries (but we lose to the Middle east, Dubai, etc), BUT the govt does not fully pay for health, education, etc, it only subsidizes an amount – education and health care may be free in other countries, but you pay such a high level of tax, and good likelihood is that you are probably not using “your share” of the services, but have to pay the higher tax anyway. So which system is better – you can see where I am going.

    Like

  32. Having foreign workers in Singapore is a valid but the govt issuing PRs\citizenship in order to gain votes is despicable!

    Like

  33. Person from Canada here… YOU SINGERS HAVE NO IDEA HOW GOOD YOU HAVE IT!!! for example:
    1] Canada’s medical care is ranked 30th by the WHO, Singapore’s is 6th,
    2] SING Transportation infrastructure is THE best in the world, CAN’s one of the worst, hasn’t changes since the 70s.
    3] SING personal income tax is essentially a joke compared to CANs, i pay 50% and that has nothing to do with retirement.
    4] SING has has NO capital Gains tax AND NO dividend income tax… none! your effective tax rate is even lower than 20%.
    5] SING has summer, EVERYDAY… CAN about 4 weeks per year…. might as well be in jail.
    6] The food in SING is some of the best in the world, in CAN, it’s some of the worst and expensive (it’s a nordic country so no fresh food and must be shipped from other countries). This is important 3 times a day!
    7] A short taxi ride in Sing is the same price as public transit in CAN…yes believe it or not.
    8] Public transit in SING can cost me 1$…NOT POSSIBLE IN CAN.. minimum 4$ SING. Toronto still uses flat rate tokes from the 60s.
    9] SING domestic workers that cook and clean for you, does not exist in CAN, to expensive, YOU DO IT YOURSELF.
    10] The subsidized apartments (MDB? forgot the acronym) does not exist in CAN.
    11] SING has architecture that does not exist in Canada.
    12] Crime in Canada is a lot higher in than SING, a lot. Also police brutality is very high: i dare you to read/watch this in it’s entirety: http://www.torontosun.com/2013/07/27/man-shot-on-ttc-streetcar
    13] Can has massive corruption, compare the one in Tanjong Beach to this one, a new beach public restroom in Toronto: http://www.torontosun.com/2014/07/16/waterfront-toronto-flushed-money-on-toilets-minnan-wong
    14] yes SING has expensive cars but that controls traffic, but you can rent cars cheaply and public transit is amazing.
    15] yes SING real estate is expensive but compare to other key cities in the world, not really (bungalow in PA makes no sense). AND the weather is so good you don’t need to be inside all the time (a “livability” factor few realize).
    16] CAN is horrible to the environment: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/canada-dead-last-in-oecd-ranking-for-environmental-protection/article15484134/

    i could go on but you get the picture…and this is the case for many of the countries you “put on the pedestal”.

    But what i really like about Singaporeans is you are very critical…which means things will improve. Canadians are in denial, they will never admit to the above and thus nothing ever changes..same infrastructure from the 50s that is cumbling and CANs just shrug and watch the hockey game…that no one else cares about.

    Cheers from CAN.

    Like

  34. Relative to the world, Singapore is doing fantastic. The fantasy nation everyone dream of never existed.

    More pay la! Cheap house la! Cars for everybody! Eh government why you no do things for us?

    Maybe because we didn’t opt for communism or socialism you dumb *@&#. Shape up or ship out.

    Like

  35. Hi Jackie,
    I completely agree with almost whatever you’ve written
    However, i do find this post very shallow and states only the obvious points each topic you’ve covered.

    1. Foreigners
    I think majority of the people understand the need for foreign workers, your point on it is common sense. However, i think the issue is more on Foreign Talents and also fired up by the new population white paper.

    2. CPF
    Yes I do think CPF is important, especially for Singaporeans who doesn’t have the habit of saving. However, i believe that they should revise how people should be able to withdraw their money.

    3. Car
    Common sense, i’m pretty sure it’s not that big of an issue. Do feel for the families who needs a car but can’t afford one. I think the main problem about transportation is not about cars but more to the increasing cab, bus and mrt ( not to mention how the companies yearn large profits but still insist on the need for higher fares)

    Real Estate
    I think the comparison in which you pointed out of comparing an apartment to bungalow is not meant to the taken seriously or so literally that Singaporeans expect a bungalow for that price. I think people would rather have more decently priced public housing, which points to the issue of private developments like condos taking over.

    4. Employment
    I completely agree with your statement on Singaporeans expecting higher paying jobs. But we can’t fully blame them, most of us are all brought up in an environment aspiring to be lawyers and doctors. Also considering the standard of living in Singapore, most of us have to take care of parents and save for future plans. Whereas for foreign workers in which you mentioned, most of their families are back home where the money sent back is considered above average.

    5. Government
    Yes, i don’t think anyone can doubt that they have brought us this far in economic standings. However, you’ve once again missed out on the main concerns, one of which is salaries which the rationale is to attract capable people. I do see the point in getting decently paid for their talents, but honestly, they are overly paid, It should not be treated as a job but a service to the country. In my own opinion, I am very grateful for the economic stability in Singapore but would like to not lose our focus on the people. The government is excellent in the fields of economy but has heaps to improve on especially in area of listening to the people’s needs.

    After giving my thoughts, i’ll just like to add on that the issues i’ve pointed out, i don’t expect all of them to be resolved. No country is perfect. But those of which are easier to resolve, we should work on that.

    Like

    1. 1) Population Control A.K.A. “Why are there so many foreigners in Singapore?”

      The X-Generation and beyond, myself included, fed with the notion during their entire time in education that we had to study and enter university so that we DON’T have to end up with those $1600 – $1800 type jobs. Now, after completing our education and expecting that we land a job that is commensurate with our qualifications, we get admonished for NOT wanting to take up those jobs we had been told we could avoid by pursuing our education.

      Furthermore, if graduates and diploma holders do those jobs, what type of jobs would be for those WITHOUT tertiary education?

      Even if I’m a graduate and I am willing to take up these jobs, does that mean that the pay is sufficient for the cost of living in Singapore? Letting foreigners take up these jobs have depressed the salary for such jobs to the point where it is not possible for a Singaporean to live comfortably in his home country. There is a reason to keep salaries low – it keeps costs low and helps businesses stay competitive. And when businesses are competitive the economy grows – which is exactly what the government wants. But at what expense? At the expense where the depressed salaries of such jobs cannot sustain the average Singpaorean living here. But for foreigners from poorer parts of Asia, the salaries are still considered high and attractive.

      2) Treating the CPF system like it is a complete scam

      If you want to lock up our savings in the CPF account and then allow us access to it only some 30 years or so later, then the interest rate should at the very least keep up with the rate of inflation. At 2.5% (if I’m not wrong), our money is losing value every year. Do not tell us that the CPF scheme works when the money that I save last year will be worth less next year.

      You fail to mention that other countries with very high tax rates have very strong social safety nets. With high tax rates, it is possible to fund social welfare. To our government, the term “welfare” is dirty. They claim it would be abused. But then, it is good economics to keep tax rates low. Foreign investment will fight to come here, which is exactly what the government wants.

      What happens to the genuine needy members of society? Leave it to the non-profit, social welfare organizations.

      3) Complaining about Real Estate and Car Prices

      By your argument only the elite rich DESERVE to own a car, whereas if you’re poor, regardless of whether you really need a car or not, you deserve to simply take public transport. Let’s not forget that the transport infrastructure right now is bursting at its seams.

      It is fair to assert that estate prices are always high where land is scarce. Not everyone complaining about the sky-high prices of HDB PUBLIC housing wants to live in a villa or a bungalow. For many others, the sky-high prices of HDB public, repeat, public housing is just that. Sky-high.

      4) Difficulty of finding employment, even with a degree

      Same response as above in point (1).

      5) No explanation needed

      No one is denying that Singapore had transformed into a so-called world-class city in a relatively short span of 40 years under the leadership of the ruling party. However, consider that the pioneers who were instrumental in building up Singapore are now either dead or old and sick. And as the latter, they receive no solid assistance from the country they had helped to build. They are poor and sick and are pitiful and will soon be forgotten.

      Singapore did not have the problems back in the 1960s as it is does today. That the government was instrumental in transforming Singapore from a 3rd world kumpung to a 1st word city is irrelavant and a distraction from the real issues, that is, the government is barely doing enough to address the issues mentioned in all the above.

      Like

  36. This article gave me cancer. I have not read so much condensed bullshit in my life to date. I reckon Science has a lot to learn from your level of absurdity.

    Instead of justifying the government’s failed policies, why not try to understand the rationale of people’s dissatisfaction?

    This is your stand:
    “It’s more about us Singaporeans being too elitist and picky for own good. What do most of us always say we want to be upon graduation? ”

    ALRIGHT, I’m feeling so pumped up, I’m going to use my Harvard Degree to get a job at sweeping floors because I shouldn’t adopt an elitist mindset. Yeah, this is exactly how ridiculous your article looks.

    In fact, I would like to see you use that line on our ministers because heck… apparently the party you support hires that way. Flashy papers as it has been proven academic credentials are proportional to your aptitude of being a good statesmen/politician (sarcasm intended).

    I am going to stop here because I do not wish to make you look any more stupid.
    Do us all a favour and stop writing… blindly.

    Liked by 1 person

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