Below are some issues that my family and many of my friends are concerned about and we hope that you can bring them up during the upcoming GE:-
Foreign talent (FT) and foreign worker (FW)
We should look at ways to sustain economic growth without letting in too many FWs; also white collar jobs for Singaporeans are at risk from “FTs” which in fact is becoming a bigger issue now. However, the PAP government refuses to acknowledge this and keep harping on just the FWs and providing justification for their numbers.
Also related to this is the inability of our public infrastructure to accommodate so many people on our tiny island. This can’t go on indefinitely. Telling the people that if we don’t let in FWs, there will be no economic growth, is just too simplistic an explanation and sounds like a threat to us. Nobody likes the tone that MM Lee used when he said this and it was published in the Straits Times.
The PAP government wants to copy the big cities such as NYC, Paris and London but they don’t understand that these cities have a big hinterland to expand. We are just a small island with the sea all around us. Just ask the ministers to take the MRT on a weekday during peak hours to see how many trains they have to miss before they manage to get on one.
Just ask the ministers to take the MRT on a weekend during off-peak hours and count for themselves how many Singaporeans there are in one train carriage. Just ask the ministers to take the MRT to stations such as Boon Lay, Jurong East and Aljunied over the weekend and see for themselves how ”foreign” the places are. One can be forgiven if they think they are in another country!
I have nothing against the FWs, they are earning a decent living, but when their numbers become too great and you see them loitering and littering around the void decks of public estates every evening and when your loved ones get stared at and visually harrassed when they return home at night, you start to think, something has gone wrong some where! I have female friends who were molested before by FWs and they weren’t even dressed skimpily and were just returning home after a long day at work.
The ministers don’t know because they stay in private properties unlike the majority of us Singaporeans. The quality of life has indeed dropped and the safety we are so proud of in this land is fast becoming an illusion.
Overwhelming number of Singapore government scholarships for foreigners in local universities
Many of them did not fulfill “bond” requirement and run off to western countries for work and further studies. MOE has no (or maybe refuse) way to track them after graduation. Some of these scholarships are not shown on university websites for obvious reasons and are hidden behind names of Government-linked companies such as SIA and NOL. The government doesn’t want the countries where these scholars originate, to think that we are stealing their young talents, hence these companies become the fronts as sponsors for the scholarships.
Effectively, taxpayers’ monies are used to fund foreigners’ university education while our young people can’t get in and their parents have to spend more to send them overseas for their first degree. And I’m not even talking about the amount of tuition grants that the PAP government easily dishes out via MOE, to the many foreign students every year. Maybe MOE can provide the figures on percentage of scholarships for the past 3 years to foreigners and Singaporeans. One thing to note, when our Singaporean scholars default on the bond, they get punished, but the foreign scholars get off scot-free. What is MOE going to do to ensure they fulfill their 3 or 6 year bond?
Singles like myself simply do not benefit from any government subsidies whatsoever in terms of buying a HDB flat.
he PAP government needs to remember that we DO pay taxes and we DO take care of our retired, aged parents. Is this not important to the PAP government? Singles like myself who earn beyond the cap imposed by the HDB (in order to qualify for grants) but are not earning high enough, are not given any help at all. This is unfair.
The PAP government should be aware that there is a growing number of dissatisfied singles like myself who can’t own a home in Singapore. They should be aware that we play a big role in “taking care” of an ageing population (more so than married couples since we are more likely to continue living with our parents and taking care of their everyday needs), something that the PAP government is concerned about.
Though the HDB has imposed a quota on the number of PRs of certain nationalities in HDB estates in order to prevent ethnic enclaves from emerging, resulting in “racial ghettos”, this “racial ghetto phenomenon” is unfortunately seen in many private housing estates. Just examine the condominiums in the Meyer road and Katong area, you will find sometimes, an entire block comprising mainly of Indian nationals.
It is not surprising that the Meyer Road area has been called, “Little Mumbai”. When you have too many of one nationality, there is lack of incentive for the new immigrants to mix and integrate with the locals, resulting in misunderstanding and friction between the 2 sides. For example, some of us are aware that the local Indians can’t get along well with the India Indians. PAP government should stop chasing after economic figures such as the GDP….Singapore has an open economy with many MNCs located here (more than 7000 on this small island, which is remarkable). Revenue earned mostly go back to their home countries.
And with a huge foreign workforce, much of the income earned also get channelled back to their home countries. So, my question is, how much of this actually filter down to Singapore and to the ordinary folks like us? A high GDP doesn’t mean anything. Chasing after numbers and forgoing “a better quality of life (for example: less crowded, more space, no long queues, more greenery, less built-up areas, less stress)” is just not the way to go in the long term.
Talking about public transport, the PAP government should not have privatised the bus and MRT services in the first place.
By doing so, it actually doesn’t encourage competition (since the operators avoid having services running similar routes for profitability reasons) and instead, drive prices up almost every year. The Public Transport Council is ineffective and I often wonder, do they care more about the people or the operators’ ability to make profits? I wonder why we call the MRT and buses, public transports, when they are owned by private corporations out to make sure their share-holders are happy.
Singaporeans should be brave enough to vote for the opposition, it doesn’t mean if PAP is not returned to power, Singapore will collapse. Don’t forget, we have over 60,000 civil servants running the show! These people will be working for the opposition if they come into power.
PAP government should do something more concrete about tackling inflation. Cutting GST is one sure way. We have billions and billions in our reserve, cutting our GST won’t hurt, instead it will benefit many people. The PAP government is overly conservative in this aspect.
Last but not least, we often heard about the PAP government coming up with measures to help the poor/lower income group, but they have conveniently forgotten about the rising middle-income group which are increasingly burdened by inflation. But because we are not classified as poor, we do not get anything at all. We are in no-man’s land.
A Singaporean Who Cares