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Friday April 28th 2017

My Top Ten Wish-list During SG 50 Celebration

My top ten wish-list during this SG 50 celebration:-

SG wish list 1. Our elderly given a small pension so they can retire with some dignity

It irks me whenever I see our elderly pushing their trolley full of cardboard to sell for $0.10 a kilo under the hot sun or toil at our crowded foodcourt collecting left-over plates in prosperous Singapore.

I hope our government can seriously consider giving those nearing retirement a small pension so they don’t have to work out of necessity.

Yes they may be those who like to exercise while collecting cardboard but it does not have to be a must-do thing in order to survive while they reach their golden years.

We have the resources and means to provide for our pioneer generation.

SG wish list 2. Singaporeans be given more respect and priority

We have seen ministers coming out in full force lately criticising our workforce as inadequate or too expensive and one even asks us to gain more experience abroad first before venturing home to look for jobs.

Another says some overseas workers can be hired at one-quarter the cost of our local one.

Such demeaning comments by the government must stop as it not only hurts us but also the country as a whole.

They must find ways to better equip our workforce and if companies do not like to hire our own for various reasons  they can leave us – we don’t need companies that only hire foreigners.

We need our government to take better care of us than constantly saying we are not good enough – remember we were once the most productive worker in the world not too long ago until the foreign influx!

If not what good is it to be a Singaporean?

SG wish list 3. The rich can give more to the poor so we can be more egalitarian

We have the highest number of millionaires in the world here and I hope they can contribute some of their riches to the poor.

Singapore does not featured well on philanthrophic works as  they don’t trust charities anymore due to a very bad past history of misuse of charity money eg NKF and Ren Ci.

However, our society can only be more egalitarian if the rich gives more to the poor – there is no other way to correct the huge wage disparity.

We also need Singaporeans to truly care for one another – employers to hire their own kind more and to look out for one another better.

SG wish list 4. Give us back our Singapore in the 80s

Many Singaporeans will agree with me that Singapore is at it’s best in the golden 80s – jobs were plenty and life was good.

We were merely a country of 3 million trying to be somebody in the whole wide world and we have truly made it today.

We don’t want the world’s highest GDP, the best airport, the best seaport, most millionaires in the world, the highest-paid cabinet but our needs are simple – we want a country that is happy and the people be given a adequate salary to feed our family comfortably.

Many of us are unhappy because the current prosperity is achieved at a high price – our local workers were sidelined regularly at the work front for all kinds of reasons and we have to cope with a sudden huge influx of strange people on our land.

Buildings and landscape kept changing over the years and slowly but surely we lost a Singapore we have fallen in love with in the 80s.

I was fortunate to have enjoyed the real Singapore that our founder Lee Kuan Yew has set up in his vision and for that I am thankful.

Thank you Lee Kuan Yew for all that you have done for our country – we just wish your son is half as good as you.

SG wish list 5.  Our government can listen more to the people

We wish for the government to listen to us more before they draft out policies for the people.

My own daughter ever told me before that the government should work for the people and not the other way round.

We don’t want 6.9 million population by 2030 but it was forced down our throat.

We don’t want a transport fare hike even though transport companies are making comfortable profits but yet every year for the past four years, our fare kept on rising.

We don’t need a expensive cabinet but we realised that even a junior minister is paid a million dollars each year.

So when are you going to listen to us more PAP?

SG wish list 6. More opposition be voted into Parliament in the coming election and a more united opposition

We suffer from a dominant one-party rule for the past five decades and wish that more opposition be voted into Parliament for the coming election to provide proper checks on the incumbent.

Financial irregularities were recently flagged by the AGO for many ministries but yet the government has so far kept silent with no obvious adverse consequences.

We also need the opposition to fill up at least 25% of the parliamentary seats so bills can’t be pushed down so easily by the government.

The continuation of a dominant one-party rule will only mean more people will suffer in the future.

SG wish list 7. Our people be more united and courageous to take risks

Singaporeans have earned the nickname kuaisu and it has travelled internationally.

Many people I met abroad told me they learnt of such a tag name meant only  for Singaporeans and its not flattering.

I rather we be known more for our courage or generiosity than someone who is self-centred and scared-to-lose.

We are also disunited and getting more polarised especially in the political front – the opposition is treating the PAP loyalists as enemies and vice versa and this is not beneficial for Singapore.

We should treat each other cordially as we are all Singaporeans first.

Let’s hope more Singaporeans will throw off their kuaisuism and be more care-free and less inhibited.

Kuaisuism only works well in the short-term but in the long run we all suffer as it keeps us in the comfort zone for too long and make us less unwilling to explore the unknown.

SG wish list 8.  We are one people one nation – do away with the race on our identity card

Many Singaporeans wish that one day the government will do away with the race component on our identity card.

It divides and disunites us and hopefully one day my wish will be fulfilled.

Many also speculated that by putting race on our identity card, the government is trying to divide and rule over us – a traditional successful tool many countries use.

The minority race will suffer as they struggle to find employment and often even if they are being hired their wages are often below market rate.

So let’s do away with the race part on our identity card – we should be recognised by the mere fact that we are sons and daughters of Singapore.

SG wish list 9. Single mums be given more support as they struggle to bring up their children

I also wish this SG 50 celebration that more support be given to single mums who often struggle to bring up their young children through a divorce or other pertinent reasons.

We have supported a few single mums through our grocery run and feel that they can be better supported.

Many struggle to work and tend to their kids and often neglect their own personal needs in the process.

Their needs are often financial as not all of them get regular maintenance from their ex-spouses and many are reluctant to file for a court order against their errant defaulters.

The children are innocent but they are made to pay for the  refusal of much-required aid by the state.

In the process, they also struggle in their study and pay the price of our traditional governmental stance on self sufficiency.

SG wish list 10.  Be more tolerate of dissent and criticism

Finally, I hope that our government is more tolerant of dissent and criticism.

There is a fine line between objective criticism and respect for authorities and the government has to know that a more educated population will get increasingly vocal against controversial policies.

They won’t take it lying down like their parents and will question and blog about their views critically.

By suing bloggers and taking down activists, the authorities do themselves no favours by not following with the trend.

The country can’t function like during LKY’s era and our government has to learn to be more thick-skinned and take dissent in their stride.

The future will be more chaotic if they always want to control and maintain power in an increasingly polarised society make worse by the sudden influx of 1.8 million foreign population in our midst.

The Little India riot and SMRT strike were two very good examples how foreigners won’t take things lying down like obedient Singaporeans.

How the government find that thin line of balance is so crucial in the coming years as more dissent can be expected from a more-educated feisty population widely influenced by the influential anti-government social media.

Written by: Gilbert Goh

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