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I am Singaporean XII – Singapore vs. Singapore, Inc. February 11, 2009

Posted by The Truth in I am Singaporean, Vol. II.

Do we live in Singapore, or do we live in Singapore, Inc.?  That’s a question we should slowly begin to ask ourselves.  Are we citizens or are we economic units, to be replaced should we become not so productive due to aging or economic crises?  Is Singapore a company or a country?  These are questions which the political leadership, and more importantly the people, should be asking themselves.

Personally, i feel that the only reason Singapore can be considered a country is because so many people call it home.  A place where family is, and damned be the Government.  That is the only reason Singapore still qualifies as a country.  But look around you – apart from your family and friends, is Singapore home?  Why are we always pointing our our own deficiencies, especially in the non-elite class?  The commoners are not reproducing enough, the commoners are rude, the commoners are not creative enough, etc.

Also, why is there the perception amongst the ruling elite that punishments are the most effective way of doing things?  Why is fear such an important tool in Singapore, a country first-world in some aspects and third-world in others?  More importantly, why are we, human beings, people who is someone’s son and someone’s friend, why are we dehumanised into economic units?  A company definitely looks at people as economical machines, replaceable at any time should something go wrong.  It’s cold, mechanical, but oh-so-efficient.  But isn’t that what the Government has been aiming for?  Efficiency.  Human potential is to be developed, as long as they reach a certain productivity level.

Singapore, Inc. being the physical realisation of Singapore shows itself too when one particular NMP said that we should go back to the 6-day week, since we aren’t reproducing anyway.  Is it an informed decision to revert?  I doubt so.  This guy seems to be talking through his ass without much regard for the consequences.  What will happen to the reproduction rate when the 6-day week begins again (because the workload, which has been compressed into 5 days, is definitely not going to be reduced)?  More importantly, is this punishment for the failure of the policy?  If it is, why are WE being punished and not the policymakers?

When leaders begin to think almost entirely for the whole in terms of economical survival, abstracting from the many individuals which make up this body…is this not an obvious sign that we are living in more Singapore, Inc. than Singapore?  Even more so, when these leaders are supposed to represent the people who put them there!  Then there’s this thing with Khaw Boon Wan saying that the old could go off to Malaysia to retire.  Again, it’s like a company – if you’re of no more economical use to the country, off you go.  We don’t really want you anymore.  Economical progress at all costs – isn’t this also how a company is run?

Is this the way we run a country, when we tell the old, who have spent years working for the country, to simply Shut Up and Fuck Off?  So that space is made for fresh young blood?  I understand that the old must be replaced by the young.  But removing citizens who have contributed to society for other more economically viable individuals just sounds like the way a company would do things.  Where is the appreciation of the old?  We are told to appreciate the old and all that they have done for us.  In that case, why doesn’t the Government acknowledge all that has been done for us by the generation which is now too old to find work, preferring instead to ship them off to Malaysia?

You can’t just rely on filial piety when the country company doesn’t show piety to its older citizens.  Who do they worship then, a certain superoctagenarian who still looms over high with lightning bolts?  I would rather go live in a foreign country where i am appreciated when i am old, and not simply shipped off somewhere else when i can’t afford to live in my home country anymore.  The very reason why the Government will not build accomodation for the old is an economical one – it will slow Singapore’s economical development!  What a scandal!

Singapore or Singapore, Inc.?  The reader should decide.  And the next time some politician complains about how Singapore has no culture, no identity…how the values today are so eroded that we don’t take care of our old anymore – Hypocrisy, thy name is you.



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