Are Native Singaporeans the Last of the Mohicans?

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“When I visited Singapore last month, I was shocked by the large number of PRC FTs in the City. They seem to be everywhere, pushing, shouting plus exhibiting all the bad habits from China. I have lived and worked in China for more than ten years and have known lots of intelligent, well mannered and polite Chinese. Somehow, these Chinese FTs in Singapore are taken from the very bottom of the barrel. It looks as if China has deliberately released their undesirable people to Singapore to relieve it of its social burden. Very, very few FTs can speak English, Singlish or the basic Chinese dialects of Singapore. They speak their own Mandarin with heavy countryside accents. From my experience, these are the rough and tough Chinese I have seen in China who cannot be easily intimidated by police as they have nothing to lose. It would be a nightmare for Singapore police if these FTs decide to go on riots because of lack of jobs. The police cannot assume that it would be as easy as dealing with kiasi native Singaporeans. For example, I was physically attacked by a Chinese FT in Chinatown just for telling him not to ride his bicycle in the pedestrian path. These people have no qualm beating up an old man or anybody.

Native Singaporeans are losing out in every sector of the economy – jobs, housing, education, etc. to this huge influx of new immigrants. They take over most of the jobs in the service industries, i.e. hotels, food courts, retail centres, hawker centres, etc. and now native Singaporeans have to speak their language in order to get any service or anything done. Most local food are no longer authentic but blended with Mainland Chinese cooking flavor. Native Singaporeans are losing their identities, culture, local cuisine and very soon their Singlish and future.”

The Last of the Native Singaporeans – Written by Sg Quitters

The above excerpt of an article was written on 1st May 2012 by a native Singaporean migrated to Canada. I’ve read the above article few times. I’m still trying to make sense out of it. It is written with a heavy heart filled with raw passion. I do not believe that the writer is trying to stir any social unrest. Why should he? Will he gain anything out of it? He spoke the truth indeed.

In the article, he started by quoting statistics and figures from reliable sources on how remarkable Singapore has done internationally. In terms of wealth, health care, education, housing etc, Singapore is always ranked top by foreign agencies. He then dropped the bombshell that a majority of locals are earning less than $2,000 a month implying that the spectacular economic miracle is not shared and well distributed resulting in the wide income divide getting wider!

The fact that our two combined casinos in Singapore rank second in revenue after Macau and outperforming Las Vegas despite the former having 33 casinos and the latter having 44 casinos. Something doesn’t seem right, he says.

Like what our ex-MM says, native Singaporeans may one day be replaced by foreigners. The writer devoted a greater part describing his shocking experience at the huge number of Chinese FTs when he returned to Singapore for a short visit. Many examples of the kind of Chinese FTs were quoted based on his observations. He was clearly overwhelmed by those Chinese FTs of lesser breed from the outlying areas – “bottom of the barrel?”

If we look around, every corner of Singapore there is construction going on either building more condominium or HDB flats. I have seen so many condominium estates along the entire East West MRT line completed and snapped up by FTs. My colleague just related to me that his friend in the renovation business bought a 99-year unit at $700K near to Lakeside MRT when it was first launched. After completion, he received the key to his new condo – Caspian View I think, for only 3 days and sold it for a cool $1.2 million. Nett profit after deductions is about $400K! FT bought it with cold hard cash. Most of us can’t earn that kind of money. Majority of us work for life yet will never retire with cash of $400K.

Singapore has become the playground for the super rich and famous from around the world. Just think of glamorous F1 night races, Sentosa Coves, Casino resorts, tons of high end food outlets and shopping malls and yes ever rising property prices especially private property and condos etc – but where do the shrinking number of heartlanders who are the true natives of this land fit in? Benefits from the super economic growth of 14% at one time don’t seem to trickle down. Rising HDB prices, rising costs of living, rising medical and education fees, rising transport costs etc keep moving northwards but pay is stagnant or even depressed with the huge influx of foreign workers. The fear, disillusionment and discontentment are quite obvious as seen in the new social media and the many town-hall dialogues.

There are many like Sq quitters who still keep track of events here – native Singaporeans who have emigrated overseas but still remain as true Singaporeans at heart. They may not not be living in Singapore but they still harbour feelings and emotions about their birthplace. Sg Quitters, Winking Doll and Roaming Bears are some of them who still blog about Singapore even though they no longer live here.

When I was a little boy, I used to hear adults talking amongst themselves who and who or so and so – Indian or Chinese neighbors going back either for visit or retire to ‘唐山’ (tang shan, pronounced as deng shua in Hokkien). Those older generations of China or India born immigrants always longed to return back to their roots. When there was any disaster or hardship in China, they would rally around to collect used clothing or cash to remit back to their hometown.

Today, we are number one in many things on many fronts. Apparently, we are a highly successful country. Imagine what if one day, Singapore falls. Those immigrants would surely go back to their own country of origin since there is no more economic advantage left. To remain here is to whittle and perish. Whereas natives got no choice but to stay put unless they are young, talented and rich able to seek refuge elsewhere. Will the once “despised diaspora ex-Singaporeans called the ‘quitters'” render help to us? Will history repeat itself like that by-gone era where the older generations of Chinese and Indian immigrants remit money and clothing back to their hometown like I described earlier?

I would like to hear from them – those native Singaporeans migrated overseas pls tell us if you would come to our aid if we were on our knees?

Singapore in the year 2083.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 04, 2012

Exhaustipated
Today is my 2nd anniversary of landing in Canada.

Today marks a decision point — for today, I meet the requirements to renew my Canada PR (i.e. reside in Canada 2 years out of every 5 consecutive years). From the looks of it, I am staying.

Within the timeframe of 2 years, I have “Canadianized” in some ways. E.g. I check the weather before going out. E.g. I learned how to queue at the bus-stops. E.g. From defining travel time beyond 30mins as far, to accepting travel time of under 1 hour as reasonable. E.g. From finding the “harm reduction” philosophy of public health spending a waste of money to accepting that the empirical outcomes prove otherwise. E.g. From not knowing what to make of acquaintances’/friends’ offer to try their “pot”, to understanding it as their gesture of trust and goodwill. E.g. From finding it weird to meet people with mental health issues in public, to considering it their right to co-exist so long as they are not a threat to themselves or others. E.g. From finding the empty sidewalks of Richmond strange (i.e. no one walking in-front-of or behind me) to finding the busy sidewalks of Seattle* strange. [*Note: I visited Seattle last weekend and I was suddenly reminded of Singapore. It struck me that I do not miss the hustle and bustle of a big city.]

I have changed, but IMHO Singapore’s socioeconomic and political scene has remained pretty much the same during these past 2 years. A case of 换汤不换药 ["changing the soup, but not the drugs in the decoction", i.e. "making at superficial changes only".] When I read online of Singapore’s recent political “dances” and wayang, e.g. the National CONversation, I can only shake my head and tell myself that I am lucky — I have a choice to remain here in Canada.

Going forward, I will probably not write much about the things happening back in Singapore. Many other online sources and bloggers have written eloquently on such matters. For example:
A Singaporean in Australia. Click here, here and here and here.
Diary of a Singaporean Mind. Click here, here and here.
Gintai_昇泰. Click here, here, and here.
Jentrified Citizen. Click here, here and here.
Political Writings – A new look at Singapore politics. Click here, here and here.
Yawning Bread. Click here, here, here and here.
2 years. A lot can change within 2 years if the person involved chooses to open his/her eyes. E.g. Watch Tin Pei Ling at 0:55 and 2:30 in the video clip below dated Apr-2011. Back then she was also quoted as saying, “Many people are complaining and blaming the government for this problem. But is this really the responsibility of the government? I don’t think so.”

Check out Tin Pei Ling’s Facebook. It seems that she realizes now that there are many people struggling to make ends meet, and the government is responsible after all. She even wrote in June-2012,
“In a way, Singapore has to go into “cold-turkey” after years of allowing huge inflows of foreigners.”

One cannot help but wonder what did TPL see, hear and experience to induce her change of heart? Perhaps the same transformational experience can be repeated for her colleagues, especially her boss.

A matter of will –
highway cutting through mountain from BC to Alberta

To quote Lucky Tan, “All ideas are there – it is a question of political will!”

Oh! As for the title of this post, I saw it from an acquaintance’s Facebook posting. “Exhaustipated” means “too tired to give a shit!”

For me, the train has already left the station.

[Addendum on 07-Oct-2012]
Check out Jentrified Citizen’s latest blog post “More than half of Singaporeans polled in survey want to migrate! What will our Government do?”

Source

The Last of the Native Singaporeans

Singapore with its highly publicized world rankings in having the best education, best healthcare, best welfare, best law and order, best country for business, the third richest country in the world, etc. etc., is the latest magnet for the rich and famous – the good, the bad and the ugly, – looking for low tax havens to park their money.

The two casinos in Singapore combined rank second in revenue after Macau and outperforming Las Vegas. Yet, few people wonder why two casinos in Singapore could out perform the combined revenues of 42 casinos in Las Vegas Strip especially when most of these casinos have the same or more gambling tables than Singapore’s two casinos. In other words, it means that two char kuey teow stalls do more business than 42 char kuey teow stalls combined. It is a remarkable feat that with less than 10% of Las Vegas Strip casinos workforce, Singapore’s two casinos have managed to do better. Macau needed 33 casinos to outperform Las Vegas. There is something questionable in the poll or fishy in the business.

Singapore was listed in Feb 2012 by Forbes magazine as the third richest country in the world with GDP (PPP) per capita of nearly US$56,700 (SG$71,200). Again, this ranking is questionable when the majority of the workforce in Singapore are getting less than S$2,000 a month. Perhaps the reason is that the billions of dollars brought in by the super rich to park in Singapore has raised the per capital income to a ridiculous and deceiving figure. The middle class is a dying breed in Singapore, you are either the super rich like the ministers who are paid obscenely by the millions or the poor working class who are paid peanuts.

When I visited Singapore last month, I was shocked by the large number of PRC FTs in the City. They seem to be everywhere, pushing, shouting plus exhibiting all the bad habits from China. I have lived and worked in China for more than ten years and have known lots of intelligent, well mannered and polite Chinese. Somehow, these Chinese FTs in Singapore are taken from the very bottom of the barrel. It looks as if China has deliberately released their undesirable people to Singapore to relieve it of its social burden. Very, very few FTs can speak English, Singlish or the basic Chinese dialects of Singapore. They speak their own Mandarin with heavy countryside accents. From my experience, these are the rough and tough Chinese I have seen in China who cannot be easily intimidated by police as they have nothing to lose. It would be a nightmare for Singapore police if these FTs decide to go on riots because of lack of jobs. The police cannot assume that it would be as easy as dealing with kiasi native Singaporeans. For example, I was physically attacked by a Chinese FT in Chinatown just for telling him not to ride his bicycle in the pedestrian path. These people have no qualm beating up an old man or anybody.

Native Singaporeans are losing out in every sector of the economy – jobs, housing, education, etc. to this huge influx of new immigrants. They take over most of the jobs in the service industries, i.e. hotels, food courts, retail centres, hawker centres, etc. and now native Singaporeans have to speak their language in order to get any service or anything done. Most local food are no longer authentic but blended with Mainland Chinese cooking flavor. Native Singaporeans are losing their identities, culture, local cuisine and very soon their Singlish and future.

Are these Chinese FTs, LKY said are smarter and more hardworking than Singaporeans?

In Chinatown, there were PRC women in their forties flirting with local old retirees. The Singapore consulate in China must be blind and daft to grant PR status to these women. What economic values can these middle age women bring to Singapore except to con those dirty old men of their retirement fund and hopefully cast a vote in favor of PAP? The government should check it out in Chinatown. If they bring in another million FTs as planned, the City is going to explode with overloaded infrastructures.

Instead of assimilating into the Singapore culture, the new immigrants from China are demanding that curry and sambal cannot be cooked in HDB estates because they stinks and they cannot stand the smell. They insult native Singaporeans by calling them “dogs”, “pigs” and lately “chimpanzees”. Just imagine if these Chinese FTs start to call Australians dogs, pigs and kangaroos in Australia. They would be packed and sent home. In Singapore, native Singaporeans were told by their leaders to reflect on themselves???

Former foreign minister, George Yeo once bragged that membership fee to be a Singapore citizen was $500,000. Now they are giving away citizenship free and in some cases even gave money and begged them to come. Singapore will go down in history as the only country in the world that surrender their country to foreigners without a fight making National Service a complete waste of time. All the sacrifices and hard work by native Singaporeans over decades are going to be handed over to unappreciative foreigners.

What are the chances of the native Singaporeans having a decent and respectable living for future generations. From the looks of things, it is not good.

First, you have the vision extraordinaire senior Statesman, LKY, calling his own citizens daft and needed to repent despite bragging about having the best education in the world. He further insults his own citizens by saying that PRC immigrants are smarter and more hardworking than native Singapore despite bragging that Singapore has the best workforce in the world? Few ministers or new immigrants have any respect, sympathy or concern about the plight and welfare of native Singaporeans. Social problems like transportation, floods, housing, are dismissed as “unavoidable” or “once in fifty years”. or housing are “affordable”.

The plight of native Singaporeans would be left unheard as no one in power would plead their case. Former foreign minister, George Yeo once warned, “know your place in society before you engage in political debate”. If you think, it is bad now, it would be worse in the future.

The descendants of ministers with obscene multi-million salaries and those kiasi citizens who were in the 60% that voted for PAP would not be spared as new Chinese, Pinoys and Indian immigrants do not depend on their votes to win elections. It is a damn disgrace to give away the sovereignty of your country and become second class citizens in your own country. If this irreversible immigration policy was done by the opposition, the entire opposition would likely be put in jail for treason. With the present 1.5 million FTs and more coming, you do not need to be a genius to calculate that within two generations, Chinese FTs, Pinoys and Indians will outnumber native Singaporeans and they will govern Singapore. Sadly that will be the extinction of the once happy, hardworking and peaceful race – the last of native Singaporeans and like the Indian tribe, the Mohigans, they will fade away unceremoniously and be lost in history. Paradise gone for the native Singaporeans, betrayed and abandoned by their own MIW leaders who promised them Swiss standard of living.

Ironically, it would be left to the once despised diaspora ex-Singaporeans called the Quitters to tell this sad story.

Source

Going extinct is no fun at all …
By Michael Cook

Lee Kuan Yew, the founding prime minister of Singapore, is one of the
great statesmen of the 20th century. At 88 he is a bit unsteady on his
feet and attends a lot of funerals, but his mind is as clear as ever.

A man of steely resolve, he turned a tiny, defenceless,
impoverished,racially and politically divided island with no natural
resources into an economic powerhouse.

Today Singapore is a leading financial centre, is the world’s easiest
place to do business, is ranked number 8 in foreign exchange reserves,
has the world’s top-ranked education system, and is the world’s least
corrupt country. Economically Singapore is a miracle and Lee Kuan Yew
is its wizard. Last weekend the Lion City celebrated the 47th
anniversary of its independence with cheers and fireworks.

But there is a cloud over Singapore’s existence. Although it is
situated in a volatile part of the world, the threat is not war or
tsunami or cyclone. It is its own imploding birth rate. In finances,
Singapore is at the top of the league table; in fertility, it is at
the bottom. With a birth rate of 0.78 it has been ranked by the CIA
World Factbook at 222 out of 222. To compensate for the falling
number of babies, Singapore imports people. About 35 percent of
Singapore’s workers are foreign-born and about 23 percent of all
residents.

In short, like the great man himself, Lee Kuan Yew’s Singapore is
slowly dying. The government is trying desperately to boost the birth
rate with generous benefits, dating services and louche
advertisements. And still the birth rate falls.

Lee is watching this tragedy with tears. Speaking at a National Day
celebration dinner on Saturday, he sounded desolate: If we go on like
that, this place will fold up, because there’ll be no original
citizens left to form the majority, and we cannot have new citizens,
new PRs to settle our social ethos, our social spirit, our social
norms. So my message is a simple one. The answer is very difficult
but the problems, if we don’t find the answers, are enormous…

Our educated men and women must decide whether to replace themselves
in the next generation. At the moment, 31 per cent of women and 44
per cent of men are opting out. Not leaving a next generation.

So, just ponder over it and you will know the solution is not simple.
But we’ve got to persuade people to understand that getting married is
important, having children is important. Do we want to replace
ourselves or do we want to shrink and get older and be replaced by
migrants and work permit holders? That’s the simple
question.

Perhaps it’s rude to ask this of a man mourning the mortal illness of
a child whom he conceived, dandled on his knees and coached through
adolescence, but who is responsible for this disaster?

The answer is Lee Kuan Yew. Great men make great mistakes. In the
1960s and 70s he worried about the Population Bomb and enacted stern
population control policies. He encouraged sterilisation, urged
Singaporeans to “Stop At Two”, and imposed harsh financial penalties
for those who didn’t. By the late 80s, the government had panicked
and changed its tune to “Have Three or More (if you can afford it)”.
A future prime minister was already warning Singaporeans that
“passively watch[ing] ourselves going extinct” threatened national
survival.

It was too late. Singaporeans had acquired a taste for shopping and
small families. Now their country’s future belongs to immigrants and
workers from nearby China, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Singapore has to face the possibility of cashing in its chips.

Singapore’s woes may be of its own making but there is a lesson here
for the rest of us. In a small nation, the impact of an ageing
population is felt more keenly and more swiftly than in larger
countries. Singapore has to face the possibility of cashing in its
chips.

But demographic trends are inexorable everywhere. When birthrates fall
below replacement level, as they have throughout the developed world,
migrants with very different cultural values replace the native-born.

Going extinct is no fun at all. Just ask Lee Kuan Yew.

About Alan Tang

I'm a Chinese Singaporean living in the Eastern part of SG. I tweet on current affairs & inspirational quotes. I blog on issues or events if they interest me. I also share some of the interesting jokes, stories or anecdotes from my friends or observations on my blog. Thanks for visiting my blog.
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18 Responses to Are Native Singaporeans the Last of the Mohicans?

  1. reddotsg says:

    Question is, are we being heard? Or is it still being treated as noise?

  2. OK citizen says:

    Doesn’t matter native Singapore people or foreign people, as long as they remain here as citizens or become citizens, they are good and OK people. Forget about those quitters, Sg Quitters or whatever, because it is not OK to quit and run away.
    Doesn’t matter black cat or white cat, as long as they catch mice, it is a good cat.

    • It does make a big difference. Deng Xiaoping wasn’t referring to immigrants but economic policies. A more appropriate comparison would be between volunteer soldiers and mercenaries. No difference as long as they get the job done? I don’t think so.

  3. Neja says:

    Are we alone in this? Is this PRC invasion a worldwide phenomenon? On my last trip to Tokyo, I noticed that most food chains are now being manned by jap-speaking PRC crews. Makes me wonder if this is part of a larger plan by China for world domination.

  4. Quitter in the UK says:

    Dear Gintai

    I am a recent but avid follower of your blog. I never post comments but something about your last blog prompted me to write. I am one of the “native Singaporeans migrated overseas” and am not sure what it is you think people like me can do. I do small things via the Singapore High Commission in the UK (where I live) as my “National Service” but in truth, these contributions do little (if any) to address the dilemma. And please – no platitudes about little drops of water, etc. The truth is that this “little red dot” is precisely that – “little”. All of Singapore’s current (and past) problems stem from that word. Again, no cliches please about “punching above our weight”. Long and short of it is that “size matters” in the long term. It applies even to the UK which used to “punch above its weight”. And there is no comparison between Singapore and the UK. Comparisons don’t help anyway. Singapore is not a “Switzerland”, “Hong Kong”, etc. The smaller the country, the shorter the run. The UK’s “run” lasted for under 200 years. I am afraid Singapore’s “run” is not likely to be even half as long. In my view, Singapore is running as hard as it can but in a 100m race. Quick burst leading to a quick finish.
    So I ask again, what exactly do you expect people like to me to do to help?

  5. temp says:

    So how? It is the Singapore that the “majority voters” wants.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Compare fertility rate and child benefit for children between Canada and Singapore.

    Canada
    Child benefit for a kid: C$80,000. (eighty thousand Canada dollars)
    Children born per woman: 1.59 (CIA estimates for 2012)

    Singapore
    Child benefit for a kid: S$4,000.
    Children born per woman:: 0.78 (CIA estimates for 2012)

    Singapore is a resource rich country, but Singaporean kids are not getting much cash from their country. One COE is $85,000. Twenty-one Singapore babies worth less than 1 COE. Now you see why Singaporeans want to migrate.

  7. I feel very sad reading this blog post. sad at how so many Singaporeans are feeling displaced in their own country and sad that so many want to leave as they are no longer feeling happy and valued here. When will our Government wake up to the people’s sadness? Why are they still so adament and fixated on the health of the economy instead of caring for the mental health and happiness of the people? I dont have the answer and like others who care, we can only keep raising the issue by blogging and asking the hard questions. Gintai, I hope u will continue to do so too.

  8. Winking Doll says:

    Hi Gintai,
    Thanks for your reference!
    Cheers, WD.

  9. ex-SMRT taxi driver says:

    Hello Gintai,
    No more new news? You MIA?
    Regards,

Comments are closed.