“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.” – Charles Dickens
GE2020 is here. We are in existence for 55 years as a tiny city state. By all accounts, we have progressed and grown to a great tiny nation surpassing any forms of measurements to what we are today – one of the richest on earth. All these achievements and wealth are mainly anchored on our unique geographic location as an entrepôt trading nation plugged into the world system of commerce and free trade.
Not anymore. The emergence of COVID-19 pandemic has put that to a stop. The skies are quiet, the ships not much a calling at our seaport and even our overland trade route to our northern neighbor also restricted. Since Jan 2020 till now it seems that the coronavirus is not stopping. We still have 3 figures of daily reported confirmed cases. It’s not going to end soon and it will take years to rid this virus. We may have to live with it for a long time! Just as William Shakespeare in the 14th century lived with the Bubonic plague for decades. ( I’ll blog about this)
The world as we know it is no longer the same. It will never be the same! Having pumped in nearly 100 billion dollars (one billion is 1000 millions. You could buy 1,000 units of condominium with one billion or strike 1st prize Big Sweep 500 times) from our past reserves in 4 budgets within a short period, the incumbent govt has decided to call for an early snap elections to renew its mandate from the citizens so that they could tackle this coronavirus scourge which will be a long drawn fight.
“Our jobs, our livelihood and our future” is the slogan of the ruling party. But many fail to see all this. They can’t see the woods for the trees. Indeed one man one vote in a democracy is idealistic without taking into account of each man’s mental state. If everyone is rich and wealthy with a good education, common good sense will prevail when they use the power of the ballot box to decide on a good competent govt. Sadly, it doesn’t happen in the real world. Many will vote against competent govt on flimsy excuses such as being snubbed, slighted or even over minor violation issues etc. They think and act like king on polling day without taking into account of their serious responsibilities when they simply cast their vote based on frivolous issues to the detrimental long term interests of the country. That explains why the govt is so desperate enough to change the law to allow 12 NCMPs (in the new parliament) to vote on all matters in parliament so that their voices could be heard.
JALAN HONG KENG
As a teenager, I lived in a leaking desolated zinc wooded rental house in a kumpung on the fringe of Paya Lebar airport at a place called Jalan Hong Keng near to Kaki Bukit or Lorong Ternak Malay kumpung. It flooded when it rained. I had to wear slippers walking the 5 km red mud track to the bus stop to go to school before I changed to school shoes. I still recall vividly whenever I went to the makeshift wooden shack to excrete, I could see many maggots wriggling and crawling on the piles of shit not to mention the stench and stink! Once a week, the nightsoil collector came to empty the shit in the bucket. Initially there was no electricity and water had to be drawn from a well.
Things started improving when there was pipe water and I had one piece of 4 feet fluorescent lighting in the zinc wooded house instead of the hurricane lamp running on kerosene. We had to sleep inside mosquito net with mosquito coils burning throughout the night especially during raining season towards end of the year.
It was in the 1970s.
Fast forward, only 2 landmarks remain in my old place where I spent my childhood and schooling. The huge water tank red/white color at Kaki Bukit near to the army driving school and Hong San temple off Airport Road still remain unmolested. The rest i.e. every inch has been transformed beyond recognition within my lifetime in one single generation. Huge factories, office & workshop buildings, fire station and yes driving school etc replaced all those zinc wooden huts which I used to live in. There is no more kumpung left and few of our young ever lived thru that forgotten era. I’m not even a Merdeka generation even though my parents belong to the Pioneer generation.
All my life (I’m always 2 years old than Singapore), there’s only one ruling party. I may not love them entirely due to some of their langgar policy. But they have been in power since independence for so many decades. Surely, there are many – actually too many mistakes and flaws in their long years in power? Definitely, they are not perfect at all just like all of us as humans are never perfect. God made us this way. Nothing is perfect in all of us.
Lau Si aged 61 yrs once commented that he’s looking forward to his retirement in another 4 yrs time when he could draw a sizable monthly sum cuz he opted for enhanced CPF minimum sum – the highest of “Basic, Full and Enhanced Min Sum”. If one day, our Sing dollar becomes like Indon Rupiah, he says he’ll die lah. The value on paper is still the same as CPF Board won’t cheat him. But his hundreds of thousands Sing dollar in his CPF will become worthless and will not see him thru his retirement. If you bring S$100 to Batam you could become an instant millionaire by converting it to more than one million rupiah. It’s 3 times if you go North or 22 times in Taiwan. Many years ago in Batam the businesses there willing to accept S$ but was stopped by the Indon govt. There’s more faith in our S$ than in their own local currency.
I’m no economist and I do not understand how the monetary system works. But I know that S$ is the strongest in SEA and respected all over the world especially in China and India. Same as our red passport is also highly respected all over the world.
If you think that our strong currency and powerful passport are god given then I’m afraid you are making a big mistake! It will be sad that one day we may lose both due to irresponsible and incompetent leadership. The day may come when we become irrelevant and languish away in this barren island of 720 sq km! If it’s thru our own foolhardiness then it’s a tragedy mocked by all those who wish to see our early demise! The rich could just go off but the majority of average citizens will have to suffer when we go back to ground zero where we started off more than 55 years ago!
When I commented on FB that taxi driver received $3,000 per month for 3 months from the govt, I was straightaway shot down. I was given a long lecture by one smart Alec on how govt got the money. It’s their entitlement and right to all the money the govt is giving. It made me wonder what sort of education system we have here that produced such half baked educated citizens?
My friend Joseph forwarded this in the heat of this GE madness.
Opposition call for vote of change. Do they want a change where lesser investments will flow in?
Do they want a change from the security of knowing that women and the elderly can move about freely without fear? (Being mugged)
Do they want a change of the racial harmony and religious tolerance we are having?
Do they want a change to the efficient transport system aside from some hitches along the way?
Do they want a change that things work like clockwork in Singapore?
Do they want a change to the strong Singapore currency?
Do they want a change from the financial stability that we are enjoying?
Do they want a change where there is inflow of capital to that of a flight of capital?
Do they not know that the Singapore passport is one of the most valuable passports in the world? Do they want to change all that???
In this GE, all the opposition do is to condemn and fingerpoint (taking potshots) to the short comings of the government. Has anyone of them highlighted the good that the govt has done?
JUMPING ON THE BANDWAGON
Many of the electorate simply jump on the bandwagon and simply forward indiscriminately such garbage spew by the opposition without realising where and which direction that bandwagon is heading.
Just like a chicken whose head had been chopped off! Do they realise that PERFECTION is found in IMPERFECTION!!! Unquote
After 10 July 2020, do remember that life still goes on with the face mask as part of your lifestyle and that the coronavirus is still with us. There may be 2nd or 3rd wave coronavirus coming and we may have to go on another lockdown mode again to contain the coronavirus. Our very existence (and survival) depends on trade and open borders including all our food supplies etc. Just look at USA and Europe the figures on coronavirus keep rising showing no signs of abetting! Even with a strong proven leadership, tackling the coronavirus pandemic will be a challenge for them and there is no guarantee that they will succeed!
If I were you, I will be very worried and afraid. I fear for the worst in the coming months or years after this GE 2020 which is the mother of all elections in the mother of all crisis. We may never fully recover from this crisis. We also do not have so many billions to keep on throwing to sail pass this greatest threat to human civilization!
God bless Singapore!