Sunday, July 19, 2009

Are We a Nation Yet?

"Are we a nation yet? I will not say we are. We’re in transition."

With these words, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew said that Singapore is a work-in-progress and is still not a nation.

I agree with him. When it comes to nationhood, the people in the country need to feel a sense of belonging. They must live in the country and has an express willingness to continue living in the country.

Singapore does not have that.

In a country that has so many foreigners, what is the Singapore identity? The answer is that we don’t have one. How can we when so many foreigners come in, get the PR but have no intention of staying long-term in the country.

I read in the Strait Times recently that Australia recently refused to renew the PR of a Singapore couple because they did not spent enough time in Australia so it proves that they had no intention of staying long-term in Singapore.

I don’t know the details of that case but the Australians are on the right track. Why give citizenship to people who had no intention of staying long-term in the country? This is something Singapore can learn from.

Singapore has already seen some of our foreign PR soccer players gone back to home country once their playing careers were over. Some people may say it’s no loss as their soccer careers were over already but how can Singapore be a nation if we hand out citizenship like this? Just because we want their skills, we give them citizenship but once we don’t need their skills they can go. Is this the way to build a nation? Is this the way to give Singaporeans a sense of belonging to our country? It might be a good way to run a corporation, but a country is another matter.

So I agree with the Minister Mentor; I just wish the Singapore government can do something about it.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

don't count on those with low EQ in govt to understand what it takes to become a nation....after all majority of them chose to be stooges....and without a doubt, stooges are hopeless as leaders.

a nation without Lee said...

MM Lee is right about us not being a nation and he should know better, afterall the systems he put in place are stumbling blocks to nation building..fake democracy using a sham election system, skewed system of justice, ridiculous laws with laughable interpretation of such laws, compliant media with low credibility, famiLee business masquerading as a country, 81 MPs with sucking up skill that is highly prized, policies that disadvantage Spore born males.

TalesOC said...

Interesting article. I appreciate how you don't place the blame on the foreigners who are taking advantage of opportunity. I see too often that Singaporeans misdirect their hostility on foreigners, as if it's some great sin to want to get ahead in life. Also, the US has a massive and diverse population which hasn't stopped Americans from identifying themselves proudly as Americans.

This is definitely a big problem. Singapore is a nice country. Singaporeans should be proud of it.

Anonymous said...

whats the point of being an independent nation when the government we "elect" hardly cares about its bottom-tier citizens. we might as well have remained a crown colony

Anonymous said...

Is there a way for me to downgrade from Spore citizen to PR? I want to be Malaysian citizen and Spore PR too…

I am an engineer. Over the past year, I have been squeezed out of my job by cheaper Chinese, Malaysian and Indian engineers. To them, $2000 is much when they remit back home. To me, I can’t even afford a HDB, as frugal as I try to be, because the foreigners keeps driving home prices up on a daily basis. To add insult to injury, more of the foreign graduates replacing me had their university fees paid by our very own Ministry of Education. These graduates were not only given free college education, they were even given a month allowance of few hundred dollars each. While I had to work part time to support my education in NUS, and I still remain in debt to my student loan. (BITTER LAUGH!!!!).

I spent 2.5 years of my precious youth serving the SAF, during which I lost my first girlfriend during training. These foreigners were given PRs and citizenship in less than 2.5 years and they don’t even need to serve. If war breaks out, I have to protect 1/3 of the population fuilled with these people?? (Assuming they dun run away at the 1st sign of trouble??!!) SAF even sent me a letter threatening to fine me for going overseas without telling them…to attend a funeral of my uncle…(BITTER LAUGH!!!!). Hey, here’s an idea, why don’t I migrate to another country before migrating back. That will save me more time!

I am working in odds jobs now 7 days a week. I am now almost 30 already. Inflation exceed my savings rate, and I find a home, marriage, kids and happy future beyond me. A simple illness or a year of unemployment could wipe me out. Yet the government is wondering why there are less marriages and births….(BITTER LAUGH!!!!)

I bear no love to my country now. My country does not need to be attacked, it has already be invaded and taken over. Thanks PAP!

Anonymous said...

Here’s a story about a husband and wife:

Husband: Why are you inviting so many men from outside into our house?

Wife: I need them to pump labor into me and give me money.

Husband: But I work hard to do that too.

Wife: That is no good. We need better seeds from more talented people outside. Yours is not good enough. These outside men are smart graduates, strong construction workers, handsome road sweepers, young and vibrant students. They are better than you.

Husband: I am your faithful husband. I love you, lived with you, protect you, stay with you in times of trouble. Doesn’t that count for something? Those men will come and go. Once they see someone better, they will leave you.

Wife: Since some of them will leave eventually, I must invite even more men to our house. I need them. If more men come, maybe, just maybe, if I am lucky, some will stay

Husband: I can fill our house will happy little ones too. Give me a chance.

Wife: You? That will take too long. Even if we have kids, when can they work to give me money. The men from outside are different, they can work and pay me lots and lots of money immediately. When they grow old, they will leave our house and we don’t need to even support them. On the other hand, we need to support our little ones when they age and are too old to be productive.

Husband: Trust me. Life will be better. Don’t invite these men over. I will work hard, and we can afford a nice room in our house if we save for 8-10 years.

Wife: It is no use. By the time you save up, the room prices would be much much higher. Only the men from outside can afford to pay for rooms in our house…you cannot.

Husband: Do you still love me?

Wife: Stay on if you want. It is better you leave. Go to another house. I don’t care. I doubt other houses would even want you. There’s the doorbell……HELLO!!! WELCOME !!! PLS COME INSIDE ME!!

TalesOC said...

@Anonymous Engineer,

Actually, there are cases where people wind up getting hit with NS after getting PR, as in the case where a wife applies with the husband also on her application. The husband could potentially be liable, depending on age and physical ability. Also, the children would be liable.

I see your point though. It's disturbing that you're losing your job to people who are being paid less. Yet, you can't blame the people coming for the jobs. They're just taking what's handed to them. Anyone would take a big increase in salary.

The way you describe it, I think what needs to happen is that property prices go down dramatically. It seems like property prices are higher than the economy can realistically support, which is ... broken. Prices have to meet the economy. The economy can't meet the prices. If property prices don't go down it will wind up leading to inflation because workers will require higher wages just to survive. Either that or Singaporeans will wind up living 6 - 8 to an HDB, like foreign workers. And... that's not a good situation, even for the foreign workers.

The practice of bringing in foreigners at low wages is what's crippling the average Singaporean's ability to maintain a "decent" paycheck. Either the minimum allowable wage needs to go up, or the amount of foreigners brought in needs to go down. I'm a foreigner in Singapore myself, from the US, and while I'm quite happy that I've been able to be in Singapore, it shouldn't be at the cost of a citizen.

Oh, and I know about the pain and anguish of military service. I served my own country for many years and it wasn't always pleasant, and I was away from home for a year at a time. I had no girlfriend during those years. Nothing serious anyways.

Ghost said...

What I think Singapore need is some better rules on how to get PR. The Australia case is good because they rejected the PR of the Singapore couple because they did not spent enough time in Australia. To be an American, foreigners need to pass an extremely hard test about America which most Americans can't pass.
To be Singaporean, the need seems to be 'buy a property'. I have a Malaysian friend who had a hard time getting PR despite staying in Singapore since he was a child, yet movie stars like Jet Li and Gong Li buy a porperty in Singapore and boom...Singapore PR.
Does that seem fair to anyone?

I don't blame foreigners who take advantage of the Singapore opportunity (I would if I were them), but the rules need to change.

Anonymous said...

Singapore is not a nation right MM? Look in the mirror and you'll realize why.