Thursday, December 28, 2006

Singapore discriminates Singaporeans.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

About 1/3 of the Singapore workforce are foreigners. Singapore government favors them, not Singaporeans. They say, they have to compete globally. Therefore they say, they need cheap labor. This cheap labor causes suffering for Singaporeans. The government knows this, but they don't care. They must compete globally with cheap labor countries. It is a matter of survival they say. But what about the survival of Singaporeans.

There is almost unrestricted entry for foreigners. No minimum wage laws exist. Employers can bring in any kind of workers they need. Construction workers, kitchen help, bus drivers, taxi drivers, any whatsoever. Also, there are no minimum wage laws. They can be paid anything they will take. As many are uneducated from impoverished countries, they will take almost nothing, as almost nothing in Singapore wages, is quite a lot where they come from. In the atmosphere of a free for all, the employers get away with murder, so to speak. They can get away with paying a foreigner almost nothing. The only winners in this are the employers themselves and the Singapore government. The Singapore government because, as we can expect of Lee and his friends, government requires a payment each month from the employer for employing the foreigner. This is called a levy. Now wait for the surprise. The levy paid to the government is quite often more than what the foreign worker gets in wages each month! If this is not injustice to the foreign worker, then tell me what is! I had in my last post mentioned the lack of free speech and expression. That is why the plight of these foreigners will remain. They will continue in suffering. Since Lee will do whatever he wants. And if you complain, he will sue you. This is the first part. The suffering of the foreign worker.

Second, the discrimination against Singaporeans. Singapore's cost of living is high compared to those from which the workers come. You have your Housing and Development Board mortgage payments. You have bus fares. You have gas, electricity and water bills. You have children's school fees. These are appreciably higher than that in the impoverished countries who supply the workers to Singapore. Second, the Bangladesi in Singapore, who probably lives rough, who very probably lives alone, has no HDB payments to make, who lives on almost nothing, can accept and live on much lower wages. His expenses are apprciably lower. So when an employer can cheaply employ a Bangladeshi at $600.00 per month, why should he employ a Singaporean to whom he has to pay more? But when the Singaporean is unemployed, he has no choice but to accept $600.00 a month instead of $1500.00 minimum which he needs to barely survive on. With $600.00 a month, he cannot possibly pay his mortgage, his utility bills and send his children to school. Now does not Lee and his friends realise this grave unconscionable, cruel, inexcusable injustice to their own people! Of course they do. But they don't care. They own Singapore. You can say anything you want. But I am the King and you listen to me. That my friend is Lee Kuan Yew and his Singapore.

Suicides are very common. I have heard that on average one person a day kills himself. Mostly they jump off the ubiquitous high rise government owned apartments. Lately people have been jumping on rail tracks. These people take their lives because of poverty. They are unable to find jobs to feed their children. And in these dire painful circumstances, Lee Kuan Yew, his son, their cronies and their relatives whom they have placed in top government positions pay themselves millions. Yes, millions. And if you do ask them about these inequities, you will be sued for defamation. Lee and his family will use their judges to finish you off. The judges will willingly do the dirty work for him. Perhaps one of these judges which he will use for the dirty work may be Judge Kang Teng Chiu. He was used to bankrupt Dr. Chee for his having questioned the Lees on the disappearance of the money.

In this whole thing then, the ones being discriminated in their own country are the Singaporeans. They cannot compete with those from Bangladesh on low paying jobs. The jobs go to foreigners, the Singaporeans although seeking work cannot find any, and if if they did, are unable to live on it, since there is no minimum wage law. Lee on his part remains adamant. He refuses to introduce any minimum wage laws, and neither is he prepared to introduce social welfare for the unemployed. On the whole then, his message to his people is that they should somehow compete with foreigners, and if they cannot, they should go to Hell.

It is for this reason that I say this. The time is now. If you are unemployed and without jobs, you should all get together and tell this guy Lee that it is about time that he listen to you. That you will no longer take no for an answer. If you did this, you cannot lose. And by the way, don't forget to ask him what has happened to the money.

Gopalan Nair
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Nair, your essays are very encouraging.

What would you recommend to a Singaporean who is eager to change, yet feels the fear which was well illustrated in your previous essays?

Thank you.