Ladies and Gentlemen,
I read in the Straits Times, the state owned and controlled newspaper in Singapore on January 31, 2008 the following story “Singapore adds record number of jobs in 2007, a third by foreigners”.
I always thought that citizenship has its privileges. In one's own country, one is usually treated better than foreigners. Citizens usually have first preference over jobs, housing, medial insurance and retirement benefits and social security.
Believe it or not, this is not the case in Singapore. Foreigners are permitted to come to Singapore in unlimited numbers and take any job they want, from highly skilled to unskilled. It does not matter if local Singaporeans are available eager and willing to take the jobs.
By employers lowering wages to such an extent; falling below the wages normally prevailing for the job; which by the way is beneficial for employers to do; foreigners who have less living expenses manage to secure them; thereby encouraging employers to progressively keep lowering wages, resulting in more and more Singaporeans being left unemployed. Believe it or not, this is what happens in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore.
Many countries in the world suffer labor shortages, such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada and all of them admit foreigners for work and settlement. But all of them have a system in place where labor conditions are found to lack workers in specific areas, data being obtained by research and statistics on the ground confirming these shortages. In the USA, an employer wanting to engage foreign software engineers for temporary positions, have to attest under oath to the fact that they were unable despite diligent efforts to secure locals for the job. For permanent positions, they have actually to carry out supervised labor recruitment attempt in the US and only if unsuccessful, are they allowed to recruit a foreigner. In other words, in the USA, citizenship has its privileges. And such is the case in Australia New Zealand and all other self respecting democracies.
Singaporeans have no privileges in citizenship at all. I know many Indians from India who come to Singapore, live rough and cheap for a few months in Singapore, read the classified ads in the papers each day for jobs, secure a job and even without returning to India first, is given a change in status to a work visa and carries on working. After a few years he applies for citizenship. We will never know why a local was not given the job and how many locals are remaining unemployed because of Indians like this coming and taking their jobs.
Indians are not the only culprits. Filipinos, Bangladesh, Communist Chinese, Malaysians, you name it; they are all in Singapore and taking Singaporeans jobs. The foreigners are enjoying full employment in Singapore while Singaporeans who are ready and willing to work are staying at home, given $200.00 per month and asked to live on bread and water under candlelight, because they cannot afford to pay their electricity bills. Since the Chinese culture in Singapore tends to have many more suicides in their midst; many jump from their flats to die.
You are also aware that a large portion of these jobs going to foreigners are unskilled assembly line work. The cost of living in Singapore has already overtaken the wages paid for such work; meaning the cost of HDB payment, the utility bills, the food and transport expenses would all cost nearly $2,000.00 at bear minimum, when these assembly line jobs only pay $800.00. So Malaysian housewife’s living in Johore Bahru and Bangladesh living in over crowded HDB flats, meaning 20 people living in a one room flat, are able to take these jobs.
Their total monthly expenses does not exceed $200.00. Being paid $800.00 they can not only survive but send half their earnings to their families in Bangladesh. While all this happens, Singaporeans do not get any of the jobs. And as time goes on, more and more Singaporeans find themselves impoverished, while the foreigners become fat with food drink and employment. Fat at the expense of the Singaporean worker.
And the reason for the jobs going to foreigners is because employers are permitted without any legal check; permitted to bring in any amount of foreigners into Singapore for work and pay them anything that they like. There is no minimum wage law. There is no law against unjust termination; no law against racial discriminatory practices in the job market. It is free for all in the Singapore job scene. The Singapore government justifies this totally unacceptable discrimination against Singaporeans by calling it a free market. This is not free market. This is criminal. The Singaporean government is deliberately hurting local Singaporeans while advantaging foreigners. And they do this entirely because such a system is advantageous to companies because it lowers costs. It is not at all concerned about the welfare of Singaporeans.
Singapore as you know has grown out of the assembly line third world factory stage. The wages cannot compete with the lower wages in Indonesia and Thailand. It is pointless for Singapore companies to hang on to the disk drive assembly line business when they can no longer compete.
But the problem is that foreign companies doing the high end R and D in science and technology, the high end manufacturing businesses do not wish to come to Singapore. Why should they when Singapore has such a bad name, being known as a repressive cruel dictatorship. Since wages in a democratic country such as the Republic of Ireland are not much different, they might as well invest in such humane decent law respecting countries. They do not need Singapore.
The problem are many because of the shortsightedness and greed of Lee Kuan Yew and company. The political repression drives educated Singaporeans away. Unless you are prepared to join the government party, you have no say in how the country is run. As a result the government continues to function in denial, by not listening to the vast majority of Singaporeans with many great ideas. As a result, the input of ideas is insufficient because the idea pool is too small, and what is worse shrinking. The government’s style of giving some scholarships to a select few and asking them to do all the thinking is insufficient in this day and age. It may have been sufficient in the Ming Dynasty but not enough in the Singapore of 2008.
And to make things worse, insufficient babies being born despite all the enticements in cash and benefits. Perhaps their parents think that their suffering under Lee Kuan Yew is enough. They have no right to hurt these unborn babies by bringing them into Lee Kuan Yew's Paradise.
And then Lee openly and brazenly steals $3.7 million per year calling the theft, salary. All this is manifested in the multitude of difficulties this government is facing. People are openly calling Lee Kuan Yew a liar and a cheat. Lawyers are leaving the profession, civil servants are leaving the country, and Human Rights Watch calls Singapore one of the most dictatorial lawless cruel countries in the world equating it to the Republic of Congo, Kinshasa, not to be confused with Congo Brazzaville.
It is about time for the workers of Singapore to strongly send a message to this government that it is not entitled to hurt them and favor foreigners. The remedy or medicine for all these ills is democracy. So take it now. Demand it now. Transform into democracy now. March along the streets now. Sing freedom songs now. Put freedom leaflets into HDB mailboxes now. Distribute leaflets at Tekka Market now. Apply for assembly permits now and if denied, assemble without permits now. Use loud hailers now and if Deep Singh of Tanlgin Police Station tries to confiscate it, resist now.
Don’t just wait for Lee Kuan Yew to die. Do them now. His son is now finding it difficult already. Do it now.
As Mahatma Gandhi had said, there is no stronger force in the world than non violent resistance. You have already seen the power of it through Dr. Chee’s actions. He has managed to almost make these laws such as speech and assembly permits a dead letter. Many have begun breaking these laws while the government remains powerless to do anything.
And Dr. Chee is making it very difficult for the government to push through with their policies. I am sure one of Warwick University’s reasons not for having a campus in Singapore is Lee’s punishing Dr. Chee. They must have concluded that if there is no rule of law, how can there be academic independence. Best to stay out of countries such as Singapore, Rwanda and Communist China!
I have no doubt in my mind Mr. Lee Kuan Yew hates Dr. Chee Soon Juan more than he hates the devil. What, with bankrupting him suing him through the attack dog Davinder Singh Senior Counsel, sending him to jail, and yet this man refuses to go away. Lee Kuan Yew must hate his guts so badly that he must be dreaming each night of having got rid of him; only to awake to reality next morning to see Dr. Chee still alive and kicking.
I recall having read Mr. Neville Chamberlain the pre-war British Prime Minister going to see Adolf Hitler in Munich in 1938 in an attempt to secure peace. During his meeting with Hitler, in passing, Neville Chamberlain had told Hitler about the problems the British Government was having in India with the freedom fighter Mahatma Gandhi with his independence struggle. Hitler’s advice on how to deal with Mahatma Gandhi was this. He said “Shoot him!”
I am sure if Lee Kuan Yew can get away with shooting Dr. Chee, he probably will. But with Dr. Chee having become so famous internationally, Lee cannot do it. And this helplessness is agonizing him even more, poor man! For once, with Dr. Chee, Lee Kuan Yew is at loss which way to turn. He is helpless, because unlike all the others who came before him, Dr. Chee just refuses to go away.
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