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This evening when some of the SDP activists were returning home after another day in court, we saw a large crowd amassed along Cross Street at the bottom of Block 34.
Everyone’s eyes were affixed at a figure that was perched precariously on the parapet at the top floor. Fire engines were present with their emergency lights flashing. The legs of the individual could be seen dangling over the ledge. It was just a slight shift of one’s weight before the person plunge to his death.
As the professionals were on hand, we thought it best to leave them to effect the rescue. We just closed our eyes and prayed.
In the past Singapore has recorded, on the average, one suicide every single day. Some die gruesome deaths such as when they throw themselves under oncoming MRT trains. Others, like this person today if he or she jumped, fall horribly to an yielding concrete pavement.
While not all commit suicide out of financial desperation many, if not most, do. And this is during the “Golden Period” that Mr Lee Kuan Yew insisted that we were going through.
The situation seems set to become even more troubling as our economy enters into a recession.
When the going was good in the past few years, it undoubtedly made the rich rejoice as they saw their incomes balloon. The ordinary working folk, however, witnessed the opposite. The Gini cofficient which measure income inequality for Singapore has been increasing over the years.
Many, thankfully, do not take their own lives. But this doesn’t mean they are not suffering the desperate crush that poverty brings.
Which leads one to ask: Are Singaporeans really benefiting from PAP rule or are we be constantly fed the mind-numbing propaganda disguised as “news”?
A Nation Cheated, the latest book by Dr Chee Soon Juan, takes a look at modern Singapore and explodes the many economic myths that have been spun both by the PAP and those who have benefited from it.
This subject is especially salient in such uncertain times when our economy is being tested yet again. Whereas recessions have come in (more or less) 10-year cycles in past decades, we are now experience them in greater frequency — three downturns in the past decade.
It is obvious Singaporeans want to find out more and read beyond the material churned out by our state media because the book continues to sell very quickly even though it was launched three months ago. Kinokuniya Books, with its main branch at Takashimaya SC at Orchard Road has just made another order for the book, its seventh in the brief period.
So don’t let the PAP fool you all the time, get a copy of A Nation Cheated. Remember two things: One, knowledge is power and, two, your ignorance is their strength.