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During a forum at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Students’ Union where Senior Minister Mr Goh Chok Tong spoke, a student asked if the Minister was aware that many young people no longer felt a sense of ownership in Singapore.
“When I was younger, I was very proud of being a Singaporean,” said Mr Lim Zi Rui. “But that was about five, ten years ago. Five years later, with all the changes in policies and the influx of foreign talent, I really don’t know what I’m defending any more.”
Mr Lim added: “We don’t really feel comfortable in our country any more.”
Mr Goh replied, “If this is happening, it is very serious…?” (emphasis added)
If? Where has he been all this time? The Internet is buzzing about it. His cabinet colleagues have been fending off questions and criticisms over it. Mr Goh himself has even spoken on it. So why is the Senior Minister making it seem as if it’s a new problem that he has just come to know? The matter has been repeatedly raised for more than a decade.
The truth is that Mr Goh heard the student, the question is whether he was listening at all. For make no mistake, the PAP is acutely aware of the problem, it just has no intention of doing anything about it.
Why? Through the decades the party has structured our economy to become unhealthily reliant on MNCs. These corporations must be provided cheap foreign labour, otherwise they will relocate to cheaper places like China and India.
Having more foreign workers in Singapore means lower wage levels and lower wage levels mean high profit margins for MNCs and GLCs which translate into higher GDP figures which the PAP can then, misguidedly, boast about.
The damage this economic model is doing to Singapore, both economically and socially, is now becoming clear. The very soul of this nation is coming under threat.
But what is the alternative? Our economic structure needs to develop onto a higher phase, one where we need rely on innovation and the creative productivity of our workers. For such a development to come about, however, freedom to speak up and to challenge ideas is needed.
But this is diametrically opposite to what the PAP wants, and the reality is that the PAP is not about to sacrifice its own interests for the interests of the country. The regime is not interested in the concerns of young Singaporeans like Lim Zi Rui. Too much power and wealth is at stake. This is the tragedy.
For decades we sold our political rights for economic gain. Now we find ourselves at the mercy of our rulers.
The situation is dire and the consequences will be ugly. The PAP is dragging the country off the cliff and the people need to do something about it. You can sit by idly and hope for the best or you can support the voice of reason, the voice of the Singapore Democrats. Your voice.
The language that the PAP understands is not persuasion, if it was our country would not be in ths state today. No, the only language the party understands is the number of seats it gets in the House. If the PAP loses a substantial number of seats this election, Singaporeans can be sure that there will be a significant review of the existing policies, including the one on foreign immigration.
But if the result turns out to be like in previous years, the PAP will push on with its policies and more and more young people like Mr Lim will become more and more disillusioned. Where, then, is our country headed?
But let us not just fret. Let us all dig deep and help ourselves. Get behind the SDP and get our candidates into Parliament at the coming polls. Right now, there’s something very important that you can do: Donate to our election campaign, your contributions will make our campaign effort more effective. Your financial support is crucial.
How to donate
Online You can make your donation through Paypal by clicking here.
Bank transfer or deposit You can transfer or deposit your donation to:
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Bank: DBS Bank
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Cheque You can also write us a cheque made payable to the Singapore Democratic Party and mail it to 12A Jalan Gelenggang, Singapore 578192.
In person Or you can email us at [email protected] for alternative arrangements.