Why no world-class quality of life?

November 2, 2001
Singapore Democrats

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For a country that professes to have a “world-class” every-thing, it would come as a shock that a full 20 per cent of Singaporeans want to emigrate. This was the number found in a regional survey conducted by Mastercard.

The Government recently admitted that the number of Singaporeans leaving Singapore, or who didn’t want to return when they have gone overseas, is worrying.

Yet, is this any surprise given the fact that the quality of life for most Singaporeans is poor?

Consider the following indicators: issues, ranging from the economic crisis to the influx of foreign “talent” to rising health care and living costs.

Indicator 1: A study done by market research company, Taylor Nelson Sofres, found that among Asian societies, Singaporeans are the most likely to suffer from depression, stress and fatigue. This translates into the country having a serious problem with suicides. The rate of Singaporeans taking their own lives is at the third highest in 20 years.

Indicator 2: Singapore is one of the most expensive cities in the world. According to a survey carried out by the Union Bank of Switzerland, Singapore is even more expensive to live in than New York, London and Paris!

Indicator 3: Another survey conducted by the United Nations on human development found that Singapore was not even among the top 20 countries rated for the best human development record. A competitive economy with a lousy human development record means a poor quality of life.

Indicator 4: And because the PAP continues to drive Singaporeans so hard to maintain a high GDP so that it can justify its authoritarian grip on society, many families have to have both father and mother working. Such an arrangement often results in latchkey kids who without adequate parental guidance turn to (juvenile delinquency is a major problem in Singapore) and even suicide.

Indicator 5: Singaporeans are underpaid while at the same time taxed for almost everything. While Singapore may be the most competitive economy in the world what good is it if only the rich and the powerful can enjoy the fruits of the people’s sacrifice?

At the end of it all, we must ask what kind of a society we want for ourselves and what kind of a society we are passing on to our children. There must be more to life than just slogging away for a living, and live a low quality lifestyle.

While the PAP may say that it wants Singapore to have “heart-ware” in reality it will continue to make you to run faster because the only way it can legitimise its authoritarian control is to make Singaporeans generate higher and higher GDP.

Wake up, Singaporeans. Wake up before it’s all too late.