SDP makes good point about casino

April 21, 2005
Singapore Democrats

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21 April 2005

Dear Singaporeans

I read the media release by Dr Chee: SDP says casino idea imbecilic.

I find Dr Chee’s suggestions to the existing regime to salvage the ebbing economy are sincere and honest, most of all, practical and sustainable as a pokey nation in the long run. His chief points are of broad-spectrum values for the locals to thrive in an economy as in individuals or companies as a whole.

Integrated-resorts with so-called “tiny” casinos may augment employment rate in Singapore and induce ripple effects on the economy but we are talking about a nation of more waiters, waitress, chambermaids and taxi drivers , of which the salaries many Singaporeans cannot survive on. OhI forgot something – reflexologists and shopkeepers they are rooting for.

What about experienced croupiers? Ironic either to set up a gambling school to train locals to game with high rollers when we read slogan like this “moulding the nation for the future”. Are all these jobs creating true wealth for Singaporeans or foreigners? We cannot give in to plaintive tears in default of a detailed picture.

Casinos may at first seem small in proportion but there is always room for expansion when the patronage soars. Casinos as in the pop culture needs more than just resorts, you need notorious nightclubs to display revealing young merchandise for lust, in order to poach big time gamblers’ custom, which converges to one ultimate sleazy competition when our neighboring countries could afford extreme enterprise in the pop culture. Oh yes, we are already mature to live with infamous activities, why whine. Drug lords do not consume, they leverage on handsome profits the traffickers suck from customers.

So when the casinos permit the entry of foreign maids and labourers, we stir up another debate to abolish the safeguard, it will be an eventual favorite haunt for the locals once again. Or in the midst of cutthroat competitions, the doors will eventually open without a levy when the casinos become also-rans. This is cold hard reality.

No wonder 30,000-concerned populace signs a petition against the casino idea to the highest office. Now, two casinos but not one notwithstanding listed in the inventory projecting to rake astronomical profits hand over fist, to add insult to the injury.

Also, are the resorts really going to be family-friendly to the locals? Are we anticipating something like Genting where you spend less than S$100 for one to two- night stay in a swanky hotel surrounded with magnificent setting? Or are they just another sightseeing venue for the locals or a field trip for students?

Should I send my son to a gambling school? I am confused because you cannot become rich in gambling but yet gaming is the revenue-pulling resource, so what role we play, as peasants, to become rich if the resorts and the casinos are our rainmakers? And two IRS to turn the whole economy around, sound good or silly? I am also very confused who is calling shots now.

How else can I guide my son to a better picture in life, and to earn a honest linear income or a residual income when he turns into a man, serve the army, when his peers are raking millions of dollars in the casinos, embracing wines and passion in the high culture hotels.

Are we being coaxed to seek true wealth, gain financial freedom and live a life to the fullest?
To be honest, besides chasing academic papers and get good grades, and gambling, there is none of any campaign to drive locals to becoming rich. Near future into the pop culture, we will have more bankrupts, slaves to banks and stressed-up citizens on the contrary.

Dr Chee brings up a very pertinent point “employ Singaporeans first policy”. This is a simple formula yet highly effective. Replace those foreigners with the unemployed locals on those jobs that are unlikely to be shunned you get a humane answer to fight unemployment and create abundant jobs for Singaporeans. Then again, the formula can be cleverly disrupted by creating more new Singaporeans to defeat the formula if the subject of levy fees is raised.

Another point, if the environment has not been encouraging the locals to procreate and especially affecting the main group of the population, the proportion of population in the future will be a demographic time bomb. It is already clicking let alone talking about housing more millions of people in Singapore, we will be taking down the whole Mandai Forest.

Geographically, a small island has its limits and pushing it too far to maintain the exorbitant costs of upkeep will have negative repercussions when settle for less affluence is the pragmatic way out, and still straining to uphold the luxurious lifestyle will only degenerate Singapore into a banana republic sooner.

Many locals speak from mouth, not from their head and heart only to camouflage their conscience for self interests.

My father, who died 24 years ago, once said: “However poor we are, if we keep our heads high and soldier on without grants and handouts, we are what we are, under no beholden, we are free to make choices”. My pop died a poor man, but in our heart, he died a rich gentleman I salute.
I have now an intangible legacy worth more than a million-dollar club; I am free to make choices I want and live my dreams while many are shackled to live on dreams of others. My son told me that his classmates could afford expensive football boots and footballs, but yet the school books were sponsored by the schools because they were so poor.

I sigh on the weakness and I begin to understand why I am not seeing things that are real.

You can give an earful, stigmatize me and condemn me for supporting Dr Chee’s proposal, one thing is for sure, you will live to rue for many generations to come when the time arrives.

I salute Dr Chee as a man coming this far.

AH THIAM