To Fix a Mocking Peasant

Evil Kitten Blogs Irresponsibly

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1st, 2nd, Sandwiched
MEEK
mollymeek

First, we have the lower-income group. Then we have the sandwiched middle-class. Then we have the Singaporeans that will always come first.

This grouping, this ranking is uncanny. Once again, the political machinery has managed to spur people into grouping themselves, into calling themselves this or that: the post-65, the post-rainy NDP, the poor, the middle. But no "the elite," please - we don't want people to be envious?

Why is it that the machinery has the power can come up with all sorts of sophisticated categories while the categorized cannot retort with equally nebulous categories? Perhaps this is not the most important issue. We have the Singaporeans who come first? But to whom do they come first? At whose whims? One might be tempted to answer: at the whims of the Political Elite if not for the sanction against the term that might one day make comments about elitism as seditious as comments about religion. After these are very divisive categories and dividing is a sacred job only chosen ones can perform well.

So those to whom we Singaporeans supposedly come first must remain invisible as they steer the ship towards Destination Unknown. After all, the cannot appear to come before those who come first, can they? Become visible only when there is credit to be given.

For those who might be about to accuse me of relentless government-bashing, please hold on a moment. This is not a government-bashing entry. (You know I'm not bashing the government when my tone sounds serious. I don't dare to. And I don't sound satirical here, do I?)

But it remains that beneath the much-hyped openness to feedback, all feedback can only reinforce the discursive categories of one group of people. People are unwittingly implicated. This is not dialogue. This is an extended monologue of an automatic mechanism of puppetry.

It also remains that the more categorizations the one group of people come up with, the more marginal categories will be uncovered - and it is left to this group of people whether to admit these other marginal groups.

Indeed, categories like Elite and Peasant are not much more valid that categories like lower-income, Sandwiched, etc. But they are semi-parodic categories in any case, always given to self-disavowing tendencies. Even Ms. Wee Shu Min's much maligned "Get out of my elite, uncaring face" borders on self-parody. While that remark has been taken as her most insensitive remark, it is in fact her most generous remark for it offers a glimpse of self-critique in its hyperbolic articulation. On the other hand, categories like the lower-income are taken a tad too seriously, as though they are irrefutable truth.

Have a look at the sort of things people are saying:

----------------------

The helped build a nation, but ...

"In recent discussions on rewards for citizens, we may have forgotten a post-Independence group.
They witnessed the birth of the nation and they have slogged with it for the last 40 years. Like many others, my parents, born in Malaysia, came to Singapore looking for a brighter future for themselves and their children. A future they believed the post-Independence government would give them. ..."

[Well, not really. Didn't SM Goh just talk about remembering our first generation Leaders?]

......

Suffering quietly in the middle

"I am thankful we have a caring Government that is constantly looking into ways to help every Singaporean live comfortably. I am glad to hear that the Prime Minister would take into consideration the "sandwiched middle class" families in the offset package for the upcoming 2 per cent GST hike."

[Heh, this is so cute.]

......

Not just here that citizens are treated better

"I am dismayed by Robyn Speed's argument for equal dues ("Give foreign talent equal dues", Nov 6). Having lived abroad and known other Singaporeans living in countries such as Australia and the United States, it is clear to me that citizens in these countries receive preferential treatment with regard to public services.

There is no good reason for double standards to be applied when it comes to Singapore."

[That last sentence sounds like a direct contradiction of the main point. But I'm amazed that it has become a Fact that citizens are treated better in Singapore. Some people are very easily persuaded, aren't they?

Robyn, don't be offended OK. You are welcome to be a citizen and become privileged like us. Want or not?]

----------------------

Well, what can you who always come first say?


Further Reading

Citizens come first but PRs have the last laugh

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This is why we Sinkaporeans are well-known to be uniquely unique stupid and hopelessly lacking the foresight and can only eye the candies lay infront of their eyes.

While Hong Konger are asking their leader why GST is necessary, we are asking our's what kind of one time package we can get so that we can pay and pay for the rest of our life.

While their peasants dare to walk the street and their opposition leaders leading the walk. Ours are too kiasee to be labeled trouble-maker and terrorists that could be shot on the spot or just claimed, bo bian, pay then pay lor.

While their media had been reporting views of all side regarding the GST issue, including debates from respectable academic and civil groups (ie not your heartland Uncle Aunty complain king\queen) on whether this increase would help their economy or make it worst, ours only got one single voice, GST is for common good and will help the poor. Any alternate voice is mostly just some uncle or aunty kpkb in the forum. It seem like there is no voice from civil group in Sinkapore (Oh! Silly me. Either their voice are not good enough for our 146th media or all squatting in Changi Holiday camp right now.) and there is also no independent think tank nor any opinionate economist in our academy. No wonder our education so first world world class and still find it so hard to climb the rating to be among the top U in the world.

This is why I am not really surprised that Sinkaporeans are so easily ganna buffed and bought over with this kind of tactic. It’s not that our welfare of being a peasant was improved and become more attractive, it is only that FT and PR no longer enjoy that same little benefit of being a peasant. And suddenly all the praise and singing with some sinkaporeans dancing around the trees. No one seem to bother to hold the govt accountable and responsible for making FT and PR enjoying the same benefit in the first place over the years.

Should we even believe that PRs and FTs are no longer relatively better off?

NO. They still get their housing allowance (for expatriates) and all those benefits on top of their salary please.

Still, they will be relatively worse off than they now are.

Only the MIW will be better off.

Huh? There are good reasons for double standards to be applied when it comes to other countries?

PAP likes this sort of labelling and name-calling. And they seem to be the only ones having the privy to name-call anyone and anything.

Maybe we are aiming to be a labelling-hub or we are trying to have a mediacorp star citizen awards. We are building our top-ten:

1 stayers
2 quitters
3 heartlanders
4 cosmopolitans (what happened to this group hah? went off to join star trek?!)
5 local peasants
6 foreign talents
7 elite (shh ....)
8 sandwiched class (actually, roti john sounds more local)
9 low-income (this one, does not exist until GST needs to be increased)
10 citizens (this one is truly invisible. Nobody knows who they are. Probably because they swallow too much already)

auntyxinjiabo,
You have been very forgetful haha.
You forget one very important category.
The category is:
underpaid Ministers

No matter how much u pay them, money is always never enough for them to do good work for Singapore. GCT say that PM AhLoong pay is 50% below standard. When did GCT become lackey for PAP ??? GCT now kiss asses so that he will not send early retirement.


In the first place, I thought he wants double standards-one for foreigners and one for citizens?

Hahaha! Roti John. Then the really low-income are Roti prata. And the elites are mee siam (without hum).

heh I think the govt doesn't have enough of a sense of humour to call the categories "the elite" and "the bullied" or "sandwiched class" :P The elections posters were damned funny lor. With a blown up LSL in the foreground and a mass of pple in the background. Look like some star wars poster. Heh. They use "the force" mah. That must explain why pple believe stuff so easily. It's a Jedi Mind Trick.

They use the force or they use force?

They wield the defamation sabre pretty well.

Leisure Suit Larry and two new casinos?

Oh...

MM,

Thanks for the seeming rejoinder to my comment in the previous post. You dissected the issue precisely, and more cogently than I could. There is no need for thought police on the small red dot. Categorisation is the preferred instrument of mind tyranny.

They have done away with the need for tyranny by making everyone deputy tyrants.

The forbidden word

(Anonymous)
Molly, Molly, how could you steal the credit from the PAP? They were the first to dream up the category of elites didn't they?

But only they are allowed to use that word without appearing envious. The rest of us who retort with that word are definitely envious, green-eyed losers out to leech on to them poor elites.

Re: The forbidden word

Of course they can use that word without appearing envious. They can't possibly be envious of themselves...

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