April 14th, 2008


Send this to the ST Forum 5: S'poreans Complacent and Greedy

Singaporeans need a wake up call.

As an employer, I am apalled by job seekers whose immediate concerns are whether the job pays well enough. My domestic assistant, Sophia, was much more professional. She was only too happy to take up the job regardless of the pay. Needless to say, Sophia is not Singaporean. Singaporeans I have encountered are fussy about pay and benefits such as sick leave. Apparently, they are already thinking of falling sick even before they have accepted a job offer. Such attitudes are atrocious. Workers should not be bothered about remuneration, medical benefits and leave. As workers, their first and foremost priority is to work. Anything else beyond that is a privilege, not an entitlement.

Singaporeans are becoming more and more complacent. They think that the government will take care of them. They are unable to go through hardship and are unwilling to work 18 hours a day. They are so greedy that they think they are entitled to overtime pay when workers are supposed to do work and not suck money from employers who are kind enough to give them work to do.

Singaporeans need to be re-educated. I urge the Ministry of Education to introduce a compulsory subject to all our students - National Employment Education. The government should teach people to moderate their expectations. They should know how lucky they are that they are not slaves because they are waged workers. They should not be more and more demanding. Instead of just giving vouchers to people, the NTUC should also enhance its function and tell workers to lower their expectations or face unemployment. Singaporeans must learn that there is no job beneath their dignity and no remuneration too low. Otherwise our economy will collapse.

Mr. Lee See Nao


Mr. Lee See Nao's source of inspiration:

I REFER to Mr John Ng's letter.

I own a Chinese restaurant. Like Mr Ng, I faced huge difficulty finding Singaporeans to employ as waiters.

For every 10 who responded to my job advertisement, only one was Singaporean whose first concerns were: 'Pay good or not? Must work weekends or not? Got MC benefits?'

Singaporeans are becoming more and more complacent. [Molly: Complacent with what?]

Singaporeans just cannot take hardship these days. [Molly: Yeah. It's only right for employers to make employees go through hardship.]

It is best portrayed by the Chinese sitcom, Just In Singapore on Channel 8, in which the characters Robert and Mary, live by the precept, 'Why work when the Government will take care of us?' [Molly: If that's the case, why would they care about how much they get paid? They would simply wait for the great government to take care of them.]

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) imposes the workforce levy and quota entitlement to prevent an influx of foreigners, be it to maintain social security or retain jobs for Singaporeans. I agree with the concept, but this is hardly applicable in real life.

I urge MOM policy makers to step out of their cosy offices and take a good look at the real world. [Molly: Nonsense! Employers are getting more and more complacent. Now they are expecting the government to take care of them. Employers cannot take hardships nowadays.]

If Singaporeans refuse to take lowly jobs. why penalise business owners? I think the authorities should acknowledge this and make necessary adjustments to accommodate business needs.

Jerry Lim Hwee Leong


Gahmen Still Knows Best


Not too long ago, people were criticizing the Prime Minister for his silence regarding Mas Selamat’s escape. But I think I was secretly glad that he had kept quiet. There’s something about him that makes me feel really, really irked whenever he says something.

I mean, hardly anyone else makes Molly roll her eyes and puts her claws on stand-by mode so well.

Maybe it’s just his total lack of charisma with kittens. Maybe he’s surrounded by too many unfriendly hounds.

But what sorts of things does he have to say?

Welfare is dirty. People are engaging in dangerous talk about handouts. Mas Selamat escaped, what to do.

But what really gets Molly hissing is his seeming unawareness that he’s a pot. And he calls the kettle black. And what a condescending, self contradictory pot can he get!

Of course, it is not as if he does not know that he should say politically correct things like this:

My conclusion is this: If the People's Action Party wants to continue to have the support of the people, it has to maintain an incorruptible and capable government; continue to reflect the wishes of the people; and continue to strive for a better future for Singapore.” (Today)

Of course, you might want to ask him this: if the PAP is incorruptible (which is different from incorrupt), then why is there a need to pay salaries that supposedly help to prevent corruption? But he’s probably going to say that you are nitpicking, just like Mr. Low Thia Khiang. So let’s just forget it. We can’t perhaps assume that he’s using the sales tactic called exaggeration.

Molly is more interested in how his wonderful Eternal Ruling Party (ERP) of Singapore is going to reflect the wishes of the people and to “continue” to do so (especially if it has not really been doing so because it knows better than agree to be manipulated by the people into not increasing the GST or into decriminalizing gay sex). (Oh, which "people of Singapore" is he talking about anyway?)

[Edit: Oops, Molly's bad. Maybe "reflect" is the right word to use. When we put an object in front of the mirror, the mirror reflect the image. The light is not absorbed but is "shot" back to us. So maybe this was what PM Lee meant by "reflecting" the people's wishes?]

And how is he going to reflect the wishes of the people when it comes to regulating the new media? What does he have to say about it? Let’s see:

"We will study if we should relax parts of the regulations but we will look at this issue very carefully, to prevent any adverse effect."

Oh, adverse effect to whom, may the humble bimbo ask? To your party? And what happens if the wishes of the people clash with the whims of your party? Are you going to reflect the wishes of the people or to reflect the wishes of your party?

But Molly cannot comment too much on the regulations. We don’t know what new regulations there are yet. The more disturbing thing is how the regulation of the new media is associated with the elections. (Heck, if you regulate the new media, you regulate the new media. If you keep associating it with the elections, you are already suggesting to people that you are regulating it so that it won’t affect how the elections will turn out for you. Bad move. )

Oh well, we can’t really fault the PAP for wanting to protect its hold on power, can we? But how condescending can it get? How “potty”?

1.      “Besides the difficulty in refuting fallacious statements on cyberspace, Mr Lee noted that the free-for-all Internet environment throws up another potential minefield: How should political advertising be regulated, especially when political parties can post video clips on online platforms such as YouTube?” (Today)


Speaking of fallacious statements, maybe someone could do a count and see whether the 82 PAP people in the Parliament have made more of them or the blogosphere has made more of them. Wasn’t it the PM’s own father who said something about Singaporean women becoming maids if ministers are not well-paid? Eh? And he dares to stand on the high ground and talk about people making fallacious statements. And speaking of fallacies, what about his own ad hominem attacks:


2.      “But Mr Lee was less approving in his assessment of the performance of the Opposition MPs.


"In fact, they seldom engage the Government head-on in Parliamentary debates. Potong Pasir MP Chiam See Tong speaks less nowadays. Non-constituency MP Sylvia Lim's speeches are rather cautious and reserved, which, of course, is a good thing," said Mr Lee.


On Workers' Party's chief Low Thia Khiang, Mr Lee said: "He is very sharp but he seldom debates about the thrust of government policies and the broader issues. It seems like he is more passionate about nitpicking and making the government look bad — which is quite different from the rousing speeches he gave in the election rallies.”


He added: "His attitude is that his responsibility is just to criticise government policies, and not to offer alternatives."”

Now, these claims are not necessarily untrue. But may Molly know where the evidence is? What examples does our PM have to prove his attacks on the only opposition politicians in the Parliament?

I can also say that it seems that PM Lee is more interesting in preserving his power than in improving the lives of Singaporean, more passionate about tightening the PAP’s grip on power than on liberating the media, more interested in launching personal attacks on opposition MPs than on seriously debating with them.


I can even say that the oppositions MPs have been silenced by the history of defamation suits in Singapore.


But surely you would ask me to provide evidence?


Oh well, Molly guesses that she’s too stupid to understand the complexities of the PAP’s brilliant policies. So stupid that she would start to think that these policies are adversely affecting her when they are doing her good, when these policies can actually help her prevent wrinkles and make her skin more supple and flawless. Let’s see:


3.      “While the Government has been increasing efforts to explain its policies to Singaporeans — due to the rising educational levels and the growing complexity of policies — there would always be criticisms, said Mr Lee, who felt that these critics usually agree with the policies' objectives but disagree on the mechanics.[DUH! If you implement the ERP and claim that the objective is to reduce traffic jam, of course I would agree with the objective. But looking at reality, I would say that the policy is not effective at all.] And some do not understand the policies fully. [And while you definitely understand the policies fully on paper and in theory, I’m afraid you might not understand the ground, and how people are affected practically. Ah, but I don’t have the evidence to prove that. Sorry.]


Said Mr Lee: "In fact, if we test people's understanding of policies, I think even news workers and PAP MPs might not pass." [Oh, so you recruit top talents that might not even understand your policies?! Oh well, I guess you only need people to agree, whether they are journalists or MPs


Shall I just say that most people do not have a Ph.D in economics, public administration and whatnot and most people will not understand many things completely? But perhaps they do understand things sufficiently to raise question. They might be practically and adversely affected by policies the policies they might not understand and so have a right to criticize and ask for change.


Can Molly say that no PAP minister fully understands the complexity of her postmodern bimbotic blogging  and thus the PAP has  no right to respond to the comments she makes about it?


Or perhaps this is proof that despite the charade of “consultation” and REACH feedback, the government is still fundamentally sitting on the I-know-best chair. The government will not go wrong and if people disagree, it is only because they are ignorant.


Mind you, please remember to check if your chair has four solid legs.