Thursday, 31 October 2013

Of Swiss and sampans

Wow! When I saw my Facebook newsfeed exploding with pictures of sampans, I was wondering what on earth could have sparked off these series of memes.

Sampan 2.030, as seen on the Fabrications by Antonii Facebook page.

As it turned out, our Supreme Leeder has put his foot into his mouth yet again (see previous examples here and here)! Comparing Singapore to a sampan! Clearly, he has forgotten his predecessor's promise to give Singaporeans a "Swiss standard of living", never mind that most of Singapore has never been to Switzerland - the promise is thus effectively so vague that he must have thought himself capable of getting away with not making good on it.

I remember a similar 'promise' (more of an exhortation, in hindsight) made by my Mum back in my formative years. Study hard, become a doctor, earn lots of money and have a good life. 

"We will provide you what you need to achieve good results. Just study hard, and everything will happen smoothly for you."

Of course, she didn't use those exact words, but I got her message loud and clear. Until I saw for myself that she was hopelessly out of touch (she has been a housewife since before I was born) with reality, and didn't have much information to gain useful perspective on her 'strategy' for my life.

Now, my mum probably has average intelligence and at best average education ('O' levels, average for her time, I guess?). Her only sources of information are similarly-misinformed relatives and mainstream media news sources.

Therefore, I cannot blame her for being misguided when I was too young to correct her. In any case, the only people to suffer the consequences are her three kids.

But I really expected more from the world's highest-paid politicians. I did not expect a literal Swiss Standard of Living for everyone. But I did expect that more effort be taken to prevent people from being left behind so drastically. I expected Singaporeans to be first, and that NS to be a worthy cause because we would be defending Singapore and Singaporeans, rather than foreigners or newly-minted citizens gaining the coveted red passport while skilfully avoiding the minefield of sacrifices which the born-and-bred have had to suffer. I expected our aged to enjoy their golden years, regardless of income levels.

Quite an accurate depiction of the reality... Picture from EDMW.

So if you are telling me that now because the dynamic has changed, that we will always need to have spurs stuck in our hides, that someone will always be looking to steal our lunch, I say: "I quit".
After the recent elections fiascoes and Population White Paper furore, I see instead of foreign nationals cleaning our tables at hawker centres, elderly Singaporeans doing so. I am happy that these seniors get a source of income, if they really need it. I am happy that seniors who would rather be cleaning tables than sitting at home twiddling their thumbs, have these jobs (yes there will be such old folks - bless their souls).

But I do NOT want to see the situation where the pioneers who built this nation and raised the current pillars of society being forgotten and left behind. If you and your cadre can pay yourselves multi-million dollar salaries and pensions, and blow millions of dollars on expensive wayang, then I say you guys have lost the plot completely.

Before anyone attacks me for complaining without taking action, do note that I am unemployed (not sitting in parliament with million-dollar salaries) and have no means to help. FWIW, I usually manage to clear my own tray if those old table-wipers aren't looking, or quite far away, but they seem to want to avoid that, be it out of sheer industriousness/enthusiasm, or fear for their jobs. That doesn't speak well for the Clear-Your-Own-Tray campaign but that's a minor issue for another day.

Sampan 2.0? Bitch, please.

Hsien Loong ah, I drove this for a tiny fraction of your salary... I know you really 'drive' a 'mega-yacht' for the ultra-wealthy, rather than a sampan. You must do better.

- S


  1. Whatever sampan version, it is still a sampan and yet he is loading the small sampan with a big 6.9m population, can someone get his sister to check his brain?
    If Singapore has downgraded from cruise ship to sampan, why his pay is still as big as a cruise ship?

  2. The analogy from LHL is not far from truth. He, on one hand, will tell the people that they are still a sampan, so that they have to work hard and harder. On the other hand, in the face of foreign media and investors, he will show off his Casino state-of-the-art Cruise ship.
    It is not wrong. It is just business.
    When and how do you talk to your Minions? Tell them there is a boogie man in the closet while he is actually the boogieman himself.
    Wake up people. Time for a better and more compassionate leadership in Singapore. It is not always just about making more and more money. People are living things with soul and feelings. If you are fooled once, ok. Fooled twice, still ok. Fooled for the last 15 years? OMG, you have to blame yourself.

  3. That Clown Prince joker is simply making a fool out of himself again. Is he not effectively saying Singapore under his leedership has gone from bad to worse while at the same time demanding greedily for himself & his untalented team mates "skyhigh out of this world" wages that does not commensurate with the stewardship of a sampan, whatever updated version it may be ?

    Is he also not at the same time giving his mentors a slap in their faces because the current Govt can nowhere achieve the promised Swiss standard of life for the people. Hopefully he will repeat himself just before the next General Election, then each voter can ask what is the use of voting for PAP if we are going back to the "sampan" days for the masses, while only a selected few sanctioned by his father enjoy the exclusive luxuries of a cruise liner all to themselves?