Brandon Ngo

It used to be the case when we knew how to take responsibility. When I came home from school with a less than satisfactory grade on my test paper, I would be punished by my parents. I accepted it, because I knew that I was the reason why I failed, and I had to take the blame. The fact that other people could do well, while I could not meant that the problem lay with me.

However, Singaporeans, and many other people around the world seem to have forgotten what the word responsibility means.

When students fail their tests now, soft-hearted parents who listen to their child’s excuses go to school and complain that the exams are too hard. We see this every year with the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE). Yet, the top scores rise every year. From an observer’s point of view, I would say that the parents are sore and the PSLE is either getting easier or kids are getting smarter.

The same thing applies in Singapore today, where we seem to have forgotten that we are the only ones responsible for our future and that the government has never, and should never interfere in our future.

People point to income inequality as the fault of the government, and this is true to a certain extent. But often we get emotional and forget that at the root of the problem is us. We are expecting to be paid more than what the market is willing to pay for, and they end up blaming the government which often has little to do with the current market prices. Look in the mirror, and justify why you choose the cheaper brand whenever you shop, but companies cannot choose the cheaper and better worker.

When you work in the office and get paid $y a year, after many years, you only get $500 more, but inflation has made that almost worthless. Who do you blame? Most netizens point the finger at the government, but they should take a mirror out instead. As an employee, you are only producing $y worth of work a month. When your pay rises, it means that your work is valued more. A bonus is to reward you for your work. So if your pay doesn’t rise to meet inflation, it means that your value hasn’t risen as much as the value of other things which has risen. So take responsibility and acknowledge that your work has not grown in value over the years, and you will have to buck-up, work harder and smarter. Maybe then you will get your promotion and not complain over the cost of living.

People whine about foreign workers (FWs). They say that these FWs do not need to serve national service, go for reservist or feed a family here in Singapore. They say that FWs take their subsidies, then leave when they are about to retire. But that is not looking at the problem. You were educated under a world class education system and live in a society that is actually capitalist and meritocratic. Yet you lose to someone that had to grow up in a much tougher environment and you complain. Are you so lousy that two weeks of extra, partially compensated leave and CPF contributions (~13% more) make you less viable than a foreigner who probably doesn’t speak English as a native language? If he is equally qualified, then you should improve yourself.

Yes, the government can come in and regulate, set a minimum wage, but the problem remains the same. As of today, Singaporeans (by Singaporeans, I mean the people who hire these workers) feel that cleaners should be paid only $xxx a month, and that every dollar more spent on cleaning means less profits and subsequently less money for the office staff. Would you as an employee of the company, like to donate $100 of your pay so that the cleaner in your office gets paid $100 higher? If yes, then be my guest and donate it to him/her. But just because you are willing to do so doesn’t mean our co-workers are willing to do so. When the government sets a minimum wage and prices for basic services rise, that money will most likely come out of your bonus.

The opposition promise to restrict immigration. They say this is to wean companies off cheap labour. I fully support their stand. Companies need to learn how to do more with less in order to grow, and that means the quality of workers (us) should improve. But history has shown that we are lazier, dumber and more demanding than the foreigners. If we do not take responsibility and solve this problem, then restricting foreigners is not going to give you a job.

Reality is often colder, harsher and more cruel than the utopia that we imagine. I admit that there are many people out there that are so poor that they are literally penniless. The Singapore Democratic Party’s (SDP) website has taken pains to compile many sob stories for us. Go read and empathize with them. These are the people that the MPs and charity organizations try to help. If you are kind and have values, please donate your money to them. But don’t expect me to pay for the poor from my pocket (taxes). I want to choose how much and who to donate to (it helps so much better this way). I do not want a government to take my money and spend it inefficiently in helping the poor.

The government has never been a social institution. Those that tried have failed horribly (the US 14.66 trillion dollars, UK 23 billion pounds budget deficits). I work long and hard, but at least I am proud to say that I am worth my salary, not some artificial amount dictated by the government.

Vote for the government that gives you the most choices and the best opportunities, not for governments that waste your money on things that should never be compulsory, that is, charity, YOG.

———–

Headline picture from transitioning.org.

Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
You May Also Like

奥巴马:只有政府能裁定什么是真假,很危险

“在任何国家,如果唯有政府能裁定什么是真、什么不是,是很危险的。这是因为那些当权者会试图粉饰太平(want to look good),这是人的本性。但久而久之,权力制衡就被削减。” 近日美国前总统奥巴马受邀到访我国,在本月14日出席由Novena Global Lifecare举办的慈善晚宴对话会,以及昨日(16日),出席商业活动策划商The Growth Faculty举办的“与奥巴马一席谈”(In Conversation with President…

资媒局对《网络公民》抛重弹 要求众筹捐款者需实名

早前,资讯通信媒体发展局(IMDA)向警方投报本社英语版涉嫌刊载了含诽谤内容文章。不过,资媒局今早再对本社投下重磅弹,指出本社只能接受来自本地、且经验证的捐献来源,以维持运营。 这意味着,任何未附带个人信息的任何捐款,将被资媒局视为“未经认证的本地资源”,收到的捐款必须退回。 在资媒局所指的第2(d)条款中,如有理由相信捐款来自国外,《网络公民》需呈报有关捐款来源。但是有关条文并未指明,资媒局必须取得捐献者的全名和公民身份,即便所谓的“经验证本地资源”这一词,也未出现在捐献申请表格中。似乎资媒局随意订立条件。 设下比政党募捐还苛刻的条件 资媒局对本社设下的条件限制,甚至比政党还苛刻。如果大家可以参考以下政治捐献表格,大家会发现,有关人士只有捐款超过一万新元,才需要核实身份。 本社在之前曾被列为政治组织,我们其实只需要确保所接受的捐献,并非来自国外,只要捐款在五千以下,就无需申报。 但是在资媒局设定的要求下,似乎所有本社所接收到的民众捐献,捐献者都要提供身份证号,来证实这是本地资源。 在2015年的大选之前进行的两次募捐,我们成功募捐得六万新元,但当时资媒局也不曾立下所谓捐献者需实名的条件。 事实上,根据资媒局的消息,本地众多社会经济网站,只有The Independent Singapore、Middle Ground(已停业)和《网络公民》,受资媒局在广播(许可证类)通知下管制。…

【选举】曾参与救灾和难民援助 民主党推刘文平准候选人

在新加坡民主党推介准候选人短片中,刘文平呼吁民众加入党,一起为了社区、国家和人民寻方设法解决问题。 民主党党员刘文平是一名企业家,也是Relief 2.0(relief20.com)的联合创始人,曾和联合国各组织合作。 出生于大巴窑的他表示,在参与救灾和难民活动中,他了解到,每个人都有各自的想法和抱负。而他本身,喜欢和社区一起合作解决问题,“因为我相信社区能够为我们所面临的问题,提供解决方案”。 他指出,民主党是个会聆听各方声音的政党,“别说我‘bojio’(没约你),让我们一起站起来,一起寻策共渡难关吧”。

ComfortDelGro cab stuck on parapet of walkway of Jurong West carpark

One taxi from ComfortDelGro was seen to be stuck on a parapet of a…