~ By David L K See ~
(1) How the Hong Kong government protected the interests of its own citizens
1.1 "HK overturns landmark ruling on foreign maids" (My Paper, 29 Mar 2012, page A2)
A landmark lower-court ruling that would have let foreign maids gain permanent residency in Hong Kong was overturned on appeal yesterday (by a three-member panel of High Court judges). Hong Kong is home to nearly 300,000 maids from mainly South-East Asian countries. Hong Kongers have raised fears that the case would result in a massive influx of maids' family members into Hong Kong.
[ NOTE: This news report also gave a detailed breakdown of the actual numbers of various nationalities living in HK as shown above]
1.2 "HK plans locals-only housing to tame property prices" (TODAY, 29 Mar 2012)
Mr Leung Chun-ying, leader-elect of Hong Kong yesterday said his government would lauch a pilot project to build middle-class housing for residents only, hoping to cool soaring property prices that have sparked a backlash against unlimited sales to overseas buyers.
(2) How the less-than-smart PAP government damaged the long-term future of
Singapore (The Nation) and Singaporeans (The People)
[NOTE: Several years ago, Singapore had already overtaken Hong Kong as the second most densely-populated place on Planet Earth.]
2.1 Over the past five years, driven by its misguided policy of "GDP growth at all costs" [more GDP growth = more GDP bonus for its million-dollar ministers], the PAP government has "opened the floodgates" and "bent backwards with overboard incentives" to welcome foreigners into Singapore.
In the process, it has exposed its incompetence at anticipating and addressing the following consequences:
(i) physical land constraints as an already crowded tiny island
(ii) over-crowded public transport system (jam-packed buses and trains; frequent MRT breakdowns)
(iii) acute competition for jobs (affecting both our less-educated job-seekers and even PMETs)
(iv) acute competition for places and scholarships at schools and universities.
(v) competition for homes – non-citizens allowed to buy (and speculate) HDB resale flats (for Permanent Residents) and private property (for Foreigners) leading to sky-rocketing home prices to the detriment of genuine young Singaporean home-buyers.
2.2 In short, the PAP government has shown "utter disrespect for" and has "let down" Singapore Voters by:
(a) dishing out "overboard incentives" (e.g. taxpayer-funded scholarships) and issuing citizenship papers to PRs and Foreigners too cheaply
(b) having the audacity to lecture Singaporeans on serving National Service "with commitment" and to "die defending Singapore if necessary" while the sons of PRs and Foreigners largely being able to avoid the committment
(c) adding insult to injury in its secretive refusal to "come clean" on (i.e. openly disclose) the actual numbers and breakdown of the nationalities of all our non-citizens – do Singapore Citizens (as hosts) not have the right to know the actual numbers of PRs and Foreigners living here as their guests?
(d) effectively sending Singapore Citizens these messages (as netizens aptly put it):
"YOU DIE, YOUR BUSINESS" and "JOBS FOR FOREIGNERS, NS FOR SINGAPOREANS"
2.3 The Writing is on the Wall though with a 'Super-Tsunami' wave of deep-seated and pent-up public anger which has resulted in voters demonstrating their lack of faith at the polls.
2011 General Elections – PAP vote share dropped to a pathetic 60%, the lowest since independence!
2011 Presidential Elections – a whopping 65% of voters did not vote for the PAP-nominated candidate!
2.4 Screaming headlines in the mainstream media such as the ones seen this morning's (5 Apr 2012) edition of TODAY – "Speak out but work together, says PM" & "PAP has to engage a lot more, says Tharman".
But disgusted and disillusioned Singapore Voters say, Talk Is Cheap. Politicians must walk the talk in order to earn the respect, trust and votes of the People. I wonder if the PAP government would care to provide its sincere and honest response to this simple fact: "Why bother to speak up when Singaporeans risk receiving 'lawyer's letters' if they say something that the PAP million-dollar ministers don't like to hear?"
The writer is a 64-year-old tertiary-educated Singapore Citizen who has completed full-time National Service
Headline photo courtesy of TimeOut Singapore