I read about the homeless people (including families with children) sleeping rough in parks/beaches/24hr eateries, the disabled senior citizen who was denied aid because a friend gave him a small sum of money and the stagnant wages. And then I read about the intended GST increments, the water and electricity prices double hike followed by making teachers pay for parking in the schools at which they teach while the highly paid elected MPs (most of whom have other careers) are given the privilege of cheap parking nationwide. I can’t help but think that something has gone wrong in the system. Are we overly favouring the rich at the expense of the middle classes? It seems to be getting to a point where it is blatant.
The latest reports on Channel News Asia definitely lends credibility to my point because while the rich are getting richer, the middle classes are getting poorer. I am not against rich people. Not at all. What I find concerning is the widening gap between rich and poor. The world thinks of Singapore as a rich and prosperous country but yet, we have an entire colony of invisible people living on the streets in Sembawang Park. We spent multi-millions on the Trump-Kim Summit but by the same token denied an old blind man a few hundred dollars to get by.
The elected MPs being offered the privilege to park virtually island wide for $365 per annum while teachers have to may almost triple that without any MP even addressing this issue officially when it is raised is worrying. It is an example of a system that is geared towards making the rich richer while the middle classes poorer. It implies that this is so status quo that the powers be have not even officially addressed the issue or taken steps to redress it.
I appreciate that this status quo is not the doing of any individual. It is however systemic and getting worst.
The government does not have to come up with fancy new strategies to deal with this. All it has to do is to realise that it cannot keep paying itself inflated wages, increasing the cost of basic necessities and giving itself reduced pricing for things such as parking that the masses do not have. Because, yes, this does create a system whereby the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. You don’t need to be a genius to see this. It is an exercise in common sense.
The government bangs on about meritocracy but as I said before and will say again, you cannot have meritocracy if the playing field is so unequal, to begin with. Focus on equality first. Meritocracy will follow naturally.