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Can those in ivory towers empathise with the mediocre people who do not have $5000 a month job?

by Judy Tan

I remain puzzled and a little amazed that Han Fook Kwang of Straits Times can still have the cheek to defend controversial policies like the impending Goods & Service Tax hike and tampering of the Constitution to bulldoze Mdm Halimah Yacob in as "rightly firm" at a time when retrenchments and unemployment are at all time high and the "fabric of our nation" is severely polarised in many ways. It is an uttermost insult to many Malay, Indian and Eurasian forefathers who contributed equally to the development of this Country and left their mark for the descendants to be proud of! Cases in point: Mr E W Barker, President Yusof Ishak and Mr B Govindasamy Chettiar.

I would therefore, like to tell Mr Han that he need not be surprised of the often crude outpouring of disdain for the current 4G leaders in the streets, hawker centres or polyclinics as the demographics of their iron clad rule has changed for the worse since 2006, with the ascension of many unpopular ministers like Mrs Josephine Teo and K. Shanmugam. They only have themselves to blame for contributing to today's resentment but sadly, instead of reflecting on themselves, one ESM even lamments they are not being paid enough!

I believe the People's Action Party is not overly worried about this as the Opposition in Singapore remains fragmented and controlled, for none in their ranks will ever attempt a Lim Guan Eng who is willing to go to jail for his resident. We have seen the once fiery Mr Pritam Singh and Dr Chee much subdued and mellowed now that they have young growing children to attend to. The high salaries in the PAP ranks and fear of reprisal from their central executive committee have also reduced Dr Lily Neo, Louis Ng and Tan Chuan Jin to mere pawns in the eyes of the people. It is indeed alarming no one cares about a young child committing suicide when feeling overwhelmingly intimidated by Police nor the commanders in Army who do not follow protocols time and again, resulting in the needless death of youngsters who have a life ahead of them. How many more Benjamin Lim, Dave and Dominique Lee plus a Kok Yuen Chin do we need before we say enough is enough just because it did not happen to our own children?

Meet-the-People sessions (MPS) have become mundane routines which Members of Parliament tell residents there is nothing they can do when a case does not go through and instructs their kingpin grassroots to be the gatekeeper to such residents. Abuses of power goes unchecked, sometimes undeterred with so many of their buddies in Parliament, a point made by Mr Low Thia Khiang during the debate on 38 Oxley Road saga.

Legislative amendments are white elephants which no one follows or enforces and I was even told by grassroots leader at my MPS that I should not appeal the unfair dismissal when I turn 62 later this year and take things in my stride by finding another menial job. In my sixties being the Merdeka Generation, do I have a Chairmanship or Goverment-Linked Company job waiting for me out there when I am forced out of my current employment to make way for cheaper, better and faster Malaysian Foreign Talent waiting to take my place? I still feel the sting when my MP wrote to Social Service Office (SSO) and Eurasian Association in June when I had 2 months hospitalisation leave to assist me for my shortfall but both agencies rejected the appeal, stating I have sufficient even though my out of pocket expenses were high and I could only afford 1 meal day for the last week of July! However, SSO states in their "criteria" that anyone who earns $1800 or less can approach them for aid and I only make $1380 gross for a 6 day workweek with no Annual Wage Supplement.

With the topcats being in their ivory towers and dining on fresh fish flown from Japan, can they empathise with the mediocre people who do not have $5000 a month job? I guess the answer is easily comprehensible!