Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Nation without Nationhood.

Refer to what I have previously written about the betrayal of "The Forgotten Generation" in the comments section of Childhood Travels.

Also of my Emigration Essay which refers to my economic fears for a future in Singapore.

Goh Meng Seng speaks of the issue more eloquently than I can... (emphasis mine)

[ Full disclosure: Goh Meng Seng is an active member of the Workers' Party and has a vested interest in speaking out against and challenging the ruling party's policies for Singapore. ]


From the Young PAP Discussion Forum Forum. Goh Meng Seng writes of:

A Singapore without Singaporeans, A Nation without Nationhood. That's where we are heading to.

There are people who commented that Singapore is just a "Merchant City and a Hotel" to them. They are in their twenties but they are already planning their exits, migrating to somewhere more comfortable to live in.

They are not entirely "wrong" to think this way. Look at it this way, when you start to see those in the forties, losing jobs and not able to get employed with a decent wage, would you worry for yourself? Worst of all, the govt is seeking to raise the retirement age when it is obvious that those in their forties find it hard to get a job!

It is apparent that for those who have been caught by the "Asset Enhancement Scheme", they will not have enough money for retirement! And all PAP thinks about is whether this group of people would burden their coffers! That's how medisave come about.

Those in their forties and planning for retirement will have no choice but to cash out and retire somewhere. They must face the reality that they have come to the end of their productive life and the state is not going to take care of them. For all the myths they have believed so dearly, democratic socialism or asset enhancement, they have been disillusioned and there isn't going to be enough money for them to retire in Singapore. There will be no farewell party for them when they leave. It would be "good" if they no longer pose a "financial burden" to the govt anymore!

For the twenties they saw what happen to the forties. They will also plan their exit and realize that they would only be "useful" when they are at their peak of productive life cycle. It is no wonder the PAP is beginning to woo at them nowadays. But there are still many migrated out. So the FT policy is in place to fill up the holes left behind. But these FTs may just remain forever Foreign.

When a nation is filled with people, both young and middle aged, thinking about migrating out of the country all the time, there isn't an existence of a Nation in essence anymore. Singapore is just a temporary refuge to their being. And there is no doubt what will happen to these people if there is to be an eminent threat to Singapore as Nation.

Nationhood has not been firmly forged for the past 39 years of nation building. Those national day parades that we have had for the past have lost its appeals when the reality of PAP govt policies set in.

Goh Meng Seng

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this forum are the views of the individual writer only, and in no way represent the Views and expressed Opinions of the Workers Party or any other Organization.


He further elaborates on this point in Sammyboy's Alfresco Coffee Shop:

You are suggesting that we are fast becoming a Nation without Nationhood, a Singapore without Singaporeans in every essence. It is not a wrong observation which I have to agree; in spiritual or psychological sense, when the Nation's citizens are only thinking about migrating somewhere else and treating their citizenship as "temporary refuge", there isn't a Nation in existence in essence.

After doing a careful study on our CPF and retirement fundings, I cannot help to feel that it is only "natural" for people to want to migrate when their productive life "expired". It is a big irony for PAP govt to suggest to raise the retirement age when people in their 40s could not even find a job! PAP govt is overly too "functional" in their approach and they have lost the crucial touch on the ground. They don't want to be burdened by the aging population and thus, the only way out is to ask Singaporeans' to extend their retirement! They wouldn't even care if you migrated out of Singapore when you are over 45 years old! That's all the better for them!

And in essence, you are right. With such attitude from such govt, it is only right for the citizens to take this place simply as a "hotel". PAP is only worried about young people like yourself to be migrating out. That is why there is an interesting shift in PAP's approach lately, to "appeal" to the young. It is not only about political votes but simply because you are still at the productive life cycle.

And I cannot blame you to think in such a way simply because you are just learning from what you see from those who are being discarded when they reach 45 years old.

The hope is always there, it is a matter of whether you want to give it up or not. No matter how small the hope is, it is only right for us to groom and make it grow. Even if there is no hope, it is up to us to create one for ourselves.

As I always remember the jabbing that I get which has spurred me to take my stand politically, it is up to you to make your stand.

"Why would you support the opposition that have no working faculties at all?"

For a person like you, you may just agree and keep quiet, working towards migrating out without seeing any hope in the whole picture. For a person like me, forever a fighter, will take it as true but choose to join the opposition forces and make it happen. Same scenerio will breed two different reactions. You say this city is just a merchant city, merely a hotel; but that's not entirely true. There are people like me, who are willing to be the suckers to sarcrifice time and money just to fight for something that seems so remotely possible.

In short, it is all up in the mind, your mind and mine.

Goh Meng Seng


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You bloggers are all the same - full of bullshit crapping all over the net.

You should be out there in the real world, feeeding kids, paying rent, paying fines to the CPF for not earning enough money to top up my own medisave account! etc etc

Start living man and stop all that on-line jerking around!

May 05, 2005 1:53 PM  

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