Singapore is Doomed - A Brief yet Frank Discussion
It really sucks when you think about something for long enough and suddenly realized that your opinion on a topic was completely wrong all along. Yesterday I finished writing a node that was quite close to my heart - a long, general critique of Singaporean society. I started it with a very light-hearted tone, I mean, when the topics of discussion include aquatic mammals and enlarging mammaries, how could I have talked about it in a very serious manner? This node is kind of an originally unintended conclusion to that write up, you do not need to read it in order to understand this.
I was happy with the first two sections of that writeup, I felt that they were a good, interesting representation of certain aspects the society in question. It was the last section that I felt didn't have the same feel as the first two, I simply got political. Years of discussing politics with taxi drivers has finally gone to my head, and all that criticism that the taxi drivers and I had made suddenly came to the surface and poured out onto my keyboard. Suddenly I stopped criticizing the society, but blaming the government (and that was probably not a wise thing for me to do). The problems with the people are a result of the government - there is no-one else you could blame it on. It's been the same man and his friends and family at the top of the chain for 40 years.
That entire node was the culmination of an entire day's worth of typing and editing and retyping, and over the course of that day my true feelings about the future of this nation came to light. I didn't even discuss the meritocracy aspect as it applies to race - that topic is far too shady and way too political. Now I am just throwing out some more opinion, to shed some more light on the things which I don't want to talk about in enough detail or to put it in a node by itself.
Singapore seems to be doomed, the society has built itself up atop a flawed foundation. If you came here, talked to some of the locals, and took a good look around the spots the tourists don't go then you might see what I am talking about. All of the builders and the cleaners and the people who do all the things that nobody really wants to do are immigrants. Immigrants from Bangladesh generally, and they aint paid jack. That entire tier of the workforce has the option of getting up and going somewhere else the instant things start going to go downhill.
In so many countries I have been, the people you find behind the counter at McDonalds and Burger King and all the fast-food joints are usually very young. A lot of them are high-school kids who want to earn some money by working part time or during the holiday, not all of them - but in general they are still young even if they aren't studying. The opposite applies to Singapore, here those tasks are done by the elderly - the ones who would have retired if they had been able to earn any decent amount of money in their life. These 'aunties' and 'uncles' as we locals call them (okay, so I am not strictly a local) are found everywhere here - doing the jobs that would normally be done by the young, not the old! If it isn't the aunties then it is more immigrants.
Filial piety is a great thing, what makes more sense than taking care of your elderly parents after they had taken care of you for so long. Singapore isn't like that, Singapore can't have that. In Singapore there is no real pension, everyone is ruthlessly out for themselves, and taking care their parents take a back seat to their own success. It isn't like the propaganda that comes out of the local television productions, the families here aren't extended and happy - they are quick to forget about their roots. How could the average Singaporean afford to take care of them anyway? That's why the senior citizens have to get jobs working in fast food restaurants. Work, work, work until you die.
Singapore has been called a 'nanny state,' and there is no better example of than can be found by looking at the jobs that the immigrants are taking. They cook our food, they clean up after us, they even flush our toilets after us (Singaporeans are notorious for not flushing.) What would happen if they left Singapore? The entire society and it's economy and everything it has, would simply collapse. The majority of Chinese Singaporeans (who are the population majority), after years of being cleaned up after by the Malays and Bangladeshis, would never lower themselves to those menial tasks. They would have to though, it isn't like Singapore has got unemployment benefits.
Why then, aside from all this is it doomed? Singapore, after many years of being at the forefront of development and technology in Asia, as well as having the best port in the region, is going to get worse. Malaysia is building a port nearby that will take away a big portion of the naval traffic that comes to Singapore. Malaysia itself is becoming more powerful and developed, as is Bangladesh and most areas in the region. Singapore can't compete with China for low-wages so a lot of the big businesses have started to go to new, emerging markets instead of Singapore.
Why is this so hard for me? I guess because I always thought that Singapore would remain the land of milk and honey for all time. It was stupid of me to think that anything could possibly last like that. I have lived here all my life and I really don't want to have to leave. Unfortunately for me, at the end of this year, I have to. I'm going to Australia to do my tertiary studies in Brisbane. While I had always entertained ideas of coming back and working here, I am just starting to wonder if I ever should want to.
If you are going to press that downvote button, could you send me a /msg and let me know why?
(update: Put a lot of thought and effort into this. However, this is considered by some "noding for numbers" Thanks to those who let me know.)