Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Future of Singapore

When I read the Straits Times article (dated 24 Sep) on PM Lee calling the young to be committed and make a difference to Singapore, I have so much thought about the issue.

I am 35 years old, graduated from University and gainfully employed in a multinational company. But I cannot help but feel insecure over the future of Singapore. Lets face it, it’s not uncommon to hear, “when you are above 40, you are over the hill”. The government has been stressing on re-training, skills upgrading and re-adapt. The fact is, no matter how well qualified or adaptable one is, once you hit the magical 40, employers will say, “you are simply too old”.

We have been focusing our resources and problem solving on low unskilled labour. But in reality, our managerial positions and skilled labour force are actually fast losing its competitiveness. I travel around the region frequently for the past 10 years. It didn’t take me long to realise how far our neighbours have come over the past decade. They have quality skilled workers, and are less expensive. When I work with them, their analytical skills are equally good, if not better than us.

It’s not new anymore. Taxi drivers are fast becoming “too early to retire, too old to work” segment of the society. I like to talk to taxi drivers whenever I am heading for the airport. There was this driver. Eloquent and well read. He was an export manager for 12 years with an MNC. Retrenched at 40 years old. He had been searching for a job since his retrenchment. Although he was willing to lower his pay expectations, employers were not willing to lower their prejudice. He was deem too old. I wouldn’t be surprised if we have another No. 1; having the most highly educated taxi drivers in the world.

On PM Lee calling the young to be committed and make a difference. Look around us. How dedicated can we be to Singapore when we can visualise what’s in store for us after we turned 40? Then again, how committed are employers to us? But we can’t blame them. They have bottom lines & shareholders’ gain to answer to. Onus is really on the government to revamp the society. A society that is not a pressure cooker. A society that does not mirror so perfectly, what survival of the fittest is. But a society, where it’s people can be committed, do their best and not having to fear whether they will still wake up employed tomorrow. Sadly, Singapore does not offer such luxuries and security anymore.

On the issue of babies. The government encourage us to pro-create. The next generation is essential in sustaining our competitive edge. Then again, the current market condition is such that our future has become uncertain. There is no more joy in having babies anymore; they have become more of a liability. It’s really a chicken and egg issue.

Many of my peers, bright and well educated have packed up and left. It’s what MM Goh called “quitters”. It’s sad but true, Singapore no longer is a place where one can hope to work hard their lives and retire graciously. It’s really the push factor. A future is something we sweat it out, build and call our own. Unfortunately, people like me, mid 30’s going on 40’s, staying put by choice or otherwise, we can’t help but feel what lies ahead is really a gamble.

To PM Lee and the Ministers, we are on a different platform. Until you truly understand our insecurity, the future of Singapore to me remains a question mark.


Anonymous Richard Sim said...

Good article. keep it up

4:10 PM  
Anonymous KC said...

True to every word. I am in my 40s, and I experienced the same sentiment in the job market.

6:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that was a great blog!!
kinda make mi worry abt my future...

5:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Woah, impressed man. Actually I was looking for some juicy gossip about the trivial personas. ;-P

Honestly, you echo my sentiments, It's true. Those that got their fate in their hands are self-employed ones.

Yes, keep it up!

5:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well written! You know what, I share the same sentiment, except that I do not pen my thoughts down.....

This is especially true to the reality, if not cruelty of this world. Despite the tripartite guidelines on non-discriminatory recruitment, if we look around us, the fact speaks for itself.......

At the end of the day, the ones that suffer the most are those from the middle class as well as those that are heading for their sunset... 40s & abo

5:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great, welcome to the real world.... It's creepy but real that Singapore's future is so uncertain and bleak. Definitely something needs to be done for the future of Singapore and our next generation.

5:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep it up..man..You say it all...U hit the G spot of our life in Singapore.. Excellent writeout.. Should bring it up to our Government Feedback Section to tell them how hard our life is in S'pore if you reach 40....sigh..

6:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey!!! You write VERY WELL, but i´m surprised reading it, I didn´t know it´s so difficult for you to work here when you are 40… In Europe to be in your 40´s mean to be in the perfect age… for business, for teaching, for EVERYTHING… also 50´s coz your experience!!!
Well… you can always have the possibility of moving, right? Although I don´t think a company would tell you to leave if you are doing good. AND YOU LOVE YOUR COUNTRY, YES??? So… fight for being the best in your company and you´ll have the support of all your bosses.

You are a good writer…
(from Spain)

9:34 AM  
Blogger leetahsar said...

our bo liao gov cares for their own deep pockets lah...
if sinkies can't make the money for them...then it would be the FTs lor...no problem what
whoever makes money for them...will be their pets....
what to do..this is sinkietown...soon to be sunk...:(

12:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good write up!!! If we have more of u, we can still save this nation.
SM GOH who branded "QUITTERS" must be shooting at his own arse now. Those FTS whom we import in bulks, are equally branded as "QUITTERS" in their own country. So is Spore a nation of FOREIGN QUITTERS???

1:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is a pro-biz government.
No use blaming them when voters
did not sent the right signals.

The ppl deserve the government.

1:22 PM  
Blogger The Quiet Stone said...

Nice one. Also echoing my same feelings & sentiments. Keep it up.

1:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sad that this country had regress so much?
While we worry about the bleak and uncertain future beholding us, we open our arms to welcome so called FT talent/foreigners to seek greener pasture here!
God damn!
What a revelation!

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not only are babies a liability, but any thinking parent would be concerned about putting their kids through the same shitty system and let them suffer the same fate in the future.

The pink IC isn't worth much anymore. It's sad. It didn't have to be that way. Many people are voting with their feet. The government is only too pleased when it happens - more cheap foreign workers can be imported as replacements. Notice employment stats use the term 'residents' instead of 'citizens', and 'residents' includes the PRs and even certain categories of work visa holders. Simply amazing.

2:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am just over 50. I lost my job arround 50. There is no job available for the last few years searching despite my extensive experience/qualification. Some recruiters even told me I should retire and asked why should I bother to find a job. When I was around 30/40, I was always headhunted for well-paid jobs. But, now there is hardly any call from headhunters. Most companies do not respond to your write-in for job. It seems my skill/experience was highly sought in past years whereas it has suddenly become useless in recent years. Why? If you are still in your 30s or 40s, plan for your future NOW! It may be too late when you are at 50s. Migrating to Europe may be an option according to our friend in spain. Cheers

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That happen when you have 140 reporting news here?
Truly Global city of residents not citizens?

2:26 PM  
Anonymous duracell said...

Good blog. And the implication of this trend is not lost on the young. Already we are seeing rising trends where people just want to make their pot of gold as fast as possible, and by any means necessary. The hit and run mentality, no more morals and ethics. This country treats its people like batteries with short lifespan. Use em, squeeze em and chuck em!

2:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


3:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are many things that you can lament in Singapore about. The fact remains there is nothing much the government can do to stem the competitive tide from cheaper countries. Although their electioneering good sense always made sure that they present themselves as saviours during elections.

However, there is always an equilibrium point in everything. Engineers and Managers in Shanghai and Mumbai are fast catching up with salaries in Singapore. For the past few years, i have noted pay stagnation for a number of people around me. If we are only marginally more expensive than China/India, we will still stand a chance.

Please visit my blog for my other thoughts on matters of interests to Singaporeans. http://urbanrant.blogspot.com

6:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WEll Said. I do understand how you feel about singapore. We are just a small peanut in this small island, so noone will care about us. The bigshot only focus on do they have their income monthly. Ha ha big money what. Up grade for what? At the end on the day, we still need to fork out more money for the school fee that don't allow us to have a chance to use in the real world.

7:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Derek, you are spot on ! When I went to watch Singapore play China at the National Stadium last month, as the Singapore Anthem was being played I couldn't bring myself to stand up - my patriotism is no more ! Sigh, too poor to be a 'quitter'...

7:57 PM  
Anonymous casper said...

The EU/UK has just passed the age discrimination act and Singapore may wish to take a look at the legislation and see if it will be to the benefit of singaporean to implement them at singapore also.

The 40+ are you are in trouble problem existed in UK also and I had known senior managers who were made redundant at 40 and still unemployed after 1 year.

10:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is my 2 cents worth of comments:
Tomorrow is unknown but still we must not be defeated

11:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An honest view which is real to Singapore today.

9:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm 32 but had witnessed the magic 40 phenomenon early in my working life in an MNC in Singapore. Now a quitter working in Canada for the same MNC, I find workers retiring here at the legal retirement age of 65. If the same MNC has to cut cost, with rules that prevent age discriminate in countries like Canada, UK, US, EU, whose heads do you think will come under the axe?....Quitter

9:39 AM  
Blogger BenTalk (秋風) said...

Really no future. Even govt retrench the old people who serves them for life.

No future now, In future it will be worse.

1:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

good one,i'm 19 and already worrying over career prospects in sg.

2:18 PM  
Anonymous Denys said...

I'm writting from France, we have the same problem over 40 it's getting difficult, over 50 simply impossible...guess what ? I'm 53 years old. Don't think that if you come to Europe you still have a profesional futur (seems to be different in Spain !!! I'm quite surprised about this, I don't really belive this optimistic writter.
We can change this situation, when luckily we are living in a democratic country; people should think more before to vote...a bit late for me, just hope that the generation of my 2 childreen will be less stupid than my own generation !

Denys from St Brice

11:29 PM  
Anonymous Pierre Valpierre, Paris,France. said...

Just one thing: That guy from Spain is absolutly wrong when he is saying that in Europe companies like people over 50 because of their experience.The truth is that when they can fire them they always do it, they even prefer to pay them to leave the company.Competition being so hard,employers prefer to pay 3 or 4 time less a young guy without experience, but plenty of good will to learn.
And what the hell "love of the country" has to do with this matter ? does he means that if you love your country one have to accept to be thrown away like a used kleenex ? strange in XXI st century...

11:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good article. Sadly our government fails to see this or in style of our current PM act blur and hope the problem goes away. After all they did get an overwhelming mandate of 66.6% in the last election to carry on with their policies (ie continue to bring in more of the so called FTs). But take heart the more FTs around, the greater the need for more talented local Taxi drives.

I also working in an MNC and approaching 40. Quite a number of our local middle managers got the axe in a recent cost cutting exercise. I love this country but unfortunately reality has caught up and I have no choice but to make alternative plans (ie seeking PR in another country). So unless you intend to be a Taxi driver suggest you make alternative plans as well.

1:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So True. I think the government needs to review the current manpower and economics policies. Are we pushing our citizens to the wall ?
Look around, a person in the 40s, or late 30s is considered too old for new employment. On the other hand, they would be the first to be axed in any retrenchment exercise.

11:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm born here and will always be a singaporean. It is the system that must change to work for her citizens. The media censorship and our fear to speak up is not helping us.

People power is the only way, we can't let the elite fews dictate our lives. Ever ask why must we listen to them? They ask you to eat shit, you also eat?

First, lets overcome our fear to speak up. Take a simple first step. Lets wear RED T-shirt on Friday, because thats the usual dress down day for most companies.

We can't go on like this, it is time to wake up.

1:16 PM  
Blogger nofearSingapore said...

Hi Derek,
Ageism is the next battlefront after sexism/racism etc.
Discrimination based on age has to go!
However, we are told that that is the reality of globalisation!
The older worker is said to have higher expectations ( more dependents) and that his mind is less nimble and he is not hip enough for the new economy.
First, when we have the chance to be in position of selecting empoyees, give every applicant ae equal chance ( & not throw older applicant's papers down the bin);
Second, older applicants must be wiling to start with lower expectations ( companies have bottom lines too)
Three, try to influence the govt to legislate anti-agism laws for employers.
FYI, my employees are all above 50 years old and they are young at heart!


6:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm 35yr old too and i have this worry too. Recently, my company had started to employ M-O-R-E foreign 'talents'.

It is quite frightening to see so many foreign workers within a year.

Makes you feel insecure of your ricebowl.

10:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let face reality,
the PM and majority of MP in government sector and even LKY are disconnected with reality. The election has clearly show that they don't even know what blogging is and even know the suffering of the ppl. But they continue to invest million in it, making us think that they are walk the talk. But, the way PM speak show that these leaders simply talk the talk but do not walk the talk. Most of the thing done later is mostly reactive rather than proactive.

Yes, ppl who leave are quitters so they said. But let's not forget, it take a lot courage to quit the country and venture into new territory to pursue their own life and dream. Can anyone do that ???? Nope, most of singaporean are basically "chicken" in facing reality and accept thing as they are.

Singaporean either complain too much about this and that, but then do nothing else to change that. Gov know this behaviour and therefore, will wayang to do something but actually doing nothing really important in the end.

We are getting very expensive to live in and be employed because this PM keep stressing economic growth, which result in things getting expensive.
The PM put social and other issues aside and just pretend to attend them.

This is bullshit. Everyone knows this. The PM basically do not know how to handle this new economy and yet act and talk like expert.

The reason that gov privatised everything is because they don't want to public to depend on gov in the end. And what's more, doing business with public to get their money rather as gov's role to help the ppl.

I can't help that the situation of Thailand is exactly the same as Singapore.

10:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said! Although I am only 22, I feel that this uncertain future is still very real to me. It would be my turn sooner or later. There is only so much retraining can do. Perhaps there is a need for laws to better protest older workers against being retrenched due to ageism and not because they are unproductive.

Some other thoughts that went though my head was with regards to them asking us to stay and telling us that we have opportunities to change things. This is just wayang! People who follow the news would realise that they have a great distaste for people with opposing point of views that do not confer which their world view. The political arena is a very good example. If any of us think that a 2 party system of checks and balances is better for singapore in the long run and we carry out actions to realise this idea, do you think PAP will be happy with this idea and not try to clamp us down? Hiaz.....

11:18 PM  
Anonymous NATT said...

Well said. Same sentiments here.

Mid 20s and in banking. Look at the banking industry. All the locals are doing the back office and processing type of jobs. The funky front office roles are all going to "FTs". It's common to find a bank with 1 local among the FTs in the front office and all locals doing the back end stuff.

Where is the value add of FTs to our economy? 1 FT will hire another FT, not a local. So dream on, policy makers.

AND.. having 10 easily replaced back office local staff because 1 front office FT is hired is not what we should be heading towards.. We should be nurturing our own local talents such that you see majority of the locals in value-adding front office jobs and FTs doing the low value jobs for us!

A good life for this generation is not defined by the well established "graduate->find job-> buy car-> get married -> buy hdb ->burdened with huge loans -> have babies -> mad race to put kids through studies and eca -> uncertainty in jobs -> being told that competitiveness IS of lower pay". ( By the way, competitiveness is never about pay, especially when the local population is so small so I don't want to hear MPs talking about cutting costs on TV anymore!)

We want more in life.. more alternatives to living....Want to be more than a rat in a race that's controlled by a few


1:44 AM  
Anonymous hmmm said...

You reap what you sow ! Guess PAP will only 'get it' when they are voted out next erection

8:01 AM  
Anonymous Kinte said...

Well said !!

Your "fear" and concerns are not unfound but are real.......

Of course, our government can't do much but to censure these "negative" concerns.

However, ask yourself a simple question, why do our forefathers leave their countries to call Singapore home ? In our forefather home country, I believe, their government said the same thing - to be committed and make a difference. These politicians say things in their flavour to retain their stronghold . . . . . .

So, what are you or we going to do to make the difference ? This is the question.

10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sinkees are mere commodities exploited by their employers and their gahmen

11:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The profit driven obligation of companies will never fit the social responsibilities a government elected by it's people should uphold.

Simple economics, hire staff at age 24 (for men). When they reach 30, promote the top 10% to management, cut the rest.

Save costs all the way. When management gets too old i.e. 40 years old, and payrises are "unsustainable", retrench them and bring in new blood.

If Singaporeans are expensive, hire foreign talent. No big deal. The wheels of profit keeps churning. If Singapore is too expensive, uproot to another country.

As a result, employees have to work doubly hard to stay gainfully employed. Need to take time off when your child is ill? Too bad. Nurturing your child? Where is the time? Quality time? Nah.

All this to reduce the probabilty of retrenchment at age 40.

Imagine a typical Singapore male, 18 days of annual leave, PLUS one month of in-camp training. Why not hire a foreigner man? Less disruption to work, and managers don't have to waste time applying for deferrment to get rejected at the last minute.

I'm going to find out how to get my taxi driver vocational license man.

2:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After a few more good years, our salary would be on par with FT, so by then locals can have their jobs back ... ha ha ha.

We would then be same status of the bangala, india or china man of today.

6:41 PM  
Anonymous kelvin said...

I admire your writing skills, your insight and analysis on the problems Singapore is facing. I have never seen something similar among my peers. For sure i am not able to write something like this.

Having said that, there is no need for you to worry about Singapore's future. The problems in Hong Kong are even worse. Singapore has replaced Hong Kong to become the hub in Asia. Worse still, Hong Kong is importing 150 useless and worthless people from Mainland Chinese into Hong Kong, who contribue nothing to Hong Kong but yet taking up our social welfare.

As an outsider, I feel that Singapore is a much better place than Hong Kong. Don't worry.


10:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are so many things to talk abt the future of singapore. Those who cannot make it should consider themselves other choices such as migrating to other countries

2:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is real sad to note that singapore is just a little red dot.

2:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great insight from a wide perspective!
My friends who went abroad to study never came back. Those who came back did it for the sake of their families.
Finally my 1 & only sister told my mother and myself that she's staying in Australia for good. She has only been there for a year to study and she has been so firm to decide to stay there.
Anyway, it's normal to see such an article being rejected on the papers. Because the truth is too hot to handle for you know who.

9:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well the truth hurts...

1:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What had happened to those bio-medical or biotech graduates? Read from papers that many have become property agent, taxi driver, etc and not joined the research hub. I thought we have only the ageing problem. I have advised my nice to study bio-med...oh...hope it is not my mistake!

5:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's why the ppl are so fed up with gov. Fed up not because gov is not capable, but fed up that the gov still think they are the best gov and does not need opp party for advise, and continue to rule by fear, uncertainty and doubt(FUD). It might work in the past since ppl in the past are very ignorance of what going on, but now with internet, everyone finally realized that what LKY do, is mostly for himself than for Singaporean. Last time, is for Singaporean, but now, in the new generation, it is obviously he here to protect his legacy, empire and family. Singapore does not belong to LKY but to all Singaporean, but the way he rules seem to be Singapore belong to him. He change rule as he please just like underwear.

The gov from last election let me realize one thing clearly, and ppl should realize by now.

Majority enjoy into politics now not because to make better society, but to become the elite that protected by in-transparent system that will bestow great wealth and status to these ppl.

the oldman, LKY, is no longer the once respected wise man as it seem. The internet with valuable info that never get published on newspaper finally expose him and his so-called empire.

It's a big pity that someone talented and wise like LKY can land in such a state. The reason because now ppl can think and know what right and wrong. The pressure and reality of society really will wake up the public to fend for themselves rather than give in to gov that is seem less competent and capable to handle the new economy and society.

China, india and third world country is catching up, so what singapore gov is doing ???

Basically wayang here and wayang there, and telling us that we need vibrant city here and there, and upgrading here, and there ....blah and blah ??? But is this the solution to competitiveness ?????

Instead of sincerely and committed to promoted creativity and innovation that is needed to compete against other countries, the gov still insisted on grooming white collar worker and commodities with increasingly lower salary and job instability ???? And while gov elite still get higher and in-transparent pay ??/

If gov think that FT is good, than why not have some in paliament ? Perhaps these FT will teach the gov how to be innovative and creative ???

Obviously, gov is protected by the own system suga suga changed by LKY to suit his desire, with no protectionism to the public.

Until the gov come clean and sincere and stop wayanging that they are the best elite, they can stop about earning the respect of the public. In the past the PAP has earn great respect of the ppl, but now in this blink society and globalization, the incompetency of the PAP has erode their reputation.

Moreover, why gov still changing rule quietly to increase fine when ppl make mistake when driving car and forget to signal ??? Do you called this tolerant of mistake ???
So this obviously promoting a risk-adverse culture, and gov still act blurt ??

PAP = PayAndPay
PAP = PushAndPush (policy)
PAP = PunishAndPunish (through increasingly heavy monetary fine)

And ppl stop telling us that there is nothing that gov can do something about globalization and society issue. If so, why are the gov paying so much money to themselves ??? To wayang solution ??

Yes, PAP has to come clean, and I will respect and be loyal to country. But if continue to wayang, sooner or later, it will become like thailand where ppl are fedup. (Ever wonder why LKY though army will overthrow gov recently ???)

9:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so better to get out early.
Quitters? No !
Just trying to survive.

9:38 PM  
Anonymous PF said...

I can't help but feel that you're describing my life; a MBA holder who was retrenched and driving a taxi for a living. I was 46 when it happened and that was in 2000.

Future in Spore? I should have taken my friends' advices to leave for greener pasture yrs ago.

9:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, i'm 23 and living in australia. I belong to one of the families that's soo often being labelled as 'quiters'. But really, we see no future living in singapore and seriously, what future? Look at the youths these days, either spolit or doesn't have a brain to think for themselves...only know how to have fun. As u have pointed out, because of the discrimination against older people and the lack of security. Who would want to contiune to live in singapore. I mean even through i'm young but everytime i come back to singapore for holiday, all i see is a bleak future even when i was in secondary school as well as doing my NS. Well i'm just waiting for the day where the 'future' takes over the government cause i wanna see what happens then.

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

23 years old ??
Well still have much future.
But for me and most other at 30++ ppl. We are already facing midlife crisis.

We know for sure that at 40 years old, we be axed for sure. The axe is actually instigated by the gov, who keep telling us to upgrade this and that to be more competitive. But is this the right solution ???

Training and retraining with future cost of training bear by the employee not by employer anymore.

So what did the gov do ???
I don't know what the f#@$ they do. They control the printed media to highlight good news that tomorrow will be better. I'm sure they mean better for those MP and Lee's family but not us, who are commoner are running rat-race generating revenue for these no long competent gov headsman, and in no time, get expired and left to dying. While the Lee's old guards and family continue until going to heaven even though they are not capable to handle new economy.

I don't even think I will be able to repay my mortage loan.Perhaps next gen will pay.

The housing is getting expensive and we have no choice because there is no rural area like Australia.

No ppl in Singapore willing to standout for MP or even the oldman now because we no longer has any pride, especially it is so obvious that these gov figure are just doing thing to keep their post and status rather than genuine concern for the ppl.

Have u seen MP hip-hop ??? These MP are expensive clowns. What are they trying to prove ?? Prove that they are clowns ??

Everything is secondary until the gov is significantly changed. All these "wayanging" of connecting with the ppl are so superficial and useless, that if they are in other countries, they probably get hacked by the local and never heard again.

It is Lee's fortune that ppl are so obedient and honest, and sort of naive.

The greatest wayang king is not a layman but one who rule the country.

9:51 PM  
Anonymous chenghuwului said...

You might be interested in reading the response to your commentary from an RJC student. She has the "perfect" pedigree: student from the gifted program, topped O-levels in Singapore in 2004, PM's Book Prize winner, her dad is an MP ... the list goes on. Yes, she would be someone who is expected to join the top echelons of the civil service and possibly get co-opted into politics to run the country some day. And this is what she has to say about your article:


Thursday, October 19, 2006

mom's friend sent her some blog post by some bleeding stupid 40-year old singaporean called derek wee (WHY do all the idiots have my surname why?!) whining about how singapore is such an insecure place, how old ppl (ie, 40 and above) fear for their jobs, how the pool of foreign "talent" (dismissively chucked between inverted commas) is really a tsunami that will consume us all (no actually he didn't say that, he probably said Fouren Talern Bery Bad.), how the reason why no one wants kids is that they're a liability in this world of fragile ricebowls, how the government really needs to save us from inevitable doom but they aren't because they are stick-shoved-up-ass elites who have no idea how the world works, yadayadayadayada.

i am inclined - too much, perhaps - to dismiss such people as crackpots. stupid crackpots. the sadder class. too often singaporeans - both the neighborhood poor and the red-taloned socialites - kid themselves into believing that our society, like most others, is compartmentalized by breeding. ridiculous. we are a tyranny of the capable and the clever, and the only other class is the complement.

sad derek attracted more than 50 comments praising him for his poignant views, joining him in a chorus of complaints that climax at the accusation of lack of press freedom because his all-too-true views had been rejected by the straits times forum. while i tend to gripe about how we only have one functioning newspaper too, i think the main reason for its lack of publication was that his incensed diatribe was written in pathetic little scraps that passed off as sentences, with poor spelling and no grammar.

derek, derek, derek darling, how can you expect to have an iron ricebowl or a solid future if you cannot spell?

if you're not good enough, life will kick you in the balls. that's just how things go. there's no point in lambasting the government for making our society one that is, i quote, "far too survival of fittest". it's the same everywhere. yes discrimination exists, and it is sad, but most of the time if people would prefer hiring other people over you, it's because they're better. it's so sad when people like old derek lament the kind of world that singapore will be if we make it so uncertain. go be friggin communist, if uncertainty of success offends you so much - you will certainly be poor and miserable. unless you are an arm-twisting commie bully, which, given your whiny middle-class undereducated penchant, i doubt.

then again, it's easy for me to say. my future isn't certain but i guess right now it's a lot brighter than most people's. derek will read this and brand me as an 18-year old elite, one of the sinners who will inherit the country and run his stock to the gutter. go ahead. the world is about winners and losers. it's only sad when people who could be winners are marginalised and oppressed. is dear derek starving? has dear derek been denied an education? has dear derek been forced into child prostitution? has dear derek had his clan massacred by the government?

i should think not. dear derek is one of many wretched, undermotivated, overassuming leeches in our country, and in this world. one of those who would prefer to be unemployed and wax lyrical about how his myriad talents are being abandoned for the foreigner's, instead of earning a decent, stable living as a sales assistant. it's not even about being a road sweeper. these shitbags don't want anything without "manager" and a name card.

please, get out of my elite uncaring face.

posted at 12:08 PM

2:36 PM  
Blogger Curious Blogger said...

During my younger days, Singapore is willing to give University and Polytechnic education to about 9% of the population(at that time). I could not made it.

I work full-time and study part-time in the night to get my Polytechnic Diploma and RMIT degree qualification. I spent large sum of money on these education and left little money for my family and children. I manage to double my salary after 10 years of working life.

Now, I am in my 40+ and facing age discrimination when looking for jobs. Employer prefer to select younger people during recuitment. Why? because these days, employees are just a DIGITS to the company. Mature employees needs to balance family and work, while younger employees have no family commitment and will stay longer to produce more . This is real.

The yellow ribbon project will not work in my company too. Already 2 clients (both also banks) tell us to "get rid" of few staff who have "police record". We are a subcontractor performing some job at Bank permises. Hence, yellow ribbon project too a failure in my case.

4:27 PM  
Anonymous Not-from-RJ-so what said...

Hey, to the perfect bitch (pedigree), chenghuwului..

derekwee is not a 40yr old unemployed loser. He's only 35, working in some big time company, but is already thinking ahead of his time. Can't you read, RJC girl?? Since when RJC accepts one who can't even get her facts right? much less talk about running the country in future?? It's already bad enough, don't make it WORSE! Oh, i almost forgot about your sugar MP daddy! Must be it. It's no fault of the school. It's daddy's string!

We are not talking about writing perfect essays or GP, you little naive girl. We are talking a wider perspective of the sad reality & sorry future that awaits many in Singapore. I SECOND that by the way. Who cares about lingo? On this note, the writer has certainly impressed me in the article; his view, language, flow & style. Go back to school, girl. You are not mature & intelligent enough to digest & offer your 2 cents worth. How the hell a "calibre" like you gets the PM's Book Prize?? ah...must be daddy again...sigh...

5:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank to chenghuwului,
we now know how the real elite and current and future leaders think. In the past, we always see MP and Singapore leaders so beautifully portray in media and nicely "touch-up". We always long to see the "truthful" side of MP of what they actually think.

Thank goodness, now we discovered at least how they think because Like Father Like Son mentality.

We perhaps need to dig more blogsite by relative or those close to MP and future leaders, and see the "truthful" side of so called "caring-integrity-honest-forThePeople-BythePpl" type of MP which they are paid so much salary for.

It is pathetic and actually "sad" for Singapore to find out how these elite think and their mindset though.

8:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First we have goh chok tong's wife saying "dulai's salary is peanuts" which expose the former PM's "elitism mindset", and actually destroy the reputation of GCT indefinitely.

Now, another blogsite exploring the mindset of an MP's daughter.
Look like this MP is in highlight now after MrBrown's incident.

Who's the MP anyway ???
Some say he is Ang Mo Kio MP and is high flyer ???

8:39 PM  
Anonymous whinersareweiners said...

i think the RJC student's been a bit harsh about things like "fouren talen bery bad" but wake up, smell the coffee and be fair derek-- whining about your "pittance" and the competition from dodgy foreigners who are dying to steal your job isn't going to change things at all. (neither is lambasting an mp's daughter in case you're wondering, better to get off your bum, retrain and get ahead in the singapore that is "far too survival of the fittest" no?) in any case, things can't be that bad if you're 35 and working for an MNC. do me a favour and ask the copy guy how much he earns the next time he walks in to replenish the toner, or the coffee lady how much she brings home the next time you get your "pathetic" paycheck. if you still think things are horrendous after retraining and/or carrying out your little "survey", you're welcome to try your luck at being "fouren talen" somewhere else.

9:58 PM  
Anonymous grassrootleader said...

I am very sad to read Wee Shu Min's blog.

Those in their 40 years old do not have good quality education in those days, and now those 40 years old still have to compete with the younger generation where they have good quality education and training.

Yet, Wee Shu Min have miss this point.

12:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes, so many wayang leaders nowsaday, look so much like Enron and Worldcom.

1:06 AM  
Anonymous beng-e said...

i dun go to some elite school or anything. but eh. personal attack for what? she attack doesn't mean we attack right. ppl can call you sour grapes, cos that's what it sounds like. i dun really care about what she's like cos i could get it wrong. she's talking about hard work underneath that bitchiness.

peace and harmony man. dun like it when rjc people win everything, but what to do? things unfair or not, just work on getting better.


3:21 PM  
Anonymous Andrew said...

Hello Derek, stop reading the Shit Times, and walk away from the TV when PM Lee and any of his goons are on. Instead, concentrate on your own situation and get a grasp of your own fate. Above all think positive. Spend within your means, and don't envy your neighbors' lot. I rode a Datsun pickup to my first workplace as an engineer with a yard in the north. When I bought my first car, I ignored the salesman attempt to pressure me to buy a more expensive model. I moved from my parents' 3 room HDB, to my own HUDC, then a condo, and my present landed property. No big secret, just one step at a time. Remember, tomorrow is the rest of your life!

5:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrew is right.
Forget about what those "clowns" said. If you are clown, you can join them and have "fun" except that you probably can't share their level of luxury fun, but shit fun.

Worry about yourself and start harvesting for the future. Yes, be positive, and use negatisim to prevent complacency and encourage one to move forward. To much positive attitude breed complacency and blind you in the end.

What the grassroot leaders done now is just survival mode, and they do anything to twist fact and truth.

Everyday, they said Singapore is growing in economic and exceed expectation. We now know how much BS is that because their method of statistics does not stand scrutiny and cannot be questioned at all (usual PAP' trick).

Let not be blind and move forward ourselves and stop believing the "clowns".

Yes, so much for mee siam mia hum.
We eat our own hum.

7:21 PM  
Anonymous vesance said...

Emigration is an option for peasants too :)

1:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those who want to have clear thought and opinions about Singapore, do take a read at

Whoever write this blog really can think very well and is very impressively written, no joke, do take a read. Most of the entries are short and straight to the point.

6:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gahmen does not care about the plights of those ex-MNC managers & VP...

5:13 PM  
Anonymous whybegay said...

Low/middle-class write kpkb letter about life to the press.

Elite gal slams low/middle-class’s kpkb letter.

Other low/middle-class on net forum slams Elite gal’s kpkb response.

Elite or non-elite, all kpkb birds of a feather.

12:52 AM  
Anonymous Gatsby said...

you people are f**king clowns. Don't you all have anything else better to do than to squabble over a spelling error (SM for MM), grammtical inaccuracies and yes, just a post by Derek? I'm writing this to do justice to an honest man, whom has candidly pointed out a critical situation that will befall all Singaporean men, in time to come. This is a genuine, coherent problem that must be dealt with. Instead of lamenting on the insecurities of life, we should all put our heads together to make Singapore a better and SAFER place for all of us.Easier said than done, yes I know, but this should be the way. To that f**king RJC girl, you little brat, who are you to even say a word here? These are the reasons why you should keep your f**king mouth shut:

1) You're not working
2) You don't pay tax
3) You're a woman. SO SHUT UP. This is a man's problem.

Your f**king ignorance and arrogance is a disgrace. Tells us all that beneath your apparent brillance, is nothing but a self-centred, audacious arrogant young woman. Is this how your parents have brought you up? Bravado. Go f**k yourself.

1:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

KNN singaporean never change one. Don't like it move lor. Everyday cry father cry mother and complaint gov this gov that. I come to this stupid blog cause my friend ask me to see how weak and stupid u all are. If you can't get use to the system come new zealand like me oh forget most of you no money to come over. Why no money? all spend on car, house, computer and useless shit. Even if you have money most of you will not make it outside singapore one. If you think grass is greener on the other side you are dead wrong. In new zealand if you over 40 and not angmo also same one.

3) You're a woman. SO SHUT UP. This is a man's problem.

Knn wake up!!! you mother not woman? What man's problem? Alot of woman make more money and hole more power then man ok. And If you cannot accept this then you gone case.

12:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't think much of your article. You remein me of the Singaporean who wants everything now and is already defeated before he even starts.
You can always go back to where your grand-parents (or maybe parents came from)and see how happy you will be.
You talk about migrating and forget that you have a chance to migrate because you are Singaporean. You think the Malaysians and Indonesians have the same chance as you. Ask yourself why. Instead of grumbling and haveing a defeatist attitude, go get a job, raise a family and try some hard worki.

1:38 PM  
Anonymous whybegay said...

Yeah Derek,

being an arm-chair critic will get you no where. So less whining and more action.

3:57 PM  
Anonymous whybegay said...

And Gatsby,

you're just jealous that shu min is richer than you and has boobs bigger than your brains.

4:02 PM  
Anonymous whybegay said...

So many people hate Wee Shu Min aka Elitegal because they subconsciously wish they could have her luxurious apathetic view of things but can’t have.

Suddenly she becomes the hated poster girl of the Elite.

Is Elitegal that easy to hate? Or are Singaporeans just a hateful lot?

3:55 AM  
Anonymous whybegay said...

actually quite right in what she said, although she wasn't quite civil. But she did mention she was only expressing her private thoughts on her blog.

It was a miracle for a small city-state Singapore to survive its independence from Malaysia.

What Derek said is somehow reflective of the workings of the private sector, which is always competitive. The public sector is different.

So Derek was not speaking from multiple sides of the story. It was basically not a full and objective point of view.

So is Derek restricted in his view? Of course he is.

There is actually much truth to what Elitegal said.

So if MPs would voice their opinions on blogs like Elitegal's, I would actually read them.

Singaporeans have been crying for free speech and then when it comes from people like Elitegal, they cannot handle it and shut out voices that differ from their own. This is just another type of tyranny, bullying and pot-calling-the-kettle-black hypocrispy of the Ugly Singaporeans.

Throughly amused that some bloggers can't even handle the comments of an 18 yr old girl.

They are so EASILY distracted to fault find with all the things they can fault find with Elitegal. In a sense Elitegal became their easy target because she is everything they would so easily like to hate.

They wish they could be like Elitegal but can't.

So easily distracted by an object on a string.

This whole fiasco is not worth my time, next!

7:49 AM  
Anonymous Shoo-Inn said...

"They wish they could be like Elitegal but can't" - Like those who wished they could be Adolf Hilter or Pol Pot, but can't. Hey, not everyone can erase 6 million Jews or 2 million Cambodians just to preserve the elite class. Wouldn't life be a dream in Singapore if one doesn't have to put up with pesky poor who mess up the shiny MRT trains with yucky body parts?

8:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To all those with negative post please get out of here we dont need you. We have the freedom to post ok.

GREAT Article Derek i will support you all the way beacuse i am in the same shoes as you now worry about my future in singapore also trying to make as much $$$ as possible and get out of here....... And Gatsby is right this is a MAN problem!!!!!!!

10:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I share your sentiments in your position.

Here is my worth.. not meant to be funny but food for thought.

I am sure some of those foreign talents from certain countries who are in Singapore face a problem back home similar to what you are foreseeing in yours. The others are the opportunistic ones and thats ok too since Singaporeans can be in the same mold.

Strictly point of view I see what is needed is probably a social netting for citizens from the government. One way is to provide for more fitting subsidised education on all level and a subsistence for family in the lower income group. That will get one problem of worried working married adults out of the way. Next is to make a law for reasonable compensation insurance for working adults. I guess they're available in most developed nations, Singapore probably included. but I sense that they need to be bolder, more accommodating and less stigmatic, definitely not in businessminded norms.

11:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sigh... honestly one doesn't have to wait till they are in their 40s to feel ostracized. I was in my mid 20s when I graduated from my foreign university with second upper class honors. I was unable to follow the "standard formula" concocted for ppl with money. I had to work hard for several years before saving enough money to pursue my tertiary education. However the reality for me after I received my degree was that I was too "OLD" for the jobs I applied for. I was always told that because I was a "MATURE" female graduate, I was considered too old for entry level jobs. And it definitely did not help as the months spent looking for another opportunity simply added on to my "AGING" years. So what is the moral of my story?

3:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another Good article!!!!

BTW girl should stay at home and cook and not complaint here.

8:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I don't mean the Singapore government is good.

However, if you go to other countries, you may find the Singapore government is one of the good ones in the world

2:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With all due respect, the intention of this article is to discuss about the future of singapore, about the survival of singaporeans and not to hold a comparison between good and bad countries...

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I worry for you people who are already quitters even before becoming SM's defined "Quitters". How can one be so dependent on the government for your job stability? Even a communist country like China cannot ensure stable jobs for everyone. The problem is that you quitters (and I emphasize "TRUE QUITTERS") simply do not understand the dynamics of the current economics. Even Derek has said that regionally, our counterpart’s analytical skills are equal if not better than ours in Singapore. How can Singapore expect to compete on the World Stage with the 4 million resources? We need foreign input to better ourselves, to toughen ourselves to face the REAL world.

Why is it that you quitters cannot understand that Singapore need to compete on a world stage needing world class players to survive? The little niche you used to live in does not exist anymore and this is a fact. The problem with Singaporeans is that they cannot accept the fact that they are not worth as much as they are few years back. How can one company compete regionally when the labour cost to produce goods is so much lower to produce elsewhere? Do you think that a population of 4.4 million is sufficient to sustain or drive the economy of Singapore?

Job insecurity is here to stay and it will be the same everywhere you go. To order for Singapore to push ahead, Singapore government’s policy is of the right direction and the best direction to propel us ahead. I am greatly saddened as a Singapore to brand you as quitters. I urge you to change your mindset and be more proactive to create your future, and not throw tantrum like a little child seeking attention.

I am not an elitist nor am I a PAP bootlicker. I am just stating facts of this REAL COLD WORLD. Buckle up and push forward or be left behind.

10:59 AM  
Anonymous faceless no name little speck but not anonymous said...

if so powerful u r, why leave?

afraid? ms wee?

12:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you may not be a pap bootlicker but you came quite close to being a fool. Why don;t you sit down and calculate what it takes to own a 5-room flat send 2 kids to school. have a maid so that the wife will be able to help to earn more income. Keep your parents healthy and alive (not to have them working as cleaners).

The one dreaming is the governemnt. We can accept world-competitive pay if they can use the money earn in sunny days to cater to the country's long term needs (btw who knows where is those money?). They cannot continue to sell the hdb flats at that kind of prices. They can take over the burden of education, i mean to the extend of providing for uniforms and free meals at school tuckshops (this will also prevent elitism).

In this way, the people can accepat lower pay, get employed and pay more taxes. As one US presidential candidate puts it, 'ITS ABOUT JOBS, STUPID'.

They should also fully privatise all glc. This way they de-politicise their operations and subject them to the real world of globalisation. They should also stop being the catch net for all the 'superbly bright' reitred public servents.

As a tiny red spot, we are in a advantagous niche. I do know of many companies wanting to use our country as a test bed for technologies and products due to our right-size and easily monitored social-political environment. On top of this, we also have a very stable climate. I believe this is why the government talk of knowledge economy a few years ago. Unfortunately, they had change strategy and chose the easy way out of FTs.

Finally, when an angmo come to singapore to visit our factories and see everyone there is from China or India, they quickly concluded that they should be better off opening thier factory in China or India. I worked in an MNC before and this is what my angmo boss told me. Unfotunately, none of the ministers worked outside the shelter of the party and therefore, did not have such exposure. They only get the polite words of the angmos and are thus mis-guided in their policies.

12:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The governments wants singaporeans to return? They must be fucking kidding, there will be no way i'll be returning to singapore, not willingly at least. If my votes during elections have no effect, i'll vote with my money and my feet then. Singapore has seen the last of my tax dollars. They can have their god damned passport back.

1:18 PM  
Anonymous Kway Teow Man said...

Wake up your Idea Lah, What can the Garmen Do?


The KTM just read this blog entry that he thinks makes no sense. The KTM is sure to get flak for saying what he's going to say, but so be it.

Basically, the writer of the entry is lamenting that there is no longer any security for Singaporeans. Supposedly many of them are getting axed at 40 and cannot find jobs and have to become taxi-drivers. That's fair enough. The KTM also sympathizes with the plights of these poor thing things since he also likes to talk to the taxi uncles.

What baffles the KTM is the following statement that the "onus is really on the government to revamp the society". Revamp society??? How? To do what??

The writer also says, "Until (the Government) truly understands our insecurity, the future of Singapore to me remains a question mark". So fine, suppose for a moment the Garmen does understand those insecurities, WHAT do people expect the Garmen to do? It is actually fine to complain, 'cos there's a most valid concern that's being raised -- but what really bothers the KTM is not that the concerns are not valid, but that Singaporeans cannot think.

Eh, we are talking about MNCs axing the old workers to cut costs okay? MNCs are controlled by the Singapore Garmen ah? MNCs want to axe people what do people expect the Garmen to do? Make legislation so that it is illegal to axe people huh?

It was no excuse for SM Goh to call Singaporeans who decide to migrate "quitters" -- but since the fella doesn't have very much political sense to mind his gap in general, we can afford to look favourably on his years of service to the country and be kind and not keep digging this up lah.

However hor, to say that Singaporeans should not be patriotic because the economic conditions are such that there is very little certainly and security a whole load of bull. The KTM is reacting here to the following comment left on the blog:

Derek, you are spot on ! When I went to watch Singapore play China at the National Stadium last month, as the Singapore Anthem was being played I couldn't bring myself to stand up - my patriotism is no more ! Sigh, too poor to be a 'quitter'...
Harlo uncle ah, you mean that if the Garmen does dunno what to assure you of a job and keep you rich, you will be patriotic?

This what the KTM makes of the present situation: the world is changing and there is nothing we (or the Garmen) can do to stop those changes. While the Garmen could do more in the past because Singapore was at a very low base, the situation has changed today. Our main problem of competitiveness is that our people are weak and wimpy and what they like to do is to complain a lot so that the Garmen will run to their rescue and solve their problems for them.

Because the Garmen needs to win votes at the end of the day, the Garmen will probably try. The KTM however doesn't have much faith that the Garmen is going to find much success. People are better off shutting up and figuring out how they can save their own skins. If some need to migrate to find a better life, so be it. Garmen officials and ministers should just stop making unhelpful statements like branding people "quitters". They are not "quitters", they are "survivors". Too bad for us they leave and leave us with all the wimpy "complainers". *sigh*

If people cannot take the heat and insecurities of working in the private sector, then please kwai kwai find a job in the civil service lah. *sigh*

1:49 PM  
Anonymous Pride said...

everything is about money....
like it say...money is e root of all evil...
e problem is ..
we shld be more content wif wat we have instead of wat we need...

2:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one says life is easy, neither in Singapore nor any where in the world. Yes, I am also in my mid thirties and pushing towards 40. I understand the difficulties in owning a flat, having kids in school and having a maid. My dad is a diabetic and my mom truly works in a restaurant.

Do you think that by distributing wealth from the past will alleviate the problems in the long run. Haven’t the big deficits in the US and UK teach us anything. What is the result of spending our reserves, weaker Singapore Dollar, higher inflation. Things will cost more; how long can we sustain the welfare with no natural resources. 10 years, 20 years and after that, what do we do?

The topic here is “Future of Singapore”. With perspective of yours so narrow minded, what future do Singapore have?

On the next topic, HDB prices. Do you understand the meaning of “Market Forces”. I am quite sure we can lower our HDB prices but wouldn’t the entire property market suffer. What is it that majority of Singaporeans own, HDB flats. Would you want the price of your flat to tumble because the price of HDB flats is lowered? There are many facets to a problem, unfortunately, your perspective is very one dimensional.

Next, you mentioned Education. I salute our education system and the effort to correct the approach of our education system. Do you think the school fees one pays is enough to cover the cost of the teacher, the material, the classroom, the administration of a school. Think again, the cost of education is already heavily subsidized.

Please do not use American Politician’s quotes, especially those who cannot even win elections, especially in a country where their deficit is spiraling out of control. The taxation of both countries I cannot even start to compare.

Yes, I agree that certain GLCs should be fully privatized and compete with local companies on the same level. This is critical to the survival of many local SMEs. Yes, I agree that these companies should be subjected to real world competition. Whether they are the catch net for all the Superbly Bright Retired Public Servants is another debate altogether, which I am happy to engage you if you are interested.

I believe the policies in Singapore are favorable for foreign investors. There is only this much the government can do to promote investments. Have you visited Shanghai or Mumbai? Have you actually seen the type of environment these cities are offering investors? Your jaws will drop, they are totally equal or better than those we can offer. Unfortunately, stable social-political environment with excellent infrastructure is no more a forte of Singapore but an offer our neighbours can provide. Not only can they provide them, they provide them cheaper. We are no more a niche as you have described.

Finally, your comments about our ministers in Singapore are both unfair and biased. Comparative to leaders in this region, I think we cannot ask for more. I am in no position to defend them but I have this to say. I think they approach many things from a very marco perspective which sometimes is very difficult for many people to understand in the short term. They do make mistakes but what is more important is for them to acknowledge the mistake. I may be wrong here but I think 66.6% of the population feels that they are doing a good job.

Finally, I hope I can engage this discussion in a civilized manner which does not involve calling each other rude names, e.g. fool, stupid etc etc…..

2:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You are rotting and do not expect any govt to address your concerns and it is a common problem in many developed countries.

No sympathy from a going-40 that only see Singapore better than elsewhere perhaps US, UK or SUI. Try to get a job with a current qualification e.g US and you will learn.

Be pragmatic.. my friend.

7:38 PM  
Anonymous eyes hurt! said...

After reading all the comments, my eyes hurt... I honestly wonder if Derek's still attending to this blog. so much attention from general public. Thanks to The Straits Times, more attention!

It's sad that both you and RJC gal are getting all this attention. For you, might be a boost to your ego, but sad for RJC gal for her honesty.

Sure she was just ranting and all. Her points are good. Seriously, just read some of the comments, the more negative ones, not the ones that support you, as everyone who supports you is probably just like you; sitting in their chairs and worrying about losing their jobs.

It's sad that most companies see 40 as 'old'. Like a someone mentioned earlier, if youa re good, means you are good and the company will keep you. If you suck, why would anyone want to keep you? They'll just use age as an excuse to retrench you without hurting too much of your pride. Of course, the next company you go to will know that you suck, and agan, they won't let you know! :D

Re-training is relevant, not that you should jump from one line to another (ie: business to technical), but just to improve on knowledge. Same thing happened when Multi Level Marketing was introduced! Businesses that wanted to implement it had to make cuts... Unless you took a crash-course in MLM, someone who graduated with a Degree and substantial knowledge of the topic will take over your job.

So... To everyone else who is worried about losing your jobs, if you are good, you are good. If your company's going to make changes, adapt!

8:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All I can say is that those who are doing well, will do well but will never understand the suffering of those who don't.

Ever heard of how an ancient Chinese emperor, when told of his peasants suffering and dying from drought with no rice to eat, just scold the peasants that if no rice to eat why not eat meat and fish like he always did in his palace?

That's the beauty of a meritocracy society. It's me me me and if people are not as successful as me, then they are just not good enough to be like me. They cannot see beyond me.

9:36 PM  
Anonymous wong fei hong said...

Income disparities are going to be a huge problem soon. What you're witnessing via the "real" i.e. unfettered press of blogs and internet chat sites, is only the tip of the iceberg. You have a system that perpetuates and seeks to protect a whole class of people that otherwise have no experience in day to day survival (putting food on the table or having someone other than a maid cook clean and (ouch) actually raise the kids? How many of our second generation (will excuse the first here) leaders had to go without food for a few days because money was tight or because the shop had no rice? It's one thing to have this happen in large open societies like in America or in Europe (where opportunities outside of the establishment abound), but here the playing field is so small that any attempt at competition is futile. If you don't have the right parents in this country, what chance do you have of going to the right school? If you don't go to the right school, what chance do you have of getting the right opportunities? At least our parents had a shot of entrepreneurship. Read the papers these days and their stories of modern "entrepreneurs". How many have them start with money from Daddy? Entrpreneurship? Load of BS- that's a gift! If we really want anm open society, employers won't ask for the names and occupations of your parents (practices that by the way are forbidden by law in most Western countires)? What was the last rags to riches story you've heard about here that didn't involve lottery winnings? Please lah... bunch of rubbish. If we really want to separate merit from privilege, then we have a very long way to go yet! Most of our (indigenous) population is getting left behind. :(

10:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm 40 and just got made redundant. It's dog eat dog out there.
What worries me is that these scholars will be our future leaders!

10:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course, most ppl will say that there is limit to gov can do. But then the question is:
Why are we paying so much money and bonus and salary to these MP who do not give us solution but only know how to spend our money upgrading flat and perform expensive images enhancing upgrade. Look at paliament house, and many public facilities. Upgrading the same thing over and over again. Is this what MP spending our money is capable of doing ???

We get axed if we no good. But MP especially the long-standing one never will get axed easily. Because, these MP knows about "secret things in gov" that gov will rather kept them to shutup. It happen in company, and I do not see why it does not happen in gov.

We don't need MP to tell us how to spend money, but need MP to wisely spend the money that will bring actual benefit to us.

11:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no such thing as free lunch in the world. The only free lunch I know of is SHIT.
Yes, eating shit is free.

The thing I want to convey is that globalization has great impact everywhere in the world. Singaporean included. As much as it bring economical growth, it will bring job-loss to local, and increasing stress/

11:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No argument with the free lunch comment... Not expecting one, just would be nice not to have your own countrymen try to judge you by what connections you've got. I thought that's what was supposed to separate us from our immediate Asian neighbours...

11:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yea, the reality is:

More qualifications OR skills OR experience DOES NOT EQUATE More salary AND opportunity.

My dad was jobless at 43 and he's been having a trying time for the past 15 years. He's was an engineer for an MNC, and now he's driving a taxi. This says a lot to me about retraining. =(

At his current age, he should be beginning to enjoy himself, but as the cost of living here is so damn high, he needs to continue working. My colleagues and I were talking about the employment situation and about our more senior citizens - in Malaysia (not so far from us), its very rare to see older folks working, as they'll be home babysitting or enjoying their retirement.

How long do we need to struggle for? My hubby and I both work full-time, and are paying off our debt for the car, flat, renovations+furnishing loan, insurance, taxm etc. We're living from month to month... (no savings) and this is just for the 2 of us. I can't imagine what it'll be like if we have kids. My hubby will be 43 soon... what's going to happen to us if he gets the sack? There's so much uncertainty....

I'm worried.

Yes, the government is encouraging us to have children... well, how do you do it if you only see each other 3 hours a day, work 12 hours a day, spend 2-3 hours travelling to and from work. By bed time, you're so stressed and tired, even if try to make baby also won't work.

Weekends? Well, there's the rest of the family/relatives that we need to entertain, friends, household chores, etc.

Besides, not all employers are supportive of female employees being pregnant... if you know what I mean. But we need to keep our jobs, as it pays the bills. So how? Like that lor...

'Foreign talents' are cheaper, because their cost of living is much lower, e.g. by sharing rental flats, in fact, some rentals are very low, as not hdb approved one, from what I hear. And although their salaries are low, compared to what they could get back home, its godsent! How are Singaporeans going to compete as our cost of living is so high?

And this will only get worse. Yes, I'm worried too.

12:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And Yes, mr zhu ge liang, the unltimate way to finally make the money is to cash out and migrate before the bubble burst. Isn't this system creating the quitters?

12:49 AM  
Anonymous Zhu Ge Liang said...

Not at all Anonymous.. the point isn't to make money and leave. the point is to stay and live with dignity. Better plan would be to hang on to your property (particularly private property) and scuttle all of those "en bloc" aspirations. The top end of this country WANTS you to emigrate because then they can add new pawns in at the bottom to perpetuate their ponzi scheme. Live and stay where you were born and bred, don't be afraid to love the building you have lived in even though your neigbours want to sell it so they can buy and sell more properties. Sian..

1:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


i may be wrong, but why the fuss? maybe we should spend the time used here to argue to think about how to lower our cost of living?

i was thinking actually, y is our basic public transport making huge/insane profits when it sole purpose is to just provide transport for the general public who can't afford cars?

why to we need two transport companies that do not compete directly with each other?

why not merge the two and place them under LTA? first without shareholders, profits are no longer needed, hence lower bus fare? which i think hopefully will reduce some burden off the average joe.

dun blame the rjcgirl, she is right from her political belief, singapore is a rosy place in her eyes, maybe to her and many "elites" out there, the guy who commited sucide @ chinese garden mrt station because he is too poor to feed his family is juz a small bunch of the population, but is that really the case? how many families out there are actually juz barely keeping their head afloat of the poverty line?

we get sacked for non performance, but wat abt those governing this piece of land?? wages are climbing, bonus are high... where are them when u needed them, think of it, maybe u will come to your own conclusion...

thanks all for hearing my ranting ^_^

1:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Same sentiments...And apparently, the government don't really seem to care about it and seems to have something about not liking men and not mentioning, fat people...

Apparently, we seem to be wasting a bit too much time in training up to try to defend our small little country (RT/ICTs). If I'm an employer, comparing a local and a foreigner, I'll pick a foreigner anytime of the day as they don't need to take time off once a year for ICT and if they are fat, another once a year for RT.

So it seems that we can prefer to be fat...Or we can be at our own inconvenience...

Oh well, just my two cents worth...

3:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't understand all these talks about free lunch.

We are not talking about people who want to stop working after 40 and then expect gov to feed them with free lunch or living only on social aid.

We are talking about the real job security problem faced by many average commoners (ie not those gov scholar or MIW elite who iron rice bowl) that because of the so-called 'new economy', workers over 40 are usually being axed for being 'old' and have a hard time looking for another job after that due to their 'old' age.

This group of workers doesn’t want free lunch, they just want some form of protection against such discrimination and thus giving them a better sense of job security. A lot of developed nations, despise facing the effect of that so-called globalization, are still able to provide several protections and rights for their workers, yet we are unable to because of globalization and end up lacking way behind in these area despise being claimed to achieve so many first world world class.

And many companies get away with this kind of discrimination easily because there is no law or penalty to safeguard the interest of such workers. And to make it worst, we are the only developed nation in the world that has a worker union that is more interested in running supermarket.

8:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And if you choose to express your personal views freely that conflicts with the interests of the govt, you'll be hunted down & fined. Not everyone's a child of a MP

10:24 AM  
Anonymous Jobscope vs Reliance said...

Ms Shu Min,

I beleive you will come back to view all the comments.

Seriously ask yourself,

Have you ever reliant on pocket money for schooling?

I agreed that Singaporean should not totally rely on Benefict ( not entitilement )given by government.

What we need to differentiate between what is the responsibility and what is reliance.....

But do you know that Manufacturing industries have shifted out most of its high volume production to low cost country, e.g China?

Also do you know that how will IR casino benefict those that being retrenched from manufacturing industies? IR casino jobscope is different from manufacturing industries…….. e.g you study science, now they want you to serve people with the plate…….. How much changes and adaption you have to be put in?????? OK no choice right……., who to solve the problem of more manufacturing jobs…. And are you sure all the IR jobs will not be taken up by those foreigners?

Put aside reliance on government, But what is the jobscope of government, shouldn’t they create more jobs for Singaporean, if they would to bring in more foreigners?
Did you study economics, demand and supply curve??

Else why we need government? Why the staff are so high paid for? The top management of MNC director fee are usually tag along with the company performance right? The stepping down of a director is also tag along with performance right?

Should we use our management salary to compare with a city state governing officers instead of a country governering officers, as sg is smaller than a state?

Singaporean are already so well behaved that we do not need government to create unnecessary rule, therefore if government is not able to provide the necessary public affairs to the country, then why we need to pay them so much…… or why we need them......

Ya, the new 10 years public transport plan, now encourage those who have cars to take public transport, but why release more COE? Also is there steps taken for those who want to sell away the cars, not suffering from heavy loss due to the depreciation of COE for more than 50% ( partly due to increase in COE qty ). Can the parf value be changed back to $$ if we decided not to drive anymore after 10 years....... How I miss those Dr Tony Tan years, where all ruling was carefully study before implementation?

Pardon for my bad english, as I am not an elite, but I believe in san ke chou pi jiang, shen guo yi ge zhu ge liang……( 三个臭皮匠,胜过一个朱葛亮 )

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Blur said...

According to Mr Wee Siew Kim in The Straits Times on the 24th Oct 2006, his daughter wrote in her private blog and therefore can write whatever she wants. Er... and readers have violated her privacy. The thing is if anyone wants to have private views, there's this old school thingy about keeping a diary and then keeping it under lock and key. So why write in a blog and allow anyone with internet access to read it and then talk about privacy?

11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I agree with much of what you posted here with regards to being a salaried worker and over 40 years of age in Singapore.

You have raised and highlighted a number of concerns of Singaporeans approaching or in their 40s which are the truths. Whether the Singapore government acknowledge or even recognise it is a different matter. Certainly, Ms Wee and some of the other commentors in this blog and others do not recognise these concerns or even think they are real.

Her choice of language in her response and her subsequent 'apology' left much to be desired. The same is true of the language of some of those who disagreed with her or took offence with her response.

I am being unusally careful with my language because I do not want to responded to by some 18 year olds who have never had to work for a day in her life yet to support her family, asking me to get my spelling right before 'ranting' about this topic.

You are absolutely right about the government only focusing on the lower skilled or unskilled labour. I am not lamenting this because they don't deserve the attention. They absolutely do. The situation with structural umemployment is caused by market changes, government policies and to a large degree, Singapore's 'over-engineering' of our economy and not getting it absolutely right. One of the most recent example, as reported in our local english daily is the large number of bio-science graduates who flocked to take up such courses as a result of government policy and 'hype' some years ago. They then graduated to find that they are not in demand because the companies will not hire such graduates with only a first degree. These people then ended up in sales jobs, changing careers, doing anything other than being in the research jobs which they thought they were being trained for. At least they are young and and able to pursue other careers at this point in time, even if these are not their first love. If they are in this situation and in their forties, good luck to them. I know because I am one such person.

I am in my late forties, with a first degree in engineering and a MBA. I have trouble finding a suitable job since the beginning of this year, after my last company folded. I found out that there is no help at all from the government, even in the form of training grants (not that I have not been keeping myself updated all these years), for workers like myself. Fortunately, I have reasonable skills that still have some demand and I am able to do work as a self-employed consultant.

I used to travel and usually will speak to taxi drivers to and from the airport. I have come across a number of not too old drivers in similar positions. One particular one I remembered very well from last year was a young man in his thirties who have been driving for a few months. He worked in a bank's back office operations for many years before finding himself retrenched and not able to find another similar job. He has 2 young children and a wife to feed. He took offence with some government people who he approached for help who commented that he should not be too choosy with jobs. There was apparently a job which didn't pay well far away from his home which he did not want to take up. This invited comments about he being choosy but the facts were that after deducting all his travel expenses from the salary, he can't make ends meet for his family. He ended up driving taxi, so that he can provide enough for his family. He is not yet in his forties. He is but one example. I am sure they are many like him.

This is a complex issue, I admit. Many factors come into play. According to Ms Wee, such person should get on with life and they should be 'kicked in their balls'. Let me remind Ms Wee and many like her out there, the Singapore government policy is to engineer the mix of our workforce by restricting and encouraging students taking up specific courses. In my days, technical and engineering were the flavours of the day. Biosciences were the hot courses some 5 years ago. Creative courses are now one of the favourites. There is a cap on the number of students pursuing medical degrees, regardless of your interest or desire to pursue such studies. The result is that those who are interested and can afford it go abroad and probably never return. Those who cannot afford it becomes an unhappy adult pursuing some other course of studies and careers.

This country tries to 'engineer' everything, including creativity in our children. Efficiency is valued above all else, yet we are supposed to be a cultured and gracious society, when the system do not allow us to stop and smell the flowers.

If the government have such a strong hand in these matters, should it also be responsible for those who become structurally unemployed as a result? What's the point of pushing retirement age to 65 or even 70 (because we are a aging population), when in reality, many in the forties and fifties cannot find appropriate work? These are people capable of working and willing to work, even if they are paid less than in the prime. (BTW, for many countries in the region, prime years are the forties. In Singapore, you are largely a 'has-been' once you hit your forties.) Just don't anyone tell me that is not the case. The government, as possibly the largest employer, practice it.

I have other comments about Ms Wee in another blog which I will not repeat her. The link is http://solitairejoker.wordpress.com/2006/10/20/future-of-singapore/

PS. Sorry can't seem to paste the link properly here. It is entry No. 55 under topic 2006/10/20/Future-of-Singapore

11:04 AM  
Anonymous Fisherman said...

I wonder why there is this stigma attached to social aid(a.k.a welfare income in the western countries) to people whom truly need it in SG.

A true life story: JK Rowling was on welfare income for 6 months when she penned her Harry Porter novel. But because of the small assistance she received from her garmen, she is able to become the richest international bestseller today.

So please lah, when people are in dire straits, help them and stop judging them lah. Everybody needs a break every now and then.

11:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we are rather missing the point here, by letting a young girl's innocuous reply draw the attention away from a well constructed and insightful posting.

I too am nearing the midpoint of 30s. And I too have the same fear as Derek. This despite me having had a good career so far, rising steadily through the engineering ranks. When I look at the pace of changes, and the fact that the newer generation appears much more adept at these changes, I shudder at the thought of hitting 40.

And no, I am not afraid of changes. Throughout my career, I have always embraced changes but the fact of life is that there are always younger and more agile "competitors" out there. And this age discrimination by employers, whether justified or not, completes the self-fulfilling prophecy.

I do not ask for assistance from the government, nor anyone else. What I do is to plan for my future. To put as much away as I can, living for the day when society decides that I am "too old". I do not want to be a burden to my little one, who won't be 21 until I am at the offical retirement age of 55.

And yes, I too have listened to "over-qualified" taxi drivers complaining of the same. 20 years ago, engineers were one of the 3 respectable profession. Now, you throw a stone into the crowd and more than 50% of the time, you hit an "engineer". The only "iron ricebowl" are the lawyers and doctors (and maybe civil servant) and that's only because of the closed nature of these labour market. It is true that globalisation is a great social leveller. But it is difficult for one to be fair when you are holding the short end of the stick.

So let's divert ourselves away from all this flaming and hatred towards a young teenager who was (un?)fortunate enough to be born with her particular status. As a parent, I would sympathise with anyone who has to defend his child and I do believe this has all been blown out of proportion.

I do not have any solution for this problem, nor do I think the solution is a straight-forward one. But it would be great if an official statement can at least acknowledge this problem so that we can all start looking for a solution. And hopefully, before I reach 40.

1:39 PM  
Anonymous Concerned said...

I am similarly retrenched and in my late forties. Fortunately I am debt free and have some savings to hold me up for a while.
I am not sure if the govt is to be blamed for people like us. I believe ageism(like a previous writer suggested)is a global phenomenon.
To put things in perspective, in the seventies and eighties, Singapore was really quite fortunate because we didnt have the likes of China, India, East Asia and Eastern Europe to contend with. Then authoritarian and military govt were common and as such held them back while we took the opportunity to capitalize on it and hence it was more fortuitous and fortunate that Singapore flourished.
Today its different, the regions mentioned are all (more or less)opened and competitive. And they have a much lower base to start with while we are like the developed world suffering from the success that we enjoyed ie high wages , cost, benefits etc.

Having said that though, I wished our gvt would do something to the "foreign talent" issue. While most of us are convinced of the need for biomedical researchers not all of us are , of FT who come and takeover jobs which citizens can fill. The argument that we have to make it as attractive as possible for MNCs to locate and hence have this open door policy dont quite gel. By all means have an open door for all FTs who do jobs which citizens cant do but draw a line on jobs which can be filled by locals.

1:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no doubt that our govt is a competent one. But I sincerely hope they can see the issues thru the eyes of the man on the street. There is definitely no simple solution to this complicated issue, but it surely needs much more attention and study, perhaps involving a wider spectrum of people from the ground.

2:04 PM  
Anonymous God help us all.. said...

The comments by the RJC blogger is really quite scary. After all she is a "scholar". I dont' know how scholarship providers award scholarships but I would certainly feel alot more reassured if empathy was to be one of the main criterias.
If future leaders think like that, wow, we better not be poor or unfortunate. Better be successful and not be dependent on them at all.
And god help the poor and unfornate cos that's all the help they gonna get...

2:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Few days ago, saw a TV program in which US firms that previously outsourced their customer services to Indian call centers were terminating their business with them and bringing them back to the US becos the expected cost savings did not materiaise. Wonder if our gahmen has thoroughly tought thru the FT policy and realise that in fact it has been to the detriment of Singaporeans ?

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why all these problem surfaced ?
Because GCT say: "You pay peanuts, you get peanuts". But then since when money is ever enought in Singapore ??? With intransparent pay and governance, the system is very much in abuse if not monitor. The elite setup their own system of getting wealth where others below simply generate wealth for them.
Yes, that the secret of the riches.
I don't mind if they pay well if they could resolve issue. But no, Singapore gov now take the easy way. If not competitive, get more FT. If more cars, build more ERP and charge higher price. If no jobs and no future, twist the story in newspaper media to make it look good la. If want to setup industry, place proganda for student to study degree to fill that need la. If want more money, just increase this and that la. If ppl want help from gov, privatised everything la.

That kind of mentality is scary, but with eyes to see, so far all these has been true in Singapore. That is the elitism of pap gov that run out of ideas and implement all these policy and things, and in course of doing it generate great wealth at the top.

Well, why I say these thing is thing that implement without too much concern for public. Ask LKY to place these in other countries, and these local will protest and revolt. It happen in lot of countries before that try to "learn" from Singapore, eg France, London, and many more.

The worse gov you want to have is one that disconnected with the common society and public. It's time that gov's policy and procedure, decision get closely scrutinised, otherwise with increasing burden and pressure to Singaporean, sooner or later, ppl will be fed-up.

4:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We should not ask MP Wee to step down. Firstly, there are lot more similar People in PAP having the same mindset. Why ??? Because even LKY like him and consider him good, maybe because he is high-qualified elite with mba from Stanford, the cream of the world !

Now, people please stop telling us to be appreciative of what PAP done in the past.
The past is the past, what we should like at is the present and the future. If the gov is not capable to handle the future, why bring back the past to show appreciation ??
Ask yourself this question. Will company appreciated of your past effort ?? Probably not, they ask u to move on and continue to contribute value in the future, if not , face termination.

We try not to be too critical. The gov at this moment in time, at can wayang out some solution and measure. But can they continue to wayang forever ???

4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved your article. It really touched a chord in me. I am almost 36 and have started experiencing the frustration and worry of unemployment. From the responses I get during interviews and by recriters, I believe it is due to age discrimination. Thanks for bringing prominence to this issue. You have done alot of marginalised Singaporeans a great service.

4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Wee,

Thank you for your blog entry. I look forward to your next entry. The govt should sit up now and look at how we could protect ageism from creeping in. The beautiful goal of the govt in the 60's - retire at 55 cannot be met now. So what next? Let us hope the $1mil salary people can help us. If not, please get a pay cut.

Best Rgds

5:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having read both Derek's post and Shu Min, I think we should have more public opinions. It healthy. And it sure allow everyone to let off a bit of STEAM!

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The new killer phase for next election is "elite uncaring face"

5:53 PM  
Blogger I'm No Matador said...

Dear Mr Wee,

No point fearing and worrying. Better to spend your time on something constructive. When it does happen, just look for new cheese. (to borrow from "Who moved my chesse?")

Prior to losing my job 2 months ago, I had the same fear and worry. I'm 37, tertiary educated. And over the hill too. Potential employers always ask me about my plans for my next child. No prizes for guessing why.

Oh, and my husand lost his job too. 5 months ago. Double whammy.

But change can be a good thing. We're now each pursueing our indivdual interest and turning it into business. There's no income yet, but at least we're enjoy our work.

If we do make it big, we'll have our last jobs to thank for.

10:03 PM  
Anonymous 中文译本 said...

If anyone is willing to send Wee's reply to Zaobao or SinMing, here's a machine-translated version :

妈妈的朋友送她一些博客后出血有些笨拙40岁的新加坡人称为德里克凌晨(为什么我所有的白痴都姓为什么? !) 牢骚怎样新加坡这样一个不安全的地方是,几岁脂肪酶(即40岁以上)恐惧岗位上如何池外"人才"(引号之间淡淡热爱)真是海啸将用去我们所有(其实他并没有说没有,他大概fourentalern桑枝坏). 、如何不想要孩子的原因是,他们有责任在这个世界脆弱饭碗、政府如何救我们真的需要从必然灭亡,但并非因为他们坚持-推后续-驴子精英所不知道的世界工程 yadayadayadayada.



如果你不够好,你的人生就踢球.这就是如何发展下去.有没有意思抨击政府之一就是使我们的社会,我引述"太劣存".它的一样.不错歧视存在,这是可悲的,但大部分时间如果人们宁愿雇用别人超过你,那是因为他们更好.它的伤心当老人们喜欢什么样的世界,德里克叹新加坡如果我们将使它这样明朗.被共产他妈的走, 如果你得罪了这么多的不确定成功--你一定不好,有悲惨.除非你手臂扭共匪欺压,由于您他妈的中产阶级面对爱好者,我怀疑.




12:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is a sad fact.
Everyday, ppl siting in MRT working day and night fending to survive the new economy. And yet gov doesn't see to realize that majority of ppl is in fact suffering in silence. Why ??? This is because Singapore is built to have image of success and prosperity. The infrastructure, the clean environment, and high rise building and hectic population convey to most ppl that Singapore is in fact very successful. However, nothing is further from the truth. Benealth all these image-enhancing physical appearance and outlook success is actually full of insecurity, worry and broken dreams for majority.

Yes, the gov built a lot of facility and make Singapore look successful. But Singapore is never successful unless majority of ppl here are happy, the commoner must be happy not only the elite.

The gov should come to realize that building infrastructure for IT hub, biotech, game hub, doesn't imply that ppl will be successful and happy. No, because the culture is never there in the first place. We just lying and denying ourselves all these while if we continue to pretend tomorrow will be better day.
Time to do something about it. Setup a business and don't try to run rat race. The rat will eventually grow old and outcast and outrun by younger and energetic rat, and the cycle continue. Be the elite that design the rat track rather than be the athlete running it.

12:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoever is this handsome fellow, he dare challenge MP Wee for his pretentious attitude


I believe RI and RJC still is a very wonderful place to study, and grow up with. It is not elitism as only some of them rich and pampered and disconnected, bornToBeRich kind are like MPWee's daugther and maybe like his father.

To those who has no elite thought in RI and RJC, I salute you because use to have friends there, and they are not like brat, and they are friendly and sensitive.

For those of Wee's mentality, RI and RJC to these ppl is :
Reckless Idiot
Reckless Juvenile (that needs) Counselling.

Ppl are angry because eventually these "bad" elite use taxmoney for scholarship and in the end, show ungratefulness, and think they are born to enjoy this privilege.

Maybe it's time, system stand in for scrutiny.

1:42 AM  
Anonymous Ben Wong said...

Yo Derek, you have my support.

10:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our Government should review this very seriously as such comments & thinking should even should NOT come from our MP & his family is strictly unacceptable as they are the one who is respresenting its people. If they have such a thinking like ELITISM than he is NOT FIT to be an MP as being a MP, one should not have society separatism. The Government should REMOVE him from the parliament at once as it has damage the reputation of Singapore as a whole.

11:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our Government should review this very seriously as such comments & thinking should never or even come from our MP & his family is strictly & totally unacceptable as they are the one who is respresenting its people.

If they have such a thinking like ELITISM in them than he is NOT FIT to be an MP and should be REMOVE at once. As being a MP, one should NOT have any society separatism or society classification in them or how can they make a good respresentive to its people he serve.

The Government should reconsider this very carefully & REMOVE him from the parliament at once as he has damage the reputation of Singapore as a whole.

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Often when one writes of self, employer, government, investor each appears a separate entity, but is it really? No, ultimately it boils down to you and me. The 35 year old MNC employee may need to hire for his department, will he give the over 40's a chance to get that job? When the government scholar writes a paper to increase efficiency does he consider the older workers in his plans? As a 35 year old investor will you complain at the AGM that the company has too many "old" people instead of fresh young faces? As a comnsumer will you go to a shop man by older workers? The answer to these questions lies with you and me, and not just the government. We are one people, one nation, one Singapore. We can talk openly, discuss the issues and possible solutions. Unemployment and the growing income and wealth gap is a global phenomenon, we like to think it is easier elsewhere, I think not. Try talking to the poor and unemployed in these countries. Changing the soicety starts with me and you, not the government.

1:48 PM  
Anonymous sweetbitch said...

Does anyone think that the government would give a rodent's ass about what Derek thinks?

After all he's just another poor "stayer" and he ain't gonna uproot his family, raise his children and spend his cash somewhere else.

Poor working ants like us, who aren't "quiters" have to struggle to survive and that's the way it is.

The government would only worry when there aren't enough Singaporeans around to slave for Singapore.

2:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very true scenario... eventhough i am about 35, i am now worrying about my future already!

2:06 PM  
Anonymous wong fei hong said...

Yeah.. I guess we should look inward. Seems about the only local institution where old people dun get sack is gahmen...just get new titles with different letters

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Jobscope vs Reliant said...

I admit I am abit harsh on the comments that I posted previously, sorry har..........Back to serious.

Time for a changes in Taxation.

Most comments above show that if you are goods, you will not be worry about not being employed.

But do you know that every Singaporean are terms one of the most effective workers?

But we must know what is supply and demand curves, and how much MNC jobs are being transfer out of Singapore, as other cities can provide the same stability environment?

But why we are not able to retain the MNC in SG? Obviously cost is the most significant factor......

Political stability is already not a favourable attraction. The supply curve already shifted.

Also we did not transform all Manufacturing Industries fast enough to the R&D environemnt. As we still strongly raise our head that we have to ensure political stability that MNC will come. Wrong, Cost is the major issue now.

Our country is far too small than a state,not even a country, therefore our management staff should joyly well know that they cannot compare their salary with a state, they should have their pay cut voluntary.

People salary are being encouraged to tag with the variable portion, our management satff should across the board do the same.

Comments on letting those well being talent to pay alot more in taxes will discouraged them to come to SG. But all other developed country are doing the same, let those much well being, the cream of the elite to pay more taxes, to ensure stability in the country have so far proven that it works in developed country, why we are questioning about the effectiveness of this tax system? Why we worried about foreign talent cream from not coming over bcos of high taxes, if other factors are also important factors for drawing them to settle down in the country. Does our other factors not attractive enough?

Management, it is time to listen to the feedback from ground level and opposition party ideas.

Opposition party are not those 小猫两三只 already. They are experienced as they learn from mistakes and unfair stiuation. I would say they are tougher than those in well being environment.

2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good article
It is scary to find out such brutal mentality of father and daughter. I think all this is due to our elite mentality viewing Singapore as Inc not as a country.
They have their basic govering direction total wrong and feel clueless in particular under the

5:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

"I think we are rather missing the point here, by letting a young girl's innocuous reply draw the attention away from a well constructed and insightful posting."


"I do not ask for assistance from the government, nor anyone else. What I do is to plan for my future. To put as much away as I can, living for the day when society decides that I am "too old". I do not want to be a burden to my little one, who won't be 21 until I am at the offical retirement age of 55."

Ms Wee will be very proud of you, although I do not know what sort of language she will use to express it! (Pardon my cheeky digression). This is one of the core issues, central to Derek's original post. It is good that you plan for your future and we should all do that. However, there are certain things that, as individuals, it is very difficult to plan for and tackle when it hits you. This is where the government can and should step in. Our government actively promotes (to put it mildly) certain industries and has a big say in labour policies that affect all of us. Yes, the government cannot control certain things, such as the US economy or changes brought about by new technologies or changes in technologies but it can certainly do something about protecting our older workers. There is certainly discrimination against older workers in Singapore and there is no law to protect older workers.

As an employer, even the Singapore government is guilty of such discrimination. Little or no value is associated with the experience of older workers, except for the very top echelon of government officers and scholars. Only this group is well taken care of. The government view is that only the select few are truly capable and they are capable of anything. They are offered or given rosy jobs in government and government controlled entities as 'rewards' for having served the nation. How else can one explain the fact that every top SAF generals, once retired, are being hired by commercial organisations into high positions when none of them have any commercial experience relevant to that business to speak of? However, if you are not a scholar who has attained high post in the SAF, please look for a second career if you don't make certain ranks (it used to be Major some years ago) by the time you are 40. For the record, I have never worked for the SAF other than the time I spent in NS.

The way I see it, the government has found itself in a situation which is perpetuating itself. It's a cycle that cannot be easily broken. It offers scholarships to the academically brightest students. Many of the top scholarships are for the armed services. So each year, the cream of the crop are 'harvested' through this scheme and the numbers are increasing. Some of these people are put into organisations that are not commercially oriented. These are bright people who are achievement oriented, and they are impatient for success. To retain them, the government has to promote them rapidly resulting in 'early retirment' of top scholars from government services. However, they are too young to retire, so push them into other government link commercial entities. "They have 'proven' themselves in the services so they should be able to do anything" goes the logic. This has the unintended (I think) effect of dragging everyone else through an accelerated promotion path and having to retire them early. If you go to the SAF today, a crab or two on the shoulder is very common. I have seen many manpower officers who are Majors. In my days in NS, many battalion commanders are only Captains. I have no reasons to believe that other government services are different. The armed forces changes are easy to spot because they wear their ranks on their shoulders.

It is no secret that our government believes that only a handful of the top brains are capable and they can do anything.

We have an aging population. Like it or not, the average age of our workers will get higher. The government extends the retirement age because of this fact. Yet, we are constantly told that foreign talents are essential to our growth, that their presence create jobs for other Singaporeans. Foreign talents come in all shape and sizes these days. They are not just the CXOs in MNCs. They are the junior executives, the IT professionals and the mid level managers. They even live in HDB estates these days. Are all these people truly creating more opportunities for Singaporeans? Don't get me wrong, I am not racist. I don't mind having foreigners living among us. I have good friends who are PRs and foreigners. Qusetion is where we draw the line. Do the government knows when these foreigners are competing for jobs with citizens? What is the government doing to ensure that employers are not discriminating against Singaporeans purely on grounds of age?

5:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From previous articles, I believe that you are asking something that gov will rather ignore than acknowledge in term of whether FT is "What is the government doing to ensure that employers are not discriminating against Singaporeans purely on grounds of age?"
To them, asking them such question is not constructive at all...
Why do I say this ??? Remember very few years ago, the paliament will show on TV having debate on issue. But sadly, now it is totally none. The gov doesn't want debate, they want quick action. Their strategy now is act now, remedy later. Some it work and sometimes it doesn't.

It doesn't take long to realize that gov is calling all FT to come to Singapore, and the consequence of it is determine later.

I remember the issue of Warwick University, one of top tier university in UK, wanting to setup campus here. When faculity there ask PAP gov how receptive it is for university to discuss politics issue like corruption, the gov response is see how, setup here and then see how when that time comes.

In other words, the gov did whatever to bring FT here, but rather ignore the issue of FT since only constructive measure is only putting in newspaper.

Until FT start replacing gov top figure, the gov should stop blahing about FT.
The gov should act what it preach and not be business-man who can talk and talk like leader but throw the things to lower ppl to do it.

What course, gov can say that FT pose danger in top post. But it is more of excuse of protectionism to themselves.

It is sad when country is run with such attitude such as "act now, remedy later". It work for entrepreneur but prove inappropiate when running a country.

And it doesn't help if the country is run by PAP MP's of Wee's mentality.

7:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

18 year old - tsk tsk tsk
Must grow up!

10:58 PM  
Anonymous Kelvin said...

hi pal. As I have said, your article is impressive and insightful. Having said that, I am sure our situations in HK is even worse.

11:17 PM  
Anonymous Wong Fei Hong said...

Difference Kelvin is that HK doesn't pretend to be meritocratic... no lip-service to fairness or such.. you know what you're getting in HK...not alot of words.

11:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Concerning those RJC student's blog in

These people who think Derek Wee is stupid, a complainer, then for those RJC students that think like that is not elite but ediot (idiot) (Wise RJC students need not apply).

Unless one live under same conditions and pressure, these RJC students has no reason to say things about working society. Get out of RJC, and stop using your fiflthy rich parent's money, and live your own selling your own talent. And maybe then come back and write about your own "wonderful" experience.

Been in JC before, I know, you students are still young and think the world the beautiful place. Me too, when I just in JC. Only when out in the society, I begin to see the reality and wayangness in management of top companies.

And perhaps when you reach late 30s and has family, perhaps u start realizing why Derek Wee write this article.

Ask yourself, how many RJC students can be all flying elite ??? The rest will simply just like layman having same sentiment like Derek Wee in the end.

2:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am 34 going to 40 and have been feeling the same as you all these years.

10:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The moral of Wee's story:

Do not mess with the commoner, or the commoner will mess up your life.

If elite want to mess, mess with elite. Elite are few, commoner are everywhere. Unity make elite look like ant kena step by elephant.

Commoner make the elite rich, but elite better don't make the commoner too poor and piss them off.

When pissed, commoner will do something that is "uncommon" of their behaviour.

10:51 PM  
Anonymous veefer said...

I do hope that the Gov is watching this blog.

I'm 36 yrs old and have the same worries as Derek plus many of the contributors here. I'm gainfully employed and just started my part-time MSC, just in case someone says that I'm a whiner.

Earlier this year, i discussed with the wife about upgrading myself. As I was considering migration, having a certificate in plumbing, electrical works, automobile work etc would make me valuable in countries such as Canada or Australia. This is in relation to having a B.Eng which may not be that wanted. However, after getting an earful, I signed up for the MSC - cos of the 'at least I'm doing something' mentality.

The thoughts and reasons for being a 'quitter' are not far away from those in Derek's post. This recent episode of MP Wee's comments only serves to confirm what I have thought to be correct. This is on top of Minister's Khaw's comment about having an Old Folk's Home in Batam. I believe that there are 2 ways an idea has reached a minister, either thru his brainwave or thru the civil servants staffing a paper discussing the idea. By having this idea surfacing up, irregardless of method, it alarms me.

One can grit ones teeth and put up a false front or as my wife calls it, being plastic. But once in a while, becos we are human, we slip up and the true image shows.

From a very broad perspective, my take is that all Singaporeans are here to serve a purpose, i.e. to contribute economically to SIngapore (or the powers tt be). Once you have served your purpose..... you are of no more use when you are no longer productive. What you think or want is not important except for the prosperity of Singapore. The proof is in the 147th press freedon ranking, parliamentry elections and presidential elections.

The press freedom ranking is an international benchmark so I need not go into details. For the parliamentry elections, I have seen character assasination in almost every one of them. Francis Seow, Tang Liang Hong, Chee Suan Juan, James Gomez. I will not comment on the veracity of these people but on the way that it has been done. It was said that Chee acted like a gangster when he confronted Goh CT but the way these people were treated were even worse. The entire state machinery was used to pick on them, to corner them and they were made to look like criminals. Yes, nothing is fair in a fight but I have to say that it is akin using a sledgehammer to kill an ant.

In the last presidential election, the other hope Andrew Kuan had the same hatchet job done on him albeit with only a hammer. Given that there was only 1 other candidate, would having a alternative be good for Singaporeans to exercise their vote? Given that Nathan was overwhelmingly popular, are Singaporeans not to be trusted to vote with their brains? or is it that the powers that be cannot afford a freak result? Hence, also the use of GRC concept?

What all these mean for me: I have no voice, I have no choice. Am I a slave? Only useful when I'm producing/contributing?

Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I do hope I'm wrong. So long as the ST does not provide the closure that Singaporeans yearn for and we have to depend on the net, issues such as Temasek's investment in Shin Corp (becos it is run by the PM's wife), the kacang putih NKF saga, and the recent little issue of Cisco (owned by Temasek) having a B grade (audited by Singapore Police Force, done on all firms providing security services) while other security firms get a D grade for similar transgressions (falsifying employee documentation to obtain license), will continue to suffer from such theories.

So who are the Singaporeans contributing to? The Nation or the dynasty? or should I ask, who owns Singapore?

Not me.

10:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do agree to what u hv raised. but i guess its really the surviver of the fittest in that sense. look at the most advanced countries: they exercise protectionist trade. why? the pple voice protest. but they r big countries. not like us... if we do not adjust ourselves, we r doom. but i do agree with u that our country needs some boost. and wat is tying us down is the damn national service. we lose out to foreigners who dun need to waste their 2 years of life.

11:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just in case everyone get too gloom and doomed, I like to share with you my experience with my 2 different MPs. I went to see my previous MP when I have to do ICT in ROC during the 97 economic crisis and the ICT happen to fall during my company's annual budget meeting. The MP laugh at me and told mo not to worry and just go for my in-camp. When I returned, I was hit with a ridiculously big sales revenue with ridiculously small expenses budget. I loss my job not long after that. I also noticed that this MP also lose his political job during the last elections.

This MP was changed 2 elections back. The new MP visited my home just before the last elections. I am now running a small business because I could not get a job. I apologised to him for the mess at the corner of the corridor which I use for keep in some low-value things. He told me it is ok and encouraged me to keep going with my business.

No doubt it could be the elections but even after the elections i did not receive a fine. I get a feeling this guy understands his people.

12:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the past, I will have consider Dr Chee a moron and an asshole, a political gangster as depicted in our glorified and honourable newspaper, but now having exposure to blogosphere, I now know who the real asshole and bastard is.

Sadly, I now making big plan. Planning to earning enough for migration where compassion and humanity is real and not wayang.

4:23 AM  
Blogger Piyai said...

The girl's mentality I call youth's folly, but when the dad, who's supposed to serve the masses, makes his, I start to wonder what criteria the government use when selecting our MPs. I started a blog to voice my own views at http://walkthestreetoflife.blogspot.com/

Hope "my privacy will not be intruded" ;-)

10:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Govt should not pretend that everything is fine and nothing is happened. In fact , the economy is getting weaker in time to come. 90 % or 100 % easy loan payment is what today's economy is all about. It is time( already 1.5 year since May 2005 ), some banks will soon fold up umbrellas and let you wet in the raining days.

11:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An article which is well penned but weak in its argument.

How does revamping the society to that of a less pressure cooker going to help to solve the problem of employment insercurity? Didn't you metioned that the cause of problem is increasing competition from our neighbours in terms of their labour force skills? The 2 logic does not complement each other

You were quite understanding to say that employers had to answer to shareholders. Aren't they the ones who created the "magical 40's" problem? You are being contradicting in a way.

It is easy for us to bring out problems but few people can actually provide the solutions to the problem.

12:33 PM  
Blogger Alex said...

as of october 27 2006, 171 people have placed Mr Derek Wee on the lofty pedestal befitting of his newfound fame. yet, few bother to even examine the merit of his much vilified critic, a certain miss wee shu min.

let me, in my self styled role as objective arbiter (a role, I emphasis, I do not claim as my exclusive right), explore the flaws in Derek's Wee entry. That of his "nemesis" has already been so meticulously ferreted out so it would be meaningless to continue a discussion on that.

Rousseau would be proud to be have a disciple like Mr Wee indeed. Both have pretensions to a utophian society. Mr Wee talks of the "onus on the government to revamp society" and in the process, displays his indefatigable belief in the government's ability and a stunning degree of political naivete. No civilised society today will tolerate the intrusive government interference that is needed for such a massive undertaking, even if it is for the good of the people. One could very well imagine what Mr Wee will say if he lived in such a society, which would inevitably be problematic.

secondly, mr rousseau wee ends off with an almost passionate, heartfelt plea to the government for understanding. sadly, there is no semblance of an argument to even make such a grandiose appeal. Mr Wee's entry is typical of a Singaporean; all big on talk, no solutions and essentially, whose incessant laments oscillate between government indifference and government control. Little wonder why 171 singaporeans have found their hero. To u the potential spammer, please point out to me any solutions mr wee has made beyond vague admissions that it is a 'chicken and egg' issue.

if you want "a place where one can hope to work hard their lives and retire graciously" mr wee, please migrate to Germany, which is incidentally one of the world's most generous welfare states. In that oasis, you will enjoy welfare benefits, the taxes for the good for the pension system and the luxury of a quiet, serene neighbourhood where many of the residents have gone abroad to find jobs.

Indeed, you are on a different platform from the Prime Minister and his ministers. Their blueprints pale in comparison to your Du Contrat Social.

1:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are speaking the truth but I hope the truth doesn't hurt the Government. Whether they will revamp the policies or not is one thing but I think the whole system needs to be revamped as well. After 40, I have found my quality of life dwindling further and further, with no sign of a possible return to the good old days. Some people say, Singaporeans are ungrateful and are taking the Government for granted. I would say that it is not true. They have twisted the whole issue. I would say that it is the Government that has taken Singaporeans for granted.

You have spoken up for all of us. Its a very good effort. Keep it up.

I thank you on behalf of my family and my colleagues.

4:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Alex,

I read your rantings with disgust.

You must be one of those who stay in the ivory towers for too long, enjoying all the time the fruits of others' labour. Thats why you are trying to find fault with Mr Derek Wee's response to PM Lee's invitation to speak up.

Solutions! Always looking for solutions! This is the very stereo-type mentality that is stuck in the heads of some people whenever they are confronted by people who managed to expose their iniquities.

Solutions - Is this not what those who are paid millions of dollars of taxpayers money supposed to do?
If you pay me $2 million a year, for the next 5 years, I will urgently think of a good solution for you. Would you want to risk your money?

Lastly, I suspect you must be "engaged" to come into this blog to
do some damage control, am I right?
(You don't have to answer this)

5:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are more problem to come
Man get late marriage 30-35
Have baby 35-40
Get retrench at 40-45
Kids are young (5-10), expenses are high to support kids and family
Financially tie die to a stupid house.
Have sum of money in CPF; can see can not tourch? Wonder the man sucide by jumping into MRT have any CPF?
So what is NEXT ...!!!!

8:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Alex,
Ask yourself this question, if gov do not have solution, why even pretend to have solution, and become humble enough to work with opp party instead of condemning them ? Isn't some ideas implement by gov taken from opp party ???

And why pay so much pay to themselves if they could not give a solution ??? And why hide under the protectionism of own gov legal policy ?

If gov really want to drive singaporean out of grave and replace by FT, why not openly say so, at least we Singaporean will no longer complain and make plan ourselves, and as you say migrate to other countries using our best of abilities.

When we help build the nation, we are consider a asset to the country, but when we grow old and no longer remain competitive , we suddenly become liability that gov no longer bother. If it is that kind of attitude gov has, why not just say so.

Perhap Alex, my sentiment tell me you too are planing migration , and probably is young to do so. How about the rest of ppl who are now 40, 50s plus. Have you ever spare a thought for others or only your side ??? Guess your mentality are no different from the elite super-girl. And yes, you too could probably have a silver spoon to take care of you perhaps.

You yet to realize the seriousness of the problem, because if everyday, newspaper say something amazing positive, I know the worse is yet to come and we know how Singapore media is capable of making it up to their agenda.

In a job = no solution, get chop
In high gov post = no solution, get wayang and pretend nothing happen, and hope it go away, or distract the public.

It happen so many times that ppl get piss off. We don't even have a chance to vote in lot of area, and all are walk-away. Perhaps, next election, it still is the same and there is nothing we do, because dirty legal tricks and policy is what Singaporean see in PAP.

The same trick and mentality in PAP is most probably replicated in most companies nowsaday. Yes, the so-called leading by example.

I'm no pro-PAP or pro-opp party, but the arrogance of the gov make me feel sick and disgusting, and especially they keep stressing they are honest, integrity and capable. Maybe the gov's dictionary is a different kind of dictionary public using.

In politics, you play dirty is okay, but to play it so prominently as to buy vote and fix opp party straight from mouth of PM doesn't sound encouraging. Perhaps PM want to fix all the unhappy souls here next times <:^{

8:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read every comment here.

So I most probably think that we should treat gov figure as human too. These ppl has weakness and humane. I think Wee girl has paid a heavy price and perhaps her future and father's reputation is ruined forever, and blacklisted in Wikipedia. We shouldn't too hash on them anymore. They too are the product of the society, and that the best they can do now is to help the Singaporean in any way.

9:17 PM  
Blogger JK said...

Despite the government claims that FT will help to draw in more jobs for Sinaporeans, I disagree with the policy that is currently in placed as I have observed that far too often foreigners were awarded jobs that locals are able to deliver. Years ago most of my colleagues were Singaporean but today I see new hires are largely foreigners.

2 years ago, I was surprised to know that my oversea supervisor had hired a foreign engineer instead of a local. Early this year, my promotion has allowed me to take over this decision and I was quick to hire another local who was in his late forties. Till today he has performed his job well. I am also certain that he has no intention of job hopping.

9:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...




10:03 PM  
Anonymous 40+ Singaporean said...

Alex said,

"as of october 27 2006, 171 people have placed Mr Derek Wee on the lofty pedestal befitting of his newfound fame."

You obviously bothered to count, for whatever reasons. Mr Derek Wee spoke his mind and going by your count, at least 171 to a large degree, agreed with him.

"yet, few bother to even examine the merit of his much vilified critic, a certain miss wee shu min."

Many have slammed Ms Wee, some unfairly and in a manner, as bad as hers. But I would said, she deserves much of the reaction against her unsympathetic comments which not only lack empathy but are downright rude, insensitive and elitist, in her own words. I hope Singaporeans will remember this name and be sure not to ever vote her into government , should the day come. Given the her background, it is certainly not improbable.

"let me, in my self styled role as objective arbiter (a role, I emphasis, I do not claim as my exclusive right), explore the flaws in Derek's Wee entry. That of his "nemesis" has already been so meticulously ferreted out so it would be meaningless to continue a discussion on that."

Alex, you used many big words here. Are you, by any chance, like Ms Wee, well read, full of ideals, and haven't worked a day in your life to support your family? You obviously cannot related to what Derek was writing about but many of the 171 people you mentioned could, myself included. So that makes 172, I guess.

"Rousseau would .... Both have pretensions to a utophian society. Mr Wee talks of the "onus on the government to revamp society" and in the process, displays his indefatigable belief in the government's ability and a stunning degree of political naivete."

I don't think Derek was trying to be a politician. He, like many of the 171, is an ordinary citizen, whose views that the government can do something about the situation of 40+ Singaporeans is not unreasonable.

"secondly, mr rousseau wee ends off with an almost passionate, heartfelt plea to the government for understanding. sadly, there is no semblance of an argument to even make such a grandiose appeal."

A grandiose appeal it needs not be. An ordinary citizen speaking his mind about something that does not yet affect him is what he did. Yes, he may not have offered solutions or alternatives, but if the government do not recognise the issue as a problem needing attention, any solutions offered will only fall on deaf ears. Derek Wee, at the very least, found it in his heart to write about the plights of fellow Singaporeans and voiced fears about the future of the country and his own future. This is already more than what I can say of Ms Wee and yourself.

"Mr Wee's entry is typical of a Singaporean; all big on talk, no solutions and essentially, whose incessant laments oscillate between government indifference and government control."

Have you ever wondered, (if indeed your assertion that his entry of Singaporean) why this is so. Has it ever occur to you that perhaps it is pointless of the ordinary Singaporean to suggest any solution because our government has always acted in a 'government knows better' manner? I have engaged government organisations in the past couple of years, highlighting areas of concerns to the relevant departments. Yes, I got response, polite and sometimes prompt, promising the matters will be looked into but invariably the answers are that they know better and 'thank you for your bringing this to our concerns...'. Speaking of government controls, is it not obvious that our government controls everything. From the industries to be promoted, the number of students studying medicine and many other disciplines to the number of cars on the road, and even the number of babies (if it could), there is a strong government hand involved. (I can give you examples of how often they have been wrong, if you like.) This being the case, is it wrong of Mr Derek Wee to ask the government to intervene in the plights of the 40+?

"if you want "a place where one can hope to work hard their lives and retire graciously" mr wee, please migrate to Germany, which is incidentally one of the world's most generous welfare states."

So, are you speaking for the government and suggest that any citizen who speak up for people and things they see as not being right to migrate elsewhere where the conditions may be closer to that of the individual's ideal? So there is more room for 'foreign talents' in Singapore?

10:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Though I'no way having connection with the elite girl or her family, it is still pretty sad to see the wee's family the target of personal attack. I believe we should learn to forgive them but not forget them.

I see Wee girl in YOutube, and probably will have a entry in wiki. I believe those elite does not deserve that treatment despite having the "wrong mindset" and so is her father.

Everybody has "their own bad side" and everyone has weakness, selfishness and greed in their own ways. Condemning them bring us no worse than their elite mindset.

Perhaps anger should not be direct personally onto Wee's family. I believe at this time, they are going through the worst period of their life, especially their family, business, and reputation are been exposed.
Rather it will be better if anger is directed towards the system of society and also bring action for change into system. Why ??? because the Wee's family is just one of the those many elites that has "wrong mindset". Why not put effort into changing system so that more elite can change and contribute to the people of Singapore.

It is very sad to see we ourselves aren't very compassionate when it come to forgiveness. It is even more distressing to see the Wee's family the target of personal anger.

No matter what, the Wee's Family has already get their tribulation, and I sincerely hope that those in SammyBoy forum and other forum can sympathise the Wee's Family, and try not to poke fun of them anymore. Yes, everybody, good or bad, has the right to live, to dream. Let us not continuously condemn these "elites" because of their attitude.

From the Sympathizer.

11:31 PM  
Anonymous deg said...

To some extent, I agree with people who are arguing for the government. Sure, they are doing a pretty good job. But the issue I'm concern with isn't about our government not doing a good job. It is the mindset of our leaders. If you're going to rule and govern a country with an iron fist, with the lack of sympathy for the weaker classes who have given you their trusted votes and with a completely meritocratic mindset, you will develop a tendency to neglect the welfare of the nation.

Besides, Singaporeans are already indeed a nation of very reasonable citizens. So I find it very unfair when I see my fellow Singaporeans here being flamed and criticized for simply voicing out their plights.

Let's take education as an example. I've spoken to some foreigners who have actually given up their education because they do not want to incur a 20k-30k USD education debt and because they do not want to spend the next 5 years of their working life paying back for it. Those complains, I feel are unnecessary. But have you seen your own local graduates complaining about the cost of education? Have you seen a bulk of them even asking for subsidies? Our parents saved up for our education since we were children and many funded our education with their CPF. Upon graduation, most of us spent 2 - 4 years paying back the debts. And yes, we're fine with that system.

And housing. Do you see us complaining about the cost of it? Do we compare ourselves to west and middle Europe? No, most of us actually do understand about our limited land size and accept that.

Transport. Do we complain about cars being very expensive in Singapore? No, most of us again understand that Singapore is too small for every family to own a car.

We are a reasonable nation and we have already done what we could for ourselves. When we really aren't able to afford a necessity, it is NOT because we are too lazy to work for our living or that we are not capable enough. True that the burden on the country will increase by many folds if we start giving out subsidies. But there are some things that the government need not be so calculative about.

One of which is medical. Some families have to fork out thousands every month for their sick aged parents. Is it possible to subsidize the medical cost even more?

And what happens when those children get retrenched? What we are told is that we should then take up a lower paid job. Most of us here I believe would not mind that either, i.e. if there is one available. But a lot of those workers in their 40s who are retrenched find it very difficult to get another job. Besides, many are in fact graduates who have worked hard all their lives to pay off their education debts, to save for their children's education, to pay off the expensive housing and to pay for their parents' medical bills. Now they are retrenched. Now they are penniless and are not living on subsidies because the country believes in the survival of the fittest. And still, they have to of course continue carrying the burden of those debts despite being penniless. For that, they are STILL expected to keep their mouths shut. So they can't even voice out their unhappiness or plight without getting put down and branded as someone who is "all big on talk with no solution"? And we have to continue happily supporting the fact that we are a developed country and we have the best government in the region.

We are humans, aren't we?

Is it also possible to cut down the heavy expenses on the luxurious shopping malls a little, on beautifying the housing estates and spend the money on those who really need it? If the people are crying out for help despite having done what they could to help themselves, I think catering to the needy in the nation should still be the first priority.

I also disagree that giving out unemployment subsidy would result in the nation becoming lazy. Just based it on common sense. Do you think a worker would choose to laze around at home and be contented with the $120 pocket money when he could earn at least $1200 as a sales assistant? But at least the $120 could help the unemployed a little till he/she finds another job.

Now regarding the future of Singapore. PAP's way of governance is such that they're programming the nation to have the mindset of "living to survive". Wouldn't that stagnant creativity? Now why is Japan successful? It is because they are a very creative nation. We all know of their computer games, their technology, their entertainment exports, their automobiles etc. don't we? If you want an abiding nation who just follows the instructions of the leaders, you will never develop your own team of creative talents. China, India, the rest of SE Asia and East Europe are now joining the global labour force and will someday pull foreign investors out of Singapore. Our government knows it, that's why they are heavily investing in the fields of science and biotechnology, which the developing countries are still lacking the resources for.

But the point here is to be less dependent on foreign investors. We have to have our own enterprises someday. But with such a controlling governance, we will not be able to instill creativity in our nation for that.

11:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes, we are no different from "animals" if we continue to target wee's family and WeeShuMin. Rather than condemning them, should pity them now. Yes, they perhaps living a terrible time now. Yes, their reputation is tainted in the internet and therefore has received the worse humiliation and tribulation. Afterall, human is still human, and we are all human. Hope ppl can forgive rather than anger.

11:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's good to voice out once in awhile. Hopefully someone out there will take note of it. Singaporean is just like a gold to singapore economy. But do anyone really precious it?

As a singaporean minority, I already tamed myself with such mentality treatment; ever since i step into the 'working' world. Given up any better position long ago and only pray for a bowl of rice day to day. And believe me, we will forever feel insecure. At the end of the day, a valueable paper is always just a paper.

1:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, perhaps we should start grooming our own people. If the people can't make it, it is not the people's problem, but the system's problem, fix the system, and people will be one again.

8:04 AM  
Anonymous zen said...

there's two perspective looking at the problem.

first off, the problem is a global issue. To expect government to step in to resolve the issue is like a young kid trying to get his/her parents to protect whenever he/she is in trouble. I have seen people who just whine and do nothing at their end. They are good at speaking out, but just their whinning and their problems, and not beyond that, not how they can make a difference to the world. People from India and China are not just inexpensive, but they are hungry to learn and have the desire to excel at highest level.

Second off, there are things which I do think the Government can do to make our workforce much competitive. Our value proposition to investors is not cost, but should be our knowledge value (That's why, we need to start with ourselves first). Still, it's important to attract the investors (or MNC companies) with funding to make our workfoce cost attractive. Unfortunately, I have seen a few times that the Government were slow in responding to such MNC requests, and they eventually turn away to other countries for their investment.

8:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where creativity and innovation is value more in knowledge economoy, gov still think that productivity is more important. Everybody knows why ???
Well, the answer is productivity is guarantee success and measurable, whereas creativity and innovation could not be measure and tend to have more failure and mistake than success. If you can't measure, than u can't qualified.

Our gov and education system groom us to be successful therefore, the only way we feel successful is to be productive.

Now, FT is productive, but may not be creative or innovative. So what's the hell gov still doesn't wake up and take creativity and innovation as first priorities. Why take two steps forwards and then 1 step backward ???????

Yes, a lot of questions without answer. Perhaps, the answer will come if FT hold gov top position like MP, then they will have no status quo, and start to piss their pants.

But it is also unfortunate that creativity and innovation can strived only in open and free environment, not wayang env.

8:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good debate, we are able to put things in proper perspectives

11:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

derek, derek, derek darling, please speak up! :)

7:21 PM  
Anonymous deg said...

I agree that the labour cost isn't the only factor that'll attract investors. But I'm not sure if we can remain competitive by simply being a knowledge enterprise because the neighbouring countries are catching up fast on this too. I'm thinking...perhaps security, political stability and the strict IPR laws might be the pull factors for investors.

I've posted a comment yesterday (an extremely longwinded one heh) in defense of my fellow Singaporeans who are being branded as "all big on talk, no solutions and essentially, whose incessant laments oscillate between government indifference and government control".

If you're reading this, I'm quoting off you Alex, because honestly I was not only put off by your unsympathetic content against Derek Wee's article and the tens of accounts following that, but also by your snobbish style of writing. Perhaps you have already realised it from the several rebukes you've gotten. But no personal offense okie, I would have said the same thing to anyone who had written a similar reply entry.

Now, in defense of our government. I hope I don't get bashed for counterarguing with the hundreds of people here heh but to some extent, I also find it a little unfair that some people have made it sound as if our goverment is really incompetent and is not willing to do anything to help the Economy. That is obviously untrue.

For instance, if I didn't get my facts wrong, our EDB has offices stationed in several countries to persuade foreign investors to set up their bases Singapore. One of their reasons for doing that is to give jobs to us Singaporeans, isn't it?

I've also heard of cases where foreign investors have asked for an excess amount of privileges in order for them to start a base in Singapore but were rejected. I won't state the examples that were told to me in private but I did get the impression that our government does not completely give in to foreign talents at the expense of the welfare of Singaporeans.

Finally, I've also spoken to some PSC overseas scholars and many of them are neither arrogant nor unsympathetic. In fact, quite a number of them do not come from the higher income families.

As for ageism, it is happening all over the world. I just hope that perhaps our government will eventually be more willing to give out temperory unemployment subsidies to the families who need it.

10:31 PM  
Anonymous jobscope vs Reliance said...


Nice to see your constructive comments.

alex, I agreed with deg, I feel that your comments are just beating around the bushes, if you are defensive to this blog job security issue, then give some constructive suggestions.

If you are not constructive, at least point out some mistakes and concerns,( just like me ) govt somehow will need people to know where are their mistakes, and most importantly govt should not updhold your ego by not apologising. Japan Prime Minister etc have the culture of apologising to the public and even willingly accept the stepping down of position.

deg, back to you, on few offices set up,
we can have many offices set up also, but if the contents to MNC is just political stability, then what attractive factors attracts MNC? Have they survey what MNC requests? What type of industries MNC request what factors? Do they have all this basic school study survey questions statistics on hand?

and what request MNC request? Blog is a free speech world, just say it out more specifically, maybe we can let Sporean rebate on whether it is acceptable.

12:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I worry constantly everyday for my future.

Not a day goes by without me thinking I could have done something else that could have yielded me more…

To me, everyday is just another day filled with insecurities and what ifs…

12:34 AM  
Blogger En & Hou said...

Just memorise and repeat these three easy catchphrases to everyone :

"Fix the opposition",

"$600,000 is peanuts", and

"get out of my elite uncaring face."

Much easier to remember and it doesn't take much explanation to the man on the street.


2:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm reaching 30s and I feel the same way as you. Ms Wee , or so call the "elite", reflects the undeniable truth of PAP "elite" vs. the commoner. I’ll agree with what Ms Wee had written, if and only if she had gone through the days of earning her own pocket money during Secondary School and JC. Till then she’s another leeches, living on her “elite” dad.

12:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, maybe her "Views" are right but words that were used certainly are not.

I don't have fantastic command of English as you can see. But I am a person who have a heart...A heart to feel what others might not have seen. Her chocie of words certainly puts me off especially "please, get out of my elite uncaring face" as well as "bleeding stupid 40-year old singaporean called derek wee (WHY do all the idiots have my surname why?!)"

So the thing here is who is she to label Derek as stupid? The surnames are your roots(in my view)...Don't ever forget that...

Yes yes yes..Who doesn't rant? Everyone does! But the thing is that doing it the so-called "elite" way as label by her or what? Seriously, I think she has not gone thru what most of us have... As the saying in chinese goes..."yan zhe wu xin, ting zhe you yi" maybe she is a nice girl or maybe not.I'm in no position to debate that but her response certainly is erm... not really acceptable...(But thats how I feel)

3:37 AM  
Anonymous henry said...

"But have you seen your own local graduates complaining about the cost of education?"
"Do you see us complaining about the cost of it (housing)? "
"Do we complain about cars being very expensive in Singapore? "
For a while I thought I was headed for IMH. The questioner obviously is seriously in disconnect with the man in the street. Hey, the answers are, "yes, yes, and yes". Why do I get the feeling he is one of those p65 types who waltzed into parliament on a GRC ticket?

7:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So much for the lip-service:
See how our "leader speak" and eventually act :

I rather go to www.talkingcock.com

8:30 AM  
Anonymous Tohgoh said...

The woes of those above 40s were already a syndrome as far back as 1990s. Nothing new. However, PAP govt choose to turn a blind eyes to it. Stressing the lack of further training are what causes the issues with those above 40s. This is plain bull shit.

What you did is perfectly right which is to state your opinions. Infact, if you were to visit Sammyboy coffeeshop forums, you will find alot of diversified opinions upon the pap govt. Some logical arguement, some of cause, are just venting their frustrations and anger. Good luck to whatever you are achieving :)

10:04 AM  
Anonymous The Oppressed Majority said...


I have been through the fears you mentioned....if I can be of any consolation....it really is not that bad...but the rantings the the 18 year chubby girl who worrys if she can fit her Prom dress is symptomatic of the uncaring, self adulating, self aggrandizing, conceited, selfish, few in the ranks of the Elites.

It is good such people are exposed (unwittingly by you) so that our Political Leaders understand that they are surrounded by leeches who only make true Political leaders work that much harder.

It is time our Prime Minister (if He really cares for the People) to get rid of the fleas that live off his dog.

Darek you have become the unwilling and unwitting hero of the Poor, the marginalised, the victimised, the voiceless, the new poor....

10:24 AM  
Anonymous hal said...

people, this is what you voted for so just shut the fuck up.

10:53 AM  
Blogger leetahsar said...

din u know pm is a ninny!
all talk and mostly cocks!
dun think he had ever taken a bus or even a cab....or even tasted instant noodle, the 30c per packet type.
to him, it's always the best...the best food, the best position, the best home, the best care...the BEST TREATMENT....
he's living in his self denial IVORY TOWER...what does he understand about suffering of the peasants?
practically ZERO....
my bunch of 40s+ approaching 50s...are mostly squatting. they are grads...some even master and phD...but they choose squatting over being employed.
why?...cos the pays offered is pathethic to what they used to be getting...
will there be life beyond 40s?....i dunno...it's going to be tough..and THEY JUST DUN CARE!!...they just keep increasing ur already obscene pays...
i tell myself, should i strike rich in lottery or toto, the first thing is to get the hell out of here!

11:21 AM  
Anonymous We r IMPRESSED said...

Derek, you have really become our accidental hero. We are really curious how you look like!!

We have seen "the fat girl". Even the elite that made her & fed her so fat. Won't you show yourself? At least we can "Hi" to you if we met you on the street; if we are lucky!!

1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bingo. Hit the nail right on the head. Sums up the sentiments of many true blue Singaporeans who worry about the future of Singapore and also losing their jobs in their 40s.

The PAP elite scums should listen to the people instead of sweeping it under the carpet with lame excuses such as workers are lazy, workers refuse to go for skills upgrading and workers refuse to lower their expectations.

They should focus on creating and generating more decent paying jobs (not obsecene like the minister's pay) instead of wasting money on the arts and biennale. Why waste all that money when some of that could be used to help those in need like the 40 something man who threw himself onto the MRT train?

2:19 PM  
Anonymous lanlan said...

Just remember that the elite is elected by the people and it's also a frankenstein created by the people.

So come the next election vote for the non-elites who cares more for the people than for money.

Don't because of some threats, fear of being castrated or no lift-upgrading sell yourself short and end up voting for the uncaring MIW elite.

2:34 PM  
Anonymous k` said...

provided by the next GE we can remember these things. or not be hypnotised by the carrots they dangle in front of us....

4:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A wake-up call for the ruling elites.Yesterday, another man jumped down@Clementi MRT Station. Anyone needs help and asistance, please refer to the following agencies ...........etc.This trend will be stopped unless Govt do sometings concrete about it. Now, other countries are watching us.we also have our own social problems.

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Moral of the story, just rely on yourself. No one is going to take care of you if u don't do it yourself.
If you think the gvt is not doing enuff then speak up. If you cannot then speak with your vote. Unfortunately you will find that you are still the minority. So suck it in man... no choice.... Tong ah...

11:42 PM  
Anonymous deg said...

Hey henry! You quoted me but you took those questions/statements out of context.

In that entry, I was actually defending Singaporeans who were being branded as unreasonable whiners with unnecessary complains.

My point was that Singaporeans' complains are usually not unreasonable so when they actually voice out such opinions, it is because they really believe that something needs to be done.

11:59 PM  
Anonymous fireflower said...

Hey there.

I don't know if you still read your comments, but I sincerely would like to know you.

1:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


1:21 AM  
Blogger anibodi said...

Dear Derek Wee,

I salute you for your courage to speak up. I am very happy that your write-up in your blog has managed to capture the Elitist's attention, which resulted in the fiasco of an aloof MP , who has not an iota of political acumen nor care for his people, but dared to become a well-paid politician to represent the common people by camouflaging himself into the AMK GRC, under the umbrella of none other than the PM.

With such people specially selected by the Elite for the Elite in the Government, I think the future of Singapore, being ruled by the 'Tyranny of the Clever' is extremely scary.

You have done a good job.
Please accept my sincere thanks, from the bottom of my heart, for speaking up for all of us.

1:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yet another heart-rending account by a teacher of her visit to poor destitute homes in singapore:

Do people like Wee Shu Min and her father, the elite Ang Mo Kio GRC MP with PAP Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, even care?


3:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All these elite really care about the people.
They care about the people from the mouth not from the heart.

No money no talk !!!

4:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great blog.... reading your blog makes me wonder why the govt is rising the retirement age since we are deemed unwanted from the age of 40. In the future, we may even have educated cleaners and dishwashers too.

10:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


One 'brutal truth' we all have to face is that the Spore govt, believes that the citizens of this country are but mere digits whose existence and value lie only and merely in their contribution to the furtherance of its continued rule.

Therefore, anything that detracts, interferes or challenges this concept have to be eliminated/terminated/ neutered with extreme prejudice. The evidence are all around us.

If you can, go somewhere where they would at least have a conscience to allow you a samblence of freedom and respect for your views. You won't get it here. Period - unless you have qualities they can make use of for their purpose.

4:21 PM  
Anonymous fireflower said...

Hey there.

I don't know if you still read your comments, but I sincerely would like to know you.

7:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What you said is true. What is also true is that this is happening all over the world, this age-related bias you speak about. Actually it is not an age-related bias. It is just business sense and the availability of younger, skilled, cheaper labor from India, China etc. The trick is to do things the cheaper foreign talent cannot do. Things that require business sense, inter-personal communication skills, good English etc. Your future lies in progressing to top management before the age of 40 and then proving to the Company that you can contribute towards profits. There are many CEOs over 50 years old earning very high salaries. The cheaper younger FT cannot replace the management, analytical skills, networking connections and experience they have. I am 59 coming very soon to 60. Working in the USA. I got this job at the age of 58. The age-related bias also exists here. But I just try to do things that others cannot do.

3:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reading from above, it fuc#$#ing sad to discovered the so called full of integrity PAP has been manipulating every Singaporean and brainwash them to advantage. Everyday, I look at newspaper and indeed the layout, the message , the design is to convey how organized, how honest, and how layon is gov. Now then I know everything is just propaganda. Shame on PAP and its' integrity. PAP must have forgotten how once Singaporean help to build the nation.

7:04 AM  
Anonymous School Debater said...

Hello Derek!

Finally we get to know a little more about U other than U are 35yrs old jetsetter with a BIG Co. U were a National Debater who even represented the little red dot in International Debates long time ago! Frankly, reading how U wrote & structure your article, I guess U would have been a very articulate speaker too. I am currently a school debater & wish I could be like U one day; that is, becoming a National Debater! Debating at international level is of course my dream, but I guess I have to be realistic....

In case I am been slammed for not getting to the point, what impressed me is despite your current career with an MNC & that you fly around, you are not complacent but instead is observing the trend or should I say THREATS. Frankly, I am sure with your experience, eloquence & education, you should be the least bit worried. But still, you are speaking up for the plights of many who may not be as articulate as you. Getting a personal attack by some spoilt brat as a result was downright RIDICULOUS! Fortunately, hundreds have stood up for you; I am glad people still have HEART.

Some said you were a coward for not speaking up against the baseless attack. But I say you are COOL. It’s just a mad dog barking away; the irresponsible owner did not leash it well. Why bother, right?

10:43 AM  
Blogger vagus said...

you write well. don't let a bratty 18 year old spoil that.

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do not be too happy if you are in your 30s or 40s and employed with high salary. So what if you are a very skilled and experienced executive. Once you are closer to 50, there is a very high chance that you may lose your job and subsequently find it very hard to get back employment. This is very real here - you may not get a job even if you are willing to accept much lower pay. Be prepared is my only advice.

3:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it already happens to anyone that hits the mid 30s. i was searching for a part-time or temp job to tide over the early period of my business to tide over so that i had some income to pay those f*cking bills - as anyone here knows if you don't pay in time, they'd send warning, sorry reminder letters. and if you don't pay up by the second reminder, they cut off water/electricity supply, and if it's the town council, threatening you with lawyer letters, scv cutting off your supply without warning.


even for temp jobs they don't want any married women, worse if you have children ---> why? 'cos you'd be taking leave everytime if your children are sick or you have to take them to school, so companies label you as UNPRODUCTIVE = WASTE OF RESOURCE TO THE COMPANY. if you are married, THESE SAME A*SHOLES THINK YOU'D GO AND GET PREGNANT TO HAVE CHILDREN ---> MATERNITY LEAVE = SO YOU ARE UNPRODUCTIVE AND A LIABILITY TO THE COMPANY.

thank goodness my biz is picking up in spite of the hiccups. like Derek, i worry for those in my age group and older whose CIRCUMSTANCES ARE BEYOND THEIR CONTROL.

and to those young clueless condescending bastards who think EVERY OLDIE should be as resourceful, i'll say, "becareful children, don't be too smug. you'll face the same situation sooner. or worse."

9:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and to continue where i left off, of course i'm pissed that the very govt whose job is to SERVE us the citizens [THAT'S THE VERY MEANING OF PUBLIC SERVANTS, NO? THEN WHY THE F*CK DID THEY HAVE ELECTIONS FOR? ANY YOUNG SMART ALECK WHO' WRITES SUPERFLOUS BOMBASTIC ENGLISH FROM SOME POSH/ATAS JC CARE TO EXPLAIN? HUH?] failed us Singaporeans miserably. worse insult has got to be male citizens who have served NS. to protect the country, we were told.

protecting who? or rather, pardon my crudeness, whose asses? oh and what got my goat is this same govt EXHORTING women to breed like pigs/rats, and yet COMPANIES TERMINATING WOMEN WHO ARE ABOUT TO APPLY FOR MATERNITY LEAVE.

if you children who like to write in bombastic superflous english think the above is a FABRICATED STORY, i feel really sorry for you for living in your own little warped universe.

10:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


my take on this issue is that the governmeny should not constantly be slammed. why you may ask? is our future so uncertain and really so bleak?

let us just consider how Singapore has flourished over the past 40 years. why? it is because of the system and government we have in Singapore. and so is that the best government? No, its is not.

but we cannot forget what they have done for us. We have clean water, decent meals and a shelter. we have our basic necessities, but obviously, i am not asking you to compare yourselves with the African children, where one in 10 die at childbirth.

i do not agree with the government's actions all the time, and i empathise with those who are jobless and retrenched. But you cannot always expect the government to give you a way out and tell you what to do.

the future for singapore is uncertain but definitely not bleak. infact, it is shining brightly. We all have a chance to be educated, and it is important that you make sure you or your child hangs on and completes her studies. My father was from a poor family and his parents wanted him to give up schooling at the age of 12 to work. However, at the young age, luckily, he realised the imporatance of knowledge and decided to continue studying, while doing odd jobs. This determination will definitely pay off.

a man with a PSLE cert can go only this far. but a man with a uni cert can go much further. a man who can read, write and speak well will go even further.

let us not forget what the government has done for us; but also not be blinded by their actions and let them lead us by our nose.

easier said than done, but perseverance is the work you do AFTER the hard work you have already done. this is no big fancy quote. in fact it is really the truth. when my teacher told me that, i felt that i really had to press on.. i mean everyone has difficult points in their lives. and what may seem to be a difficult part of my life may seem easy to you, but you definitely cannot just dismiss others difficulties because of that.

if a man thinks that he is really suffering because he cannot buy his family a luxurious meal, you cannot just dismiss the whole incident, as different things mean differently to individuals. even if he has the bare necessities, life may not always be smooth sailing.

just my view.

8:16 PM  

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