Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Independence... I'm really glad for it~

Singapore just celebrated its 46th year of independence. From 1963 to 1965 we were part of the Malaysia along with Sabah and Sarawak. Before that we were a British colony. I am glad that we are part of neither of them. For all its nature beauty and some wonderful people, the government policies really leaves much to be desired. As for the UK... the London riots over the past few days more or less confirmed the fact that something had gone horribly wrong in their system.

Modern governments are facing challenges posed by the internet. Rioters and looters can coordinate their actions thru encrypted Blackberry messages or Twitter and the speed at which these messages get thru is probably coordinating the actions of the rioters faster than the riot police can wear their helmets.

The cops in London are also in a real fix. Shoot they get condemned don't shoot they get condemned. For their own sake, they probably chose the right option by not using water-cannons/rubber bullets/tear gas least they get sued for "excessive" force. Personally I think they should have brought out the tear gases and water cannons on the 1st night, and rubber bullets by the 2nd.

Then there are the comments from Americans about having guns for self-protection. You may have a .22 but the other guy may carry something which fires a 7.62 in return. The application for gun permits is pretty rigorous but it is not flawless~ Who checks the person who checks the applicants?

Anyway... I think fundamentally we still got it pretty good here in Singapore. And then I saw a cover story about a widow in Singapore raising up 10 kids on S$1,000 a month. It really put my world into perspective because I used to spend way more than that on a serviced apartment in TST, or approximately that much money just on bowling fees and equipment in a month.

46 years is a short period of time for a nation. We do not have a godfather up north who will look after our economic and defence needs. We do have neighbours who cannot wait to see us trip and fall. Stability and sustainable growth will carry us only as far as a sustainable birth rate coupled with a successful immigration policy... For all our economic successes, we really need to see how we can have Singaporeans reproducing enough so that we do not have to rely on foreigners. But we will always need foreigners... who's going to the construction site, build new tunnels and clear the rubbish if all Singaporeans are not willing to take up these jobs?

In another dimension, construction site workers will be paid as much as middle executives because of the risks involved and hard work they put into the job. Maids will get 14-day leave packages and US$2,000/mth. Top bankers will be paid 10% of what they are getting now. Governments will be manned by capable people. Democrats and Republicans will actually work together for the good of everyone. The World Trade Center will still be standing.

I'm not really sure which one sounds more crazy. My other dimension or the world we actually live in...

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