More Chinese for Less?
WRITING ON THE WALL- THE CHINESE DILEMMA
The extract below from PN Balji’s recent article in the New Straits Times in Singapore:
“Fertility rate way below the replacement level and at an eye-popping level of 1.2 with the dangerous prospect of the population starting to go down from 2025; declining old-age support ratio that will see one senior citizen being taken care of by just two young people in 18 years’ time; and ballooning numbers of foreigners (including permanent residents) now making up about 38 per cent of the total population.
In a different Singapore, the solutions would have been obvious and straightforward. Force those who don’t marry and have children early to pay higher taxes. Force children to pay for their older parents’ upkeep. Keep bringing in more foreigners.
But today’s Singapore is a different proposition. The population is more engaged; they have started to use the ballot box to make the government less paternalistic and less heavy-handed.
And throwing money at the problem is not going to work as previous generous payouts to women to have children have not delivered more babies.
Lee talked about the need for a change in the mindsets of Singaporeans. The government’s mindset needs to change, too.
It has to start with accepting the reality that Singapore is slowly becoming a normal country.
High-profile corruption and sex scandals, floods, transport crush and breakdowns, slower economic growth and political activism have all made many, especially foreign investors, wonder if Singapore is losing its mojo.”
The putsch by Malaysia’s Chinese community for government and that pipe dream of overturning the constitution to displace the Malays, the dream of turning the peninsula Malays into another benign group of economically better off (but politically docile) eunuchs at the next general elections is no idle threat.
The campaign by a Chinese opposition, believed by many to be driven by Singapore’s fading political utopia, targets Malaysia, a state which has long been coveted by Lee and his party as that place where his political dreams could be revived and nurtured all over again. The Singapore dream has run out of steam, that seam has been mined to extinction.
FINAL SHOT IN THE LOCKER
A politically dissatisfied and largely corrupted, highly motivated and driven Chinese community in Malaysia, fed on that diet of Singapore’s political propaganda, form that well spring of Chinese chauvanism Lee and his henchmen have long coveted in order to cultivate and to rekindle the fading Chinese utopian dream. A Malay nightmare. Many of the Malaysian Chinese had dreamed of but missed or were disentitled to the Singaporean dream 4 decades ago either by choice or by simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. They now want to make up for it and the 13th General Elections in Malaysia is their final shot in the locker.
Perhaps the Malays and Indians ought to re consider their position before voting in the 13th general elections next year. They can either repeat the mistakes in trusting that Chinese “brotherhood and utopia” promised to all but delivered only and exclusively to loyal Chinese.