Monday, 30 May 2011

So Rich yet So Poor



Singapore as a country is very rich so do residents staying in Singapore, regardless of their nationality.  This is how Gross Domestic Products are measured and with population of 5 million over, our economy is now richer than our closer competitor, Hong Kong which has more than 7 million people.

Look at the following headline, how wonderful it is:

 

Singapore's GDP set to overtake Hong Kong's this year: Merrill Lynch


Our land is smaller, our population is smaller and yet we are richer.  This in the past, especially before GE2011, is what the People’s Action Party (PAP) is championing for.  We have made it. We have achieved it and have beaten Hong Kong handsomely.  So, shall call for a celebration?  Yes, in the past, before 7 May 2011, the PAP will show off and the media will highlight it as another greater achievement for the government.

As what Dr. Lim Wee Kiak’s thinking and joking about our ministerial pay, Singaporeans can now travel around the world and asking other people how much is their GDP and looking down almost all of them, including Hong Kong people, most Europeans because their per capita GDP is much smaller than us.     

But, wait a moment… There is another side of the story and this are the real reasons why the PAP did badly in GE2011.

We are really not that rich, especially for the lower bottom of the residents.  Excluding foreigner labour (maids and workers), these poor residents are true blue Singapore citizens.  They can’t even own a home or dying at home without notice.

Here are 2 pieces of the sad news:

Khaw: Tens of thousands of rental flats needed


and

 

About 6 elderly S'poreans die alone each month



Are we heading even more of the good and bad news? Are we moving towards even a greater social divide, for those have and haven’t?   No wonder our Gini index is getting into a dangerous level.  We will experience and expect to see more rich getting richer and more poor become poorer.

The government is listening as what PM Lee told Singaporeans when he begins his new term as Primer Minister.  PM Lee is asking for a review on the ministerial pay.   What can expect? Can a lower paying Minister solve the housing problem and care more for the poor, sick and old?      

It is too early to tell.  Let’s wait and see. 

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