Dr Vivian Balakrishnan: I am very ‘disappointed’ with tone of anti-foreigner feelings on Facebook
Despite rising concerns and frustrations among Singaporeans that they have been ‘short-changed’ by the government’s ultra-liberal immigration and pro-foreigner policies, PAP leaders continue to turn a blind eye to the problem and blame Singaporeans for being ‘anti-foreigner’ and ‘xenophobic’ instead.
Speaking at a dialogue during the Sinda Youth Leaders Seminar yesterday, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Dr Vivian Balakrishnan expressed ‘disappointment’ at the ‘anti-foreigner’ sentiments prevalent on the internet and urged youth leaders to stand up against such tirades.
‘We need to keep Singapore open and I am very disappointed with the tone of anti-foreigner feelings that I was reading on Facebook,’ he said.
Dr Vivian then repeated the centuries old PAP ‘mantra’ that Singapore ‘succeeded’ because it is OPEN to foreigners:
‘We should never forget how we got here and succeeded because we are an open society and took in talented people, and so we flourished. We need some of you to stand up for us and say this,’ he urged.
PAP leaders have often reminded Singaporeans that they are also descendants of immigrants to force their unpopular immigration policies down their throats. However, the first-generation immigrants came to Singapore to build their homes while the present wave of immigrants are mostly there to take advantage of the benefits made readily available to them.
Meanwhile, anti-foreigner sentiments continue to run high on social media with a Facebook page set up recently calling for Pinoy PMETs to be ejected from Singapore.
QUOTE: “PAP leaders have often reminded Singaporeans that they are also descendants of immigrants to force their unpopular immigration policies down their throats. However, the first-generation immigrants came to Singapore to build their homes while the present wave of immigrants are mostly there to take advantage of the benefits made readily available to them.” Vivian….
Woalan, he cannot see the different between those early migrants before Singapore independent and those foreign migrants today.
Our earlier migrants came to build Singapore from a small fishing port to a First World Country. They worked so hard, they sweat and they bleed. They contributed to Singapore success and built a huge Reserves and now, they are forgotten and left behind as 2nd class citizens.
Today, Foreign migrants are taking over Singaporeans jobs and they enjoy the benefits of what those early Singaporeans had built over the years.
Hello Vivian, can you see the difference now?
18th September 2012
I think it may defy common sense as to why anyone would not prefer cash, because cash can be used for housing (like the CPF Ordinary Account (OA)), medical (like the MediSave Account (MA) abeit with restrictions of use), and the Special Account (SA) can only be utilised from age 65 as monthly payouts under the CPF Life annuity scheme?
Even for those who may want the higher interest rate in CPF, they can always use cash to top-up their CPF under the CPF Topping-up scheme.
Workfare helps retirement?
As to “WIS was introduced to help low-wage workers build a retirement nest egg, said Mr Zanal, who heads a NTUC division that looks after contract, casual and low-wage workers, “But the reality is that their net incomes are actually insufficient to help them cope with rising costs”, he said”, I thought the original main purpose of introducing Workfare was to help older low-wage workers increase their wages to help them with their living expenses.
Self-employed: 100% to MediSave
Notwithstanding the above, if the purpose is to help low-wage workers build a retirement nest egg, why is it that 100 per cent of the Workfare payout for the self-employed is to their MediSave?
MediSave helps retirement?
The MediSave of low-wage households may be depleted by rising medical costs.
After all, in theory, isn’t MediFund supposed to help those low-wage families who are unable to pay for their medical expenses, under Singapore’s “affordable” healthcare system?
Workfare ratio – 1 : 2.5 (Cash/CPF)
Clearly, the current Workfare cash to CPF ratio of 1 : 2.5 for workers, is overskewed towards CPF.
For example, for a Workfare monthly payout of $100, only about $29 is cash, with the balance $71 evenly split between the OA, SA and MA accounts. This cash payment of just $29 may not be of much help to low-wage workers, particularly in the light that inflation is now running at 5.3 per cent.
Let the people choose
Actually, there may be a simple solution – have a default option of a combination of CPF and cash, and allow people to opt for cash only.
Leong Sze Hian
Leong Sze Hian is the Past President of the Society of Financial Service Professionals, an alumnus of Harvard University, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow and an author of 4 books. He is frequently quoted in the media. He has also been invited to speak more than 100 times in 25 countries on 5 continents. He has served as Honorary Consul of Jamaica, Chairman of the Institute of Administrative Management, and founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of Brunei and Indonesia. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional qualifications. He blogs at http://www.leongszehian.com.
That is the reason I did not apply for any workfare benefits because it does not solve the problems for the low income workers, it is just a “show” that the government is “helping” but what is the use of “money” you cannot put to good use unless you use it to pay your housing loan, but most of the low income is staying in rental flats, will it makes a difference?
– Contributed by Oogle.