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Tuesday, May 03, 2011

SG Elections 2011

Everyone, and I mean everyone is talking about the upcoming elections. Even during the lunch which my CEB bought for the two emcees on Monday, most of the talk was about politics instead about our wedding. And when I met my external lawyer in a neighbouring country, he not only asked me to recite the Singapore pledge but also tried to sound out my views and allegiance.

Regrettably, I had little info or views to offer as I had not been following the news. Not just because of the travelling and upcoming nuptials, but because I know where my allegiance lies. Voting any other way simply isn't an option for me. The arguments I have heard for those seeking to vote otherwise have not shaken my loyalty in any way. There are many ways to express discontent or unhappiness with the flaws of the current system, some constructive and some non-constructive, but to gamble the future of my children by risking the stability of all that has allowed Singapore to prosper so far is one that I am not prepared to take just to show my unhappiness.

But to each his own view, his own right to vote. Working for a US based MNC which stresses that diversity ie bringing in foreign talent, is crucial to a country's growth (USA which welcomed immigrants with open arms at the turn of the century is cited as an example) has only strengthened my belief that there is no other way to avoid the tough medicine that the government has been doling out and some of us are whining about.

Protectionism has never bought much for the country's people in the long-run, especially in this age without borders. Even mighty China has had to allow its iron curtain. Countries compete on a global scale and the only resource that Singapore has its people. If Singapore adopts protectionist measures like its neighbor so as to protect its own people, then while the citizens may be satisfied temporarily, Singapore will lose out in the global economy to those other countries which have human talent.

I don't agree that we should set aside a number of places in our local universities for citizens to the exclusion of foreign talent for those places. The role of the government is to give the citizens a place to strive, to prosper, to ensure a sound and safe infrastructure which attracts MNCs which in turn means jobs for the locals, to give an equal opportunity to all.

If my child is unable to get into a local university, and the places there are taken up by foreigners who have scored academically better than my child, I wouldn't be blaming the foreigners. I would ask myself why is it that my child, of the same age, given all his privileges of studying locally, is unable to do as well as someone else the same age. If my child is simply not good enough, then that is the hard fact of life - that there is always someone else out there better. I would rather my child work for someone who took his place in university, then have my child with a degree but without a job because Singapore as a nation isn't growing. In short, I don't want a worthless degree for my child and that is exactly what the degree will be if it is a result of my child getting into university because of a place set aside.

Just like my friend is Pro-CommonSense, I am Pro-Equal Opportunities, Pro-Meritocracy, Pro-Competition. It is a tough WORLD out there, Singaporeans need to get TOUGHER for the NATION to compete. Sometimes people just don't appreciate what they have until they find themselves far worse-off, and in this tough world, Singapore isn't going to get a second chance.

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