Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Eliteness, Peeves and People need people

Sigh. Eliteness at its worst.

RJC College student Wee Shu Min, a daughter of MP Wee Siew Kim, literally blew herself up. And her father's career too. I'm not too sure if he will get elected for the measure. Not at least by the common people.

A certain blogger by the name of Mr Derek Wee blogged about his concerns on Singaporean workers and the competition from foreign talents and the lack of job opportunities from older workers. (See his full article)

She dismissed his views and commented:
"Derek, Derek, Derek darling, how can you expect to have an iron rice bowl or a solid future if you cannot spell?"

"There's no point in lambasting the Government for making our society one that is, I quote, 'far too survival of the fittest'... If uncertainty of success offends you so much, you will certainly be poor and miserable."

She told him to 'get out of my elite uncaring face' in a concluding comment. (see her full comments)

To top it off:
"Mr Wee Siew Kim said he stood by his daughter's 'basic point', but added: 'As a parent, I may not have inculcated the appropriate level of sensitivity, but she has learnt a lesson.' "

As one blogger puts it:
You will be disconnected too if you eat 'mee siam' with 'hums'.

(Newsflash) SBS Transit launches 'Flag the Bus Early' campaign

Duh. How stupid can we get? Peeves:

  1. Since when has the bus not stopping at bus-stops became the fault of commuters?
  2. Why call bus-stops if it is not for buses stopping? Maybe we should change 'bus-stops' to 'bus-maybe-stop-but-not-for-you'.
  3. Why don't bus compaines have 'Bus-drivers slow down and stop at bus-stops' campaign? Or have a 'Big number signs on buses' campaign? Just an example, have you ever tried flagging down a 160, 166 or 169 bus which has all three buses running at the same bus-stop?
  4. Why don't bus compaines have 'Stop wasting money on lousy campaigns' campaign and direct profits to 'Decrease fare hikes' campaign?
  5. Why do bus companies post high profit earnings but increase fares due to whatever excuses they can think of? Maybe we should also have another 'Stop giving us lousy excuses' campaign.
  6. Why bloody have a campaign at all? Do we need one? Did we ask for one? Aren't we a mature and developed society? Must we need campaigns to think for us?
I was touched by the financial help poured in for the family who lost the husband and father. He committed suicide by jumping in front of an oncoming MRT train. A couple of thought-provoking reads:

  1. Turning Away
  2. What exactly constitutes “financial difficulty”?

These are real life issues. How low can a man go before the help he needed ever came?

  1. How ever can a poor person (who is usually illiterate) know that he can receive help? How will he ever know there are 'vouchers' for him? If he had 80cents to buy a newspaper, wouldn't he be saving that for more important matters like food, basic necessities - soap, toothpaste, water, etc, which we often take for granted?
  2. How many people, who had given up their studies (in the late 60s, 70s) to work so that they can bring money for their younger siblings, find themselves lost out in the rat race to be elite? Re-training? *LOL*
  3. How many more of such people exist (with suicidal tendencies thinking where/when their children next meal will be) in Singapore? Must a suicide wake Singaporeans up? Must a death snap us from our Singapore dreaming?
  4. Are we too ingrained in pursuing academics, elite-ness that we forget who we are - humans who need humans? Just a touch, a simple gesture and kindness can turn a family around. Or can it?
  5. How come his relatives and friends never came to help? Now the family is 0.5 million dollars richer through the kindness and help poured in from the public. Will they suddenly appear to 'help' and become close to the family? Where was your loving back then?


Guess some questions will never be answered.


Kaffein said...

Derek Wee's original commentary which prompted Ms Wee's response above.

By Derek Wee
Oct 12, 2006

When I read the Straits Times article (dated 24 Sep) on PM Lee calling the young to be committed and make a difference to Singapore, I have so much thought about the issue.

I am 35 years old, graduated from University and gainfully employed in a multinational company. But I cannot help but feel insecure over the future of Singapore. Lets face it, it's not uncommon to hear, "when you are above 40, you are over the hill".

The government has been stressing on re-training, skills upgrading and re-adapt. The fact is, no matter how well qualified or adaptable one is, once you hit the magical 40, employers will say, "you are simply too old".

We have been focusing our resources and problem solving on low unskilled labour. But in reality, our managerial positions and skilled labour force are actually fast losing its competitiveness.

I travel around the region frequently for the past 10 years. It didn't take me long to realise how far our neighbours have come over the past decade.

They have quality skilled workers, and are less expensive. When I work with them, their analytical skills are equally good, if not better than us.

It's not new anymore. Taxi drivers are fast becoming "too early to retire, too old to work" segment of the society. I like to talk to taxi drivers whenever I am heading for the airport.

There was this driver. Eloquent and well read. He was an export manager for 12 years with an MNC. Retrenched at 40 years old. He had been searching for a job since his retrenchment.

Although he was willing to lower his pay expectations, employers were not willing to lower their prejudice. He was deemed too old. I wouldn't be surprised if we have another No. 1; having the most highly educated taxi drivers in the world.

On PM Lee calling the young to be committed and make a difference. Look around us. How dedicated can we be to Singapore when we can visualise what's in store for us after we turned 40? Then again, how committed are employers to us? But we can't blame them. They have bottom lines & shareholders' gain to answer to.

Onus is really on the government to revamp the society. A society that is not a pressure cooker. A society that does not mirror so perfectly, what survival of the fittest is.

But a society, where it's people can be committed, do their best and not having to fear whether they will still wake up employed tomorrow. Sadly, Singapore does not offer such luxuries and security anymore.

On the issue of babies. The government encourages us to pro-create. The next generation is essential in sustaining our competitive edge. Then again, the current market condition is such that our future has become uncertain. There is no more joy in having babies anymore; they have become more of a liability. It's really a chicken and egg issue.

Many of my peers, bright and well educated have packed up and left. It's what MM Goh called "quitters". It's sad but true, Singapore no longer is a place where one can hope to work hard their lives and retire graciously. It's really the push factor.

A future is something we sweat it out, build and call our own. Unfortunately, people like me, mid 30's going on 40's, staying put by choice or otherwise, we can't help but feel what lies ahead is really a gamble.

To PM Lee and the Ministers, we are on a different platform. Until you truly understand our insecurity, the future of Singapore to me remains a question mark.

Kaffein said...

From Ms Wee's blog:

Thursday, October 19, 2006

mom's friend sent her some blog post by some bleeding stupid 40-year old singaporean called derek wee (WHY do all the idiots have my surname why?!) whining about how singapore is such an insecure place, how old ppl (ie, 40 and above) fear for their jobs, how the pool of foreign "talent" (dismissively chucked between inverted commas) is really a tsunami that will consume us all (no actually he didn't say that, he probably said Fouren Talern Bery Bad.), how the reason why no one wants kids is that they're a liability in this world of fragile ricebowls, how the government really needs to save us from inevitable doom but they aren't because they are stick-shoved-up-ass elites who have no idea how the world works, yadayadayadayada.

i am inclined - too much, perhaps - to dismiss such people as crackpots. stupid crackpots. the sadder class. too often singaporeans - both the neighborhood poor and the red-taloned socialites - kid themselves into believing that our society, like most others, is compartmentalized by breeding. ridiculous. we are a tyranny of the capable and the clever, and the only other class is the complement.

sad derek attracted more than 50 comments praising him for his poignant views, joining him in a chorus of complaints that climax at the accusation of lack of press freedom because his all-too-true views had been rejected by the straits times forum. while i tend to gripe about how we only have one functioning newspaper too, i think the main reason for its lack of publication was that his incensed diatribe was written in pathetic little scraps that passed off as sentences, with poor spelling and no grammar.

derek, derek, derek darling, how can you expect to have an iron ricebowl or a solid future if you cannot spell?

if you're not good enough, life will kick you in the balls. that's just how things go. there's no point in lambasting the government for making our society one that is, i quote, "far too survival of fittest". it's the same everywhere. yes discrimination exists, and it is sad, but most of the time if people would prefer hiring other people over you, it's because they're better. it's so sad when people like old derek lament the kind of world that singapore will be if we make it so uncertain. go be friggin communist, if uncertainty of success offends you so much - you will certainly be poor and miserable. unless you are an arm-twisting commie bully, which, given your whiny middle-class undereducated penchant, i doubt.

then again, it's easy for me to say. my future isn't certain but i guess right now it's a lot brighter than most people's. derek will read this and brand me as an 18-year old elite, one of the sinners who will inherit the country and run his stock to the gutter. go ahead. the world is about winners and losers. it's only sad when people who could be winners are marginalised and oppressed. is dear derek starving? has dear derek been denied an education? has dear derek been forced into child prostitution? has dear derek had his clan massacred by the government?

i should think not. dear derek is one of many wretched, undermotivated, overassuming leeches in our country, and in this world. one of those who would prefer to be unemployed and wax lyrical about how his myriad talents are being abandoned for the foreigner's, instead of earning a decent, stable living as a sales assistant. it's not even about being a road sweeper. these shitbags don't want anything without "manager" and a name card.

please, get out of my elite uncaring face.

posted at 12:08 PM