Sunday, August 26, 2012

Get over the anti-foreigner and xenophobic mentality

Within the community, though, Mr Lee said there are "troubling signs". He spoke of disputes among fellow Singaporeans, and something a little bit more difficult to manage -- relations between Singaporeans and new arrivals.

The prime minister said: "I think it's fair enough to express concern or disagree with our immigration trends or oppose our immigration policies. That's part of the democratic debate.

"But I am worried by some of the nasty views which are expressed -- especially online and especially anonymously. When a foreigner says or does something wrong, especially to a Singaporean, response is overwhelming.

"But bad Singaporean behaviour often goes uncriticised and a good deed by a foreigner often goes unnoticed."

Mr Lee said such incidents reflect badly on Singaporeans, damage Singapore's international reputation and give the impression that the country is anti-foreigner and xenophobic.

He called on both Singaporeans and new arrivals to show a generosity of spirit to one another. "New arrivals must also embrace our values, commit themselves to Singapore and integrate into our community," he added.


Get over the anti-foreigner and xenophobic mentality.

The situation has been with us for so many years already, and will continue to exist into the future. Looking at our fertility rate, it's not too far in the future for Singapore to reach a 1:1 ratio of Singaporeans vs Foreigners.

So prepare yourself for that likely scenario.

Most people are still harping on this issue when they should have moved on long time ago.

Better get used to the reality and future now.

A Cyclists Eye View of Singapore Roads

Cyclist killed in collision with lorry

Stephen Choy: My Friend is Dead

So some cyclist died and his friend wrote to the minister asking for a 1.5m bicycle lane.

If you watch the video above and think that drivers are driving badly, perhaps you've missed the point. They are driving normally, badly is the normally in Singapore.

Drivers do not give a damn about bicyclists on the roads. They don't care about other drivers. They even ignore basic stuff like signalling before changing lanes.

If a traffic accident happens, it's just a traffic accident. It's not a criminal offense. You break an arm or leg, or lose your life in a worst case scenario but the driver will only get a fine, maybe have their driving license suspended.

I will be surprised if the cyclist who posted the video don't die on the road if he/she continues riding like that. Not through his/her own fault, but you can never underestimate how callousness drivers can be.

How many more should die before action is taken?

As many as it takes to make it statistically significant.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The true cause of Singaporeans not wanting babies

Everything's changed.

It sure has. Singapore today has higher cost of living, higher population density and a more stressful life as a result of those two.

Articles online have been popping up regarding the fertility rate.

Even LKY recently said, "If we go on like that, this place will fold up, because there'll be no original citizens left to form the majority, and we cannot have new citizens, new PRs to settle our social ethos, our social spirit, our social norms. So my message is a simple one. The answer is very difficult but the problems, if we don't find the answers, are enormous," said Mr Lee.

So what's the cause?

It's definitely not the stressful education system. Singaporean's don't think that long term. When you want to have a baby, it's unreasonable to predict what will happen in the future.

Is it the cost of living?

In the past, I thought it was not. People who want to have babies will have them anyway. But nowadays, I've changed my mind after looking at the inflation and home prices.

I went to and did a search for a 2 bedroom HDB flat. It's around $300,000. With a 30 year loan, you'll be paying $833 per month (not including interest). Is that good or bad? Depends on how much you're earning, and how much you want to pay for your flat.

But recently, I've changed my mind again. I wondered if there's a radical way to sell HDB flats at cost price. Would it affect the fertility rate? People will have more cash to get themselves a bigger place, a more conducive place to have kids. Or will people take the money and go for more holidays? It's the latter that made me change my mind.

Do the educated people today want more time for themselves or for babies?

Babies are important to Singapore. With a per capita of $49,270 (in 2012), third in the world, each baby is worth that much. And every baby essentially guarantees GDP growth because of consumption that comes from education, housing and the basic necessities of life. The baby is Singapore's most important GDP unit. People are.

More importantly, each baby will have a higher chance of staying in Singapore, thereby locking the money used to buy housing in Singapore. If there's going to be too many non-Singaporeans, chances of money flowing out the country is higher, and more significant. This happens when people don't want to retire in Singapore. And Singapore isn't a good place to retire in.

So up until now, we still don't really know the cause of the low fertility rate. Someone should interview people on the ground to find out the true cause. The answer is going to be very interesting.
The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them. - Albert Einstein.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

And so it has began, making videos to help improve birthrate.

Here's a serious video.

And here's a not so serious video.

I don't sense that Singapore is that desperate yet. Yes, the birthrate numbers are incredibly bad. But until I see some policy changes, I can't say that Singapore is serious enough to tackle the problem.

For goodness sakes, start with making housing prices affordable. Sell them at a profit over cost, sure, but don't peg it to the market. If buyers want to resell their flats, have them sell back to HDB at the same price.

If you have more money to spend on a larger home, then it's more likely to have more children. Heck, you'll even have more time to spend on them too because you won't be so busy working for money to pay off your HDB debt. I just went to a friend's new home and it wasn't big considering the price. If it were me, I'll not have more than one children given the space. Never.

In the meantime, keep making videos and websites. I'm sure they will have a great return on investment.