Saving the Singaporean Middle Class…..

April 19, 2013

I realize recently, the government seems to be finally acknowledging they may have gone too far with their happy-go-lucky policy of unmitigated immigration of foreign PMET. These days even the government along with wax work ministers all seem to be experiencing a rare moment of epiphany…on the table, there is talk of putting the brakes on free for all immigration…for the very first time, there is now a criteria….as they seem to be hell bent on reversing many of their once corrosive immigration policies that once had the effect of decimating the Singaporean middle class.

Many people may be lured into the false sense of security that this recent change of heart by the government, will be enough to restore the Singaporean workforce equilibrium and increase the aperture for job opportunities – along with stimulating salaries for PMET’s to move upwards.

But I am not so sure this latest round of U turns will be able to fix many of the problems that will still continue to militate against native PMET’s from securing decent jobs – the way I see it, these measures should have been rolled BEFORE the inception of the plan to ram up the population by putting it on round after round of steroids just to chase the allure of economic growth ten years ago! Now at this late stage in the game talking about emergency brakes is a bit like discussing whether the Titanic could have survived it’s I’ll fated duel with an iceberg, if it had radar…to me the discussion is now a giant academic abstraction.

I can’t for the life of me see how so little at this late stage of the game is ever going to reverse the trend or restore the notion of the level playing field any longer for native PMET’s – neither do I believe the policy makers themselves even realize how much of the DNA that once made possible the idea of broad based Singaporean middle class can ever be re-built again. Or for that matter how tenuous the links were and to what extent they have been devastated – coming to think of it, I don’t even believe anyone really knows the scale of the destruction or for that matter the magnitude of how happy-go-luck immigration has actually scissored and destroyed the most productive class in Singapore.

In my opinion the only reason why no one has bothered to scale either the lost and decimation of the Singaporean middle class in the last ten years is because all the ST seems to do, is just churning out the trite mind numbing fairytale: how all remains well in paradise. Wonder no more why it even took the custodians of power so long to register the ground swell that when they lost the Punggol by election it came like a bolt from the blue – in my book, this is axiomatic of political outfits that simply didn’t bother to put their ears close to the ground. In summary, they fucked it all up!

Nonetheless for the curious – when one peels back the veneer of this seemingly happy scene where the government seems to experiencing an awakening of sorts – then what becomes clear is this may well be a problem that has been neglected for so long that all attempts to reverse the trend now may well be a forlorn dream. Impossible even in my assessment…as all systems can really only take X or Y of abuse. Beyond a certain tipping point, even the most optimistic would have to consider the theoretical possibility…it’s busted beyond all hope of repair.

My feel is, it’s best to be frank and call a spade, a spade….the Singaporean dream is dead. I my opinion.

I am reminded the truth is seldom a pleasant thing…but nonetheless necessary….if we are to move on…..

Darkness 2013

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