What to Defend (Ourselves From)

SM Goh: Why should I be working for people who don’t feel they belong over [sic] here?

Why should I be voting for politicians who don’t feel that they are obliged to work for the people?

The ST letter below exemplifies directly what is wrong with Singapore and shows us indirectly what we have to defend.

Old lance corporal’s take on what we are fighting for

TO THE young Singaporean who feels that he doesn’t know what he’s defending any more (‘A disempowered generation?’; last Saturday), here is a simple reply from an old lance corporal: [What has it got to do with us whether you are an old lance corporal? I couldn’t care less if you were a prematurely senile general though I would rather you were a more enlightened old major.] 

We are defending our pride [Pride in what? Being oppressed?], friends, family, past [How do you defend the past? Has the SAF acquired a time machine?], present and future. We are defending our Asian-ness [What’s that? How do you defend it?], our languages [I see. National Service is to defend our languages. How about sending the commandos after policymakers who have banned broadcasts in dialect and are trying to eradicate Singlish?]; we are defending what it means to be Malay, Indian, Eurasian, Chinese [Is there anything threatening anyone’s state-classified ethinicity?] and, ultimately, we are defending what it is to be a Singaporean. [And would you care to tell me what it is to be a Singaporean? If it entails being a nonsense-spewing moss-brain that writes to the state-controlled papers to make a point that is pointless, please count me out.]

It is a fact that foreigners will bring economic benefit to society. [Is there anyone saying that Singaporeans must have no foreigners at all? Or are people just saying that Singapore is currently taking in foreigners indiscriminately without bringing about benefits?] Yes, there are social discomforts but the benefits weigh in favour of having them here. Otherwise, who is going to build your houses? Who is going to look after a greying population? [Foreigners look after a graying population??] Some of us complain that foreigners are stealing jobs [I haven’t heard of anyone claiming that they steal jobs. How could they steal something that is freely given to them?], but have they thought of the money they spend that is adding to us keeping ours? [Your examples seem to suggest that getting foreigners is like role-reversed colonialism where foreigners are exploited economically. And as if SM Goh’s nonsensical “Who is going to build your HDB flat [if there are no foreigners]?” retort was not bad enough, it has to be parroted here by an unthinking soldier deserves some severe corporal punishment.]

The problem of immigration is not a problem of Singapore alone. [On the other hand, the problem with Singapore is not the problem of immigration alone.] Traffic jams, crowded trains, not enough space? Take a look at any major city and you will see the same scenario. [But have Singapore reached the stage where such conditions are inevitable or are these conditions simply a result of bad policies and planning?] I am thankful we have this rather than problems of poverty [don’t we have poverty??], lack of consumers and slowly stagnating lifestyles [What stagnating lifestyles?? In any case, do we not have stagnant salaries and lifestyles that are more appropriately called wretchedexistencestyles?]

You say the sentiment on the ground is different. If you feed on sour plums, the flavour will be sour. The ground I’m looking at is full of energy and pride for the Singapore system. [Using your illogic, everything is sweet to you because you are feeding on saccharine. What makes saccharine better than natural, organic sour plums?] If you read material from dubious sources [Dubious sources like this letter of yours?], then yes, you will probably feel there is discontent. [What about his personal discontent? Are you saying that he is not real? Have you not seen him and refused to acknowledge his point?]

If you feel the Singapore spirit is diluted, why not do something about it? [Like what? Initiating a conversation with a ludicrously well-paid minister who does not feel obliged to work for Singaporeans? Or voting that minister’s party out?] Singapore is young and our culture needs to be built on [?????????]. If you don’t make illusions for yourself, you won’t be disillusioned. [It seems that you are the one with illusions. Delusions.]

Benjamin Chiang

Some ingaporeans may not know what they are defending, but allow me to make a recommendation. Singaporeans should defend themselves from the imbecility resulting from decades of PAP hegemony. It has already eaten the minds of fellow citizens like Benjamin Chiang. And this defense has got nothing to do with being enslaved by the military.

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