Singaporeans may feel that they are cheated of their dreams and aspirations.
There used to be a time when Singaporeans can look forward to upgrading. We can aim for the 5Cs (Cash, Condo, Credit cards, Car, Country Club membership). We can look forward to upgrading from 3-room HDB flat, to 4-5 room HDB flat to a condo and more. If you drive a Toyota, you can look forward to upgrading to a BMW. Dreams and hope are important in motivating a person to want to do well in life. Yes, these are just materials wants and are not the most important things in life. There are many other important things to strive for — good health and personal safety, good family relationships, meaningful friendships, a peace of mind and a sense of well-being. But nonetheless, these wants can give a person a sense of progression in life, something to look forward to and to give them drive and motivation to move on in life.
Now, some Singaporeans find themselves out of jobs due to the mostly unrestrained flow of cheap, foreign workers into Singapore. With the supply of cheap, foreign workers hugely abundant, Singapore’s economy and job market (be it during boom times or recession times) may basically be akin to a perpetual recessionary state for its citizens and anyone planning to work long-term in Singapore. When a person loses a job, he/she loses more than just a source of income. He/She loses good job prospects and career advancement opportunities. He/She loses the means to comfortably afford the essential needs in life, let alone unnecessary material wants such as the 5Cs.
He/She may lose a stable, happy family due to the huge stress of trying to pull the family together and through such trying times. He/She may lose physical, emotional and mental health due to such demoralising setbacks. When a person loses a job, he/she can take a long period of time before he/she lands another job. With such insecure job market conditions, a person may find himself/herself working for shorter periods of time before being faced with another retrenchment. A person may be unable to be gainfully employed for much of his/her working life from graduation to retirement. This is extremely demoralising. This is made worse by the spiralling high costs of living due to the burgeoning population. At present, many Singaporeans don’t dream of upgrading anymore, they are trying not to downgrade.
Many Singaporeans studied very hard in our good local schools, paid substantial school and university fees and worked very hard in our careers. Many Singaporeans have invested a lot of time, effort and money in their futures. It can be understandable that many Singaporeans feel short-changed when they have to settle for much less when faced with seemingly perpetual recessionary conditions in the job market due to the abundance of cheap, foreign labour. This may not be very acceptable when our pioneer generation toiled very hard since Singapore’s independence to achieve the First-World country that we are today.
In addition, Singapore has big reserves from the labour of our forefathers. Many of them worked hard wanting to provide a good life for their descendants. Many of them may have felt disappointed that their children and grandchildren are unable to enjoy the fruits of their labour, despite having advanced Singapore from Third-World to First-World and to a country with large reserves. Besides feeling sad and disheartened to see their children becoming jobless, they may feel that they are burdening their children. But this need not be the case because Singapore, at present, already have the means to provide good, comfortable lives for all its people.
True Blue Singaporean