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Typical Singaporeans

By TAY TIAN YAN
Translated by Soong Phui Jee
Sin Chew Daily

I took a taxi to the airport after my trip in Singapore ended on 7 May 2011.

The taxi driver, Huang, said that he would go to a polling station to cast his vote after that.

Just like most of the taxi drivers in Singapore, Huang was keen to express his feelings and political view.

He told me that he used to be a sales promoter. After a corporate reshuffle, he accepted a voluntary severance programme offered by the company and left after receiving S$50,000 of removal compensation.

He thought that he could enjoy life with the severance pay while looking for another job.

"Unexpectedly, I had failed to get a job even I had attended numerous interviews throughout the year.

"They asked me to go back and wait for their phone calls, and I received none.

"These companies would prefer recruiting foreigners to middle-aged men like me," he said.

A year later, Huang spent all his severance pay and he decided to be a taxi driver.

"I start working at 6am everyday and have to worry about the day's fuel costs, car period, insurance and family expenses.

"All prices are surging and I have to work really hard.

"I have to work 365 days a year, including Chinese New Year.

"Housing prices now are very high. In those old days, Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats sold at S$80,000 and now they are sold at S$400,000.

"How can my son afford it since he has just started working?

"Singaporeans have to endure hardship day after day. What else can we do?"

We then changed the subject to the general election. He said that the momentum of the opposition was strong this time and they should be given a chance in the Aljunied Group Representation Constituency (GRC).

I asked him who he would vote for.

He did not hesitate and gave a clear answer: "I vote in Marine Parade and will vote for the PAP!"

I was surprised and asked him why.

"Singapore must depend on the PAP as it is more experienced and capable.

"The opposition is also important but it should not get too many votes or there will be a problem," he answered.

What a typical Singaporean!

If you have doubts over the Singapore's general election results, Huang has indeed answered your questions.

Singaporeans are dissatisfied with the status quo and the PAP. They also hope that the opposition could do something to check and balance the ruling party. Young people have also been longing for a liberal democracy.

In reality, however, most people are still certain that the PAP is effective and clean, even though they have to pay these public servants the highest salaries in the world. They have also got used to rely on the PAP.

To most Singaporeans, the PAP is the government and the forever ruling party.

There will be no change of power in Singapore in the foreseeable future.

Singaporeans who are skilled in calculation have entrusted their future to the PAP but at the same time, left a space to the opposition as a compensation, as well as a pressure for the PAP.

A surefire calculation of Singaporeans!

Of course, you might not agree with the calculation, because you are not Singaporean.

MySinchew 2011.05.09

 

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