Forbes Singapore third richest country: well done, Ministers!

Young cleaner in China

Elderly cleaner in Singapore

Friends have been sending me SMSes expressing incredulity over news that Singapore is the world’s third richest country according to Forbes.

We all know Singapore is in the top ten when it comes to sovereign wealth funds but this doesn’t register with the man in the street as the news that the country is the third richest in the world.

Why, you may ask?

Just ask yourself Do you feel really so rich that you face no anxiety over present and future monetary issues?

Despite the outward appearances of a glittering and ultra-modern infrastructure, the average person is the grips of anxiety over money problems: rising costs of transport, education, healthcare, housing and food.

Naturally, our ministers who pay themselves the highest ministerial salaries in the world for governing a mere 704 km2 or 272 sq mi, which is smaller than some Malaysian plantations, are mystified over these concerns.

The extraordinary oddity is the fact that the third richest country has thousands of its senior citizens, some well into their 70s, toiling away in menial jobs as cleaners in eateries, shopping malls and toilets.

In my travels in Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia I observed that such cleaners are much younger people.

China also faces the challenges of an ageing society but again cleaners are predominantly younger people.

The older generation helped to lay the foundation for modern Singapore. Now that they are in their twilight years this government has largely forgotten them.

This government, quick to reward themselves princely salaries, bonuses and pensions, have failed the older generation who have to continue in toiling at backbreaking jobs to survive.



4 Responses to “Forbes Singapore third richest country: well done, Ministers!”

  1. precisely. because the young ppl overseas can only find less paying jobs than singaporeans. hence have to resort to cleaning jobs. no doubt the average singaporean is rich. yeah…money woes…i know plenty of ppl frm poorer backgrounds than me somehow having the money to buy iphones which i don’t on and go on overseas trips which i’ve never ventured so far to.

  2. Just look at the recent ST report on Bus Drivers for SBS.
    What used to be 64% are local workers, has now dropped to 60%.
    Who the hell on 3rd most richest country on earth can survive on S$1400+ salary?
    In another 5 years time, the equation will become 40% local, 60% FT or worse.
    Minimal wage is the way to go.

  3. i am a middle class singaporean. drive a modest sedan. I earn 300K plus plus annual income with net assets of a couple million. I dont see myself unique when i talk to folks around me.

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