Enigma: Singapore a city full of paradoxes brags Grace Fu

Grace Fu, Minister in the PMO and Second Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, is brilliantly spot on when she described Singapore as a city of paradoxes.

A tiny city with one of the largest landfills in the world is truly amazing she gushed. I agree.

A land-scarce city that has devoted prime land to Gardens by the Bay, a network of park connectors for recreational purposes, parks and gardens, all making Singapore a lush and green city. In short, a beautiful city that has captured the imagination of many people whom I had met on my travels. Everybody I met seemed to know just that about Singapore.

There are other paradoxes which make for riveting reading. One is that the natives, thanks to a generous immigration policy, are gradually being outnumbered by foreigners much to the anger of Singaporeans.

Outwardly Singapore is a thriving cosmopolitan city with excellent infrastructure and a supposedly Parliamentary democracy but condemned by the UN and others for its human rights abuses, lack of civic and political and press freedoms.

And many scratch their heads in bewilderment at the fact that a party that won only about 60% of the votes at the last General Election has 90% of the seats in Parliament.

A taxi driver in Shanghai asked me, “Your government has a lot of money then how is it I saw many elderly people still working when I visited Singapore?” I don’t know the Chinese word for paradox or I’d have told him.

As one of the top ten sovereign wealth funds nations in the world, it’s indeed a paradox that an army of our elderly still have to toil in menial jobs, mainly as cleaners. In sharp contrast, the elderly in China I witnessed know the true meaning of enjoying their “golden years”.

Probably the mother of all paradoxes is the interesting fact that our Prime Minister and his Ministers, governing a mere 700 sq km of an island, are able to earn the world’s highest salaries.

Now even that would leave Obama and David Cameron puzzled: how did they do that?

Sad: no golden years for this senior

Sigh: nor for this senior


2 Responses to “Enigma: Singapore a city full of paradoxes brags Grace Fu”

  1. Singapore can no longer be your nest when you grow old. Face the fact Singaporeans, you will be forever slaves to work because this is the policy of Singapore government. Young generations need to plan and include retiring overseas for better quality of live. This is a sad fact currently, and I do not foresee much changes in the future because according to the government, Singapore only need working people. The cost of having non working old people is a burden. Sad, sad, sad…

    • I agree with you entirely. This government will never listen. We are now stuck with having 4 in 10 ratio of foreigners to locals. While other governments take a more calibrated approach towards immigration, ours let in all and sundry.

      Our woes can all be traced to one source: the core value of repression of the PAP.

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