Chua Chin Leng lambasted the Govt for its $100 “token” of appreciation to NSMen today*. He said such tokens are not commensurate with the risk and sacrifice our citizen-soldiers have to go through. He added that if the Govt expects its citizens to sacrifice themselves for the country, it should guarantee housing for all citizens.
Much as I agree with Chua on the stupidity of the “token” gesture from the Govt and the injustice he feels, I believe he’s on the wrong track, along with many other Singaporeans. Unfortunately, this is caused by the entitlement mentality that the PAP has bred in Singaporeans for over 50 years.
How many countries have conscription? Of these, how many guarantee their citizens a roof over their heads? Is there a link between the two?
In most countries, people do not live in public housing, very simply because they feel that public housing should be subsidised and subsidies should be given only to the very poor, not to 100% or even 80% of the population.
In such countries, public housing means cheap rent-controlled housing for the really poor people. For instance, they call it Council Housing in the UK, and only the poor qualify. Everyone else buys or rents from the market, although there is of course the expectation that the Govt ensures there is sufficient housing stock and property price stability. But they do not want the Govt to be their landlord.
Here instead we have the expectation that the Govt should provide housing for everyone, along with everything else. And when the Govt doesn’t provide, they complain— yet they dare not vote out the PAP when things don’t go their way.
Singaporeans have become too dependent on the Govt. We are like children who never grow up, never leave our parent’s home, who continue to demand an allowance from our parents even after we’ve grown up.
It’s not good for Singaporeans, frankly. It makes us way too dependent on the Govt, and indirectly, on the PAP. That’s why Singaporeans have such a poor record of entrepreneurship, creativity, etc. Because we want the Govt to lead in everything.
If we want real change, demand empowerment, not entitlement.
So do not demand for a HDB flat just because you’ve done NS.
Demand land sales so that prices of housing can come down.
Demand that the Govt stop ruling our lives through HDB regulations and policies, so that we don’t have ethnic quotas for HDB estates.
Demand that HDB turn over the management of flats to the people, in the same way that condo developers turn over the management of condos to management corporations after construction.
Demand to form our own management committees so we can set out own bye-laws, decide how many dogs or cats we can keep in our own HDB flats and not be ruled by some edict from HDB.
Demand that HDB stop being our landlord.
Demand that the PAP stop interfering in our lives.
* There are conspiracy theorists who believe that the $100 token to NSmen is a move to inject $900M into the economy to head off a “technical” recession. How about them apples?