Two Blue Ticks
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Written by Ng E-Jay
06 January 2015
Sometimes in life, we can do nothing but wait. And wait. And wait. We see the two blue ticks next to the WhatsApp message that we just sent out, and we wonder why the other party has not responded. Is she busy? Is she feeling ambivalent? What’s occupying her? What’s taking her so long? Does she have reservations about how things are going?
As Singaporeans, we have sent a clear message to the PAP about the change we want to see in Singapore. The PAP has received and read our message, and there are two blue ticks. Those two blue ticks keep politically aware and concerned Singaporeans up at night, wondering how our aged will retire with dignity, worried about the cost of living and the price of public housing, wondering when our government will open up and cease its authoritarian ways.
The majority of the actions that the PAP government has taken since GE 2011 have indicated they have not paid any heed to the message we sent. It’s true that they have slowed the influx of foreign labour and given Singaporeans a little breathing space. But the stress on society remains. Singaporeans are still facing fierce and unfair competition for jobs, and wages at the lower end of the income spectrum remain depressed despite the introduction of a minimum wage in a couple of key sectors.
We are still being overwhelmed by the influx of foreigners taking away our white collar jobs, by the cost of living that never seems to moderate even with the recent trend of global disinflation. Our young couples still struggle with expensive public housing, long waits for BTO projects to be completed, and are saddled with lengthy mortgages that will prevent them from accumulating funds for retirement. Our public transport breakdowns are still as frequent as ever, even though sleeper rail replacements and other infrastructure improvements are on-going.
It seems the changes have been half-hearted and insincere.
We have foreigner bosses discriminating against Singaporeans in the workplace. We have foreigners openly cursing Singaporeans and wishing us ill. What does the government do? A slap on the wrist perhaps, or even coming outright to defend them as in the case of Tan Tock Seng Hospital in the most recent episode involving the alleged outburst by one of their nurses against Singaporeans and against a particular religion. This is not the kind of society that any Singaporean wants. This is not the kind of xenophobia and racial or religious intolerance that we Singaporeans want in our country.
Our government has not listened to our calls for change. They have not responded to our concerns. There are two blue ticks next to the message we’ve sent, but they’ve gone unanswered so far. Fortunately for Singaporeans, while I have to wait out my own two blue ticks, Singaporeans know their chance to make another statement will come within the next one year or so, at the ballot box. And at the ballot box, instead of two blue ticks, we will be making our statement loud and clear with a giant X in the correct box.
This, we promise.
Meanwhile, I am waiting by my two blue ticks.