Once the storm has calmed down on Heather Chua, cool heads will prevail and she will be revealed for being a troll who is playing the rich-poor gap card to get attention from the Internet.
There are certainly many unions which people will support, much like the way some football fans love or hate Manchester United :
- Twilight fans wage war over whether Bella should go for Edward or Jacob.
- Hunger games fans support the not-so-fun-to-pronounce Peetniss union ( Peeta/Katniss )
- Mediacorp fans also gush with excitement over the Joanne Peh/Qi Yuwu union.
As for me, I think there is a great value and logic in the RGS girl / ITE guy union. So if Heather Chua is right and there is indeed an RGS girl who married in ITE guy, I'll be cheering them on !
It's something policy makers really think about.
Right now, i think Singapore still believes in traditional Asian matches, where an "A" man is expected to marry a "B" woman, a "B" man is expected to marry a "C" woman, etc... Such an arrangement will result in an overwhelming supply of "A" women like those from RGS and the misunderstood ITE guys who get an unfair rating because of the elitist society that we belong to.
An RGS woman is intelligent and completely capable of looking herself, does she really need an intellectual powerhouse like an RI-guy or the swaggering wealth of the the ACS guy ? She's probably smart and rich enough to take of herself.
Here's why ITE guys should be given fair consideration:
a) ITE guys start work earlier and can start compounding their savings at a younger age.
The problem with advanced degrees is that you start work late. While you have a higher pay, you will have fewer years to compound your savings. ITE certificate guys start work immediately after NS at about 21. Compare that with a medical doctor who can only get their first paycheck at age 26.
b) ITE guys can expect better increments due to the political sea change in Singapore.
Have you wondered why plumbers and electricians do so well in Australia and England ? These economies are not as open to globalisation as Singapore is. Our inflow of foreign talent keeps the folks in services related fields low. As our electorate is starting to reveal their fangs in the last election, I think that blue collar work and services oriented jobs will receive a larger proportion of pay increments in the past as foreign workers are sent packing. So it's highly probable that an electrician can have a better increment than a magazine editor in the next few years.
c) Opportunity costs to have a single breadwinner in the family is low.
A professional couple is always struggling to balance work with family. If you disagree with my points (a) and (b). the ITE guy can quit his job and start doing stuff to keep the family running. If his pay is low relative to his wife, it only means that it the opportunity cost of quitting his job is lower. If a RGS doctor marry an RI/ACS lawyer, the opportunity cost for one spouse to quit is too high and child rearing duties normally become outsourced to the maid.
I think with that in mind, perhaps policy makers should really start to address the oversupply of highly educated women and blue collar men. Here are my proposals :
a) Have special subsidized dating events for RGS women and ITE guys.
While the policy of having SDN run events with the private sector comes from a good place, tax payers money should be channeled to where it can help the most. RGS-ITE couples can run these events and talk about how to make their union a success.
b) Provide an actual cash award for such couples.
In countries like Qatar, men are financially rewarded for marrying locals. Why not credit $50,000 to such couples for a start. I think the impact on our budget will be minimal.
In summary, I think part of the reason why people are hurt by Heather Chua is that Singapore is truly elitist. While people get upset with Heather Chua, no one has actually stepped forward with a logical reason for RGS women to marry ITE guys and propose policy interventions.