I don't really feel like blogging these days. But occasionally some things occur in the blogosphere and I suddenly find that I can't really help myself.
This National Day, a lot of bloggers have taken this opportunity to talk about the Singaporean Dream and of course partake in the tradition of PAP-bashing. A lot of what the Internet has been for the last few days can be summarized by something said by a famous blogger called Kitana who wrote this classic :
" In Singapore, it is difficult to dream. Difficult to dream of anything beyond the material. I don’t wish for a future where I am stuck in my dead end job wondering what the fuck I want in my life. I don’t want a future where I die to myself, murder my idealism and my dreams of being different, simply because ‘different’ is a bad word in Singapore. "
If Kitana is reading this, I'm really sorry.
I don't buy your message.
Sure, I had my share of failures and disappointment in Singapore and I was certainly not part of the scholar-mandarin caste in Singapore. Note that I will probably also vote opposition next election too.
This is my opinion, and I welcome you to challenge them here:
a) No society is obligated to make your dreams come true.
Sure, liberals want welfare and minimum wages. That is the Singapore Dream for them. With a welfare society, a liberal can spend his days drawing pictures of the Singapore River or compose poems about his dead cat. But welfare comes with taxes and wages come from the businessmen creates the jobs. Do we want some dreams to be funded from the nightmares of other people? Too much of the gripes are disguised as attacks on the PAP but they are actually thinly disguised attacks on fellow Singaporeans. Yes, fellow Singaporeans who work hard on their jobs and enjoy low taxes or work hard to CREATE jobs for other Singaporeans.
b) No society is out there to stop the pursuit of your dreams.
While Singapore is not obligated to realize the dreams of everybody, Singapore can never stop you from pursuing your dreams. You cannot be stopped from chasing your dreams. You might be stopped from actually attaining it but that happens to the best of us.
The ultimate power of a citizen is that he can give up his citizenship and take his productivity elsewhere, that's if he refuses to vote in the next election. Singapore has to fight for global talent too. Don't like MM Lee, no problem ! Pauline Hanson will welcome you with open arms down under.
c) Materialist dreams are not spared in this society.
The truth is that my own dream is a fairly materialist one. My dream is to live on dividend pay-outs generated from my earned income. When i shared my dream with readers, all I got was 21 pages of hate-filled postings on Channel News Asia. I don't believe that materialist dreams will be spared from the wrath of the disgruntled fellow citizen. People will attack you if potentially what you are doing is interesting and will make them look stupid.
d) If disapproval from fellow Singaporeans is preventing you from dreaming your dream, you must be quite a sad person.
One of my formative years which made me like this way was at the age of 10, my ACS kid neighbors decided that my ET BMX bike which my dad got for me was not cool enough. They said it was fake and I spent a large part of my youth dodging 7mm plastic pellets from their Thunderboy handguns.
The RI kids were'nt any better, they made fun of me because I went to a neighbourhood school.
If I'm going to gripe about the years where I was a geek kid getting wedgies, developing complicated neuroses about branded secondary schools, I would miss out making friends with many ACS and RI alumni today, many have become my best friends and they can count on me if they need help.
I'm just using this story because like many of you unhappy Singaporeans, I was too poor to qualify for ACS and too dumb to qualify for RI. ( Too Ang-moh to enter Chinese High )
I worked on my academic credentials in university and now I'm going through the journey on financial independence bit. I'm confident I'll get there before I'm 40.
The fundamentals of success does not vary from society to society. It certainly would not vary whether RP or PAP is in power.
Work your butt out, strive to be likeable and don't take things for granted. Look after your family and everything will take care of itself.
As a bonus, you'll earn the respect of your most vicious critics.
That is my Singapore Dream.