Proud of my 'poor' Singaporean stench

I was outraged reading this news on TRE: Briton belittles people taking public transport.

When members of the public asked him why he made those remarks, he apparently deleted his Facebook account, and later posted an apology with a clarification <HERE>.

Although I am shocked by the Briton's remarks, I am not totally surprised. Let me tell you why.

With COEs hovering over the $70,000 mark, and with financing restrictions on motor vehicle loans, it certainly looks like eventually, only the rich would be able to afford and drive cars in Singapore. Already 63 percent of Singaporeans take the public transport now. The Government wants to increase this to 70 percent.

Towards achieving this, the Transport Minister, Mr Lui Tuck Yew said in an interview to Bloomberg TV that the Government "had to take some measures here in Singapore that are both unorthodox and somewhat controversial and expensive."

So while the rich zoom around town unperturbed by ERP increases, car-parking charges and ever-increasing road capacity to cater to their ease of transportation, 63 percent of 'poor' Singaporeans have to cope with over-crowded trains and buses, buses and train that frequently breakdown, public transport which don't arrive on time, and transport fare hikes.

While prime land like Sentosa Cove and Marina Bay become playgrounds for the rich and powerful, the 'poor' gets pushed to the peripherals of Singapore to places like Woodlands, Sembawang and Sengkang. (An article I wrote earlier on this topic is HERE.)

While world leaders like Pope Francis points out that "there is no hard evidence that trickle-down economics has worked for anyone, except the rich", our leaders make comments like this:
“In fact, if I can get another 10 billionaires to move to Singapore and set up their base here, my Gini coefficient will get worse but I think Singaporeans will be better off, because they will bring in business, bring in opportunities, open new doors and create new jobs, and I think that is the attitude with which we must approach this problem.” <LINK>
Why, by pegging their salaries to the top 1000 earners in Singapore, our political leaders seem to be identifying more with the well-off than with the common man on the street.

Do you still remember, "Please, get out of my elite uncaring face"?

No, I am not saying that all the filthy rich are smug, but when the rich and powerful have better (unfair?) advantage in domains like transportation, land allocation, and education, it is quite easy for them to remain aloof and adopt an elitist mindset - to lose touch with the aspirations and challenges of the ordinary Singaporean.

My worry is, that there may be far too many among the filthy rich who feel like the Briton, but only make such comments in their closed circles.

But as for me, I am proud of my stench - the stench of a "poor", ordinary Singaporean, and am also proud of the sacrifices my mom had made in raising me!

Article was edited after it was published. Considering the Briton's apology, I have removed the Youtube video.


Unknown said…
You smell better than all the other foreign trash. Anytime.
Unknown said…
Where he comes from, the natives smell of mutton and butter. Their Underground is swirling with dust and dirt and the pavement is splattered with vomit. These white guys have a life style which they can't get from where they came from. This is the problem with Singapore. It has become an outpost for the whites who continue to behave like colonialists.