Salah Year's National Day Rally

Posted: August 19, 2009 by fievel in Labels: ,

It has been more than a week since my last post. I've been busy with my wedding so its tough to be writing about Singapore's issues which invariably leaves me an angrier man each time. Today, I blog as a married man, a husband of another individual - in a blissful and slightly calmer way.

I wasn't able to catch PM Lee's National Day Rally 2009 live but thanks to the internet, I knew I was going to be able to find it on youtube or something, in any case I did not expect anything he say to be too critical that I couldn't come back to several days later. (Sometimes I think the biggest threat to our rulers' "national security" is youtube and the likes...but I digress)

Having seen the rally on youtube just, I was left wondering if this was indeed 2009's rally... Or is this the template meant for 2002 post 9-11, and somehow got mixed up with this year's. Instead of engaging Singaporeans on any of the following issues - our widening wage and social gap, our ballooning inflation, our dislike for an overcrowded country, our depressed wages for blue collar jobs, our structural unemployment, our distaste for the way Temasek handled our "family jewels", our 5 years' old dissent for the government's million dollar pay hike - he decided to talk about religious/racial harmony and what we have achieved in the past 50yrs? What bollocks!?

I knew there was no way Mr Lee was going to open the can of worms on the critical issues the majority of Singaporeans have been grappling with. If the Duxton Plains HDB's high market value translates to the success and hence happiness of Singaporeans, if the Singapore river was really clogged up last year but got cleaned up by this current cabinet of ministers in the past 12 months, if our nation of Singaporeans suddenly became devoid of material pangs, and suddenly became filled with nothing on their mind but religious and racial differences, THEN MAYBE, maybe this was a useful rally. If anything, it is nationalistic and sexual differences that have recently proved to be more critical, not racial or religious.

They lay claim that the job credit scheme is a success. That it is fine for us to lose some jobs during the companies' expected restructuring because they will emerge with new ones. I think what it shows is we have a government disconnected with reality, one who is still trying to solve 2009's problems with 1989's solutions. For example, back then, a Singaporean worker could jolly well move from a biscuit factory to a textile factory. Today, our world has evolved - the work environment is fiercer and more competitive and specialized than ever, such that you cannot get a journalist to transform into a banker simply with a catchy sounding upgrading retraining program. You also cannot ask Singaporean PMETs who used to earn $6000 a month to "not be too choosy" and become a security guard (which by my estimate earns maximum of $1500 a month) and consider it solved, because this fool we are talking about probably has a high HDB mortgage due to prices which our Minister of National Development has failed to keep in check over the years.

Perhaps that is why we are hearing a rally speech that feels, sounds and IS so disconnected from 2009's reality. See, I got carried away again ; note to self - definitely need to read up on anger management.

Reading other blogs writing about these issues every day and then seeing this rally, feels as if we live in ancient China where the Emperor lives in the confines of the Forbidden City and does not hear the people anymore.


  1. Congratulations on getting married! :)

  1. The Emperor does live in the forbidden palace. It's called Istana or PMO.

  1. Fievel says:

    Yah, but the difference then and now is internet, newspapers, radio. How can the emperor still not hear anything?

  1. Istana has no money to pay for broadband?