28 August 2006

Mr Wang Bakes Good Babies

I am in my thirties and I have two kids, aged four & two. Having a 3rd child is something that Mrs Wang and I talk about from time to time. We like the idea, but it requires careful consideration.

For us, the real constraint is time. If you want to raise kids, you should do it properly. To do it properly, you need time. I think we currently do a respectable job as parents of two kids. But the way I see it, if No. 3 comes along, then Mrs Wang has to quit her job to be a full-time mum.

If Mrs Wang quits her job, then she has no salary. That's the problem. So maybe the real constraint is money, after all.

Right now, I wouldn't have any real difficulty supporting three young kids on my sole income. Apart from earning more than the average Singaporean, I am also a lot less materialistic. A simple lifestyle and a happy family is good enough for me.

The problem is whether I, as sole breadwinner, would be able to continue to earn enough to support the family, as the years go by. The target would be to:

(a) support three children until they graduate from university; and
(b) still have enough to support myself and my wife in our old age.

Note Part (b) of the target. This is one important difference between society in the past, and society in the present. In the past, it was more or less understood that adult children would support their aged parents (the filial piety concept). Today, that understanding is already somewhat breaking down. I think that in the future, it will probably break down even more.

I belong to the middle phase. While I give some money to my parents every month, I myself do not have the expectation that my kids will do the same for me, when I am old. When that time comes, they may have financial obligations of their own. I see it as a basic responsibility to myself, to try as far as possible to depend on myself, not them.

That's why the target has Part (b). Which increases the financial challenge, and makes the decision to have a 3rd child more difficult. Not impossible, but more difficult.

I have a few tricks up my sleeve. Of course, I strive to do well in my career and earn more money; and also I try to invest smart and make more money out of more money. Apart from that, my new Master Plan for the 3rd Kid actually relies on the Integrated Resorts and the Foreign Talent policy.

My intention is to save up money now, and wait for 2011 or 2012. Here's how it could happen. By 2012, the IR would have been operating for a year or two. A fair number of rich, gambling Singaporeans would suddenly go bankrupt and the banks will come chasing. Nice houses and apartments will be auctioned off at firesale prices, and Mr Wang will be waiting with hard cash, to pounce on a nice one in a choice location.

Meanwhile, by then, the foolish Singapore government will still be persisting with their Foreign Talent policy. All these FTs will need a place to stay, and overpopulation is good for property owners. I rent out my new house, and collect a handsome rental amount, and comfortably feed three kids while still working and saving for my own retirement.

Of course, this is just one possible permutation. A variety of different things could happen. And there are also timing issues. One of the constraints in baby planning is the woman's body clock. Wait too long, and the woman will find it difficult or impossible to conceive.

So these are some of the things I'm thinking about. As you can see, baby-planning can be a lot more complicated than PM Lee makes it out to be.

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54 comments:

Monkey said...

agreed agreed. lol i often wonder why my single women friends above 30 find it weird that me, somebody younger than them, should be worried about biological clocks. seems like people stop caring anymore or they just decide to be childless.

seems like the financial plans with regards to jumping on choice homes reminds me very much on the real estate situation in the states. buy houses they cannot afford the bank chase and sell dirt cheap. muahah ;)

Shion said...

The reason i am not having kids : knowing me and my wife have to both work to support the family and thus no time to "rasie" our child , having to leave them to the maid ... I say fuck it !

A Simpler Life ... said...

How true, especically when there is only one breadwinner in the family...

1 what if he/she falls sick? savings can be wiped out overnight by a mere flick of a hospital bill.

2 that your children are not super gifted to qualify for scholarships? University education is increasingly expensive and having a degree is basic requirement.

3 Besides the monetary considerations, is the environment a good place to bring up kids?

If the government does not address these issues, new citizens will shun starting families too. Parents are all alike in the world.

moomooman said...

Do you know that baking babies is equivalent to homicide?

You can be jailed for this. Please consider this carefully.

medstudent said...

Mr Wang:

Maybe u can stop working and let the missus work full time while u be a full-time dad (& Blogger) ??

Afterall, u did mention she make good money too yeah?

Mr Wang Says So said...

I still make more money than her, hence the logical choice is for her to quit, if one of us is to quit.

In my post, I have also simplified things - since otherwise there would just be too many details to cover.

I should mention that it is not necessary for Mrs Wang to quit working completely and forever; other viable options would be for her to work part-time, or to quit working for some years, then go back to work again when the kids are older.

i love babies/children but hate teenagers said...

geez..i am going to keep a pet dog...

simplesandra said...

I love babies wrote: "geez..i am going to keep a pet dog... "

I'd suggest a virtual pet. Cost of living is up, so you might want to save on the pet chow. :)

simplesandra said...

mr wang says so wrote: "quit working for some years, then go back to work again when the kids are older"

That is, granted that employers are still willing to hire her. It used to be a sensible choice, but with our free-for-all job market right now, how many married women are willing to take that risk?

Mr Wang Says So said...

Yup, that is another risk to be assessed.

family man said...

I have got 3 boys at home and I love it! Wife stays at home. I don't think, I don't plan, I don't have enough to retire. So what? Just do it. I hope my sons can just finish with poly education and I think I have done my best given what I have. God will provide. We won't starve / die. If you think long and hard enough, you will always find more reasons not to have more kids. Go with your heart, Mr and Mrs Wang.

singaporean said...

Insufficient wealth is not a good excuse. Dont you think, of all people, Mr Wang should be the last person to complain about money no enough? Not all high income earners have the discipline to stay low expenditure, so his net wealth accumulation should be spectacular. Why need he worry about retirement? I bet his SRS account is fatter than his CPF account.

That said, what makes rich people like Mr Wang hold back in child bearing? Perhaps it is lifestyle consideration - raising children is hard menial manual physical labour. But then, parents will also agree, for all the time and energy we put in, parenting has rewards that money cannot buy (raising a pet is a poor imitation of parenting), and the more effort you put in, the more rewarding it is.

Then what is holding Mr Wang back? Possibly, it is fear. Fear that our children cannot enjoy happiness and freedom that we enjoy. Fear of terrorism, fear of sars, fear of bird flu, fear of dengue. Fear of being flooded out by foreign talents/immigrants. Fear of the crime wave brought about by the IR and immigrants.

And we fear because we no longer have faith that a supreme being is watching over us, or at the very least, standing on our side, that supreme one being God or government.

That is possibly why smart intellectuals tend to lack faith in God and government, so they tend to keep their brood small, if any. In contrast, genuinely devout Catholics and Muslims tend to reproduce with wild abandon irregardless of wealth status or government policy.

Hermes said...

Eh, to Singaporean, I don't think Islam or Christianity teaches you to breed like rabbits. You make it sound like these two religions are bad.

Anyhow, this actually brings a very interesting perspective. What would you do if, one day, Singapore decides to follow her neighbour and have an "indigenous law" ? i.e. if you are indigenous to Singapore, you get privileges over all other immigrants because you are 'masters' of the land? The government is going to provide for you, just for being 'indigenous', at the expense of everyone else.

Anonymous said...

First thing is- the PAP is too pragmatic to ever implement the bumi policy, second thing is, if I did my NS, then I should be entitled to something afterall. Right now, the way I see it, there's more advantages being a PR than a citizen. I ask you what is the point- the disruptive ICTs, the unappreciative bosses or worse- RTs.

Corporate Manwhore said...

This reminds me of a song by Monty Python...Every Sperm is Sacred (from
"The meaning of LIFF!").

There are Jews in the world.
There are Mainlanders.
There are Indians and Bangalas, and then
There are those that follow Falungong, but
I've never been one of them.
I'm a Singapore Citizen,
And have been since before I was born,
And the one thing they say about Singapore Citizens is:
They'll take you as soon as you're warm.

You don't have to be a six-footer.
You don't have to have a great brain.
You don't have to have any clothes on. You're
A Singaporean the moment Dad came,

Because...

Every sperm is sacred.
Every sperm is great.
If a sperm is wasted,
Govt gets quite irate.

Every sperm is sacred.
Every sperm is great.
If a sperm is wasted,
Govt gets quite irate.

Let the Malaysians spill theirs
On the dusty ground.
Govt shall make them pay for
Each sperm that can't be found.

Every sperm is wanted.
Every sperm is good.
Every sperm is needed
In your neighbourhood.

Indonesians, Vietnamese, Thais,
Spill theirs just anywhere,
But Govt loves those who treat their
Semen with more care.

Every sperm is sacred.
Every sperm is great.

If a sperm is wasted,...

...Govt get quite irate.


Every sperm is sacred.
Every sperm is good.
Every sperm is needed...
...In your neighbourhood!

Every sperm is useful.
Every sperm is fine.

Govt needs everybody's.
Mine!
And mine!
And mine!

Let the PRCs spill theirs
O'er mountain, hill, and plain.
Govt shall strike them down for
Each sperm that's spilt in vain.

Every sperm is sacred.
Every sperm is good.
Every sperm is needed
In your neighbourhood.

Every sperm is sacred.
Every sperm is great.
If a sperm is wasted,
Govt gets quite iraaaaaate!

PC said...

Bro.

Great planning! :o) However, I have many friends who have between 3-7 children and their philosophy is somewhat different from yours.

In the first place, these friends of mine dearly love their children. They are also Christians. Their philosophy? Just have the children if the Lord provides... and He will take care of the rest.

Does it work? Let's take this couple as an example. They have 5 children; the eldest at about 18 and the youngest at about 3. Both parents are working, but don't think they earn an astronomical amount of money. Still, they choose to live frugally. The children are well provided for and there's lots of love in the family.

Going by your argument, only the very wealthy can technically afford to have more than 2 children. Still, having lived the 40 years, and initially having the same thoughts / reservations as yourself... I have seen many big families do very well financially, socially and spiritually.

Doesn't quite fit in a logical construct anywhere. But hey, it works

Anonymous said...

I hope your post is tongue-in-cheek about more than IRs. By what logic do you decide that a wife can work with two kids but not three? Fair enough, it is tougher on the mum to keep working but no tougher (or only marginally so) on three kids to be without their mother compared to two.

You also strike me as the kind of rational thinker (read: kia su) about the population debate that the Government wants. What if, what if, twenty years into the future. Short of sextuplets, I doubt another gestation will materially affect your life outcome. I do not see you living in penury for having had that extra kid (who wouldn't top up your CPF if his life depended on it - if there is such a thing as CPF by then (damn! another 'what if')); nor do I see you living the high life for having (wisely) ignored the Government's exhortations 20, 30 years before.

Anyway, the next kid will probably be an accident.

singaporean said...

Hermes,

if you dont think Christianity and Islam encourage child bearing, then you dont know either religion very well. I know, because I am a Catholic, just not a terribly devout one. Did you know that all forms of contraception is forbidden for Catholics? (All except the rhythmic method, but even that is a recent "liberation")

Jews and Protestants are supposed to have received the same "Go forth and multiply" but somehow the message got lost in the mail.

As you can see in the above comments, those with big families tend to be religious.

For people who obsess over risk/returns, they would figure that law of diminishing returns will kick in from the second child onwards: same amount of pain, but less rewarding experience cos the novelty factor is gone.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Wang,

I have 4 young boys and my wife is a full time graduate mum.

I have more children than many couples in Singapore not b'cos I support gahmen policy to have more children. I never buy their idea. It is because of love for children.

I have no cars and live in a HDB flat.

I don't have much cash and the expenses are getting higher and higher as the children are growing up.

But I have a strong bonding and happy family, loving wife, cheerful sons. And that is all what matters.

Don't think too much, JUST DO IT. You will know how to manage the situation when you come across at the later stage.

Anonymous said...

You guys still don't get it?

It's not the children or the number of children.

It's the PLACE you bring up the children. That's where the problem lies.

Singapore is a FUCKED UP place to raise kids. Streaming at an early age, having dreams snuffed out so that they can get gainful employment in the main sectors of the economy. Want to be an archaeologist? Tough luck, the island has no place for you.

Oh yes, NS. I prefer the rightful and proper, tell-it-like-it-is term: CONSCRIPTION. Apart from being cheap exploted labour for the military, your son (or future son) may not ORD alive. It happened to some of my friends. All they got was some shitty condolence money from the SAF. It could happen to your son. You have been warned.

Which brings me to my next point. The purpose of conscription? To 'defend the land as citizens of the country.' Now, with the government treating the FTs better than pink IC folks every passing day, what justification is there left? No one gives up their life to a corporation or hotel,which is precisely what Singapore has been all along.

Last point. You know a country is in deep shit when CASINOS are deemed as the next big thing and the way to economic salvation. I can almost hear the 'Game Over' music from Super Mario Brothers playing in the background.

Yes and there's the cost of living, the 'I wanna be swinging single forever' attitudes too. But the main problem lies with the PLACE. And largely with the PAP government too.

Anonymous said...

That's the government's worry.

Those who just feel and do it. They wanted more of Mr Wang types to do it.

Because, ultimately, the government does not want to shoulder any responsibility for people who just feel and do it.

Parenting is really a long, long process and liability. Lovely kids turn out to be monsters, sometimes.

Ask any aunty around, they'll tell you it's 'kek sim'. Two is enough. Why? one has to jagar the neighbourhood mall to bring her Pr 6 daughter home everyday from school. Influenced by her friends, she puts on makeup and roams the mall rather than go home to study.

At that age and beyond, the societal influences take over. Very little parents can do. You can't tie them to the bed. Love and warmth of the home takes second place to peers.

Mind you, I not talking about broken families. Just ordinary heartlander types. You go figure why not enough babies ...

Anonymous said...

Time is money, but money is not time. It's still time that's precious. Time for anything tat u wanna do.

Anonymous said...

Hi - Father of 3 here. kek sim kids. I guess at the end of the day, if the family is not loving, does not watch out for each other, both parents are out working the whole day, maids are watching the kids, I guess it is true then - don't have any kids. It' true, some kids turn out to be monsters and I am still hoping and trusting that God willing, and active parenting on my part, my sons will turn out ok. NS, streaming - things will get better. If you do not believe it, then right again, do not have any children. At the end of the day, it is your state of mind that will dictate, and those who feel blessd with kids will continue to be blessed :)

Henry said...

If my parents thought along these lines, I would not have 4 brothers and 3 sisters. Although pa was just a furniture salesman, and ma a full time housewife, we each had our own career path to pave. We ended up a SAF captain, 2 lecturers, 1 HR executive, 2 middle managers and 1 professional engineer. My own overseas degree was paid through summer jobs in the host country. When it came to starting my own family, 3 was figured ideal as the kids will have their own playgroup when both their parents were busy at work. University is not a big deal nowadays compared to when only the top 5% are graduates. These days they give away the pieces of paper like confetti, at a price of course. So what if they can't study? They have already started schools for sports, music, art & dance etc - the degree has degenerated to another Singapore Sales item. One's family happiness should never be affected by government policy or economic constraints.

singaporean said...

Hermes,

as to your "indigenous" protection policy, I am not against immigration, but the government must have a coherent and sensible immigration policy for it to work. The whole idea of immigration is the creation of new citizens. But if citizens enjoy no advantage whatsoever over PRs, why bother? OTOH, citizenship means your sons are now legally bound to serve NS, and the parents are legally bound to ensure they dont jump ship; as PR, your sons can choose to leave, legally, and return again some years later, legally.

But then again, maybe the policy isnt incoherent at all. The government just want cheap labour to serve the interests of the big businesses and to control the wage increase of citizens, but sell it to the citizens like it is an immigration policy.

We are repeatedly reminded that Singaporeans are choosy, unwilling to compete with "foreign talents" who are hungry enough to work long hours, weekends, shift work and all obscure locations in Singapore. But all we want is more time with our family, and the government is absolutely doing their hardest to bring in more immigrants, many of whom would burn out and recuperate/reproduce elsewhere, but the citizens are stuck here to withstand the onslaught wave after wave.

But in all fairness, the government do realise their stupidity. For example, the recent change to tie EP to individuals instead of companies will give more bargaining power to the immigrants, and that in turn, will lead to better work-life balance for citizens.

Anonymous said...

So, do we have a problem?

Seems like most are willing to have more kids... despite economic constraints even.

The PM sounded like we are going to be extinct soon. Maybe, the MSM should highlight the sentiments here to encourage the minority to switch over instead of pushing the less favourable immigration policy?

Hermes said...

To singaporean, the two religions don't teach you to have * with your spouse everyday? Contraception is one thing. Reproduction doesn't come about without *. Yeah, I know, contraception CAN lead to more * and then chances of conceiving but you do have a choice when it comes to who, -when- and where.

The thing about the bumiputras is, it is passed, out of good intention, to protect the locals. I mean, if you have an indigenous law where you are entitled to breed at the government's expense, wouldn't you be tempted to do that? No money for education? Government pay. No schools will take in your kids because they don't have good grades? Government build schools just to cater to your kids.

Okay, that's an extreme thing to happen as someone pointed out. But I'm posting this rhetorically. So, let's say if you did not have to worry about $, competition from FT etc etc because the government will shelter you just for being a 'true blue singaporean', would you want more kids?

Mr Wang Says So said...

Ahem. I wasn't writing tongue in cheek about the IRs. That was a serious plan.

It's hardly a very original idea - this is essentially how Wee Cho Yaw became one of the richest men in Singapore; basically snapping other people's properties at dirt-cheap prices when they fell into bad times.

I am only seeking to duplicate that on a very tiny scale.

But what were you thinking - that when the casinos come, there won't be a significant number of once-rich Singaporeans who fall into ruins?

Lillight said...

Time-wise, I'm finding 3 not that much different from 2, now that the first two are older and we mostly only need to handle them both as a unit. Baby is the different one of course, but it's like back to when no. 2 was just born. The situation is basically older kid(s) plus baby. In fact it's easier on us now, because the big ones have each other, and can even keep baby entertained while my husband and I do our own stuff. One was hard, two was harder, but three is now easier than either. Weird.

PC said...

In my mind, it's more likely that many middle-class families will fall into hardship. It is most unlikely that the truly "rich" will suffer.

It's those "wannabe" rich folks who will lose sight of the big picture

Anonymous said...

kind of nailed it!! Read this article.

Aug 29, 2006
SITNews: Too many foreign talents could deprive S'poreans of jobs. Control the quality and number of immigrants




As a 41-year-old Singaporean, I have seen the country's progress and cannot but greatly appreciate the government's efforts since 1965 in shaping the economy and bringing in foreign investments.
To keep the economy growing despite intense competition from neighbouring countries, it has outlined a policy to keep the population growing.
The government now wants to attract more foreign talents to Singapore. There has already been a steady flow over the last decade and the numbers are not small.
I cannot but feel uneasy over the prospect of having a greater number of foreigners coming to our shores each year to find work and set up homes here.
The main reason for the unease is that we are a small nation with limited resources and depend heavily on foreign investments and external factors such as stability in countries with which Singapore has major trading relationships.
There is no guarantee that with a bigger workforce, more foreign investments will flow in.
My wife was a software programmer until she was retrenched in late 2003. She also holds a diploma in electronics and has experience in the electronics sector as well.
After the retrenchment, she applied for various jobs but was mostly unsuccessful. On the few occasions she was offered a job, the pay was almost half what she used to earn.
The reason, my wife was told, was that there were foreigners or permanent residents who were prepared to work at lower pay and longer hours even if there was no overtime pay. She quit looking for a job about a year ago.
The lesson to be learnt here is that Singaporeans have to compete with foreign talents in their quest for a job and the competition will intensify with more foreign talents. Though the government may say Singaporeans should therefore become better qualified themselves and be prepared to work harder, the net effect of such competition may be that they become wary of their job prospects, financial future, and therefore bear even fewer children.
Or worse, more Singaporeans may delay their marriage even longer if not remain single. This may lead to a further decline of birth rates.
As for Singaporeans who are settled overseas, it will be harder to convince them to return. It may be a battle lost even before it started. They may be better off where they are presently situated rather than return home and find that the rat race they left behind has now become worse.
Another thorny issue is National Service. The present generation of young Singaporean men looking for jobs would have completed their National Service and are serving the country as Operationally Ready Servicemen.
Their fathers would have also served National Service. Would all this sacrifice and service by two generations of Singaporeans count when the young Singaporean is looking for a job?
He is competing with someone who is younger and prepared to work at lower wages and his work will not have to be disrupted by National Service duties. Who would the prospective employer, driven by productivity and profits, prefer. The answer is clear.
The government has emphasized that wooing more foreign talents is for the benefit of Singaporeans in the long term. It has also said that Singaporeans should have a broad perspective on the issue rather look at it from their own viewpoint.
I accept this wholeheartedly. All the other countries which adopted an open door policy towards immigration since the end of the Second World War have reaped tremendous economic benefits.
However, the point is that there must be some controls on the quality and quantity of such immigrants, especially in Singapore, which is a very small country with very limited resources and depends a lot on external factors.
Too many immigrants may not necessarily bring the desired effects.
Shanmugam Manohar

Anonymous said...

Since they are so much in love with foreign talents, do away with NS. We are not suppose to defend a bunch of aliens to protect their rice bowl, right? No country in this world disrepects their own citizens as much as Singapore.

singaporean said...

According to wikipedia, the Fertility Rate (the expected number of children born per woman in her child-bear years) and Crude birth rate(the number of childbirths per 1000 persons per year) of Malaysia are both more than double that of Singapore. It sure seems like Malaysians do not have a problem with babies like we do.

In fact, in total fertility rate, Singapore is ranked near rock bottom, at 1.06, far lower than Japan's 1.40 (surprised?). It sure looks like the bumi policy works as far as birth rate is concerned. In fact, along with Hong Kong and Macau, we seem to be doing something very very wrong at a national level.

On average, the bumis are certainly not as wealthy as an average Singaporean, but if you use birth rate or fertility rate as a measure of economic security, they are certainly feeling very safe and optimistic.

And hermes, surely you are not advocating that couples stop having sex after they have the right number of babies, are you? If you know anything about human ovulation, on top of a predictable ovulation pattern, you can have a bonus ovulation happen ANYTIME, deceptively. (apparently it is a feature, not a bug)

Anyway, banning contraception is just an example. If you dont think Catholicism/Islam encourages baby making, you dont know either religion well, and there is no point arguing on that point. Just know that if the world stays a democracy, the Catholics and Muslims will inherit the earth.

Anonymous said...

<< No country in this world disrepects their own citizens as much as Singapore. >>



Dictators have no respect for anyone except those who are stronger.

Anonymous said...

But keeping part (b) of the target means you need not keep part (a)!

In the west, children pay for their own university education via loans. In fact, they pay for rentals, electric bills etc during their college days and beyond. In return, they do not look after their aged parents. So parents take care of (b), and not (a).

In the east, traditionally parents do (a), but not (b).

Pitiful are those who want to do both (a) and (b) :)

stressed singaporean said...

Mr. Wang's "If you want to raise kids, you should do it properly. To do it properly, you need time"...

...is a direct consequence of pap's social engineering - streaming as a tool to get citizens to panic and therefore to pay more attention to children's education (apart from the other goal of allocating of best resource to best student).

In society with no such social engineering, parents have a less extreme concept of "properly", and hence are more willing to have children.

Wild animals in captivity usually don't reproduce :)

lee hsien tau said...

Mr Wang forgot something:

Africans (just as an example) 'bake' babies like they make hot cakes. There is even the joke that they could do it standing up. No amount of war, pestilence, factional clashes, and famine would make them stop. They don't care or worry about the upbringing of the babies.

But when they were made slaves in the earlier part of the last century, they stopped baking. Why? Because no slave would bake knowing what they bake would also become slaves. That's why Lim Hng Kiang can only fail. The PAP realise that. So they had to import.

Those that come may be idiots, or they may not. Only the idiots become slaves. The rest laugh all the way to the bank. The slave master is not the ultimate loser. Not when he pays himself peanuts. The ultimate loser is the original idiots.

If Mr Wang is intelligent, he would not be pondering about baking babies. He would be pondering about where he would be parking his ass as he approaches his fourties, and how to escape a system of slavery, how his children, come their time, can bake standing up. Which doesn't mean of course that I'm advocating that Mr Wang migrate to Africa.

Hermes said...

To singaporean, I'm advocating, individual choice over religion.

I still don't agree with the way you are condemning one religion over the other. Having an opinion is okay, having an uber-biased one is another. Don't know about Catholics but seriously, Islam in our immediate neighbour is now practised 'in moderation'.

Interesting that you brought up the figures - Small Lee did try to equate birth rate = economic fertility as Mr Wang pointed out.

The reason for bringing up bumiputras is to highlight the touchy and difficult issue of dealing with population growth / immigrants. Small Lee's trying, so let's be tolerant and see if he delivers.

recruit ong said...

Give it up lah hermes watever,

little lee's trying alright, to make more peanuts for his kind. Lee Hisen Tau above you got it spot on.

Mr Wang Says So said...

"If Mr Wang is intelligent, he would not be pondering about baking babies. He would be pondering about where he would be parking his ass as he approaches his fourties, and how to escape a system of slavery, how his children, come their time, can bake standing up ..."

--

Lee Hsien Tau, I have just been toying with the idea of writing something with the theme. Probably in the near future.

lee hsien tau said...

It's your blog, Mr Wang. But please, there's something more urgent. My

PTC date set for 27 Sep, 2.00pm, Sub Court 14.

Need your input on Town Councils Act pronto. And I need direction to the loooooong opinion you were refering to.

singaporean said...

Hermes,

I am not condemning any religion. I am merely stating the fact that a person's willingness to procreate is dependent more on his/her belief that the Big Guy is looking after him or her, be the Big Guy God,Jesus,Allah,Tua Peh Kong,Jade Emperor or LKY, than the person's wealth.

Malaysian bumi policy is problematic not so much for the bumis, but how blatantly it turns into racial discrimination against the non-bumi citizens. If you want to draw a parallel, Singapore citizens are treated like the non-bumis, while the foreign talents are enjoying bumi treatment. Little wonder both countries have a brain drain problem among the unloved group.

I think I can speak for most people here when I say that we are fighting for equal opportunities for citizens here, not superior treatment over foreigners.

Two equally qualified job applicants, one citizen, one EP holder, seeking the same pay job doesnt imply the same cost to the employer. The citizen cost more, because of the employer CPF. The citizen will take home less, because of employee CPF. The citizen will cost even more if he has NS liabilities and arrangements have to be made to cover for him in his annual absences=> extra costs. It is a no-brainer who the employer will prefer.

Entire businesses can exist in Singapore without hiring a single Singaporean. And the impact is uneven.

Teachers and lawyers for example, are relatively sheltered, while people like me, IT professionals and engineers are getting the full blown impact. Like the KnightofPentacles, I was out of job for nearly a whole year. And still, all I am asking, is that we tilt the scales slightly back in our favour. Encourage companies to give citizens a second glance. A gentle corporate tax break on employer's CPF for example. A gentle tax break to encourage companies to employ 50% citizens.

Small touches to make citizens feel that the Big Guy still cares whether we are swimming or drowning.

Anonymous said...

I think it's true the more religious are more willing to procreate as evidenced by many postings here.

Let's not turn this into a religion discussion. Anyway, what's wrong in accepting that your religion preaches fertility and giving birth to young?

I thought it actually shows how much faith you guys have in your god.

Me, free-thinker and no god to protect, that's why must think hard about babies.

Accept it as a compliment and it's a sunshine day.

WANG said...

Singaporean

Refering to your example. Would beg to differ.
Employers at medium & large MNCs looking at the two will decide mainly on 3 basis (assuming gross salary & qualifications equal per your example):-
a) performance at the interview.
b) track record (any job hopping)
c) chemistry with management.
The reservist obligations does not become a factor for specialist/professional/management jobs unless it is OMO(ie single person).Even that it is not a decisive factor unless the track record of multiple prior Spr parties job performance is horrible due to job hopping.

Anonymous said...

I always wanted a house full of kids, but I have only one. We tried everything the doctors recommended and spent quite a huge amount on medical bills only to be told in the end that it is a miracle we even have one given my wife's condition. That we did not have another I am thankful now. You see I am one of those silly Singaporeans. Took everything for granted and today I am in dire straits financially. Sometimes suicide seems a better solution as my wife and kid will not have to bear the liability and will be better of financially but I do not want to leave them to suffer the stigma. So, do have as many children as you want but make sure you are in a good financial position. Remember the iron ricebowl does not exist, and the best advise you can get is a few hundred is better than nothing. Ask yourself if you can afford it if you loose your job tomorrow. I did not and am suffering even with one child.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Anon:

Suicide is not the answer to anything. If you ever come close, please do yourself a favour and call 1800-2214444 (Samaritans of Singapore).

singaporean said...

"WANG",

your a) and c) comes into play if you can get an interview. I and if KnightofPentacles is alive today, can testify that we dont even get an interview in those down days.

Like I said, the impact is uneven. Unless you are a serial job hopper, how can you know for sure that all industries work your way? In the previous companies I worked for, I am very aware that they dont even advertise some jobs locally; they zoom straight into Thailand, India or China and hire entire teams of foreigners. They are simply not interested in Singaporeans. To sweeten things, the government offer tax breaks on relocation costs. Why bother hiring Singaporeans?

OTOH, one of my close friend, a foreigner, one who never stays in any job longer than six months, just keep hopping from sweet deals to sweeter deals. Go figure.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mr Wang , I will heed your advise, I know suicide is not the answer and I look at my child's face everynight to remind me of that. I know it is going to be a uphill struggle but than I have everything to live for in him and he should not suffer for my mistakes. But LOL the telephone number is certainly not very encouraging..4444.
Anyway as Rousseau said, man is born free but everywhere he is in chains and we are no exception. Its about time we explore the social contract of our society. Have we surrendered so much of our freedom for less and less or are we the perfect hegemonic society.

WANG said...

Singaporean

I refered and answered to your stated example.
Hence, use that factors (a)-(c).

If you refer to industry trends (your 2nd part), those would come with different set of issues and unfortunately unless you are willing to relocate or retrain to different industry or your skills set can be used in different industry, there is no getting back even Oz, Canada,USA, UK suffered such decimation or look at Japan (hollowing out of certain industries). I was in the midst and seen such in such countries.
The govt does incentive via certain tax schemes for such industries, however, there is no turning back eg semicon which boomed here but now shifting to China & Indonesia or IndoChina.
Frankly, for such industries only when the new AFTA or ASEAN wide community comes in, will things really improve or the other choice is regional work.
For your friend, I guess he is either in a different industry which allows as such or his EQ/IQ/SQ is excellent. Either way,unless you are willing to be like Charles Handy, there is no such possibility.
All the best in your work

singaporean said...

In the area I work in, there are plenty of jobs. The trouble is that bulk of those jobs are forever rooted at around 2k. Why? Because that is the minimum wage for EP application? I dont have to think about those jobs now that the IT industry is booming again, but I cant help but worry that when another downturn comes, that will be where my salary will be heading. I dont think the industry has problems. I just think the government is waging a war against my wages. (Of course, what they save in the wages of the IT grunts, will go to the wages of the CEO, the kind of people minister's salary are benchmarked against)

Which brings us back to the baking babies part. Do I feel confident raising two children with 2k a month? No. So I guess I have to stop at one.

lee hsien tau said...

Well, of course, if things don't work out, there's always the NTUC Fairprice looker-room?

lee hsien tau said...

I mean locker-room.

lee hsien tau said...

"...the best advise you can get is a few hundred is better than nothing."

Which brings us back to the issue that slaves are wise to not bake!!!!!

There's another matter. Steve Chia pointed out that the pension scheme still exist in Singapore, and it is available mainly to the slave-masters.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr Wang,

This is a personal mail.
I cant find your email anywhere, so I decided to put it here.
It should come to your attention, and you can take it down promptly.
Very, very Impolite. APologies.
-----------------------------------
Apparently I don’t know you well, as I am addressing you via your online nickname and dont have your email.

I had followed your comments and postings like quite a many people.
So first, like to Thank you. The postings were informative, insightful and mostly balanced, reasonable analysis.
I am sure Straits Times pay you for coverage and commentary of Singapore ‘news’, but then you will probably be paying penalties at the same time. Not in step with the grand propaganda. )

From the readings, I come to know you are a lawyer who eventually chose private over public service. You must have good reasons.

My mail here is really to seek some advice on a career somewhat similar to your present one;
I am intending to read law with the intention of going into banking/ financial industry as legal consultant.
-The money is good there, right? Better than starting as associate in a law firm.
-And I like finance, so it seems good fit.

Frankly speaking, I prefer litigation work, but well, economics can be an overriding wedge from ideals. Litigation work in Sing. pay miserably I heard.


Are you still reading?
Thank you.
You do know you can’t charge me here for your time )

So the advice I hope you can dispense are:-
--What kind of modules to pick for the 3rd year to align myself better for a career as mentioned
--Any good tips to conquer the Sing Bar exam? I am still a long way away, but well, no harm asking
--Is law that bad a profession in Sing. that law grads. become actors?? to escape the stress, hassle, opportunity to add tangible contribution to society?
Law grads, becoming entertainers..
ouch, to the the working class funding the education subsides.

--MOL has adjusted to more lenient criteria for overseas law grads. and lawyers to practice here.
SMU is given the green light to try and prop up nos. for law production here.
Further evidence locals are running away from this profession? Or there is a demand to handle .. more bankruptcies?

So I look like the chap plunging myself into obscurity. Hmm, )

Look Forward to a reply.

p/s: Like most liberated peoples, I believe in fair trading, medium here is universally monetary. So you may wish to leave your bank acct. no. so I will wire appropriate ‘thanks’ for your good advice.

I will leave mine here, as act of trust? 6-2353535.
)

Merry Christmas, a Fulfilled ’06 and Great year ahead., even if you don’t reply.

Best Regards,
Ch