21 August 2006

National Day Rally Speech

I didn't watch the PM's rally speech on TV last night. I always like good news. But the elections had just ended recently, and I figured that the PAP wouldn't be announcing any new benefits for the people (not for another four or five years anyway). Poked around the ST this morning, and true enough, these were the first four paragraphs I saw:
Aug 21, 2006
Embrace talent, technology to secure S'pore's future: PM
Boosting population, tackling digital age and building 'heartware' pose long-term challenges, he says
By Peh Shing Huei

A GLOBAL city with citizens firmly anchored to the country and welcoming of new immigrants to add to its vitality.

That was the Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong envisioned last night that would do best in a rapidly changing world.

Even as he sketched this vision, Mr Lee acknowledged that it would require both individuals and the nation to adapt to secure such a future.

Giving his third National Day Rally speech, he confessed at the outset that he had no 'goodies' to announce this year.
Heheh. I swear I'm psychic sometimes. But you skeptics will merely say, "Ahhhh, Mr Wang, you're not psychic, you just understand the PAP too well."

I've been perusing the many ST articles today on PM Lee's speech, trying to see what's new and significant. Not much, really. Plenty of old messages being reiterated - foreign talent good; Mr Brown bad; more babies needed; then there's a new, misconceived but somewhat unsurprising plan for the government to use "podcasts, vodcasts, humour and wit" to reach out Singaporeans (oooh, so hip and happening, this is funny, I'm laughing already).

We get a couple of points framed in a happy, positive manner - the ST reports that PM Lee notes a rise in the employment rate for older workers, especially for men aged 55 to 64. But there is a curious silence about how big or small the rise was; how many retrenched, older Singaporeans have now found jobs etc.

And a couple of self-congratulatory, simplistic statements like this: "Las Vegas Sands is pouring more than $5 billion into its Marina Bay integrated resort, a major commitment that is a vote of confidence in Singapore". Heheh, Las Vegas Sands already has multiple casino resorts in Macau (like this one). So they must be VERY confident about the Chinese Special Administrative Region of Macau too, despite the triads, the prostitutes and the drugs there.

As for this:
The manufacturing sector is also attracting investments. Oil giant Shell plans to build a new multibillion-dollar petrochemical complex occupying Bukom and Jurong Islands, and two major investments in water fabrication have been secured.

These companies invest here not because Singapore has the lowest wages but because it is the 'best place for high-quality investments', Mr Lee said.
Well, well. Nigeria must also be one of the best places for high-quality investments, because Shell has had PLENTY of investments there for decades (and still does). Yet Nigeria is a hotspot for guerilla activity, civil war and political upheaval. Maybe Shell's choice of investment location doesn't have that much to do with the strength or quality of political leadership in the country? In the Singapore context, educate yourself. Go on, click here.

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17 comments:

Anonymous said...

It used to 'foreign talents'. Now the talent bit has been dropped and immigrants is the new word of the day.

The slide continues under LHL and PAP.

Anonymous said...

Not sure whether SM,the chairman of MAS,duly informed PM about the huge leakage of foreign exchange from our monetary system.

140th reported on 31 July that last year S$13.1 billion were sent out by foreign workers mainly on W.Ps to their home country.this is a very sizabale amount compared to our GDP.

For comparision,USA,which PAP likes to use as an shining example of FT policy,foreig workers sent out the biggest amount,USD 25 billion,but a "peanuts indeed" compared to its GDP of USD 12 trillion.

I will pray for Singapore as I can see the effect of many stupid policies which have been cheered on by the boot lickers and the many ignorants coming back home

Of course I pray that I myself is very stupid and would be wrong.

Whispers from the heart said...

I am waiting for the day he does his NDR on a podcast instead.

Can call it the "Loong-ny Tunes".

akikonomu said...

I'm waiting for the day when Minilee makes his very own "I am Singaporean" podcast. In place of a NDRS. That would be so hip and happening!

Jimmy said...

When Lee Hsien Loong said he wished to have more of the two-time illegal China immigrant who set up hawker stalls, my 12 year old daughter went, "Uh? Daddy, isn't that bad?"

Whispers from the heart said...

MM Lee says the clean wholesome image is out, dearie.

We are into sleazy and bad.

Sin city.

I am thinking of getting some tattoos and an attitude to match.

corned singaporean said...

Pm lee knows less people is going to vote for PAP , so he start to bring more new voters or immigrates to add to his future vote... i worried about more crowded mrt trains and SBS buses with so many new people or so called " talent"... our citizenship is not for sale or lay long(great singapore sale), understand MR PM .
his new immigration policy will only result in more social problems and social friction among the races... what about social impact on our community?
what is the difference beteween singapore chinese and chinese chinese? is ba ba a singapore chinese? why put more label on singaporeans and trying to divide us .... he is going worst and crazy ... trying all sick ways to stay in power...

singaporean said...

If Europe doesnt welcome immigrants, then who is Zidane? Did he arrive in France under some football foreign talent scheme? No! He would have been a Frenchman even if he had cerebral palsy.

Compare that with our sports foreign talent scheme: we import young foreigners, and if they dont make the cut, we dump them like garbage. Send them back to China, to Nigeria, whatever.

It is the government that needs to examine it's behaviour in treating human beings, local or foreign.

criminal talent said...

PM Lee is all for talents even if you are a criminal an illegal immigrant who can set up 5 food stalls in Singapore. What kind of country is this?

Anonymous said...

Did he not hear about the three-time china immigrant who had been a prostitute the first time, a health centre owner the second time and now a big time business woman..we need her..

Anonymous said...

Well, at least the government has now dropped the pretence of our foreign talent policy.

Call a spade a spade. The government is looking for immigrants to augment our aging population. It's numbers they're looking for and quantity is more critical than the quality.

In fact, I suspect our political leaders aren't even really that concerned about whether our foreign workers make Singapore their home or not, in spite of words to the contrary.

So long there's a constant churning of foreign labour in Singapore, our economy will keep humming, domestic demand will be sustained and more taxes collected for government coffers. Plus labour will be kept relatively cheap for MNCs because there is an almost inexhaustible supply of cheap white collar labour from countries like China and India.

But what does this mean for Singapore as a nation, a country? We are becoming just a hotel, a transit point. I think the government is using countries like Luxembourg and Monaco as models, where the foreign worker population is much greater than the local population. But in these countries, there's a clear line of demarcation between foreigners and locals and it's clear the locals are higher up on the economic and social pecking order.

In Singapore, you get the feeling it's the other way around.

Anonymous said...

Minilee's speech gave me the same sick feeling in a stomuch, just as the judiciary's actions in the recent dismissal of the Chee's appeal against the summary judgement did. Somehow or rather the courts in India, Indonesia and even LaLaLand have more promise of justice. First World...hehehe as Mr Wang would say.

John Riemann Soong said...

Heartware is a ridiculous neologism. However I am worried I'm missing all the new hip neologisms without access to the ST.

Come to think of it, we do need more heart, why don't we start off by doing away with the racialism?

Anonymous said...

I'm gonna start of by saying Melbourne rocks!

Why does Melbourne rock? Well, basically because the people here are truly congenial and gracious towards each other; even when you're strangers.

Now in Singapore on the other hand; well you just have get on the public tpt and you'll see what I mean.

But I'm not saying this as an exercise in Singapore bashing, I'm just saying we need to learn is all. And we should start by being nicer to one another.

Anonymous said...

You can be nicer to your fellow Singaporean but to the likes of the Lee Dynasty, its cronies and elites there is no need to be nice towards them.

simplesandra said...

The more well-off aren't going to have too many kids since they'd rather invest their time and money on their own pursuits.

The poor and less-educated would like a few more kids to look after them when they're old, but given rising costs and job insecurity, I don't think they can afford to. And even if they do, as some of my more well-off friends cynically put it, they're only creating a burden for themselves and the country; one went as far as joke that the poor and "hopeless" should be castrated for their own good.

Maybe LHL thinks the solution lies in immigrants, but that'll only made Singaporeans feel even less secure and appreciated in their own country.

And with many of these foreigners here seemingly only for the money (I know a lot of these), Singapore might end up with too few immigrants--and too many disenfranchised locals.

What then? ;)


PS: With regards to a comment earlier about Zidane, a lot of "immigrants" in the French national team are from what used to be French colonies. :)

John Riemann Soong said...

Kind of like other countries in the commonwealth, isn't it?

But you know, perhaps the MOE doesn't think Zidane is a native French speaker.