During the National Day Rally 2013, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong came up with a slew of changes aimed at making Singapore a more vibrant place (maybe he should sponsor a few more Colour Runs) and also a more inclusive home.
Here’s my take on how two kinds of Singaporeans — the cynic and the optimist — will take to the changes:
Changes to housing grants and loans
Optimist: Wah so good! More grants for my first HDB flat! It means instead of holding my wedding dinner at a restaurant, I can go for a hotel banquet! More satki like that. Maybe can earn more ang pao money also. Honeymoon instead of going Taipei, I can go Seoul. Gamxiahamnida.
Cynic: Aiyah, they make it cheaper means they will make the flats smaller lah! You think so good meh? Give more grants you think so generous ah? The flats so expensive because the land cost set by SLA so high mah. This is the same as a certain company bidding crazily on the BPL coverage, then tell their customers that they will be generously subsidising their sky-high subscription cost.
Optimist: Awesome! Means can whack all the chili crab and prata. Heart attack liao hospital bill is $5 right?
Cynic: Means when I am old and jobless, my money in my MediSave can’t be taken out. Must keep on paying this insurance and the MediSave contribution will go up. How to retire like that?
Optimist: This is very good! After getting my flat in Punggol, I still want my Ah girl to enroll into an elite school in Marine Parade. At least now I got more chance. Also no need to volunteer so many hours at the Tao Nao Pai School. Only thing every morning my Ah girl has to wake up at 5am to prepare for the long journey to school. Never mind lah, it’s for her future.
Cynic: I know I’m not from elite school, so this will help me. But you know who else don’t have connection to any schools in Singapore? Those people who attended primary schools in other countries lor. Jialat, aside from fighting with kiasu parents who cry when their ballot never tio, now I must fight with new citizens.
Elite Cynic: This is preposterous! I have been donating so much money to Act Cool School, so how can you give up 40 places to these people parachuting into Singapore? This is totally unacceptable, I am a law-abiding taxpayer. I must bring this up to my MP to make sure that it is fair for me.
Port and Airport Development
Optimist: Very good leh, more houses in Paya Lebar and Tanjong Pagar. All these prime areas will draw all the rich people there. Maybe then houses at East Coast will be cheaper.
Cynic: You think normal Singaporean will be able to afford the houses in Tanjong Pagar after the port moves out meh? Wait long long lah. You think the gahmen will build more than one HDB project there meh? Like that will miss out on a lot of money from the private property developers leh.
All photos from www.sg