So thats Life

The curtains has turned brown where the bleached of white lost to the constant rays of the Sun. It returns to its natural element, unvarnished, no more new, no more cosmetics, much liked the brown pigmentation that eventually proliferates on our well-worn faces.

As I helped the lady pick up her cardboards, I noticed her darkened skin, scrawny limbs, her wrinkled face that bears much hardship, a life of privation.

She must push her cardboards from 5 Tanjong Pagar to Duxton Hill. There waits the buyer. The street is a climb To reach Duxton Hill, u must go through Duxton Road, a one way street that is lined with cars on both sides. She manoverves with a trolley with oversized cardboards as oncoming traffic heads towards her. And obviously taking a shower is a luxury.

In frustration, he throws the parcel onto the floor, she gave her husband a glare. She chastised the young man for calling her ‘ah ma’, she preferred to be called ‘darling’. They are in the 60s. She suffers from various ailments. He scratches his balding head constantly. They are enthusiastic about fishing. They eat chicken rice at 9 Selegie Road. They have no children, they toil daily together.

He comes to work without fail. Even though he drinks every night. And sometimes straight from his slumber in his Nissan NV200. He scolds his customers, incurring fines between $200 to $600. He grumbles about efficiency and lack of gratitude. He has been there 9 years.

Her Dad is English, Christian converted to Islam, refused his inheritance, a street bears her grandfather’s name. She looks more like her Malay mother, she is lanky and with luscious wavy hair. Her soft speaking mannerisms belies a toughness. She went into a ‘restricted’ area while doing her job, and when confronted by a pesky guard, she said “…so, so, so….”, and slowly winds up her window before driving off. Her partner is a tough looking but good humour Tomboy. And they look for squids during weekends.

He was not wanting to get married. But eventually married a Vietnamese woman, and now has a son. He does not know the name of the area his wife is from, just that it takes 8 hours from Saigon by bus. And his future now includes his son and wife. A responsibility that awakens his awareness beyond the gratuitous.

Beyond the Jewel in Changi that PM Lee is so proud of.

This is my Singapore. They are not lazy, they are not unworthy.There is much in our people, much in our diversity. There is a toughness. Open your eyes, observe, do not judge so easily.

Meritocracy is a political philosophy to justify the elites position. It used to be about the blood of the royal family. It is about a hierarchical system that is pyramidal. In such a system, our organizing principle glosses over the ordinary people and places eltes on the pedestal. The aesthetics of life then become about more cars, bigger buildings, money…e.g. Jewel of Changi.

Before the solution, we must first be keenly aware of life, which is unique, inseparable from a single person. Our life is eventual death. But it does not need to be scary or fearful. But celebratory and engaging.

This is why there needs to be an overthrow of ‘meritocracy’ as envisaged by PAP.






19 Responses to “So thats Life”

  • Anon:

    Thank you BK!

    You are one of the very few, it seems, that can help Singapore rediscover it’s soul!

    There are none so blind as those who do not want to see!!

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  • V.out:

    Thats meritocracy r u. Inequality gap increased & rich gets richer.

    Clownser LHL wants ‘new’ people (well off foreign workers)…

    Once SG total population exceeds 7 million, true native S’poreans will be the minority in our own country. Sad but true, that time will come.
    Hope opposition parties will rally togethee & debate on this grave problem in coming elections!

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  • Bapak:

    SG is a beautiful skyscraper, good to look at from afar but sucked all the way inside. Courtesy of MIWs and the Sinkies70.

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  • Harder Truths:

    Such is the true face of the evil $G has become. Well done BK.

    I have no words of hope for you. Nor celebratory or engaging offerings.

    We live in despair for the future. The destruction of the parasite will mean the destruction of the host as well. At this point it does not matter.

    You are given the choice – die fast or die slow. Which will you pick?

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  • nothing to boast about:

    our SG has become a superficial souless place..
    playground for the rich and famous.
    the clown boasting about the jewel and a few other bil$ infrastructure proves he is clueless re the true meaning of life’s journey.
    born with a golden spoon, how can he fully appreciate how the common folk live.

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  • TruBlu:

    In $inCity,meritocracy is just another empty buzzword and nothing more.

    Mediocrity takes centre-stage in truth.
    Many good sgs have oredy been sacrified leaving only the bootlickers.

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  • Meritocracy, dominant view:

    When people think of meritocracy, they think of exam results.
    Well, yes, exam result is a basic requirement but not the deciding factor. Between 6 A’s and 8 A’s, who is more meritorious?

    That’s where the interview comes in, and meritocracy gets twisted.

    A simple example. The interviewers can ask about Singapore government policies, political systems, VVIP people (you know, those elitish stuffs). The elite children will be well tutored to provide the proper accepted answers. In contrast, the poor man children may hold different (even deviant unacceptable) views.

    The deciding factor is no longer meritocracy but PLP’ism. Can the candidate say the “right” answers to please the interviewers.

    This applies to low level scholarships to the high level invited teas for potential MPs. Can the candidate fit into the PLP’ism?

    Eg. Even if Amos Yee got 100 A’s, he would never be selected for any gov scholarship. One word of “dishonorable” or “horrible”, ITE.

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  • Excuse me minister!:

    This species of damnable meritocracy sir, happens to be the Crony-Capitalist’s protectionist instrument to keep their Gigantor GLC wages and perks strictly confidential from public scrutiny.

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  • mike:

    1. This country needs her original constitution back and return the power to people.

    2. We need a system of “Separation of Powers”.

    3. We need freedom of Press.

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  • MarBowling:

    Thought it’s was the Brainchild project of the CEO of CAG! Now it’s OFFICIALLY confirmed that the CLOWN [email protected] is ACTUALLY the BIRD BRAINCHILD of Mai Hum!

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  • ntuc is pap S$m thieving shop:

    we won’t stop to help since GE2015.

    because they asked for it, these older citizens who collect cardboard as a form of exercise.


    well they voted vehemently pap. vehemently. so much so we are hurt by their very vehement action.

    so we stop to look or listen or to help. we don’t expect any help from them.

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  • why suffered in silence:

    Is meritocracy fairly practised in Singapore or merely practised by the aristocrats? Pinky is only keen to build a legacy and gather accolades for himself through mega projects like Jewel, underground city or Terminal 5, mitigating climate change at $100 billion,etc. He would rather not spent part of the budget surplus on helping the elderly, the poor and the needy, PMETS,reducing the high cost of living, exhorbitant health care,etc. He concentrates on building a glamorous versace for the world to remember his legacy but leave our underlying problems unsolved.Ask yourself whatever measures the MIWs are recommending occur only before the GE, why not progressively years after GE? The answer is clear, buying your votes. If you continue to fall for their usual gimmicks , then we are doomed.”Thrust is not what you say but what you do” to borrow a quote from Dr Chee.

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  • Seriously:

    The most able push the boundaries at the front faster and further than before.

    So what does that mean for everyone else behind? The whole system moves forward, some industries at a faster pace, some industries at a slower pace, but all moving forward relentlessly. And when this happens, the norms and minimum standards keep evolving upward and costs mostly trend downward.

    Here is where the problems start for many people. The new norms appear faster than the Govt can teach and train the working population. For those who depend on Skillsfuture, it helps to some extent, but you will realise that these would have worked very well some 5 to 10 years back. By the time Skillsfuture courses appear, the market is Long past that and is on to something else already. Those who take these courses are already some way behind.

    So what of those who don’t even take these courses? They are even further behind.

    And in addition to formal courses, there are trends and expectations that courses just cannot impart.

    For those of us who wait for others to tell and show us how to do something new, for those of us who cannot learn by observation of trends and habits around us Everyday, keeping up with change is becoming next to impossible. And mind you, this is the situation while AI is in its infancy. When AI develops further, people who need this much spoonfeeding are going to be far far worse off…

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  • Seriously:

    So whose fault is it now, if this is the case?

    Blame the innovators, for innovating for their own benefit and leaving everyone else behind? Which is quite true of what is happening in recent years.

    Blame the less motivated and less able citizens, for not making the effort, or not being able to comprehend what is happening to them?

    Or blame the Govt, as most in this forum is fond of?

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  • yep thats it!:

    just another day in paradise–Phil Collins.

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  • no chance sg with this pm:

    pm measures sg’s prosperity / successes by the bil$ modernistic n expansive infrastructure he dots our island with.
    his brain is truly fried!

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  • There is a difference, bro:

    yep thats it!:
    just another day in paradise–Phil Collins.

    the difference is, in the case of Mr Phil Collins, it was a personal remorse for walking across the street to avoid the poor 70% sheep.

    in S$m pap Singapore, the pap S$m folks pretend there is no issue and when pressed say the 70% sheep poor collect cardboard as a form of EXERCISE.

    one is a personal remorse, perhaps will do good in the end. the other is a group think money gabbing clan, not going to do anything from start to end.

    that’s the difference, bro. a very big difference.

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  • HDB flats depreciate to ZERO:

    Regime change is the solution. Spread it around.

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  • a PG:

    This pic of elderly auntie who is struggling in her daily life is only one, but there are many, many elderly uncles & aunties are in her same dilemma across the little red dot.

    The super-rich $$$million ministeers are happily living in their own world with a Swiss standard of living invented by the disgraceful Woody for themselves. They don’t depend on CPF money to survive unlike the middle and lower incomes uncles and aunties. It is a sin to ignore these groups of uncles & aunties in our country. I hope when they go to sleep each night, the white elites should raise up their pillows and ponder about it.

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