We have to unify Singaporeans

Singapore is a deeply divided society.

Six decades ago, we were divided by race and religion. Efforts were made in the early days to promote racial harmony. It was largely successful.

Later, we became a deeply divided society, due mainly by government actions. It has caused disastrous results.

We were later divided by education – between graduates and non-graduates. This division was, sadly, made by government policy. These two groups were treated different. One group was better treated than another.

Later, we were divided by citizenship – between citizens, permanent residents and foreigners. They were treated different in the fees that they have to pay for public services, such as hospital care, education of their children and public housing subsidies and grants.

Citizens, who were favored felt that it was only “right” that they should be favored for their sacrifice in national service (but overlooking the fact that only males have to perform this obligation).

The citizens did not realize that the higher living cost imposed on non-citizens have to be borne by their employers (many of whom are citizens) and are reflected in the higher cost of doing business, which results in higher cost of living. Things do come back to impact the citizens in some unseen ways.

Later, we are divided by “generations”. We now have the “pioneer generation” and the “Merdeka generation”. Each generation is entitled to different types of benefits.

The cost of administering the different benefits to different generations and the welfare subsidy for low income families adds to the cost of administration. Expensive computer systems have to be designed to manage the complexity. More staff have to be employed to compute the subsidy at the point of sale.

The additional cost of administration add to the cost of services in Singapore. We are already among the most expensive cities in the world. The cost keeps increasing relentlessly.

Now, we are divided between PMD riders and pedestrians.

All these various types of divisions goes against the values of “equality and justice” that is embedded in our national pledge and recited by our students daily in school. What do these values mean, when the actual practice is the opposite?

The unequal treatment leads to another damaging consequence. Some people are more favorably treated than others. They defend and justify their rights for the favored treatment. They lobby for more favorable treatment. They do not consider the disadvantage and hardship faced by people in the non-favored categories. Our society became further divided.

Is there an alternative approach?

Yes. We have to truly understand the meaning of “equality and justice”. We have to treat people equally and justly – as far as is possible. This means that every resident should enjoy equal treatment and access to publicly funded services.

Surely, the wealthy should pay more for public service, compared to the poor?

Yes, they should. But they should pay more through higher income tax to fund the public services. This is the principle of proportional and progressive income tax. The higher income should pay more income tax proportionately and at a higher rate for the top income brackets (i.e. progressive).

To reduce the burden on everybody, the public services should be provided efficiently and at low cost. Reducing the cost of administration helps to some extent. There is also the economy of scale, and the saving in marketing expenses that help to reduce this cost.

There is a risk that the subsidized or free public service and be abused and consumed excessively. This risk can be managed to an acceptable level. It cannot be the justification for the complicated system of charges that are applied at the point of service, which is common in Singapore.

In a more “equal and just” society, how can we compensate our males for their national service obligations? The answer is – pay them an adequate compensation for their time and loss of opportunity. It means that they should get a fair and adequate salary for their service. It also means that they should not be required to serve longer than is necessary to get the military skills and their time should be used more effectively. The period of training can be shortened, without any serious impediment to the quality.

I do not like the policies of the PAP government that has divided Singaporeans and resulted in unequal and unfair treatment of different groups of people. It has also resulted in an increase in the cost of living and a majority of people who look after their selfish interest at the expense of other people.


Tan Kin Lian




15 Responses to “We have to unify Singaporeans”

  • mike:

    I really really really do not wish to respond to any of your topics.
    Yet, so funny one i got to respond to this… damn…

    There is nothing wrong to be a divided society. NO MAN IS BORN THE SAME.
    What we need is to RESPECT THE DIFFERENCES!

    Just like i respect you as an idiot talking crap at your age to leave you alone (mostly) speaking crap.

    Divided and you may be Conquered; United and you will be Ruled

    GD Star Rating
  • General Custer:

    The next crucial event will be the GE in early 2020! The great divide will not be PAP v the opposition supporters but true blue Singaporeans v new citizens.
    Both will be going to the polls and unless true blue Singaporeans unite amongst themselves, the PAP will win the GE overwhelmingly!
    The main opposition parties have got to come together under an umbrella united front and to convince voters of their worthiness. They also need to win the hearts and minds of the new citizens of the issues that they will be facing like any ordinary citizens such as the CPF, value of flats, rising costs, etc.
    This is a challenge for the main opposition parties!

    GD Star Rating
  • Sinkies versus PAP:

    That is the biggest division.
    But many among the 70% still living in a propaganda dream, and stand on the wrong side of the division.
    Wake up, wake up!

    What do we need to unite the people?
    Very simple. A realization that PAP is the cause of our problems.
    VTO. VTO.

    GD Star Rating
  • what divide?:

    tan kin lian, there is no divide.

    if ever there is, the only measurement is S$m.

    according to pap Lj and pap Lj wife, you are monkey earning peanuts wage if S$600k pa. and you are nobody if you are earning S$1m wage.

    we the 30% OPPO never divides. we only exist to remind 70% sheep of pap lies and S$m thieving via pliant pap parleement. especially thieving away in istana by selecting an INDAIN as malay president.

    there is no divide in Singapore, tan kin lian.

    if ever there is, it is pure pap creation, due to S$m greed inside pap clan.

    GD Star Rating
  • Bernard:

    TKL, you support communist, this is what you get. Why kpkb?

    GD Star Rating
  • oxygen:

    @ Tan Kin Lian


    Tan Kin Lian : Now, we are divided between PMD riders and pedestrians.

    to this?

    Tan Kin Lian :Now, we are divided between Mr. Tan Kin Lian and pedestrains.

    PMD riders is less than 2% of the population.

    GD Star Rating
  • Golden Lotus:

    Tan Kin Lian,

    Not say I want to say, but I must say this:

    You talk one thing but do just the opposite, same as some PAP leaders.

    Your entry into the Presidential Election, together with Tan Jee Say, had split Dr Tan Cheng Bock’s votes. Otherwise, Dr Tan Cheng Bock would have easily defeated Tony Tan.

    You knew fully well that being an additional candidate contesting the Presidential Election, the votes would be split. So, what the hell are you talking about unity today? You simply do not have the moral authority to talk about unity in any election. Period.

    GD Star Rating
  • Mankind Integrate Thyself:

    “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect…. The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why…. Go to Heaven for the (good) climate, Hell for the (bad) company.”

    - Mark Twain

    GD Star Rating
  • vote for a fairer system:

    there are protests in several countries going on nowdays.
    most are angry at unfair treatments by their governments.
    the gov leaders only think of enriching themselves on the blood sweat and tears of their citizens, like pimps preying on their ‘working girls or boys’.
    so despicable!

    GD Star Rating
  • Election Untamperable?:

    Who can prove scientifically that the election process is impossible to tamper ?

    Why need election agents ?

    Mr KiaSu cheats

    GD Star Rating
  • NotMyProblem:

    Recently there is an committee called the POFMA committee. This committee only services the PAP’s ministers and nobody else.

    This committee only formed to protect the PAP and not the citizen. But who’s paying the members and staff of this committee?

    Vote wisely if you want to find out!!

    GD Star Rating
  • Evil, Greedy And Corrupt:

    If TKL realised that it is a much used communist evil tactic to create division within people, to pit one group of people with another group so as to gain an upperhand, exert control and rule.

    The list of examples given are all one group of people against another.

    If you think the two dictatorships look similar, then they are.
    All evils learn from each other.

    GD Star Rating
  • Singaporeans United is diff:

    It’s impossible to unite singkees.
    Mayembe decades later but surely impossible now.

    Singaporeans are suffering much more than before. But this is still a minority number. Only when over 50% have suffered job losses will they realise the need for opposition.

    Singapore will not be prosperous for decades to come. It has not been growing evonomicly since the last financial crisis.

    1. CPF withholding will continue. There is no end in sight unless regime changed there is a hope.

    2. Hdb depreciation effect decades before 99 years. Many will lose money.

    3. Singaporeans will be more and more unable to retire.

    4. Lack of transparency and accountability. This will continue.

    Be prepared to die in the world’s most expensive city.

    GD Star Rating
  • TruBlu:

    Unify sgs?
    Yeah, like bringing more FTs to replace them.
    Sgs only good at screwing other sgs who are weak.
    Many good at sucking up to ang mohs.
    What else?

    GD Star Rating
  • DavidNeo&IreneVanessa:Bastards:

    Are we a disagreable people? Agree to disgree?

    GD Star Rating

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