The hyper achiever that achieves very little

Singapore is what you could call a “hyper achieving” nation. Nothing excites our government more than the opportunity to talk about all our wonderful achievements, which we managed to do without any resources and despite lacking just about everything that you need to get by. We have the best airport (rankings of the world’s best airports actually make national news in Singapore), the world’s best airline, the world’s best port and as a former 155mm gunner, we actually bragged about having the first 52 calibre gun howitzer in the world (which we cannot fire in Singapore).

It seems that the world is actually impressed by our list of hyperachievement’s. We’ve moved from being a “sane spot” in an insane neighbourhood. In the pre-covid days, even the Europeans were impressed with us. As a White (sorry, the world isn’t colour blind) Dutchman once said to me when talking about where to live in the world – “Singapore – where else is there to live?”

However, whilst we have been very successful and creating something to impress the world’s wealthiest people, there is one area where our hyper achieving little island has achieved remarkably little – if at all. One of the areas where this has been glaring has been in the area of our treatment of anyone who has had the misfortune of born in a less developed Asian nation (particularly in any of the South Asian ones), dark skinned and working in a “rough” job. The glitz that our ministers push to the world’s wealthiest, was actually built-under pretty s** awful conditions.

Unfortunately, its not considered proper to talk about these things. The government gets very offended and labels you a threat to our perpetual economic miracle (whose economic miracle is a topic for another debate). The general population has been trained into telling you things like “it’s good compared to what they’re used to,” whenever you raise in the question of making life a little bit more tolerable for the dark-skinned labourers. Raise the topic of the welfare of migrant labour welfare and people will start accusing you of wanting to house the estate cleaners in the Ritz Carlton.

This is obviously not true. Activist like Jolovan Wham and Alex Au of Yawning Bread are not advocating for labourers to be housed in luxury. What they are promoting is for workers to have same things that the rest of us take for granted – namely housing and transport that is not life threatening.

Take transport as an example. The standard way of transporting workers is in the back of an open top lorry. It’s not a case of having one or two guys in the lorry – it’s usually a whole group of at least ten cramped onto the back of an open top van. It goes without saying that things like “seat belts,” which are mandatory for the rest of us don’t exist on such forms of transport. Here is an example of what transporting workers looks like:

It goes without saying that when accidents happen, the results are quite horrific. Below, is a shot taken from Lianhe Zaobao, Singapore’s main Chinese daily of what happens in such situations. Unfortunately, this isn’t the only isolated incident and our proverbial activist have been calling on the government to do something:

Photo: Lianhe Zaobao

I guess you could forgive our hyper-achieving government’s inability to act on transportation in as much as transportation is a relatively new issue and if one wants to be cynical, traffic accidents don’t make headlines.

That cannot be said of the issue of housing workers. Prior to last year’s explosion of Covid-19 cases, there were cases of workers dying of diseases that one would have imagined our hyper-achieving government had eradicated from Singapore’s shores decades ago, though unsanitary conditions in worker dormitories. These cases were treated like White Supremacy attacks – lone nut cases – though in this case, the victim was considered the lone nut for having the audacity to die of a disease that was not his (they have all been men) fault.

Last year’s explosion in the dormitories proved that this was not true. It became very clear to the rest of the world that the dormitories that the workers were being housed in, were designed to help the virus spread like wild fire.

In fairness, our hyper-achieving government acted quickly. Tax payers were obliged to pay up to help the very profitable dormitory owners upgrade their facilities to be less disease friendly. There was a national angst about needing to look after the workers who were doing all the s***ty jobs that we were not willing to do.

You would have imagined that our hyper-achieving government would have at least solved the problem in the dormitories. Well, it seems that we haven’t solved the issue as can be seen from this report from Bloomberg in August 2021: [LINK]

So, we had a period of national angst about foreign workers. The tax payers subisidised profitable businesses to bring their facilities up to liveable standards and a year later the problem exists in the same place. Now, this may not be as ground breaking as the American 20-year, US$2 trillion exercise in Afghanistan but it’s not definitely not something you expect from a government that claims to be hyper-achieving and brought you the best of everything.

Disclaimer – In view of Singapore’s introduction of the Foreign Interference (Countermeasures) Bill (“FICA”), I declare that I have received no foreign funding – as a matter of fact I receive no funding at all and would in no way resist anyone who was willing to give me a few pennies regardless of status (ie I don’t care if you’re an “evil” Hungarian Jewish Financier or a “good” White wearing politician from Singapore as long as you put the money in my pocket)


Tang Li

*Although I’ve been based mainly in Singapore for nearly two decades, I’ve had the privilege of being able meet people who have crossed borders and cultures. I’ve befriended ministers and ambassadors and worked on projects involving a former head of state. Yet, at the same time, I’ve had the privilege of befriending migrant labourers and former convicts. All of them have a story to tell. All of them add to the fabric of life. I hope to express the stories that inspire us to create life as it should be.




13 Responses to “The hyper achiever that achieves very little”

  • illiterate pap voters:

    It depends on who we ask.

    If you ask us, achievement is about quality of life.

    1. no crowding

    2. larger public housing for more reasonable quality of life.

    3. citizenship with more rights than aliens.

    4. Olympic gold medals

    5. world cup soccer final contenders

    6. fair wage for fair work, e.g., no public employee is ever worth
    more than twice national median wage.

    7. honest CPIB which has power to investigate the prime minister and wife.

    There are other measures. But the above 7 ranks highest. pap Singapore fails in all 7 measures.

    1. Singapore is a small island able to accommodate about 3m local born. under pap it is overcrowded with an additional 3.9m aliens. pap fails on avoiding crowding for its citizens.

    2. Singapore under pap is building smaller and smaller public housing at higher and higher costs. Both factors force natural procreation to falter since humans need space to ffff and decent space to function as a decent family. pap fails to enhance the quality of life for its citizens.

    3. under pap, Singapore has 4 major races. 1st is the pap race, the race which can self proclaim S$m wages to self enrich each other in the pap clan. 2nd is the aliens race. the rank just below the pap race. 3rd is the cotton sheep race and the 39% race. pap treats these 2 as the same since both no matter how they vote pap forms government. the last race in pap Singapore, the 4th race, are those decent fellow citizens who choose to fight pap in pap parleement. pap practices race politics all the time.

    4. even 3rd world Philippines can win an Olympics gold medal. under pap, over 50 years of utter fail sports policy, has produced only 1 Olympics gold medal. ONE only.

    5. pap cannot even win Malaysia cup. and it is talking about world cup soccer. so funny. these pap utter fails and those cotton sheep who believe in pap BS.

    6. pap is even worse than najib and wife. at least najib and wife redistributes some S$m they churi from 1mdb to their clan members. under pap, S$m ownself justify ownself schemes only go to pap clan members.

    7. No human alive or dead, not a single one, is honest. for pap to say its secretary general can use CPIB to investigate anyone but not the pap secretary general and his wife is nothing but a veil for theft.

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  • xoxo:

    Recently,the cock-ups rate increases all round.
    Ya,achieve nothing in truth.

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  • Realistically:

    I suggest that people like Jolovan Wham and Alex Au and other good hearted sinkies pay closer attention to the transport and living conditions in India………………….latest news on traveling by train…….a female commuter slipped while trying to board a slow moving train and fell with part of her body below the carriage and was saved by other commuters………..she would probably have died if not pulled to safety.

    The standard of living accommodation at least by the listed group is acceptable under normal conditions…………it is in such medical pandemic condition that those house there should be better protected………….

    Sorry, but this is how capitalism works..

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  • Harder Truths:

    Hyper stupid. When you vote for a regime to infect you and then study if you live or die.

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  • PAP mandate strong:
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  • theforgottongeneration:

    1) Hyper achiever that achieves very little = SG as a nation?
    2) Hyper-paid who achieves very little = SG’s PM/ministers, so we know where the rot started. Classic Clause-and-Effect example.

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  • Ah Ha:

    I wonder if Tang Li walks? If he is near any HDB flats if he is, was or could visit the heartland he may be surprised to finds the heartlanders fight every day just to walk. The largest cause of personal injury in Singapore is from being hit by Bicycles, E-Bicycles (really PMD’s) and the PMD class itself. People are being hit coming out of the HDB lifts! These machines recklessly charging through void decks, HDB have had to put up stainless steel bars so more people aren’t hit (how much sense does that make?) The pavements have become Tour de France, these machines are charging through Buss stops, not giving way to people getting in or off the busses, rushing through MRT station exits, (the exit at Tampines is one of the busiest anywhere when crossing to the malls and yes, you have to e watching for these machines) driving through coffee shops (really, people taking their food to tables have to deal with bicycles!).The narrow streets in and around markets and in markets them selves people are being sidelined by these machines. In my area, the Town park has become a race way, often e-bikes travel well over 40 kpm with little regard to anyone, young, old, disabled or otherwise, the dismount and push in and around malls is a joke, the bridge over the canal in my neighbourhood is often cluttered with 4 or 5 ebikes going each way, not one dismounting or giving a pedestrian any leeway, same on the pavements. There are no rule for any speed (20 to 40 kpm is happening all the time, day, night fine or rain, quietly from behind and front, you never hear them till BAM!) or any parking, check how much greenery has to be replace.. Imagine being hit with 20 five kilo bags of rice (100 kg) swinging through your door, same as an e-bike and rider going 25 kn on a pavement. So Mr. Tang Li, please take a walk in the heartland and compare how safe it is to walk here to driving in the back of a lorry. Some of the Mayors and out of touch POLS may want to take a look as well, these machines are not like the pic of some Banking poster, these machines are really hurting people in void decks, buss stops, MRT exits and especially pavements. Its getting safer to walk in the streets! Imagine you and your car, being able to go any speed, park where you want, disobey traffic laws, race, travel on any street, any direction.

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  • Realistically:

    不好意思, 我的普通话很差.

    I’m focused on the REALITY……….that these immigrant manpower work in SINKaPOOR, with the hope of earning enough money to give their families a better life back home. The standard of safety, living and work conditions are much better than what they experienced back in their home countries, which is why they continue to come to SINKaPOOR.

    What the emperor without clothes regime and well-intentioned people like Jolovan Whanm, Alex Au etc should focus their effort on is to minimise the fees they have to pay their agents; ensure that the local employers over exploit them against agreed terms and within the labour laws, so that these immigrant workers can return home with the max. amount due to them as agreed when they began working here.

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  • The Pappy Hyper-Hype:

    The crony-capitalist cult constantly connives against the rightful ownership of the citizen sheeples of this so-called republic. They utilise human manpower as their contrived genus – the “homo economicus”. The outrageously priced hdb public flats and the compulsory medisave payments have been designed as stealthy means towards the end of enriching their CPF capital pool for operating their government companies (which pay themselves secret obscene untold amounts of wealth). How on earth does a globalised crony regime solve local sheeples problems except to piggyback on their willing exertions? They are never going to perform confession and undergo penance lah…. Never does a powerful narcissist beg your pardon for his wrongdoing; is there ever a sincere narcissist?

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  • Realistically:

    @ Tang Li

    >>It goes without saying that when accidents happen, the results are quite horrific. Below, is a shot taken from Lianhe Zaobao, Singapore’s main Chinese daily of what happens in such situations. <<

    Re traffic accidents: Maybe people like Tang Li, Jolovan Wham, Alex Au etc might hv a solution to SINKIES being injured in accidents like that reported in the 160th ranked ST:

    Man rescued by firefighters after multi-vehicle accident in Pioneer

    OCTOBER 12, 2021
    SINGAPORE – A man was trapped in a car after an accident in Pioneer on Monday (Oct 11) afternoon and rescuers needed to make sure it was stable before they could save him.

    The car was one of five vehicles – including a trailer, lorry and two other cars – that were involved in an accident at the junction of Jalan Ahmad Ibrahim and Benoi Road.

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  • Realistically:

    @ Tang Li

    >>Activist like Jolovan Wham and Alex Au of Yawning Bread are not advocating for labourers to be housed in luxury. <<

    Jolovan Wham, Alex Au et al should compare the living condition of those immigrant manpower at the dorms of public listed company Centurion with those SINKIES living in one room HDB flats.

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  • Realistically:

    @ Tang Li

    >>Raise the topic of the welfare of migrant labour welfare and people will start accusing you of wanting to house the estate cleaners in the Ritz Carlton.<<

    The emperor without clothes had said that those ISD detainees incarcerated under the Internal Security Act, like Teo Soh Lung etc, were not jailed in SHANGRILA Hotel type accommodation………… if cells for the said ISA detainees could even be compared to HDB 1-room flats.

    Tang Li et al should get REAL and find out the FACTS.

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  • VB sewered lky image:

    VB has booted Pinky right on the face with his bastardly remarks on RI n her alumni including VB’s fellow Ministers from RL.. He couldn’t have any respect left for pinky after what pinky risked his honor by not draging his soblings into Court for their damning allegation all becos he tried to savage lky’s image. Leong has no right to accept VB’s apology per se. He has humiliated thegreat institution n Singapore education historical background. Yes RI has been betrayed by the bootlicking doc falling into the trap of jialiaobi from ACS like VB by controlling the alumni after his predecessors voted against privatization. RI was a scholl that put confidence in Govt schools as it was the only govt school that trashed ACS private Christian school in all sectors! RI has been a school where boys from himble background surface as nation builders. LKY n GCT r both RI alumni.

    VB has suppressed his bastardly remarks till lky died else lky will have dumped him like August Tan n both could be loitering around RI canteen preaching their unchristian sludge. DHS will definitely be DHS if he allowed his old man image flushed down into the sewer n not reprimand or removing him to reatain his RI ministers’ loyalty.

    VB should, if he is a Human n a Man, take up a full page in ST n Chinese Newspapers APOLOGISING to RI carrent batch of students n all RI alumni for what he said including all the past ministers of education n parents who rated RI as the best school in Singapore even after RI became a private school, a nasty ploy of ACS boys like Joaliabi n VB.

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