Saturday, 18 May 2013

Former president Nathan urges us to volunteer. I wonder what he's been smoking

In a Yahoo! news article, former Singapore President S.R Nathan has urged more Singaporeans to give of their time and effort to volunteer work.

No offence Mr ex-President Sir, but I wonder what you have been smoking!

In case you haven't been up to date with the news, Singaporeans work the longest hours in the world. This, from none other than our dearest state-controlled mainstream media.

© Miarka2003

These long working hours have borne fruit in our abysmal birth rates. Apparently, we are still having sex, but either we are mostly using contraceptives in defiance of the Government's exhortations, or are simply firing blanks for whatever reasons.

I say, make up your bloody minds. You want us to produce a "Singaporean Core", yet you import foreigners by the planeloads, showering them with PRs and citizenships. Meanwhile, our population density is the third highest in the world, which is fine in itself, except that it contradicts your goal of producing a "Singaporean Core".

I think before anyone preaches from his high horse, he should have first volunteered his time and effort to serve the people (apart from inaugurating some challenge), instead of happily earning the world's highest wages as a political leader. Maybe he could volunteer his vast personal coffers to those who are really in need, such as the lower economic strata of our "Singaporean Core".

I'm not saying that people should avoid volunteering. In fact, I do volunteer work on occasion. But I couldn't help questioning if SR Nathan is qualified to make such a statement. Is the environment in Singapore conducive to fostering the spirit of volunteerism? What do you think? Do leave your comments.

Do note, comments will be subjected to moderation, but we will publish all constructive comments asap. Thanks for reading! =)

- S


  1. Yes, I agree with you again. As a Sinapore PR who had worked/studied in sg for a couple of years before I came to Australia, Singapore workforce values long hours of hardwork and obviously sacrifice the so called family time. In contrast, Australia workforce values work-life balance. It is hard for you to spot ppl around after working hours. Asian bosses may think that this is a 'lazy' attitude, but this also implies that they have more spare time for their loved ones, cooking fresh meals daily (instead of eating out like most singaporeans do, unless mother willing to cook/not working).

  2. Hi Swallowyen! Thanks for leaving a comment.

    It may interest you that work life balance has been talked about in Sg. At least my employer does, and we have such initatives as "Eat with your family day", which has the unfortunate implication that we don't often get the chance to dine with our families! This has been true at certain points in my career, which I will disclose at at later date.

    Glad to hear that you have made it on to Oz. I'm guessing you were from China,based on your blog :)? But even if Sg were a greener pasture than China, it is by no means an ideal place, as you have evidently realised :/

    Which part of Australia are you at now? We are thinking of moving to Melbourne. :)

    - S

    1. As a typical Malaysian Chinese (Johor), English is my third language, therefore I express much better in Chinese and thus created a chinese blog, though I have created another english blog. Australian's life vs Singaporean life is significantly different, and I do sincerely wish that you can fulfill your dream to migrate here =) You have act fast as australia gov keep changing their immigration rules for foreigners!!

      I am in a dilemma right now as I am graduating soon and plan to go back to sg, but have some hesitation to leave Melbourne (tempted to stay but unlikely) =(

      There is a very meaningful article (fwd from taiwan website) I would like to share with you that discussed about Singapore's current problem of low birth rate, written by a foreigner. You can just copy paste into if you find it hard to read traditional chinese

  3. I apologise for my presumptuousness, in any case I was rather surprised to see that your blog swallowyen was written in Chinese as you had read and commented on our posts in great English! I am somewhat ashamed to admit that my Chinese is horrible, and since you are actually Malaysian, you Malaysian Chinese folks have the edge over most Singaporean Chinese in that you know Malay as an additional language!

    I tried Google translate, and it doesn't seem to work properly, and I struggle with even simplified Chinese, even if I can post a few phrases occasionally.

    Do leave the link to your English blog here and we'd like to take a look :)