The Sad Singapore Love Story


What's wrong with this headline?


To me, it represent everything which is wrong with Singapore. The condescending article labelled the hawker as a blue collared worker. In Singapore, blue collared workers are regarded as something the dog drags in, society where status and money is all what everyone thinks of. A place where ill characters can be overshadowed by their status and looked up to by the masses, where justice isn't blind to who one is.


Why is there a social stigma against certain groups of people? Is it because of someone's perverse beliefs on eugenics and molded the citizens of the country to act in this manner, to accept this twisted concept as the norm? Then parents passed on the 'wisdom' to their children and the viscous cycle rotates on.


Wedding banquets evolved from taking place at open spaces to roof tops to void decks to restaurants to country clubs to hotels to overseas mansions to cruises to probably outer space in time to come. If you cannot afford to throw a fitting banquet, you are not fit to marry, not fit to love. When you combine two factors, Singapore, with one of the highest percentage of highly educated women in the world  and the social stigma of 'marrying down', with 'marrying horizontal' fast becoming the new stigma parents are aggressively instilling into their daughters - a definite contributing factor for the birth rate disaster that Singapore is facing, if not a main factor.


What makes it worse is that the government condone the general degrading of people of certain occupation or educational level. It didn't help that skilled workers suffer a gross injustice by an unfair suppression of their salaries. We see Ministers disgracefully arguing in public media about if that worker on a monthly wage of S$1,000 should get an increment or not. I hate to admit it but Dignity Lim is right. The amount of money one makes does affect the dignity to some effect. Just that these dogs are barking up the wrong tree arguing why they should be earning more millions, staunchly ignoring the large masses of grossly underpaid workers.


To the Singapore society, low wage earners don't deserve to get married. They shouldn't have children. They have less rights than others just because the society decided that certain occupations should not be paid adequately while some other occupations in-proportionately remunerated for the average contributions. As a result, the average highly educated Singaporean woman deems the average Singaporean man unworthy of their hand. 


It's sad but money does buy you love. If you are a cleaner working in the mines of Australia, earning a 6 figure sum per annum, the banks love you, the mortgage broker loves you, the settlement agent loves you, somehow you find a woman to marry, they just come into your life magically you know. Why does this Australia mining cleaner deserves more love than the Singapore plumber? You don't even need to be a mining staff in Australia. A dentist pairs off with a handyman, a teacher pairs off with a carpenter, a fruit picker pairs with a banker. It's so common. That is because the salary differentiation across occupations is a gradual curve while it is extremely steep in Singapore.


If you buy into the government's story, stop to ponder for a well. Why is it legit for someone to be earning heaps when he is only good at doing one thing - acing exams, while the examination stinkers with a pair of skillful hands or a creative mind serve their rest of their lives as lower class peasants? Why is there a absolute need to divide the brilliant and the average this widely? Why isn't there an avenue for late boomers to catch up, condemning them in the abyss of oblivion too soon?

70 comments:

  1. PAP is the one creating the elitist mindset on the marriage of educated ppl

    now they r regretting this n wanna encourage educated women to marry

    but the policies they come up with either still reek of elitism or it is complete failure

    take the merger of SDU n the other organization that i cant rem

    more n more men(regardless of edu lvl) r marrying foreign wives of which a small % r conning them of $$$$

    lastly, nothing wrong with the headline. just that the whore media always loves to bring this tiny little thing to every1's attention

    ppl love life r supposed to be private. what intention do they wan by spamming their love.

    to make them feel they r not sorry for those screwup policies they intro in the past?

    PATHETIC!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Actually, in the above story, the pretty lady is also smart. She's actually marrying a Chicken Rice seller.... you know how rich hawkers are in Singapore. They drive $500K Mercedes Benzes but wear ragged t-shirts and shorts to work, and pay for everything in cold cash. And probably do not declare all the income for taxes either, LOL!

    How many graduates can boast to live as good a life as hawkers in Singapore, albeit their shirts and ties, and multiple platinum credit cards?

    The lady has made an management decision!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. see the whole big pic bro.. dont make brainless comments like this that any one can..

      Delete
    2. I read before, Zororoz, that one does not see true wealth with mundane eyes.
      Often the best acquisitions are disdained by the majority, and only the uncommon few have that unusual knack for cleverly appraising enduring value.

      So it may be with this management-talented wife of a chicken-rice seller.

      I don't think I'm that financially shrewd.
      But I do watch the same costly blockbuster movies in cinemas at greatly reduced prices, on off-peak days as the screening period ends.
      And I do buy excellent video-games after the initial popularity fever has died down, at prices which give the impression that fashion has condemned them to oblivion.

      Delete
    3. I see the humour in your comment, Zororoz. Hahahaha.

      Delete
  3. you must be very free in racist perth to write so many articles about Singapore.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I beg to differ....Perth is not a racist place. Do you strongly believe there is no racism in Singapore? Think again....

      Delete
    2. I live in Perth and am a Singaporean as well. I've not experienced any racism too. In fact I dare say that Singapore has more bigots that over here.

      Delete
    3. Indeed, life down under is so free and less stressful, we have so much personal time, for family, friends and our own hobby. I have time to walk the park, visit exhibition and la kopi at nice cafe.

      As for racist, find me a place where it doesn't exist? I couldn't speak for the rest of the Singaporean in Australia, but for my 4 months in Melbourne, I can't really feel any here. But I do experience it when I was driving part time cab in Singapore, from those foreign expat or so call foreign talent.

      Come to think of it, you must be very free also, you have time to read his blog, isn't it? Must be the upper class citizen in SG :P

      Delete
    4. As a transgender woman, there are a lot less discrimination here in Australia, compared to that experienced in (generally speaking) backward ignorant archaic and conservative Singapore.

      Delete
    5. RACIST PERTH?! you gotta be kidding me! Being a Singaporean Malay woman, i face more racism and bigotry in Singapore! When i was in perth for a good 4 years, i was never even seen as different. you must be someone who have never travelled anywhere before.

      and yes, what is wrong with having a lot of free time? quality of life improves and you dont have to SLOG day and nite just to earn that extra few hundred so that you can stay in that overpriced HDB flat.

      oh and i hv also left sg for a better future. quitter? whatever.

      Thomas - totally agree with you. *hi 5*

      Delete
  4. eat,shit,sleep and sex should take around 10 hrs, so that leaves 14 hrs to work and play...which includes reading and blogging, but this does not apply to many sporeans.

    i must say the blogger put across a very pertinent point, the difference in pay amongst aussies being a gradual curve.

    by the way, i think aussies are more nationalistic than racist....they understand talent better and not easily hoodwinked.
    no way would the aussies accept a father and son to lord over them, more so if one was a coward who served the japs in WW2.
    this is the stigma sporeans have to live with....

    ReplyDelete
  5. I personally married a so-called 'blue collared worker' in 2010. My husband is a truck driver in Australia, and being a truck driver, he earns more than his manager, minus the extra responsibility/stress. Despite being a truck driver, he reads more than I do, and knows so much more about history than me, who holds a MA from NUS, and who has been a teacher for 14 years.

    Two years on and we are still in our honeymoon. I am not sure if I can find such a man in Singapore and it's not fair to compare. But it took me more than 10 years to find him, with many broken-hearts and time/money wasting episodes in Singapore with Singaporean men. We had a simple wedding ceremony here in Australia, and everyone, including us, enjoyed it. I always told my friends back home that I enjoyed the food very much at my own wedding! (My friends told me that the bride couldn't have the time for food on her own wedding).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Singaporean men cannot make it because NS made them into machismo headed idiots.

      Delete
  6. one reason for the sobbishness here is this country's concept of meritocracy. it is a strange concept - and highly divisive - as it presumes that book smart equals smart. that this trumps all other smarts and talents. that these academic scorers are the only ones who have a brain and can think.

    that only idiots are able to take apart a machine like a PC or an everyday system like your electrical wiring system and fix it.

    it presumes that a good dessert maker cannot rise to run a chain of dessert outlets and be highly successful and respected. and make lots of money.

    as for @anon at 7.25pm: do we take it that you are so not free in racist spore to make the comment you did? that you do not have the time to think of and couch proper arguments if you disagree with someone? good to bear in mind this is a discussion, not an exercise for snipers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. mandelajanssen8 May 2012 at 13:55

      That is so true. All those uni grads think they're God's gifts to Singapore but truth of the matter is that they probably can't change a light bulb to save their lives.

      Delete
    2. I wish we have less of top scholars stories and headlines of president scholars as its really meaningless . Look at Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Larry Ellision and you will see what I mean

      Delete
  7. I try to study whatever local history is relevant, but have yet to come across somebody significant who worked in fear for the occupiers in the 1940s, and is still around today.

    ReplyDelete
  8. It is an obvious and deliberate practice of the govt to ensure that the 'blue collar' class remain suppressed by the more 'genteel' and hence more easily controlled 'scholarly' class.

    LKY remembers very well that it was the blue collar workers who had posed the most challenges to his regime from day one. He knew that the blue collar workers can make formidable political opponents when the chips are down, whereas the scholarly and white collar class can be quiet easily 'persuaded' and intimidated by his hatchet men and ISD. That's why he had shackled the unions with the help of the likes of Devan Nair under the NTUC. Nowhere else in the world can you find workers' unions under the thumb of a cabinet minister or senior ruling party politician. It's like planting a wolf in sheep's clothing in a flock of sheep.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is so true. After Lky gotten control of ntuc, he framed devan nair, under false charges of womanising, and got him out of politics.

      Delete
  9. Not sure true or not...

    "Harry Lee also learned Japanese as an adult and he worked as a Japanese translator during the Japanese Occupation of Singapore."

    - Lee Kuan Yew: The Man and His Ideas.
    Tan, Sumiko; Fook Kwang Han; Fernadez, Warren (1998). Singapore: Times Editions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Were that true, at which point is one working for survival, forced to work, or actively working to harm one's own people?

      Delete
  10. Official propaganda says "learned Japanese as an adult"

    Wiki says " Having taken Chinese and Japanese lessons since 1942"

    Singapore fell on 15 Feb 1942, so either the Chinese who were being murdered by the Japanese had time to teach Mandarin" or the Japanese had just a desire to educate the local Chinese that they were giving Japanese lessons"

    Can anyone find the actual fact as to where and who taught him Japanese. For a man who can give us volumes of memoirs it's a tad starnge that details of his impressive language education is so vague

    The Japanese occupation of Singapore in World War II occurred between about 1942 and 1945 after the fall of Singapore on 15 February 1942. Military forces of the Empire of Japan occupied Singapore after defeating the combined Australian, British, Indian and Malayan garrison in the Battle of Singapore. The occupation was to become a major turning point in the history of several nations, including that of Japan, Britain and the then-colonial state of Singapore. Singapore was renamed to Syonanto (昭南島 Shōnantō), which means "Southern Island gained in the age of Shōwa". The name is frequently mistranslated as "Light of the South", even in the Singaporean textbooks.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is Singapore... a place where u suffer!!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. The salary curve has nothing to do with why it is possible in Australia. In general, in western countries, income is not a criteria when seeking a partner.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm a graduate marrying a ITE graduate. He will be graduating with a diploma next year. Untimately, marriage is a personal choice between two individuals. I chose him because we have similar interests & life goals...beyond the materialistic paper chase. He is a lot more religious, matured, open-minded and sensitive than many other graduates I have met. Ultimately it's a personal choice & each individual has to ask oneself what's important, really, in a partner...

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hey, please be able to substantiate your claims in your article. You say parents ask their daughters not to marry down. Do you have proof of that, or just hearsay? Then there's the question of eugenics - that can't be blamed for everything that's going wrong with the birth rate in Singapore.

    Have you not factored in how materialistic Singaporean women are? How many pairs of shoes one buys? Bags? Look at the shows women here watch - how many of these shows actually have plots that contain women who actually marry down? It's a fairytale life they're being fed with the shows they watch too. Not just government policies at play but the media as well.

    You may not see that in Australia, but in Singapore, well. Let's just say that it is somewhat an Asian mindset. Even in ancient Asian civilizations, have you ever read about a woman that married down? Of course, maybe, but that would have been the extremely rare exception, and not the rule. So instead of just blaming the government for a policy of eugenics, you have to look at social factors as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Social factors are not influenced by a totalitarian government who rule for almost half a century?

      Delete
    2. @Shigure:

      I cannot substantiate my claims unless I do an official survey on it and will be pleased to do so if you offer me funding for it. On the other hand, are you about to substantiate that parents are not asking their daughters not to marry down? Let's be rational here and don't lie to ourselves.. It's not that such things are not happening in Singapore. Your question should be, to what extent?


      Again, are you able to substantiate your claims in your comment that Singaporean women are materialistic? Probably not. But I agree with you based on my observation. A good portion of Singaporean women are, in my opinion, materialistic. If we ask ourselves why, we could see a bigger picture. Education is one of them. I might be able to substantiate this one : Singaporean boast a highest percentage of highly educated women in the world among their population.


      Is being highly educated correlated with materialism? That's out for interpretation. You think?


      I'm not blaming the government for any specific actions or policies but I feel I have a right to point out what's obvious to me and of course I don't expect everyone to agree with my views.

      Delete
  15. It's really simple-minded to blame everything on the government...Grow up, people! These issues are far more complex than how they have been portrayed here. Seriously.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LEt's hear ya from ya complex mind :)

      Delete
    2. Let me just pick on one point: "Why is there a social stigma against certain groups of people? Because of someone's perverse beliefs on eugenics and molded the citizens of the country to act in this manner, to accept this twisted concept as the norm. Parents forced this upon their children and the viscous cycle rotates on."
      1) let's give ourselves, as Singaporeans, a little more credit in terms of the ability to think and make decisions on our own, rather than being mindless fools who are "moulded" by "someONE's perverse beliefs on eugenics" and stupidly "accept this twisted concept as the norm"? Really are we all such fools except the author of this article who absconded to Perth? Maybe women don't want to marry "down" because a man who has not had the same level of education may not be like-minded or share the same interests as the woman? Just MAYBE its not about money? Some women look for compatible life partners with whom they can be happy at a mental and spiritual level, too, you know. So let's not make such simplistic sweeping statements.
      2) are we also saying that our parents are such idiots to perpetuate this belief supposedly forced upon them by the government aka LKY? Parents generally want the best for their children no matter what the government may or may not decree.
      I could go on, but i really think its a waste of time. Have a lovely day everyone! :)

      Delete
    3. Not quite as complex as your claimed. simplistic in fact. that's as good as not saying anything

      Delete
    4. 'abscond', according to a simplistic lookup of Dictionary.com, is defined as "to depart in a sudden and secret manner, especially to avoid capture and legal prosecution".

      Therefore, the way it is used in this sub-thread, as a reference to the blog owner-writer, is just plain wrong, worse than just being simplistic in assumption.

      After all, does Anonymity not also mean 'secret' in identity?
      Is that to avoid 'capture and persecution' too?

      Are we all such fools that we can use a word clumsily and unfairly?
      I hope not.

      Delete
  16. For the numerous Singaporeans or ex-Singaporeans living in Australia, I would expect your English to be at least of some standard. To read, ".. other Singaporean in Melbourne / Perth ..", it doesn't take much to figure out why you lot have not been experiencing racism.

    Either you lot are lying or the whomever experiencing it are.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your standard of English is surprisingly bad for a grammar nazi. I tried but can't understand your point at all. Hope it is just me.

      Delete
    2. i think its just you Anonymous@3.30am. Anonymous@3.13am may not have been grammatically correct, but he/she made perfect sense. All you whiny unhappy Singaporeans should just leave. Go settle in Australia where its like Heaven on earth and you will live in absolute bliss.

      Delete
    3. The Anon above me:

      Yep, all unhappy Singaporeans should just leave, leaving behind happy Singaporeans like you and me. We are happy and blissful and don't need these Singaporeans who leave, though it's better to stick to the topic than doing personal attack here.

      Delete
  17. I agree with some of the comments posted...this seems like a rather strong reaction to a sensational headline in a tabloid newspaper. In fact not even that sensational for TNP... the concept of "marrying down" (poor choice of words but then again not new or unique to Sg) is universal and has been around since income gaps and caste systems existed. It's not nice, but that's a reality that people are faced with in an unfair world.

    I do think many in the local blogosphere these days tend to link everything that's wrong with Singapore to its government and a lot of them write on pretty fair grounds, but this just seems like you're calling out Singapore (and its government) on the plain unfairness of this world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not disputing your opinion here but please bear in mind, Singapore does not equate to its government (PAP) and vice versa. There is a difference.

      Delete
  18. OH the classic love story....she was from Raffles Girls School, he was from a kopitiam in Tuas....when did Singapore turn into fair Verona?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cases like these are few and far apart, if anything they're about to become extinct.

      Delete
  19. have a friend whose brother married a graduate. Eventually he divorced the wife and is now with a much older woman, and lower educated woman.

    ReplyDelete
  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  21. PAP regime is based on india values. THat is why they get ah neh to become finance and law ministers. In india, the income gap is very wide; people there lacking in compassions; the poor treated worse than cows; can only marry up or horizontal not down; can lie, cheat or con inorder to make some bucks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha India values...which planet are you from man?

      Delete
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