Understanding Privilege

As a Singaporean son, I've heard of the term, "NS liability" too many times. So hearing a PAP MP call the serving of NS as a privilege is gold. I guess that was a case of positive thinking indoctrination gone wrong. Unlike general anesthesia, this sort of thing is supposed to wane after the deed is done. Some effects of the brainwashing are expected to linger, except for overdose cases such as Dr Lim (left) - which is quite a common occurrence as a matter of fact.

Other than NS indoctrination, don't forget the consumerism we are subjected to since we were little kids. With these mind molding instruments constantly influencing our perceptions, many of us grow up without the ability to differentiate between a want and a need or a privilege and an entitlement.

It isn't that I am picking on Dr Lim Wee Kiak. Most Singaporeans are just the same. It just happens that I have a screenshot to use as an example. Considering Dr Lim's infamous statement about why Singapore Ministers should be paid millions....

"If the annual salary of the Minister of Information, Communications and the Arts is only $500,000, it may pose some problems when he discusses policies with media CEOs who earn millions of dollars because they need not listen to the minister's ideas and proposals, hence a reasonable payout will help to maintain a bit of dignity."
- Dr Dignity Lim, May 2011

..... we can say that Dr Lim is one confused man.

We are talking about how the new generation of young Singaporeans these days having that innate sense of entitlement which probably partially explains their bratty behaviors. Parents often find establishing between a privilege and an entitlement near impossible. You can imagine the same trying to explain to a Singapore Minister about how his coveted million-dollar position is a rare privilege. For a start, the opportunity to serve the public is still regarded by many to be an honour. The generous remuneration, being supposedly the icing on the cake, seems to be taken as an entitlement by most if not all our Ministers today.

Many Singaporeans I meet in Perth have the same mentality. They feel that they deserve to command a certain range of salary, to live in a certain class of housing and to drive a certain class of cars. Anything beneath their definitions are unacceptable and they will go all out to justify their wants, claiming those as their basic needs without blinking. I don't think the majority of Singaporeans have the right to point their fingers at their Ministers. Many of us will be behaving in the same sick bratty manner as our Ministers in their positions. 

One example of Singaporeans in Perth is the purchasing of cars. While I can empathize with long suffering Singaporean souls who have have to endure the insanity of paying six figures on a car, it is unacceptable to behave like a sex starved virgin seeing a naked woman for the first time when they are introduced to the car market here. I've heard something as ridiculous as being able to buy a brand new car for $30,000 is a privilege so it has to be utilized or they will not be doing themselves justice. To me, that statement does not make any sense at all because having the option to buy a $2,000 car in Australia must be a privilege as well, since such an option is not and will never be available to anyone in Singapore. As usual, it's the prideful Singaporean's trying to charade his sense of entitlement as a redemption of privilege.

Voting someone like Dignity Lim, who equated conscription as a privilege, into Parliament speaks volume about the Singapore electorate. Every time I read someone whining about uncaring elites in their ivory towers, or attempting a "they" and "us" divide, I can't help but laugh. We are all the same. They are us, with more privileges, constantly attempting to convince everyone that they are entitled to what they were given.


  1. I see Mr Lim no up because he doesn't go around picking cardboard.

    But the reporter on the left, oh boy. Something is sure standing up.

  2. I heard that guy once considered migration in his cards too.

  3. I never asked for 2.5 years of my life to be wasted serving you SAF scholar types. Given the choice I'd rather die trying out for the French Foreign Legion in my youth.. at least if I succeed I can kiss my red IC goodbye.