In the midst of dust, dirt and sweat, I moved into my new apartment. Managed to prepare for Chinese New Year. The past 2 years of CNY was kind of a non-celebratory for me. 2011 was the passing of my mother. 2012 passed just like that, I couldn’t remember what I did. This year, my and my ‘Ang’ decided to go for more visitings and gatherings.
Among the gatherings of uni friends, neighbors, relatives, the White Paper keeps popping up. Discussion was most robust among our uni friends. I personally didn’t read in-depth into the White Paper but followed through in the media and newspaper. It is indeed a bitter medicine to swallow. Here are some of what our friends said….
“I asked my students about the White Paper and the first thing they responded was Migrate!” – Our friend teaching in a top secondary school in Singapore. These students are supposed to be the cream of the crop of Singapore’s future!
“Just doing grocery in Bukit Timah Cold Storage and Yew Tee NTUC will show the patrons disparity between foreigners and Singaporeans” – Wife of a friend who recently shifted to District 9 enclave. Singapore is so small and yet if one is confined to the same few places, he may not know what’s going on in the next district!
“Found this condo development and loved the layout but their 3 playgrounds in the compound were all filled with Indians! All Three!” – Friend who had twins looking for a bigger apartment.
“What will happen if businesses can no longer employ foreign workers? Will they close? Or will it just eat into their profits? Or if they really move out of Singapore (foreign owned companies), do we really want them to be here in the first place? Just leveraging on foreign workers and not on the advantage Singapore can offer such as stability, security, etc. I’m sure we have something other countries want. Cheap labour is just not one of them.”
“Would it be easier to swallow if we Singaporeans know that we are biting the bullet for Singaporeans?” – Echoed another friend
Among the 5 males sitting around the table. One is a civil servant. One is a teacher. One is a banker in a foreign bank. One is regional director for a US based MNC. One works in a SME. Plus their wives, I supposed this is a pretty good mix.
There were many more discussion which went on….like the entitlement mentality of kids these days which inevitably lead to our education system, the MRT saga, the ‘chao sng” CNB chief scandal, etc, etc.
The Ponggol East by-election was the funniest and most exciting conversation. Apparently, my ‘Ang’ share the same alma mater with Mr Koh Poh Koon, and when a few Marist alum sat down together to reminiscence the past, the jokes went pretty wild.
And as for me…….thinking…..a thought that I cannot fully erase.
My and my ‘Ang’ are finally beginning to entertain the thought of IVF. And all I could think of is this……..Do I really want to contribute 1 to the 6.9 million figure, knowing that he/she may need to fight extra hard with the “cheaper foreign talents”?
I can’t help but take 2 steps back.
I’m worse than those kiasu mother that I criticize. I worry even before I have kids!!!