Sunday, February 20, 2011

Treat people equally

Survey: do you agree with my views? Give your answer here.

One reader of my blog suggested that foreigners should pay more for basic services, such as health, school fees, or public transport. I do not like this approach.

I prefer that foreigners should be treated in the same way as locals in most aspects of their daily life. If there is a need to differentiate, it should be done through a different system of taxation or levies for foreigners. After they have paid their levies or tax, they should be treated similarly to citizens in all other aspects.

The Government has set a bad example by requiring foreigners to pay higher fees for medical care and school fees. This causes additional work and confusion at the payment counters. Sometimes, it is difficult to differentiate who is a foreigner or a local, especially if they did not bring their ID card. It is also not clear about how to treat the family members of foreigners or locals in some situations. We have to develop some many complicated rules to deal with the different classes. Singapore has become a convoluted society.

I hope that the Government will set a better example for other people to follow. Stop putting people into different classes according to their residency status, income levels, type of housing, etc. Treat people equally in their daily lives and do not remind them about the differences. Levy the appropriate level of taxation and keep it as a private matter between the government and the individual citizens.

By treating people equally, we strengthen the sense of belonging and community for everyone who lives in Singapore - local and foreigner.

Tan Kin Lian


LeeSeng said...

Mr Tan idea does help to simply the payment procedures and thus some cost saving.

But, the fairness is much more difficult to well managed.
Let take an example of heavy smoking foreigner. He won't really feel the pain of his habit as the charges will be the same as everyone else, and that charges less likely to encourage him to kick off his habit. With different prices on different resident status, it send a clear signal that Singapore wants well behavior people to become residents.

With the advance of technology, and cheaper scanning device, the price of differentiate residents is getting cheaper. But the evils lies on the details of implementing the ideas.

Anonymous said...

I like your comment. Yes indeed Singapore is a very convoluted place to stay. All the great minds of PAP only come out with convoluted schemes one after another causing much stress in our daily life and rob us of the joy of living here as Singaporeans. PAP is to be blamed for such sad state of affairs.

Tan Kin Lian said...

Hi Lee Seng,

It is the kind of thinking - i.e. how to deal with heavy smokers - that leads to our convoluted system. The cases of abuse are small, but we have a convoluted system to deal with these types of problems and cause a lot of hassle and unproductive work affecting everybody. And the convoluted system does not deal with the problems of heavy smokers or other similar situations anyway. I must say that Singapore excel in convoluted thinking and it has seeped to most of our population.

Blog Archive