I will be attending this event at Speakers' Corner at 5 pm on Sat 13 August 2011
Transitioning.org will be conducting its third Singaporeans First! event at Speakers’ Corner this coming Saturday (13 Aug) at 5pm. We have lined up several speakers who will speak their mind as usual on issues that affect Singaporeans.
Mr Leong Sze Hian and Mr Tony Tan (NSP candidate for Choa Chu Kang GRC in 2011 GE) will also be gracing the occasion among others.
We realised that there could be a crisis looming just one and a half month after our second event in June – showing how vulnerable the world’s economy has been since the last financial crisis in 2008. The S & P has downgraded US Treasuries from its triple A rating – a historical first and the stock markets have immediately entered a blood path unseen before since 2008.
The Singaporean government has also lowered its’ growth forecast of 5-7% to 5-6% in view of a changing economic climate.
I remembered tens of thousands of executives lost their jobs during the 2008 financial crisis and many have nowhere to turn to as our government agencies were ill-prepared to handle such massive retrenchment involving mid to high level PMETs. It is foreseeable that this time round, if the crisis worsens and many PMETS lose their jobs, the same ineffectiveness could take place as most government agencies preferred to help those who are poorly educated.
The government has all along adopted a policy of stretching out its’ welfare arm to those who are poor and vunlnerable, however, society has changed much and many Singaporeans have managed to lift themselves out of poverty during this past decade. The government’s stance on welfare needs to evolve in tantem with the growing needs of a more developed population. We can’t adopt a third world welfare system for a first world status society.
We don’t really need a solid welfare system like in Australia or the UK but we do need the government to look into providing some form of unemployment benefit when one is retrenched . A certain premium can be deducted from our CPF money, place into a central pool and the unemployment benefit given out to PMETs who have being retrenched. It is like buying unemployment insurance using your own money and it won’t be a drag on our reosurces. Moreover, the money is sued to tide over a certain period and retrenched executives will not be able to manipulate the system like what some welfare countries are facing now.
The unemployment benefit can be used to put food on the table for the family, provide a real sense of peace of mind and more importantly allows the breadwinner to find alternative employment during a difficult phase of his life.
During this one and a half month period since our last event, we also witnessed the relentless pursuit of PAP-backed candidate Mr Tony Tan’s son Dr Patrick Tan national service fiasco. Singaporeans indeed now are more vocal and the tide has changed in this current political climate.
People want answers when things go awry and I think that they are entitled to them.
We also saw how transport cost rose by 1% even though transport companies have been making solid profits since the transport system was privatised. It seems that with privatisation, people’s lives have became harder and our transport companies as a result ironically get richer.
As Singapore enters into a critical period, let us unite together and gather as one voice this coming Saturday – see you there!
Singapore for Singaporeans! Stay united!
Singaporeans First! Organiser