Singapore — Following Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s National Day speech this year, many netizens took to social media to share an open letter criticising not only his address but the actions taken following his speech.
The letter, circulated on various Facebook groups and WhatsApp messenger, said that “some talented Singaporeans took the trouble of sieving through your speeches and statements and retrieved a remarkably similar speech you made in August 2011”.
It added that PM Lee gave “an almost identical speech on the plight of Singaporeans in the face of foreign competition”.
The writer said that they were sceptical about what PM Lee truly wanted to say in his National Day address. Bringing in work pass holders and saying to people that this creates more opportunities for us, “It is a cruel blow and sadistic even to tell Singaporeans then that more opportunities are created elsewhere……like driving….delivering…!” they wrote.
“With the benefit of history and hindsight, we find your words less convincing and even less sincere. I am not even sure what you meant by saying that the Gahmen (sic) is addressing them”, they added.
“Depending on how Singaporeans view which way the Gahmen (sic) is going to adjust, it would be heartbreaking to follow your next statement to its sordid conclusion”, they wrote.
The letter was signed “From drivers, deliveries, Pandas”, likely meaning deliver drivers, and those working to deliver food orders. The same letter was copied and circulated by multiple people on social media.
The full letter:
“Dear PM Lee,
Your National Day speech was seen and heard by Singaporeans as should be if citizens are concerned about where our beloved island nation is going.
In particular, you touched on the thorny issues concerning the plight of local PMETs in the midst of waves of foreign talents hailing from CECA.
Your words gave us comfort that at last the Gahmen is really really doing something about it. It seems that our voices are finally heard. It seems that our Gahmen is on the right road finally.
However, thanks to the world of technology, some talented Singaporeans took the trouble of sieving through your speeches and statements and retrieved a remarkably similar speech you made in August 2011.
Singaporeans were transported back in time to witness an almost identical speech on the plight of Singaporeans in the face of foreign competition. In an eerily similar delivery, you too gave us great comfort to know that our Gahmen was aware of the plight and was doing something about it. The crowd of dignitaries -(many foreigners but still not many CECA Indians), in the auditorium must have been impressed about how caring our Gahmen was. That our plight had been heard and that our PM made it very very clear that the concerns of every Singaporean were on the minds of our leadership. As it should be. As it must be.
Looking back on PM Lee’s similarly worded speeches and their accompanying implications, Singaporeans must now do some soul searching to come to their own conclusions about what they want from our Gahmen. I shall not add fuel to it as it would create unnecessary angst amongst the populace.
Returning to the present, we are now naturally skeptical about what you actually wanted to say in your National day address.
1. You said that “work pass holders help expand our economy and create more opportunities for us.”
From the Banking and finance point of view, I fail to understand this statement when I know of capable Singaporeans being displaced due to Gahmen’s economic expansion. It is a cruel blow and sadistic even to tell Singaporeans then that more opportunities are created elsewhere……like driving….delivering…!
2. You said ” I understand these anxieties and problems. The Government is addressing them.”
With the benefit of history and hindsight, we find your words less convincing and even less sincere. I am not even sure what you meant by saying that the Gahmen is addressing them. I would presume to benefit us but I would be too presumptuous given your track record over the years.
3. You said” Turning inwards is against our fundamental interests. It would damage Singapore’s standing as a global and regional hub”.
Our Gahmen has indeed been casting their sights outwards for far too long. Sometimes, a fisherman needs to glance back to see if his house is ok and not about to catch fire while casting his net in international waters. It is time to stop playing “monopoly” with the rest of the world and focus on real domestic issues.
4. You said ” We have to adjust our policies to manage the quality, numbers and concentrations of foreigners in Singapore. If we do this well, we can continue to welcome foreign workers and new immigrants, as we must.”
Once again, Singaporeans cannot be too presumptuous when you said that the Gahmen will adjust the numbers. Do you intend to adjust downwards as most of us would assume or adjust upwards as history has shown?
Depending on how Singaporeans view which way the Gahmen is going to adjust, it would be heartbreaking to follow your next statement to its sordid conclusion…… If we do this well, we can continue to welcome………….
Happy National Day
From drivers, deliveries, Pandas…….”
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