Of protectionism and skinheads.

It’s really amusing how the government’s encouraging Singaporeans to improve themselves through courses, and through upgrading courses, citing reasons that encompass reasons such as being more competitive, increasing their employability and making themselves on par, or better than the foreign ‘talents’ that’re slowly taking over every single job available on the market.

It’s really sad how I walk to the coffeeshop near my place, and I see Chinese PRC nationals clearing plates and sweeping the floor. It’s even sadder when I head to the toilet at SMRT train stations, and I see Chinese PRC nationals cleaning the toilets. It’s not sad simply because they’re Chinese PRCs, but more so because these jobs were once considered to be jobs for the elderly, a “fall back” plan if you may, for the aged and old, most if not all of whom are lowly (or not) educated or qualified for any other kind of jobs.

I do not disagree that it serves the nation well to encourage and promote healthy competition between the citizens and the foreigners, as only the best person for the job will ultimately get it. I do not disagree that it serves the company, and ultimately the nation well, to give absurdly high salaries to these foreigners for taking over positions within various companies, as this will encourage them to stay on and contribute to the country in the long run.

I do not disagree that we as citizens, ought to improve ourselves, and to ensure that we can meet competition head on, and prove our worth. In a way, we are obligated, if you may, to ensure that we are the best man/woman for the job, by making damned sure that we have the skills required and the abilities demanded by the job.

I do not disagree that we ought to serve up some form of elitism when it comes to finding the right man for the job. I do, however, disagree when foreigners are hired over Singaporeans for jobs simply because their salaries are cheaper. How does expecting a lower salary naturally translate into better job performance? It’s a given that all companies operate with only profit maximization in mind, but what about the rights and the lives of the locals? What happened to protecting the lives of the domestic citizens? Since when did profit maximization trample over the rights and the lives of locals?

It saddens me to see a Chinese PRC national serving me Teh-C at the coffeeshop in Clementi because somewhere out there, an elderly old man lost his chance to get a job serving Teh-C.

It saddens me to see a Chinese PRC national clearing plates the foodcourt in Lot1 because somewhere out there, an elderly old woman lost her chance to get a job clearing plates the foodcourt.

It saddens me to see Chinese PRC nationals replacing our aged and elderly because most of them will probably not be able to get a job anywhere else, and probably need the job more than any of the Chinese PRC nationals. This is Singapore today, built by the hands of yesteryear – hands belonging to the very same group of people vying for menial, unskilled jobs that once were rightfully theirs.

As many of our esteemed ministers have said, Singapore is not a welfare state, and to expect the state to give monthly handouts to them would be downright unfeasible – which is why these elderly folk are taking to the streets to work, earning minimum sum wages just to tide their last remaining years through without being too much of a burden on their children, most of which would probably belong to the lower/middle – middle income group. How can the government expect these elderly folk to survive if there’s no welfare handed out, and no jobs for them to take up?

The very same group of silver haired patriots built our nation from scratch, protected it when it came under siege, voted the people in power today in power back when the nation was politically unstable and weak.

Who will protect them the way they protected the nation when She cried for help?

Do we need domestic protection, the way the skinheads in the United States ‘protected’ the whites in rural areas? Do we need explicit xenophobia to get our point across? Do we need to sour ties and burn bridges, with citizens taking the law into their own hands, to ensure that the rights and lives of our citizens are protected?

The government was brought in to serve the people, and serve them well it has!

The government was also brought in to ensure that the rights of the citizens were not trampled on, for they are the walking ambassadors of the nation – does the trampling on the rights of citizen not equate to trampling on the rights of the nation as a whole?

The government was brought in to serve and to protect, so serve and protect already.

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We, the citizens of Singapore.

We, the citizens of Singapore…

are nothing more than “mere mortals”.

we are “mollycoddled”.

we “spend too much in times of crisis”.

we do not understand what it means to have “long term investments”.

we bitch and gripe too much about excessive transportation fares, even though we’re fortunate enough to have world class transportation systems in place – SMRT.

we whine and complain about rising GST (Goods and services tax), yet splurge $5000 on a new LV handbag during the great singapore sale.

we lack the intellect that our leaders posses and thus should not question wise decisions made by them.

we are a ungrateful bunch, and complain about the “rising costs of living” when there are “no poor people living in Singapore”.

We, the citizens of Singapore…

are “mollycoddled”, just like the thousands of taxi drivers driving at night, bleary eyed.

“spend too much in times of crisis”, like the old woman at the coffeeshop near my place who spends extravagantly on a plate of white rice with vegetables and a glass of plain water.

do not understand “long term investments” because we lack the “intellect” possessed by those who make decisions.

“bitch and whine about the rising transportation fees” because we’d rather drive our Mercedes Benz to work, much like how the CEO of SMRT does every day without fail.

“complain about rising GSTs” because the old uncle living above me has to think twice before buying his usual meat from the wet market because it has risen in price.

are an ungrateful bunch because we are too used to living in comfort – with GST implementations aimed at helping the poor, rising COE prices for us to afford cars, ERP gantries to grant us smooth and pleasant journeys towards town so that we could blow our 2 month paycheck on a LV handbag.

we are myopic, because there are no poor people in Singapore except for the few “ungrateful” individuals who refuse to upgrade their skills or find a job, much like the old lady i see sleeping on the benches near my house, or the old man who carries all his belongings in a tattered bag that serves as his pillow at night.

we are ignorant, because we have made the decision and kept THEM in power.

we are foolish, because we’re made to believe (and we do!) that their word is good as gold, and their decisions unquestionable.

we are helpless, because we made ourselves helpless, and because we have not yet found the balls to speak up, to step up, and to say, “Hey, its time that you guys moved on. It’s time that we chose who we want to be in power. It’s time for we, the citizens of Singapore, to make a stand, and to make an informed decision.”

It’s time for us, the citizens of Singapore, to leave our mollycoddled, ignorant, selfish and ungrateful lives behind, and to do what we have been encouraged to do, and to take control of our lives.

The Marine K-9 stood and faced this God, which must always come to pass, He hoped his tags were shining, just as brightly as in past.
“Step forward now, you Devil-Dog, how shall I deal with you? Have you always stayed faithful? To your handler have you been true?

The Marine dog squared his withers and barked, “No Lord, I guess I ain’t”. “Because those of us who lead our humans based on what we scent,
Will end up baring our sharp teeth and blood is always spent.”
“I’ve had to work most Everyday, and at times my life was rough, and sometimes I was very violent, because Earth is awfully tough.
But, I never took a meal unearned, that wasn’t mine to take…Though I worked a lot of tasks and hunts when the price of war was steep.
And I never passed a cry for help, though at times I shook with fear, and sometimes, Lord forgive me, I’ve wept Dobe tears.
And I know I don’t deserve a place among your people here, they never wanted me around, except to track and calm their fears.
If you’ve a place for me here, Lord, it needn’t be so grand, I never expected or had too much, but if you don’t, I’ll understand.”

There was a silence all around the throne, where the Saints had often trod, as the Marine Doberman waited quietly, for the judgment of this God.
“Step forward now, Marine Devil-Dog, you’ve borne your burdens well, Walk peacefully on Heaven’s streets, You’ve done your time in HELL.”

Today…

Today my life was different…

… for that 5 hours.

And its back to the way it was before.

Fuck my life.

Musically stagnant

This usually happens when I’ve been studying a little too much alone at night, smoked one too many sticks and start thinking too much.

I’ve played for countless bands, did various genres, and I do believe that I can hold my own when it comes to musicality… but recently I’ve felt my own musicality go stale, stagnant, if you may.

I’m not content with just keeping a 2 and 4 back beat, though it IS the basis of most, if not all, pop/rock songs. I’m not content with “being” different, hitting all the upbeats and throwing in syncopated beats.

I’m not content with playing what people think I should play in a song, simply because I’m the drummer, and I know what sounds good, and what does not sound good!

Why is it so hard for people to understand that its not just about being creative, musical, or showing off as many chops as possible in a song… but more about playing stuff that suits the song, bringing out what the song really means – be it a really fast punk-rock groove, a simple 2 and 4 back beat, or a swing-esque groove.

Is it really that important to be different when you’re writing an original? Does the word simplicity not matter anymore?

What’s sad…

What’s sad is that my bandmates from Lucille came down all the way from Punggol to support me… and I didn’t have the time to supper with them because I was too busy rushing around with Pulse.

What’s sad is that we didn’t manage to secure the first prize, and did not deserve a mere 2nd.

What’s sad is that we didn’t manage to do more than one song on stage, or to cast out any remaining doubts that we were THE band of the night, or that we were THE band amongst all other bands.

What’s sad is that after tonight, the black nail polish has got to come off, and I’ll just be THE drummer on stage.

What’s sad is that OUR friends came down from all parts of Singapore, after work, school or just made time to support us, but not a single person from the block or hall bothered coming down to support despite emails and messages via MSN.

What’s sad?

This is sad.

Jason Mraz – Please don’t tell her

I hear she’s kicking ass across the board and rock two hundred thousand higher scorer
Just in time to save the world of being taken over
She’s a warrior
I couldn’t play again because the game it never end it never even landed on the can
And never let me in to spend my quarter
There’s no love for me no more

Say it isn’t so
How she easily come, and she easy go
Please don’t tell her that I’ve been meaning to miss her
Because I don’t

She was the girl with the broadest shoulders
But she would die before I crawled over them
She is taller than I am
She knew I wouldn’t mind the view there
Or the altitude with a mouth full of air
She let me down the doubt came out until the now became later

Say that it isn’t so
How she easily come, how she easy go
Please don’t tell her that
‘Cause she don’t really need to know

That I’m crazy like the rest of us
And I’m crazier when I’m next to her

So why after the all of everything that came and went
I care enough to still be singing of the bitter end and broken eras
I told you I don’t but
I am only trying to be the best with my intent to cure
The rest is sure to lay me ease the plural hurts of the words of reverse psychology
That’s easier said
Easier than done
Please don’t dare tell her what I’ve become
Please don’t mention all the attention I have drawn
Please don’t bother cause she’ll feel guilty when I’m gone

Because I’m crazy like the rest of us
But I’m crazier when I’m next to her
And it’s amazing how she’s so self-assured
But I know she’d hate me if she knew my words
Do I hurt anymore
Do I hurt, well
I don’t
I don’t
I don’t