Animal Farm Redux

Hunched old lady collecting cardboards for a living  (source: spuddings.net)

Hunched old lady collecting cardboards for a living
(source: spuddings.net)

Do you know which city in the world has the coveted title “Fine City“. There is no contender, none other than Singapore. The reason being that this tiny city-state is ruled by an assortment of fines and “thou shall not” regulations. You get fined for about anything. On 9th August 2014, Singapore celebrated her 49th year of independence. The nation is heading for its Jubilee next year. It should be a time of liberation and celebrations. Instead, many Singapore citizens are not in the mood for celebrations. Especially for the older generation who has seen the through the tough years of Singapore’s independence and phenomenal growth. The feeling is one of melancholy, nostalgia and regret. Many have migrated. The Singapore dream seems to have evaporated away. Huddled in the ubiquitous void decks of the high-rise apartment buildings, hunched old folks perform mundane chores to earn a few dollars. The luckier ones sip tea and play chess quietly as they reminisced over the good old days they have had. It is the sunset years for the heroes of past. As their eyes grow dim, all they could hear are the echos resonating in their ears:   “All Animals Are Equal, But Some Are More Equal Than Others” (Animal Farm by George Orwell, 1945).

SINGAPORE – That is the Singapore Story. Come celebrate with Singapore as you walk through some snapshots of this Fine and Beautiful Garden City.

High immigration has coincided with a widening income gap. Singapore’s Gini coefficient, a measure of inequality, rose from 0.444 in 2000 to 0.481 in 2008—higher than in China and America. The contrast between the glitzy downtown and the “heartlands” is glaring, and more damaging in tiny, dense Singapore than it would be in a big country, says Paulin Straughan of the National University of Singapore (The Economist, November 2009).

In the anonymous freedom of surveys, away from the glare of the National Conversation, more than half of us apparently do not want to be here. A Mindshare survey carried out early this year found that 56 per cent of the 2,000-odd polled agreed or strongly agreed that, “given a choice, I would like to migrate” (Asiaone News, 2 October 2012).

Why they leave? Why has Singapore no hold for these students? Do they leave because the pull factors from other countries are much stronger? Students interviewed by my paper say that they leave not only because of the lack of job opportunities, but also because Singapore is too stressful, or because they don’t feel appreciated. (Topix, 16 October 2010).

While the demographic indicators clearly showed a net gain of people in Singapore over time, there have been suggestions that increasing number of Singaporeans were exiting or planning to leave the city-state to work and live overseas. Official data suggested that 180,000 Singaporeans are currently residing abroad (National Population Secretariat, 2010, p.22) and more people are expected to leave as Singapore becomes ever more integrated with the global economy (A Study of Attitudes of Young Singaporeans, 2010).
A baffling aspect of affluent Singapore, with all its economic finery, is the large – and growing – exodus of its citizens over the past 10 years. While the hot economy has attracted more than a million foreigners to its shores, its own citizens have been leaving in record numbers to settle down abroad. Their exit seemed to have taken on a new life in recent years, ironically when the economic growth and the job market were at their best. In fact, one survey has placed Singapore’s outflow at 26.11 migrants per 1,000 citizens – the second highest in the world. Only Timor Leste (51.07) fares worse (An Iconic Phenomenon, Seah Chiang Nee, 2008).

 Growing Public Debt

The nonresident population increased at an unprecedented pace in the first decade of the 21st century, according to the 2010 Singapore census. During this period, it accounted for 25.7 percent of the total population, up from 18.7 percent in the previous decade. As of 2010, the nonresident population stood at 1,305,011 out of a total population of 5,076,732 (Migration Policy Institute, 2012).

Large Foreign Population

Excerpts from Animal Farm Epilogue

Majulah Singapura

Majulah Singapura

And now, he said finally, he would ask the company to rise to their feet and make certain that their glasses were full. `Gentlemen,’ concluded Mr. Pilkington, `gentlemen, I give you a toast: To the prosperity of Animal Farm!’ There was enthusiastic cheering and stamping of feet. Napoleon was so gratified that he left his place and came round the table to clink his mug against Mr.Pilkington’s before emptying it. When the cheering had died down, Napoleon, who had remained on his feet, intimated that he too had a few words to say. Like all of Napoleon’s speeches, it was short and to the point. He too, he said, was happy that the period of  misunderstanding was at an end. For a long time there had been rumours circulated, he had reason to think, by some malignant enemy that there was something subversive and even revolutionary in the outlook of himself and his colleagues. They had been credited with attempting to stir up rebellion among the animals on neighbouring farms. Nothing could be further from the truth! Their sole wish, now and in the past, was to live at peace and in normal business relations with their neighbours. This farm which he had the honour to control, he added, was a co-operative enterprise. The title-deeds, which were in his own possession, were owned by the pigs jointly.

Napolean (source: http://parkakademi.wordpress.com)

Napolean

A Song dedicated to Great Leader Napolean

And to dear old and wise Napolean, may long life and good health sustain your leadership through eternity. This song is dedicated to dear leader and comrade, Napolean – the Eternal One: Staying Alive https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_izvAbhExY)


Ephesians 6:9

And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.


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