Sylvia Lim, PAP MPs spar over happiness gauge

Dear Mr Cedric Foo,

I refer to the 18 Oct 2011 Straits Times report of your reply to Ms Sylvia Lim in parliament.

You questioned Ms Lim’s comparing Singapore to Bhutan, saying Bhutan is landlocked whereas Singapore is exposed to the seas. What about Switzerland? Switzerland is landlocked too and was once a model for Singapore to aspire towards. On the other hand, there are many third world countries exposed to the seas. Therefore, being exposed to the sea or not is not a primary factor distinguishing us from Bhutan. In fact, our founding and prosperity lay with us being located at the oceanic crossroads between the East and the West. We are thus dealt a better deck of cards. Yet, we couldn’t build a happier country with this better deck of cards.

You compared Bhutan’s US$2,000 per capita GDP with our US$43,000 per capita GDP. But high GDP doesn’t mean high pay. High GDP has led to high prices and high cost of living. High GDP requires working ever longer hours. High GDP means high salaries for elites like you, not for common folks like us. Perhaps that is why high GDP means happiness to you but not to us.

You also suggested that the people of Bhutan are very happy because it only has two opposition members in its legislative lower house. Perhaps the people of Bhutan are very happy with their legislative incumbents and therefore see no need to replace them while the people of Singapore are not so happy with their political incumbents and have therefore elected to replace more of them.

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4 Responses to “Sylvia Lim, PAP MPs spar over happiness gauge”

  1. sgcynic Says:

    Pity those millionaires living the bay and beach who are exposed to the sea while I happily live in landlocked central Singapore.

  2. Hsq Says:

    Gone are the days when Singaporeans will believe in their black white talk.

    Black is black and white is white.

    “Gong dao zhi cai ren xin”

  3. Saycheese Says:

    “High GDP means high salaries for elites like you, not for common folks like us. Perhaps that is why high GDP means happiness to you but not to us.”

    Your criticisms are not fair to Cedric Foo. Many years ago $600k per year was peanuts. Cedric Foo is only an MP with $15k a month, crumbs in today’s terms. He should be given more leeway. Please cut him a little more slack.

  4. Ivy Tan (@nanyate) Says:

    Wow if 15k month is crumbs to you, Saycheese, what do you call a fresh grads’ pathetic monthly salary?

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