My fellow Singaporeans,
Our economy has rebounded strongly from last year’s recession, but you will not benefit from it. GDP grew 17.9% Y-on-Y in the first half of this year, so I am looking forward to an increase to my already-world's-highest salary, which is pegged to the GDP. Many jobs have been created for my foreign pets, and unemployment is low for these pets. Our workers can look forward to better wages, but only through doing more overtime and higher bonuses in their dreams this year.
Growth is likely to moderate in the second half but not my salary, which will still remain the word's highest. Still, MTI forecasts growth for the year to be between 13 and 15%, which is good for my pegged-to-GDP salary. Have I boasted about that already? Forgive me for the repetition. Too excited. Ha! This exceptional performance is the fruit of Singaporeans’ united response during the crisis, a fruit which I will eat alone and not share with you. This enabled us to take full advantage of improved global conditions, whatever that means lah.
But let us not get carried away - you must continue to work cheaper, better, and faster. Risks remain in the world economy, especially in Europe and the US, but there shall be no risk to my salary, which, by the way, is much higher than what leaders of Europe and US get. The global financial system is not fully mended. Singapore is small and open, so open that there is no meaningful immigration control to speak of . If the world economy turns bad, we - oops, i mean you - will be buffeted. We need to stay vigilant and watch the developments worldwide, so that we can make timely investment in near-bankrupt banks and financial institution "for the long term".
We cannot expect to repeat this year’s sterling performance year after year, but we can continue to grow our economy with sustained effort by importing 100,000 foreign pets to boost the GDP figures. We must invest in our people, a good example of which is my recent $10,000,000 investment in our foreign pets in the form of a Community Integration Fund - upgrade our infrastructure via chasing locals out of their HDB homes under the guise of SERS and then renting out these very same flats to our foreign pets and improve our productivity by urging you to work cheaper, better, and faster for lesser salary. Then we can take full advantage of opportunities in a booming Asia and prosper, but none of the prosperity will filter down to you.
Our goal is for all Singaporeans to enjoy the fruits of growth, and we have been telling you this goal for years. Funny you people still buy this idea of mine. Haha! When Singapore prospers, you will seemingly benefit from many government programmes: better designed HDB estates with much smaller-sized flats, higher quality schools with 40 students to 1 teacher and hospitals with 10 hours waiting time in the Emergency Rooms, more MRT lines which do not alleviate the crowded situation on the trains and new places for recreation in the form of 2 big gambling dens. But each one of us, erm, i mean, each of of YOU, has to make the effort to work cheaper, better, faster, for less salary - a point I find worth repeating. Every student must be keen to learn and go as far as you can, within my streaming scheme which always allocate 35% of each cohort to the Normal Stream and X% to go ITE, and Y% to go poly etc, no matter how keen you are to learn and how far you can go. Every worker must master the knowhow and skills to be productive and competitive - cheaper, faster, better! Did I say that already? Every manager must train and motivate his staff to maximise their contribution and potential, which means you work until you drop dead lah, because that's when your "potential" ends mah! Retirement is history. Haha! Only then can Singaporeans do the better and cheaper jobs that our labour intensive, non-knowledge-based economy will create, and enjoy higher incomes, brighter opportunities, and more fulfilling lives in your dreams, as I said in our NDP slogan: Live Your Dreams.
The Government will support Singaporeans in this, by developing a first class education system for our young which requires them to have private tuition to compensate for the 40:1 student to teacher ratio, and a comprehensive Continuing Education and Training (CET) programme to upgrade our workers who, years ago, had been deprived of education beyond PSLE/O-level due to Goh Keng Swee's short-sighted education policies.
Our education system has been successful, particularly in the social studies department where most pupils know by heart that without PAP, there will be no Singapore. A large majority of our students are progressing beyond school to post-secondary and tertiary institutions because we decided to let them progress: we decide how many can go to such institutions, based NOT on educational principles, but on our usually-wrong economic forecast of how many graduates the economy requires. Graduates from ITE, polytechnics and universities readily secure good jobs which pay about what toilet cleaners in Europe and USA earns.
Our education system caters to all students, and not just the most outstanding ones - we cater to the academically weaker students by assigning them less experienced teachers and allocating less resources to their school; we cater to the most outstanding ones by halving their class size in the gifted programme, and assigning them the department heads of each subject, and allocating more resources, such as an olympic size swimming pool in each school; In this way, the best resource goes to the best student, as explained by my father many years ago. Our schools go beyond book learning to teach students how to solve problems, problems such as mathematical equations of the form: PAP = Singapore, Singapore = PAP, and imbue them with sound moral values such as discriminating against gays and abandoning their roots and adopting foreign tongues as mother tongue; Throw away mother = sound moral values. We create multiple pathways for students of different abilities and interests to progress and then slot them into these multiple pathways NOT based on their abilities and interest, but mostly on their English language ability, even though no UK university requires A-level students to even take GP, let alone pass it!!! We help every neighbourhood school to be a good school, with its own strengths and specialities but strangely none of my ministers' sons or daughters attend such wonderful neighbourhood school. We identify and develop each student’s talents, and give him every opportunity to excel, for example, by demanding that every school must have 30% of its pupils in uniform groups, never mind "each student's talents" are in sports or other CCA.
We will continue to improve our education system by continuing with 40 students to 1 teacher, and continuing to have you compensate for that ratio through hiring your own private tutor. We are recruiting and training more teachers to make up for the even greater number of teachers who quit, to enable us to deliver a more holistic and rounded education which means teaching history, geography and literature to every student only for 2 years in Secondary 1 and 2 compared to 12 years (from P1 to JC2) in other developed countries. That's how "rounded" we are. Haha! We will help every school to offer something extra and different, and thus give students more good choices, e.g. the sports school, which cater to students interested in sports, but we will skip over such students anyway when it comes to Olympic Games, where we prefer to import directly from China. We will create new peaks of excellence in ITEs, polytechnics and universities, to stretch our students but my ministers' sons and daughters will forgo these "new peaks of excellence" and proceed to overseas universities instead. I ask parents and students to work with us, to give our youth the best start in life, starting with the life-determining PSLE exam.
Beyond schools, we must build up Continuing Education and Training to rectify the mistake my father made earlier when he shut down one university under the pretext that it was substandard, when it was clearly not. The Government is investing $5.5 billion over 5 years to do this. We are building two CET campuses in the East and West of Singapore, and introducing many schemes and incentives to help companies and workers improve their productivity, none of which would have been necessary had my father not shut down one university and had Goh keng Swee not restricted higher education opportunities due to their English chauvinistic attitude and mistaken economic forecast respectively years ago. The chickens have now come home to roost! I am glad employers and unions strongly support CET, because their support is crucial in rectifying those earlier mistakes by my PAP government.
We will develop and invest in our people by spending a much smaller percentage of the GDP in education compared to other developed countries and passing the buck to you to pay for your own private tutor to compensate for the large class size and to pay for private school buses, but we also need to reinforce the Singapore team with talent and numbers from abroad, because our own talent are leaving by the thousands each year! This is critical to us. Other countries are not only much larger than us, but have far deeper pools of talent than we have. We must make up for the shortage of Singaporean workers in our economy and the shortfall of babies in our population by importing ADULTS who will be old, by the time the much-needed BABIES grow up in 20 years time. Yeah, that's my logic - import ADULTS to compensate for lack of BABIES! Without an inflow, over time our economy and society will lose vibrancy because our own citizens are emigrating to get away from my father and me, our citizens will enjoy fewer opportunities of competing with foreigners for cheaper jobs, and our shining red dot will grow dimmer with less CPF contributions to Temasek and GRC, from a shrinking workforce.
I understand Singaporeans’ concerns about taking in so many foreign workers and immigrants. MANY of YOU wonder, no, corrections, I meant to say, SOME of US wonder": Will it change the ethos of our society? Will it mean more competition for us at work, or for our children in schools? Will the new arrivals strike roots here? Can they adjust to us, and we to them?
These are valid concerns which we must address by pretending to share your concerns, even though it does not concern us, as we Ministers live in >20,000 sqaure feet Good Class Bungalow in District 10. We will control the inflow, to ensure that it is not too fast, and not too large. 100,000 workers is just about right. We will only bring in people who can contribute to Singapore's GDP growth, which means basically every foreigner since every foreigner need to eat and to rent a place to sleep and these will add to the GDP, and work harder to integrate them into our society by wasting precious water to celebrate their New Year to show them respect. And we will make clear that citizens come first in doing NS, in contributing to CPF and in retrenchment. After all, we are doing this for the sake of Singaporeans - new Singaporeans.
We cannot do without a proportion of foreign workers, otherwise our local workers will have to be paid the same high wage as other developed countries and we don't want that, because it means higher cost to our Goverment-linked companies; we want our local workers to be cheaper, better, faster, remember? Having a first-world workforce paid a third-world wage is our long term aim, or a continuing flow of PRs and new citizens, otherwise, our CPF board will go bankrupt since Temasek and GIC have already lost a lot of CPF money in failed investment. Let us welcome them with an open heart to take over our skilled jobs, help them to fit in to your girlfriend's pussy while you are serving your 2-years NS, and encourage those who will become citizens to strike roots here to be our new slaves. If we do this well, by the next generation, their children will be native Singaporeans, but if we do this bad, they will emigrate to the West using their Singapore citizenship as a stepping stone, and have no children while in Singapore. And statistics reveal that we have already done this bad! Remember, we ourselves are descendants of immigrants too, at a time when the population density was much lower than now, and when job was plentiful. Nevertheless, I find it appropriate to compare the 2 totally different situation side byb side. With new arrivals living and working harmoniously with those born here, we will keep Singapore dynamic, cosmopolitan, and successful - and that's me day-dreaming, building castle in the air, totally out-of-touch with what's happening on the ground!
That is the face that Singapore must show the world during the Youth Olympic Games, otherwise my PAP government will lose face. Our cityscape will certainly wow the visitors. They will see the signature skyline at Marina Bay and our new downtown; the high quality public housing like The Pinnacle, where I am now; and the beautiful urban spaces and natural greenery all over the island. But all these are not important, because
More importantly, we must impress with the spirit of our people, otherwise an empty stadium will embarrass my pap government. At this first YOG, let us show the world what Singapore can do, which means how we can give free tickets to mobilise our pupils to attend. Our athletes have been training hard. Our volunteers, 20,000 strong, stand ready to welcome our guests, but these numbers are not enough to fill the stadium, which is why I am pleading for you to show more interest! Please! Tolong! Tolong! Thousands of participants and guests will be arriving soon. I hope all Singaporeans will work together to put up a good show, and make the games memorable for all our visitors, and most importantly, to not make pap lose face.
On our 45th National Day, let us celebrate our achievements as one united people, yeah, that highfalutin "one united people" idea in our pledge penned by an over-idealistic minister. We can be proud of what we have attained - our gini coefficient, our population density etc - but we must keep learning from others such as India and China which compete on labour cost and not on knowledge, improve in every area and strive hard to achieve our future goals, chief of which is 6.5 million people on a small Island. Tomorrow’s Singapore must be better than today’s, with smaller hdb flats, more crowded trains and no retirement age.
I wish all Singaporeans a Happy National Day.