|Lessons imported from China: Protest 101|
"We're not comparing our salaries with the Singaporeans. We just wanted to be treated fairly like all the other foreigners," was the quote attributed to one of the strikers. One PRC national from Jiangsu Province told Chinese media Zaobao that the bus captains from China are paid less than those from Singapore and Malaysia.
The Straits Times initially reported the story with the heading, "200 SMRT bus drivers refuse to go to work over pay issue". The English word for that descriptive is strike, defined in the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary and Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press as "when workers refuse to continue working because of an argument with an employer about working conditions, pay levels or job losses". The Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English explains: if a group of workers strike, they stop working as a protest against something relating to their work, for example how much they are paid, bad working conditions.
So why was the "s" word so studiously avoided? Simply put, there are no strikes in Singapore, period. Flooding is also a thing of the past, the politically correct term is "ponding". Both Kishore Mahbubani and Lee Kuan Yew have, on different occasions, boasted to the world that there are no beggars on Singapore streets either. The auntie asking you for a dollar for a packet of tissues is not begging, she's part of the nation's entrepreneurial force, advancing the country's GDP for the better good of all. So long as you are on the Matrix blue pill, housing is affordable and health care is subsidised.