Friday, March 21, 2014

A Far, Far Better Thing To Do

In Charles Dicken's 1859 novel "A Tale of Two Cities", English barrister Sydney Carton willingly takes the place of Charles Darnay at the guillotine, and gave us the immortal thought: "It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known."

After waking up to the misery in this country, Charlotte Ashton did not die. Instead, she left Singapore last week to return to Britain to deliver her baby. It is indeed a a far, far better rest that she's going to, a place with no stinky trains,  no overpriced housing, no COE, ERP, S&CC and all the hated acronyms we have to put up with. Best of all, the National Health System takes a humongous big load off the worry about maternity bills. And she won't have to deal with doctors who pretend to serve national service obligation by "saving babies' lives". And the rip-off co-payments of the MediSave scam.

Australia also takes care of the delivery bills, unless one opts for a private hospital. For all three babies, if you go the whole hog to produce one for mom, one for dad, and one for the country. We had to confirm this when we spotted an expectant Aussie mum queuing up at one of our food courts. Yup, she said cheerily, you mean you have to pay? Dr Toh Chin Chye was one who believed health care should be free.

Ms Ashton not only sparked debate with her BBC Viewpoint piece headlined “Does Singapore deserve its miserable tag?”, she also gave us a rude reminder that all is not well in our so-called First World country. In follow up of same article, she said, “In terms of my report for the BBC’s From Our Own Correspondent programme, it comes from a personal perspective based on my experience of Singapore and various conversations I’ve had with Singaporeans and expats living in Singapore." Ain't that the whole truth, and nothin' but the truth. Now, it is a far, far better thing that we do, than we have ever done, when we remember this the next we march to the polling booth.

32 comments:

  1. When it comes to our healthcare system, when you are chronic sick, it is a far, far better thing to die, than burden the loved ones. Sigh....

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    Replies
    1. But our Founding Father is still putting up a good fight?

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    2. What did he find?

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    3. The PAPigs keep saying LKY founded Singapore mah.

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    4. When was Singapore lost and where did they find it?

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    5. The Father found it
      but
      the Son is losing it.

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    6. Raffles found it.
      The Father claimed credit for it.
      And now the Son is losing it.

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    7. The awful truth is that they think they own it.

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    8. And 60% of Singaporeans voters agree.

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    9. That explains the 40% misearable people and the misery index.

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    10. Do you really believe the 60% argument is credible knowing full well it is not a level playing field? What an insult to the intelligence of the long suffering people of this island. It's like believing what you've read in the Straits Times.

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    11. This so-called 60% majority vote included the 90,000 newly minted citizens. As former NMP Professor Straugham pointed out they are very likely to have voted for the PAP out of gratitude(or fear). If you discount their votes the real figure is closer to 50%. Of course they will not call it a freak election result.

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  2. Charlotte Ashton.
    Thank you for not having your baby in Singapore.
    You would have likely deprived a needy Singaporean mother of her hospital bed in our over crowded hospitals.

    You are an alien.
    Do you think our Pro Alien PAP government will kick a few pregnant Singaporean mothers to allow you to jump to the front of the queue in our overcrowded hospitals?

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    Replies
    1. Bitterness breeds misery. One day you too will need the kindness of strangers. What goes around eventually comes around.

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    2. "One day you too will need the kindness of strangers."
      ......
      Why you tell me?
      Go tell LKY and the PAPigs who have caused untold misery to Singaporeans over the last 10 years.

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  3. When you next march to the ballot box let the heads roll.

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    Replies
    1. So easy meh? The fixer is just round the corner spurs and all.

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    2. The one in a wheelchair unable to speak in public?

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    3. No need to do the deeds himself. Got an army of balls lickers to do the dirty on any dissenters.

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  4. Not only is healthcare not free in Singapore, but the government rips you off with another compulsory 7% GST on all your bills. The heartless government makes money even on your sickness, even on your misery.

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    Replies
    1. How much is it costing Singaporeans to pay for LKY's medical bills?

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    2. I am sure you and all the inhabitants of this happy land are quite happy to pitch in. It's not like you have a choice. Tio boh.

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  5. Welcome to misery town. Comments on these pages say it all. Miserable sods.

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    Replies
    1. But who make Singaporeans so miserable you tell me lah?
      Is it PAP ... the party who has been in power for 50 years?

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    2. They should be reminded that it is the PEOPLE'S Action Party, not The L A P.

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    3. PAP is under new management.
      Soon, the logo will have to change.
      From lightning to a wooden ruler.
      To represent PAP's new measured and calibrated approach to doing things.

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    4. I think it will be a digital rectal thermometer.

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    5. And whose arse hole temperature might the PAPigs be measuring?

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    6. Pig's arse!

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  6. After all the tough "misery" talk, Charlotte Ashton decide to go back home deliver? Possible reasons : she doesn't want her child to be a Singapore citizen? Need to do NS? Or she want her child's birth right as a UK citizen?

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    Replies
    1. Unlike many other countries a baby born in Singapore does not have entitlement to citizenship. Born but no birth right.

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  7. I have thought about the question of why Singaporeans can be seen as miserable. The following is my answer.

    http://thethinktankguideforsmarterliving.blogspot.sg/2014/03/singapore-misery-city-lack-of-social.html

    Charlotte Ashton was using her own personal experience to make sense of Singapore’s ranking on the global survey that found it to be the least positive country in the world. Many people did not realize this and assumed she was using her single experience to judge the whole of Singapore.

    Even though Charlotte Ashton’s article from the BBC is not a big survey of Singapore’s level of graciousness, her experience on a public train that eventually led to her feeling unhappy is a cause for consideration for all locals.

    I think that the ability to practice graciousness in public is based largely on one’s ability to be socially-responsive, empathetic and courageous(ability to adapt well in uncommon situations). These qualities would allow a person to react adequately to those in need.

    Although I do feel that many Singaporeans do possess empathy, I feel that the qualities of social-responsiveness and courage are under-developed in most, which has led to them being perceived as being indifferent and uncaring in public.

    Native Singaporeans are commonly brought up in very strict Asian households that instilled subservience from a young age. This, as well as Singapore’s rote-learning education system, do not provide much encouragement for us to think on our own. The added pressure to be intensely competitive in terms of studies and work has made us even less focused in such a crucial skill.

    The overall lack of social-responsiveness has many times in the past gotten the general youth in Singapore to be perceived as being politically apathetic.

    Professional medical staff in Singapore are well-trained to take charge of demanding medical-related situations so they stand ready to help those in need. I am quite certain if such medical staff were present during Ms Ashton’s plight on her train, they would have immediately assisted her without a thought.

    Regarding my thoughts on the train passengers who did not assist Ms Ashton, it is difficult to know if they were actually being indifferent and uncaring towards her plight. Their lack of social-responsiveness and lack of courage are also factors needed to be considered.

    The qualities of social-responsiveness, empathy and courage are much needed to overcome adversity to create liberation that can make one feel happy. The lack of such qualities could keep one stagnant in misery.

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