Here’s something I found on redwiretimes.com, a piece written by a “Gen Y Voter”. It has apparently gone viral, shared mostly by PAP supporters. I’m quoting and replying him below.
GEN Y VOTER: 4 years ago, with the challenging experiences from two years in the army fresh in my memory, and my new life in Japan being slowly but steadily established, I was angry about everything in Singapore. Angry about how I had to spend two years of my life in service. Angry about the influx of new immigrants that put our infrastructure to the test. Angry about the rising prices of everything. Angry that people around me seemed to have trouble buying their homes, and fearing that I would not be able to afford one when my time came. Angry about how hard it was to commute from my home, and angry about the prices of cars or how I couldn’t afford taking the taxi when I wanted to. I was angry for change. But I was powerless. I was months short of the minimum voting age.
Not this time. This time, I get to vote. But this time, I am angry about different things.
4 years in Tokyo, and business trips to several countries, have changed the lens by which I judge Singapore, my home. And today, I’m angry about the way I used to think, and at the people who continue to think like I did. I began to appreciate and understand why cars had to be expensive in Singapore, as a spent hours in Jakarta’s traffic jams. I began to wonder how our Taxi drivers make their living, as I paid $80 on my first 20 minute ride in a Taxi in Shinjuku. I began to understand that a more intricate network of trains was necessary for Singapore’s transportation needs, and saw that all of it has already been in the works for over a decade, that transport networks don’t build themselves overnight. And I realised that without stability, the transport system we have today would never have been possible, as I asked about why Jakarta doesn’t have one, or why Kuala Lumpur’s system is in a mess.
Our homes aren’t expensive for a city, and besides, prices have stabilised and supply has surged. Prices may have risen, but I’m thankful for $3 meals, because I rarely get to have a decent meal below $7 in Tokyo, and that’s considering the weak yen. I know that most people in Singapore have enough to get by, and at least have a roof over their heads, unlike in Tokyo, where I walk by an underpass filled with homeless people everyday to get to my station, and every winter some of them disappear.
But most of all, I hate myself for hating the immigrants. I am now an immigrant myself, and I’ve learnt first hand all the obstacles an immigrant faces when uprooting and moving into unfamiliar land. I didn’t have to make it more difficult for them by making them feel unwelcome. And besides, they are here because there are jobs in Singapore that no one, not even the undereducated, or unemployed, want to do (because they somehow feel that they deserve more simply by being born Singaporean). These are people with degrees back home, but have put their pride and ego aside to work in another place that got its **** right and has better opportunities. Oh, and all those fancy futuristic things we have all over Singapore now that make visitors from all over the world envious and dazzled? They weren’t built by us, but by the immigrants we hate so much.
To make up for all the trash talking I did 4 years ago, I would like to put in a word for the PAP, which while having their fair share of faults, have largely done a good job in stabilising, or improving, things in a very tangible manner since GE2011. And I welcome anyone who disagrees to have an open debate here. More knowledge can only do good for all of us.
Dear Gen Y Voter,
You poor thing. 4 years of sushi, sashimi and sake must have taken their toll. Let me welcome you home. I’m sure you’re going to enjoy your ICT. And while you’re charging up hills and feeding mosquitoes, your boss is going to reassign your duties and your foreign colleagues are going to get ahead of you.
When you finally MR and don’t need to serve anymore NS, your boss may decide to put the succession plan he has worked out for you into action. Of course that’s not a problem because NS is a privilege for you. Who else has the privilege to sleep with a sexy SAR21? Who else gets to eat gourmet combat rations? Who else gets to stay in award-winning camps? Really, you should come home as old folks like me have already been retired from the army.
Japan is such an awful place with nothing but expensive soba and homeless people sleeping under bridges. And let’s not forget the Yakuza. If only they have majestic mountains like Bukit Timah. If only they have beautiful islands like Sentosa. If only they have nice taxi drivers who don’t pretend that they don’t see you and disappear when the time is not right.
I’m so sorry that you faced discrimination in Japan. Isn’t it strange that people born in Japan feel a sense of “entitlement”? How dare the Japanese treat their own people better than their foreign talent like you? Do come home, Gen Y Voter. Your country needs you.
© Chan Joon Yee