Singapore population hits 5 million

Our population has reached 5.08 million in a recent survey by the local statistics department. Singapore has always been a country that welcomed foreigners and they have played a part in our success. Our forefathers are largely foreigners too and without them we won’t be here.

Here’s the related the blog article:

S’pore population tops five million, one in three are foreigners

SINGAPORE, Tuesday 31 August 2010 (AFP) – Singapore’s population crossed five million this year and more than a third of the total are foreigners, the statistics department said Tuesday.

The city-state’s total population stood at 5.08 million people at the end of June, it said in a statement.

Of the number, 3.23 million are citizens, 540,000 are foreigners with permanent residency and 1.3 million are foreign professionals and workers along with their dependents, resulting in a 36% share for foreigners in the general population.

The population growth rate was 1.8% in 2010, reflecting a slowdown in the number of permanent residents and foreign workers being admitted into the country, the department said.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong acknowledged the problems in a speech on Sunday and vowed to review immigration policies, cap new foreign hiring this year and enhance benefits accorded to citizens. (via Yahoo Singapore News FTP)

I feel there’re some unjustifiable resentment towards foreigners. Had Singapore not opened the country to foreigners in the 1900s, many of us probably won’t be here. In the 1900s, people are just here to earn some money back home. No one’s probably loyal to Singapore. We went through a world war to bring about this loyalty and this sense of belonging. Foreigners who did not leave Singapore during the 1940s (yes, they probably have nowhere to run to, too) fought for Singapore and later earned their right to be called Singaporeans. Foreigners today don’t have the chance (and thankfully they didn’t) to earn the title “Singaporean” in a similar way. The most they can ever do is to work in the country and thereby contributing to the economy. Today, we seem to be overvaluing our right as citizens when we haven’t do a thing. We just happen to be born in the right place.

Now, what is the difference between a foreigner and a citizen? Have we undervalue their presence? We are citizens and are enjoying the wealth that the country has produced. We are just refusing to share it with foreigners, aren’t we?

I’m just asking that we reexamine how we reached the conclusion that foreigners are not good for Singapore and why we can make claim we are better off. Is curbing the foreigner influx just a convenient way to ease, what appears to be, overpopulation?

[I am a Singapore by virtue of birth and I count myself lucky since day one. I’ve just heard one too many negative remarks toward foreigners.]

John Cleese on creativity

John Marwood Cleese is an English actor, comedian, writer and film producer. He achieved success at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and as a scriptwriter on The Frost Report. In the late 1960s he became a member of Monty Python, the comedy troupe responsible for the sketch show Monty Python’s Flying Circus and the four Monty Python films: And Now for Something Completely Different, Holy Grail, Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life.

JOHN CLEESE WCF

“The key to getting to a creative stage is to avoid interruption.”

I failed my driving final theory exams

“Fail” was flashed on my screen. A second ago, I was still feeling confident of getting at least 45 out of 50 (a pass). What went wrong? Why? Is the system borked?

Three years ago, I took the same test and I passed it before; now I failed.

In the next couple of minutes I ponder over my failure, I encountered sadness, regret, anger, shame, and then eventual acceptance. I even tried to find myself reasons of the failure and started to ridicule the way the questions are set and so on. Then it struck me what exactly I was doing; it’s the thing I dislike others to do. I have started to find avenues to blame my misfortune to make myself feel better. It seemed irrational and I’m ashamed to have had thoughts of finding objects of blame.

Shortly my internal struggled ended. I accepted I failed. Will try again.

Why did Blue Power Ranger leave?

David Yost explains why he left Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers at Anime Festival Orlando 2010:

I was called “f a g g o t” one too many times. So, um, I had just heard that several times while working on the show from creators, producers, writers, directors.

It’s not that people can’t talk about me and have their opinion about me, but continuing to work in an environment like that is really difficult, and I myself was struggling with who I was or what I was, and to be … made fun of on some level or to be stereotyped or put into a category in sort of saying ‘you’re not’ — basically, I just felt like I was continually being told that I’m not worthy of where I am because I’m a gay person and I’m not supposed to be an actor and you can’t be a superhero.

And I know that my costars were called in a couple of times to different producers’ offices and questioned about my sexuality, which is kind of a humiliating experience to hear that and to find that out.

So there was just a lot of issues; it just felt like a bad marriage. And I could either stay and do the second movie and finish six more months of the show or just — I don’t know, I guess I was kind of worried about my life. I was worried that I might take my own life. So in order for me to get a handle on what was going on, I needed to leave when I left. And so that’s sort of why I left the show. (via Perez Hilton and Geekosystem)

So that’s why…

Going against Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games

Not everyone is merry over Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games (YOG). Even as the YOG comes to a closing today, I still hear the resentment. I am largely indifferent over the matter and I don’t know enough of it to contribute an opinion.

Singaporean arrested after Facebook attack on govt

In a statement, police said they had arrested a “man in his late 20s” on Tuesday “in connection with investigations into offences related to incitement of violence”.

…Abdul Malik Ghazali, 27, who posted a series of comments on the social networking site critical of how Singapore is hosting the inaugural Youth Olympic Games (YOG).

The August 14-26 event, held for competitors aged from 14 to 18, has generated limited public interest, with many events blighted by empty seats and the host country’s athletes faring badly.

Vivian Balakrishnan, the minister for community development, youth and sports, has come under particular fire from online critics over the games.

Abdul Malik’s postings on his own Facebook page and on a separate group account called “I hate the Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee” are also critical of Singapore’s ruling People’s Action Party (PAP).

He said it was time to “burn” the sports minister and the PAP. “Rally together and vote them out!!!” he wrote.

“I did not intend for it to be taken literally. I did not mean for someone to actually burn,” he said. –AFP (Source: Asiaone)

Here’s what the group has to say and what they describe themselves to be:

We are Singaporeans who are disappointed and angry with the YOG organising Committee (SYOGOC).

The SYOGOC ballooned its initial budget of S$105 million for the YOG to S$387 million. In contrast, this government allocated only $92 million to the ComCare and Social Support Programme for needy Singaporeans in 2010.

The SYOGOC chose to fake its ticket sales results by having MOE to purchase the bulk of the tickets. This has led to the strange phenomenon of the half-filled stadiums and competition halls, despite tickets being fully “sold out”!

Students were coerced by their schools to support the torch relays and to attend YOG events. The volunteers were badly treated with substandard and even unsafe food!

It is an event organised by the politicians for the politicians to look good in front of foreigners, and the government is splurging on taxpayers’ money like nobody’s business.

We hate the YOG Organising Committee!

The group has 2,796 members currently.

Okay time for Merly:

Merly Youth Olympics Singapore 2010

(Merly Youth Olympics Singapore 2010.)

Slavoj Zizek touches on implications of charitable giving

Renowned philosopher Slavoj Žižek investigates the surprising ethical implications of charitable giving.

RSA Animate – First as Tragedy, Then as Farce

“The proper aim is to try to reconstruct society in such a basis that poverty is impossible and the altruistic virtues have prevented the carrying out of this aim. The worst slaves owners are those who are kind to their slaves, and so prevented the horror of the system from being realized by those who suffered from it, and understood by those who contemplated it,” he says, partially quoting Oscar Wilde.

Interesting talk. Watch it if you have the time.