The Wee Shu Min's started from an innocent post from a blogger lamenting the difficuilties facing older workers in Singapore.
Derek Wee's original blog
Monday, October 02, 2006
When I read the Straits Times article (dated 24 Sep) on PM Lee calling the young to be committed and make a difference to Singapore, I have so much thought about the issue.
I am 35 years old, graduated from University and gainfully employed in a multinational company. But I cannot help but feel insecure over the future of Singapore. Lets face it, it’s not uncommon to hear, “when you are above 40, you are over the hill”. The government has been stressing on re-training, skills upgrading and re-adapt. The fact is, no matter how well qualified or adaptable one is, once you hit the magical 40, employers will say, “you are simply too old”.
We have been focusing our resources and problem solving on low unskilled labour. But in reality, our managerial positions and skilled labour force are actually fast losing its competitiveness. I travel around the region frequently for the past 10 years. It didn’t take me long to realise how far our neighbours have come over the past decade. They have quality skilled workers, and are less expensive. When I work with them, their analytical skills are equally good, if not better than us.
It’s not new anymore. Taxi drivers are fast becoming “too early to retire, too old to work” segment of the society. I like to talk to taxi drivers whenever I am heading for the airport. There was this driver. Eloquent and well read. He was an export manager for 12 years with an MNC. Retrenched at 40 years old. He had been searching for a job since his retrenchment. Although he was willing to lower his pay expectations, employers were not willing to lower their prejudice. He was deem too old. I wouldn’t be surprised if we have another No. 1; having the most highly educated taxi drivers in the world.
On PM Lee calling the young to be committed and make a difference. Look around us. How dedicated can we be to Singapore when we can visualise what’s in store for us after we turned 40? Then again, how committed are employers to us? But we can’t blame them. They have bottom lines & shareholders’ gain to answer to. Onus is really on the government to revamp the society. A society that is not a pressure cooker. A society that does not mirror so perfectly, what survival of the fittest is. But a society, where it’s people can be committed, do their best and not having to fear whether they will still wake up employed tomorrow. Sadly, Singapore does not offer such luxuries and security anymore.
On the issue of babies. The government encourage us to pro-create. The next generation is essential in sustaining our competitive edge. Then again, the current market condition is such that our future has become uncertain. There is no more joy in having babies anymore; they have become more of a liability. It’s really a chicken and egg issue.
Many of my peers, bright and well educated have packed up and left. It’s what MM Goh called “quitters”. It’s sad but true, Singapore no longer is a place where one can hope to work hard their lives and retire graciously. It’s really the push factor. A future is something we sweat it out, build and call our own. Unfortunately, people like me, mid 30’s going on 40’s, staying put by choice or otherwise, we can’t help but feel what lies ahead is really a gamble.
To PM Lee and the Ministers, we are on a different platform. Until you truly understand our insecurity, the future of Singapore to me remains a question mark.http://derekwee.blogspot.com/
/Ms Wee Shu Min's Blog:http://www.suchvividnothing.blogspot.com/
(for some reason, even through the father, an MP in Singapore, strongly believed that his daughter's basic point in the post is justified, the blog was deleted. Mind you, not the post was deleted but the whole blog. If she believed so strongly in what she wrote, why hide? Is this the behaviour we should expect from elites. 'When the going get tough, the elites start running')This is the content of her post:
Thursday, October 19, 2006
mom’s friend sent her some blog post by some bleeding stupid 40-year old singaporean called derek wee (WHY do all the idiots have my surname why?!) whining about how singapore is such an insecure place, how old ppl (ie, 40 and above) fear for their jobs, how the pool of foreign “talent” (dismissively chucked between inverted commas) is really a tsunami that will consume us all (no actually he didn’t say that, he probably said Fouren Talern Bery Bad.), how the reason why no one wants kids is that they’re a liability in this world of fragile ricebowls, how the government really needs to save us from inevitable doom but they aren’t because they are stick-shoved-up-ass elites who have no idea how the world works, yadayadayadayada.
i am inclined - too much, perhaps - to dismiss such people as crackpots. stupid crackpots. the sadder class. too often singaporeans - both the neighborhood poor and the red-taloned socialites - kid themselves into believing that our society, like most others, is compartmentalized by breeding. ridiculous. we are a tyranny of the capable and the clever, and the only other class is the complement.
sad derek attracted more than 50 comments praising him for his poignant views, joining him in a chorus of complaints that climax at the accusation of lack of press freedom because his all-too-true views had been rejected by the straits times forum. while i tend to gripe about how we only have one functioning newspaper too, i think the main reason for its lack of publication was that his incensed diatribe was written in pathetic little scraps that passed off as sentences, with poor spelling and no grammar.
derek, derek, derek darling, how can you expect to have an iron ricebowl or a solid future if you cannot spell?
if you’re not good enough, life will kick you in the balls. that’s just how things go. there’s no point in lambasting the government for making our society one that is, i quote, “far too survival of fittest”. it’s the same everywhere. yes discrimination exists, and it is sad, but most of the time if people would prefer hiring other people over you, it’s because they’re better. it’s so sad when people like old derek lament the kind of world that singapore will be if we make it so uncertain. go be friggin communist, if uncertainty of success offends you so much - you will certainly be poor and miserable. unless you are an arm-twisting commie bully, which, given your whiny middle-class undereducated penchant, i doubt.
then again, it’s easy for me to say. my future isn’t certain but i guess right now it’s a lot brighter than most people’s. derek will read this and brand me as an 18-year old elite, one of the sinners who will inherit the country and run his stock to the gutter. go ahead. the world is about winners and losers. it’s only sad when people who could be winners are marginalised and oppressed. is dear derek starving? has dear derek been denied an education? has dear derek been forced into child prostitution? has dear derek had his clan massacred by the government?
i should think not. dear derek is one of many wretched, undermotivated, overassuming leeches in our country, and in this world. one of those who would prefer to be unemployed and wax lyrical about how his myriad talents are being abandoned for the foreigner’s, instead of earning a decent, stable living as a sales assistant. it’s not even about being a road sweeper. these shitbags don’t want anything without “manager” and a name card.
please, get out of my elite uncaring face.
posted at 12:08 PMMs Wee 'Uncaring Elite' 's apology to Derek Wee's blog:
Her reply to a guy who posted the entire thing in full on his blog:
i apologise if i have distressed you with my tendency to rant. while i will not dispute some of the points you make in response to what i have written, i would like to bring to your attention the fact that the post in question was never meant to be a cogent response to the specific points raised in derek wee’s article. it is, quite obviously, a rant in the heat of the moment. in addition, i don’t believe that my blog has the wide readership of derek wee’s, or even your own, and my intention was more to vent my own frustrations than public denouncement.i’d also like to clarify my use of the word “elite”. while i understand how misinterpretation may have arose, i intended to use it in irony, as a label that people assume i enjoy, and not one that i take particular pleasure in.finally, i admit that i was harsher than i should have been, although the the crux of my belief in self-improvement and self-determination has not changed. once again, i apologise if my words have unintentionally offended you - i was under the rather naive impression that nobody reads my blogMy reply to you, Ms 'Uncaring Elite' Wee is this...
When I first read your post, I wanted to rant and rave about what an b***h you are, but I refused to go down to your level. I have only average understanding of English and its grammar and totally no knowledge of French beside oui and merci. But I have worked with people from England and France and they understood me perfectly and we have a very good working relationship. I have work for 20 odd years during the 'nation building' years of Singapore. Where were you? I am retrenched now, not because of my poor English and French but because the government dim it proper to computerise the stock exchange making 200 odd traders like myself unemployed. Some of us are still looking for jobs. I am dim too 'old' to be employ in Singapore. Am I bitter? yes, I have worked hard, truly thinking that when I grow old, my country will, if not help, at least be compassionate of my plight. Do I whine? sometimes. Am I a leech? Definitely not. Not like your father who leech on the nation for his big fat pay then turn around to justify your basic point and therefore we must all be leeches. Not like you who took up a scholarship even through your father can well affort your education. A scholarship which could benefit a child from a poor family who could not affort it.
By the way I was checking out what is the Study of Humanities?
Humanities are those studies created by the human desire for knowledge and understanding of our history, classical traditions, literature, language, and philosophy. These studies encompass disciplines that address a variety of needs: to examine the ethical values in our lives, to examine our social responsibilities, and to develop intellectually sound ways of reflecting on what it means to be a human being.
Studying the humanities increases our appreciation of ideas and of various modes of thinking. It leads to a greater understanding of values within cultural and historical contexts. It can sharpen our skill in formulating our own ideas, developing them coherently, and expressing them clearly and effectively. It can help us read difficult texts with increased comprehension and powers of analysis. All of these help us learn how to learn - essential skills in the workplace and in our personal lives.
)Ms 'Uncaring Elite' Wee, I read somewhere that your area of study is humanity, if it is than sadly money down the 'salty sea water'. You have no knowledge of what it means to be a human being and did not express your ideas coherently, clearly nor effectively. You resort to name calling. Hmmm...I wonder where you learn that from....