Protection! Isn’t that Unfair?

Well, you know as well as I do that life is unfair. I get to sit in cafes all over Singapore and write stuff that you probably don’t want to read but should. You get it for free when you should be paying me for it. You might be running a world-class F&B joint but nobody’s dining in because of reasons beyond your control. Too bad. Try asking the three “What?” questions that I talk about on the home page. Then decide what you’re going to do but please stop whining.

It’s nice to be able to take a break when you need one. Or maybe just because you feel like it.

With so much ado about the Singapore-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) in my home nation of Singapore recently, I have to remind people of one fact. People knocking on your doors wanting, even demanding, admittance to your nation as citizens or something-approaching-citizenship is a GOOD thing. It means that they perceive coming to your nation as something good. I have not done a deep dive into the subject because I don’t see anything new on the table. PMEs? If you are classified as a PME, ought you not to have enough competence in your being able to develop more value in your areas of expertise or other competencies without having the “Garment” intervening on your behalf? When are we going to get rid of the mindset, and thus the politics, of jealousy? The story told by Dr Condoleezza Rice about the poor disgruntled Soviet farmer finding a genie in a bottle in his unfruitful and blighted field comes constantly to my mind. The genie, true to form, pops out of the bottle and tells the supposedly fortunate farmer that he gets to have one wish. The disgruntled farmer starts bemoaning the fact that his neighbour appears to have all the good things in life – a fruitful farm, more than enough roubles to spend, a beautiful wife, bright and intelligent children, yadda, yadda, and the genie, perhaps with a tinge of impatience, says “Ah, I know! You want me to make you like him!” “No!” the disgruntled farmer spits out, “I want you to make HIM like ME!”

Should nations have good control measures over immigration? Of course. We should be asking for people who would assimilate and help bring all of us to the next level upwards. In the meantime, immigration, work passes, “preferential” policies or otherwise, are we still continuing to live our best lives, which have attracted so many here in the first place? Do we run great businesses, are we willing to work hard, be diligent and always have our eye on the ball? Do we educate our children properly and not leave their education to self-serving bureaucrats?

Stop whining. CECA is actually a small matter but a symptom of deeper societal issues which no government can resolve. That means it’s up to US to get off our collective derriere and get back to work. Enjoy your weekend. I will certainly enjoy mine!

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