What’s Your Backup Plan For SG100?

What if Singapore doesn’t survive being an independent nation for the next 50 years?

I don’t know if any of you think about losing your citizenship, because maybe you already kind of take it for granted that Singapore will survive the next 50 years (by then you’ll probably have retired or died), and that the problems of SG100 are for future generations to bother themselves with.

I disagree with this, because I believe our children (or our nation’s descendants if we are childless/child-free) inherit the consequences of their predecessors (us), and living for ourselves today without any regard for our future is irresponsible (though not illegal in many aspects).

Have you thought about what you would do if Singapore falls due to an invasion, a bomb, a natural disaster or a civil war, becoming a battlefield where there is no winner without a loser, and the spoils of victory depend on taking or stealing from the victims?

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“Oh I’m not worried, I’ll just get a Permanent Residence somewhere else”, you may say. “I’ll send my children to study overseas and apply to become PR or citizens of the United States or whichever country suits my liking, and apply for a family visa for myself once they graduate and enter the workforce.”

You won’t be wrong about choosing this as your backup plan, it’s quite a common ‘dream’ of many Singaporeans to migrate for good and give up their Singapore citizenship.

Those who will lose out are the low income Singaporeans who do not have such a choice to pay for an overseas citizenship or are economically mobile enough to find a job in another country easily. If they manage to move overseas, they will compete with people who are either more well-educated, more experienced or better plugged into the local network (not to mention the language barrier).

If Singapore is invaded by any other country, do you think our fellow Singaporeans will be displaced like the Rohinyas, sailing from one place to another without being granted asylum, and left to die in transit by the international community because it’s the problem of no one else but the nation that was formerly Singapore?

If Singapore is bombed, through suicide bombers or a nuclear bomb, do we even know where the nearest bomb shelter is, have enough food stocked at home for months (I don’t), know first aid to help injured victims, how to start a fire without a lighter or purify water through condensation?

If you are hoping to depend on the goodwill of our nearest neighbours, do you think the Malaysians and Indonesians really want to take Singaporeans in, when we are notorious for being arrogant people who think our puny red dot is better than their countries? Not to mention that the majority of Singaporeans are Chinese, a race which has been persecuted by these two nations for decades.

What about Thailand, which is so welcoming of Singaporean tourists who love shopping and traveling there?

Thailand has government policies which are very protectionist of Thai citizens. Unless you are a businessman with a Thai partner or hired on an expat package, living in Thailand with children and expecting a certain quality of life can be prohibitively expensive.

Supposing Thailand opens its arms to Singaporean refugees, can your average uncle and aunty pick up Thai quickly enough to integrate into the Thai culture? Will Singaporeans, used to expecting a stable, efficient government, learn how to accept the ambiguity and uncertainty of Thai politics?

But I digress, because I haven’t even asked whether you think it’s worth striving for your Singapore, a country so fragile that we are the trampled grass when elephants fight. Did you know Singapore pioneered the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) with a few other nations even before the US entered negotiations, yet global debate about TPP is predominantly from a US versus China perspective?

If your first answer is to grab your passport and get out of this country you hate for good and never ever return or even care to read about Singapore in the news, you know it’s a matter of when, and not if, Singapore will become a future variant of Syonan-to again.

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