I’m not sure why The Online Citizen displays its mobile site when I visit it on my laptop. It’s rather annoying.
I don’t like the message or the tone in this article Take responsibility by Brandon Ngo. Not only is the tone smug and condescending, the content is offensive and obviously written by someone who has enjoyed significant privileges in his life. If you were hoping for people to pat you on the back and congratulate you for being self-sufficient and successful, you won’t get it from me. Instead, all I have to say to you is that you are a selfish person and I hope that you are young for then, you might mature a little and learn a bit more about the world.
It’s so easy for anyone to say “work harder” and expect that the simple act of working harder should improve people’s life. Unfortunately, meritocracy or not, that isn’t always the case. For one thing, we don’t all start on a level playing field.
Some of us, through no fault of our own, are born with a silver spoon. Others are born into less fortunate situations. Tell me how this doesn’t matter. Some of us are born into positions of privilege – perhaps you are Chinese or perhaps you are male or perhaps you are not disabled or perhaps you are straight. Tell me how this doesn’t matter in life. There are so many things that affect a person’s life and to completely ignore all these variables and insist that hard work is sufficient is either naive or dumb.
The sentiments expressed this article are exactly those that the government wants us to believe so that they can continue to refuse to provide adequate aid and support to the disadvantaged. After all, if their poverty is a result of their own reluctance to work hard, then why should all the other citizens, who supposedly worked hard and are thus successful, have to pay taxes to support them?
And let’s be honest. How many of these people living in poverty are just bumming around, being lazy? How many of them are working their asses off and yet still not earn enough money? It’s difficult to be poor – you have children but you can’t afford childcare. Without childcare, you can’t work but if you don’t work, you can’t put food on the table. Or maybe you or your child has a major medical problem and the bills have taxed you. Perhaps you had to sell your HDB flat and now you’re homeless and you can’t afford another flat or even rental on the market. And all people do is tell you to work harder. Because clearly, you didn’t work hard enough. Go get another job. Who needs sleep anyway?
So instead of looking at the structural inequalities and other issues that impact Singaporeans and instead of looking at how to ensure a minimum level of welfare for those who are floundering, we turn on them, accuse them of being lazy and simply stand by the side exhorting them to work harder.