Identity trumps economic interest

In Uncategorized on 21/11/2016 at 7:20 am

Local ang moh tua kees like Ariffin Sha and Donald Low openly call “stupid” those who vote against their economic interests. They are juz mindlessly parroting and aping  the “exotic ultraliberal left” of the West.

Well, I’m one of those stupid people. I’ve never voted PAP even though its policies (bar its forced savings policy) were and are good for me.

In particular its present wage repression policy by way of a liberal immigration policy have been good for me.

I “retired” early in the early noughties because looking for another job was too troublesome. Might as well opt out and live off capital.

Retirement has been very comfortable what with luxuries that are affordable, SingHealth and public transport. All three are possible because of the wage repression that results from very liberal immigration policies.

But I still don’t vote PAP because I feel liberal immigration is taking away S’pore from S’poreans. By the standards of Donald Low and Ariffin Sha, I’m stupid, but I’m proud that I’m prepared to vote against my economic interests.

And I’m not the only one in the world who are stupid:

“Donald Trump received a huge number of votes from better-educated and more well-off voters as well, who were not victims of globalisation but still felt their country was being taken from them. Needless to say, this dynamic underlay the Brexit vote as well.”

The last sentence is from an essay in the FT

US against the world? Trump’s America and the new global order

In 1989, the political scientist said liberal democracy signalled ‘the end of history’. He now looks at the nationalist politics now reshaping the west

LKY said when he was young, in 1959,”we must go about our task (of building up a nation) with urgency … of integrating our people now and quickly”.

He said this after pointing out that only 270,00 out of the 600,000 voters were born here.


Info from

Singapore Correspondent. Political Dispatches from Singapore (1958-1962)

by Leon Comber*

Publisher:  Marshall Cavendish International Asia

Singapore Correspondent Book CoverSingapore Correspondent” covers five years of Singapore’s colourful political past – a period of living turbulently and sometimes dangerously. It is a collection of eye-witness dispatches, sent from Singapore to London, spanning a time when Singapore was emerging from British colonial rule and moving forward to self-government and independence. Many of the early struggles of the People’s Action Party (PAP) are described as the focus is on the political struggle taking place in which the PAP played a major part. Many important events which have long been forgotten are brought to life. These dispatches prove that political history need not be dull, and indeed can sometimes be entertaining and lively.

* MAI Adjunct Research Fellow

Sadly in his old age he decided that the sun could only shine from the asses of FTs.



  1. But there can be no denying that economic reasons, ie. bread and butter issues form an equally large bulk of whichever vote is in question though.

    This is not just for Trump or Brexit, its evident here also.

  2. I gather Sha & Low are calling those who voted for PAPies stupid?? But the problem is that those 70% who voted for PAP precisely becoz they believed that PAP will be good for their own economic health and/or believed that Oppo will be bad for their economic health.

    It’s only when middle-aged Sinkies lose their jobs to younger & cheaper foreigners (not just to foreigners but also to younger & cheaper locals) that they become Oppo converts. But by then too late, and their numbers are still in the small minority.

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