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Where are we heading?

line Where are we heading?

Where are we heading?

Seriously. Where are we heading?

It wasn’t too long ago, when I remember the reason why I told myself to work hard. In studies. In what I believed in.

It wasn’t too long ago, when if you are a fresh graduate, you would probably live a good life. You will be able to afford to cheap car. You will be able to afford a 5 room HDB or even a condo without taking out loans that span double digit years.

My dad was the sole breadwinner. We could afford a modest 3-room flat and later on moved to a 4-room flat. Eventually he was able to afford a car. One that has a red colored license plate and is small and cute. A Hyundai Getz.

I really appreciate what my parents have done for me. They were not “educated”. Only my dad ever made it to secondary 4 and that was that. But they brought me up. They brought me here.

I want to repay them.

So. Aim to be a graduate. Afford a car. Sponsor parents for trips. Give them a good life. That was my dream.

That was 15 years ago.

I worked my way up. I wasn’t a bright student. I was a very slow learner who couldn’t even pick up what all the 26 letters in the alphabets are until Primary 1. Now I am in a University. I am pursuing a degree. I am graduating in less than 3 months.

Just now I met up with some of my peers for a gathering. We did some calculation.

In the 1970s, a graduate who was the sole breadwinner in the family was earning a starting pay of around S$1,000 monthly and three-, four- and five-room flats in Marine Parade, for example, were going for S$17,000, S$20,000 and S$35,000 respectively. (

In 1980s, it was $80,000. In 1990s, it was $170,000. Then, it was $230,000 in 2007s. (

2008, 4-room flat was sold for a record of $495,000 (

In 2009, the record was $653,000. (

What is the average graduate salary in 2011? $2678. (

Look at where we are.

A premium 4-room HDB flat was equal to 20 months pay of a graduate in the 1970s. Now a graduate would have to work for 244 months to be able pay for a 4-room flat in Singapore in premium places. Without spending a single cents on anything else.

There is a number of reasons why this happened. I didn’t write this to point fingers. So many things have gone wrong. But lets’ look at what is the most real problem we are facing now.

When I have my children, I will have to tell them. I will have to tell them the exact SAME things my parents who only had secondary education said to me, many years ago.

“Look at us. We can survive, but barely. I hope you can work hard. Be somebody. Then you will have a good life in future, for yourself and for your children.”

And then they will have to say the same thing to their children.

Where are we heading?