Today, Singapore will lift most vaccine discrimination measures. While it’s welcome news, there remains much to be wary about.
By shutting the unvaccinated out from accessing essential services, malls and the workplace, vaccine discrimination measures reduce the unvaccinated to the status of second-class citizens. All the government has done is to return to you most—not all—of the freedoms that have always been yours—for now.
The legislation that empowers the government to impose restrictions and vaccine discrimination is still in force. At any time, the government can reach for the hammer again.
The Establishment uses ‘concessions’ to describe reduction of some restrictions for the unvaccinated, and ‘perks’ and ‘privileges’ for the benefits enjoyed by the vaccinated. The Establishment continues to see society as divided between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated, the compliant and the defiant—and these concessions, perks and privileges can be taken away at any time for any reason.
Employers can still ‘impose vaccination-related instructions for employees’ for ‘health and safety reasons’, which means there is nothing to stop employers from firing so-called ‘not fully vaccinated’ employees, placing them on indefinite no pay leave, or else imposing increased restrictions and inconveniences on them.
The government is pushing the second booster shot for the ‘eligible’. The double-jabbed are still required to get the next jab to maintain their legal vaccination status. The government has already suggested that boosters will be required annually. When a significant proportion of the population is already accustomed to obeying the government and taking regular boosters, it becomes much easier and politically acceptable to reinstate vaccine discrimination.
Big Pharma is still working on the next-generation vaccine tailored for Omicron. The mass media is still singing the praises of the vaccine, denouncing everyone who steps away from the Covid narrative, and ignoring inconvenient facts. The mechanisms for contact tracing and vaccine passports continue to exist.
The grip of the regime may have relented, but it is not the same as freedom. Unless the situation changes, unless the whole world rolls back the march towards tyranny, this lifting of restrictions is only a breather.
You Are STILL On Your Own
The People’s Action Party chose Lawrence Wong as the fourth generation leader. After the next election, should he be voted into office, he would likely become the next Prime Minister.
The picture-perfect PAP politician, Lawrence Wong is a lifelong Establishment man. A scholar, a civil servant, a minister, he spent his entire career within the civil service. His actions are entirely in line with established PAP philosophy of politics and governance. He has made no memorable speeches, nor laid down any policies that have significantly rocked the boat. He is utterly forgettable.
He is the safe choice for the Establishment.
Therefore he is the worst choice.
Expect no significant changes in attitudes, policies and legislation. The government will retain the power to impose restrictions in the name of ‘health and safety’, and to punish those who will not comply with government narratives. It will frame every rollback of restrictions as a policy success and the reward for mass compliance, and will retain in its arsenal the tools of mass repression. There is nothing to prevent it from once again reimposing restrictions and scapegoating the tiny minority who commit the mortal sin of non-compliance.
And I would not be surprised if it were studying the rollout of the social credit system in Italy, as well as the Chinese social credit system.
Do not expect the opposition to do anything either. The Workers’ Party campaigned on the platform denying the government a blank check, then meekly stepped aside and allowed the government to cash that blank check. Most other opposition parties remain quiet until it is time for election season, even in the face of growing government power. The few politicians who have spoken for the people are embattled on every front, and have made no headway.
The media remains compliant, the legal community is silent, the activists approve of vaccine discrimination, the employers bow to the government’s will. Nothing has changed in this regard.
Should Covid surge again, or should some other pandemic emerge, we will see the same restrictions, the same discrimination, the same narrative.
You, and everyone in your network, are still on your own.
Continue The Work
I have always advocated getting off the system. Even with the lifting of measures, this recommendation has not changed.
If you have gone this far without taking the vaccine, all you have to do is to continue to maintain your current lifestyle.
Eliminate dependencies on malls and physical workplaces. Insist on remote work and flexible work arrangements. Continue to spend more time in the fresh air and in the sun. Patronize small businesses wherever possible. Prepare healthy meals at home instead of eating out. Embrace income methods outside the traditional financial system. Do not go where you have been discriminated against.
If you felt that you were forced to take the vaccine, you have learned where you are vulnerable. You need to eliminate those dependencies as far as possible.
Employers who have fired so-called ‘not fully vaccinated’ workers, or else placed them on indefinite no-pay leave, may invite them to return. By doing this, they have shown you their true colours. They will not hesitate to kick you to the curb again. Working for them again will merely expose you to future disruption. Do not work for people who treat you not as a person, but merely a resource.
If you must work for them, see it only as a stopgap measure. Develop the skills you need to either transition to an ethical employer or to go into business for yourself. Do not stay there one second longer than you must.
The end of restrictions do not spell the end of suffering. The Great Resignation, coupled with the Great Termination, is still in effect—and so is the Great Inflation. Being able to return to work and go shopping are minor things compared to the multiple swords of Damocles hanging over the world. Continue to focus your energies on weathering the coming storm.
Do not chase comfort and convenience. It is merely a hook that will be used against you. Brace yourself for hard work and discomfort. Throw yourself into the work of creating the freedom that allows you to live by your values and principles.
Do not hope for mercy and magnanimity from an Establishment that has divided society so profoundly. You must, with your own hands, create the life you want to live.
You need to ensure your continued survival. You need to beat inflation, and that means investments, side gigs, and skill development. You cannot count on physical workplaces to remain accessible forever, so you need to develop the ability to work remotely. Should the government impose a massive lockdown like with Shanghai or the early days of the pandemic, you need to have a stockpile of food, water, medicines and essential supplies. Continue to develop and expand your network of contacts and allies.
The iron grip may have loosened, but the fingers are still wrapped around your throat. If you are unvaccinated, you remain a second-class citizen. If you are vaccinated, you enjoy the privileges of a normal life only as long as you are able to comply.
Cherish the expanded freedom, but never allow yourself to get complacent. Never forget what the Establishment did to you. Do not assume that these relaxed restrictions will last forever. While you still have the space and opportunity to do so, continue to build a parallel economy, expand your options, and make yourself antifragile.
Should the fingers tighten again, give them nothing to hold on to.
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