Tak Boleh Tahan! 2023 – GST Hike and Rising Cost of Living


Townhall #1: Are the ruling elite stealing our rice bowls?

Marlina is a 44 year old mother of five beautiful children. She has been living in a rental flat neighbourhood for 12 years. She has volunteered in various community development activities in her neighbourhood for 3 years, where she has had many in-depth conversations with her neighbours about issues such as living space, health, and food security. When she finds the time, Marlina also manages a home-based snacks business.

Shabir is a 36 year old father of 2 young daughters. In his 20 years of work experience, he’s worked as a food delivery rider, delivery attendant, fireman, rope access technician, urban farmer, and most recently, a crane operator. He has been a crane operator for 12 years, working alongside mostly migrant workers. In his 20 years of working in these different jobs, Shabir has had many in-depth conversations with his Singaporean and migrant co-workers about wages, working hours, and the rising cost of living. When he’s not busy operating a crane , Shabir likes to go out camping in nature with his wife and kids.

Kumarr is a 28-year-old community organiser and researcher. He is a member of workers rights group Workers Make Possible and climate justice group SG Climate Rally. His research and organising interests lie in issues affecting workers in Singapore including employment, health, and low-income groups’ access to welfare. In his free time, Kumarr contemplates whether he wants to start watching Manchester United play football again.

Tak Boleh Tahan! 2023 is a three-part townhall series organised by Manifestival, a joint effort by various civil society organisations and independent media platforms to encourage democratic, public discussion on important issues that matter to those in Singapore.

The townhalls will take place once a month, from Jan-March, in the lead up to the Committee of Supply Debate in Parliament.


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