Sunday, December 23, 2007

2007 : A year of great PAP achievements!!!

Even for the 66.6% who voted for new gardens and fountains around their estate, what the PAP managed to achieve this year is simply unparalleled. I can't think of another year when so much was accomplished in so short a time. US$10B for UBS, US$5B for other govt has been able to toss a few billions into troubled foreign banks while asking its old, sick and disabled to live on 2 meals a day under its Public Assistance Scheme. That was a final act to top of a year of grand achievements.... even by PAP standards, it has been a great year:

1. Finally justice for our suffering elites. The minister pay hike must be the single biggest achievement of the year. It has been too unfair too ridiculous for our ministers to have to make such a painful sacrifice for so long. Since there is no minimum wages for low income workers why should there be a maximum wage of our top elites, the ministers.

2. GST hike to 7%. GST hike is to help the poor. The poor who pay no income taxes feel left out -unable to contribute to the govt coffers so that it can do great things like buying stakes in UBS & Merrill Lynch. The GST hike is to help the poor contribute more to the govt so they don't have feel left out of their grand achievements.

3. Price hikes on everything. Yes, the govt was very concern that the slight pay increment you got at the beginning of 2007 might undermine your work ethics and they know you were very troubled by that extra money which you don't know what to do with. You don't have to worry any more - through a series of price hikes, that extra money has disappeared. In fact, the inflation rate which is at a 16 yr high probably ate up more than your increment. Now you have to work harder to make up for the inflation. You should be happy you haven't lost your work ethics this year.

4. People & more people. This is the year of population expansion. Singaporeans refuse to have more babies as cost of living rises but that is no problem for the PAP govt. They can always import. ...and import they did. Our population has been pushed to 4.68M. I guess they PAP has more than enough capacity to serve Singaporeans. Although our hospitals, roads, housing and buses have become more crowded, it is a simple matter of raising prices to bring down the demand. That is why ERP, bus fares and taxi fares have to be increased to reduce the congestion and overcrowding. As I understand it, PAP govt feels that it still has alot more capacity left to serve so more people will be brought in.

5. Annuities. Yes I know many of you are eagerly waiting for details of the scheme. I have no doubt the PAP govt will implement it. Singaporeans living beyond 80 yrs will be an unacceptable economic burden for the PAP govt in the coming years. While it has money to risk in troubled foreign banks, giving govt aid to 80 yr olds to keep them alive is an unthinkable idea. Singaporeans have to learn to pay for the trouble they cause by living too long - it is too much for them to expect the PAP govt to do something for them when they are too old to even walk. The PAP has figured out better use for its money like putting them in troubled American banks and telcos in neighboring countries.

2007 shows the PAP at its best. Singaporeans are lucky to have such a capable govt and can look forward to many more good years ahead....


yamizi said...

Thanks for summing up the year of 2007!

Wishing you Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year ahead!!!

fifthgrape thinker said...

Please do not exploit the weak and poor for your wealth.

My granfather say so one.

Thank you

Anonymous said...

The extra-ordinary salaries paid to our unique and talented ministers should have resulted in them being able to solve problems that other third-world countries cannot solve because of their lowly paid third-world ministers.

But sadly, ordinary Singaporeans are facing the same problems affecting these third-world countries where ministers are paid only a fraction of the salaries that we are paying our ministers.

I guess they can always blame it on the global factor when they cannot solve the problems of rising cost.

Anonymous said...

they can't do anything except to enjoy their god given wealth. the best they can do for you is to prolong your miserable existence for a few more good years before more dismembered themselves on the fast track.

their idea of raising your standard of living is ushering you into greater financial debts and barely paying you enough to meet your lifetime expenses.

this will give you never ending money problems till the day you die.

such a society cares for nobody except for a few 'inspiring stories' generated by loose noose to create an illusion of a 'caring' and 'compassionate' society.

i am a realist like them. i look at your salary, not the impressive number of jobs created.

9 out of 10 professionals and businessmen polled expressed no confidence to retire at 50. you think the large proportion of lowly paid service and technical workers can?

in a money minded society, insufficient pay is like living in a beautiful countryside with insufficient air.

folks, no money, no talk can only mean ...they talk cock.

Anonymous said...

I dun even think i can retire at the age of 60!!!

Given the ever soaring HDB flat,
the inflation rate, the hikes....

Really had to work all day all nite just to keep me alive.


Anonymous said...

You need to work hard. If you do not work hard, given the minimum amount of wage, how can the elites have more pay hike??!!! They want to have another good year!!!

You know, great minds think alike!!! Taxi fare hike encourages customers to take bus to work. Now, the buses are getting too crowded. More buses are need!!! What next? Bus hike!!! Now, the passengers are encourage to MRT. Thus, MRT fare Hike!!!
Yes!!! Great minds think alike...

How come my dad's salary remains the same??? Yes!!! Get minds think alike... Not their problems mah... Budget!!!

Anonymous said...

I think mean testing goes to No 4 as well.

This is the theme they just kept muted in the elections, but out of the blue in a month in 2007, it came out from the dragon prince (Mini Lee)'s horse mouth as if nothing has happened. Even HK does not have such a (heartless) means testing scheme for its citizens.

PAP Motto: You die your business. don't spoil my get-rich plan.

Capt_Canuck said...

But, dont forget Lucky, the increase in salary is how the PAP helps the poor and charities. Remember the last time they increased their pay, my friends were all grumbling and complaining saying they didnt deserve it. Then the PM came up and said that he would donate, what was it 6 months or a year, of his increase to charities and the poor. Suddenly all my friends and people I heard stopped complaining about the pay increase and instead were talking about how great the PAP were.

So that is the PAP's master plan. They increase their wages, make it look like they are greedy, then they give their new increase to the poor and charities and suddenly their popularity gets better. Similar to how if you want your head to feel better, slam it against the wall. Once the throbbing stops and the wounds clot, you feel so much better than you did before the slam into the wall.

As for the hikes in taxis and crowded buses. I think it is just the PAP's way to help the local Singaporean get exercise. If you cant afford cabs, you obviously couldnt afford to buy a car (which, didnt the fee or whatever to buy a car just go up?), then you go on the bus. Bus gets crowded so you go out and walk to work or perhaps get a bike to pedal to work. Suddenly, less cars on the road, less need for bus transportation or MRT, less pollution to the air, people are walking and the gov't now has more money surplus that they would have spent on bus upkeep and upgrading to give themselves bigger raises in a couple years.

As for the investing in UBS and Merrill, that only makes sense. I mean, why would a company want to invest in a liability and not an asset. You invest in a company, the company grows, you get returns, more money for your company. You invest in the sick or old, they just take money and die, you get no return on your investment. Remember, there is only money in business, there is no money in charity. You want charity and care for the people, get a gov't. Enjoy your country company of Singapore Inc cause that is what you are all living in.

Anonymous said...

ST is in the process of reinventing the rich after all these hammering.

Or should I say repackaging them to look 'good' in the eyes of the largely struggling working class.

But I don't buy it. These ultra rich folks can give up all and still live another round.

It is time they give BACK until the poor hurts no more!!

And that may mean giving up their WAYS!!

Anonymous said...

We are entering the stage of enslaving and control. Enslaving the poor with debts (like promoting 1005 home ownership) and making sure they are barely able to survive with rising costs and lower wages (by letting in more and more foreign workers).

Another area of their master plan?

Anonymous said...

Let us pity them for earning so much! Disrecpects, curses, feared and hates.

Anonymous said...

Watch the annuity scheme that PAP is cooking up, in all likelihood to be introduced forcefully after the next GE, once its mandate is re-secured for another term.

It would in all probability be a most unpopular if not outright deplorable one.

Why do I say this? What evidence do I have for making such an assertion?

I have studied the annuity proposal from Mr Tan Kin Lian (the former NTUC Income's CEO) as published in the ST in September obviously with PAP's blessings, not to mention that NTUC is nothing but a major PAP's arm.

He claimed to offer a better alternative to the govt's annuity scheme.

He proposed a collective annuity scheme for payouts from 65 to 85 instead of from 85. Sounds credible at first glance.

However after studying it, this is what I gathered:

His proposed annuity scheme will use a lump sum of S$100,000 from one's CPF savings thus locking that amount up from 65 to 85.

This apparently has to be in the form of cash savings - rather than based on one's HDB property value as the CPF minimum sum currently allows to factor in.

To put a long story short, according to his calculation the difference between having such an annuity policy - using the lump sum of S$100,000 - and having no such an annuity, is a mere additional income of between S$18 to S$25 a month !

Furthermore, if one dies before the annuity scheme expires, one's family cannot collect even a cent from the S$100,000 (unless one goes for a "with refund" annuity, which we will not discuss here for simplicity sake).

Also note that since S$100,000 is committed in such an annuity scheme, then even under special circumstances, there is no way one can withdraw part or all of it. What special circumstances?

Currently if one is physically incapacitated, one can withdraw all CPF savings even before the official draw-down age. This has been cited by the press recently.

Another situation is if one emigrates, giving up one's citizenship, then one can withdraw all his CPF savings.

But I doubt this can be done anymore once people are forced to commit their CPF savings in the compulsory collective annuity plan.

In any case, whether it is the annuity scheme from PAP or Mr Tan Kin Lian, it all boils down to a collective insurance scheme. Note that the operative word is not just "insurance" but also "collective".

Such a collective insurance scheme is completely at odds with the original objective of the CPF scheme which is a simple saving scheme by the individual with the PAP govt acting as the custodian/bank.

Had the CPF been a collective insurance scheme all along, we would not be facing this big problem today because the returns would have been much better than what PAP has been able to offer with its inferior below-market interest rates.

But now that PAP is having a shortfall in cash, it is compromising even this very fundamental principle of the CPF scheme. But PAP is not about to admit the CPF system is a failure.

Here's an excellent writeup on this issue.

PAP thought and still think they can outdo professional investment companies, so it had and continue to splurge our CPF monies all over the world.

[ Those who still think the national reserves that the PAP is using to invest exclude CPF savings should acquaint themselves more on this issue. It used to be published by the govt that our national reserves are largely made up of CPF savings. Nowadays I have a problem looking for these statistics. And IMF is also asking for the same information. saying 'Information to be disclosed by the monetary authorities and other central government, excluding social security' ]

Now that PAP is not making enough money, if at all, they are "kadang kabok" with damage control, making Singaporeans pay for PAP's mistakes.

Another thing we need to note is that there have been a phenomenal rise in needy cases applying for govt support. PAP MPs like Ms Lily Neo reported recently that such cases have surged from 40 to 60 cases a week within a short time during their meet-the-people-sessions. This is a 50% rise !

The aforesaid annuity proposal from the ex NTUC Income CEO therefore looks pretty handy in freeing PAP from this increasing burden of supporting needy Singaporeans who are currently given something like S$270 a month.

In effect social welfare in Singapore will be funded by the people themselves using their CPF savings to buy an inferior annuity plan that will enrich NTUC Income and hence the pappies who run it even as it will improverise more Singaporeans.

One can surmise that the whole annuity plan proposal was in fact thought up as a way for PAP to make Singaporeans, however hard-pressed themselves, to bear the burden of fellow Singaporeans even while PAP politicians laugh their way to the banks with their ever-ballooning multi-million dollars salaries.

What we are seeing is a case of head-heavy Humpty-Dumpty structure similar to those failed MLMs where many workers laboured for small money while the heads up there bask in luxury living off the toil of the former.

21st Dec 2012 said...

capt_canuck @ 8.29am

Obviously, your friends do not have backbone. They can never reach the "other shore".
Are you one like them too?

majulah said...

The best thing is that we all have our little say here and it changes nothing!

Apathy and selfishness is what enables our highly paid puppet masters pull our strings.

Anonymous said...

there is a season for everything. even a season for them to make monkeys of themselves.

enjoy the movie.

they're watching us, we are watching them too.

we're not the stars, they are.

Anonymous said...

Harry Said: Too much peanuts will cause unnatural hair growth.

Anonymous said...

And the billions paid into UBS and Merrill Lynched. Yep, somebody said President Nathan is sleeping on his job - he should be guarding our reserves judiciously, not spending like there is no tomorrow. If these 2 banks collapse - what next? another $15 bil out of the kitty to save the banks??

Anonymous said...

If they don't make monies from those investments, they do not lose too! For it is not their own(personal) monies!

Anonymous said...

The annuity plan still perplexes me.

They force us to accept the 3% returns. and then force us to buy the annuity.

But if they opened it up, and allowed the money to work really hard for us, and achieve 6-8 percent, or even 11% like some other pension funds in the world, WE DONT NEED TO BUY THAT ANNUITY IN THE FIRST PLACE.

it just looks like your hard-earned money just needs to be locked up in CPF or yet-another-govt-body in NTUC Income.

How do they tell "this is for our own good" without cringing? whatever happened to the younger MPs? how come not a single soul questions this in Parliament?

Anonymous said...

The younger MPs are following their older colleagues or rather kind of colligation so to say. As such do not expect them to sing a different tune.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8.09

If they can say that GST increase is to help the poor and the hugh salary increases for the ministers is for the good of ordinary Singaporeans, what else they say will make them cringe?

What can we expect from the younger MPs? They are from the same mould. Birds of a feather flock together. Same kind of birds make the same sound.

Anonymous said...

So sad, is'nt it, that a country so small and manageable should be going to the dogs?

The PAP rot seems serious, be it in the squandering of the country's reserves, in the kind of runaway remuneration that only this country is known pay to their politicians and top bureaucrats, in the lack of social welfare, in the breach of trust as the custodian of people's life savings ... the list goes on.

All these made possible by the megalomanic PAP doing away completely with external checks and balances, institutional transparency and accountability.

Key PAP insiders who know the real state of affairs and do not wish to be blamed in the future - individuals like our President and the new Minister of Finance - should work with like-minded colleagues to prepare for a change before things are beyond repair.

While it good to hope for the best, the realist in us should also prepare for the worst. This especially given the secretiveness and cover-up going on.

A certain sense of alarm and hence a search for solutions and new leadership can proved to be helpful to Singapore politics.

Without such a felt need, I don't see how true solutions would be found nor for that matter would the needed kind of leaders want to come forth.

irgen said...

The price hike for electricity from next month onwards is perplexing in many ways. I have written on Young Pap blog about it and here I reproduce this article:

It is reported that the electricity tariff will increase from next months onwards - according to Singapore Power, the increase is due to the oil price hikes.

I am surprise that Singapore Power based its electricity tariff on oil. As early as 2004 most of the power generating plants in Singapore used gas and it had contracts with Malaysian and Indonesian gas suppliers, notably from the Natuna Gas Fields and here I paste these report taken from Energy Information Admininstration:-

Natural Gas Singapore's Natural Gas Consumption, 1990-2004. (Source: EIA, International Energy Annual)Singapore imports all of its natural gas, which is mainly used for power generation and petrochemical production. In 2004 Singapore consumed 233 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of natural gas, a greater than five-fold increase from the 2002 level of 41 Bcf.

Natural gas use is rising rapidly, as the government promotes policies aimed at reducing carbon dioxide and sulfur emissions, ensuring energy security, and promoting the country as a regional hub for an integrated gas pipeline network. In 2002, the government set a target of 60 percent of the country's electricity to be generated from natural gas by 2012. By 2003, this goal had already been met, and the Singapore’s Energy Market Authority (EMA) reports that about 80 percent of the country’s electricity demand comes from natural gas today. In November 2003 and June 2004, Singapore experienced power outages that were the result of natural gas supply disruptions. After the June 2004 incident, the government set up the Energy System Review Committee (ESRC) to study the root causes of the gas disruptions and propose measures to strengthen the energy system’s reliability. Among other recommendations, the ESRC called upon Singapore to diversify its sources of natural gas, as it has historically relied on Indonesia for its natural gas imports.

So in effect this pegging of our electricity tariff with oil price hikes is not in line with business practice and another burden for our much belequeared low and mid income citizens. Why not peg the price with gas since most of our plants are gas-fired?

If you use gas to generate electricity and peg this hike on oil prices, more businesses will also hike their prices and the next round of such increases will be disastrous for us poor and not too poor people.


27 December 2007 21:05

The above is self-explanatory.

Anonymous said...

I like to thank irgen for the above information. It is enlightening; from: saintmoron.

Anonymous said...

Just remember that Singapore gets the govt it deserves. 66.6% voted for the PAP ( and have done so consistently for the past 40 years).

If you really want to make a difference, just ask this question everyone who complains : "Did you vote for PAP? If you did, you have no right to complain. Just smile and enjoy the ride... becos.. you asked for it!

Capt_Canuck said...

Question I have, regarding the 66.6% that I hope someone can answer solidly without a 'I think...'. Does the 66.6% count those people that voted for the PAP or does it count the walk over GRCs that didnt get to vote because no one ran in the election?

Does the 66.6% mean that 66% of the people of Singapore actually think that the PAP are doing a fantastic job and think that the other political parties couldnt do a better job, or does it mean that a few people think they are doing a good job but the rest of the country didnt get a say?

Anonymous said...

irgen, ttake note also that temaasek is wooing foreign investors to buy its local 3 genco companies. Obviously a timely price hike to consumers at this time, will present a stronger case of financial projections to ask for a higher selling price, and better profits. sweet..

Anonymous said...

Capt canuck, the answer to your question lies in your question.

Singaporeans confound me simply because they failed to see or understand the way you do.

Remember that with the present political climate, it is not possible for a REGIME CHANGE through the ballot boxes. Just to elaborate a little; GRC, minimun educational qualification, candidate deposit and many other rules not only handicap the oppositions. It is not to much to say that the rules will 'kill' any aspiring 'politicians'.

Please do not blame the 66.6%, one should interprete the said percentage like the Capt.

Anonymous said...

Bad immigration policy by a myopic PAP government is to be blamed. In 20 years time we will be called Indiapore.

alex said...

PAP is so fortunate to have a die-hard supporter like you.

coming elections 09, i will vote PAP for a coat of painting. LOL.

Anonymous said...

Why complain now? Who voted for PAP, in those wards who are able to vote? Come 2010 when the 'election comes'. maybe all wards will be a walkover,