In response to my previous posting, someone posted a comment giving 50+ reasons why one should not vote for the PAP in the coming elections. While you may agree or disagree with what Alex Tan has posted on the Internet, you have to applaud his courage for speaking up. Many Singapore may not share the same level of frustrustion with the PAP govt but there is a growing discontent with govt policies and a fairly widespread recognition of a need for change. In recent months, economists from various public and private institutions have spoken up on the negative impact of the large influx of imported labor on Singaporeans. What you should be concerned about is not just the foreign 'talent' policy itself but its deceptive implementation. When it was started more than a decade ago, the govt said that it's aim is to bring in top talent - skills that does not exist in Singapore. When the numbers rose, the PAP govt said that they were here to create jobs for Singaporeans. They have for years denied the negative impact on Singaporeans such as the widening income gap, structural unemployment and rising cost of living. As the numbers rose other reasons were invented such as low fertility among Singaporeans, I have explained that this is untrue as the workforce today was born roughly 30 years ago when our fertility rate was 3.0 and the PAP govt was trying to lower it with the 2 child policy. The real reason is very simple - the PAP govt prioritized GDP growth above other things and opened the floodgates to feed the industries dependent on low cost labor and to keep labor cost down in effect repressing the income of a large segment of the population....and they kept this going for years as many Singaporeans suffered - their interests traded away for those of businesses such as GLCs closely linked to PAP.
In the last elections, some Singaporeans were hopeful of positive changes given a change of PM and what was mistaken for his recognition of a need for change - Remaking of Singapore committe etc. Singaporeans should have taken the elections more seriously as the PAP govt tried to win not by discussing policies or the way ahead for Singapore but by promising an outlandish sum of money for estate upgrading if elected. They refused to discuss policy initiatives such as means testing during the elections. After the elections, the first acts of the newly elected PM were to up the salary of his cabinet and the GST to cut corporate tax and taxes of high income earners. All hopes for positive changes for Singaporeans were dashed as the PM showed that he was there to preserve the status quo. The increase in minister's pay was a step to preserve PAP's power as the millions paid out for ministers were no longer sufficient to attract people from their own establishment of GLCs, civil service and uniformed service. The incomes over the years were raised to ridiculous levels creating a oversized sense of entitlement of the PAP-linked elites.- the result of years of elitism practiced in the name of meritocracy. ....the same system that saw the income of the bottom 20% of Singapore household sinking to below $1200 per month - some get less for their hard labor in one year than what President Nathan get for shaking hands and smiling in one day. Something has gone very wrong and it is not the PAP's interest to fix it.
I urge all Singaporeans to take the coming elections seriously. Think about the issues clearly and rationally. Do not allow your emotions to be manipulated by propaganda. Spend time to understand the issues surrounding Singapore and its future. Look up the best available ideas and seriously think about how you want this country to be run. Take the effort to understand the plight of your fellow Singaporeans - not just of your own family. We cannot afford to remain apathetic, fearful, self-centered and quiet because the consequences will become harder and harder to accept.