" If the decline in standards happens gradually, an opposition of quality will be launched. The public can sense it." - MM Lee
4.4 Also with effect from YA 2003, the top marginal personal income tax rate will be cut from 26% to 22%, with corresponding cuts in all income bands. This will reduce the tax payable by most taxpayers by 13% to 16%, saving them $620 million every year.
4.5 I have decided to raise the GST rate from 3% to 5% from 1 Jan 2003. The increase in GST is expected to raise an additional $1.3 billion of tax revenue per year. " - Lee Hsien Loong, Singapore Budget Speech 2003[Link]
Once the rapid economic transformation was over, people naturally wanted an alternative and the PAP's votes started declining. However, to maintain power, the PAP 1. controlled the media and limited the freedom of people to speak up 2. repressed of the opposition 3. modified the one man one vote system with GRCs and linking votes to upgrading. The control of the media is necessary to hide the intent of policies, make alternative approahces look unattractive and spread its propaganda. Control of the media alone is insufficient and so they repress the opposition to generate a climate of fear to make it hard for a strong alternatives to emerge. Even with these in place, the PAP is unable to halt the decline in support. For increasingly large number of Singaporeans, their support goes to"anyone but the PAP"....they don't need the opposition to have higher paper qualification or successful corporate careers but are willing to accept someone who will look out for their interests...... something Singaporeans cannot trust the PAP MPs to do anymore - their goal is the development of Singapore Inc not improving the lives of ordinary Singaporeans and in many areas this goal is divergent from the interests and needs of ordinary Singaporeans.
“We are a nation in the making. Will we make it? Am I certain we’ll get there? No, I cannot say that....I do not deceive myself for one moment that our differences of race, culture and religion will disappear" - MM Lee.
The MM Lee talks about the importance of nationhood and how hard it is to make Singapore into a nation from diverse groups of people...yet is it not the goal of the PAP to import people to grow the population? It is hard for locally born Singaporeans to bond with each other because of cultural differences but integrating hundreds of thousands of immigrants whose numbers will soon surpass that of locally born Singaporeans in a few years is okay?
"...successful transformation from a tiny fishing village to one of Asia’s — if not the world’s — most modern cities..." - [Link]
Don't you find it strange and insulting that Straits Times reporters write about Singapore being a tiny fishing village before the PAP was in charge of the place? Our forefathers came all the way from China and India braving the dangerous voyage to look for opportunities in a "tiny fishing village"? There are no tiny fishing villages in China and India? Our forefathers had no brains? Just one example of the "truth" they are trying to spread with this new book...the real truth about Singapore in the 1950s before the PAP is found here.
The book is 450 pages thick.....based on the extracts I've read, it will impress only those who have lost the ability to think. Along with the myths about the PAP leadership that they want to perpetuate and the justification (more like excuses) for every wrong that the man has been done...(bankrupting and jailing opponents simply because he felt they were 'duds') is this distorted view that Singapore's success is due primarily to the PAP. Today economic miracles are not so rare among East Asian countries e.g. Taiwan, S. Korea, Japan. Taiwan & S. Korea succeeded under authoritarian govts and continued to thrive after they became full blown democracies debunking the myth they could succeed only under strong dominant one party leadership. The book Hard Truths tries to pay up the myth that Singapore has succeeded because of a small group of elites and ideas of one man. In doing so, they tried to washed away the contributions of millions of ordinary citizens who formed the number 1 workforce in the world for many decades - a hardworking workforce that never went on strike, a workforce that accepted low pay, little benefits and long hours. This collection of myths released just before elections are held is a feeble attempt to persuade Singaporeans to continue supporting the man and his ideas..... the longer the PAP cling on to these so-called 'hard-truths', the faster it will be voted out....because a growing number of Singaporeans can see through the propaganda and know what needs to be done to have a better future for themselves and their families.