"THE People's Action Party (PAP) chairman Lim Boon Heng said on Monday that a key issue that the party will fight the coming election on is the kind of future Singaporeans want for themselves and their children" - PAP will fight for Singaporens' Future,Straits Times.
I was looking through the PAP candidates and the list goes something like this - former Chief of Army, high flying civil servants, NTUC leader, a few successful bankers...and a 27-year old [Link](wife of a civil servant who is the Principal Private Secretary for the PM). These are precisely the type of candidates you would choose to preserve the status quo - people who will not rock the boat. There was once a PAP candidate whom everyone thought will bring great change to govt, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan. Remember the Remaking Singapore Committee? The outcome of that tells us there are just too many constraints to change the PAP from within. Singaporeans are pragmatic people - if the PAP can deliver the change they want, why go for the opposition? The PAP has had its chance already and after all the remaking, people can see the limitation to the rate of change and type of change the PAP is willing to make.
Lim Boon Heng now says the PAP will fight for the future of Singaporeans. Really? Lim Boon Heng was the labor chief when the floodgates was opened to foreign labor.
Without major changes to our system, our future will simply look like our past. The next 10 years will look like the past 10 years - rising cost of living, widening income gap, stagnant wages and continued deterioration of the quality of life in Singapore. In the past 10 years the real median income grew by 1.6% per year [Link]and a meager 0.3% in 2010 [Link]when the GDP growth was 14.5%. Income inequality measured by GINI grew to 0.452, the highest among developed countries. Cost of housing and medical care rose much faster than wages. There are many things not measured by numbers - stress levels, pace of life, overcrowded (public transport), job insecurity etc - that have deteriorated over time.
The PAP had the last 4 years and the last 4 decades to set things right. They had every opportunity to demonstrate to Singaporeans that Singaporeans come first and their future is the highest priority for the PAP govt. Opportunities they had and opportunities they squandered away.
"If native Singaporeans are falling behind because the spurs are not stuck into the hide, that is their problem " - MM Lee [Link]
Singapore workers clock the longest hours according to ILO's report[Link] and experience the 2nd highest stress levels in the world[Link].
The one time I see the PAP leaders fighting very hard was when they wanted to hike their world's highest pay to even higher. The PAP leaders fought against minimum wages, they fought against lowering GST, they fought against putting Singapore first in employment, they fought against suggestions to make pre-school education compulsory which will benefit children from the low income group, they fought against safety nets for the unemployed,old, sick and poor, ...over time they fought to restrict our democratic freedom -our right to assemble, right to speak in public - they bankrupted and jailed people without trial for wanting to bring about democracy, justice and equality to our society.
Now they say they will fight for Singaporeans' future which is very quickly diminished by their policy to open the floodgates to foreigners and convert them to citizens. This influx will result in a tougher future for ordinary Singaporeans - more competition for jobs, housing and cars, tougher for our children to get into good schools and places in the universities. It will mean Singaporeans struggling in the future unless something is done to bring about change in Singapore.