Thursday, April 21, 2011
In their manifesto, the PAP claims they will help Singaporeans to cope with the rising cost of living citing those one-off election goodies as the solutions to Singaporeans woes. But Singaporeans know that the big elephants in the room are healthcare, housing, large foreign influx and transport. Unless we reform each of these, our quality of life will decline, the income gap will rise and Singaporeans will fall into poverty in greater numbers. At this late hour, it is quite incredible for the PAP to put out a manifesto that just tells us they will preserve the status quo without major changes....quite amazing to hear Mah Bow Tan say cheaper public housing will 'raid' our reserves when most people known that expensive public housing has 'raided' their ability to retire.
"Workers' Party's proposal on housing dangerous...." - Mah Bow Tan, Straits Times 21 April 2011[.Link]
"85% of Singaporeans are living in HDB flats and we intend to keep the values of these homes up. It will never go down,” said MM Lee.Link
I tell you what is really dangerous. What is really dangerous is the PAP linking our retirement to housing by draining our CPF for the purchase of HDB flats. MM Lee said recently that HDB flat prices will never drop. But we know from housing bubbles around the world governments can never artificially make housing prices go up forever relative to income. The global economy to which the Singapore economy is linked is prone to recessions and when the high price of housing fall, Singaporeans will be severely affected and this is really dangerous...and it is the PAP that endangered us with its unbalanced policies.
The PAP approach to rising healthcare cost has been to shift the rising costs to the sick and their families through means testing to keep govt expenditure which is already the lowest among developed countries down. Singaporeans today do not have universal healthcare as about 18% (1 in 5) are uninsured. Pushing more financial burden onto Singaporeans as healthcare cost rise sharply due in part to govt policies to turn Singapore into a medical hub for the rich, has strained the finances of the lower and middle income groups. We are starting to have a system in which quality and timeliness of care is sharply differentiated based on your ability to pay - further exacerbating the effects of the income gap. Khaw Boon Wan liberalised the use of Medisave for Malaysian hospitals implicitly telling those who are too poor to seek medical care in Malaysia.
The foreign talent policy grew from one that brings in selected talents to help develop the Singapore economy to one of massive influx straining our services and infrastructure. This influx has become a blunt tool for the PAP to grow the GDP by increasing the workforce headcount. The effects has been detrimental for ordinary Singaporeans who saw their wages depressed, cost of living go up and increasing structural unemployment as employers become less willing to keep older workers because they can import younger foreign ones.
The PAP manifesto of 1688 words just tells they intend to do things the same way despite the pleas of Singaporeans. The PAP is very confident (some say complacent) because it has a whole lot of pork barrel to influence voters:
"SINGAPORE : Residents in the newly-created Nee Soon Group Representation Constituency (GRC) will see their estates rejuvenated to the tune of more than S$600 million, under the area's five-year town renewal plan.", CNA, 21 April 2011[Link]
The Workers Party has presented manifesto with more than 17,000 words and within these words are ideas that will change your life for the better and put this country back on the right track. However, these words are not actionable without your support and votes to get the people behind them into parliament. I remember during the 2006 elections, Low Thia Kiang urged Singaporeans to put his A-team in Aljunied into parliament. In 2006, I was in East Coast GRC but thanks to PAP's gerrymandering, although I'm staying in the same place, I'm now in Aljunied GRC.....and I'll be voting for change.
Posting Time 12:01 PM
Posted by Lucky Tan