Sunday, March 04, 2012

Changing Budget Allocation to meet changing needs...

UPDATE: Yesterday many MPs spoke up in parliament to question the size of the defense budget. There is no question that Singapore needs strong defense, however, the size of our defense spending appear to be disproportionate to our needs and threats. I applaud the MPs for having the courage to take on this subject. Its no longer enough for the defense minister to just the amount by simply standing up in parliament to say the spending is needed because we are small and vulnerable because such arguments lack logic and are not quantifiable. In light of the rising poverty and income gap, the defense budget can no longer be a blank cheque. It has to be scruitinised the same way our health care spending is scrutinised. Otherwise, it will weaken our social compact and endanger our long term stability as a nation. 

Big defence budget questioned by MPs
inSharemy paper


Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012


SINGAPORE - Many MPs yesterday called for a review of the defence budget as they felt it is too big.


They suggested the money could go towards the country's social spending instead.


Opposition MP for Aljunied GRC Pritam Singh said that the region's security architecture and good military relations give reason to be "relatively positive about the low probability of outright military conflict breaking out in the region".
END OF UPDATE
The moment WP spoke about improving the lives of Singaporeans by having better safety nets, the PAP responded by using words like "Nigerian Scam" and arguing that higher social spending will lead to high taxes and govt debt.  So much for 1st world parliamentary debates. The conclusions are formed even before we do a decent analysis, work the cost and decide how we should pay for measures that will improve the lives of ordinary Singaporeans.  If the PAP is determined to improve the lives of Singaporeans, it has the means to do it. We shouldn't get into debt but if tax reform can yield better outcomes to the majority of Singaporean families and narrow the large income gap why is the PAP  so averse to it?  But even before we consider changes to the tax code,  there is plenty that can be achieved by examining the way our budget is allocated.

In the US while most politicians agree that balancing the budget is essential , ideological differences between major parties result in a long drawn debate. The Republicans resist all efforts to raise taxes and cut defense spending and the Democrats will resist cuts in social spending and want to raise taxes. Obama tries to stand in the middle and sometimes takes the heat from both sides. The American public wants some of the tax cuts reversed, some social spending cuts, and defense budget to be cut. Here in Singapore, things have been one-sided for 4 decades. We get policy extremes seen here that is not seen anywhere else in the world.

A few days ago, I looked a friend lecturing at our local university. He was not around. One of his colleagues told me that he was overseas to recruit students for his research programme. If you look at the roster of researchers and PhD students in our universities and research institutes, it is filled with foreigners. The reason for this is very simple. In the past few years, the govt has been spending billions on R&D more than what the we can take up and capacity has to be expanded by funding foreign students to take up graduate studies here. The end result we hope to see is transition of this research to industry and ultimately get results that show up in  our economy. Very little transition has taken place for the amount of money spent, yet the PAP continues to spend on it because they believe in it - so every year we spend millions to educate the children of foreigners waiting for outcomes to materialize. Okay fine. But contrast that with what is going on at the other end of education spectrum. Every year thousands of Singaporean children from poor or broken families enter primary 1 without proper preschool education because it is not compulsory. This is left to self-help groups that try to do something for these children so they can have a better start in life - last year 300 lucky under-privileged students received a $10 four week Bridging Programme at Bottle Tree Park[Link] with this 4-weeks of pre-school costing $10, they leap into primary one to compete with children with 2 years of kindergarten + enrichment + Montessori + Kumon etc. We have the budget to educate children of foreigners but not Singaporean children for pre-school. The money is there and it is the PAP govt that  chooses how to spend it ...and how they do this is a result of their ideology.

Today Singapore has the lowest govt spending on healthcare compared with all OECD countries. We are not just low we are an outlier if you look at the numbers. Singapore govt spends 1.5% compared with 6.2% average among OECD countries. As healthcare cost increases, the PAP govt has been keeping the healthcare expenditure low by shifting the rising cost by increase the healthcare burden of the sick and their families. There cases of Singaporeans selling their homes[Link] and going to Malaysia for treatment[Link] as a result of this policy. Many more are at risk because they are under-insured or have no health insurance as the cost of healthcare goes up. While extreme parsimony is applied to healthcare spending which cause enormous financial burden and pain to ordinary Singaporeans, it takes a different attitude when it comes to spending on defense. Australia spends 9.8% on healthcare and 1.8% [Link]of its GDP on defense. Japan's expenditure on defense is 1% and in Mauritus it is zero after the govt did a study and ascertained that the globalization, world trade and new geo-political structures has eliminated the need for defense spending and all such spending would go to waste[Link].

Singapore\s defense spending is very high at 4.9% of GDP. This year it has been raised further by 4.3%[Link] and is set to reach 25% of govt spending. In Australia it is 7.3% of govt spending and even the the US, a  super-power, spends 20% on defense[Link]. Even Israel, a nation constantly under threat, spends 15% of its govt budget[Link] on defense lower than the 25% that the PAP govt spends on defense. While the Israelis spend more when defense spending is measured as a % of the GDP (6.3%), they balance this with high social spending so that as a whole defense spending takes a smaller proportion of the national budget compared with Singapore. The Israelis know the importance of social cohesion and you cannot maintain the security of a country by not properly balancing your defense spending with social spending - behind your weapons are ordinary citizens and your success depends on whether he feels whether the system has been just and equal.  The imbalance in healthcare+social spending vs defense spending reflects the ideological positioning of the PAP govt. The defense spending has been kept at a fixed allocation of the GDP and not adjusted based on changes in external environment. This has resulted in defense spending growing far faster than that of our neighbors and today, Singapore spends almost as much on defense as the combined spending of Malaysia and Indonesia.

Defense is very important for a small nation like Singapore, however, if  this spending is not adjusted based on changes in geopolitics and threats but simply increased year after year as a fix allocation of GDP, it will hurt us in the longer term. The threats have shifted from all out war to low intensity conflicts as surrounding nations plug into the the grid of global trade and democratize their political systems to shift power from the rule of strongmen dictators to the people. This means we have more time to build longer term defense capabilities and lengthen our acquisition cycles for hardware to delay obsolesce. Most bloggers avoid commenting on defense spending as there is a lack of information in this area which has been kept secret and our knowledge military hardware  is limited to the Jane's  Defense Weekly and the Changi Airshow held several weekends ago - when you have a big budget, its like the IT Show, there is no limit to the amount you can spend to build capabilities and you don't necessarily limit this to what you need because the money is there for you to spend. Today defense spending is planned by people with a vested interest to see it increased  every year - by those who have build careers on our defense spending and what is more alarming is the increased number of ex-SAF generals and admirals in the ranks of our political leadership which makes it hard to correct the imbalance we are seeing in our budget allocation.

Former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew was asked about defense spending and this is a piece of hard truth that came from him:

"We are not vulnerable? They can besiege you. You’ll be dead,......‘If we are not vulnerable, why do we spend 5 to 6 per cent of GDP (gross domestic product) year after year on defence/. ‘Are we mad? This is a frugal government." - Lee Kuan Yew

Notice the circular logic here. Because we spend more we have to be vulnerable otherwise we are mad. With this logic billions in defense spending is justified? ...True reform means we have to think deeper and harder about this hard truth.

The PAP  lean towards an ideological extreme that will not gain acceptance in the long term - they have won elections by limiting political freedom of its citizens, repressing opponents using lawsuits and detention without trial, using estate upgrading to gain votes and controlling the media. We see no real determination to change anything at this point in time and the gap between what the PAP wants to do and what the people want them to do grows much faster than the change they are willing to make in the system. The debate on the budget reflects the growing divide - the WP was merely asking what almost every Singaporean wants yet their request engendered only harsh responses and wild baseless accusations from a govt that does not want fundamental change. The ratio of our healthcare spending to our defense spending show the gap between the needs of the people and ideological leanings of a govt that has lost its way after 40 years of semi-authoritarian leadership.

78 comments:

Anonymous said...

Our defence spending is too high.

The concept is wrong. Just cut off the water, food, fuel and medicine... supplies to Singapore, no matter how strong is the army it is of no use.

I am not against it, but the spending is too high.

Anonymous said...

"The PAP lean towards an ideological extreme that will not gain acceptance in the long term - they have won elections by limiting political freedom of its citizen, repressing opponents using lawsuits and detention without trial, using estate upgrading to gain votes and controlling the media."
Lucky Tan

Even if this is true, how come PAP is still considered the best available party for majority voters?

Why is the opposition not united? Why so many chiefs?

Why only 6 MPs and already one got problem?

Even if PAP is bad, doesn't mean opposition cannot be good what, right or not? So why is opposition worse as per above?

Lye Khuen Way said...

Lucky, you have written ,as usual a damn good piece ! The Israelists must be wondering if Iran is targeting us !

Seriously, the Bogeyman line do not scare me much. Rather the lack of homeland security. Only now, I read of the re-introduction of our man-in-blue on bikes !

Anonymous said...

As long as good people can make a lot of money and have good life, why would they want to join opposition?

So opposition not enough good people lah.

And also if good people are really concerned, at most they just blog lah, like Lucky Tan.

So most likely PAP will win again in GE 2016, just like in GE 2011, simply because they will still remain the best available.

Anonymous said...

Lucky,

Thank you for your article.

It take time, passion and knowledge to write that.

A lot of people are reading it.

So the Phew And Phew has asign some workers to check your blog.

They got stone throw stone, no stone throw sand, no sand throw feather. no one bother what they wrote.

Anonymous said...

High defence spending is a strong deterrent to others not to attack us.

So the best way to defend ourselves is not having to fight a war in the first place.

Of course there is issue of cost to high defence spending lah, but like many other costs and issues, if PAP can win elections, it will not be an issue.

Anonymous said...

U need to understand the Defense Budget is a 'BIG' revenues for those GLCs under Temasek Holding! It is shifting $ from left pocket to right pocket. U can guess which GLC need this Defense Budget to sustain themselves even though it is listed on SGX. The problem is our GLCs can't make it on global platform for survival in term of sustainable advantage in 'REAL commercial business. One good example is ST Engineering, for over 30yrs plus, they still cannot launch themselves onto the global commercial landscape. Too many ex-COL, General, and armed forces ppls running the show. It is liken to a headless chicken running amok... very sad.

Veritas said...

And much of the government spendings goes into the fat paycheck of civil service.

A rule of thumb that an average graduate performer will hit around 5k on their 5th year.

My take is PAP is using high salary to hide years of mismanagement in civil service.

Our public sector job has incur bad reputation of rampant politiking, amakudari and were despised by many of us.

Their dignity are saved by their fat paycheck.

TokyoSingaporean said...

The huge budget on defense is to signal to the rich investors and millionaires who intend to keep their money at low tax exemptions, that they could do so in Singapore.

I see no significant strong determination on the Singaporeans to effect a concerted effort to change or reverse these policies.

This weekend edition of Asahi Shimbun had an article on Singapore. It speaks of the government seeking to put a focus on Mandarin as China is growing.

Japan has gotten universal healthcare and pension right. Singapore is 20 years behind its policies.

It is my observation that the people of Singapore are the ones supporting these disuniting and uncaring policies. But the apathy is rife in Singapore to want to effect any change.

Many Singaporeans do not know how much short-changed they are, being the citizens in the island.

Cheers!

Anonymous said...

"A rule of thumb that an average graduate performer will hit around 5k on their 5th year."

This is untrue. I'm still at $4.4k after 6 years.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lucky,

I agree with TokyoSingaporean.

The fact of the matter is that Singapore is a city state and not a country.

I read the news in the japanese papers too and it says Singapore is a city state.

In a city state, you can what you can and leave as soon as you can. You may disagree but I feel the earlier to come to this realisation, the better your retirement situation will be.

This is not home. In a home, the people are taken care of of their fundamentals.

In singapore, it is better to die than to fall sick.

Our government is now doing the radical on immigration inflows as it's now a question of survival, sir.

It's a question of political survival. Did you know...the Commnunity Centers send letter to new PRs to join in the festivities and are offered at the point of receiving a PR that they'll be granted citizenship if they stayed in Singapore for a mere 2 years?

The powers is already planning for 2016 and come 2016, the face of Singaporean voters will change.

They were be significant new citizens voting as they'll be above 21 years old.

Veritas said...

////
"A rule of thumb that an average graduate performer will hit around 5k on their 5th year."

This is untrue. I'm still at $4.4k after 6 years.
////

If you are 1st class NTU/NUS, your starting pay is 4k. Police and CD have it on their website.

I am familiar with MOE. The 1st class male is around 4k as well while no honors is around low 3k.

Every year if you get above D u get around yearly hike $250 (infomation is volatile and subject to change).

Promotion 1A1 @ 1++ year after NIE will u get around $200-300.

Above average and some average performer 5 years above NIE got 1A2. This give you around 400-500 raise.

Assuming you are 3rd class honor, you should hit around 5k in 5 years, and stagnant there.

Other civil service are more or less the same. Of course there are high flyers that don fit the rules.

And also, civil service need to condemn alot of people every year on quota of 5-10%, maybe more.

So alot of their condemn case go to new bird. By the end of the years and years of Darwin jungle law, those who survive in civil service are the most wicked, most useless, and for girls, the prettiest bitch around.

I am expecting to see more fireworks on civil service.

Veritas said...

I forgot to mention, in MOE, kana condemn, no promotion, no pay rise for 2 years. Your boss will shout your condemnation on roof top and instigate your colleague to give you some kicks on your backside.

In the end of the day, civil service is extremely well paid, for survival. Their odious reputation is well-known.

They are sickening crackpot, but you go to every schools, you will find parking lots brimming with cars. You may despise them but they are going to remind everyone that they are richer than most of us.

This is how our monies being spent. To prop up a bunch of corrupt madmen.

PAP would not spend even a single cent helping the poor.

Anonymous said...

//By the end of the years and years of Darwin jungle law, those who survive in civil service are the most wicked, most useless, and for girls, the prettiest bitch around. // anon 23:10

This applies for teaching too. When so many of the principals, vice-principals, HODs, SH, LH, and teachers spend the better part of their energies playing cloak-and-dagger games with each other, you will understand why your kids need tuition.

Parents need to send their kids for pre-school enrichment or tuition because their MOE teachers are too busy to teach. At least in the enrichment centres, the teachers there focus only on teaching, leaving the MOE teachers free to do their non-teaching duties which would improve their promotion chances.

We spend so much money on education. But it doesn't mean the money is spent wisely and meaningfully. Singapore's education system is a flop. If not for tuition, our distinction rates and test scores in international exams will fall off a cliff.

Anonymous said...

"High defence spending is a strong deterrent to others not to attack us". Unquote.

Just hope that Singaporeans will be able to be at peace among themselves!

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Xianlong said...

Najib is more interested in making $$ than a conflict. KTM land exchanged for prime real estate in cbd. 1st Premium Outlet sited in Johor to attract sgreans to spend $$ there.

Big expenditures on expensive high tech weapons ain't worth much when the soldier operating it is low in morale in a tiny island already swarmed with so many foreigners that it no longer feels like home.

Anonymous said...

Lucky:

Thank you for another thought provoking article.

Why do we even spend so much on defence when we're already a defeated country?

A couple of decades ago, we were actively harping on Total Defence; military, civil, economic, social and psychological defence.

Today, we may spend much on military and civil defence but psychologically, our young men and reservists are questioning who we're defending for, socially, we're divided into elites and non-elites and economically, the enemies are already at the gate with our MNCs, SMEs and GLC flooded at all levels with foreigners...

Why even the need to defend externally then?

Johny Wayne said...

I wish I had a PM like yours in my country. The author of this blog is too stupid to acknowledge this simple truth, because he is living in one of the most richest countries in the world. He cant understand that social spending organised by country is ALWAYS inefficient - read books, newspapers form different countries,e.g. Europe - the social haven of the world (what a pity that people who lives there don't think that).

In my opinion people like author of this blog should be exiled from country if they are unhappy with what the have - especially when we are considering economic liberties of the ordinary people (author is against liberties, he thinks he knows better what is good for people). He wants you to pay more taxes so he can make you happy.

Anonymous said...

as long as disagreeing rudely with Anything the opposition says is more important than seeing if there is any merit in what the opposition says, this country can only keep on moving backwards.

in short, the PAP today sees its survival as more important than singapore's.

one can have the best defence machines in the world, but if people dont have the heart to fight, then how?

are the rich really going to step up to the line? far easier to take a boat or plane out of the country, no? and why would the poor stand up for a country that has not offered them a helping hand but instead underlined that they are a useless bunch who deserve their lot?

however, after water, electricity and food are cut off, isn't it rather pointless to fight? especially when half the people you are fighting for are foreigners?

anyway, these days, it would seem the enemy is within.

Anonymous said...

We may be spending billions on defence and education, but it doesn't mean that the money is properly spent.

For example, education is the 2nd highest sending in our Budget. Yet, the overwhelming majority of our student need tuition. Kiasu parents is only one part of the equation. There are many more students who need tuition because their teachers are not teaching properly or not teaching at all in school.

I have given private tuition to students from both neighbhourhood and branded schools. And in both cases, it can be shocking to know that their classroom teacher is too tired and too distracted with their other duties to even teach properly. My friends in teaching also tell me that teaching well does not add value to their career progress as teachers. I have heard this from enough teachers from various school to realize this ugly truth about the real state of education in Singapoe.

Anonymous said...

Amazing that Tharman dares to say something like this. Singapore's public debt size is number 15 in the world:

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2186rank.html

Relative to the size of GDP, we are worse than France, Germany, UK, US, Canada, which all have much better social security than Singapore.

Our public debt is 96.3% of our GDP, about twice that of Sweden (36.8%), Denmark (46.9%), Norway (48.4%), Finland (48.6%), Switzerland (52.4%) -- countries with the most generous social safety nets in the world.

What ever happen to Swiss standards of living? What's the point of working so hard if every cent you earn is going to be squandered by GIC and Temasek?

Do you want your hardearned money to be squandered on Suzhou Industrial Park, Optus, Micropolis, Shin Corp, Merrill Lynch, Peter Cooper Village, UBS,....?

Wouldn't you prefer that your money goes towards building a social safety net for when you retire, fall sick, or lost your job?

Anonymous said...

"My friends in teaching also tell me that teaching well does not add value to their career progress as teachers."
Anon 5/3/12 07:26

That's why teachers must teach smart, not well.

Workers must work smart, not hard.

And luckily for the PAP, majority voters (60%) also vote smart.

Hahahahaha.

Anonymous said...

A strong defence is useful only if the gov is capable of and willing to use it when the time comes. More on this later... Otherwise it's just like playground little boys threatening each other with violence over some small issues or ego-bruising.
But the problem is if S'pore fights a war wit M'sia or Indo, regardless of which side wins, the region will become worst than Middle East after the 1973 Yom Kippur war. It will be one race or religion against another. Throw in the interests of regional powers (China) and the US - peace will never return.
Given this, is it wise to spend so much?

Anonymous said...

"Given this, is it wise to spend so much?"
Anon 5/3/12 08:06

You still did not get it. Go and read Anon 4/3/12 21:55

Anonymous said...

Hey Johny Wayne,

You must be one of those tea party wing nut. Right wing ideological garbage like "social spending organised by country is ALWAYS inefficient" has long been debunked in Economics. Go get an education.

Anonymous said...

"Today, we may spend much on military and civil defence but psychologically, our young men and reservists are questioning who we're defending for, socially, we're divided into elites and non-elites and economically, the enemies are already at the gate with our MNCs, SMEs and GLC flooded at all levels with foreigners...

Why even the need to defend externally then?"
Anon 5/3/12 00:52

Why? Because PAP has at least 60% mandate at every election and they formed the govt. That's why.

Ser Ming said...

Good morning Lucky,

Just like to thank you for putting in effort for yet another good piece of writing.

Thank you!

Enlightened World Citizen said...

Hey Veritas,

You're quoting present day figures. But there are not many first class or honours graduate in MOE to begin with. Most won't opt for teaching for various reasons apart from the 3 year bond.

Most teachers are earning around 4k even after 6 years of teaching, taken 1A1 grading.

It is true these days that younger teachers earn more in Connect plan - a device use to keep teachers going in the fraternity after the pension was removed and discipline in schools becoming worse.

The issue about politics in schools has a lot to do with the quality of leaders in the school, in particular the principals.

Most MOE principals lack leadership and are in the position not from quality work, rather they spend time learning key knowledge and spend time politiking.

Some principals only have 5 years of teaching experience and yet they sit on lesson observations of teachers who has over 25 years of teaching experience.

Why the anomaly? This is Singapore. Many things are an anomaly.

The reason is Singaporeans are bullied by their own government.

There are only 3 million Singaporeans, folk. How effective a change can a divided people of 3 million bring about a change?

It is for this reason, I urge singaporeans below the age of 45 to build a life outside singapore and collect the money that government gives to buy your vote before each election. There will be another ang pow comin up in 2016.

Having said that, if you want a social safety net in Singapore, it is not going to come unless there is a fundamental change in government. This won't happen in the next 20 years. Don't count on it. It will not happen.

I'd reckon working overseas would enhance your state of affairs than being in Singapore where you're treated as a non-elite by definition.

I urge young singaporean males and their young families to find work overseas and live out of singapore. You will get a better deal for your progeny.

Do not expect things to change from mere bloggin.

Be realistic and save some cash for a change over. There's plenty of offers on the net.

Give up on Singapore. Just as the governmnet has given up on you guys for the past 15 years.

Anonymous said...

Look at the resistance from PAP MPs when WP urged the government in "improving the lives of Singaporeans by having better safety nets". The PAP has budget allocated for the education of the foreigners from Secondary to PHD level, budget allocated for the on the overblown YOG budget, budget allocated to buy new buses for SMRT, budget allocated for programmes to integrate foreigners, budget to widen and build the rivers at Bishan Park and Punggol Park, big budget
allocated for defence spending, etc.
But revenue to budget to improve the lives of Singaporeans by having better safety netsmust come from increase in income tax. Look at how PAP MPs, in particular those who are converted Singaporeans, have no welfare of Singaporeans at heart at all.

Anonymous said...

Enlightened World Citizen 5/3/12 11:03

Wow, you really wrote an enlightening piece.

No need to say more.

Anonymous said...

"Look at how PAP MPs, in particular those who are converted Singaporeans, have no welfare of Singaporeans at heart at all."
Anon 5/3/12 12:32

Whatever lah, as long as they are stood on a PAP ticket at elections, they will have at least a 93% chance of becoming MP, thanks to GRCs and the 60%.

Anonymous said...

"We spend so much money on education. But it doesn't mean the money is spent wisely and meaningfully. Singapore's education system is a flop. If not for tuition, our distinction rates and test scores in international exams will fall off a cliff."

I agree totally being a parent of three school-going children and an ex-teacher knowing how things work in our schools.

Anonymous said...

I suspect why so much money is spent on our Defence is to support our GLCs such as ST Engineering which would not be able to survive if not for the business from Mindef. It is a case of money transfer from the tax-payers as profits to these GLCs which rely mainly on business from the Mindef. The profits earned from the GLCs are in turn transferred to Temasek holdings which the main share holders. Look how clever our government is able to make money form its people. The money made locally to compensate for all their investment loss overseas.

Anonymous said...

"I suspect why so much money is spent on our Defence is to support our GLCs such as ST Engineering which would not be able to survive if not for the business from Mindef."
Anon 5/3/12 12:50

Is that so? I thought they buy a lot of high tech weapons from overseas what, like from the US and Europe. Even submarines also have. ST Engineering made submarine??

So these overseas arms suppliers made money from our high defence spending what.

That's why these advanced weapons are a deterrent against potential aggressors.

Chan JY said...

Personally, I don't want any safety nets. I just want fewer regulations and less unfair competition coming from "private" companies virtually owned by the government.

Many consumers buy the argument that regulations protect them. In fact, many of these regulations force businesses to cut corners in order to survive. The regulatory bodies either aren't aware of that, or they come up with restrictive regulations for the sole purpose of avoiding blame when something bad happens.

Anonymous said...

All of you raise good questions.
Let's make our lives simpler.

Vote in more Opposition in GE 2016.
They will ask these same questions under parliamentary privileges.
They can't be sued for what they say or ask in parliament.

But we can be sued for what we post in the blogs.

Vote Opposition in GE 2016.

Anonymous said...

Do not think that our taxes are low. We have first world taxes in the form of GST, road taxes, COEs and other form of levys imposed on us.
At least in other countries, the high taxes paid by citizens goes back to them in the form of welfare and pension.

Anonymous said...

"Do not think that our taxes are low. We have first world taxes in the form of GST, road taxes, COEs and other form of levys imposed on us."

The tax burden in Singapore falls primarily on the commoners. These are taxes that affect primarily the middle and lower class. They have little effect on the wealthy.

For the affluent and corporations, our taxes are very, very low by any standards. Our tax system is not progressive enough. Compared to other advanced economies, the poor in Singapore pay a lot more in taxes than the rich.

Anonymous said...

The incumbent party has some messed up priorities - Housing and Health being low on that list, while keeping the fat cats in the military happy and buying new military vehicles to stroke their ego being of much more importance.

What happened to Singapore for Singaporeans and leaving no one behind eh?

Nice work calling the old man out on his circular logic. Makes one wonder how he passed his bar exam with faulty reasoning like that. With that kind of flawed thinking, no wonder the whole party ideology is screwed up.

Anonymous said...

"Nice work calling the old man out on his circular logic."

Lee Kuan Yew is a stupid man. Look at the astonishing amount of silly garbage he believes in (e.g. eugenics) and the constant stream of blunders he has made (e.g. Suzhou Industrial Park) throughout his life.

So many have been hoodwinked by his first class honors from Cambridge they failed to judge him based on his actual achievements, of which there are hardly any.

It's time to realize that the success of Singapore is due largely to the hard work of Singaporeans and its prime geographical location. Stupid man Lee Kuan Yew has nothing to do with it.

Anonymous said...

"You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain."

Harvey Dent from the movie "The Dark Knight"

What a fitting eulogy.

Anonymous said...

The pap is incapable of change. LKY's harsh and extreme ideologies have been too deeply entrenched into the pap's DNA. This is the pap's major handicap which will eventually lead to its' downfall and decline. Any organisation so attached to the past must fail and disappear from the scene. If the WP can attract sufficient numbers of dedicated and talented people of integrity, it will form the next government. That I am confident.

Anonymous said...

"If the WP can attract sufficient numbers of dedicated and talented people of integrity, it will form the next government. That I am confident."
Anon 5/3/12 21:24

Hahahaha. You should read and re-read Anon 4/3/12 21:45

Anonymous said...

PAP can give millions dollars of scholarships to foreigners to study in our secondary schools, junior colleges, polytechnics and universities.

BUT

PAP is so stingy to provide just enough help so that Singaporeans can live lives with dignity.

No wonder PAP's mindset about Singaporeans can be summed up by a quote from a generous man:

"How much do you want? Do you want three meals in a hawker centre, food court or restaurant?"

Anonymous said...

Not easy to attract people to opposition lah.

Or else opposition would have achieved it in GE 2011 already.

In fact, just only 9 months and things have become worse.

Anonymous said...

A typical Singapore school is made up of about 50 full time staffs consisting of principals, vice principals, HODs, teachers, operation managers, admin managers, admin support staffs.

Stand outside any school. Count the number of cars that are parked in the carpark. Typically, you can count about 20 to 30 cars. That is to say that about 40% to 60% of the MOE staffs working in the school own at least one car.

Now, you visit any factory located in the industrial estate or any commercial building located in Raffles Place.

A typical factory can employ about 300 peoples. Look around at the carpark outside the factory. You can easily count that there are less than 30 cars parked in the carparks. That is to say that there are less than 10% of peoples employed in the factories own a car.

A typical commercial building can employ about 1000 peoples. Look around at the basement carpark or carpark outside the building. You can easily count that there are less than 150 cars parked in the carparks. That is to say that there are less than 15% of peoples employed in the commercial building own a car.


What can we conclude by examining the number of cars owned by staffs employed by MOE (typically this can be extended to any departments in the civil service), employees of factories and staffs employed by companies located in the commercial buildings?

Civil service employees are the highest paid so more of these employees have more money to own cars.

Employees of Companies located in the commercial buildings are paid medium level so some of the employees can afford to own cars if they are at senior levels and because the rest are only paid modestly, they cannot afford to own cars.

Employees of factories are the lowest paid so most employees do not have the money to own cars and only senior management level employees and bosses have the money to own cars.

Anonymous said...

"Employees of Companies located in the commercial buildings are paid medium level so some of the employees can afford to own cars if they are at senior levels and because the rest are only paid modestly, they cannot afford to own cars."
Anon 5/3/12 23:03

Why care whether they highly paid or not or own cars or not?

Are the 60% who voted PAP in GE 2011 all own cars and well paid?

Anonymous said...

Money is not a problem. There are plenty hidden away. There are over $1 trillion in hidden reserves. At a return of 6% as claimed by LKY the income from our reserves is $60 billion a year. This is more that the total government expenditures.

Anonymous said...

//Vote in more Opposition in GE 2016.
They will ask these same questions under parliamentary privileges.
They can't be sued for what they say or ask in parliament.//

Let me get this off my chest.

Go get yourself organized and I truly mean 'solidly organized".

Whether WP, SDP or whatever P, recruit and put in good candidates who want have the passion and brain to serve.

Then keep your infighting, defection and housekeeping mess to the minimal because it just doesn't reflect well on your state of affairs. Not saying you cover up (like some very experienced MIW do very well), but at the very least, show some basic good management and judgment skills.

If you wait till last minute to announce your team and ask for donation, you can't organized shit. I won't lay a vote on you no matter you have an oxbridge degree or what not. You have to find someone who can complement and help you.

So you have 4 years to 2016, get organized. Otherwise, counting on playing the 'underdog' advantage will eventually run off.

What people want to see - is a credible team that will take on the govt , not just check and balance.

Your last chance is now (leading to 2016) or never. Because the demographics changed and is game over.

Anonymous said...

"What people want to see - is a credible team that will take on the govt , not just check and balance."
ANON: 6/3/12 11:01

I disagree with ANON above.

40% votes = 6 Opposition MPs
80% votes = 12 Opposition MPs

This is due to gerrymandering.
There will be no freak election results in GE 2016.
PAP will win again.

This is everything to do with checks and balances.

So Vote Opposition in GE 2016 to get your checks & balances.

But don't dream of replacing PAP in government.
It will not happen because of gerrymandering.

Anonymous said...

Tharman should just understand this simple point when prioritizing Budget allocation --

if Singaporeans DIE due to inadequate money to seek adequate healthcare, then (i) there is NOTHING for us to defend since our resource is mainly human resource, and (ii) there will be NO SINGAPOREANS to defend this country for you.

Easy to comprehend Tharman?

Anonymous said...

But which companies are the ones benefiting from the BILLIONS of dollars in defense spending? Mostly PAP's GLCs, and the Americans.

Anonymous said...

40% votes = 6 Opposition MPs
80% votes = 12 Opposition MPs

---

So you are saying UNLESS you get 100% of the votes (which is Utterly Impossible) PAP is un-seatable!?!

If that is the case, what is the point of having an election? Then I suggest you put this out to the mass public, and ask them whether that is ACCEPTABLE! This is a FRAUD!!

And if not, get the constitution going for Representative Vote System !!

WTF are we all doing here pretending there is a democracy?

Anonymous said...

http://newasiarepublic.com/?p=30358

The idiot who doesn't know the math should not shoot off his hips...read this on electoral vote

fed up singaporean said...

The citizens need to recognise the sad fact of this PAP govt; it does not care about the people. Look behind the philosophy of LKY and you can see how his ingrained prejudices affects his logic and approach towards the country.

First,safety net is welfare and bad for managing people. As an elistist, you are smart / capable you survive in the system. If you cannot, too bad; the law of the jungle will weave you out of existence.

Second, racist elistism is the supreme of order of life. The top 5% will rule the rest of the society. Therefore fold this group into my Way and take care of them. don't worry about the rest as they are too stupid to know how to break free.

This is the PAP mindset and this government that will never respect, take care and give due equality / opportunity to the citizen perse.

Anonymous said...

So they are paying out heaps of money now to :

- NS men
- Civil Servants
- Teachers
- Bus Drivers /cleaners/workers etc

buying out votes ahead of 2016. And where are the money going to come from funding these? Of course, instead of letting market forces to decide, in this ""unique circumstances" they can claim later that they have raised people's salaries ...their goal is 30% in 10yrs time. All good, but also be prepared for goods and services to go up.

Anonymous said...

Typical of PAP.
People asking for shorter NS, and they pay them more for allowance.
Throwing money to solve a problem.

The soldiers are already defeated (morale) even before your 25% of defence spent can be utilized in the batter field. Don't they get it?!

Just answer the people - how many Foreign Talents-turned-New-Citizens have already started serving NS to prove the success of their immigration scheme in past decade? People are just tired to defend the 30% of locusts who contribute nothing other than taxes, while our men are out there fighting for their lives even.

Anonymous said...

PAP govt don't care if you are "native singaporeans' or 'new singaporeans'. As long as they can 'get' singaporeans they will.

Just like your TCJ asking - Do you want to build roads/houses for your future grandchildren or save graves/roads to remember your dead grandparents.

If every "present citizens" have to make decisions for the "future citizens" 50 years in advance, then what's the point of living in the present? It just totally defeats the purpose..no wonder we are always such an unhappy lot..looking towards future danger, future happiness, future this and that.

People should vote for a "future govt" that you want for your grandchildren. Think carefully what kind of govt this PAP will continue to be 50years down the road, and when tomorrow come, vote wisely.

Anonymous said...

This MIW think they are so far-sighted and visionary that they can project 50years ahead of everybody, trying to play god.

50 years ago, did LKY even project this thing called the Internet?
50 years ago, did anybody project how nuclear weapons could turn into such a threat?

Maybe,
50 years later, a new kind of bio-terror in your home grown which no one had anticipated will wipe off your civilians and you can sit on your shining billion dollars armour and let them rot in musuem.

50 years later, everybody will not have a border passport, and can be a citizen of any coutry they wishes to go and there's no point in serving NS for a country.

Don't talk about 50years later..just look at their 10years planning..how good a job they do.

Immigration / transport / hospital & health care/ babies / education for graduates ec..all under projected. And you want to believe their capability to project 50 years ahead?!!!!

Please lah, my toes are laughing so damn hard.

Anonymous said...

"The idiot who doesn't know the math should not shoot off his hips...read this on electoral vote"
ANON: 6/3/12 14:08

So what's your point?

Anonymous said...

we should just invest in 1 nuclear warhead and solve all the problem. No more NS and no more billions of defence spending.

S'poreans are mind controlled. said...

When Temasek Review or The Online Citizen exert an influence on the Singaporean mind, the government become fearful and try to suppress these entities.

After 46 years of PAP's overlording, the Singaporean mind has not changed.

Anonymous said...

"What people want to see - is a credible team that will take on the govt , not just check and balance."

An alarm system need not be as expensive as hiring the best commando unit or elite police to guard your house. It just needs to do its work by raising the siren when something is amiss (triggered). That is check & balance @ a decent price when you still do not have a better one.

In fact, the strategy now is to vote in any decent opposition member in order to provide whatever check & balance which is clearly lacking. Alunied GRC is smart to have done that.

Anonymous said...

As the floodgates to immigration are opened each month, we're losing more and more singaporeans of anony 5/3/12 11:03 calibre.

Anonymous said...

See how LKY play out the exceptions: British women marrying singapore men. Ukraines in army?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUMwWs44zvg

Anonymous said...

Always defence more$, but still can't mantain our local birth rate. Real failure and waste of moneys nd times.

Anonymous said...

The faults that are highlighted by all these comments are the ideals of a fascist ideology.

Wake up Singaporeans!

Anonymous said...

"In light of the rising poverty and income gap, the defense budget can no longer be a blank cheque. It has to be scruitinised the same way our health care spending is scrutinised."
Lucky Tan

Lucky Tan is an intelligent person.

So Lucky Tan should know that every 5 years PAP is subject to scrutiny not just for defence budget but everything what.

And every time, PAP passed all the scrutiny with flying colours with at least 93% seats won!

So why need more scrutiny? Why need by election in Hougang?

Anonymous said...

//An alarm system need not be as expensive as hiring the best commando unit or elite police to guard your house. It just needs to do its work by raising the siren when something is amiss (triggered).//

You are falsely assuming the theft only comes from outside intruder.

So you are for the idea that SPF/Govt just buy more CCTVs and install everywhere. Police just wait-and-catch.

Anonymous said...

"So you are for the idea that SPF/Govt just buy more CCTVs and install everywhere. Police just wait-and-catch."
Anon 7/3/12 10:09

It is to deter crime, to prevent a crime from happening.

Just like high defence spending is to deter attackers, to prevent a war from happening.

Prevention is better than cure.

Anonymous said...

"You are falsely assuming the theft only comes from outside intruder."
Anon 7/3/12 10:09

Can you prevent suicides?

Anonymous said...

IF Singaporean NS men are the first line of response & defense, then they should also be the first-line of priority when it comes to Jobs, Educations, Healthcare, Retirements.

The president's view that "Singaporeans first, does not mean Singaporeans only" does not cut. In fact, it has been the opposite.

Anonymous said...

even if taxes are zero in sg, the daily expenses like housing, transport, medical, social added up to be much more than any first world country. i will be willing to pay 30% taxes if it means lower housing, transport and medical costs for all. this fm totally misses the point of living in harmony.

Anonymous said...

this fm is totally nazi, he thinks he and his party is humans whereas the rest are animals, waiting to be slaughtered by them.

Anonymous said...

"Just like high defence spending is to deter attackers, to prevent a war from happening."

"Prevention is better than cure."

"Anon 7/3/12 10:31"

You should study china war history more (there are 3000 years of records). Direct attack is not the best. Do not lost a solider and win the war is the best.

Just cut off the supplies of Singapore is the simplest and most effective.

Do you understand!

Extra Pie said...

Just a small comment on the word bubbles, from my understanding Singapores debt is 96% of the GDP so you already have a big debt.

Now to the articles it self by lucky.

You fail to understand the Singapore system.

The Singapore system is, in theory, that you work hard study hard and succeed otherwise you die.

I am not saying it is a good or bad system, just that, that is the Singapore system.

So I am not certain that in Singapore you should have a social safety net that catches the poor.

Cover the sick - yes, give everyone a good education - yes, help people who fail – no

It is a different system you have in Singapore with its good and bad sides.

Anyway that is just my 2 cent

And of course you need to get control of the military spending.

Anonymous said...

Help those who can't help themselves even if they want to because of their condition.Not everybody situation is the same.

There are those who fall through the existing social net cracks as the cost of living in Singapore is too high for them.

Recent changes are in the right direction but still need to make sure it achieves its intended purpose.