Monday, September 3, 2018

A Layman Response to the PM NDP Rally Speech

Dear PM Lee,

Gardens at the Airport. Medishield Life. “Affordable” HDB. Education “changes”. Each sillier than how you look in pink, and it all boils down to one trait of yours: Misplaced Priorities. You may have heard the wrong thing from the wrong person, but that doesn’t excuse you from making wrong proposals built on wrong fundamentals for Singapore. Let’s go through one by one to explain how have you compounded and worsen the existing state of affairs and the lives of 3 million Singaporeans.

1) Gardens at the Airport
Why are you doing this? We do not need more billion dollar playgrounds for foreigners. Gardens by the Bay cost $1.1 billion to build, $53 million a year to maintain [Source]. If your Project Jewel goes through, Singapore is bleeding at least $100 million every year just on maintenance alone. Have you gone out of your mind from losing too many by-elections? Why are you squandering Singaporeans’ money on billion dollar projects that serve no direct interests to Singaporeans? You could not even come up with ROI or statistical evidence in the form of tourist dollars or annual visits to these sites, and here you are happily pitching your very expensive garden to the average Singaporeans who have their bills to worry about. Also, didn’t you say you were ramping up infrastructures for a 6.9 million population [Source]? Why didn’t you use this money to build more housing, or are Singaporeans going to sleep in the airport? This proposal doesn’t solve the overcrowding problem, it worsens it.

2) Medishield Life
Universal insurance for Singaporeans is a good step in the right direction. But how much are you going to make us pay? I will reserve comments for now until I see your price list. And, if you are not going to declare the pooled Medishield fund amount to the public, how could we trust you with our money? You could be raising premiums as and when you like it, like how you always tinker with our CPF’s Minimum Sum and Withdrawal Age without public consultation [Source]. We had enough of you telling us “you cannot opt out”. Your CPF Life Annuity was like this [Source]. Why am I not allowed the choice to opt-out when you have no accountability and transparency to show of in your system? Compare yourself to the Australia Government [Source] who could detail how much withdrawals and deposits are made, how do you expect the average citizen to trust our money under your care? We are not naive PAP voters who take in every word you say. Before we part this topic, we have also not gone on to the worsening quality of healthcare in Singapore [Source], so could you please get your basics right first before introducing new ideas?

3) “Affordable” HDB
This is where I can safely conclude you are stupid. Take the 2 room flat for example, do you know how much is the initial deposit and how long will it take a $1000 earner to raise it? What is affordable when you have to take a 25 year debt? You are encouraging irresponsible parents to take up huge loans and pass on the debt over to their children. Playing with skewed statistics do not work on Singaporeans with less than half a brain. How much profit is the HDB earning through BTO flats after construction costs? What about the profit earned in interests from Singaporeans holding mortgage loans through HDB? You are right when you said you are a housing agent, because like one, your salary is funded partly through Buyer’s Stamp Duty and annual property taxes. And your monthly financial projections that concludes how “affordable” HDB is? That is amateurish; voters like me are simply aghast at your $4000-salary-for-4-rm-flat joke. You should either leave the job of telling incomplete truth to the Straits Times, or resign to be a full time stand-up comedian in US making jokes about China [Source].

4) Education “changes”
Ok so you changed the point system to a L1R5-like band system. So what? You reserved 40 seats for non-affiliated enrolment in top schools. You allow Normal Stream students to take the O levels. Is this Change or coins in your pockets? It is hard to understand how are these going to stamp out elitism and reduce stress on Singaporean students. Band-chasing is going to put less stress on students than mark-chasing? Going to school with non-elites will make children of your fellow PAP MPs and Ministers less elitist? When we talk about Education “changes”, nothing has been mentioned about the lack of university places and the uphill costs of tertiary education. Right when you are calling every foreigner holding a degree “talent”, you are doing nothing to help aspiring Singaporeans obtain their degrees, so please, cut the hypocrisy and keep your change.

Despite your ludicrous proposals, there are also many issues you conveniently swerved out of – foreigner population, cost of living, COE prices, public transport breakdowns, inadequacy for retirement, media control, widening income gap, increasing corruption cases, depressed salaries, unfair NS treatment, dipping standard of living resulting in growing unhappiness among the people. These are important and valid concerns raised not just yesterday, but umpteen times in nearly every feedback channel, and your apparent overlook shows that you do not care.

In all honesty, you should resign. Your incompetence and misplaced priorities will ruin Singaporeans. If your idea of a Singapore is a mix of little India, little China and little Philippines, please say so earlier so we Singaporeans could all make our emigration plans.

Deluded Singaporean
Alex Tan

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