Ten uncomfortable statements made by our Prime Minister at last night National Day rally:-
1. Earn less than $1000 can buy HDB flat – to compound the misery of low wage Singaporean workers, our PM states that if you earn $1000 and below you can now buy 2-room HDB flat. The previous low was $1000 and they may throw in the paint for you as well.
This kind of wild baseless electioneering is the stab to the morale of many of our low wage workers who sometimes could not even buy food for themselves let alone purchase a brand new HDB flat with a salary of $1000 and below.
We need a comprehensive minimum wage system so our poor can live in dignity while working hard.
2. Protection for Singaporean workers – PM talks alot about protecting the Singaporean core but on the ground we saw companies replacing us like changing cheap underwear with foreign labour.
Young people who recently graduate continue to face difficulties at the job front and matured PMETs turn to cab driving in order to survive.
This kind of senseless rhetoria may probably hurt him and his party at the polls badly.
3. Recognition of a EM 3 student making it through SUT – though PM tries to deliver due recognition to a EM 3 student working his way up through SUT, there is still much to be done to deter fake degree fraudsters from entering our shore as foreign talents.
Singaporeans are shocked that degrees from dubious third world universities from our foreign talents for the past decades are not properly verified and their skills autheticated.
This is more worrying for positions like doctors, civil engineers, nurses and accountants.
Can we trust our foreign-trained doctors now with their diagnosis and worse operating skills?
Its also a slap to the faces of our professionals who work their way up to acquire degrees from our first world universities only to be beaten at the door by a fake certificate when they go for job interview.
4. Pioneer generation package – the government will spend $9 billion on the pioneer generation package but much of it is done through the medical subsidy at clinics and the hospital using a CHAS card.
There is nothing much to celebrate about as so far no cash has pass through to our seniors of whom many still need to toil under the sun to haul cardboards for a living.
At best, its a propaganda scheme meant to entrap 150,000 senior citizens for their valuable votes.
5. Paternity leave and baby bonus enhanced – paternity leave for fathers will be enhanced from one to two weeks and baby bonus will be given to all married mothers with no limit on the number of baby born. There is still zero benefit for babies born out of wedlock.
Its unsure how many dads could claim this benefit even though the government will pay for the extra one week of paternity leave as many are feeling insecure about their jobs in a very lopsided job market.
What if their employers are unhappy that the caring father takes two weeks off to care for his new-born baby and decide to find a replacement for him?
Civil servants will in all likelihood be able to claim this fringe benefit so fathers can do more at home during a very difficult period at home but those sloughing in the private job environment are unlikely to encash their entitlement for fear they may lose their jobs.
PM has all along warn us about taking care of our lunch as many on the outside are looking to eat it if we are not careful.
6. Income ceilings for buyers of new Build-to-Order flats will be raised from S$10,000 to S$12,000 – this is good news for newly-wed who have a high combined income and still qualify for our subsidized BTO flats.
It will benefit those who belong to the middle income earners and want to be conservative in their first home purchase.
Many new citizens who work their way up here must be happy that such a ruling is in effect now as they can claim their citizenship benefit with a higher income ceiling for BTO flats.
7. Re-employment age raised to 67 – another useless scheme as many of our matured PMETs could not get ready employment once they cross the 50-year-old mark.
Many professionals turn to cab driving when they could not find any viable employment in order to survive. We probably have the most educated cabby force in the world next to US and Australia.
This re-employment age enhancement probably benefits those at the civil service which harbours a more balanced work-place environment.
It seems that the civil service will implement most of the PM’s suggestions but during his speech he cautions against burdening employers at the private sector which hires almost 70% of our workforce.
Why the double standards?
8. Racial and religious segregation – PM spent quite alot of time trying to instill fear into the population by highlighting the racial tensions since independence and the recent racial outbreak in KL.
By doing that, he is not doing much to integrate the society into one united country as race and religion divides us if we keep on emphasizing its differences and dangers.
We indeed have come a long way from a fragmented small country to one that imports foreigners by the million to enhance our economy.
Right now, we probably have harbour 200,000 PRC Chinese, 250,000 Filipinos, 200,000 Indians, 300,000 Malaysians, 50,000 Indonesians and 50,000 Vietnamese among others.
Its a sizeable foreign legion which is capable of upsetting any racial harmony we have all along try to protect.
The Chinese bus strike and Little India riot were two classic examples of a foreign-dominated economy that went very wrong if we don’t try to help these people integrate with our way of life.
9. Emphasis on infrastructure and economic developments – many Singaporeans by now are used to such rhetoria in every PM national day rally speeches.
One can simply download last year’s speech and there is not much difference in both contents and substance.
We all know about the world’s best airport, busy highway and highest-GDP – its already being ingrained in us for the past few decades.
We hope to hear more visionary speeches like those from his father – bringing the nation together despite the wide wage gap between the have’s and the have-not.
We want to hear how he could empathsize with those who have lost their jobs to a incoming foreigner because of his economy-driven open-door policy – that he knew their pain their sufferings and their sacrifices so we can have a better Singapore.
We want to hear more of his software than the hardware stuff which frankly doesn’t benefit the downtrodden who struggle from hand to mouth every month due to the lack of a minimum wage system.
Moreover, we don’t need a leader who always give us empty promises but seldom deliver when the time arrives.
10. “No corruption, no dishonesty!” such words echoed through my mind throughout the night after hearing the PM’s speech.
I was troubled as its like a statement made without much substantiation when the facts spoke otherwise.
I also asked myself: “What will his father do in such a situation?”
Years of cushioned rule by the PM has robbed our civil service of it’s efficiency and pride.
Many serve the country because they do it for their rice bowl rather than serving the people whole-heartedly.
The lack of a proper system of accountability also gives way for some to manipulate the public funds for personal use.
The AGO audit flagged out alot of our ministerial financial lapses and they were subsequently covered up later on without much transparency and openness.
The ruling party hopes Singaporeans will forget about the matter before going to the polls – suspected to be next month.
With the help of social media, such serious lapses will be played up over and over again so Singaporeans will know what kind of government they are putting up with for the next five years!
Written by: Gilbert GohNumber of View: 3128