4/30/2011

The debate so far

On the opposition side, it was a time to let out the frustration and disappointment of govt policies. Yes, the govt claimed that all the policies were excellent and good for the people. But do the people buy them? Many issues were about bread and butter, about food on the table and about jobs. What the opposition was saying was simply that the people were unhappy with what was going on, and the people agreed. It was also about problems that multi million dollar ministers are expected to anticipate, to plan for, to nib in the bud by being proactive and not allowing problems to blow up to such a proportion. The people knew what these problems were but unfortunately the govt didn’t or could not understand, could not see. What the ruling party’s position is very simple, don’t rock the boat or Singapore will be in trouble. There are more problems over the horizon, and only they can overcome them, not the opposition. Vote for the ruling party or the island may sink. It is a strategy of threats and spreading fears. Who then is going to carry the votes? There is a political rock star that has risen from the two days of campaigning in the name of Nicole. Yes, it is Nicole all the way. Nicole is holding the torch. And she is supported by a team of respectable and experienced professionals that are no less able than the PAP team. It reminds me of the days of a young LKY tearing down the streets and backed up by an able team of generals. In this case, the generals are all the leaders in the opposition parties. And the ruling govt is getting to look more like the colonial masters. And what the opposition is saying is simply that the dead woods, the has beens, the overpaid, shall be removed. And the crowd loves it. There is nothing new coming from the PAP except more upgrading and more upgrading, and more FTs and more FTs, and of course, higher and higher pays. It is not looking very pretty at the moment for the PAP. And with the disgruntled citizens voicing out at every opportunity they could find, more are likely to feel that they are not alone, that the same frustrations are being felt by other fellow citizens as well. Before internet, no one had a real feel of what the ground feeling was like. And they kept their unhappiness to themselves, thinking that they could be the odd one out, so better keep quiet. Now the feeling is in the open, and everyone who feels the same knows that they are not alone. There is a groundswell. Could this really be translated in votes for the opposition? Still one week before polling day to know what is real and what is just emotion.

17 comments:

Matilah_Singapura said...

redbean, elections is about getting the numbers at the end of the day. You have to look at all sides – difficult in this particular GE because of the fact that never before have so many seats been contested.

There's no indication that the Reform Party has 'stolen' my ideas, but we are on the same page on ideas I've proposed and even defended:

1.'Hacking' the constitution to make it more equitable

2.Privatising Temasek and the GIC so that every citizen has a financial interest

3.Converting HDB's into true freehold, private property

4.Freedom of expression – change the libel laws to enable more 'freedom to criticise' – which means no one has the right to have their feeling's protected. Marvellous.

5. Keep taxes low -- i.e. govt frugality

I don't agree many of their other policies like universal healthcare but the RP is a typical western-style 'center right' party – the kind you'll find in old western democracies like Canada, Australia and the UK – problematic on many fronts, but at least civil and personal liberties are vastly improved, and the economic sphere is extended to more citizens.

Ken J is the most ambitious of all the opposition chiefs openly indicating that their mission is to form govt one day. They are a very small party, but if they can keep going they just might form govt one day.

As far as the PAP's track record goes: I give it a B-plus -- not quite an A, not even an A-minus, but a mixed bag of successes and abysmal, embarrasing failures.

I do agree with their claim that they managed the GFC well -- everyone in the world is affected, but lucky for S'pore the 'imperfect' govt is at least FRUGAL -- which menas they don't take more during times of crisis where people have to cough up more money for food, petrol and utilities.

I also like the SDP's proposal of reducing NS to 12 months and cutting the GST, and removing it all together from basic essentials.

Anonymous said...

The issues are more numerous than the last election:

1) Housing - which has gone ballistic and will get more unaffordable with the increase in new citizens. Good for current owners, bad for those still looking for a home.

2) Foreign workers - the PAP's argument is flawed. They said that 10 to 20% of top foreign talents who came here will create 80 to 90% of jobs for Singaporeans. What about the other 80 or 90% untalented and largely unskilled foreign workers who came here?

Who provides them the jobs? So, if my maths is not rusty, out of 10 foreign workers, 1 or 2 will create another 8 to 9 jobs, but the rest of the 8 to 9 foreign workers will take up all those jobs created. What is left for Singaporeans?

3) Transport problems - with the rail system already clogged during even off-peak hours, the problem will get worse with the letting in of more foreigners, both as citizens later and as short term workers. As they obviously planned for the increase in population, they cannot again claim that the congestion problem caught them by surprise.

4) Retirement - that is practically an irrelevant topic to discuss now, with Singaporeans investing their life savings in their expensive pigeon hole, which is getting more and more unaffordable. Further, the high cost of living is making it difficult for them to save outside of the compulsory CPF contributions, so working till 88 years or more is a necessity, not a luxury that some can choose.

If PAP wins all, it will be the end of the Opposition, because they will alter the election rules after garnering a 100% PAP controlled Parliament.

Then Singaporeans will really live the regret the rest of their miserable lives. They will deeply regret doing an injustice to their next generation.

Matilah_Singapura said...

All those 'problems' whcih have become political footballs have roots in the global economy -- i.e. I don't think any other govt can prevent the effects of the GFC, but govts which manage better tend to have better outcomes for their people.

S'pore -- whether or not it can be attributed solely to the PAP (nonetheless they claim 'credit') -- is actually much better off than many other cuntries.

Don't thumb your nose at prosperity -- it is always better than the alternative: poverty and privation.

It is a myth that playing partisan politics will 'save the people' -- it cannot and since the begining of time -- it never has.

While you all are playing politics like rock concerts and prize fights, the entire world is facing multiple challenges ALL COMING AT US AT ONCE: from energy to clean water to the destruction of currencies to unpayable debt burdens to climate change...not to mention any 'black swan' events that are likely to occur -- just like the earthquake/ tsunami in Japan and the lethal weather just this week in the US.

On that note -- I doubt that the PAP themselves know what to do. I don't think anyone has the answers, although many claim to do so.

I'm not a fear monger --I'm a realist, which means self-protection is the best course any individual can take for themselves. even that doesn't guarantee your eventual survival, but IMO it sure does increase your chances of surviving.

The period from 2012 to around 2016 will prove to be very interesting times. Instead of going ga-ga over partisan politics, you'd better have your wits together -- it will be a time of both excruciating pain and opportunity. If your society is not wealthy, productive and secure -- there's gonna be big trouble. Guaranteed.

Anonymous said...

Foreigners should not be in local(Singapore) politics.
Voluntary quitters should also stay out of it.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they should. But you aren't going to be the one to force them. So maybe you should just shut up before you make a bigger fool out of yourself.

Anonymous said...

I recommend a must read article by Alex Au (Yawning Bread) on why we should vote opposition.

A very enlightening piece indeed!

Anonymous said...

Just a thought..if the foreign "talents" are so concerned with our internal country's politics, I challenge them to convert to Singapore citizenship. In this way, you proof your loyalty and commitment to the country and are more than welcomed to be involved in our political discussions.

What is stopping you from taking up the citizenship. Care to share?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

I feel that anyone, local or foreigner, can have his views on what we are and how we live. That is something we cannot deny anyone, we cannot gag them and there is the internet where one can say anything from anywhere.

What foreigners should not do is to involve directly in the politics of a country. What is unacceptable is for foreigners to run for election, to agitate or support the political process without the invitation of the people of the country. Think of Iraq, Libya, and how the West think it is their right to mess around with other countries internal politics.

There are exceptional circumstances when foreigners may be welcomed to help. But these are exceptions and even then foreigners must not be allowed to do as they please, especially in killing the people of the country.

Commentary in the form of fair comments are acceptable. Of course there will be problems where these comments come with bad motives.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Multi nationals and foreign PR's: Don;t even bother listening to these two idiots.

The political sphere is a BIG tent. If you pay tax, you have a right to engage in politics.

End of story. You have the right to choose the political system which accords with your self-interest -- just like these two idiots -- redbean and anon.

Anonymous said...

I drive a cab. I have placed alot of SDP newsletters, pamphlets and stickers. Guess what FT all of a sudden dun dare to be rude to me. You tell me why? My driving buddy, got a rude FT pax, he called the police to chase him out. He then wind down the window and shouted I am Singaporean you know. Majulah Singapore.

Dear Matilah, this is how bad it has become. I dun care if I am poor or hungry. What is the point if I live without dignity and pride in my own country.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Hey Mr Cabbie, I understand your ire.

My contention is that if individual Singaporeans just took a little time to read and understand their rights under the constitution, things may be different, and hence you probably won't have the unpleasant experience you had.

If you cannot at least mount a verbal defense of your rights, I don't hold up much hope for you: you are going to get screwed by the government and probably end up in a kind of master-serf relationship, where even your rice-bowl is controlled by the government.

Sound familiar?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Matilah, you are talking like the rulers. You understand my foot. You claimed you understand but you never. You claimed you listen, but never.

You don't even understand what people are writing. Sometimes I wonder whether you read what are being posted.

Idiots.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Fuck you redbean.

I have my own opinion. The fact that you disagree doesn't make my opinion incorrect neither does it make your opinion correct.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

: )

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