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5/19/2011

The GE aftermath - Cabinet shake out

Hsien Loong gave his cabinet a big shake out and ended up with a new wardrobe. Two were rejected earlier in the GE, two were out of fashion and retired, two museum pieces were removed, and three unpopular pieces were thrown out. In came two of the latest fashionwear while the whole wardrobe was rearranged with mix and match. The people must be eagerly waiting to see what new clothes would Hsien Loong wear, and hopefully not the same proverbial emperor’s new clothes again. With the superannuation of three of the most controversial ministers, and the big shuffle, Hsien Loong has cleared up everything and preparing a new recipe. The old mindset, the old clever ways and the old sacred cows are expected to be slaughtered. The new men in charge have no need to defend them and not having to answer for them. Can the people really hope for a new and radical change? For a start, no more $8 heart by pass. On the other hand, maybe $8 for a 5 rm flat. If the former is possible, the later should be easy. From all the signals flying around, the great housing success stories are history. The people can expect the whole ministry to be turned upside down, with the past glories turning to past follies. With a new man in Health, would the policies of having world class hospitals be toned down when there are not enough world class patients to pay the world class bills? There is no doubt that the public hospitals are world class and a pride of the nation. Unfortunately many patients would be made bankrupt if they are admitted for a major illness or have to stay in a few days longer. The minister must be reminded of the saying, ‘better die than be sick.’ Transportation is likely to be relooked at. This is a major infrastructure issue that cannot be transformed overnight. It would take longer than 3 to 4 years of building a public flat to restructure the transportation system. But the ineffective use of hiking ERP charges and parking fees that would not change anything may not be applied so regularly as in the past. The immediate issue is to bring down transportation cost before it paralyses a whole nation, with people choosing to stay at home when they find it too costly to take public transport. Changes are expected in all the ministries after the mechanic opened the shining car’s bonnet only to find practically every system in need of a major overhaul. Funny isn’t it? How did all this come about? The voice of a disgruntled people has finally been heard, and the people wanted change, by throwing their support for opposition voices. The popularity vote for the govt is down to a level that if nothing changes, the next election could see the govt being bundled out for good. The voice will be louder with the liberalization of the new media. The gongs and the bells are ringing loud and clear, incessantly. The noise is no longer noise, but anger, frustration, and unhappiness. Clarification, this group excludes those that have already attained a Swiss standard of living, and the believers. The govt would have to take heed or it would not be given another chance. Hsien Loong’s ransacking of his cabinet is a big signal for change. Now the people wait, while the changes take shape, for good or for worst. 5 years is all Hsien Loong got. PS. Originally I wanted to end this article with 'The reign of Hsien Loong starts today'. Looking at the big picture, I changed my mind.

17 comments:

Wally Buffet said...

The tipping point for the PM to decide that drastic change was necessary, nay absolutely mandatory was perhaps when he saw the closing of the WP rally on Youtube, the gargantuan crowd reciting the pledge as Singaporeans with one united voice. Perhaps, he knew then that Aljunied was lost even before the elections. If drastic changes do not come, it is prescient that come 2016, more GRCs would fall and ultimately, a change of government is not an impossibility anymore.

The next thing we will expect must be the re examination of the flawed policies of open door and lax immigration making Singaporeans a second class citizen in their own country, public housing for first time buyers, the perennial public transport woes plus unaffordable medical costs for the less fortunate.

I am absolutely delighted that two of the three shorties are out. I would be more elated if number three would go the way of the dodo as well. I don't like shorties especially those who can only see up to the tip of their noses only because their eyesight matches their statue.

Emeritus Senior Minister? Now, that's a first for the world. A man of steel like the MM would have turned down the title, which he did. This esoteric titling was to me, the only blot on the whole cabinet shakeup. The question then is whether he is still a serving minister or not?

We will have five years to see what these new ministers can come out with and whether they will be walking the talk.

Oh, one last thing. That Ah Beng general is now in cabinet. Look at the bright side. Laughter at his manner of speaking and antics, even for staid ministers huddled in grave discussions of the state, has its benefits.

Oh right, I forgot that Zorro is also dispensing his humour to lighten and liven up the meeting.

Haha.

Felice said...

Are the PAP high cost 'Mahogeny Cabinet' been
reduced to low cost 'Ikea cabinet'?
Does anyone know GCT's new pay package for this new title ??
New Zeland PM is not even paid one $
to run the country as he was a very
successful banker before he came to public office.Will our ESM do a PR exercise and spin his new image &volunteer his service for Singapore ??Then his Good Name will
live in history and the chapter of
peanuts will be wiped out...

Felice said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Just don't insult him by paying him peanuts. His new appts could mean bigger peanuts being offered.

Would the govt be transparent and publish the real numbers?

Anonymous said...

Now people in SIN is clamoring for a 6th C - "Cabinet Change"!

Renho

notanotherspinstory said...

I suspect it can only be more of the same. These ministers have to learn a new ministry and then propose changes, which if they are clueless about, how to propose changes?

I fear that we have gone too far into the abyss to dig ourselves out.
They must stop that foreigner influx and fix all the leaks and cracks in society first. Otherwise PAP WILL lose 2016.

Anonymous said...

We should only start to believe the winds of change is genuine IF and only IF - they lower the cabinet salaries to a decent level as benchmarked against their overseas contemporaries.

Renho

Wally Buffet said...

Just wondering.

If the Ah Beng general can become an Ag. minister in the MCDYS, why can't they go the whole hog and put TPL as an acting minister in the PMO to learn the ropes of government.

After all, she might be pitting herself with Nicole Seah for the PM ship, 24 years from now.

LOL.

Wally Buffet said...

Oh, I absolutely disagree to put that fellow in the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Someone popular and likeable would be needed. Now let's see..................

Oh dear, I can't find anyone likeable except for Tharman but he is already the Deputy PM as well as helming two ministries. Can't tax that fellow too much otherwise he'll be more hirsuteless.

Ah well, no choice I guess.

Anonymous said...

What could be coming from housing.
1. Build more flats in JB.
2. Introduce means testing for applicants.
3. Build world class flats at world class price.

Anonymous said...

Redbean is having another of his wet dreams. A $8 5 room flat?

That new man in National Development was the former 'Minister of Hell'. He is going to give us more hell in National Development.

Now, I am also worried about that new man in Environment and Water Resources messing up again when we are moving towards self sufficiency in water. the same way he messed up the sporting fraternity. At least Mr. Yakult did a reasonable job until his most famous quotable '50 years' quote. I hope the new man does not start to organise too many 'Songkran Festival' for the Thai community here to fetter our foreign legions.

And that new man in Education is probably going to change the education system yet again, not for the better as usual, but more shooting of the foot.

Some have commented that the new Education Minister would be better suited to be Finance Minister. But the PAP seems to think that their inductees are all multi-talented. If that is so, I wonder why make such a big fuss over George Yeo losing his foreign minister's seat, since any one of their talents can easily replace him.

In conclusion, I hope the 'radical' changes not only looks good on the outside, but more importantly must be reflected in the reviewing of some of the policies that caused so much unhappiness.

Anonymous said...

Case of "New bottle, old wine"?!

Renho

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Why must you guys pour cold water to wake me up from my wet dream? Don't be so mean can?

I already feeling sore that if they gonna charge me more than $8 for that by pass I can't complain to Boon Wan anymore, now you tell me no $8 flat....

Give me a break can? I always have faith in magicians.

Anonymous said...

Actually it is far more important to change the flawed policies than just changing the people in charge. I agree with Kenneth Jayeratnam that this is merely a public relations exercise to quell the discontent and pull wool over naive Singaporeans' eyes once again.

We have over the last decade been reshuffling, shaking up, expanding the cabinet and changing our ministers, but flawed policies have never been changed and more have instead been introduced for total and absolute control eg election rules, GRCs, repeated redrawing of boundaries, CPF changes, foreign workers influx are just some examples.

Just look at their track record and you will understand why I am skeptical. Yes, I am talking about track record on our road to autocracy!

Anonymous said...

Not only that, the creation of high falutin titles would not distract people's perception of what needed to be changed. What difference does 'SM', 'MM' or 'Emeritus Minister' make to us lesser mortals?

Yes, a change of Government is not an impossibility anymore. Just another dip in their share of votes by 6% in 2016 and the pendulum swings the other way. Many GRCs will fall and the opposition will find that this 6% swing in votes won will really make a world of difference to the proportion of seats gained.

The GRC system is a double edged sword as many have warned and is going to haunt the ruling party in future elections.

Anonymous said...

Singaporeans are indeed very positive and optimistic. Only one of the Commenter said that SIN is beyond salvation. Hard to disagree, no U-Turn is possible as the damage had gone beyond repair.
At best, they are grappling and should they fail, no problem; just get in more affordable immigrants.
Another easy way out, which is never too difficult, is to call for an early (next)election and let the 'winners/victors' take over all the shits while the losers pack and live/leave in peace enjoying the 'fruits' of their 'labours'.
Many Singaporeans have created their own fates since about 2 decades ago. They feared and believed the elitist talents too much and blindly so.
It is still not too late to leave, however, for those who cannot or refuse to leave, they wont die starving yet. Only have to make compromises staying in rented flats or built smaller 2 and 3 room units that will cost $150Ks and above and move about more on foot than using public transports.
Meals, utilities and pastimes will have to be rationed and make do with lower quality materials.
Remember we live in SIN, it's an Oracle.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Then someone will say 'I told you'. Time to repent.