When they got it right

Theoretically the govt of today should be better received by the people than those of the 60s and 70s. The people are richer, better educated, better housed and the quality of life has improved. Why is it that the govt of today seems to be losing it, losing the support and confidence of the people? Maybe I am wrong and the people, or at least the majority of the people, are fully behind the govt.

In my view, there were so much respect and deference given to the first and second generation leaders than today. Life was not as good, and there were many problems that were really serious. Unemployment was a serious threat when the economy was young and small. But they worked hard to get jobs for the people. It was never a case of training or handouts or funny schemes.

Educational level was low and there were very few trained professionals to run the industries. There were hardly any industry except small businesses and cottage industries. And housing was a serious issue aggravated by the big Bukit Ho Swee fire.

What the govt did right then, when many things were uncertain, was to go to the basics. It built schools to educate the people. It created jobs and more jobs to keep the people employed. It built houses, really affordable houses for the people. Even the civil service and uniformed services prioritized the needs of their employees by given them cheap loans and priority allocations. Basically, feed the people, house the people, give them a roof over their heads, give them jobs and social mobility. And the hearts and mind of the people were solidly behind the govt.

Then things changed. It became a case of making as much money as possible from the people with the essential services that the people needed. Education was no longer cheap. Health services were killing if not, may empty the savings of the people. Jobs were aplenty for foreigners but our own people ended as taxi drivers or self employed out of no choice, out of jobs and could not get reemployed. Those above 40s were more perilous as the young employers, including HR, thought is a wise thing to discard the dried orange skins. And while the people cry for jobs, they were sent for retraining to downgrade, not to upgrade. This is uniquely Singapore, train to be downgraded! They were told not to be choosy when that was not even an issue. It applies to housing as well. Go down grade, lower expectations….

And the foreigners, now called foreign talents, were all laughing at the silly citizens for crying our loud like pathetic and spoilt children without knowing why. To the govt, the people are getting lazy and too pampered and daft of course. How could that be when university graduates are prepared to do any jobs, manual jobs, sales representatives, driving cranes and taxis, or do temporary jobs? No the govt just cannot understand, or chose to look the other way.

And housing price keeps going up which is good for those who have bought their homes earlier but threatening the young from owning a home. And if they got one, it becomes a life time burden. And the HDB got the audacity not to build and demanded the young people to plan their lives and marriages well ahead if they want to get a flat on time, ie 4 or 5 years ahead. So easy mah.

And the cries of high prices were rubbished with the minister insisting that public housing were affordable, and even subsidized woh. And more ministers came out in full force to support the fiction with ridiculous statistics. Basically, giving the people a decently priced home is not in their minds, but how much to squeeze from the people. And if the people did not get a home, it is the people’s fault.

The people are caught in a dilemma, happy that they have bought a home before the price rocketed to the sky but worried that their children will become suckers to the ponzi scheme and indebted for life.

As for those who have lost their jobs, it is no longer the govt’s interest if they could survive by downgrading when the cost of living is up and with some having to service their mortgages and children in school. That is not the govt’s problem as long as they are sent for retraining and get a job, any job. No one cares whether citizens’ interests should come first and every joker is praising the great contributions of foreigners. Understandably foreigners are seemingly more important than citizens and they are happily employed, even ganging up to victimize the daft citizens in the daft citizens’ own country.

And what is the most important preoccupation of the politicians? Their high living and high spending lifestyle. Multi million dollar homes, overseas holidays, limousines without a care to the high cost of car ownership and whether the average Sinkies can afford the expensive housing and expensive COEs. All they know is to quip, live within your means, downgrade if you can’t.

What happens to improving the life of the people, upgrading the life of the people, housing the people? The only thing they want to upgrade is your flat and estate and you have to pay for it. The other big concern of the govt is the people’s money. This one the govt works very hard for it and regularly comes out with great schemes of things for the people to buy with their savings. The people’s savings, which for some queer reasons, the govt thinks it is alright to decide what they want to do with it, and keeping it for as long as it wants. Of course it is for the good of the people, the govt said so. The people did not believe so.

Why is the govt, so rich, the country so rich, the people so rich, living in million dollar properties and with so much money in their CPF savings, turning against the govt? Maybe I have misread the feelings of the people. Maybe I have been disconnected with the people and what I just posted is pure rubbish. The govt is well loved and supported by the people with all it good policies, people caring and people centric policies, and will be reelected again and again to rule the people. Come 2016, the ruling party will receive the biggest percentage of popular votes in its history. I am so foolish to think otherwise. And there is a national conversation for the common good of the govt and the people.


Anonymous said...

What does National Dialogue 2012 and Remaking Singapore 2002 remind you of?

a.Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
a.If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.
b.Einstein's definition of Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Anonymous said...


Q.Why did PM Lee order a National Conversation in 2012?

A.He just finished reading the Remaking Singapore Report 2002 and wanted to double confirm the recommendations.

Anonymous said...

According to Kopitiam talk, foreign media seem to say, Singapore is now in the Greek situation of South East Asia. However, the Pappy government is surviving on the blood and sweat money from the peoples' labour through high illogical and sinful taxes like the GSTs, COEs, ERPs as well as high medical charges, high housing cost and withholding of the peoples' CPF as hostage to ransom. How long can the Pappie government wayang before even the 60 percent will feel the pain and suffering and say enough is enough. The Pappy government is playing dangerously with matches and it may lead Singapore down the road of no return to self destruction. Of course they may not care because they are all multi billionaires and can scoot off to America or Australia at the first sign of red danger before the situation become really untenable.
The people have to do something now. Step out of the house every day and tell everybody of the critical bad governance of the Pappies. Convince them to be wise come 2016 so as to save Singapore from the high overhanging cliff of danger and suicide.

Eagles Eye

Anonymous said...

Remaking Singapore 2002
Five Subject Committees
Beyond Careers,
Beyond Condo,
Beyond Club,
Beyond Credit Card and
Beyond Cars
were formed to review specific areas.

National Dialogue 2012
Beyond PAP?
Beyond Lee Kuan Yew?

Anonymous said...

GE 2016
PM Low Thia Khng?

Anonymous said...

Why you think they find it proper to call a local airline 'SCOOT'?

Is it a premontion of something coming? A Freudian Slip?

Anonymous said...

If it s not scoot, it will be shoot.

Anonymous said...

Maybe, just maybe, the reason for this airline is to prepare for the scoot eventuality.

Anonymous said...

Scoot if you can't keep up or shoot if you try to stop their progressive wealth measures.

Anonymous said...

What the govt forgot.

1. This is a country not a hotel.
2. Lead by example. If the govt expects the people to eat less, live in smaller flats, but the leaders want more and live in bigger properties, they missed the point altogether.
3. They forgot to serve the people.

Matilah_Singapura said...

The government comes from the stock of citizens at any given time. Hence the people deserve the government they get.

If the people are assholes, it is more than likely that the government they get are also going to be assholes. The only difference is that the assholes in government have ABSOLUTE POWER.

Got cognitive dissonance?

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

How dare you insult my govt and call them assholes?

Anonymous said...

Quality of life has improved, but it has to be looked at from different angles.

First, at what cost to citizens? In the sixties up to early eighties, a normal familty can survive on one income. Now, even with both spouses working, it is not always easy to make ends meet.

Secondly, I notice that people are working longer hours. During the sixties, seventies and early eighties, a nine to five job was the norm, overtime a rarity but adequately compensated and demanded by the Unions. Now, even if you work late, some are not paid overtime due to job classification. Sure, on paper the salary ie higher, but factored in the extra hours without compensation, the increase in salary is negated.

Thirdly, most children are left with car-givers and domestic maids and both parents hardly had the time to give them the kind of love that children need. The love that parents can give now is all money and nothing but money and material stuff bought with money. I don't believe the kind of talk about quality time. That is all rubbish.

And I have not even talk about 3-room flats sold for $6,200 and cars at about this price. And people have the luxury of time to enjoy their favourite past-time.

Anonymous said...

Mr Chua,

You do make a lot of sense in many of your postings. But this sarcastic piece [filled with wild shots all over the place] is definitely not one of them. And as expected, it just attracts a swarm of cynics all just jumping on the opportunity to echo the same. Sigh....What is the point ?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

If the govt has got it right, there will not be so many problems facing the people which they don't even want to acknowledge. I even doubt any of the ministers would be confident to win the next election. My reading is that they have lost it. But only the next GE can confirm if my reading is right or wrong.

The said...

/// Anonymous said...
Why you think they find it proper to call a local airline 'SCOOT'?
Is it a premontion of something coming? A Freudian Slip? ///

Because ABSCOND or RUN ROAD does not sound so catchy.

Anonymous said...

The point is to blow off steam.
Since we do not have the right to peaceful assembly in Singapore.

We will have to assemble here in the cyberspace.

Invictus said...

I think the govt of today is not suffering from short-sightedness when formulating policies. Rather, just like the rest of modern capitalism, the PAP has set an agenda of instant gratification and succes. Long-term planning is immaterial if there is no immediate benefits. So what if I lose my seat in the Cabinet if in the next 5years I will earn enough to retire.
Just like the shareholders in public corporations, the shareholding public is retaliating against this government which they feel gives them little value for the salaries the latter demand.
Also, the PAP is afraid to be honest about its policies and weaknesses. But the more they deflect, the greater the resentment against the PAP. If the PAP don't make significant changes, they will whither away into irrelevance

Anonymous said...

No one will be angry even if they pay themselves well. But share some with the people. The worst sin is to live at the expense of the people like high housing prices and grabbing the people's savings in the cpf. The people will not forgive them.

The said...

///Invictus said...
I think the govt of today is not suffering from short-sightedness when formulating policies. Rather, just like the rest of modern capitalism, the PAP has set an agenda of instant gratification and succes. Long-term planning is immaterial if there is no immediate benefits. ///

Yup, I think you got that spot on. All because of those cursed short-term KPIs that they are gunning for to get their indecent and obscene 34 months bonus.

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