20160925 Singaporean peasants should not expect PAP elites to resolve problems not affecting them

PAP elites see themselves as superior in intellect and appoint like-minded elites to leadership positions to maintain control over Singaporean peasants. Our elites are so full of themselves and have an acute sense of entitlement to tax dollars.

On the surface, they appear all powerful but are in fact cowards who hide behind self created legislations and use their wealth to threaten citizens with lawsuits.

PAP elites are only book-smart: since most can’t even make it in the real private sector, they hide in government-linked companies for life and consider this the private sector. To many Singaporeans, they are nothing but low life parasites.

Does an elitist government serve the people? Strangely, a majority of Singaporeans seem to think so.

But all chronic issues affecting ordinary citizens will NEVER be resolved not because the elites are unable to: the issues don’t affect them one bit.

The clearest example would be our broken MRT system which will never be rectified because major train disruptions do not affect them.

When it comes to public housing, PAP elites don’t live in one. Oblivious to issues in the heartlands, they relaxed HDB rental rules more than a decade ago and flooded public housing estates with foreigners.

HDB lifts were also not properly maintained and taxpayers and residents will soon be held responsible for a $450 million rectification bill. A lift failure of this magnitude in posh apartments where PAP elites live is unheard of.

(Another reason for the ‘mistakes’ is our MND elites were helping other countries with mega projects such as the construction of Tianjin eco city. In April 2008, the MND unveiled a draft master plan of Tianjin eco city. This must have taken months and a huge amount of public resources but it was mostly for self interest.

PAP elites stand to gain from this because jobs were created for them, such as senior management positions in SSTEC. Keppel Corporation has also recently announced the appointment of SSTEC’s 4th CEO, ex paper general Tay Lim Heng..

Rest assured, Tay will not be paid peanuts when NOL’s ex paper general CEO Ng Yat Chung was paid US$2.7 million for sinking NOL. And SMRT CEO Desmond Kuek, another one of their kind, is paid $1.87 million to deliver a service which is on par with his predecessor.)

If someone living in a mini palace could serve peasants living in HDB cages, monarchy would not have been replaced by democracy.

With regard to healthcare, specifically the acute shortage of hospital beds in ‘C’- and ‘B’ class wards, PAP elites have never been bothered because they check themselves into ‘A’ class wards of private hospitals. These business class wards are readily available and a major surgery could cost as little as $8, cheaperer than the amount paid by 99% of peasants in economy class wards.

The biggest issue concerns the retention of $90 billion in CPF retirees’ funds. There would have been no issue if peasants were given a choice but obviously the decision had already been made by PAP elites. .

For more than 2 decades, CPF withdrawal rules have been tweaked to trap $90 billion in retirees’ funds (table below).

PAP elites do not contribute the same percentage of their income to CPF because of a contribution cap at about $100,000.

Contributor Annual Income ($) 20% Contribution ($) Actual Contribution ($) Actual % contribution
Peasants 40000 8000 8000 20
Elite 500000 100000 20000 4
Top elite 2200000 440000 20000 1

(If the cap on employee contributions did not exist, an elite would have at least $3.5 million ($100000 annually X 25 years, interest compounded at 2.5% minus minimum sum) in his Retirement Account after working for 25 years. Instead, the elite has only about $570,000, a ‘discount’ of almost $3 million.

The top dog has a better day: instead of $16.22 million in the RA, his ‘discount’ is a mind boggling $16 million. calculator)

The CPF withdrawal issue does not affect PAP elites and is in fact a non issue to them.

PAP elites are a disgrace to Singapore for we now hold the world record for the highest ratio of elderly taking on menial jobs to eke out a living. How are they to empathise with peasants when their parents are not in the same boat as, say, cardboard collectors? They are doing it for exercise, one ex paper general has claimed.

To sum up, every issue faced by peasants WILL NOT be resolved because the elites in government are not affected by the same issues. Every PAP effort is only for self gain, such as, setting up new ministry/stat boards to create jobs for elites, Temasek and GIC taking major stakes in companies to appoint ‘own people’ as directors, etc.

Serving Singaporean peasants is incidental to PAP elites. If possible, they would prefer ordinary citizens to get out of their elite uncaring face. Peasants should have realised by now that it has always been ‘we die our own business’. It’s naive to even entertain the thought that elites beg to be elected to serve peasants.

20160923 PAP’s own survey anyhow claims MRT riders are more satisfied

Singapore will soon collapse under the weight of PAP’s incompetence.

Everything has been falling apart but the morally bankrupt government has continued to rely on propaganda to control, not serve, the people.

In spite of our MRT system breaking down more frequently and having inconvenienced hundreds of thousands of commuters, the public has been informed by a survey that MRT riders are more satisfied in the past year.

But how could it be when SMRT screwed up so badly that it was fined a record $5.4 million for one incident in 2015? What about all the other breakdowns?

This is a preposterous claim because it is basically saying people are happier after being screwed. If ministers were frequently caught in traffic jams would they have been more satisfied? Did the survey include commuters who were late for work, important appointments, job interviews, etc or students late for exams?

The MRT-riders-more-satisfied index is published by the Institute of Service Excellence at the Singapore Management University. And no prizes for guessing who its board of advisors include. Some of these guys are working in a GLC, statutory boards and includes a former PAP MP who used to wear 64 hats.

The index would have more credibility if stripped of all PAP connection.

Ngiam Tong Dow: “I suspect we have started to believe our own propaganda.” Ngiam said this in an interview in 2003 but he should suspect no more because we can confirm PAP DOES believe its own propaganda.

When the government publishes its own survey with findings contrary to the real experience of MRT commuters, we should be very worried. It has again tried to cover up its failure with half truths, some would insist they’re all lies.

20160921 The increasing cost of maintaining LKY’s garden city

Decades ago, Lee Kuan Yew had a vision of a garden in a city. And so our civil servants started planting trees in every corner of Singapore as if there was no tomorrow. Till today, even though he’s been dead for about 18 months, his grand vision lives on.

LKY had forgotten trees are living things: they grow old/diseased and die. In 1967 when his garden city vision was introduced to make living in a concrete jungle more pleasant, trees were young and therefore the maintenance cost was peanuts. But now, after almost 5 decades, hundreds of millions of tax dollars are needed annually to maintain his vision.

NParks can no longer afford to plant the same species and their numbers need to be reduced. NParks should also conduct proper inspection on trees which were not planted by the government. In view of climate change, the status quo cannot be maintained.

On 13 September, a 30-metre tall tree, probably the tallest, fell on an apartment block. Six apartments were damaged but fortunately, no one was injured. When was the tree was last inspected? Nobody knows. Would anyone be held accountable if found to be negligent? Probably not.

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Image source

Mature trees now pose a danger to the public as they have been falling in record numbers and even resulted in a couple of fatalities.

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More than 5600 man-years may have been lost, impacting productivity.

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A coincident all three fell at the same time?

More images @ asiaone

While there’s no denying we need to plant new trees, lots of them, proper inspections must be conducted. Whether mature trees should be cut down, it would be better for NParks to err on the side of caution. One fatality is one too many.

In view of climate change, is there justification to spend hundreds of million$ to maintain LKY’s vision? Aren’t we inviting another fatality?

20160920 GIC retained $61.5 billion of CPF members’ returns during last 2 decades

Over the years, PAP has become more brazen and has retained increasing BILLIONS in CPF returns to supplement the budget.

Although GIC’s long term returns are about 6%, about 2.5% is confiscated by the government annually for a non-existent CPF guarantee. As a result, tens of billion$ have been lost by CPF members. Some context:

From 1995 to 2015, CPF funds managed by GIC increased from $45 billion to $286 billion. During the same period, the 2.5% ‘guarantee’ ballooned from $1.1 billion annually to $5.7 billion. (table below)

CPF ($ bil) managed by GIC from 1995 to 2015

Year CPF (SSGS) 2.5% “guarantee” yearly 5-year period
1995 45 1.1* 6.5
2000 60 2 10
2005 100 3.4 17
2010 176 5.7 28
Total . . 61.5

* Average of 5-year balance. Figures from MAS reports.

The annual figure may not seem much. But over a 20-year period, the CPF ‘guarantee’ has cost members about $61.5 billion! (excluding interest)

PAP has been addicted to easy money and took its eyes off the economy for decades. No wonder our productivity growth has been stagnant with PM Lee finally admitting “Productivity is very tough to do”.

As the CEO of Singapore Inc, why is PM Lee stating the obvious? Is he paid $2.2 million to tell us he has a tough job? Which CEO has an easy job?

Singapore is now in trouble as confirmed by PM Lee when he said “easy ways” to economic growth have been “maxed out”.

The PAP has been totally dependent on raising foreigner headcount to increase GDP growth. This pseudo economic growth doesn’t generate sufficient revenue to cover expenditure: it is reliant on returns from our reserves (NIRC) to mask our budget shortfall.

For example, without the $14.7 billion contribution from NIRC in FY 2016, we will end up with a $11.25 billion projected budget deficit. And without the $9.9 billion contribution from NIRR in FY 2015, we would also have a deficit of $4.88 billion.

Based on CPF members’ $274 billion (average) SSGS holdings in 2015, the cost of our “CPF guarantee” amounted to $6.8 billion. The government has profited $6.8 billion without generating any economic growth.

Year CPF 2.5% “guarantee” yearly
2015 $274 bil (average) $6.8 bil

Point to note is CPF members contribute to a large portion of the NIRC every year.

The costly CPF ‘guarantee’ is an invention of the PAP, an immoral act which has already deprived CPF members of $61.5 billion during the last 2 decades. This is one reason for our retirement funding shortfall. Should CPF members continue to contribute more than $6 billion annually, and increasing, to the budget?

20160920 Discard the “35% swing voters” myth, opposition parties need new strategy

Singaporeans and opposition parties who want meaningful change should realise that this will never come about from the political awakening of “35% swing voters”. This has all along been a myth.

PAP is aware of the “35% swing voters” myth and that’s the reason why it doesn’t fear the electorate. So long as voters suck all this up and it gives them a false sense of empowerment, PAP will always be in business. Opposition parties can’t make much headway fighting on PAP’s forever-changing rules and may even become irrelevant soon.

Prior to GE 2011, common folks were adversely-affected by PAP-created issues: our lunches were given to foreigners, inadequate housing and healthcare, a broken-down MRT system, etc. For such an epic PAP screw up, only 40% of voters elected 5 opposition candidates into Parliament to have their voices drowned out by the 82 MPs from the party which had screwed up. Were swing voters not affect?

If there were “35% swing voters”:
– PAP would have been kept in check and not continue spending an inordinate amount of taxpayers’ money tweaking laws for its benefit
– PAP would have addressed the issue of accountability instead of recycling incompetent scholars within the government
– SPH, PAP’s propaganda machine, would have been history.

For the “35% swing voters” to vote against PAP means only one thing: our country has gone to the dogs. A better option would be to migrate, no need to go to the polls.

Fear mongering and propaganda have done irreversible damage to the malleable minds of citizens: a political awakening is impossible through rational arguments and persuasion. The “I-Me-Mine” Singaporeans will only vote against PAP when they have been personally affected by policies, sometimes not. Let’s look at some figures.

PAP has a few large groups of die-hard supporters such as 40,000 grassroots members, 50,000(?) government-linked company employees and 143,000 public servants. Using a conservative 90%, an estimated 209,700 will likely support PAP. (90% X 233,000 = 209,700)

This is obviously not the final figure because family members and friends will likely root for the same party. Multiply by a factor of 3 and 4, we have between 629k and 836k from these 3 groups of supporters.

Type of supporters Number of supporters % of supporters Estimate
Grassroots 40000 90 36000
GLC employees 50000 90 45000
Public servants 143000 90 128700
Sub total . . 209700
X 3 . . 629100
X 4 . . 836400
Senior citizens 650000 80 520000

The largest group consists of older Singaporeans who are resistant to change and believe they should be eternally grateful to PAP. Of the 650,000 senior citizens, most of the 450,000 pioneers have likely been bought over by PGP benefits. Assuming a very conservative 80% of senior citizen supporters, an additional 520,000 votes will go to the PAP. This increases its support base to between 1.15 million and 1.35 million.

PAP has already identified its weakest prey and has now zoomed in on them with a “new Hokkien drama aimed at seniors to be launched on Sep 9”. Didn’t LKY say no to dialects? Hmm … why is dishonorable son not listening? Why only Hokkien and not Malay, Tamil, Hindi,Tagalog or even Chinese dialects spoken in third world villages?

The list is not complete without the second largest group comprising new citizens numbering more than 400,000 come GE 2020. Almost all are PAP fans and even if only half of them are of voting age, it will increase PAP votes by about 8%.

There are still tens of thousands of supporters from smaller groups such social assistance recipients, beneficiaries of Temasek’s (PAP) philanthropy, etc.

Take note there are of course duplications in the above figures, ie grassroots members could be senior citizens, etc. But hasn’t PAP already won at least 55% of votes without even lifting a finger?

And the reason is simple: PAP controls all public resources and has been abusing them to consolidate its power.

To argue otherwise is to ignore logic and human nature: money talks.

Singaporeans who keep harping on a myth but expect change include one all-knowing blogger, Cynical Investor (CI), in his post, “Hard Truths on connecting with the 70%”. CI: “The 70% (especially the swing voter, 35% of the voters) know what they are doing when they vote for the PAP”.

In the same post, CI suggests that opposition members should “inform and persuade the swing voters” in order to win more votes. But haven’t opposition members, especially his WP, been doing precisely that?

Look no further than the past 2 GEs where WP’s votes in Aljunied GRC dropped from 54.72% in GE 2011 to 50.95% in GE 2015. WP did not change its strategy and had even managed to rope in respectable candidates like Daniel Goh, Leon Perera, He Ting Ru, etc. Should WP remain on course as prescribed by CI, rest assured it will be history.

CI has underestimated the influence PAP has over the electorate by virtue of its total control over state finance as well as its ability to cast aspersions on opposition members prior to every election. To continue executing an ineffective strategy is akin to banging one’s head against the wall. If CI had banged his own head, he would have known a strategy change is imperative. But CI doesn’t see the need for any change.

In order to win any fight, one must also be able to identify the opponent’s weakness. CI has not clearly identified any PAP’s weakness.

CI further claims that the “WP knows these Hard Truths and have used this knowledge to win and hold Aljunied GRC. Trouble is that others don’t.” Sounds a bit like LKY but why was the WP unable to extend its victory to other GRCs with CI’s Hard Truths? Not only did it fail to add another trophy, WP won only by a whisker in GE 2015 which CI is too embarrassed to mention.

If swing voters existed, WP would have won by an overwhelming margin after 5 years of grassroots work in Aljuneid GRC. Is there any explanation for its dismal performance?

One would have expected CI, the most brilliant blogger, to offer original ideas which could make a dent in PAP’s power. It has been a disappointment.

(I am quite amused by CI who seems more irrational by the day when he expects Dr Chee to retire because “the problem is that 60 -70% of S’poreans have problems with Dr Chees’s history and character”. If indeed the problem lies with the 60 to 70% Singaporeans, then why should Chee fade away from the political scene? Why doesn’t CI talk some sense into the 60 to 70% brainwashed electorate to help them make informed choices instead?)

After having spoken to numerous Singaporeans, many of grandpa age, it’s easy to understand their mindset: the “I-Me-Mine” citizens do not even know they have rights. Hmm .. could these people possibly be our swing voters?

Me: PAP should be upfront with citizens. All information which should be in the public domain should not be concealed.
Ignorant grandpa: There is no need to ask PAP any questions. They must have good reasons for concealing information.

Me: Chronic issues were not resolved yesterday because there is no * accountability.
Moronic grandpa: Other countries also have problems so this is normal.

Me: Many problems are not resolved because PAP doesn’t tackle the root causes such as our flawed population policy.
Stupid grandpa: You should migrate to other country instead of complaining so much.

A very large number of “swing voters” are not even bothered/aware that their own children/grandchildren are already being screwed by PAP’s policies. It is naive to believe in the existence of 35% of swing voters who could deny PAP a 2/3 majority in Parliament. What opposition parties really need is a new strategy, not a myth.

*edited to include ‘no’