20140323 Citizens must reject PAP politics of control for our well being

In 1955, Lee Kuan Yew said : “If you believe that men should be free, then, they should have the right of free association, of free speech, of free publication. Then, no law should permit those democratic processes to be set at nought.”

After the PAP came into power, it systematically removed the right of free association, of free speech, of free publication until fear permeated even the minds right-minded citizens. Its morality is now increasingly being questioned.

With control of almost all resources, numerous businesses, statutory boards, mainstream media, government agencies, thousands of grassroots organisations and even Parliament, citizens’ voices are hardly heard. Citizens should realise we have the right to be critical of policies/politicians for our well being. Just how bad is it?

1 The PAP controls the HDB which has screwed up citizens’ lives big time but it’s business as usual at HDB with no one held accountable. Public housing, including resale, must be affordable but a basic resale 3 room flat is still out of reach for most young couples. Instead of tackling the issue, the HDB builds new flats and this is supposed to have resolved the problem. It appears the government dictates where ordinary citizens should live. We are not talking about central locations but estates like Woodlands, Jurong or Pasir Ris. Do you want the PAP to control where you live?
Public housing will one day be stress free living and move closer to nature.

2 Public housing is meant for citizens, as is the case in every country. In Singapore, the PAP decided years ago that PRs are entitled to taxpayers’ funded housing. During the last 2 decades after Goh Chok Tong’s FT policy was implemented, HDB units saw an influx of foreign workers. There was very little enforcement by the HDB and this resulted in many whole units turning into dormitories, some with more than 20 tenants link. Do you want a statutory board which serves only PAP’s economic objectives or residents?

3 PAP controlled town councils have recently decided that S & CC fees will be raised. The millions in our surplus were not used for our benefit but transferred into the sinking fund which has already met its statutory limit. The government has also cut down on its grants without informing residents. These grants should have increased in tandem with an expanding estate but instead saw a reduction. My town council has probably lost millions which it has yet to reveal 6 years after a bad investment. The town council is made up of PAP affiliated committees and decisions, such as the increase in S & CC, are made without consultation with stakeholders. Do you want an estate manager which decides on everything which you have pay for?

4 The Public Transport Council is made up of PAP- affiliated members. PTC members The PTC comes up with ridiculous formula to justify hikes in public transport fares for 2 profitable, regularly-breaking-down PTOs. Do you want more cock and bull stories from them? Look at the the members clearly – these are people who do not commute by public transport, some may be chauffeur driven and have no inkling of the issues we face. But they decide for the millions of public transport commuters! Do you want such a system which ordinary people like you and me have NO say?

If we did not understand your issues, do you think we will support the fare hike?

5 Temasek Holdings manages our reserves with little transparency and zero accountability. Billion-dollar decisions are made by only a handful of people and the multi-million dollar salaries of its CEO, management and fund managers are unknown. Why should Temasek’s management/director salaries be undisclosed when even politicians have disclosed theirs? Even the exorbitant salary of DBS CEO at $9,300,000, which even exceeded that of Deutsche Bank CEO, was revealed. Why hide something which should be be revealed?

On 14 March, Temasek made an offer of $2.23 per share, which is considered very high considering the share had already increased by about 30%, for Olam. link The company had an increasing level of debt, a low dividend yield and had a negative credit rating by Moody’s Investor Service. One week later, Temasek offered $7.2 billion to buy a 25% stake in A.S.Watson. link Did Temasek conduct any due diligence? Didn’t its due diligence also led to huge losses previously? link What is Temasek’s exit strategy, if any? Are you willing to accept PAP excuses for poor corporate governance which will adversely affect our reserves, money which belongs to you and me?

6 Our forced retirement fund system CPF is nothing short of a failure. The balance in our CPF account is insufficient for retirement. This is due to CPF funds being channeled to justify sky high housing prices. Upon reaching retirement age, CPF account holders are then advised to sell our homes. The government has implemented flawed policies but CPF members pay the price for epic screw ups.

By arbitrarily locking up our CPF money, all previous plans are now shattered. ChildrenHow we live is dictated by the flawed policies which we are made to pay a very high price. The objective of CPF policies is to generate high economic growth in order to justify the salaries of politicians and civil service. Do you want the PAP’s control of the CPF board to screw your lives until the day you die?

7 Anyone who has engaged the government would have been frustrated by the lack of ‘inconvenient’ statistics. link Sometimes, the government simply prefers not to response. link The PAP has forgotten they beg citizens at the election to serve us. Even PM Lee said recently “We are servants of the people”. But citizens somehow have switched roles and become their servants. Do you want to be served or remain servants, working your butts off to serve your political masters?

8 Public discourse is also controlled by the government. There is very little critical analysis of public policies and journalists merely act as stenographers. The government has not been able to shape online discourse and has therefore tried to muzzle it. Do you want whatever little voice you have to be silenced?

Your fear of the government is irrational because the power of politicians comes from you! But do not take action only at the election because the adverse effects of flawed policies may be irreversible by then. Engage the government like I have done and DO NOT accept non replies and crappy replies. Only then will they take you seriously and improve the system.

“…so as to achieve, happiness, prosperity and progress for the nation.” Currently, ‘the nation’ belongs only to the wealthy.

Conclusion

The government effectively controls all state resources. It has used them not for the benefit of citizens but to perpetuate its power. An unchecked government becomes complacent, resulting in a civil service with falling standards. This is evident by poor infrastructure planning.

In the pursuit of greed, the PAP has engaged in ‘upside-down’/’terbalik’ planning. Instead of answering the question, it tailors the question to the answer.

All the chronic issues resulted from the PAP having total control and these will not be resolved by perpetually tweaking the system. Only the rejection of PAP’s politics of control will.

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