Singaporeans who continue to be apologists for PAP’s governance failure had better start to scrutinise PAP’s policies objectively. The longer we continue to accommodate PAP’s epic failures, the worse it will be for our children and future generations of Singaporeans. Forgiving as Singaporeans are, we must know when to say ‘enough is enough’.
PAP’s parliamentary majority means there is no meaningful debate but only a PAP monologue. The questions raised by opposition party members have not even scratched the surface of PAP’s opacity. By the time they do, chronic issues will have been compounded and Singapore may have fallen off the cliff. It is the responsibility of every citizen to understand what the PAP stands for and its objectives.
Citizens should be wary of a political party which has thrived for 5 decades on:
– Zero transparency
– Zero accountability
– Politicising the civil service to perpetuate its power
– Politicising grassroots organisations to perpetuate its power
1) Zero transparency – with zero transparency, PAP is able to conceal vital data and hide policy failures eg immigration policy with a current annual intake of 30,000 PRs but 10,000 also leaving every year since 2000. It also prevents citizens from the possession of factual knowledge of where, how much and how our reserves are invested. Even ex President Nathan, who was supposed to safeguard our past reserves did not even know they were used 55 times. In reality, not a single MP, besides PAP’s inner circle, has factual knowledge of our reserves other than the information which has been (allowed) published.
With zero transparency, opposition party members do not have access to vital information to question the government in parliament.
2) Zero accountability – In a truly functioning democracy, failures are given the boot but our pseudo democracy allows them to be recycled into the system. It perpetuates chronic issues which are self evident and experienced by ordinary citizens today.
MND – From the chart (below), it should be clear the MND never had any foresight or long term planning. A five year period could see HDB constructing units ranging from as high as 158,621 to as low as 30,069. Planning appears to be a numbers game which is within the capability of any Tom, Dick or Harry.
PAP considers this long-term planning.
Source: HDB statistics (page 2)
Citizens are now enslaved to 30-year mortgages at much higher property prices because of PAPs haphazard planning. Were those responsible such as ex MND ministers Mah Bow Tan (under built), Lim Hng Kiang (loves to build) and their permanent secretaries held accountable? Why is Lim Hng Kiang still in the cabinet and Mah still an MP, both receiving tax dollars, despite screwing up citizens’ lives?
Current MND minister Khaw cannot be said to be doing a good job because he is only resolving the issues created by his PAP predecessor. If by merely increasing the number of public housing units is considered a job well done, then any ordinary citizen could be a minister.
MOH – Khaw was the ex MOH minister (2004 to 2011) who was somehow not aware the number of hospital beds actually decreased by more than 500 right under his watch. Nathan did not know reserves had been used 55 times, Mah Bow Tan did not know an increasing population required to be housed and Khaw did not know hospital patients require hospital beds! What was Khaw’s focus? Revenue from medical tourism for Singapore Inc?
In any democratic country, a failure of this magnitude would have been booted out. But the PAP loves the game of musical chairs so much that it has given Khaw a second chance to test his capability at another ministry!
Current MOH minister Gan Kim Yong is now having a hard time addressing the issue of high healthcare costs and shortage of hospital beds, no thanks to his predecessor Khaw. Gan, in turn, helmed and left the MOM with issues to be resolved by current MOM minister Tan Chuan Jin.
The worst would of course be PM Lee Hsien Loong whose predecessor, Goh Chok Tong, had left him with the huge mess we are in. PM Lee has displayed little leadership, preferring to sue cleaner Roy (assuming he has not left the job) instead of focusing on improving governance issues.
3) Politicising the civil service to perpetuate its power
The PAP uses huge financial rewards to attract like-minded, self-serving citizens into the civil service. PAP’s influence over the civil service also prevents vital information from being published. Without such information, there is no meaningful debate in Parliament.
In PAP’s push to increase the population to 6.9 million, the NPTD has been using skewed data to create a public buy in. There are immigration policy issues which the NPTD has refused to address.
PAP’s growth strategy is simply to increase the population to increase demand, creating an illusion of wealth amid a sea of suffering. Remove the population increase shortcut and our GDP will collapse. The KPIs of politicians and civil servants are all tied to economic performance. Both are a complete disgrace for rubbing each other’s backs while citizens continue to suffer.
4) Politicising grassroots organisations to perpetuate its power
It is an open secret our grassroots organisations are self serving and controlled by the People’s Association (PA). PA’s board of management comprises PM Lee and only PAP ministers and MPs. Not a single opposition MP is on PA’s board although opposition MPs represent 40%, or about 800,000 Singaporean voters.
Scrutiny of PAP will improve governance
Citizens have every right to question and blame the PAP government because it monopolises ALL state resources. When public housing prices skyrocket and the alternative of private housing is simply out of reach for the masses, are we supposed to blame ourselves?
By scrutinising the PAP and its policies, citizens will be able to understand how all the problems have been created. By voting in the PAP as our government, won’t it continue to implement policies which are only in its interests but detrimental to ordinary citizens’?
By not voting for the PAP, citizens will send a strong message to the government not to recycle failures and only then will our system improve. We cannot afford to continue to hope for miracles from failures.
There will be a strong tendency to compare with neighbouring countries but we should bear in mind our politicians’ salaries are not peanuts. It is also illogical to compare governing our 716 km² apple to oranges which could be 100 times our size.
Conditioned by the mainstream media, many citizens also ignorantly question the credibility of opposition MPs when in fact we should be questioning PAP MPs, eg
– Sylvia Lim has been doing grassroots work since 2001, an NMP since 2006 and MP since 2011. Why is Chan Chun Sing and Tan Chuan Jin, both with zero grassroots experience, zero relevant experience and had much lesser parliamentary experience catapulted into ministerial positions? Are they serving the PAP or citizens?
– Why is our childish PAP MP Tin Pei Ling even a Government Parliament Committee (Health and Home Affairs and Law) member? With zero relevant experience, aren’t there better qualified MPs such as Chen Show Mao or Pritam Singh?
The PAP should not attempt to stretch our imagination with its reasons for choosing less qualified GPC members. This may make our toes laugh.
It is more important for Singaporeans to start questioning the PAP because it has been scraping the bottom of the barrel for its current lot of MPs. After all, only PAP policies will be implemented.
The PAP appoints only its MPs to cabinet and other important positions and prevents better qualified opposition MPs from increasing their knowledge of governance. Subsequently, this becomes self fulfilling.
PAP’s capitalistic DNA will not change. PAP is only interested in perpetuating its power and any policy benefits to citizens will be incidental . PAP’s governance failure is a fact and this has resulted from PAP repeatedly recycling failures into our system. As the PAP continues down its 50-year path of zero transparency and accountability, citizens must recognise it has become a liability to OUR country.