Only one announcement in Parliament needed to increase PUB’s income by $361 million

Lee Kuan Yew: “We decide what is right. Never mind what the people think.” link

And so Finance Minister Heng simply announced a staggering 30% increase in the price of water during Budget 2017. PAP had already decided that increasing the price of water was right, no need for debate, never mind the current economic contraction or that businesses will be hurt by rising costs.

The 30% increase in water bill reflects poor/no planning or that the single-party government is trying to fleece citizens. This comes on the heels of S&CC increase by 15 PAP town councils announced – no debate – only a few days ago.

Rising costs has been cited as the reason which is of course another PAP half truth. This is because costs have already been offset by higher PUB income resulting from a 1.7 million population increase since 17 years ago.

By failing to provide supporting figures, Heng is clearly concealing some material information and therefore telling a half truth.

The government should allocate tax dollars for expenditures on basic infrastructures. But in our unique system, PAP has shifted the responsibility of the government to consumers by running PUB as a for-profit organisation.

PUB Annual Report (pg 7)

Like HDB, PUB has also declared ‘losses’ before government grants. PAP should stop misleading the people and remove ‘loss’ from stat board accounting because there was never any loss to begin with. If PAP’s obligations result in losses, why aren’t polyclinics, libraries, schools, etc declaring them?

At the stroke of a pen, Minister Heng will increase PUB’s income by at least $361 million. No capital outlay, no R and D, no nothing: just his mouth. With the ability to create money out of nothing, wouldn’t Heng be the greatest CEO in the universe?

Of course Heng’s achievement pales in comparison with Mah Bow Tan’s COE system which has generated at least $30 billion for the PAP. Again, no capital outlay, no need for R and D but just a piece of paper.

In the last 2 financial years, PUB received about $270 million in grants which means the government outlay was about only 20% of PUB’s operating cost. With the 30% increase and an increasing population, there will soon be no need for any government grant.

In a democratic country, the head of a stat board would have to justify a price hike with sound arguments as well as the issue debated in parliament. But since ours are mostly jiak liao bee PAP elites and could only offer hogwash, politicians ramming it down the people’s throats is preferred.

If the top 3 guys at PUB knew their job, Heng would have an easier time.

Chairman Tan is a former permanent secretary and a member of numerous government committees. Tan is also the chairman of Jurong International which has merged and is now part of Surbana Jurong. Surbana Jurong was recently rapped by the Manpower Minister over the handling of the termination of 54 employees.

CEO Ng Joo Hee is a former Commissioner of Police and was transferred to head PUB after the once-in-44-years Little India riot disgraced the SPF. Like other scholars, Ng had ZERO relevant experience before he was parachuted into PUB in 2014.

Director Zainal Sapari is a PAP MP and chairman of my town council. Sapari could not even reply to my simply queries concerning municipal issues via email. link Under chairman Sapari, my town council has remained opaque and evaded many issues I highlighted.

If PUB were competent, it should have been able to engage the public on such an important issue.

But it’s not only incompetence which prevents PUB from engagement – PUB doesn’t need do so because our system allows ministers to simply announce any hike in Parliament.

With talents like Minister Heng, PUB’s income just increased by hundreds of million$ – at our expense.

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4 Responses to Only one announcement in Parliament needed to increase PUB’s income by $361 million

  1. sinkie says:

    When the Water Conservation Tax was introduced in the 1980s, PAP (I believe it was LKY himself) pacified the population by saying the money collected will be used to subsidize improvements in water supply. I guess that is now in the same category as:
    1) GST will be used to help the poor.
    2) COE will be used to improve public transport.

    So far until now, PAP has used ordinary investors & national reserves to help fund Newater & desalination projects. These are now in a business trust called Keppel Infrastructure Trust (KIT) that is traded on SGX. Temasek is a major shareholder. The main purpose for such business trusts is to use investors’ money to run & maintain existing plants, R&D for future technologies & to develop new plants for more revenue/profits. In return these business trusts will distribute 90% of their income as dividends to shareholders.

    KIT has been stagnating for a few years. And it’s dividends have fallen almost 50% from the peak 8 years ago. I suspect it is facing difficulty in raising any more new money from investors — new rights offerings will dilute existing shareholders and decrease the dividend yield even more. And with Temasek being a major shareholder, PAP has no choice but to obtain the funds from other places.

  2. Disappointed says:

    Based on the 2017 budget, Heng’s stroke obviously affected his brain badly.
    Going by other decisions, such as the 30%(!!!) hike in water prices, many decision-makers are also in very poor mental shape.
    All these, and the Huge amount of construction going on all over the island, strongly indicate that Spore’s economy is in Extremely Bad Shape.

    • Phillip Ang says:

      PAP needs all the ongoing construction activity to help generate economic ‘growth’. Our elites don’t really have any idea.

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