Sunday, 10 June 2012

From master of everything to master of nothing, what do you think about the PAP?


The PAP has changed from knowing everything to knowing nothing.  They have become humble and so instead of providing a perfect answer, they now ask you ‘what do you think’ and seek you answers rather than giving you answers.

In his speech to the Economic Society of Singapore, PM Lee outlined the challenges of Singapore and the possible directions of Singapore economy and political developments.  There is no right or wrong answer.  What do you think, fast growth or slow growth?  

Perhaps, from PM Lee’s speech we can pinpoint some very interesting ‘what do you think’ answers:

(Below questions are taken from PM Lee’s speech, you can find the full speech in sg.yahoo.com)     

PM Lee: I understand Singaporeans' frustrations and am committed to resolving them.
What do you think? Is it a fair statement? Is he doing enough to solve them?

PM Lee: even thought our per capita GDP is high, our wages are generally lower than in developed countries.
What do you think? Prof. Lim has already provided the answer. Earnings of low wage workers have no real increase for more than 10 years. 

PM Lee: So inequality will grow worldwide, and angst and social pressures will go up.
What do you think? Don’t blame the government. We should accept inequality as we are part of the world. 

PM Lee: Where do we want Singapore to be in 20 years' time?
What do you think? Who is to decide the fate of Singaporeans? The PAP or Singaporeans and see the next question.

PM Lee: A new generation is growing up, brimming with fresh ideas on how to change Singapore for the better.
What do you think? The fresh ideas to change Singapore are from the youths or the new generation of the PAP leaders.

PM Lee: For Singapore, slow growth will mean that new investments will be fewer, good jobs will be scarcer, and unemployment will be higher.
What do you think? Be prepared to face a Singapore of fewer investments, less good jobs and higher unemployment.

PM Lee: If we are content to just be above average in the league of cities, we will fail. That is the greatest danger if we tell ourselves to slow down, enjoy life today and not worry about tomorrow.
What do you think? On the one hand our elites are enjoying life and not worry about tomorrow. On the other hand, average Singaporeans are already struggling for housing, transport, employment and income. What can you do if you are an average Singaporean?   

PM Lee: Our reserves are a valuable buffer against external shocks, and give us the confidence to transform our economy. Not many other countries, or cities, in the world can claim the same.
What do you think? We really do not know how much how big our reserves are.  Some say it may take more than 50 man-years to calculate.  Really, not many other countries can claim the same.

PM Lee: In the past five years, transfers added one-fifth to low-income household earnings. Over a lifetime, a low-income household will receive more than S$500,000 from the government.
What do you think? If you are not a millionaire you must be a half millionaire. I feel so happy looking at the government transfers.  

PM Lee: Therefore to assess the well-being of low-income Singaporeans, we cannot look at just nominal wages.
What do you think?  Shall we look at the hawker’s centres, food courts and restaurants or the cars, houses or holidays?   

PM Lee: At some point - not in this term of government, but surely within the next 20 years - the Government of the day will need new sources of revenue, which means raising taxes.
What do you think? Be prepared to pay more taxes in future.

PM Lee: We will always give Singaporeans the means and the incentives to help themselves, for personal effort and achievement are essential to our sense of dignity and self-worth, and the means to achieve our vision of becoming a leading global city.
What do you think? The means and the incentives are available and always there but you need to look for them.  It may hide somewhere provided you know the way.

PM Lee: Only when citizens accept the political system as legitimate, and economic order as fair, will they give the government of the support and the mandate to run Singapore in their best interests. And only with this mandate can the government do the best for Singapore and all of us.
What do you think? Legitimate, fair, and mandate to the PAP and the government will do the best for Singapore. We have been doing this for the past 50 years and what do we get?

PM Lee: As we venture into the next phase of our development, Singaporeans have to understand what is achievable, what the options are, and what trade-offs we have to make. Only then we can collectively choose an optimal path forward.
What do you think? Is it a collective optimal path for Singaporeans or the PAP? 

PM Lee: The way ahead for Singapore is challenging, but we have reason to be confident.
What do you think? The way ahead for the PAP is challenging but we have confident on the people to vote wisely.

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