MISSION IMPOSSIBLE FROM FATHER TO SON, there is still no satisfactory solution to retirement, housing and education...
[I don’t trade in people’s miseries. My business is the people’s happiness.] #1
In a speech in the Federal Parliament on 27 May 1965, just before Singapore’s independence, Singapore first prime minister made the above speech and championed for a Malaysian Malaysia. Looking back in history, have we narrowed the concept of the failed Malaysian Malaysia into a Singaporean Singapore? Have we ever traded in people’s miseries?
49 years later, we are still discussing the problems of miseries and happiness. We still try to find an answer for CPF retirement, health care, housing, education and services to the people despite our huge economic achievement. We are a first world country in search for a satisfactory balance between miseries and happiness.
National Day Rally 2014 proves that after more than 50 years of hard work, our mission of nation building and the promise of better life is still a long shot. In fact, it looks more like an impossible mission as the government is still talking about basic CPF problems, education and services to the people.
From the first prime minister to the third prime minister, CPF despite becoming bigger and bigger still remains an unsatisfactory answer for retirement, medical care and housing. Despite more education opportunities, better international university ranking, and advanced technology for civil service, the PAP government is still in the dilemma of balancing people’s miseries and happiness. Why?
Are there any statistics comparing the miseries and happiness then and now?
The second prime minister did not answer the question directly. However, he confirmed the issue of miseries and happiness and worried about the gap between the people and the PAP.
[Loosening ties between people and government could pull Singapore apart unless Singaporeans demand as much of themselves as they do of the Government, Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong warned on Saturday.
Unrealistic demands and frequent criticism of the Government are straining the cohesiveness of the Singapore family, he said.] #2
ESM Goh seems to link the miseries to unrealistic demands and frequent criticism. On the contrary, happy people have realistic demands and praise the PAP government.
Mission impossible or small stream forever
In his Mandarin speech, PM Lee sang a bit of the famous Xinyao song ‘small stream that flows forever’. There is a business and management practice of controlling the market. If you solve the problems or provide the best solutions in one go, you end up making less profit. This is why a good product like Apple can continue to make profit after Apple 3, 4, 4S, 5…. or Microsoft after her many series of Windows.
Perhaps, the PAP is thinking the same way as they are a good brand and offer a good product. Solving problems in one go will not maximize their election winning opportunities. By tactically positions the miseries and happiness, they can profit from the imbalance. So, the PAP wants to keep the small stream flowing forever.
In this case, the PAP is trading people’s miseries as well as people’s happiness. We cannot deny there are people really happy about the PAP’s policies of CPF, housing and education. Some are really happy as they can take away all their CPF money, capital gains from housing and education if they quite Singapore at the right time right place.
A stream, a trade-off, a business to trade miseries and happiness always exists under the PAP government. They are happily manipulating and controlling the situation. They think they can forever make the stream bigger (up the minimum sum) or smaller (small lump-sum withdrawal), simple (Medisave) or complicated (Medishield) , decentralise (e.g town councils) or centralise (new municipal services).
In NDR 2014, the PAP government is honouring pioneer generation, honouring the first president of the Republic, relaxing the CPF lump-sum withdrawal and increasing the minimum sum, even shifting cultural values. This looks more like a business deal. Are they trading people’s miseries and happiness for a truly Singaporean Singapore?
To stop the trading between miseries and happiness, power to the people is the answer. Honouring our pioneers, returning the basic concept of CPF, and Singaporean culture are not tradable. Long before our independence, we know these are non-tradable. However, when Singapore concentrates more and more on economic growth, the PAP maximizes, rather than minimizes, the difference between people’s miseries and happiness.
Trading people’s miseries and happiness has become the business of the PAP. By making the business problems into a stream, the PAP wants to capitalise it forever. Can a Singaporean Singapore stop them?