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Brief response to PM Lee’s speech

Our response in italics:

Speech in English

"Testimony of 48 year old retrenched worker who went to e2i and got a job: 'I am so happy now. I am earning more than before.'"

- For every one person like him, how many were not able to find a job, or was paid less and by how much less? I think what we need are the statistics, and not just one positive example.

"First class Government, best leadership."

- Why is it that paying the highest salaries in the world to our ministers has failed to find a 4th Prime Minister, who may have to be a new candidate in the next election around the age of 30?

"The most dangerous fault line is race and religion. We don't talk very much about it. From time to time, we need to."

- The Malay community may arguably be the least economically well off on a relative basis. As their (if not most Singaporeans') biggest asset may probably be their HDB flat, the HDB Ethnic Quota policy may need to be reviewed, as it is generally harder to sell and the market price is much lower.

"The 3Ms (Medisave, Medishield, Medifund) are working well"

- How many have zero or less than $500 in their Medisave account? How many are unable to pay their medical bills? How many are deliquent on their medical bills, being chased by hospitals to pay, paying by installment, etc ?

"No need for new prescription now - review at the end of the year"

- How many more have to be unemployed? How many more have to apply for financial assistance, before we take additional measures?

'The 'Then and now" slide show and commentary was great'

- Let us all be united and work together to review the policies that may be causing more Singaporeans to lose their homes, life CPF savings, low savings for retirement, declining incomes against rising cost of living, etc

Speech in Malay

"Buy a flat that is within your means"

- With the prices of new HDB flats continuing to escalate because of HDB's "market subsidy pricing policy", despite the economic downturn, is it any wonder that the HDB visited 60,000 HDB households last year who had difficulty in paying for their HDB flats.

"Do not spend every dollar you earn"

- With the wages of the lower-income continuing to decline, how to make ends meet?

Speech in Chinese

"Unemployment rate has increased slightly"

- The resident unemployment rate has increased to six per cent in June, with 116,600 unemployed.

"Basically, most Singaporeans can afford their medical costs"

- What about the 750,000 who do not have any form of medical insurance, according to Mdm Halimah Yacob, Chair-person of the Government Parliamentary Committee (GPC) on Healthcare?

- Khoo Teck Puat hospital wih 500 beds will cost S$500 million, compared to the 600-bed Sungai Buloh hospital in Malaysia which we understand only cost RM50 million.

"Community hospitals can provide good step-down care"

- With the recent increase in fees of up to 100 per cent at community hospitals, the net effect, even after the increase in Government subsidies, may be that patients end up paying more.