SDP’s statement on the cabinet appointments

The question that Singaporeans must ask is not who is appointed to which ministry but rather what policies will emanate from these new ministries.

If there is a lesson in this elections for the PAP it is that the people are fed-up with the it’s policies on the cost of living, foreign workers, housing, transportation, education, etc. Shifting portfolios among ministers without addressing these policies only signals that the Government is interested in cosmetic changes.

For example, if Mr Khaw Boon Wan who replaces Mr Mah Bow Tan continues with the Ministry of National Development’s policy of not revealing the real costs of constructing HDB flats, Singaporeans will still be in the dark as to how much their flats really cost and how much profit the Government is making from HDB sales.

Without this transparency, we cannot make sound policies that guide the pricing of HDB flats. If this is the case, whether it is Minister Khaw or Minister Mah is of no benefit to Singaporeans.

Therefore, we look forward to each minister coming out over the next days and weeks to clearly articulate the new policies and policy initiatives which we expect to be significantly different from their predecessors. Otherwise, it is a clear message that it is politics-as-usual from this Government.

Also, it is noted that ministers who have performed poorly in the previous Government have been retained and given another ministry. For example, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan who managed the Youth Olympic Games poorly and was heavily criticised for his insensitive remarks about the poor, is now given the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources.

And former Environment Minister Mr Yaacob Ibrahim who could not get a grip of the seriousness of the floods that caused so much damage to Singapore now assumes the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts without conclusively dealing with the flood problem .

How will the performance and effectiveness of the Government be raised with such lateral movement?

In addition, we still have Ministers who have been assigned to the Prime Minister’s Office without a portfolio (Mr Lim Swee Say and Mr S Iswaran). Exactly what do these ministers do?

Another unexplained set of appointments are the second ministers. What exactly are their roles? How do they assist the ministers? How are their jobs different from the ministers of state?

PM Lee Hsien Loong must explain to the people why he has made these appointments and how these posts help in the more effective governing of Singapore.

Finally, if PM Lee is genuinely contrite and is determined to lead a government that listens to the people, then he will announce an across-the-board reduction in the Ministers’ salaries. The astronomical wages  that the Ministers draw, despite the poor performance of the last government, have caused much anger among Singaporeans.

The SDP has recommended that the PM’s salary be reduced to $60,000 a month and the ministers’ wages follow accordingly.

Chee Soon Juan
Singapore Democratic Party


PRESS RELEASE 19/05/2011

The Reform Party

The Reform Party Responds to PM Lee’s Cabinet Reshuffle

We note the announcement by PM Lee today of changes to the Cabinet*.

While it is good that the PM has owned up to the urgency of the need for change, it is clear that the PAP is at a loss where to go from here. The problem is not with the personnel at the head of each Ministry or department but with the policies themselves.  This cabinet reshuffling of the same old figures is not rejuvenation and the same old line up wearing different numbered jerseys can only lead to stagnation. The PAP is wedded to its old policies which are failing, have failed or are simply not delivering for Singaporeans.

The PM is quoted as saying “I wanted a fresh start, and that’s why I’ve gone for a radical change”. But this election we witnessed the PAP put up its weakest slate of new candidates for many years. It is clear that our ruling party has run out of ideas.  As I said at the RP’s final rally on 5th May 2011, if The PM really wants a change we would advise him to pinjam some policies from the first new and fresh political Party to contest an election in Singapore for over 20 years.  [Youtube: Minutes 7:10 for ‘pinjam’ comment.]

Making Mr. Wong Kan Seng, Mr. Mah Bow Tan and Mr. Raymond Lim the sacrificial lambs does not change the fact that their Ministries’ failures are the responsibility of the entire government. Also if Mr. Lee Kuan Yew and Mr. Goh Chok Tong are stepping down, why have they been appointed as senior advisers to GIC and MAS and Mr. Goh given the title of Emeritus Senior Minister? After the PM’s comments about the PAP having a monopoly on talent in Singapore, so that there can only be one A Team, it is surprising that the government cannot allow them to enjoy their retirement. Furthermore we feel that the voters of Marine Parade and Tanjong Pagar have a right to feel aggrieved that the ministers and senior ministers they voted to keep in before the election,  stepped down straight after the election. If I bought stock in a company heavily promoting its directors and the day after my purchase the directors stepped down, I would be aggrieved.

We are seriously concerned by the fact that several Ministers are now running more than one ministry after this reshuffle.  This should be a wakeup call to the people of Singapore as it smacks of desperation. (Mr. Tharman acting as DPM, Finance and Manpower Minister and Mr. Shanmugam as Law and Foreign Affairs Minister) This, more than any other factor of the reshuffle shows that the government simply lacks enough talented players. How can we hope for any fresh ideas or talent to emerge from the PAP when they occupy 81 of the 87 seats in Parliament in a top-heavy and extremely expensive structure yet still need to double up?

Failed and failing PAP policies include:

  • An outmoded economic growth strategy which boosts the incomes and employment of Non citizens and their home economies rather than the real incomes of Singaporeans.
  • A housing policy derived from Socialist-era Britain that keeps Singaporeans in almost serf-like dependence on the government rather than allowing them to actually own their own property and live where they want. At the same time, in an effort to win votes and boost the asset side of the government’s balance sheet, the government has embarked on an irresponsible so-called asset “enhancement” strategy of deliberately driving up prices. This both puts the first rung of the property ladder out of reach of young Singaporeans and will have severe consequences for the real economy when the bubble bursts.  There will not be nor ever be a fat middle class in Singapore with this housing policy but instead only a spread of the sandwich classes.
  • A “forced saving” policy (CPF) appropriate to earlier stages of development where the goalposts are regularly moved without Singaporeans having any choice in the matter.
  • A healthcare policy which deters Singaporeans from seeking early treatment for many serious illnesses because of high fees and leaves them facing financial ruin if they develop a life-threatening or high maintenance chronic condition.
  • An economy which is controlled to a large extent by GLCs and where Singaporeans pay higher prices than they need to for many basic utilities and public transport because of lack of competition and/or effective regulation.
  • A non-transparent process of accumulating chronic government surpluses (of the magnitude of over $100 billion over the last ten years excluding surpluses from Temasek and GIC and profits from land sales) without justifying why such large savings are necessary and whether or not a large part of them can be prudently returned to the people in the form of lower taxes or higher spending or dividends.
  • Not one but two Sovereign Wealth Funds whose asset valuation and investment policies are opaque and whose ultimate purpose is unclear. Singaporeans should properly be given transparency and accountability. Indeed The Reform Party calls for them to be given a stake as it is their savings and hard work which has financed this accumulation.
  • A Defence Policy which relies on an amateur conscript force. This labour comes only from male Singaporeans (but not male new citizens) who are then not equitably compensated for their economic sacrifice.
  • Restrictions on the rights and liberties of Singaporeans which insult our intelligence and reduce us to the equivalent of a subject people in our own county.
  • Restrictions on the rights to freedoms of speech and expression which reduce Singapore to the level of a Third World developing or authoritarian state.
  • Obscenely high pay for Ministers which appears to be negatively correlated with the quality of their performance.

When The Prime Minister has finished moving his pieces around he can find some new ideas and our policy proposals here:



Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
You May Also Like

全球“求才若渴” 陈振声:新加坡坐视不管将被抛在后头

昨日,贸工部长陈振声在回应议员提问时,认为“保护主义”无法保障新加坡的长期经济成长,全球皆“求才若渴”,对人才需求激烈。新加坡能否壮大成为区域枢纽,取决于今日的决策。 西海岸集选区议员郑德源在国会提问,“Tech@SG”试验计划是否有管控机制,避免本地的PMET(专业人士、经理、执行人员和技师)就业机会受到影响。 经济发展局(EDB)与新加坡企业发展局(ESG),将在今年第四季推出“Tech@SG”试验计划,旨在帮助科技公司在新加坡成长和到本区域发展,例如让公司为核心队员申请就业准证时将获得便利。 而在8月1日,陈振声告诉然告诉彭博社,除了技术驱动领域,吸引外籍人才我国的两年计划或会扩展到其他领域。换句话说,这个计划将“促进”外籍PMETs,在我国各行业取得工作准证。 “法国、泰国也在招揽人才” 昨日,他则在国会指出,即便法国和泰国,也出台特别准证计划,吸引外籍人才。但是全球都“求才若渴”,招揽人才竞争激烈。“如果新加坡坐视不管,肯定会被抛在后头。” 他表示,面对这种激烈竞争,新加坡要成功组建大量的高端人才、初创企业,只有很小的机会窗口,新加坡能不能成为全球科技枢纽,取决于今日的决策和行动。 至于郑德源议员,则提醒面对如今充满不确定因素和低迷的就业市场上,政府理应扶助国人;陈振声则回应正是经济前景的不确定性,故此国家才更需要采取行动打造下一代企业,让他们转型和扩大市占率。 但与此同时,在上月6日,在国会答复议员提问时,人力部长杨莉明坦言,根据人力部官网数据,2019年第一季的裁员人数为3230人,其中,PMET(专业人士、经理、技师等)在劳动人口中占比较高,该群体仍占被裁退人数中的69巴仙。 在2018年,有5400位本地PMET被裁员,占裁员人数的79.3巴仙。他们当中有三分之二来自正进行重组的行业,如批发、金融、保险服务、资讯工艺、专业领域等等。

惊传柔佛州苏丹“驾崩”? 柔摄政王与父王合照打脸假消息

日前,有消息柔佛州苏丹易卜拉欣陛下因癌症驾崩,导致网路疯传,柔佛州摄政王东姑依斯迈则贴上与父王的合照辟谣。 据《东方日报》报道,一名名为“Hazwan Ali”的网友昨日在面子书上载一则贴文,称柔佛州苏丹因罹患脑癌与肾癌不治,还贴上救护车的合成图,甚至将柔佛王室惯用的水印贴上,试图以假乱真,引起网民疯传。 该名网友还在帖文下方回复网民留言,让帖文看起来更贴合事实。 对此,柔州摄政王东姑依斯迈昨日傍晚7时06分罕见在官方面子书上,发布一张与陛下的合照,但却未附上任何文字说明,以此无声回应“死讯”,粉碎谣言。 照片中,可见依布拉欣陛下正在玩手机,并未直视镜头,但看起来身体健康良好。 截至今日官方帖文已获4万6000名网民点赞,1700留言,柔州网民也在底下纷纷表示安心,并祝愿陛下身体健康,更有部分网民批评造谣者,要求当局严惩。 目前,该名发假消息的网友已关闭脸书,而马来西亚警方也证实接获四宗相关投报,同时也会立案侦查假消息来源。

SDP Chief calls SG govt’s denial of errors as attitude of arrogance, says it caused problems amid COVID-19 pandemic

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his ministers’ refusal to admit…

People’s Voice meets residents of Mountbatten SMC and Jalan Besar GRC on Sunday morning

On Sunday morning (28 June), the People’s Voice (PV) visited the residents…