By Philip Ang
I refer to CNA’s “PM Lee to address healthcare, education and housing issues at National Day Rally”.
The headline indicates the government has prioritised health care and education over housing. This is wrong. Where CNA had wrongly prioritised Singaporeans’ concerns, fortunately, Yahoo Singapore got them right. (link)
Housing has always been the main issue because high property prices have enslaved Singaporeans to banks for 30 years for public housing. It has also resulted in all goods and services being more expensive i.e. drinks and food at coffee shops, tuition fees, doctor fees, salaries, etc. because businesses pass on their costs to consumers and it continues in a vicious circle.
As the biggest landlord in Singapore, the PAP government will never be in favour of lowering land prices.
Our Singapore Conversation (OSC) is another numbers game which the PAP has embarked upon to impress – 660 dialogues, 47,000 participants, 40 organisations involved etc. This begs the question – what have our 1800 grassroots organisations and $15,000 per month PAP MPs been doing all these years?
The OSC is again confirmation of PAP’s systemic failure and a huge waste of public resources.
The PAP has shown its preference to continue listening to itself by shutting out true blue Singaporeans who are opposition voices. Being partisan, it would be more appropriate to name it OPC – Our PAP CONversation.
The OSC will eventually turn out to be a big joke on those Singaporeans who continue to believe our problems will be resolved because the PAP appears to be listening.
It is not so much of the PAP not wanting to resolve them but are unable to because PAP’s key to growing the economy hinges on only one thing – growing the population. This is a fact which is evident since the last decade of the last century. Every problem (housing, transport, jobs, education) is related to this mindless increase in population and we should realise it is impossible for the PAP to throw away the key.
The PAP has invested tens of billions from our reserves into building infrastructures not for our benefit but to cater to future increase in immigration. Every investment, to the PAP, must yield monetary returns.
One example would be public transportation. After adding 200 or so public buses with taxpayers’ money, overcrowding has not eased. This is due to a simultaneous increase in the population which should currently be about 5.42 million. (extrapolate from past increases) Future additional buses are meant to cater to an average yearly increase in population of about 100,000. The $1,000,000,000 plus ‘investment’ generates monetary returns for PTOs and the reduction of overcrowding for commuters is merely incidental. This is the PAP mindset.
Another example would be the increase in the number of HDB flats for similar reason stated above. Higher immigration numbers translate into high property prices which benefit the government directly or indirectly through GST, personal and corporate taxes, etc.
All issues are related to a mindless immigration/population policy and when the OSC ignores the elephant in the room, it really makes a mockery of Singaporeans.
The OSC is merely about tweaks and treatment of symptoms of a system which in already in the ICU.