by Teo Soh Lung
While the whole world will be reminded of the tragedy that took place in the United States when the Twin Towers were reduced to rubble on 11 September 2001, Singaporeans will go to the polls.
The PAP have calculated all the odds – announcing the names of its election candidates, as well as nomination day (1 September) and polling day (11 September), all within the seventh month of the lunar calendar, a month where the Chinese respect the freedom of spirits to wander the earth.
The PAP is telling us that they are not afraid of spirits. They are not businessmen and women who will not make deals during this month. The PAP will not wait till 13 September, the first day of the eighth month which heralds in the auspicious Moon Cake Festival so well loved by the Chinese community. Polling day incidentally falls just two day before the end of the seventh month.
The PAP is confident that having spent huge amount of taxpayers’ money for the young and the old, they will get their votes. They expect them to be grateful for the “goodies” they receive and to give them their votes on polling day.
Sadly, the PAP only knows how to use the carrot and the stick even though this method had failed in Hong Lim, Anson, Potong Pasir, Hougang, Aljunied and Punggol in the past. They continue to trust in this crude method because that is the only method they know. They are not aware that Singaporeans have matured and they cannot be bought by carrots and threatened by sticks.
Singaporeans today are fed up with the old antics of the PAP because they know that the “goodies” they are given in the name of SG50 should have been given to them a long time ago. Indeed, the pioneer generation who built Singapore is entitled to more than what they have been given. The taxes they paid when they were active citizens should have been made use of by the PAP government to ensure that they will always be able to obtain medical care when they are no longer able to earn an income. They should have been able to retire comfortably if the PAP government had planned for an aging population decades ago. Compulsory deductions of Medisave accounts for insurance premiums need not take place if the PAP had made plans earlier.
PM Lee announced in his National Day Rally speech that Singaporean families buying a HDB flat near their parents will receive a S$20,000 grant. Are we to feel happy and grateful for this when decades ago, the government’s policy was to separate parents from their children? Such applications were frowned upon. It took the PAP years to reverse a wrong policy. Today’s policy is merely a reversal of yet another bad policy of the PAP.
So too was the proclaimed baby bonus for every child announced by the Prime Minister. What did the PAP do in earlier times? They penalised parents with more than two children by forcing them to pay exorbitant hospital charges and instructing schools to discriminate against innocent children whose parents did not undergo “voluntary” sterilisation after the birth of two children.
So my fellow Singaporeans – what the government is giving us today is merely correcting bad policies of the past. The PAP exterminated the opposition in Parliament, using the Internal Security Act to imprison them for decades without trial. They then implement all kinds of wrong policies because there was no genuine parliamentary debates. Wrong policies and laws have been in use for decades, causing untold miseries and harm to Singaporeans. Today, the PAP is merely correcting some of its bad policies. Do not be fooled by the PAP.
We should not be fooled by “goodies” of SG50. Accept the “goodies” graciously for these are what we are entitled to. Vote for the opposition on polling day so that they can check on the policies of the PAP.
The PAP is in a defiant mood. Holding the general election just before the end of the seventh month of the lunar calendar is an act of defiance. They want to tell Singaporeans that they do not care about Chinese culture and beliefs. The do not believe in spirits and inauspicious dates. They don’t care about the day the world mourn for the death of thousands of innocent people in the wanton destruction of the Twin Towers. They believe only in themselves.
We need more opposition in Parliament to speak for us. We do not need a Parliament of men and women in white because they can only be “yes men and women.” The party whip ensures that they must only be sheep in Parliament. So if we want a responsible government which will only implement policies that are good for us, we must be sure that enough opposition gets into Parliament. We need a true opposition, not PAP back-benchers who bark occasionally but who will be whipped to follow the party line when it comes to matters crucial to us.
This article first appeared on Function 8’s Facebook page.