The rejection of aid to an elderly visually impaired Singaporean has raised the ire of many Singaporeans who see this as unfair and outrageous. For me, this rejection crystallises everything that Singaporeans are unhappy about. They feel that the ruling party is made up of elites who do not understand their daily struggles. They feel that the government is very money minded and that middle class life in Singapore is a daily squeeze. To add on to their angst, they are aware that the ministers are paid handsomely and are in fact one of the most highly paid ministers in the world.
However, instead of issuing a mea culpa, we now read that a pro-PAP Facebook page has implied that this elderly man would have been provided financial aid had the GST been higher! I understand that Ho Ching, wife to current Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong has subtly endorsed this line of logic by sharing this article on her own Facebook page.
While I understand that taxes may need to be raised anyway, where is the sensitivity in the handling of this situation? How can you ask the little people to pay more tax when our ministers are paid so handsomely? Perhaps, the government can take the lead by cutting their own salaries by just a little before asking the people to stump up?
Or perhaps, the ministers can get together and make a donation?
However, instead of making use of what could be a very good PR exercise in showing solidarity with the common man, the establishment is pushing the GST down our throat yet again.
Besides, what a low blow it is to insinuate that it is the peoples' fault that this man was not granted aid. To be honest, if every minister cut his salary by 10%, they would still be very well paid and that money could be used to help many needy people. Before you tax the people, the government could do well to see where cuts can be made within the government first.
Shouldn't they try and lead by example?