During the recent National Day Rally on 19 Aug, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong told Singaporeans that the Government will do its part to help alleviate Singaporeans’ worries on the rising cost of living.
“People still feel cost of living pressures,” he said in his Chinese speech at the rally.
Measures are in place to allay Singaporeans’ worries related to the rise in water and electricity prices, he said, but added that Singaporeans also have a responsibility to “look after (their) own wallets” amid lifestyle changes.
While this lifestyle change in completely understandable, he said it pushes up the cost of living.
One of the ways he mentioned to help Singaporeans manage their cost of eating out is to build more hawker centres. Seven new centres have been built in the last few years and 13 more are on the way, he revealed.
“Stalls in the new hawker centres are required to provide affordable food choices. Almost every stall will offer at least one economical meal option, priced at S$3 or less,” he said.
But while the Government will do its part to alleviate Singaporeans’ concerns, PM Lee said that they also have a responsibility to look after their own wallets.
“Each of us has a responsibility to ‘look after our own wallets’ – save water, save electricity, and at the same time, shop around for the best prices and be a smart consumer,” he told Singaporeans.
Durians no “bao chiak”
However, PM Lee’s promise to build more hawker centres has to be seen in light of what Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC MP Teo Ser Luck said during GE 2015.
During an election rally in GE 2015, then PAP candidate Teo Ser Luck openly threatened the residents that if he is not voted in, there will be no new after-school care centres, elderly facilities, bus interchange nor hawker centre.
This is what Teo said at the rally:
Now, think now, not enough after-school care centres, correct or not?
So, this is what I will push for after-school care centres.
And, the residents also, some of them getting old.
I will push for more elderly facilities as well.
There are many things that will be done, including this open area that is empty.
There will be plans here.
There will be plans here… for bus interchange, for hawker centre.
Er sorry ah, only when we are voted in ah.
<change to speaking in Teochew>
Ok, no “bao chiak”, no “bao chiak” (no guarantee)
“Liu lian bor bao chiak kai” (Durians no guarantee can be eaten one)
“Zi pai liu lian wu kai hor chiak, wu kai bor hor chiak” (Nowadays, some durians are good to eat, some not so good)
In other words, there is no guarantee that hawker centres will be built in a constituency if the PAP candidate for that constituency is not voted in.
The PAP govt can still decide to alter construction plans in order to “punish” the residents in those constituencies for not voting in their candidates in an election.
But of course, if the PAP loses majority seats in a GE and can’t form the govt of the day, that will be a different matter altogether.