When cost of living goes up, Singaporeans should see it as a good thing.
Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan was dead serious when he made this point on Sunday, saying: “In fact, cost of living is a problem of success. High cost of living means things have improved.”
Not to be outdone, fellow Sembawang GRC MP Vikram Nair echoed that Singaporeans should view the rise in cost of living in positive light, along the lines of “paying someone else a higher wage,” which he added, is “actually a good thing.”
Going by their rationale, it means that the just-announced steep increase in bus and train fares is no doubt a good thing. Not forgetting too that the hefty hikes in water and electricity prices, along with the upcoming GST hike, must all be seen by Singaporeans as a positive sign.
Perhaps it’s their way of justifying paying our politicians the world’s highest salaries. It means Singapore must be doing really, really well?
Actually, even sleazy salesmen do not peddle such hare-brained nonsensical stuff. These politicians are in a class of their own.
Khaw also gave the assurance that 50-year-old HDB flats will continue to appreciate in value over the next 10 years.
But National Development Minister Lawrence Wong has said that details for the Voluntary Early Redevelopment Scheme (VERS), for flats 70 years or older, have not been worked out and will not be ready anytime soon.
Khaw can make any promise he wants, knowing full well that it will be some 20 years into the future before VERS is implemented, if at all. And by then, somebody else will have to answer for the broken promise.
Doesn’t he sound like a salesman who is peddling a bad insurance policy?
We can either choose to see the funny or the scary side of it.
Funny because our politicians think they can so easily pull wool over the eyes of Singaporeans. And scary because these people who run our country seem to believe in their own extraordinary ability to get away with the kind of talk that puts sleazy and shabby salesmen to shame.