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How do politicians walk together with citizens through troubled times when they don’t even acknowledge their troubles in the first place?

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has assured that Singaporeans affected by economic restructuring will have support every step of the way: “We will help everybody to get through any difficult times. We will help you, walk together with you to overcome these troubles.”

That’s certainly good to know, but is it all just lip service?

Most recently, PM Lee’s fellow Ang Mo Kio GRC Member of Parliament Darryl David said that he is not aware of any couples who have been deterred from starting a family due to the high cost involved. He has been lambasted for being out of touch because he has either not been walking the ground or been talking to the wrong people.

Not too long ago, Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong asked a question at a forum which also showed that he was living in a bubble: “If the old ladies and old men do not clean the tables, who are going to clean the tables?”

Indeed, he wants us to accept that it is the destiny of the elderly in Singapore to spend their twilight years cleaning tables at hawker centres. How comforting a thought is that?

And we still have not forgotten the comment by former minister and current Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin that some of the elderly who resort to collecting cardboards “treat it as a form of exercise and activity rather than being cooped up at home.”

Given the tendency of politicians to whitewash the plight of Singaporeans,   it comes across as somewhat of an empty promise when PM Lee declares that the government will walk together with people to help them overcome their troubles.

Perhaps the one who said it most truthfully on behalf of the government was Minister Chan Chun Sing: “No one owes us a living.”

If that is the case, then it’s pointless of the Prime Minister to make promises that cannot be kept.