Lawyer and People’s Voice Party (PVP)’s founding chief Lim Tean has challenged Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat to a live debate on matters concerning the current state of Singapore’s economy, which the former has branded “abysmal”.
Such matters, said Mr Lim on Sun (28 Jul), include the rise in the number of unemployed Singaporeans, which he said is often attributed to the Sino-U.S. trade war by the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP).
“We would love to hear what Mr “New Taxes” Heng has to say in a live debate on why the trade war between China and America, which the PAP has used as a blanket excuse to justify the abysmal state of our economy, has led to an increase in the number of Singaporeans being unemployed but a decrease in the unemployment of foreigners,” he said.
Mr Lim also questioned the drop in the number of young CPF contributors between 2008 and last year by 3 per cent despite the increase in the overall numbers of contributors by 25 per cent.
“This shows that our economy under the PAP has not been able to create enough jobs for young Singaporeans in the past decade, and that a great many young Singaporeans are unemployed,” he theorised.
The issue of Singapore’s sovereign wealth funds Temasek and GIC’s top management’s salaries being kept secret is also one of the key points raised by Lim for the proposed live debate.
“Mr “New Taxes” Heng will be given all the opportunities to explain why Temasek and GIC do not have to reveal the salaries of their top management, including Ho Ching, when other Sovereign Wealth Funds such as the Norwegian and New Zealand ones, have no problems being totally transparent and accountable,” he said.
“Our young People can then make the judgment whether this man, who has been the Finance Minister since 2015, and whom the PAP wants to make Prime Minister, can actually offer them a better future,” said Mr Lim.
Mr Lim’s post was made in response to Heng’s rebuttal of Progress Singapore Party chief Tan Cheng Bock’s statement last Fri (26 Jul) regarding the current PAP leadership, which he said has gone “astray” from the values of transparency, independence and accountability.
Mr Heng told reporters on the sidelines of a ministerial community walkabout in Bedok on Sat (27 Jul) that PAP leaders “fundamentally disagree” with Dr Tan’s assertion that there has been an “erosion” of the values of good governance in Singapore today.
Citing Dr Tan’s criticism of the Parliamentary debate on founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s house, which Dr Tan suggested was not appropriate, Mr Heng said that Dr Tan had contradicted himself in saying that “there’s no transparency”, but at the same time, “attacked the fact that the issue of Oxley Road was raised in Parliament”.
“Now that is transparency, the fact that the Prime Minister was prepared to have this issue debated in Parliament, clarified in Parliament, is a very important aspect of our governance,” added Mr Heng.
Mr Heng also claimed that many residents he spoke to during the community visit on Sat had supported PAP’s policies, saying how such policies have “improved their lives”, and alleged that Dr Tan has yet to elaborate on any policies for the country under PSP.