by Teo Soh Lung
Last week, I was reminded by a friend that many Singaporeans believe that should the People’s Action Party (PAP) lose its majority in a general election, (something that I am willing to bet will not happen in the next general election), their assets and investments will fall in value.
I told my friend that even with the PAP in power, this myth that the PAP is able to protect our assets and investments has already been shattered. Consider the value of shareholdings. Even so-called blue-chip shares have plunged in value. I am told that SIA shares once commanded a price of more than $30 a piece. Today it is just about $4! Those of us who hold SIA shares have already lost a substantial part of our investments!
Singapore, like many countries in the world, have gone into a recession. Our million-dollar ministers have not been able to stave off COVID-19. Indeed, the manner in which our ministers tackled this pandemic leaves much to be desired. While New Zealand under a 39-year-old first time the prime minister has come out tops in dealing with the crisis and the country is no longer under lockdown, our team of 4G leaders have bungled, fumbled and failed us.
The belief that a PAP government can protect our assets and investments is a fiction that has now been debunked by an invisible virus. It is a myth we created for ourselves because we are afraid of change, not even a minor change in the composition of members in parliament.
We know that many MPs are not doing their job, skiving and sleeping in the chamber. This is the real reason why live stream of proceedings is not permitted. But we are not willing to discard these driftwoods because we are so used to seeing a half-empty house and bumbling parliamentarians and ministers. We are afraid of giving the opposition a chance to be in parliament because we claim that they are not tested. But how do they get tested unless they are voted into parliament?
The PAP needs a shake-up and only Singaporeans can do that. Without ensuring that it loses its two-third majority, Singaporeans will always remain voiceless and be subjected to the whims and fancies of PAP policies which are implemented with the signature of just one minister. Worse, the implementation of policies has been delegated to a politicised civil service.
Remember, we are not treated like responsible people. We cannot even voice our unhappiness by holding a placard in a public space. We cannot share a Facebook post without a thorough check on facts. The POFMA Office which is a private army of the ministers will scrutinise ever post on Facebook, Instagram, tweets and what have you.
No democratic country in the world has a law that prohibits on the unhappy person from holding a placard in a public space. No civilised country has a POFMA office paid for by taxpayers at the back and call of ministers.