Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong delivered a speech in Parliament which was televised live on Channel News Asia and his own Facebook page.
While his speech was ostensibly to talk about COVID-19 and life beyond the pandemic, it would appear that Lee took the opportunity to take pot shots at alternative politicians. Was this a chance for the Prime Minister to have uninterrupted air time to slate non Peoples’ Action Party (PAP) politicians disguised as a COVID-19 address?
Among other things, the Prime Minister talked about the great health of our national reserves. In a refrain that is now tiresomely familiar, we are treated to a lecture on how it is the prudence of successive PAP governments that made this huge national reserve possible. There’s just one problem. No one (beyond a select few) actually know what is in the reserves!
How can we give you credit for what we do not know?
The national reserves belong to the country and all citizens are stakeholders. Why can’t we know what is in there? Not telling us what is in there is akin to your bank refusing to tell you how much you have in your bank account. It is not reasonable to refuse stakeholders this information!
Yet, rather than divulge this information, Lee appeared to criticise alternative politicians who had previously asked for further details on the national reserves!
Given that elected members of parliament represent the public who voted for them, the alternative politicians are doing their rightful duty to ask the questions that we expect them to ask! That is a good thing! Why is the Prime Minister criticising them for asking such reasonable questions?
The Government wants so much credit for the reserves. But if you want credit, shouldn’t you tell us what is in there first? After all, if it is so good, why cannot say?
It also bears remembering that it is the past Governments that have built these reserves up. Not the current Government.
Lee pretty much admitted this himself. He also implies that the alternative politicians are trying to “inherit” the hard work of previous Governments to “spend” the money. This logic is flawed on so many levels.
Firstly, alternative politicians are asking for details on what is in the reserves so that we can ensure that all Singaporeans are properly supported. They are not asking to spend this on themselves. If the reserves are deemed insufficient, Parliament can collectively vote on how to spend or not spend it.
The PAP has 83 out of 93 seats – so why so scared? Besides, if it is the previous Governments that have built these up, why is this Government trying to claim credit?
The reserves are fast becoming as elusive as Ho Ching’s salary – one shrouded in mystery and guess work. The more the authorities evade the question, the more people will speculate and feel unsafe. Why not just say what it is in there once and for all? Surely, that is the best way to stop rumours and falsehoods?