by Augustine Low
Three remarks by three ministers give us reason to think that they are deflecting and not providing a solution.
Yesterday, Minister S Iswaran attributed high COE prices to rising incomes and zero car growth. It came in the wake of Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong saying that BTO flat prices have moved up in tandem with incomes.
Is this the way of the future?
That runaway cost of living and higher public transport fares and higher healthcare costs can also be explained away by the same thing. That anything that goes up is because incomes go up?
What they say is not felt by the people, and the sums don’t add up.
But it doesn’t seem to make them pause and reflect on whether it’s the system and the policies that need fixing. If the system and policies need fixing, deflection and false rhetoric would not set things right.
Speaking of ministers deflecting, the one who takes the cake has got to be Minister Desmond Lee, who last week made the most curious remark that “we need to keep some land for people not yet born.”
This idea that “people not yet born” need to be prioritised seems to be a red herring.
Doesn’t it detract from the problems at hand, doesn’t it detract from the fact that utmost priority should always be given to the living?
If the living is not taken care of, “people not yet born” might not even have a future to speak of, they might even end up wishing they were born elsewhere.
The message is that if they care so much about “people not yet born,” they should focus on making housing and cost of living more affordable (the people’s yardstick, not theirs), and do more to tackle the dismal birth rate instead of merrily importing new citizens.
Taking better care of those living today is the best way to ensure that those not yet born would have a better chance in life.