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Can Singaporeans afford to ‘gamble’ again by voting for the PAP?

Posted by singaporege2011 on April 21, 2011

PAP Minister without portfolio Lim Swee Say issued a warning to Singaporeans lately not to ‘gamble’ their future by voting for the opposition.

The question we should be asking ourselves is: can we afford another ‘gamble’ for five years of PAP rule?

The PAP’s ‘track record’ for the last five years is plain for all to see. The problems created by their flawed policies, oversight and screw-ups have not only brought inconvenience to ordinary Singaporeans, they are also threatening our very own survival.

Till today, PAP leaders are still living in self-denial mode and refuse to admit their mistakes, let alone rectify them.

In the last few weeks or so leading to the general election, we have heard PAP ministers proclaiming that they understand our problems and empathize with us. However, none has come out publicly to acknowledge and accept responsibility.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong did not promise to review the PAP’s open-door immigration policies. He has only promised to ‘moderate’ the inflow of foreigners. In all likelihood, the floodgates will be flung wide open again after the election.

The obsession with GDP growth has become so ingrained in the psyche of PAP leaders that it is unlikely that they will abandon it in favor of a more people-centric growth model. After all, their multi-million dollar salaries and bonuses are pegged to GDP growth.

The PAP election manifesto makes vague promises of increasing the wages of ordinary Singaporeans without elaborating on it is going to do so with the continued influx of cheap foreign workers.

During a ministerial forum at NUS two years ago, PAP strongman Lee Kuan Yew dismissed Singapore’s widening income gap on the faulty logic that it doesn’t matter so long the government continues to create jobs for Singaporeans.

What ‘high value’ jobs has the PAP government created for Singaporeans in the last five years other than taxi-drivers, cleaners and security guards which are becoming the norm for middle-aged Singapore PMETS who were retrenched?

The prices of HDB flats, which have sky-rocketed in recent years, are unlikely to come down anytime soon given Mr Mah Bow Tan’s recent spirited defence of his ‘asset enhancement’ policies. Despite a slew of ‘cooling measures’ introduced last year, prices have continued to rise, albeit at a slower rate.

The truth is, the PAP has completely run out of ideas to take Singapore forward. We need a complete rethink of our current economic policies and a radical change in the direction our country is heading.

Singapore needs to into a ‘knowledge-based’ economy and in order to do so, we have to liberalize our repressive political landscape to allow for more freedom of speech and expression. This isn’t going to happen so long the PAP remains in power because the entire political system is engineered to entrench and perpetuate its political hegemony.

If PAP were to win the next election again, the next five years are not going to be any different. Based on its ‘track record’ so far, the following scenarios are likely:

1. The floodgates will open wider: More foreigners will come into Singapore and be quickly ‘converted’ into Singapore citizens like PAP new candidates Dr Janil and Foo Mee Har, thereby adding to the voting pool. Native Singaporeans are likely to be reduced to a minority in their own country.

2. GDP growth is likely to be sustained by the relentless influx of cheap foreign workers and investments by MNCs, but the gains from the economic growth will not be distributed equally across the population. Only the rich businesses and employers will benefit from the PAP’s lax labor policies with the end result that the rich will become richer and the poor poorer.

3. Singaporeans will continue to face intense competition from foreigners in all aspects of their lives. With an abundance of cheap foreign workers in the labor market, the median income of the average Singapore worker is likely to be remain stagnant or decrease. Fresh graduates will have a hard time finding a job to earn a decent living, let alone get married and have children of their own.

4. Cost of living will escalate as more foreigners arrive in Singapore, increasing the demand for goods and services and jacking up prices at the same time. Singaporeans already have the lowest domestic purchasing power among developed economies below that of Malaysians. They are likely to have less disposable income with the current inflation rate of 5 percent annually.

5. Prices of HDB flats will continue to grow under the PAP’s ‘asset enhancement’ policies for as long as it takes till the bubble bursts. It is a matter of time before Singaporeans will have to pay half a million dollars for a BTO flat and more than a million dollars for a resale flat.

6. The minimum sum for CPF withdrawals will be raised to lock in the CPF savings of the baby-boomers to prevent them from withdrawing their own hard-earned savings. With the bulk of their CPF savings tied up in mortgage loans for over-priced HDB flats, most Singaporeans will have insufficient savings for retirement. They will have to work for as long as they can, till they drop dead and die.

7. An insecure PAP will introduce more repressive laws to curb the civil and political liberties of Singaporeans as more and more young Singaporeans switch their support to the opposition as is already happening now. More roadblocks will be put along the way to obstruct the growth of the opposition and to ensure the PAP stays in power.

The above scenarios are not impossible given the PAP’s long-standing mindset and mentality: that it is right all the time and only the PAP has the ability to govern Singapore. Think about it carefully, do you want to risk a ‘gamble’ by voting for the PAP?

In reality, the PAP has ceased to become a political party altogether as its junior leaders have no way of ousting the deadwood in the party or a say in running the country. It has degenerated into a sort of feudal system like in ancient China where the Emperor holds absolute power and his courtiers are only there to carry out his orders.

As such, the PAP will do anything possible to preserve its repressive political system and hegemony even if it is detrimental to the long-term interests of Singapore. A one-party state is out of place in the modern world. We need to move with times and evolve gradually into a more accountable, transparent and democratic government where all Singaporeans have a stake in.

The next general election is the LAST window of opportunity for true blue native Singaporeans to reclaim ownership of their nation. The PAP has shown us that it does not care about the plight of ordinary Singaporeans. It is DEAF to all criticisms. When the PAP imports another shipload of foreigners onto our shores, it will be too late to cry for help.

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