Mllo the hype by EMS Goh Chok Tong and Minister Heng I thought PM Lee would be announcing some sweeping changes in policies and governance. But he disappointed us.
LllpllplolilA tweak here, a tweak there with Tanjung Pagar and Paya Lebar yielding more space for housing was all the thrust of his speech.
PM Lee acknowledged the contributions of the older generation, now mostly retired, in nation building. He called them the pioneer generation who built up modern Singapore.
Some may ask why he took so long to recognise this? It’s not surprising really. The regime’s core values do not include compassion as one of them. It has always been miserly towards this pioneer group.
He declared that more should be done to help this generation. He said the same thing in his 2011 Swearing-in speech. So two years on, what has he actually done for the pioneer generation. Crumbs yes in the form of GST vouchers for example but nothing substantial.
With his penchant for lip service, the pioneer generation should not have high expectations of any substantive help from the regime. A monthly pension of $500 to this pioneer generation would prove his sincerity and commitment. Not airy-fairy declarations.
The pressure of a 6.9 million population worries many people. Already with 5.3 million, the infrastructure is bursting at the seams.
Our social tapestry has been transformed beyond recognition. Those who returned for a visit after residing years abroad told me they were glad they took the plunge to quit Singapore for freer countries like Australia, UK, Canada and USA.
Once a PRC barber said to me, “Your face looks like Chinese but why can’t you speak Chinese?”
I can speak but why should I? If they wish to earn a living off the locals, they should jolly well learn some English.
As the PM, Lee Junior, should stay in touch with the aspirations, hopes, despair and woes of the citizens. The alternative media offers him insights and a view of things he’d never get from his scholar-officials.
Perhaps, he should emulate the Norwegian PM who drove a taxi incognito with the aim of getting real feedback from citizens. Any form of disguise suffices except a pink shirt.
The debate on many issues rages on on the Internet: cronyism (the AIM saga), lack of transparency and accountability in governance
and in our sovereign wealth funds, double standards in law enforcement, widening income inequality, transport woes, loss of jobs by locals, sky-rocketing cost of living, CPF withdrawals, politicising of public institutions, jobs discrimination, overpaid but underperforming ministers, law suits against opposition figures.
Many of these problems stem from one single flawed policy- the liberal immigration policy.
An NDR speech that avoids hot-button issues deserves to be ridiculed.
Meritocracy, over which PM Lee got emotional, is over-hyped. As a netizen pointed out, when a foreign boss employs only his own kind, as is the widespread practice now, meritocracy is a farce.
PM Lee’s government is seriously out of touch. Or typically in self-denial.
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