(Note there is an update since first publication at the end to reflect the PAP’s calls for ideas on how to celebrate a coming 50th anniversary.)
I’ve been beating the DRUMS that 2014 is the last window that the govt can raise prices because the GE has to be held sometime in 2016 and raising prices in 2015 is too close for comfort. I’ve also been drumming that an election in 2015 is possible.
Well going by one report and one speech. last week, an election in mid 2015 is more than probable
The report: Singapore’s economic growth will stay strong in the next two years relative to the other countries in Asean, despite the cooling of China’s economic engine, the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) has predicted.
The independent consultancy said in its latest quarterly report that healthy increases in consumption and strong exports will boost Singapore’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 3.8 per cent this year.
Next year, strong momentum and greater demand will push up its economic growth to 4.1 per cent.
In the year after, 2015, Singapore’s growth will ease, but remain robust at 3.9 per cent, said the Cebr report entitled “Economic Insight, Southeast Asia”.
The speech: Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for Defence Chan Chun Sing said the PAP has to deliver a better life for Singaporeans during its term of government, and also convince the people that it is the best party to deliver beyond this term. He was addressing addressed 1,000 PAP members at the party’s annual gathering on Sunday morning.
He, who is also the PAP Organising Secretary, said the party will act to “deliver, enable and communicate”*.
(Aside, netizens are missing the point by focusing Chan’s call for party members to “continuously and strenuously defend the common space for people to speak up”.
“If we do not stand up for what we believe, other people will occupy that space and cast us into irrelevance. We must not concede the space – physical or cyber . . . We will have to do battle everywhere as necessary.”
And netizens are not making hay that the FT rioters really listened to him, unlike Sheep, Singkies S’poreans)
So, returning to the issue of a GE in 2015, the ground is likely to be sweet in mid, late 2015. In addition to a decent economy (other Asean countries too will do well), S’poreans would have forgotten about the early 2014 price rises in public tpt etc, lulled by the goodies in the 2015 Budget, improving public tpt, steady HDB prices, and propaganda that the govt is no longer pro-FTs and that it cares for S’poreans.
On the last point, there will a lot of smoke about the need for FT manual workers for the infrastructure projects. Already an ex-ST editor (who is it is alleged had designs on the top job in ST) was quoted (singing for X’mas goodies?**) as saying, “It will be tough for the (government) to fulfill its promises on infrastructure development without foreign manpower,” observed Singaporean blogger Bertha Henson. “And it would not make sense for citizens to advocate such a tightening of the tap that it compromises our own future.”. One of these days I’ll blog on why her first statement is an exaggeration, that is straight out of the PAP’s spin book.
Then after the GE, and PAP has its more than two-thirds majority, and its toilet-trained WP***, the balance, let rip the GST increase, price rises and resume the flood of FTs?
What can the paper warriors do to counter the paper generals? In late 2014, and in 2015, it is impt for S’pore Notes, TOC, TRE (if it hasn’t closed down in disgust at the failure of its ungrateful readers to fund its continued existence: they expect Andrew, Richard etc not only to work for free, but to fund the servers needed), the other tua kee bloggers, and the ikan bilis to keep reminding voters to ask the PAP if after the GE, the govt will increase GST, or other taxes, or the cost of services, or allow in more FTs (to achieve a population of 8m, more than the White Paper projection of 6.9m). Of course, the PAP leaders and ministers will will say not say, “YES”, lest they lose a few more GRCs.
The PAP will then be held accountable for their pre-election promises, if the promises are broken, somewhere down the line, hopefully. But then, the PAPpies may play the same cyclical, cynical game again, knowing that S’poreans got short memories: even sheep got better memories.
Update on 27th January at 4.05am: I’ve been asked why I didn’t mention the 50th anniversary celebrations as an election feel good factor. The reason is that this is a two-edged sword. If handled in the traditional PAP manner (Soviet, Chinese, North Korean parades) style, it would remind older S’poreans (like self) of the difference in the quality of the PAP leadership. I think the PAP realises this. Witness the spate of ministers asking S’poreans for ideas on how to celebrate 50 yrs of independence? Since when has the PAP listened to the people?
*“The world has changed, and so must we,” declared Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in Mandarin yesterday at the biennial People’s Action Party (PAP) convention.
To that end, the ruling party has adopted a new resolution statement – its first in 25 years – which reinterprets the PAP’s goals so as to stay relevant “in this new phase and with the new generation”.
“This is a strategic shift,” said Mr Lee. “Although the content looks similar, its meaning is different. This is a new frame of thinking for the PAP, to make the party’s long-term goals more relevant to the needs of society today.”
As the culmination of five engagement sessions with party members (spread over the course of three months), the main thrust of the new eight-point resolution involves upholding an “open and compassionate meritocracy” in a “fair and just society” with “opportunities for all Singaporeans”.
“We rely on free markets to grow the pie but will moderate its excesses . . . We support a progressive system of benefits and taxes to enable all to enjoy quality education, good housing, and affordable healthcare,” (Extract from BT)
**She juz kanna saboed by MDA as readers will know.
Men in White wearing blue
Men in Blue wearing white. Yup Auntie’s a man. Wonder if Kim Song noticed? (OK, OK, I sorry for being mean to an old RI boy).