“The longest suicide note in history” was a phrase used by British Labour Party MP Gerald Kaufman to describe his party’s 1983 election manifesto. .
The manifesto, pressing all the right buttons for Labour activists, but almost no-one else in the UK, called for unilateral nuclear disarmament, withdrawal from the European Economic Community, abolition of the House of Lords, and the re-nationalisation of recently privatised industries like British Telecom, British Aerospace, and the British Shipbuilding Corporation.
Well, in two elections in 2011, S’poreans expressed their anger at the “FTs are betterest policy” that even the govt has admitted led to strained public transport infrastructure, and which many S’poreans blame for high property prices and inflation, overcrowding, alienation and social disorder.
Well methinks the Population White Paper could become the new “longest suicide note in history” especially if ESM Goh Chok Tong’s sneers reflect the attitude of the PAP towards S’poreans concerns about an overcrowded S’pore swarming with FTs.. With PM, DPM Teo and the defence and the foreign minister (only Tharman is AWOL among the PM’s most trusted ministers) trying to assure us that the govt was listening to our unhappiness, ESM said, “But cannot say that I think much of speakers’ rhetoric. Too political, too one-sided, appealing to emotions only and not shedding light on important issues.”
If PM doesn’t give ESM a tight slap soon, PM’s and the govt’s cred will take another beating. Ministers must know that they have to listen more closely to us, as they have promised to do. If ESM gets away with his comments, what’s the worth the ministers’ promises?
Another reason why the PWP could be the new “longest suicide note in history” is because immigration is one of those issues that has a way of turning very toxic very quickly, as politicians from Britain and France to Malaysia and China can easily confirm.
The funny thing is that the PAP govt. could have avoided the problem by not laying its “We love FTs” cards so brazenly and openly. The White Paper could have focused just on the need to breed more, and how to do it. The govt had already promised to a sceptical public that it would reduce the “FTs by the truckload” policy. It had already started addressing the infrastructure issues by throwing our money on public transport, and housing.
It could have juz kicked the issue of having a lot more people here by 2030 into the “long grass” as the expression goes. Or at least until after the next GE. Yet as Uncle Leong pointed out the annual projections for PRs and new citizens, exceed 2011 numbers.
The PM should have rebuilt the trust that the PAP govt once had by focusing on improving our quality of life, using our money.
Instead, he chose to annoy me, and anger many of my fellow S’poreans. Has the PAP lost the will to live? Like the UK Labour Party in 1983? Or is it juz hubris at work?
Finally a foreign journalist’s take on the protest http://www.economist.com/blogs/banyan/2013/02/protest-singapore
*Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer compared the 2012 Republican House Budget to the above manifesto (in terms of comparable unpopularity) and then remarked about the House Budget, “At 37 footnotes, it might be the most annotated suicide note in history.” — Wikipedia.