In response to this on why the Opposition should “wake up their ideas”, and not be complacent abt the PAP’s message of, ”It’s yr money, let’s spend it to make you happier”, JG, a reader, responded with u/m which I am reproducing because it makes some very valid points.
By its nature, LHL is an incremental type person. So yes, they want to move in the direction of “more inclusive growth”, but the way they do it tend to be very slow. Lets take Tharman’s recent budget for eg. In one stroke, every low income family is reportedly getting more in subsidies than they are paying out of GST. Ask any man on the street today – do you feel it? Do you feel less “squeezed” economically? No.
Why is this so? Because the effort is half-hearted – existing policies are repackaged to be part of the mega subsidies. Because they are always behind the curve – transport fee increase, conservancy fee increase, etc etc – every little thing adds up to negate the impact. And fundamentally, it boils down to top leadership – for LHL to even say “20 years later”, shows how snail-pace his mindset is.
In other words, rhetoric aside, my guess is that the people will feel that PAP is too slow to change. The big wayang about “National Conversation” which has drifted slowly to “National Recalibration of Expectations” will be one of the final nail in the coffin.
As the earlier comment also pointed out, it is not just because of the fact that the bottom rung of society is left to fend for itself, that is a megabug. Immigration, cost increase are others. Fundamentally, there is the pervasive feeling that there is no security anymore – you may lose your job anytime to a “faster, cheaper, better” foreigner, your children won’t be able to afford a house or a car in Singapore, you’re left to fend for yourself in your old age. There is no game-changing policy the PAP has announced or implemented to address these. And my perception is, because they have run out of ideas. Or, are too boxed into their ideological boundaries, that they cannot offer anything new.
My point to JG is that there is no need for new ideas: juz spend our money, and promise not to raise taxes for the foreseeable future.
Unless the Opposition finds a strategy of countering PM’s new strategy*, come the next GE (which could come sooner than later if the ground is sweet), 2011 will be like 1991, another false dawn.
*Maybe NatCon is a diversionary tactic, aimed at keeping netizens and the Opposition away from the realisation that the PAP is implementing a new strategy.
I could be wrong.
But the Opposition shouldn’t be complacent, especially the WP.