PAP will fail ’cause “always behind the curve”

In Political governance on 19/09/2012 at 4:52 am

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.

  1. […] – The Void Decker: Stop griping about the national conversation – Musings From Singapore: The problem with the national conversation: information asymmetries – A Reporter’s Memoir: NO HARD FEELINGS: Conversation of… – Political Writings: Conversation? What Conversation? – Don’t Tell anyone but we’re having a conversation – Thoughts of a Cynical Investor: PAP will fail ’cause “always behind the curve” […]

  2. Unfortunately, I think you are right. The government’s levers of control such as its control of MSM, its control of data and statistics, etc., are still very much intact. Therefore, it is still possible for the government to continue herding the 60% in the direction they want. In the process, they may even be able to round up some strays.

  3. “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.”

    How do you know there is money to spend? Madoff was a genius until he was NOT. Do you believe TH’s claim of return, Mr Cynical? Balding’s findings have not been challenged by the PAP government as far as I know. But the recent revision of past surpluses might be a result of responding to his findings. I doubt even LKY know how much reserve the country has given the poor accounting (accountability) and opacity.

    • Balding does not deny that there isn’t money. He has retreated a long way from his original stand that it’s a Ponzi scheme. He argues that based on his assumptions, reserves shld be more. Guess from yr comments that you are one of those who refuse to accept the results of GE11.

  4. Balding is working with data that he can get his hands on. You can’t fault him for updating his findings as more data become available. However, you should know that such data, commonly made available in western countries, is treated like state secrets that even the President has NO access to. Balding’s current assumptions may change yet again but he has found some glaring inconsistencies (holes). This is a huge leap of faith to believe in what you are told. Do you believe your neighbors who flaunt wealth that they are truly rich?

    P.s. I have no idea why you are trying to paint me as one who “refuse(s) to accept the results of GE11.” But we can have a debate on the current electoral system in Singapore another time.

    • PLs leh. The basic data (not that much I accept) has always been there. He juz not thorough enough before rushing into print. Call CPF a ponzi scheme, then say got enough money. Actually an earlier draft of his first piece had even more mistakes. Mistake on my part not to make a copy of it. ((((

      • What “basic” data are you talking about? Have they been audited? According to Balding, IMF has changed some “basic” data twice this year based on information provided by Singapore government. Madoff’s investors, including its regulators, had been quite satisfied with the “basic” data he provided for years. What’s the point of arguing if no one knows the size of the reserve? That is some pretty “basic” information.

      • PLS GO READ WHAT he wrote: he never said that. Don’t waste my time.

        You mean you don’t trust Auditor-General? Or you don’t know that he audits the numbers?

  5. So you believe that all the money are still there or even be more?I am not too sure about that based on the decisions made by TH & GIC so far.
    If all the money are still there,then we should not fault PAP for doing so well so far.

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