NatCon: More cynical than Wayang?

In Economy, Political governance on 10/10/2012 at 5:52 am

Many (self included) think that NatCon is Wayang. But could it be even more cynical? Is NatCon’s aim  to distract us from the govt’s mismanagement of the economy. This unworthy tot struck me when I read DBS’ analysis of the S’pore economy last week.

DBS says that high inflation in recent years is mainly made in Singapore and this has affected overall competitiveness. High COE premiums and rentals, as well as the continued increase in labour cost are the key drivers. Ironically, the bulk of these were policy-induced, it said. [Translation: Inflation is fault of the govt leh]

It goes on, “The tightening in foreign labour inflow in particular, is creating significant strain on enterprises and eroding Singapore’s cost competitiveness. The near- term impact is higher labour costs, compression of profit margins and the tendency for companies to pass on this higher cost to consumers, resulting in higher inflation. Thus, in a bid to restructure the economy, growth and competitiveness have been affected, and just when the global cycle is weak.” [Translation: The govt’s policy of reducing FT inflow is making it more difficult to growth the economy]

So given that stagflation (economy not growing or is shrinking, but inflation is remains high: “Singapore’s consumer price index rose 3.9 percent in August from the year before, more than double the 1.7 percent rate in the U.S., the world’s biggest economy. Inflation in the island state averaged 5 percent for the past year<” reports Bloomberg) is the fault of the govt, what would distract the masses and netizens more than get them engaged in something irrelevant and entertaining? Even if the netizens don’t take part, they are so busy bitching abt it that they forget (or don’t realise the economy ‘s failings) to criticise and highlight the mismanagement of the economy by the government. So NatCon is the PAP’s answer, juz like in Roman times, the emperors had “Bread and circuses” to keep the rabble in Rome happy and distracted when the barbarians were crossing the frontiers?

Waz sad is that PM thinks he has to resort to gimmicks like this. He made a gd start getting rid of underperformers and supernumeries in the cabinet. He then started spending our money on making life more comfortable for us. He should execute the latter well, not get distracted by PR gimmicks.  If executed well, spending more of our money on ourselves will win back the voters.


  1. “Waz sad is that PM thinks he has to resort to gimmicks like this.”

    Nothing new here. Their scheme to “tame” inflation pre-GE was to strengthen SGD. Yes, the exchange rate went steadily higher through the election(s). But as soon as the GE/PE was over, the exchange rate retraced back to where it was before the big ramp job in a hurry.

    So much for their competency and the management of the country’s pressing issues. They have no original thinker today. (Yes, LKY was one great original Singapore thinker in the 60s/70s.)

  2. Plenty more underperformers and supernumeries to bump out. The ministers without portfolio in the PM office can go first. And why do we need a PM Office? Serve the PM his tea and biscuits?

  3. Whatever stagflation there may be, the fact remains that most Singaporeans are not significantly affected by it. Either that or that the affected ones are hidden from public view.

    I believe that it is a NAT CON and there are many obscure purposes designed by PAP for it. But economy? Hmm….

    • We will see what stagflation will do to your CPF savings… Just look at the number of people still working even though Singapore has the highest compulsory retirement savings scheme in the world. Further, if stagflation is not a big deal, why are there so few countries practising it? Hmm…

  4. […] – Thoughts of a Cynical Investor: NatCon: More cynical than Wayang? […]

  5. Singaporean should be worried about the health of their oldest MP. He is a critical pillar to reinforced 60% of Singaporean. PAP should be busy to find replacement for this pillar. If not there may be possibilities of collapsed, if this old pillar is gone. No amount of wayanging can put Humdy together again.

  6. @Xmen

    Of course, stagflation has a real impact on CPF savings mathematically. But in reality, how many of us will have substantial CPF monies left after paying off a 30-year loan?

    Well, we have been experiencing decreasing purchasing power for quite a while. However are Singaporeans really that much affected such that they are sufficiently motivated to make a collective, unequivocal protest?

    In the absence of any visible fallout on the populace attributable to economy, we can conclude that the current economy is serving the majority of Singaporeans well enough. That is why I think Nat Con is not geared towards obscuring economy issues. It is primarily designed to soothe over the general grievances of voters and to mould their expectations into what PAP is prepared to deliver.

    Over to you to hmm…

  7. […] – Thoughts of a Cynical Investor: NatCon: More cynical than Wayang? […]

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