PAP’s kung fu with tax payers’ money

In Political governance, Public Administration on 17/07/2018 at 11:00 am

PAP knows how to make yr money its money and make you grateful for it spending money on you.

Those were my tots when I read Dr Paul Tambyah:

[t]he PAP’s ability to mobilise state resources in other ways is “very, very difficult to try to go up against”, he says.

“During my first clinic session after the election, a patient of mine who I’ve been treating for many years wheeled himself into the room in his motorised wheelchair and he said, ‘Doc, you guys ran a good campaign. Too bad you all lost.’ I said, ‘Thank you. By the way, where do you live?’ Then he said, ‘We live in Yuhua, but you know, (Minister) Grace Fu gave us this wheelchair.’ Then I said, ‘She didn’t give you the wheelchair. This is paid for by your taxes’.

“He said, ‘No, no no, she came to my house with an entourage of people, with her photographers and she gave me the wheelchair’.”

Even though Dr Tambyah says he reiterated that ‘it’s your money that went into this wheelchair’, his patient ‘refused to accept’ it.

“This was a guy I’d been looking after for 10 years. He knew me. We got on with each other very well. But at the same time, he felt indebted to the ruling party politician because she was able to, in his mind, provide him with mobility.”


Related post written in Sept 2012: Time for Opposition to rethink assumptions, lest it repents after next GE

  1. Tambyah expressed himself badly, and may also have the wrong conceptual framework: the guy obviously knows that government spends taxpayer money, but it is other people’s money which the government collected and spent on his behalf; why should the guy not feel appreciative?

    it is the government’s job to take money from those who have some to spare, and spend it where it is needed; there is no sin in that, just question of how well it does so; if Tambyah thinks there is something wrong with this, then he has the wrong conceptual framework about government; but I think it is probably a case of laziness: “u r spending our money” is an easy stick to grab; it can sometimes work, e.g., Roy Ngern’s “give back our CPF” did work for a while – nearly launched several new political careers; similarly, PJ Thum’s “government tells lies”, Kirsten’s “SG is repressive, becoming more so” are for the moment still working

  2. Hahaha, PAPies will retain their majority power well into the 2030s.

    The poor masses are grateful for the breadcrumbs & chicken wings, and in fact are fearful that oppo won’t be competent or able enough to keep said breadcrumbs flowing.

    The upper income & the rich have the same vested interests as the PAPies, so no arguments there. As for those financially independent who have grown a social or self-sacrificing conscience … they number about 50 or 100 at most.

    Even millennials have jumped on board PAPpy bandwagon, with the HUGE jump in starting & mid-level executive wages over the last 6-7 years. In addition, with the tons of grants & discounts for 1st timers, even though HDB BTOs are slightly over 2X the prices of 20 years ago …. on a PPP basis it is more affordable today for a graduate couple than before.

    The only issue that may upturn PAPies applecart is the HDB lease issue. And as Tambyah himself admitted as much, this is pretty much a simple administrative process for PAPies to pull the rabbit out of the hat. PAPies will save this as the magic bullet or magic bazooka … to be used when the 4G falters … or when xfering to the 5G.

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