I tot of the above when I was reading this piece about
Hundreds of aging leftists gather in a restaurant tucked away in an obscure corner of an old shopping complex. They talk, shout, argue, and rant about the government. One of them goes onstage and demands political change in the next elections; he is greeted with raucous applause and loud cheers.
The attendees are mostly in their seventies or eighties. Several lean on spouses, children, or canes as they hobble to and from their seats …
Given that they are of the Pioneer Generation, the answer to “Are you better off now than you were in 2011?”* should be a resounding “Yes” because of the healthcare and medical provisions for Poneers. Yes, even those locked up in Coldstore etc are entitled to them. The PAP administration is saying, “Let bygones be bygones”? (Which brings me to the tot that if the leftists had won, would they be so magnanimous to Lee Kuan Yew and gang? For a start, LKY and gang and many others may not have been allowed to grow old and bitter. Think Cuba, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Red China, and I think you will get the drift of what I’m thinking: opponents and intellectuals not sympathetic to the leftists cause were, imprisoned, exiled or killed.
Much good it would do the PM and his PAP administration that these leftists benefit from their policies. These aging leftists would never say anything good about LKY and his legacy. (Related article: http://www.latimes.com/world/asia/la-fg-singapore-change-20150319-story.html#page=1).
Real life examples of what Pioneer Benefits mean:
— A mother and her autistic son are Pioneers. The son has been in a nursing home for over ten years, ever since his mother became too frail to look after him. The monthly bill was about S$4,000 a month and was borne by his siblings. Now this bill is “only” a few hundred dollars a month. The mother’s medical bills (she’s in her 90s and suffers from various chronic conditions) are now minuscule.
The extended family is happy.
— Another Pioneer used to pay $30 when she visited a polyclinic every three months for her medicine etc. She now pays $7.
— Another lady lives in a home because of Alzheimers. The cash from the sale of her flat was paying the bills. Now there is no worry of the cash running out before she dies. Her monthly bills have been slashed. Her working daughter (with children and an unemployed PMET husband) is breathing a sigh of relief.
Will they vote PAP? I didn’t ask.
Btw1, I’m sure Dr Goh Keng Swee would approve of these measures. As His daughter-in-law and biographer said
During his time as a tax collector in the War Tax Department, Ms Tan said, “He was a bad tax collector. His boss didn’t like him,” to much laughter. Later, after joining the Social Welfare Department, Dr Goh helped to set up ‘People’s Restaurants’, which were canteens where people could buy cheap meals during the working day.
“He was always involved in social work,” she added.
Btw2, As would Lim Kim San, Toh Chin Chye and the other members of the Old Guard, including one LKY.
Btw3, Wonder if one VivianB voted against these measures when they were presented to the cabinet?
A group that will certainly say they were better off in 2011: PM and his ministers. Somehow I don’t think they would vote Oppo.
*In a televised debate with Jimmy Carter during the 1980 Presidential election, Ronald Reagan asked viewers a simple question: “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?”
Voters realised they were not and Reagan romped to the White House.
That Reagan line has since become a cliché of political campaigning, second to “the economy, stupid” – the mantra drummed into Bill Clinton’s campaign team in 1992. BBC Online