Is PAP the solution or the problem?

0% of the population voted for PAP during 2011 elections. The PAP vaingloriously considers this achievement as an indication that they have gotten a HUGE majority of support from the citizens as compared to other democratic nations. As we know, this figure belies the actual truth. Taking into consideration that the climate of fear still plays a crucial role in punching up the percentage, Im pretty sure their think-tank have its own analysis as to what the actual support is.

We had seen how support for PAP has been sliding south at each general election. Again, I’m sure they conducted extensive research on why this is happening. While the frugal Lee Kuan Yew (LKY) was very fortunate to have a docile population whom he can twiddle with his imaginary hatchet, his prodigal son, Lee Hsien Loong (LHL) had to content with an electorate equipped with plethora of information from the emergence of the social media.

Make no mistake. The PAP has absolute control over our print media. Those who think that our newspapers provide unbiased reporting, must have been living in ‘Batu Cave’ and have no other sources of information except receiving news via a subscription plan from SPH.

Unable to control the outflow of information which has been fastidiously guarded during LKY’s term, the people are now beginning to realise that PAP is not the solution to the problems that the country is facing. In fact, they are the problem. Policies were passed down without extensive deliberations and they are reactive rather than proactive.

Often times, when problems start to appear, it was not promptly addressed. They make it a habit of ignoring valid small feedbacks from the public as being inconsequential. Thus problems regularly get compounded.

Now let’s examine a few bread and butter issues to ascertain the facts on whether im blowing hot air.

Public housing – We have seen prices skyrocketing. The scholars from PAP were the one that peg new public housing prices to the open market. This is now almost irreversible as detaching it will only have dire consequences to existing owners. What’s the solution from PAP then? Except meaningless tweaking and more taxes implemented, PAP has offered no long term solution to this predicament. In fact, they are compounding it by bringing in more immigrants without building adequate supply.

Public transport (SMRT) – Who’s the genius one who decided to privatize our public transportation? Although this process is still reversible, it will take insane amount of tax payers’ money to nationalise it again. The citizens are now at the mercy of these big organizations as and when they decide to increase the fares. What’s the solution from PAP to keep transportation cost down? Nothing except throwing in tax payer’s money to fund part of SBS and SMRT’s expenditure to keep cost from rising while tax payers were made to pay for their mistakes. For how long are we going to inject billions of public funds to feed these big organizations?

Healthcare – Who’s the smart aleck who created this severe brain drain of doctors in Singapore when he capped the number of students allowed to take medicine at NUS? Singapore now has to attract doctors from all over to come and practice here, paying premium salaries to them. Inevitably, part of the cost is passed on to patients. We also heard many stories of how a family is burden with hospital bills amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars after a patient is diagnosed with terminal illness. Obviously our 3M has failed to provide adequate coverage to prevent such situation from happening. What’s the solution to these?

COE – It is now a luxury to own a car in Singapore. At the present moment, Cat A and B quota premium is $85k and $93k respectively. The main purpose of implementing the COE system was to curb vehicle population growth. It had to a certain degree met its objectives albeit at the expense of the average citizen when COE prices shoot up to almost 30 times of the median income. It’s not rocket science to know that with an impending population increase and more affluent foreigners being converted into citizens, this regressive tax system will only impose a greater burden on the poor. Being a reactive government rather than proactive one, we can expect this problem will not be approaching any solution soon.

It’s time that citizens think critically without prejudice on various issues that is affecting Singaporeans. Many of the problems were the result of bad decisions and policies. Achieving economic success alone is never a true measure of how successful a nation is. Citizen’s welfare and well-being should be placed in tandem with any economic progress.

PAP has shown that its problem solving skills are limited to only imposing additional taxes on the citizens without any concrete solutions. It has failed the acid test and it is now time for a new holistic government to take it over for the next lap.

Osman Sulaiman


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