Home > PAP candidates > Change must not be cosmetic

Change must not be cosmetic

I was, and still am pretty amazed at the recent changes announced in the cabinet including reviewing of the highly controversial ministerial pay. In true kiasu-isium fashion, we have the PAP so anxious to retain their supremacy in politics that nothing is sacrosanct. Maybe it is now a good time to ask for the figures on our reserves. I wonder whether this secretive figure of our reserve that even ex-President Ong Teng Chiong failed to get from PAP will be finally released.

The ruling party seems determined to stem all complaints about them after the last GE, so as to not give opposition parties any excuses or ‘firepower’ in the next general election. I only hope that all these changes amount to something tangible, rather than pushing ministers on merry-go-round. Even if things don’t change for the better, the PAP can always say that they have listened to the electorate and made significant changes.

While Mr Mah, Mr Raymond Lim and Mr Wong Kang Seng finally took responsibility for the failure of their policies, we need to scrutinize further. The biggest reason housing and transportation policies failed for the last 5 years is due to limited supply while demand is increasing. The only reason has to be a faster and larger population growth. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that if the number of Singaporeans are not increasing as fast (due to low birth rate), the sole contributing factor to overall population growth has to be the lax policy on foreigners into the country. The immigrations and checkpoint authority (ICA) and the Population Planning unit, in particular the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is the sole guardian of the influx of foreigners. I can boldly say that the dismiss of Mr Mah, Mr Raymond Lim and Mr Wong is partially attributed to ex-Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say. Therefore we see 2 real changes that the ruling party should exercise:

  1. Better coordination between ministries and statutory boards: Allowing a spike in foreigners into Singapore without careful consideration of the impact and stress the additional population has on housing and transportation demands exacerbates the problems we are now facing. While MOM can easily allow in foreigners in an instant, it takes years to build up housing and transportation facilities. Having experience within the civil service, it is an open secret that there is much distrust across and within ministries and stat boards. As in any large organization, the bureaucracy and red tape one encounters as a civil servant is so frustrating sometimes I am not surprise many left the service after a few years.
  2. Face the real problem of having too many foreigners into the country: This is one of the main grouse in the last GE. While we have heard many changes taking place, nothing much is mentioned on the need to control foreigner population. It is obvious the open-door policy is still operational and will continue to be so (since the PM said that there will not be a major shift in economic policy direction). GDP still remains King and I am not optimistic the PAP will be doing any thing real soon. I will be impress if they actually reveal more on the figures of foreigners allowed in various schemes (EP, PR etc) and how ‘talents’ are identified before they are allowed into Singapore.

As more policy changes are revealed, I will continue to write my thoughts on them. Please pardon the lower post counts in time to come as on-going concerns about politics subsided after the GE.

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Categories: PAP candidates
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