The idea that our lives have become better under the current PAP administration is flawed

The Press Secretary to the Minister for Social & Family Development Miss Karolyn Poon wrote a letter (‘System not perfect but has uplifted life of majority’) to the Straits Times’ Forum last week (4 Jul).

The issue arose 2 weeks ago when social worker Sudha Nair argued that helping the poor also entails “questioning [them] on their choices”. This is when some have misguided priorities, such as when a family seeking aid had apparently spend $500 a month on cable TV and cigarettes.

In turn, LKY SPP Professor Ng Kok Hoe (and 40 others) responded that there were barriers that the poor faced in terms of “housing, education, sustainable employment, health and mental health services, family support, and care services” which must first be addressed in a holistic manner.

Miss Poon counter-argued that the policies that Singapore “have uplifted the majority of Singaporeans, while providing additional support for the low-income”.

She elaborated that “No child misses out on a quality education because they cannot afford it. Nine in 10 Singaporeans own their homes. Those buying smaller flats receive bigger subsidies. Healthcare is heavily subsidised, especially for the low-income”.

But let us focus on the word “majority”.

In the first 15 years post-independence, statistics were mind-blowing: the HDB had constructed 308,000 dwelling units and commercial properties while literacy rate increased from 52% to 80%.

Our GDP grew 14 times while costs of living remained affordable. The people rewarded the PAP with a strong 77.7% mandate in the 1980 General Elections.

Today, the situation has instead reversed. Beneath their HDB flats and a working MRT system, here are but some of the unpleasant truths of everyday life in Singapore:

- Cabinet Ministers have urged Singaporeans not to get a degree merely for the sake of one, while the PAP lavishes somewhere to the tune of $400 million on scholarships to foreign students.
- Our CPF system pays an interest rate which is one of the lowest in the world amongst all pension funds (4.2% on average), barely enough to fight the long-term trend for inflation (2%)
- The HDB flats which we spend 30 years of our lives paying for will have its value drop to zero at the end of its lease while the value will plunge sharply after 40 years thus depriving us or retirement security
- Singapore has become a the most expensive city in the World while a minimum wage has not been defined. BBC estimates that 400,000 Singaporeans have less than $5 a day after spending on their necessities
- GST, conservancy fees, electricity tariffs, and water charges have all increased when their parent organisations have already made substantial profits
- With weak labour laws and an ineffective fair consideration framework, Job security and Costs of Living are now the top concerns of average everyday workers.
- Elderly workers have to resort to picking cardboard and cleaning hawker centres to survive. In 2016, the Chinese media reported that an 80-year-old clearer died at the while taking a break:

Can we still then say that the majority of our lives have improved under the Lee Hsien Loong administration?


Thomas Loh



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14 Responses to “The idea that our lives have become better under the current PAP administration is flawed”

  • Why suffered in silence:

    Onself praise onself culture or so ago when wef gagmen seems to permeate all levels of their hierarchy.The stark truth is that only the MIWs and cronies life have been uplifted and not the average Singaporeans.Elderly citizens continue to collect plates at hawker centres and picking cardboards and empty cans to finance their 3 meals.Thanks to the last election result, our gahmen assume that most Singaporeans are goondus and could be easily fooled.If majority of sinkies do not prove our arrogant gahmen through their votes next GE,it would only cement our gahmen assumption.Then this nation would perpetually be a sick nation beyond salvation.

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  • I'm Halimah also jiak liao bee:

    Their lives have certainly improved with their mega million $$$ pay checks.
    How else can you say about a civil servant spending thousands $$$ going to Paris to learn cooking ???
    And with their Cronies and their connected, you see Directors in Keppel Land snatching up $4M penthouse.
    So you daft 70%, your lives have improved compared to them PAPIGS and their Cronies ???

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  • clown pap and S$ liars:

    we have never voted pap. NEVER. not even when good Singaporeans Dr Toh CC Dr Goh KS were in government. because the evil lky was then also in power. and we knew then, and also now, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    we never voted pap so that they work harder. but due to 70% sheep, instead of working harder, clown pap and S$m liars are having the easy way out by slacking and just raising GST whenever temasick gic have lost too much S$m.

    70% sheep truly WTF.

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  • rukidding:

    Definitely NO !

    A regime change is the ONLY SOLUTION !

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  • oxygen:

    LEE-JIAPORE HAS GONE BACKWARD in the last 15 years and the decline is accelerating. PAPpys and its public institutions are silent or in denial of reality of failing performance – in some places far more obvious than others.

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  • LIONS:

    Yea,yea,our lives are better,we have highest GDP PER CAPITA except that YOU ARE JOBLESS?

    STILL,you have to pay more GST?
    Jobless or retired penniless?

    Btw,is NEWATER truly ok for our health?
    Why ard sgs coughing non-stop ?

    The answer is blowing in the wind …

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  • Corrupt Greedy Evil:

    Sycophants like Miss Poon are evil to the core.
    Silence to crooks can be golden, as it shows there is still a trace of conscience of guilt.

    Devils like Miss Poon are beyond redemption, she chose to lie openly and argue baselessly rather than confronting the truths.
    Quality of life in Singapore under current PAP has declined rapidly for many sinkies.
    None of what she cited now is the truth.
    This clearly shows that PAP government is incapable of any change or renewal, oblivious to the sufferings created to the citizens because of their ill conceived policies.
    A vote for PAP means a vote to further decline and hardships to many.

    PAP lied about the HDB being an asset and wealth for retirement, luring innocent citizens into committing lifetime savings into it. Prices of HDBs are inflated and costs of land and maintenance are passed on to the lessors, unfairly ripping off citizens. None of the HDB buyers are owning their own home now and many will face the predicament of living out poor in their old age.

    Not all schools are resourced equally. More resources have gone to the selected elite schools. PAP government practices eugenic rather than egalitarianism, resulting in ingraining self entitlement and elitism in our children from young.
    Miss Poon epitomised the evil of PAP governing ethos, visible lack of empathy to fellow countrymen, not due to lack of awareness or knowledge, but motives driven by pure selfishness, self centeredness and self serving agenda.

    A regime change is a must to stop the rapid decline of this country.

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  • Anachronism:

    Ms.Karolyn’s statement is controversial today; perhaps she’s too young to remember that the majority of Singaporeans would have agreed whole-heartedly with her pronouncement back in the PAP heydays of the 80s. It’s just not “PAP” anymore.

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  • HarderTruths:

    The issue is not what $G locals spend but what we able to earn when we compete against the rest of the third world coming to this island.

    It has come to the government telling us we cannot spend on what we cannot afford. The problem with this statement is that we will never be able to afford anything since we can never earn what we should be earning.

    Always half of the story painted to make $G locals the culprits – again.

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  • 让80岁老翁当收碗工人?????:

    Uniquely Singapore !!!!!

    Why didn’t anyone suggest cardboard exercise instead?

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  • Huh?!?:

    The country does not seem to be managed particularly well.
    The govt claims this and that, the reality is different.
    Yes, there are help schemes, but the help itself is not
    there, very hard to get or too limited to be of real help.

    Lawrence Wong for instance points out that the PUB’s reserves
    are being used for a variety of things. Yet the amount in
    its account is Growing. Should it not be Decreasing?? On top
    of that, the rates for its products are going up too. So
    more money in the bank.

    To compound matters, the leaders say odd things. You have a
    potential future prime minister who says stuff that indicates
    he doesn’t have a clue as to what is going on and why things
    are what they are. There’s an urging now to be skilled rather
    than have paper qualifications. But all the top guys dont have
    the skills needed for their jobs. Why for eg isn’t an SMRT
    manager making it to the top post? Why is an outsider, a
    scholar, who knows nothing brought in to run the company?

    The rest of the time, basic information is hard to come by.
    There is always an excuse as to why it cant be revealed.
    Weak ones too.

    In such a situation, it is hard for any thinking person to
    believe and trust his govt, no matter how much he wants to.

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  • Equality Was Stealthily Remove:

    It is a joke and very callous to say that healthcare is heavily
    subsidized. What gall and bullshit, as if citizens are all stupid.

    No doubt, 20 per cent likely on the stupid side of things due to
    their illiteracy and lack of opportunities to upgrade themselves.

    The other 80 per cent are no doubt thinking clearly, but are likely
    kiasi and kiasu.

    What bullshit and what callous and vicious statements from the
    Min of Fam and Social and all the moneygrabbing MIW shits.

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  • OMG:

    That’s why foreigners always praising Singapore Government very good !

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  • Hellooo:

    The govt is not wrong to say that lives have improved under the PAP administration. Just look at the lives of many 3rd world people who turned Singaporeans, haven’t their lives improve tremendously, compared to where they used to be? It will continue to lure millions of these 3rd world people to Sg, who will be ever grateful to the PAP administration, to stay in power! Change of regime? Forget it?

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