Tuesday, August 31, 2010

NSP: Response to PM Lee's Nation Day Rally Speech

We are glad to hear the Prime Minister addressing the various key problems that we have been raising for the past one year in his National Day Rally speech.

However, at closer examination, we have the following key points to make:

$60 billion for MRT infrastructure over 10 years

1. Where would the government get the funding of $60B from?

2. Will the PAP government increase the GST to 10% or raise other taxes to get additional funding? Will the public transport fares increase to finance this expenditure?

3. Will the PAP government keep to the promised time frame of 10 years? The PAP government has delayed various important infrastructure projects, like the building of hospitals as well as the Downtown line, which have resulted in the increased cost of construction. Will the PAP government promise to keep to the budget of $60B instead of allowing it to balloon out of control, just like what happened to the YOG budget?

Measures to keep Housing Affordable

1. We are very confused by the various contradictory signals that the PAP ministers have sent within these few months:

a. Late last year, Minister Mah Bow Tan claimed that housing was still affordable, and that the influx of immigrants was not a main factor causing the rise in resale prices. But now the Prime Minister has acknowledged that the influx of new immigrants has contributed to the rise in resale prices.

b. When Minister Mah put up the first few measures in March 2010 to curb rising resale prices, some Singaporeans questioned the inadequacy of such measures. Minister Mah defended his ministry’s decision and said no other measures would be necessary. But just 5 months down the road, Minister Mah has introduced more drastic measures to curb property prices.

c. In March 2010, Minister Mah claimed that the supply of flats was more than sufficient to meet any surge in demand. However it seems that his ministry must now go into overdrive to ramp up the supply of BTO flats.

d. In March 2010, Minister Mah raised the minimum occupation period for resale flat owners who take bank loans from 1 year to 3 years. Barely a few months later, the ministry is now further pushing it up to 5 years. It seems that HDB is unable to provide any policy stability at all.

e. On 26 June 2010, MM Lee said there probably isn’t any property bubble. But now, Minister Mah admits that a property bubble is in the making.

2. In December 2009, after admitting to being “caught off guard”, Minister Mah reassured us of the ministry’s ability to keep this problem of “unexpected” rise in property prices in check. Yet the contradictions as noted above clearly signal that his ministry continues to lose sight of the severity of the problem.

3. The latest drastic measures have caused unwarranted shocks to the whole system. Those who have based their purchases of HDB flats or private properties on the past policies will face great financial losses. The frequent policy changes will erode investor’s confidence in the government’s competency in dealing with such problems.

4. As long as there isn’t any fundamental change in the pricing mechanism of new HDB flats and the increasing demand of new migrants (Permanent Residents) is not effectively met by other means, we do not see how prices for both new and resale HDB flats can become affordable. NSP reiterates our stand that new HDB flats should be sold at cost price to citizens. HDB should also consider selling new flats to PR at market price so to ease the demand due to unusual increase in PR population.

Immigration Policy

1. We do not think that the Prime Minister understands the real problems caused by the huge influx of foreign labour on the ground.

2. PM Lee has raised the example of coffeeshop owners unable to find Singaporeans who are willing to work until 12a.m. and thus they need to employ foreign workers. But the truth is, to ask workers to work 14 hours or more in a day is an act of exploitation. The labour law should be applied equally on both local and foreign workers. We cannot allow employers to exploit foreign workers just because Singapore workers are unwilling to be exploited.

3. We also notice that there are firms putting up recruitment advertisement which discriminate against either Singapore citizens or races. The liberal FT policy that the PAP government has adopted is partly to be blamed for this discrimination of local Singapore citizens by businesses. This practice has to be stopped and NSP urges the government to set up Commission of Equal Opportunity and setting laws to outlaw discriminatory employment practices.

4. PM Lee has ignored the severity of the depression of wages of both middle and lower income earners due to the influx of foreign labour. There is no mention of any concrete plans to deal with this problem.

5. PM Lee may think that foreign labour will help to create jobs for Singaporeans but the reverse is also true. Many Singaporeans’ jobs have been displaced by foreign labour. The problem is so severe that engineers and managers are now becoming taxi drivers. We have invested lots of money in the education of our citizens but such displacement of jobs of foreign labour has effectively made our investment wasted. Here again, there is no mention of any concrete plans to deal with this problem by PM Lee.

6. Raising workers’ levy alone will not help much in preventing engineers and professionals being displaced by foreign labour. Raising workers’ levy will not prevent exploitation of foreign workers nor save jobs for citizens.

7. Last but not least, this liberal immigration policy has caused a serious problem of income disparity within our society. Wages of both middle and lower income earners have been depressed while some have basically lost their jobs and face underemployment or even unemployment. The widening of income gap and the diminishing of middle class are great concerns to social stability but the Prime Minister has not addressed it either.


Although we feel that the Prime Minister has put up a very good pre-election National Day Rally speech but we still find that the solutions that his government has provided are generally inadequate.

We must bear in mind that all the problems and issues addressed by the Prime Minister are mostly the result of oversight by the various ministries under the charge of the respective ministers. All these problems are not new and have been raised by many people including NSP over the year. These problems could be long anticipated as it is the direct result of PAP government’s deliberate policy of opening the floodgates for foreign workers and migrants to come to Singapore. These “caught off guard” ministers should be responsible and made accountable for their deficiencies.

We also note that the Prime Minister did not resorted to giving out goodies or red packets to citizens as a populist tactic to win support. We would be impressed if PAP decides to abandon its past undesirable election tactic and choose to contest the elections based on its policy views, ideas and plans instead. We would be even more impressed if PAP could put up the boundary report way before the impending general elections. It will open up a new era of healthy political competition and engagement for Singapore.

Goh Meng Seng
Secretary General
National Solidarity Party

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Avoidance of Income Disparity...

Some reporter ask me what I would like to hear from PM Lee's speech and whether those key problems of Housing, Public Transport, Healthcare, floods...etc. Of course, whether PM will give out goodies.

My take is this, the problems of Housing, Public Transport, Healthcare and floods are not simple issues that could be resolved within a short period of time. The fact is, mistakes and oversights have been made by various ministries with regard to the explosive growth in population due to PAP's own FT policy. Whatever he says will not take effect immediately and solve the problems in a short period of time. Thus, most probably he will avoid them.

PAP is just too used to giving out goodies prior to GE since GCT time. Such "populist vote buying exercise" has been entrenched. I would be pleasantly surprised if LHL decided to go into GE without giving out goodies. That would mean Singapore politics will take a turn for a better change in which political contests are based on contest on ideas and strength, instead of pork barrel and vote buying politics. But I guess even if the LHL wanted that way, his party colleagues would not agree. They are just too used to such pork barrel and vote buying politics that they will pressure their leadership to continue doing it. Else, they will feel insecurity and not confident of holding their grounds.

I would want the PM to address the vanishing middle class which result in the worsening of income disparity. When PAP MPs took the signs of engineers turning into taxi driver as a consolation, this is where the problem will explode. Retail stores targeting the middle class have suffered and withdrawn in size. This is a BAD SIGN. We will end up with two extreme polar income earners which will create social tension in the mid and long term. This situation is worsen by the influx of foreign labor which displace the middle class workers or depressing their wages.

These are important issues that could not ignore. But it seems that PAP's economic discourse has always avoid this important issue altogether.

Any students of economics who study Capitalist by Karl Marx would know that such income disparity will eventually result in class struggle and instability. I just hope that our Nation would face this severe problem of income disparity with an open mind and try to resolve it before it is too late.

Goh Meng Seng

Saturday, August 21, 2010









































新加坡的聪明人是制度下的既得利益者,他们已经生活在纸醉金迷的梦幻世界里,宛如庄周梦蝶,他们已经无法分辩真实与虚幻,再也体会不到外边的世界是什么模 样;他们对新加坡社会的病态无知无觉。对这群制度的塑造与执行者而言,新加坡社会是完美无瑕的,新加坡制度是值得他人借鉴。



在 新加坡社会的这三种人群里,聪明人已经在春梦里醉生梦死,再也无需追梦寻梦。奴才干了为虎作伥的勾当,夜晚做的都是恶梦,也就不会有心思去追梦。或许,在 新加坡只有儍子才会去追梦导梦。他们憧憬新加坡的明天会更美好,人人都可以自由自在的表达自已的信念,凭着本身的才华去追逐与实践自已的美梦,让梦想成 真。


Friday, August 13, 2010

YOG Spending in perspective...

PAP government is spending $387,000,000 for YOG which Singaporeans have shown very little interest. They even need to FORCED students to volunteer in the event while giving them TERRIBLE FOOD!

On the other hand, there are many problems which the PAP is very reluctant to spend money to solve. The recent flooding needs to be solved but at an UNKNOWN cost which the PM said would be TOO HIGH.

ON top of that, PAP government has refused to provide to many less privileged Singaporeans. They have refused 50% of applicants for public assistance.

This $387million was spent to host 5000 athletes and officials for YOG. This means on average, S$77400 was spent for each of the 5000 guests. This could have lasted 5000 citizens who are on public assistance of $360 for almost 18years!

It is time for us to re-examine the priorities of the PAP government. Why would they be willing to spend hundreds of millions on an event which very few Singaporeans are interested in while become a miser unwilling to spend in improving or helping the lives of Singaporeans at large?

Monday, August 09, 2010

NSP National Day Message 2010

I used to write special posting for each National Day on my blog every year (well almost). Most of the time, the theme is about National Identity.

For personal "ranting" during National Day is quite straight forward. But writing a National Day message for my political party is totally another cup of tea altogether.

I have been helping my party to do the recording of our National Day Message in three languages since last year. This year, I have to do it for myself as well as my friend, Syafarin who is delivering the Malay version.

Although this message is written for my party, National Solidarity Party, but it fully reflects my sentimental at this moment on what this Nation needs to change. The truth is, I have decided to join opposition politics 9 years ago basically because of my belief that I have to change the whole political system of Singapore, for the sake of my future generations.

So here it is:


It has been a frustrating year for many Singaporeans.

Although our GDP has grown significantly for the past quarters but the decline in the retail sector speaks volume of the kind of growth we are getting.

Our purchasing power is either stagnant or unable to catch up with the inflation caused by various factors. Any GDP growth that doesn’t benefit Singaporeans
in terms of higher purchasing power and quality of life is meaningless. It is at best
just another justification for the ministers to increase their own pay.

On the other hand, we have to ask ourselves while our Nation achieves almost 20% growth in GDP for the last quarter but have our income achieve even half of that growth?

Besides, the cost of having such high GDP growth is tremendous. We are just increasing more and more foreign labour to achieve growth. This may result in suppressed wages for Singaporeans and at the same time, a more crowded place for everyone else.

According to our study and research, the PAP government has consciously embarked
on a very aggressive foreign workers policy to help boost the economy since 2006. However, many ministers, including the Ministers for Transport, Health and National Development are basically “Caught off Guard” by such explosive population growth.

Our public transport system could no longer cope with the excessive increase of population over such short period of time. The growth in train and bus services is lagging far behind the growth of population over the years. This results in over crowded MRT trains and buses during peak hours.

On top of that, the fares have increased for many of us since July, for as much as 7% or more!

Our HDB flat prices are shooting off the roof. HDB failed to build enough flats to cope with the population growth. The need of paying a 30 years mortgage for a simple HDB flat is definitely not a sign of affordability.

Hospital care is the most important matter of life and death. However hospital beds are in great shortage as the building of the new hospital is delayed for nearly a decade. It seems that the Ministry of Health does not plan ahead. The problem could be so acute that sometimes patients have to be left lying along the corridors of the wards!

But yet, our Prime Minister has just declared that we need another 100 thousand more foreign workers! Are we supposed to endure a further deterioration of these problems?

The recent floods that we have are creating doubts on the competency of the highly paid PAP government. We do not want to hear excuses from “once in 50 years”, “it is impossible to be flood free” to “it is an act of God”. When we are paying the world’s highest pay to the ministers, we expect such fundamental problems to be solved.

To suffer 3 or 4 floods within a couple of months is totally unacceptable to a small island that prides itself as a modern world-class city state.

All these happenings come under the charge of the world’s most expensive ministers in Singapore. We need accountability but there is none. We need proper checks and balances but there is little.

Singapore needs to progress both economically as well as politically in a balanced way. We should not just aim for some huge GDP growth at all cost. We should also build a political system whereby accountability is effectively in place.

It is time for us, my fellow Singaporeans, to reflect upon all these happenings during this National Day. We have to ask ourselves what kinds of living environment and quality of life we want for our children. High GDP growth no longer guarantees better quality of life but in contrary, lower our overall standard of living.

We also have to ask ourselves whether we want our children to inherit a political system that is based on total dominance of power by a single ruling party, which will use every means to fix its opponents and those who hold alternative views. Do we want our children to inherit a government which only demands the highest pay in the world but shy away from accountability and responsibility?

We need a change to this system and we need courage to change it.

Wishing you a Happy National Day.




















祝 国庆快乐!


Tahun ini merupakan tahun yang menghampakan ramai rakyat Singapura. Meskipun GDP kita telah meningkat dengan banyaknya dalam beberapa bulan kebelakangan ini, sektor runcit yang menjunamlah yang memberi kita gambaran yang sebenar tentang pertumbuhan ekonomi kita.

Kuasa membeli kita sama ada telah mendatar atau tidak dapat menampung kadar inflasi . Sebarang pertumbuhan GDP yang tidak memberi faedah kepada rakyat Singapura dari segi kuasa membeli dan mutu kehidupan yang lebih tinggi tidak bermakna sama sekali.

Keadaan begini hanya memberi peluang kepada para menteri kita menaikkan lagi gaji mereka sendiri. Sebaliknya pula, kita mesti tanya pada diri kita – negeri kita telah mencapai hampir 20% pertumbuhan GDP bagi tiga bulan terakhir ini tetapi adakah pendapatan kita akan mencapai separuh daripada kadar pertumbuhan tersebut?

Kita harus berbelanja lebih untuk menampung pertumbuhan GDP yang begitu tinggi. Kita terpaksa menambah lebih banyak lagi tenaga asing untuk mencapai pertumbuhan tersebut. Ini bermakna pendapatan bagi rakyat Singapura akan dicantas
dan pada masa yang sama, negeri kita akan menjadi lebih sesak dengan orang asing.

Menurut kajian kami, pemerintah PAP memang dengan sengajanya memulakan pengambilan tenaga kerja warga asing ini secara melampau sejak 2006 semata-matanya untuk merancakkan ekonomi. Bagaimanapun, kebanyakan menteri kita, termasuk Menteri-menteri Pengangkutan, Kesihatan dan Pembangunan Negara, telah disentakkan dengan pertumbuhan penduduk yang mendadak.

Sistem pengangkutan awam kita tidak dapat lagi menampung ledakan penduduk yang keterlaluan dalam masa yang begitu singkat. Perkhidmatan MRT dan bas-bas begitu lembab dibandingkan dengan pertumbuhan penduduk yang semakin banyak kebelakangan ini. Ini membuat keadaan begitu sesak dalam MRT dan bas-bas pada waktu puncak. Untuk memburukkan keadaan lagi, Kebanyakkan di antara kita terpaksa membayar tambang yang lebih sejak bulan Julai ini, adanya sehingga mencecah lebih 7%.

Harga flat-flat HDB kita sudah membumbung tinggi. HDB gagal membina flat-flat yang cukup bagi menampung pertumbuhan penduduk yang begitu pesat. Sekarang kita perlu membayar duit rumah selama 30 tahun untuk sebuah flat HDB yang biasa – ini menandakan rumah bukan lagi sesuatu yang kita mampu.

Penjagaan kesihatan di hospital merupakan perkara terpenting
antara hidup dan mati. Bagaimanapun, katil-katil di hospital
sudah banyak berkurangan disebakan pembinaan sebuah hospital baharu tergendala selama hampir sedekad. Ini membuktikan betapa Kementerian Kesihatan tidak memandang jauh semasa membuat rancangan untuk memastikan pertambahan katil-katil hospital seiring dengan pertumbuhan penduduk yang melampau. Masalah ini menjadi begitu runcing
apabila ada pesakit-pesakit yang terpaksa berbaring di tempat lalu lalang di wad-wad hospital.

Nanum begitu, baru-baru ini Perdana Menteri kita mengumumkan bahawa kita memerlukan lagi 100 ribu pekerja asing! Adakah kita harus bertahan lagi dengan keadaan yang sememangnya telah begitu buruk?

Banjir yang menimpa kita baru-baru ini membuat kita tertanya-tanya tentang kebolehan pemerintah PAP yang bergaji lumayan. Kita tidak mahu lagi dengar alasan-alasan seperti “hanya sekali dalam 50 tahun”, “mustahil kita tidak dilanda banjir”, dan “ini kuasa Tuhan”. Kita harapkan perkara-perkara asas sebegini
dapat ditangani memandangkan kita membayar menteri-menteri kita gaji yang paling lumayan di muka bumi ni. Tetapi kita terpaksa mengharungi 3 atau 4 banjir dalam masa dua bulan
dan ini amat tidak munasabah bagi sebuah pulau kecil
yang mendabik dada sebagai sebuah bandar moden bertaraf dunia.

Semua ini berlaku di bawah jagaan menteri-menteri termahal dunia di Singapura. Kita perlu ada pertanggungjawaban
tetapi tiada langsung, Kita perlu ada mekanisme keseimbangan
tetapi terlalu sedikit.

Singapura perlu maju dalam kedua-dua bidang ekonomi dan politik dengan cara yang seimbang. Kita tidak harus mensasarkan pertumbuhan GDP yang besar sehinggakan mutu kehidupan kita sengsara. Kita harus ada sistem politik di mana terdapat pertanggungjawaban.

Saudara-saudara dan saudari-saudari setanah air, masanya telah tiba untuk kita memikirkan tentang perkara-perkara ini sempena Hari Kebangsaan kita. Kita perlu tanya pada diri kita – suasana kehidupan yang bagaimanakah yang kita mahukan untuk Singapura. Pertumbuhan GDP yang tinggi tidak lagi menjamin mutu hidup yang lebih baik tetapi sebaliknya, merendahkan taraf kehidupan secara keseluruhan.

Kita juga perlu tanya pada diri kita sama ada kita mahu anak-anak kita mewarisi sistem politik berteraskan kekuasaan mutlak
di bawah pemerintahan satu parti, yang akan menggunakan apa cara sekalipun untuk ‘kerjakan” lawan mereka dan sesiapa sahaja yang mempunyai pandangan yang berbeza.

Kita perlu menukar sistem sebegini dan kita perlu berani menukarnya.

Selamat menyambut Hari Kebangsaan.
Dirgahayu Singapura.