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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi! Just some simple suggestions to help improve your video qualities. Your orange shirt is really eye-catching. Good! Just that the orange shirt and the blue background don't really match. Do consider changing to a simpler and pleasant background, so that it doesn't distract us from you. Also, as you speak, do look straight into the camera, and not top-down, or down-up. This will help us audience to feel like we're having eye contact with you. The PAPs MPs are all well-trained (using our $$!!) in terms of how to speak in front of the camera and on stage. There's much you all can learn from PAP (and even from the SDP) in terms of simple ways to engage audiences and gain their confidence as you speak (recorded or live). The most important thing, however, that I often find lacking in the PAP videos is SINCERITY, which actually is the key element in engaging audiences. I think you have plenty of that :) All the best, NSP! Keep your conscience alive, keep your ears and eyes wide open, and keep your passion going! :)