PAP MPs question who WP is trying to help

Dear Professor Koo and Mr De Souza,

I refer to the 1 Mar 2011 Straits Times report of your arguments in parliament.

You said high income earners pay more GST which gets redistributed to lower income earners. While that is true, high income earners pay even more in other taxes which gets redistributed even more to lower income earners. Therefore, don’t be too quick to dismiss Mr Low Thia Khiang’s proposal to lower the GST. Coupled with an increase in other taxes which tend to fall on high income earners, even greater redistribution can be achieved.

While median income rose faster than inflation rate, it still couldn’t catch up with the speed at which housing prices have risen. Over the last four years, HDB resale prices have risen by $150,000 on average. New HDB prices, being tied to resale HDB prices, should have risen by a similar amount. For someone who is ‘suay’ enough to have to purchase a resale flat in the last few years, how many decades would it take before this increase in median income can make up for the increase in price of housing? Will it ever make up for the increase in housing price at all?

Do not feel bewildered that Mr Low offered no solutions. The PAP controls the land. The PAP controls the flood gates to immigration. Rightfully, the two biggest determinants to property price lie firmly in the hands of the PAP. Yet the PAP neither controlled the flood gates properly nor built sufficient housing in anticipation of the ensuing flood. As a result, property prices shot up like crazy which in turn exerted an upward price pressure on everything else, including food. Nothing much Mr Low could do.

You asked who Mr Low wants to repatriate – HDB builders, MRT builders or foreign domestic workers? Isn’t it strange to speak off repatriating HDB builders? It gives the impression we have too many HDB builders. But if we have too many HDB builders, how come we are not building enough HDBs? Ideally, we should just repatriate those who are doing what Singaporeans can and want to do. Unemployment rate doesn’t tell the whole story. It would be sad if well-paying jobs go to foreigners rather than to Singaporeans even when the latter can do what the former does.

You said you are responsible because you grow and share. But look at how you have ‘grown’? Just open the flood gates and let the Tsunami of foreign workers overwhelm our housing and infrastructure? You call that responsible?

Dear Dr Lateef,

Please don’t feel offended by Mr Low’s remarks about Singaporeans feeling disempowered and disillusioned. He was only speaking on behalf of ordinary Singaporeans like myself. Due to no fault of ours, by sheer fate of timing, we are being forced to buy houses as much as a hundred thousand dollars more than what our peers paid for four, five years ago. Do you know how many years it takes to save a hundred thousand dollars? Do you know how many more years we have to work just to put in that extra hundred thousand dollars into our house? Is this fair to us? What can we do about it? We can’t do anything about it. We are being victimised by the negligence and incompetence of the PAP government. Yet fellow Singaporeans will continue to vote the PAP in. How can we not feel disempowered and disillusioned?

Gone are the days when we can simply focus on working hard and making a good living. That is no longer sufficient. Nowadays, Singaporeans are forced to keep updated on housing prices all the time because the penalty for buying at the wrong time can set us back many, many years. Why would Singaporeans bother to pursue their dream goals to fruition when half the time, they are busy monitoring the property market just so that they don’t lose out? That is the sad state of affairs that the PAP government has subjected us to.

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