SM Goh: Vote share went up when I was PM

Dear SM Goh,

I refer to the 30 Apr 2011 Straits Times report of your comments on the opposition.

You said the opposition has so far:

1. Fired away hoping that one bullet will resonate with the public.

But the sheer volume of PAP comments in newspapers suggests that it is the PAP that is firing away like crazy instead. What happened to that very important you tube video that Vivian Balakrishnan was referring to? Was it a misfired PAP bullet?

2. Promised populist solutions.

Isn’t the PAP’s asset appreciation programme a populist solution? Are you not the pot calling the kettle black? In any case, the opposition solutions are not populist but comes from the heart for the people.

Reducing GST is no problem when you concomittantly increase income tax for the rich. That will bring about even greater transfer to the poor. Even Mr Tharman agrees that we cannot look at GST alone but must bundle it together with transfers. Similarly when GST reduction is bundled together with income tax increase for the rich, that solution would also be fundamentally sound for the poor.

Similarly, we shouldn’t be too quick to brush off the reduction of national service duration. Hasn’t our national service duration been reduced from 2.5 years to 2 years already? Isn’t that a reduction already? So no one can argue against reduction since reduction is already a fact. What we can argue about is how much to reduce to? South Korea is in a worse situation than us. They’ve got a hostile neighbour threatening to go nuclear. Their submarine was sunk killing many servicemen. They’ve got artillery fired upon them killing people. Yet their military service is just 1 year 10 months. Given that our situation is better, surely we don’t need to exceed 1 year 10 months? Even Taiwan, whose opponent is the great Chinese juggernaut only has selective service of just 1 year.

You said the term ‘First World Parliament’ is not original. But it is still better than your slogan of the “Swiss Standard of Living” which we are still waiting to happen.

You said the definition of First World Parliament is absurd because it applies to countries like Zimbabwe and Myanmar. But Myanmar’s military junta was only dissolved about a month ago. We still do not know as yet if General Tan Shwe will continue to wield power behind the scenes. The work of its parliament has only just begun and can only be judged in the future. Similarly, if our parliament gains greater plurarity, it will have its work cut out for itself and its contributions can only be seen in the future. Similarly, Zimbabwe has been ruled by the dictator Mugabe for thirty years already and despite the 2008 elections, Mugabe continues to hang around much like LKY and yourself continue to hang around.


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