Response to Parliament Opening Address

I refer to President Tony Tan’s opening address for 2nd session of 12th parliament.

Dr Tan said that every Singaporean can take pride in our survival and prosperity against long odds since independence. Dr Tan cannot be more wrong; Singapore had been thriving and prospering for more than a hundred years before our independence in 1965.

Dr Tan said that at 50, we are a young nation. But the Singapore today has continuously evolved since 1819 for nearly 200 years already. We should be celebrating our Bicentennial, not Silver Jubilee. While extolling the pioneers of 50 years ago for overcoming formidable obstacles to build Singapore, Dr Tan forgot to mention the pioneers’ pioneers who overcame even greater odds to lay the strong foundation underpinning our success today. If the honouring of our pioneers is confined to just the last 50 years, we risk being disrespectful to pioneers’ pioneers like Tan Kim Seng and Lim Bo Seng who came before.

Dr Tan urged us to always uphold the ‘founding ideals’ in our pledge written in 1966. But 1966 is 147 years after our founding in 1819. How can we be founded again 147 years after our founding in 1819? What ideal of a fair and just society was Dr Tan pledging to uphold when he allowed the PAP to disadvantage opposition wards in HDB upgrading while serving as Deputy Prime Minister?

Dr Tan claimed that no other country in the world has, through the promotion of home ownership, leveled up society and enabled Singaporeans, especially the poor, to build up significant assets and have a tangible stake in Singapore’s progress. What supposed leveling up is Dr Tan talking about when Singapore has one of the highest GINI inequalities amongst First World nations? Our homes cannot become significant assets without also becoming expensive liabilities that will lock up even more of our precious income and lower our standard of living while requiring our children to pay even more for their homes in future. It is a zero sum game that merely transfers wealth from future generations to present ones. It is not leveling up but pricing up of the most important component of our cost of living.

Dr Tan stressed the importance of constructive politics where the nation and its people are put first. Can Dr Tan explain:
• How constructive is the politics of making use of supposedly politics blind national bodies like NEA and MND to attack or to disadvantage Aljunied Town Council and how that supposedly puts people first?
• How constructive is the politics of threatening Singaporeans with 5 years of repent and insulting Singaporeans with names like quitters, champion grumblers, spurs not stuck deep enough in the hide and how that supposedly puts people first?
• How constructive was the politics of disadvantaging opposition wards in HDB upgrading and how that supposedly puts people first?
• How constructive was the politics of locking political opponents without trial longer than Nelson Mandela was and how that supposedly puts people first?

Dr Tan warned against the hurly burly of politics in many other countries that have resulted in short term populist measures, sometimes gridlock and paralysis that will weaken Singapore. But isn’t the government busy implementing supposedly populist politics like increasing housing supply, improving public transport and controlling foreigner influx after the hurly burly of the last election? Do we see Singapore being weakened by these measures? No. So in the case of Singapore, the hurly burly of politics strengthens, not weakens Singapore by forcing the government to implement popular yet right measures.

Dr Tan emphasized the need for Singapore to have the best ideas and best leadership. But who is best qualified to decide who has the best idea and the best leadership? Those who decided that Saw Phaik Hwa was best turned out to be wrong. So how do we know whoever is deemed best today is actually best?

Dr Tan urged all sides to take a long-term perspective for the common good. Dr Tan should realize that it is the government that is taking the short-term, instant tree perspective of mass import of population without first making adequate provision for housing, transportation, healthcare and so on. He should therefore thank the non-government side for nudging the government towards a long-term perspective for the common good.

Dr Tan exhorted all to come together and move ahead as one united people once the debate is settled. But how can the debate be settled when we do not have referendums on important issues like casinos and 6.9 million population? If the Swiss whom we supposedly model after have referendums on major issues despite a larger population spread over a wider logistical space, why can’t we? How does Dr Tan expect Singaporeans to move ahead as one when our wishes have not been respected?

Dr Tan claimed that our pioneers fought for our independence. Actually those who fought for our independence were collectively known as the Leftists. It is they we should honour for our progress towards self-determination. LKY and the PAP fought to merge us with Malaysia and in so doing, made us lose some of that self-determination.

I refer too to the 17 May 2014 Straits Times report “An invitation to renew vows”.

Straits Times compared the relationship between government and citizens to that of a marriage and characterised Dr Tan’s speech as an invitation by the government to renew wedding vows by pledging as husband to woo Singaporeans with good education and so on.

Straits Times can’t be more wrong, the relationship between government and citizens is a servant master relationship, not a husband wife relationship. A husband doesn’t have to renew his status every five years. A husband doesn’t threaten his wife with 5 years of repent if she doesn’t choose him. A husband doesn’t insult his wife with words like spurs not stuck deep enough in the hide. A husband doesn’t declare the house belongs to everyone who steps into the house.

The Singapore society has turned topsy turvy because the servant government thinks he is the husband master and decides rather than follows instructions.

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One Response to “Response to Parliament Opening Address”

  1. Alan Says:

    I think he must be the most hypocrite of all of them to talk like that now. Remember under his DPMship, they even boasted that opposition wards will be put to the end of the queue for any upgrading.

    But now in reality when has upgrading in opposition wards suddenly become such a priority to the extent that the grassroots committee comes out in the open to condemn the opposition for not submitting their proposals for upgrading ?

    This kind of dirty politics are still being practised by current grassroots leaders and there we have our present President giving us such an honourable speech which only make him more look like a hypocrite ?

    FUCK PAP for being such a hypocrite!

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