Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Flawed Argument

Since getting into the Singapore government, Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam has managed to put his foot in his mouth a few times. In a way it is understandable. The man is basically a technocrat turned politician.

In another example of why some technocrats should not be politicians, the DPM has managed to do so again. Speaking at a forum at Nanyang Technological University in front of 750 university students and lecturers, the DPM argued that the Singapore government need to be involved in the running of the economy as it is needed to ensure the economic benefits goes down to all sectors of the Singapore population.

There’s only one problem with that excellent theory; Reality! 

No one can argue that the Singapore government is currently highly “involved” in the Singapore government. Government-linked companies dominate the economical landscape of the country, but does the benefits of Singapore’s growth goes to the Singapore people?

For the past few years, the answer has been a flat “NO”.

For the past few years, Singapore has a high growth rate but if you ask ordinary Singaporeans, most would say life has not gotten better. In fact, some would say it has gotten worse and they would blame the Singapore government for it.

The Singapore government’s economic and immigration policies has caused wages to be kept low, housing prices to spike and widen the rich-poor divide in the country. If the DPM want to argue that the Singapore government has to be involved in the economy for the good of the people; then quite frankly he need to make sure his government is doing a better job of it.


Anonymous said...

The senior citizens & retirees are now told to downgrade to shoebox studio flats if they don't have enough to see them through their twilight years. And the PAP Govt is building these tiny flats which were once abandoned by the Govt because they were not popular in those days when the country was becoming richer..

Now that we are considered the richest country in the world, is this not a tell-tale sign that a section of our population is in fact becoming poorer when in fact our country is in a financially equipped position to take care of their welfare ?

Is it because LKY & his PM son prefers to take care of their own self interests over & above others that have resulted in such a sorry state of affairs for so many Singaporeans?

Ghost said...

I think the ones at fault here are the policies they put in place, not their desire to take care of their own interest. Frankly, I think blaming greed is the easy way out. I think their desire to do good cannot be doubt; their policies however were poor.

Anonymous said...

Tharman's flaw is that he failed to see that the MIW is now on the far right and all other opposition parties are either centre right or centre left.
So the people who needs to shift their mindset to correct the problem is themselves. This is actually the easiest solution for MIW but since they think that they are always right, nothing will be done.

Ghost said...

Being on the right is a deliberate strategy on the part of the PAP as most Singaporeans are conservative by nature. I see nothing wrong with that but their refusal to admit they are wrong is going to bite them on the ass. However I disagree with the notion all the other political parties are near the centre. The SDP for example are on the left.