Sunday, August 11, 2013

LHL's mindset on tangibles

                                      LHL NPD Message 2013

Yet, LKY derided GCT when he made known that GCT was not his preferred candidate to succeed him, that he was a poor public speaker. 

In LHL's NPD 2013 video, I found him terribly uneasy with himself before the camera. A wide plastic grin split across his face in attempt hide his uneasiness and he was clearly awkward with his hands. I need no comparison with GCT's public speaking skills or LKY to dictate me, of arriving at my own conclusion about the quality of LHL's public speaking skills. 

Moving away from the presentation of the NDP message to its content.

With no surprise, LHL's message did not, and never fails to, mention Singapore's GDP performance in any of his address to the nation. There was a mix of tangibles and intangibles in his message. The economy, the workforce, transport, healthcare, accommodation, family, inflation, the kind of society, aging and even SAFRA upgrading. 

Nonetheless, three aspects stood out prominently among others as they have been the recurring themes in the last few years. Foreign workers. Investor confidence. Other countries' admiration of Singapore. There is no way which he will spare us from these. Coincidentally, they are directly linked to GDP. A clear picture of how clear-minded LHL is on GDP-core related matters. Even his concern on our falling birth rate is related to his GDP as he offers a intake of new immigrants as his only solution.

On the other hand, his take on the intangibles appear weak and hollow in light of his past policies. 

His mention of fair and just society sounds ironical. Think of the removal of the estate duty in 2009. Which strata of our society will be the biggest beneficial of its removal? Think of the wage gap between the lower income groups and his top civil servants or himself. Think of Woffles Wu. Think of his treatment to his political "opponents". Think of the unproportionate political and economic power the "elite group" holds. Think of what he pays himself and his gang for their "sacrifices" and what he pays for our NS men for theirs.

He treads into the realm of Singapore's identity, which Singaporeans holds dearly to in the face of the tsunamis of foreigners taking place on our shore, yet he has a vague idea of what it meant, given his statement of "we are feeling our way forward carefully" on identity. "We" refers to him and his gang, exclusive of the people. He is determined with his Population White Paper in shrinking the proportion of local-born Singaporeans to less than half of the population and inviting new citizens to make up the shortfall in our birth rate, diluting and exterminating our own identity. A clear depiction of his priorities over the tangibles. GDP is after all more valuable than identity.

Interestingly, LHL mentioned SAFRA upgrade in his NDP message this year. Couldn't help but think of it as an epitome of his tangible-obsessed mindset and his incompetency refusal to address the intangibles.

In his understanding, a new SAFRA building, as the tangible, suffices as a compensation for the male Singaporeans' contribution to NS against the growing proportion of new citizens, PRs and foreigners who have the luxury of choosing for themselves and their sons whether to serve NS or not. It is a duty for Singaporean males to serve NS for the defence of their homeland when non-Singaporeans (new citizens inclusive) are steadily outgrowing them.

SAFRA building and amenities are peanut compensation for the financial and job opportunity loss of two years in the job market. And the burden duty of NS is shared between the NS men and their families who have to provide financial support during their NS period. Especially a drain for financially-strapped families. 

Either he couldn't see or that he couldn't care less.

There are times when we have to ask what we can do for our country; there are times when we have to ask what can the rulers country do for us! A lot of tangibles are being extracted from his citizens but the returns are far from fair and just. Crumbs for the lower and middle stratum of the society while fat chunks reserved for the higher strata.  

Think of the pre-election upgrading of HDB and sheltered walkways bribes incentives to secure our votes. Giving you the tangibles but taking away the intangibles of transparency, accountability, the rights to unobstructed access to our own CPF, a stronger alternative presence in the Parliament, uncontrolled media .... away from you for good. 

Inevitably, Marina Bay comes into mind. About a month ago, LHL shared his new-found pride with his audience "....there is only one Marina Bay in the world." Marina Bay was used to illustrate the outcome of getting the "right politics". Again, he is self-complimenting himself and his gang. There is no inclusion of his people. Again, a clear depiction of using the tangibles as an indicator of success. 

Marina Bay, an expensive pride of his, developed by stacks of cash for the glittering buildings, casinos, ferris wheel, Garden, expensive shopping malls......

And what proportion of the returns is being channelled across our society to improve the quality of our living? In alleviating the stress of cultural, social and identity invasion by the fierce foreign influx and the diminishing sense of security? In reducing the stress for the unfair competition for land space, jobs, education and housing?