26 September 2007

Malicious, mendacious, and meretricious

Recently in the news, 3 major challenges facing Singapore getting some discussion in the current Parliament session.

1. The re-tweaking of CPF, the annuity, and the "Longevity Insurance"

Goodness knows why the government of Minilee has finally acknowledged that the average Singaporean is still unable to have any significant savings when they retire.

Of course, Minilee holds fast to the sacred tenet that Singapore Must Never Have Social Welfare - nevermind that Singapore's healthcare, education, public libraries, and housing are funded and discounted by the state in what appears to be classic social welfare policies. Instead, the Dear Leader reiterates that Singaporeans must continue to save on their own, with minimal support from the state, which will of course from time to time adjust and introduce a few schemes here and there.

"Oh most gracious Minilee, our poor cannot afford to feed themselves once they retire! What shall we do?"

"Let them eat their CPF savings and annuities!"

2. Employment of seniors

Not entirely unrelated to the fact that one can't retire in Singapore without sinking into poverty is Minilee's push for employers to start hiring seniors. Bravo!

But let's not forget that Goh Chok Tong had previously pushed for this idea as well, but without bothering to make it a compulsory law, because our leaders would rather be seen as pro-elderly, but not at the expense of business interests.

And so it is that Minilee has taken steps to assure business interests that even if he decides to draft a law to make them to hire seniors, they'll be sheltered from the worst. The compromise, apparently floated by Minilee, is to let companies only pay for the basic health insurance of elderly workers.

BASIC HEALTH INSURANCE. But aren't seniors more prone to developing complications if they fall ill? Ah, I guess Minilee wants to save companies from footing the bills when the seniors in their employ get seriously sick!

3. The optimal population and foreign talent

Not discussed in this Parliament so far, but take note that according to Dear Leader's great plan, we're 2 million shy of the optimal population of Singapore, and hence the need to import even more foreign talent.

Not wholly unrelated to the influx of FTs are a corresponding hike in rentals of private properties that these expats tend to exclusively go for. It's simple economics, but they're now complaining of the ridiculous rents, the hardship it's causing and might even begin to leave in droves.

Welcome to Singapore, I say! Now you Foreign Talents finally have a taste of what every local experiences on a daily basis: having to pay for lodging that eats up most of your savings! How do you suppose Singaporeans end up cash poor and asset rich when they retire? Again, it's simple economics, and now I hope FTs will finally realise why the hell Singaporeans complain so much about their government.

But just so you know, Minilee claims that it's not true Singapore is only for the rich.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the government of Minilee.

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