May 4, 2011

The Apology from PM Lee Hsien Loong

From the Straits Times today:
PM says sorry over mistakes, pledges to do better
By Yen Feng

PRIME Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday apologised for the mistakes under his watch in the last five years and pledged to make adjustments to the system and do better.

He cited the escape of detained terrorist Mas Selamat Kastari and the massive Orchard Road floods as two slip-ups, and also acknowledged that the Government could have moved faster to address shortfalls in housing and public transport.

Speaking at a People's Action Party lunchtime rally at Boat Quay next to UOB Plaza, PM Lee said he was sorry and he and his team were doing their best to fix the problems. He said the Government did not predict the sharp demand for flats after the recession in mid-2009. If they had, they would have ramped up the Housing Board building programmes faster, and saved many Singaporeans angst.

They would also have moved more aggressively to expand MRT networks to deal with growing population and traffic congestion.

'When these problems vex you or disturb you or upset your lives, please bear with us. We're trying our best on your behalf. And if we didn't quite get it right, I am sorry but we will try and do better the next time," he said.
This is rare. Humility from the PAP, and coming straight from the Prime Minister himself. This apology does score some points with me. If I were living in his constituency (Ang Mo Kio), I might now feel somewhat inclined to vote for Lee Hsien Loong.

For this apology, we also have to thank the opposition parties and the large number of supporters who showed up at their rallies. Ask yourself - why is PM Lee's apology coming now? Because it's election season. The Opposition is speaking up loudly, raising important issues and making many strong, valid arguments. The PAP has few easy rebuttals, and in the end, PM Lee feels somewhat compelled to concede that his party has made some big mistakes.

This shows the value of having a strong Opposition - it keeps the ruling party on its toes. The Opposition acts as a check and balance, constantly reminding the PAP about the people that they are supposed to serve. However, once the elections are over, there won't be any more rallies and all the usual restrictions on civil society will kick in.

The Opposition won't be allowed to speak here, they won't be allowed to speak there, they won't be allowed to write this; they won't be allowed to do that - yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda. (Click on the individual yadda's, if you want to see specific examples and illustrations of what I mean).

That is why Singapore needs to get a decent number of Opposition members into Parliament. This would institutionalise their alternative voices in national policy-making. They would get to speak up, and more often than just once in five years. If we had had more than two Opposition voices in Parliament five years ago, Singapore might well have averted its housing crisis and healthcare problems today.

That's because the Opposition would have started making significant noise in Parliament at a much earlier stage, forcing the PAP to pay attention and start tackling the problem sooner. The PAP calls this "gridlock". The correct term should be "feedback".

Anyway, although the fact that PM Lee made an apology is nice, I also found the apology somewhat troubling. Not because of anything he said, but because of what he did not say. PM Lee admitted that his government had made mistakes with public housing and public transport, but he said nothing about the root cause. And the root cause - as you already know - is the overwhelming influx of foreigners into this country.

My own views on the foreign worker issue are well-known, for I have written on this topic many times before. At the individual level, there should be no hostility against the foreigners in our midst - for they have come here just wanting, like the rest of us, to build better lives for themselves. On the other hand, the sheer size of their influx into Singapore has given rise to a wide range of social issues.

Public housing and public transport are just two of these social issues. Two very big issues, yes, but certainly not the only ones. PM Lee has apologised for mistakes in these two areas, but he has made no reference to the other issues. And very significantly, PM Lee has not acknowledged the root cause of all these issues - which is the massive influx of foreigners.

79 comments:

Anonymous said...

There are other contendious issues which LHL may have to apologise for, but it is a little too late and not very sincere. They are not paid a king's ransom to make mistakes, there is no need to apologise, just ask those who goofed up to resign. Do not fall for this trap, trying to appeal to the heart, didn't they tell us to vote with our heads?

Anonymous said...

Root cause. Yes, that's right.

Any problem solving course, any quality problem, safety problem, company problem, personal problem, medical problem etc, etc must address root cause to find a permanent solution.

And even more critical for political and national issues, to analyse the root cause.

Mr Wang, I agree this is where I find PM Lee's apology troubling too. Because he did not acknowledge or address them.

But I also understand why he did not. Simply because he cannot do away with influx of foreigners!

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, an apology kinda came too late. After all, it came just days before an election. Shouldn't it be earlier?

At the same time, whatever the results is, what we people want is our voices to be heard and we hope for more different opinion and views in the parliament to debate find the best solutions for us Singaporeans.

There will definitely be problems arising in the next 5 years, but why wait until problem arises before finding a solution? And after that, another apology from you again?

Enough excuses, PAP. Please open your heart to a different voice and accept the challenge! You keep saying this is for us Singaporeans... then prove it! Show it to us!

There's a big reason why this is happening now and people being unhappy with you! How many more 5 years do we have?

Anonymous said...

Put yourself in our shoes, how would you react if you are us?

Take the bus, take the train. Get paid the salary we are receiving for a period of time. Pay for your own medical bills we are paying.

Be in our situation. Then come and tell me, you understand how we feel.

Prove yourself then you will get my vote.

Anonymous said...

the apology is not an unequivocal one.

is as good as no apology.

Anonymous said...

This is what really irks me. Why only now then say want to review income ceiling of new HDB flats (MBT)? Why only now then say want to prioritize support for elderly (KBW)? Shouldn't all these things be done during the last 5 years? This election is as much about what has been done in the last 5 years as about what will be done in the next 5 years.

What have the MIW done in the last 5 years to make our lives better???

Amused said...

Until the PM caps ALL public servants pay to under a million, he is not sincere in his apology.

Why does it matter? First, ministers who are in it for money will quit. This is a good thing, IMHO, as we need more compassion in the cabinet. Next, with less pay, the MPs will better empathize with people facing problems on housing, medical, transport, and education. Lastly, high minister pay has not prevented any of these recent mistakes. In fact, one can argue that it has contributed to the mistakes.

That aside, I was quite shocked to see thousands commented on election matters on Yahoo news site. Many are detailed comments from real people against PAP policies. PAP is losing the mindshare of the educated electorate. It is quite significant politically. It brings serious doubt to its legitimacy going forward.

Anonymous said...

could this be a tactical move to woo netizen back, it lacks sincerity, he should:
1. announce that he will sack MM because they do not share the same values.
2. Since WKS do not agree to GCT comments on Selamat escape, he should call for a group apology by LKY, WKS, MBT and vivian, so as to afirm his leadership and representation.
3. In line with PAP's tradition of not taking apology likely, all those who has apologies should not be invited into the cabinet.
The above announcement should be made before the election.

Raelynn said...

me me me! i'm from amk grc. before the apology came, i was thinking of voting for RP. then i heard Lim Zi Rui's rally. *shakes head* Lim Zi Rui at his present state is not someone that i want to see in parliament either. not that the apology makes me more inclined to vote for PAP because really, it's too little too late.

Godwin said...

"Mr Lee also acknowledged that the influx of foreign workers and the social implications of building two casinos "are real problems", which the Government will do its best to tackle."

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/1126669/1/.html

Parka said...

Mr Wang, you should write something on the cost of a PR.

Few days ago, to cut the long story short, I met a PR who told me he's going to retire back in India, bringing along $300,000 of CPF.

For equilibrium, what he move out of Singapore has to be balanced by something else. And he's not the only PR I know that's not retiring in Singapore.

Anonymous said...

PAP 1G- Excellent
PAP 2G- Quite alright
PAP 3G- Trying to put up
PAP 4G- KNS?

Need a hit from the hammer to wake up.

Anonymous said...

"Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

Anonymous said...

The apology from PM Lee came too little and too late for me to change my mind to Vote For Change!!

For those Singaporeans who have yet to decide which parties to vote in the upcoming GE, then please ask yourself this question and answer it honestly and truthfully.

Are U better off now as compared to 5 years ago?

If “Yes”, vote PAP else Opposition Parties.

Anonymous said...

This apology doesn't score points with me. They are making these apologies in time for the election so that it influences voters to vote for PAP. (Making them think "Oh they're so humble, admitting their mistakes.") But wait till the election is over and PAP wins over the whole Singapore, they will return to their prideful stance and continue treating Singaporeans, PRs and foreigners in the country like trash. Only to apologize five years later.

teacherlet said...

Bashing PAP is fashionable, it would seem, in the alternative media. Bashing the Opposition is expected in the mainstream ones. He wished that the debate would transcend fear mongering and finger pointing. Not be reduced to superficial outcries to sway emotions and obscure logic.

Words are malleable to the skillful wordsmith. Anyone well-versed with the niceties of the language can slant perspectives in their favour.

He had laughed at the anti-PAP humour during one of WP's rally. After the rally, he felt an uneasy guilt which nibbled at him from within.

He wasn't conflating past successes with future expectations, nor confusing gratitude with servitude. Yes, PAP did well in the past but that did not mean it will excel equally in times to come. Yes, he understood that.

It might do well to remember, however, that most of us are able to sit within the comfort of our homes as we exercise our inquiring minds - results of our somewhat successful policies - and criticise PAP. We can question promises, analyse history and crunch numbers; shouldn't there be a modicum of respect for PAP at the very least?
---------------------------
think i'd be voting for the opposition, but only with great reluctance and ambivalence

The said...

/// He said the Government did not predict the sharp demand for flats after the recession in mid-2009. ///

This has got nothing to do with how the economy is doing. It got everything to do with ramping up the population to 6.5 million. The population was boosted from 3 million in 1990 to 4 million in 2000, and further to 5 million in 2010. All these while, public housing, and the capacities of the MRT network, bus, roads and hospitals are not increased correspondingly. In particular, until the Khoo Teck Puat Hospital was built, there was no increase in hospital beds for donkey years.

It is clearly a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. Increase population by quantum leaps, but increase the infrastructure and services by business-as-usual increments.

Anonymous said...

Something odd here...

Pinky mentioned they gonna "invest" 60 billion big ones (known as blood money from the public/folks of singapore) into MRT & related "public" (but PAP privatized & owned).

Looks like no moderation to allowing more "non-locals" into singapore!

Unlike hong kong which has a hinterland (the northern territory)...Singapore has no hinterland...PAP really wants everyone to squeeze into this island like sardines in a can...please google past factual experiments carried out in the 70s/80s which has factually shown how much harm permanently and long-term when a population reached past a fixed saturation point vis-a-vis living space...

I think the PAP are not only non-scientific idiots! But show factually to all how little wisdom they have never mind all those "gold-plated" certified paper only intelligent they are!

Sad. For everyone in the end : (

Anonymous said...

PM Lee's apology was a brilliant master-stroke. Who would have expected him to give an apology? It's the last thing people expected.

Now the ground has swing back to PAP. Dammn it, the PAPers are good--they managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

Anonymous said...

He does not know his mistakes until election days come? look at the way he protected WKS by confronting LTK in parliament! If he only know these mistakes by now then he is not fit ti be a prime minister.

Anonymous said...

Citizens of Singapore,
such rare apology only comes every five years in election or not even comes if citizens become minority when PAP government mass import and convert foreigners to dilute citizens.

If you think that PAP has apologised, ask yourself these questions ,

did PAP apologise for slandering the respected Low Thiang Kiang for the hougang account ?

did PAP apologise for the loss of investment in TH and GIC and town council loss over the investment ? Where is the same auditing book that lackey Lim ask of Low for the PAP town councils ?

Did PAP apologise for gerrymandering which prevent citizens from voting ? A despicable scrumbag PAP government deserve of respect ?

Did PAP apologise for overpaying and overstaying old fart that do nothing but forecasting and sprouting nonsense to create hate and lies ?

Did PAP apologise for having useless ministers and PM ?

Did PAP apologise for abusement of public trust and authority when they mistreat opp party (Just look at how Chiam See Tong's cubicle and how he serve the people ?)

Did PAP apologise for the shameful and disgusting behaviour and antics in state controlled media and ShittyTimes ? Did they not abuse our taxmoney for these media to promote themselves.

Did PAP apologise for raiding the reserve all these years to enrich themselves ?

NO, this is a
SHAMELESS AND DISGUSTING PAP PARTY.

Anonymous said...

Actually maybe the problem is like this.

Yes, we need foreigners, for sure. And we need good quality ones.

But then you can only get as good as what is available to you. But you still have to get them because you need them.

That's why the foreigners may end up competing with locals for jobs. And also don't seem as talented as what we expect.

We want the best, but in practice we can only get the best available!

Just like pay them millions to get the best as ministers, but you can get only the best available, despite paying millions. But you still need to have ministers.

Because it is not a case or choice of if you cannot find the best, then don't have to get any.

Anonymous said...

PAP apology ?

haha, for a party that don't even have self-respect, dignity, integrity and credibility, and daft Singaporeans believe they apologised ?

No wonder I concur that LKY deserves to call Singaporean daft !

Ngiam Shih Tung said...

And the influx of foreigners is due to their GDP fetish. No doubt some of my ex-colleagues will claim they can't control GDP, but the "signaling" power of GDP as a KPI is indisputable. The belief that more GDP is always better drives decisions to increase foreign labour intake and to encourage longer working hours and higher labour force participation. All of these hurt society in the long-term but the costs are quietly ignored in the name of GDP growth.

Ngiam Shih Tung said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

For theFamilee to say sorry is rare,for them to say THANK YOU is even rarer.I am a sixty years plus man and had been following the political scene for half a century,

I have never heard the old tyrant saying sorry or thank you on any occasion.

Singapore is some gracious country

Anonymous said...

"Raelynn said...

me me me! i'm from amk grc. before the apology came, i was thinking of voting for RP. then i heard Lim Zi Rui's rally. *shakes head* Lim Zi Rui at his present state is not someone that i want to see in parliament either."

Don't be stupid. The game PAP devised is different now. Unlike last few elections, you can have five years for election but this time PAP strategy is to have mindless import of foreigners to replace citizens and voice (you think foreigners/converted citizen speak up for you ?)

By then you realize it, it is too late.

When Japan invades China in WW2, do China people remark that China soldiers are not good enough to fight off Japanese soldiers because they are poorly trained and poorly equipped ? No, right ? china people fight off the invaders to their best of ability because they know that their country and life is at stake, so much that they will fight the invaders at all cost. At least, they know if they going to die anyway, they may as well fight them and that may at least give the them hope !

Same for Singapore, these PAP buggers are importing large number of foreigners at expense of citizens, so to ensure that citizens' voice and issues are diluted due to invasion of the foreigners. Combine with huge number of foreigners, amended law to fix opp party and buy supporters vote, gerrymandering, abusement of power and authority, don't you feel that citizen get trampled and dispected and threatened by lack of space, money and voice anymore ? If so, then vote against the PAP.

Don't let the bully walk over you every time, just like they walkover you with GRC ! Bully only get worst with time as it becomes a habit !

Anonymous said...

The alternative definition of GRIDLOCK:
- a co-driver slapping the driver, whose reckless driving endangers the safety of the passengers in the car, before the car meets an accident.

BTW, the PM's so-called apology did not include any mention about reducing the number of FTs. So, 6.5M - here we come!

Renho

Trebuchet said...

Y'know, I spent a few weeks looking through Hansard and various speeches and stuff online. It's all available from various .gov.sg sites.

What struck me was that there are alternative PAP voices in Parliament. People worry about the impact of casinos, class size, all the things the various other parties put in their manifestos.

But the major difference is that even if they are uncertain, they still mostly vote along party lines even when the whip is lifted. So the alternatives are seldom tried or demonstrated. And it happens very often. Hansard is amazing reading material.

I think the last time serious dissent was expressed was with the abortion laws, which is understandable because debating life-related rights is a first-order concern.

Anonymous said...

Apology also must explain.

They are touted to be able to forecast five to ten years down the road.

In fact, they have a 'forcaster extraordinaire' mentoring them. How did they get caught by surprise over the HDB and transport congestion problems?

Now, people are voicing serious concerns about the influx of foreigners and they are still intent on importing more. Does that sound like they are going to listen to us? I doubt so. The humility is to save some votes, in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Apology, as I understand is

1. when something no good has already been done which cannot be undone. So sorry hor.

2. when something is no good and will continue to be no good. And sorry for that too.

As per the saying "Sorry but no cure". Except maybe for the mind but not the body.

Anonymous said...

Why good things happen only when there's an election?

1) the growth and share dividend (2 May)

2) the refund and removal of TV & radio licence of $110

3) the possible appointment of Zainul Abidin Rasheed as the next Parliament Speaker (presumably to win over Malay voters)

Don't be conned! Because you'll regret and repent for the next five years.

Robert L said...

Mr Wang, I agree with your post. The PM's apology is a good sign.

Going forward, Singaporeans must ask themselves: do we want the PM (and the PAP) to be humble like that throughout the next 5 years, or do we want them to revert back to arrogance after the election is over?

It's obvious that the PAP had grown in arrogance over the past years when there were only 2 opp MPs in Parliament. So it is also completely natural for them to adopt the same arrogance if we fail to elect more Opp into Parliament this time around.

I say let's not take the chance, make sure they stay humble by electing more opps into Parliament.

Anonymous said...

At the rate our population is growing, when we get to 6.5million people in the not-too-distant future (as per the planning parameter), we locally born-and-bred types will become MINORITY (3million locals vs 3.5million FTs) in our own country!

Another Uniquely Singapore phenomenon!

Renho

Raelynn said...

@Anon May 4, 2011 2:52 PM

but if i'm not happy with PAP's policies, and i dont want to see Lim Zi Rui in parliament in his present state, are you saying that i should still vote for RP AMK just because i'm not happy with the PAP's policies?

Anonymous said...

"but if i'm not happy with PAP's policies, and i dont want to see Lim Zi Rui in parliament in his present state, are you saying that i should still vote for RP AMK just because i'm not happy with the PAP's policies?"

Do you have a choice ? If you are not happy, no want stopping you to help either PAP or RP to improve on their presentation ? Yes ? No ? So what you expect them to do ?

Not happy, then don't see them in parliament otherwise go and help them la. Sound logical ?

Anonymous said...

i just find it interesting, the government encourages more couples to get married and have children and yet does not provide sufficient housing factoring in Foreign workers. Where do they expect couples to make babies? I don't think there are enough parks in singapore....
There is no accountability to all the mistakes make...the timing of the apology is i would say timed correctly for the GE but in reality late beyond measure.....

Anonymous said...

Hi all

I used to be pro-PAP but I switched camp after seeing what has happened around me. This is a true story which I encountered in 2008.

I bumped into a ex-colleague from Shanghai on the MRT one day in 2008. He and I were colleagues when we were working in a GLC-linked company which is the largest port in the world. I am local but he got a govt scholarship to study in NTU and he went back to China after serving his 6 year bond. Fair enough.

What surprised me was the purpose of his short trip to SG. He returned not to find a job, but to buy a resale flat to earn rental income. Both he and his father are PRs and that qualify them for buyng resale flats. He said his CPF was locked and the only way he could make good use of it, was to invest in a resale flat and rent it out, while he continues to work in Shanghai.

Now you know why we are DAFT.

Godwin said...

"This has got nothing to do with how the economy is doing."

Got lah. Economy bad, no business, who employ FTs, FTs come here for what?

Anonymous said...

When I vote, I vote based on your pass performance to be confident.
This is just like any performance review of an employee.

Yes LHL kept saying its PAP track record. but isn't that the fundamentals of the govt?

As an individual I have not benefited from the economic growth. In fact I fair worst. My disposable income has reduced. Ok we can partly blame (20% only) on Global Macroeconomics but PAP has made life harder and harder.

Although I accept your apology but I still cannot give you an A* rating. You have been paid millions of dollars and not done your job properly. Now say Sorry and still continue to keep your JOB.

If I sleep like you, you think I still have my Job?

So which Party should I Vote for?

Anonymous said...

Found this quote from Internet :

PAP forgot this election is about PAP leadership renewal too.

How to have leadership renewal if no Ministers get voted out ??



The government just got 30% pay raise and 8 months bonus at March 2011 so how could PAP be sorry suddenly ??

We are talking about millions more per Minister.

It is contradicting.

Then the bonus and pay raise are for what performances and for what reasons if he is sorry for so many mistakes ??

Anonymous said...

Perhaps leadership mean they lead the pack with the pay they get?

Anonymous said...

Crocodile tears and sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry - know that super junior song? This is a bit like that. A big song and dance by LHL

Anonymous said...

And why do you think that the govt brings in FT? Simply because the birth rates for Singaporeans are at a all time low. Any other alternatives to solve the birth rate issues??

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

"And why do you think that the govt brings in FT? Simply because the birth rates for Singaporeans are at a all time low."

LOL, please don't fall for that one. The current low birth rates in Singapore have nothing to do with the current influx of foreign workers.

Babies can't work. They won't be able to work, until they are adults. Even if Singaporeans suddenly gave birth to 100,000 new babies this year, we would have to wait until they are 18 to 21 years old, before they enter the workforce.

Godwin said...

"Babies can't work. They won't be able to work, until they are adults."

More than that, the new citizens are not orphans with no dependents, which means we didn't just import new, productive citizens - we also imported new, non-working dependents!

Anonymous said...

"What surprised me was the purpose of his short trip to SG. He returned not to find a job, but to buy a resale flat to earn rental income. Both he and his father are PRs and that qualify them for buyng resale flats. He said his CPF was locked and the only way he could make good use of it, was to invest in a resale flat and rent it out, while he continues to work in Shanghai. "

I also met a Chinese National during a recent work trip to China. He is working full-time in China for many years already. His family are all back in China. But he owns a HDB flat (in Tampines!) for rental income. I wonder how many cases like this. Would HDB release figures?

Anonymous said...

PAP will never be transparent with their motives behind their policies.

Foreign influx because we don't have enough babies? All bollocks.

Truth is, they wanted a quick fix.

They also wanted to stamp the growing size of the young electorate whom they know are more tech savvy and educated than those dying hard core PAP voters. Those that will attend rallies for a packet of dinner or a NTUC Voucher.

Now, why do you think they want to build an artificial river in Bishan? Asset enhancement? Make your HDB flat price goes higher?

If you look at the flood situaion around us, you may find a clue.

I think Singapore's infrastructure is at risk. The tiny pee sai cannot cope with all the burden on it.

If we continue with a one-party rule with no checks and balances, we will be doomed.

Anonymous said...

"What surprised me was the purpose of his short trip to SG. He returned not to find a job, but to buy a resale flat to earn rental income. Both he and his father are PRs and that qualify them for buyng resale flats. He said his CPF was locked and the only way he could make good use of it, was to invest in a resale flat and rent it out, while he continues to work in Shanghai. "

"I also met a Chinese National during a recent work trip to China. He is working full-time in China for many years already. His family are all back in China. But he owns a HDB flat (in Tampines!) for rental income. I wonder how many cases like this. Would HDB release figures?"

Not too long ago, I rented a 5room HDB flat in Bishan for 2years. Owners are Chinese Nationals living and working in Australia. I assume they must have/had been Singapore PRs to purchase HDB flat. Singapore is just a stepping stone for them, US or Aust is their final destination. They will continue to earn rental until a good time to cash out. I have nothing against them individually, but I think there must be something wrong with our policies.

Raelynn said...

@Godwin

i have a firm belief that the FT imports or what they always love to claim as lack of working labour supply is due to the stop at 2 policies that were implemented in the 1960s and 1970s. granted, you may say that it was what had to be done at that point of time because he had fears that overpopulation would burden a developing economy, but look at where we are now due to an over-successful family planning policy. according to wiki, women were encouraged to undergo sterilization after the second child and couples who had more than 2 had to suffer having their children given lower priorities in education and receive less economic rebates. all this was reversed only 20 30 years later, almost an entire generation later. and now, given that housing, education (my god. tuition is no longer optional, it's almost a necessity to make sure your child is on par because everyone else sends their children to tuition so that they wont lost out, and since we have a meritocratic society... ) and cost of necessities are rocketing, can you blame singaporeans for not having enough children? are the baby bonuses and incentives enough to convince parents that they have the means to support their children to give them what it takes to survive in our meritocratic system? would we have needed so many "new citizens" with their "contribute-in-the-future dependents" if not for that significant policy decision?

Anonymous said...

Boo hoo. 11th hour remorse. Has PAP ever shown mercy to death row inmates no matter how remorseful they are and deserving of second chance?

Did I really see LHL & madam distributing flyers outside MRT or were my eyes playing tricks on me?

Anonymous said...

I am very happy that PM Lee has apologized. His apology has confirmed for many people the need for alternative voices (i.e.pposition) in parliament. Without the danger of losing a fw GRCS and even of doing badly (ahem!) at Ang Mo Kio would Mr lee have apologized?

If the PAP wins all the seats this time would they even bother to apologize or explain policies. Remember the PAP keeps on asking voters to "look at our track records". If we take them seriously and of course we must then their track record is one of NOT LISTENING, NOT CARING, INCREASING THEIR SALARIES, NOT INTERESTED IN YOUR CONCERNS.

Anonymous said...

Duh. I a bit illiterate leh. I stay at And Mo Kio. Kena flooded today after rain. Heavy but not like once in 50 years that kind. You think my MP apologized or not Or he says honest mistake huh? I very luan leh!

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang has kindly included the Straits Times report. I wish to highlight just two paragraphs:


"He (PM Lee) cited the escape of detained terrorist Mas Selamat Kastari and the massive Orchard Road floods as two slip-ups, and also acknowledged that the Government could have moved faster to address shortfalls in housing and public transport.

Speaking at a People's Action Party lunchtime rally at Boat Quay next to UOB Plaza, PM Lee said he was sorry and he and his team were doing their best to fix the problems. He said the Government did not predict the sharp demand for flats after the recession in mid-2009. If they had, they would have ramped up the Housing Board building programmes faster, and saved many Singaporeans angst."

Here are my questions:

1. As CEO (a much loved term when justifying pay increases and salaries) what is his assessment of those responsible for the "slip ups"? Would hr retain them? Ask them to repent? Or ask them to step down?

2. He acknowledged that the Government "could have moved faster"? What went wrong? It is part and parcel of genuine repentance to have a full confession. Would he be providing one?

3. If you are the dominant party with no opposition to contend with (well you have two opposition members but let's not pretend that they can influence decisions) for almost five years and have such serious problems that need fixing (otherwise the Prime Minister's apology would not be relevant) what does that say of the Government and the way it has been running things?

4. Would the Prime Minister say that the salaries of his Ministers are worth every cent of the tax payers' money and life blood?

5. I hope the word "angst"is not the Prime Minister's choice. "Angst" means anxieties and uncertainties "inherent in the state of being human". This is to diminish the REAL problems of poverty and hardship that Singaporeans face.

The apology is a good start. Let's now see the actual SOLUTIONS and IMPLEMENTATIONS (much loved, I believe by the pAP).

Anonymous said...

Usually a highly paid CEOs/GMs of organisations are expected to perform within a year - increase profits; turn the companies around; etc. If not, they would be asked to leave.

For the past 5 years, how many major mistakes have they made? And they are the most highly paid ones (they said they're highly talented and must be paid market rates).

Time to change "CEOs"...

Ah Tiong

Anonymous said...

The PAP knows that if it continues to use bully tactics against the opposition, it will only cause more people (especially the young) to like and support the opposition. Hence the softer approach in the last 2 days.

When Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was under the threat of being charged and jailed, his supporter base grew. The number of mirror sites surged from slighly over 100 to several thousands in a few days.

So don't be fooled by a simple apology. Its purpose is to win votes and can't solve any real life problems facing the people anyway.

Anonymous said...

voters often conflate "arrogance" with a complete lack of principles.
MM, LHL, and whoever it is, can be jesus like in humility, and i still have resentment towards them, simply because the PAP has twisted the entire electoral process towards their own benefit, and have in the process, blurred the boundaries between government, state and party. they have destroyed the very essence of democracy. that is my contention. in sports analogy, a sportsman can be the most humble champion on earth, but if he had won using steroids, does it matter if he is humble or not?

no free press. defamation charges against political opponents. gerrymandering. HDB flat upgrading. and the list goes on and on.

i really don't care about the humility at all. so long as they keep the process fair. all i want is a fair process, so i can make my own judgement on who represents my ideals most and have it HEARD. that's all.

Anonymous said...

Voters should not be swayed by his apology and fake humility.

When we give them a good mandate in this coming election, which means a near clean sweep, the ramifications will be immense.

Every time they introduce changes in the election rules, their ultimate aim is to tighten their hold on power. It is not what they tell you. Don't ever buy into that!

With the GRCs, and the continuous redrawing of boundaries, the opposition is already unable to contest on a level playing field.

With new citizens coming into the picture, more than jobs will be lost to them, besides pushing up property prices.

These people will ultimately vote for the PAP, and the situation will eventually become totally hopeless for the opposition to have a chance like what they are getting in this election, ever again.

That is why this issue of foreign talents translating into citizens later, is also a PAP ploy to use them to neutralise the growth of opposition voters. And that is why the PAP is so adamant that they must not stop the inflow of foreign talents. They are thinking of the long term political benefits.

If what we are now seeing, with a strong lineup of opposition candidates and the result is still only a close call for the PAP, they will remedy the loopholes and make sure no such situation will arise in future elections.

Rules will be drastically changed, more radical redrawing of boundaries will result, the internet will be managed more stringently and Singaporeans will have to live without opposition in Parliament. Then they will really have to repent, not just for 5 years, but for the rest of their lives and their following generation.

Vote wisely. Vote for change and take back control of our future.

Anonymous said...

@Raelynn: He cannot speak but he sure can oppose to Govt giving themselves 30% pay increment and 8 mths bonuses form making so mistakes, using OUR money. Period.

Anonymous said...

Before they removed the TV license fee , they increase the property tax. Last year , they increased the property tax by $107, then thay said they give us 50% rebates , rubbish ! I already paid 50% more as compared to the previous year on my 5 room HDB flat. Next year , I am expecting to pay the FULL $107 increase. So what is the difference of not paying the TV license fee , a mere $3 for the enteire year.
PAP is a blooody sucker , vote them out of power in this coming election

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang, PAP's candidate Sim Ann was the Head of National Population Agency? Is that the agency in charge of the number of foreigners to let in? If it this, then she is responsible for this huge influx? If so, is this also the agency responsible for informaing the Housing and Transport agencies to up their numbers for the impending increase?

IF above is correct, what is the indication for putting her up for election as a PAP candidate?

I would like to be corrected if above is wrong in any way. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

"I am not actually a brave man, but I love Singapore and I love Singaporeans", Chiam See Tong. April 2011

I don't need an apology. I just need a lion heart Chiam. Fellow citizens, this is the person you wish to let down? This one who loved you more than himself? And all the other lionhearts out there speaking up for us night after night.

Anonymous said...

1st of all i would like to thanks Mr Wang .. Thanks for allowing us to pour our grievances. Because as you know the garmen has stop listening to us 2 to 3 decades ago. Thanks Mr Wang and may God bless you :)

===================
@ Anon

"I am not actually a brave man, but I love Singapore and I love Singaporeans", Chiam See Tong. April 2011

*Powerful inspirational words of wisdom.

Thank you and God bless :)

=====================

*Another Powerful inspirational words of wisdom ...

This election it's not "WP vs PAP"...it is not "SDP vs PAP"....it is not "NSP vs PAP".
As one netizen put it, this election looks like it is "SINGAPOREANS vs PAP"!

http://singaporemind.blogspot.com/

Let's us united and Vote For A Change : Vote For Oppositions ... our last chance.

Anonymous said...

"If what we are now seeing, with a strong lineup of opposition candidates and the result is still only a close call for the PAP, they will remedy the loopholes and make sure no such situation will arise in future elections. "

Indeed if what my intuition tell me is corrected based old fart's track record, old fart and PAP will change the election law to fix those loophole to only allow those Singaporeans that stay in singapore for certain time to contest in election, which will rule out dynamic contestant like chen show mao, Alex Tok. Old fart already give the hint, let us leave no stone unturn.

http://politics.sgforums.com/forums/3518/topics/429383?page=1

There is no doubt that those Singaporeans reside outside Singapore are strong agent of change.

We must be prudent and not fall for the cunning old fart's trap again.

Anonymous said...

My take is that he is probably advised by his advisers who viewed Obama's video and saw how effective an apology can be to win votes. I did not have the privilige to be at town centre, unlike the many rich and successful foreigners there, and so cannot comment on his body language and stuff. But suffice to say that an apology coming at this particular time and splashed around by the media is simply gunning for more swing votes.

Anonymous said...

"The Apology from PM Lee Hsien Loong"

wahahahahahahahah ... LOL ...

Pls don't buy that drama like most Netizens said.

The bloke is following the old fart food steps ... like father like son.

5 years we has already suffered to the max.

* I have already told my family dont't watch TV on cooling day .. because i'm sick and tired of the TV (All Channels) keep on repeating the same 50's and 60's drama and keep on repeating the same old fart crying. I'm not surprise to see many pap blokes crying this time.

Enough is Enough! Please retire old man. And pap ... YOU FAILED! TOTAL INCOMPETENT TO THE MAX! Go and upgrade your skill at WSQ ... and try apply for the position after 5 years. We Singaporean will asses you.

Tata .. Titi .. Tutu .. :)

Anonymous said...

The Apology Game

True to form of and reflecting the motto: "All For One", the PAP Ministers are now lining up to say that they are sorry. The Straits Times reported that Environment and Water Minister,Yaecob Ibrahim, told the Prime Minister that "I'm sorry it happened again..." about the Ang Mo Kio/Bishan floods.

Well, do the decent thing Minister and resign. Think of the PAP, think of the Party, think of your poor boss apologizing on your behalf, think of Singapore and think of the poor Singaporeans who live at Ang Mo Kio/Bishan who are not worth the flood controls you put in place at Orchard Road. Do not put yourself first!

Anonymous said...

The Prime Minister wants us to think of the future and make the right choice.I presume he is serious. How do I make the right choice and think of the future when even he has confessed that a number of his crack and expensive team of ministers are badly chosen. Is he telling me to vote for my future by voting in the same team of bunglers? He can't be serious right?

Anonymous said...

Complacency sets in when there is not enough opposition voices in the parliament. The 'repent' and 'singapore will be in deep trouble if I'm out' are 2 good examples. They will think and assume they know the best. Ideas that do not come from them will simply be brushed aside as not implentable. Seriously hope there will be good news after 7 may

Anonymous said...

"Complacency sets in when there is not enough opposition voices in the Parliament"

Never be in doubt about that.

The PAP will not agree with that. They tried to sell us the NCMP scheme to counter such concerns. That is understandable.

If they gain total control of Parliament, they can change whatever they want to make sure that such changes will be to their political interest and help them consoldate and remain in power, forever.

We must think beyond upgradings and future handouts.

This election, we are not voting just for the next 5 years. We are fighting to prevent signing away our future to the PAP for the rest of our lives.

It is that important to vote wisely.

Anonymous said...

The APOLOGY

The Chinese character for "government" or "government official" is written with two mouths.

One says yes, the other says no.

Here is the Minister Mentor himself:

Before PAP and while in opposition.

"But we either believe in democracy or we do not. If we do, then, we must say categorically, without qualification, that no restraint from any democratic processes, other than by the ordinary law of the land, should be allowed… If you believe in democracy, you must believe in it unconditionally. If you believe that men should be free, then, they should have the right of free association, of free speech, of free publication. Then, no law should permit those democratic processes to be set at nought.”
- Lee Kuan Yew as an opposition leader, April 27, 1955

“If it is not totalitarian to arrest a man and detain him, when you cannot charge him with any offence against any written law – if that is not what we have always cried out against in Fascist states – then what is it?… If we are to survive as a free democracy, then we must be prepared, in principle, to concede to our enemies – even those who do not subscribe to our views – as much constitutional rights as you concede yourself.”
- Opposition leader Lee Kuan Yew, Legislative Assembly Debates, Sept 21, 1955

“If we say that we believe in democracy, if we say that the fabric of a democratic society is one which allows for the free play of idea…then, in the name of all the gods, give that free play a chance to work within the constitutional framework.”
- Opposition leader Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore Legislative Assembly, Oct 4, 1956
SINGAPORE AFTER PAP :

“We must encourage those who earn less than $200 per month and cannot afford to nurture and educate many children never to have more than two… We will regret the time lost if we do not now take the first tentative steps towards correcting a trend which can leave our society with a large number of the physically, intellectually and culturally anaemic.”
- Lee Kuan Yew, 1967

“One-man-one-vote is a most difficult form of government.. Results can be erratic.”
- Lee Kuan Yew, Dec 19 1984

“I am often accused of interfering in the private lives of citizens. Yes, if I did not, had I not done that, we wouldn’t be here today. And I say without the slightest remorse, that we wouldn’t be here, we would not have made economic progress, if we had not intervened on very personal matters – who your neighbour is, how you live, the noise you make, how you spit, or what language you use. We decide what is right. Never mind what the people think.”
- Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, Straits Times, 20 April 1987


“If we had considered them serious political figures, we would not have kept them politically alive for so long. We could have bankrupt them earlier.”
- Lee Kuan Yew on political opposition, Straits Times, Sept 14 2003


“Please do not assume that you can change governments. Young people don’t understand this”
- Lee Kuan Yew on the results of the 2006 election.

Alamak. Like dat one ah!

Anonymous said...

Just flipping through the forum pages of ST can make you puke.Bloggers and netizens should come out to lead the voters to support the oppositions to counter the MSMs bias.
If we haven't learned the lessons of the past 5 years and again fall to the sweet talk of the incumbents, then we truly deserve the Govt we voted in

AMK Voters said...

Too little too late.

Making a half-baked apology at the 11th hour is not going to sway my heart and mind.

I have been a PAP supporter all my life but what the PAP leaders, especially the Ministers, have been doing for the last 5 years really put me off.

There have been too many serious issues that the PAP Ministers and MPs have bungled over the last 5 years.

Lee Hsien Loong wants me to think of our Future and when I started thinking of our Future, Singapore's Future, I see no other way but to remove the PAP from its 50-year hold onto Absolute Power.

People say absolute power corrupts absolutely. I agree with them for I have seen what the PAP has done with its absolute mandate from the people.

Singapore needs not only a Change, but a Very Serious Revamp of Everything, from Politics to Law, to Economy and to Quality of Life. Nothing less.

So, I will vote for the Future of Singapore, the future of my grand children. Definitely I will not give the PAP to continue to create havoc on our lives and on the future of Singapore.

Anonymous said...

I have never felt so strongly about politics in Singapore. Guess I have been taking for granted that through the high handed means of the ruling party (GRC scheme, handing out of goodies near election time) they will always be able to control the parliament. However I'm beginning to feel that the ruling party is also the one taking us for granted. They have lost the connection to the ground. Whenever there are feedback about rising cost of living, there will be some lame excuses eg. they have worked with the hawkers not to increase prices for the next 6 months. Excuse me, the hawkers are also earning a living and also subjected to the high cost of living. Why throw the burden to them?

When there is feedback that there are too many foreigners in Singapore, they will always say that they are not taking over jobs from the local. They are instead helping to create employment for our locals. C'mon. There are more and more foreigners working in the F&B and retail industries as sales assistant and waiters and waitresses. How do they help to create employment? I fail to understand this logic. I have nothing against the foreigners. Its the policies that I take issue with.

Gosh, pls...dun give us all these lame excuses. We are sick of that!

Anonymous said...

I have never felt so strongly about politics in Singapore. Guess I have been taking for granted that through the high handed means of the ruling party (GRC scheme, handing out of goodies near election time) they will always be able to control the parliament. However I'm beginning to feel that the ruling party is also the one taking us for granted. They have lost the connection to the ground. Whenever there are feedback about rising cost of living, there will be some lame excuses eg. they have worked with the hawkers not to increase prices for the next 6 months. Excuse me, the hawkers are also earning a living and also subjected to the high cost of living. Why throw the burden to them?

When there is feedback that there are too many foreigners in Singapore, they will always say that they are not taking over jobs from the local. They are instead helping to create employment for our locals. C'mon. There are more and more foreigners working in the F&B and retail industries as sales assistant and waiters and waitresses. How do they help to create employment? I fail to understand this logic. I have nothing against the foreigners. Its the policies that I take issue with.

Gosh, pls...dun give us all these lame excuses. We are sick of that!

Anonymous said...

Dun talk about how the ruling party is treating the people. Just take a look at how they treat their fellow Ministers and MPs. So many of them are retiring for this GE. Though some of them could be doing this out of their own will, many have been asked to step down to make way to new blood. And look at these so called new blood. Are they really capable of doing the job? Perhaps it doesn't matter. As long as they scored straight As, they are good. Never mind what the old guards have contributed. They have outlived their usefulness.

As a citizen, what I want is people with hearts to serve us. Not scholars.

Anonymous said...

If the person has never apologised and took the very first step to do so, then that is a good sign.

But if the person is apologising after being whacked by netizens, after being given the cold shoulder during door to door visits, after you find that your rallies number a few hundreds of Singaporeans compared to the several times bigger crowd at opposition rallies then I question why now?

Gilbert, I think the mass media may pick up your blog comments about the positive stance you took about LHL's apology.

Anonymous said...

I am a scholar so feel insulted that these PAP degree chasers are called "scholars". Scholars have a sense of heaven and earth,of right and wrong, of what is moral and what is immoral. The PAP has single handedly destroyed education in Singapore.

These "scholars" are pen pushers and filing cabinet clerks.

Anonymous said...

Sorry ? They still keep their 30 pct increase in salaries and 8 months bonuses! None of them have offered to take a pay cut nor forgo their bonuses( or donate the bonuses to charities)!

I am sure everyone of us are aware that if one make a
big mistake during the financial year, we definitely would not be looking out for a pay rise or bonuses
and for some it even mean losing their job!