Dear Singaporeans, Do You Know The Real Reason Why They Do Not Want To Increase Taxes? Profits.

My dear Singaporeans,

Do you know the real reason why our government does not want to increase our personal income tax? Read on and make your own judgment.

Before that, the new year is coming up, so I would like to wish you happy new year! All the best for the coming year!

So, let’s proceed.

*****

Right now, our personal income tax is anywhere between 0% to 20%, depending on your income range. The reason that the government has kept giving us for not wanting to increase our income tax is because – they say – we won’t be willing to pay. Such a magnanimous government, you think?

Let me put it into perspective for you – if they increase our personal income tax, this would eat into their own profits. The real reason isn’t because they care for us. It’s because they need to maintain their high profits.

How does it work? You see, fundamentally, for a company to earn more and more, what they do is to keep the wages of their workers low, and to keep increasing the cost of the goods and services they produce. In Singapore, the prices of goods and services have been increasing constantly. You don’t need to be a scientist to tell you that, I’m sure. You can see it. You can feel it. Our inflation has increased by around 4% to 5% for the past few years.

Thus already, companies are already earning more from us, just by increasing the prices of goods and services that we are made to purchase. Also, it doesn’t take a scientist to also tell that our real wages haven’t been increasing. If you look at our real wages after CPF contributions, it has actually not grown, but in fact, decreased on average, by 1.2%, since 2008. So, what has happened is that our real wages have decreased and the prices of goods and services have increased over the past few years. Which means – our purchasing power have been severely eroded, yet we keep buying things, with the imagination that the economy is doing well, or was, and that we should spend more, when what this means is – we are increasing the profits of the companies, but reducing our own savings.

The government has come out with a very good plan, haven’t they? Our GDP growth was very high in 2010 (14.5%) and in 2011 (4.9%), yet our real wages dropped and prices increased. And we continued to spend. Something wrong here?

Then, you might ask, what does this have to do with taxes?

Simple. You have to understand this basic idea – speak to another foreigner who comes from a country where their taxes are higher than Singapore and they will tell you, that when they negotiate for their salaries, what they do is negotiate for a salary that will be higher, so that it will account for the higher taxes. What this means for us Singaporeans is this – if our taxes increase, we will then start to ask for higher wages, to account for the higher taxes.

And where will this have to come from? The companies will have to pay higher overall salaries. Now, here comes the interesting bit. Why did I say by increasing our taxes, it will reduce their profits? Here goes – if you just look at the top 17 Singapore companies, most of them (about 85% to 90% at least) are owned by the government, through Temasek Holdings and possibly, GIC. Temasek has majority shares in many of them.

What will happen then if they increase taxes? Our overall wages will increase and they fear this – they fear that their profits will decrease, which it will. Well, then you might say. But they are our Singapore companies! We should let them make money! I mean, since Temasek and GIC owns them, the money will come back to us right? Somehow, right? And since Temasek and GIC belongs to the government, they will channel the money back to us right?

Ok, let me give you more background. Together, these largest and richest Singapore companies earns hundreds of billions in revenue and billions in profits. Billions, mind you. Not only that, the heads of these organizations each earn millions of dollars in income. And where does the money accumulated by Temasek go to? The shareholders, of course!

Not convinced. Let me remind you yet again of how your money – the CPF – is being used by the government. The government says that our CPF monies is actually invested in government bonds. They will give us, for our CPF Special, Medisave and Retirement Account (SMRA), either the interest that the bonds earn, add another 1%, or 4%, whichever is higher right? So, currently, the bonds earn 1.55%. So our CPF SMRA still earns 4%. Now, even though our CPF monies is invested in the government bonds, for the CPF Ordinary Account, the government will give us an interest pegged to the bank’s interest rates, which is a lot lower – 0.21%. Now, wait a minute, if our CPF monies is invested in the government bonds, why are they giving us a much lower interest rate from the banks instead, and not the higher interest rates from the bonds?

Oh, but wait, this gets even more interesting. Do you know that the government then borrows from the government bonds (which the CPF monies is invested in) and invests the bonds in GIC and Temasek Holdings, which are both owned by the government? Now, GIC and Temasek earns returns of 6.8% and 17% since inception. But yet – yet! – of the 6.8% and 17% interests, how much of this interest gets channeled back to the government bonds? – 1.55%. Doesn’t make sense right? If you earn all that interest, the government bonds only earn 1.55%? Do they think Singaporeans are stupid. Well, they do. Because no matter how many times I’ve written about this, not many people are able to figure this out yet. Not only that, the government hasn’t rebutted the countless times I wrote about this, and that others have as well. And they are still continuing to do it – not return more of the interest to us! And we allow them.

So, there – if YOUR CPF money is being invested eventually and earning such high interest rates, shouldn’t it come back to you somehow? Then, you might ask, but we don’t need all the interest to come back. Some of it should go into the reserves! I mean, the government says we need a strong reserves because what if something happens to Singapore, then we will need to rely on the reserves! Well, absolutely, I agree with you!

Currently, based on government-released figures, our reserves should amount to somewhere around $600 billion (The Monetary Authority of Singapore manages around $200 billion, Temasek around $300 billion and GIC at least $100 billion). The thing is, the government doesn’t release how much GIC has but they say GIC has assets well over US$100 billion, which means our reserves would be significantly more than S$600 billion. It could be $700 billion, or $800 billion, or even $900 billion. Anyhow, for 2012, the government budget is around $50 billion. What this means is that our reserves should be able to last us for another at least 10, 15 or even 20 years or more! Great! Our future generations are saved! Yet, all this money sitting inside and have you ever seen any of it, especially when we need it?

Let me put things into further perspective for you. As I’ve shared, our inflation rate has been rising at around 4% to 5% every year in the past few years, our real incomes have dropped over the past few years. Not only that, when it comes to footing for our medical bills, the proportion that the government spent has dropped from 51.4% to 36.1% from 2000 to 2009! This is a 15.3% drop!

So, in simpler terms, the profits of the Singapore companies have kept increasing, at the expense of what we earn and what we have to keep paying. The government owns the investment companies which are major shareholders of these companies, where the profits are given back to the shareholders and to the government, and a very minimal amount is returned to us for our CPF. And yet, the government further reduces how much they pay for our basic necessities, such as healthcare, and expecting us to pay more out of our pockets, with our dwindling incomes. Are you following so far?

So, at this point, tell me, do you think it’s all well that the government keeps the money in the reserves, or gives the money back to the shareholders, and not back to Singaporeans? – when our real wages are dropping, prices of goods and services that we pay for, including essential services are increasing, and yet, they reduce by so much what they should also assist to pay for our essential services. Now, can you tell me that it’s all fair that they keep the money in the reserves and not give even 1% or 2% more to increase the interest earned for our CPF? What I’m saying is this – by all means, earn from us. Earn because you need to increase our reserves and protect our future. And earn because you are a government operating in a capitalistic environment. All governments which are capitalistic want to profit from the people. So, by all means, do that. We can sacrifice. But when we keep sacrificing, and so little come back – what do you take us for? You keep taking and taking and then you give a small token back. Do we look like beggars to you, or do we look quite dumb? Well, obviously we do!

Let me give you even more background, if at this point, you are still of two minds. You know the schemes that the government has created which we can use to pay for our medical and healthcare bills right? – Medishield and Medisave. Do you know that this year, we have to pay more for both of Medishield and Medisave? For Medishield, we are required to pay a higher premium, for lesser coverage for each dollar paid. For Medisave, we have to increase the Medisave Required Amount by about 20% to $38,500. In fact, our Medisave Required Amount has been increasing by around 20% every year for the past few years – or cumulatively by 114% since 2008. Thing is, inflation has increased by around 4% to 5%. So, why does our Medisave Required Amount have to increase by 4 to 5 times the inflation rate? If healthcare costs increase by 4% to 5%, why are we made to pay more for our Medisave – 4 to 5 times more – than any expected increase? Add to that, our real wages have not grown, so WHERE ARE WE GOING TO GET THIS INCREASE IN MONEY TO PAY FOR THE INCREASE FOR MEDISHIELD AND MEDISAVE? Why are we paying 114% more to the Medisave Required Amount when our real wages have fallen? So far, you get the drift, yeah?

Then the ultimate question is this – why are we made to pay more for Medishield and Medisave, at many more times the inflation rate (much more than necessary), when our real wages are not increasing?? And at the same time, why are the profits of the Singapore companies increasing and increasing and the interest earned doesn’t get channeled back to CPF? Why can’t the government channel just 1% or 2% of the interest earned back, to cover for any increase for Medishield and Medisave, so that we don’t actually have to pay from our own pockets, when it means eating into our (decreasing) real wages further? Why? This is a simple, basic and very obvious question.

Do you see what they are doing? To me, it’s plain obvious that at this point, they are trying to earn as much off Singaporeans as they can. You see, the government is the largest employer of Singaporeans. At the are time, the companies that Temasek owns (and by extension, the Singapore government) owns, also employs a bulk of Singaporeans. Who determines the wages of Singaporean workers? The government says they leave it up to market demand and supply forces to determine how the wages grow, or not. Who determines the market demand and supply forces? I don’t think it take a genius to tell you the government determines our salaries. Now, if the government determines our salaries, why are they letting our real wages decrease???

Do you see what they are trying to do? They reduce our real wages, increase prices, increase their own profits, channel it back to themselves, reduce what they need to pay for our essential services such as healthcare, and make us pay more into CPF, Medishield and Medisave – FOR WHAT? If its not already obvious to you, I don’t know what is. Some commenters have already noted how they are very much taken aback by how PAP can be so unscrupulous to let Aljunied GRC languish without their own IT system, simply because PAP doesn’t want the Worker’s Party to succeed. And because they don’t want Worker’s Party to succeed, they are willing to let go of the needs of the thousands of Singaporeans living in Aljunied, all because they want to keep themselves in power? This is not new – they’ve been doing this to Hougang and Potong Pasir long before this. It’s basic decency to treat your people well, whether you are playing politics or not. So, people are starting to question – does PAP actually care for Singaporeans or do they only care for themselves? At this point, it’s very, very obvious to me. Not only that, do all they care about is our money?

In order countries, the banks and the rich control the government and the government bends backwards to them, while trying to balance the needs of the people at the same time. In Singapore, the government is the bank, the government is the rich. And the government doesn’t need to bend backwards to Singaporeans because they’ve effectively silenced Singaporeans. Not happy. Well, take whatever cake you have and stuff it down your throat. And we will go on steamrolling you over. Eat your cake and keep quiet, you ungrateful brat. Sounds like Cinderella, doesn’t it?

So, let me come back to the taxes again. So, why doesn’t the government want to increase our taxes? It’s not because we are not willing to pay. In fact, we might be more than willing to pay. If you look at the government revenue and government budget over the past few years, the government spends about as much as it collects in revenue. This means that whatever taxes we pay gets returned to us – in the form of government spending for healthcare, education etc. So, if we pay more taxes, it will just keep coming back to us. Not only that, because when we negotiate for our salaries, we will account for the tax increases, our purchasing power can still be maintained. There will be some adjustments in the short term but in the longer term, it will balance out.

Also, if taxes are increased, the government will spend more to subsidise for healthcare, for eduction etc. this means we pay less out of pocket. If you look at the other countries with higher taxes, this also means that healthcare or education can be at much lower costs or can be free.

Before I go, a friend pointed this out – I had previously written an article about how, if we include the proportion of our salary that is cut for taxes and CPF, the actual ‘tax’ we are paying is between 20% to 40%. This is actually comparable to some of the countries with high taxes. We are already contributing a high proportion of our salaries to the government – why isn’t it coming back to us in terms of higher social spending, or actually in terms of higher returns into our Medishield or Medifund, instead of having us to pay out of pocket?

The question of why some countries with higher taxes might be seen as not being sustainable is mainly because of this – they are not able to spend efficiently, or simply put, wisely. So, the question isn’t about how much taxes are collected, but how we spend the taxes collected. Right now, we are made to pay the same amount of taxes, but healthcare expenditure by the government has actually decreased. This doesn’t make sense, right? We are still paying the same percentage for our taxes. Also, with more people working, the overall income tax revenue should be increasing, shouldn’t it? Then why is healthcare expenditure by the government reduced? (Aside, we should pressure the government to give us an answer).

For me, it is clear that if our taxes increase, the government should then ensure at least a fixed percentage of (high) subsidy that they provide for essential basic services for the people, or even provide them for free. Currently, the government creates too many systems that Singaporeans have to maneuver just to claim their healthcare expenses, for example – through Medishield, Medisave and Medifund. (The creation of cumbersome and complicated systems is itself a method to prevent people from accessing the services, and thus reducing their claims, which in turns, maintains the monies inside the coffers.) It only then makes sense that the government gives a clearcut percentage of what they will foot the bill for, and let Singaporeans have a peace of mind when they pay from their own pockets, by knowing that it will be a much smaller amount, and also, by not creating complicated systems which we have to maneuver around, doesn’t it? This is very clear and direct, isn’t it? So, why does the government doesn’t want to do it?

If the government increase taxes, they have to increase our overall incomes. This will eat into the profits of their companies. They have absolutely no interest in doing that. They would rather let us think that we aren’t willing to increase our taxes because (they want us to think that) our incomes will drop, so that with this illusion in our heads, they can continue to profit from us inadvertently. Let me add to this – you know the Nordic countries have one of the world’s highest taxes, right? Yet, at the same time, they also have one of the world’s highest per capita GDP and personal incomes. Does having high taxes mean that our incomes will drop? I don’t think I need to explain further. Why does the government come out with the rhetoric that they cannot increase our taxes because our incomes will drop?

Why then, do you ask, is the government so fervent in their need to increase their coffers? Simple. The government knows its time is running out. Rather, PAP knows that its time of keeping people dumbed down is fading away and their mechanisms for blatant control is weakening. They want to make as much money as they can off us while they can, so that when indeed they have to compromise on their power or if they lose power, they would have siphoned off as much money as they can, by then, for themselves. And hopefully, because it might take us a few years to figure out the systems that they’ve created, we might not even figure out how they’ve done it. So, you can expect that for the next two to three years before the next election, the government will continue with this strategy – reduce wages, increase prices and increase our contributions to CPF, Medishield and Medisave. And in their minds, they feel that they’ve created an undefeatable system where we are not able to expose them, or to take them down, and they can continue in their unremorseful and defiant ways of manipulating us.

The question then is this – what will you do now that you know all these? Will you continue to sit and mop and say – I can’t do anything anyway. My government is in control of everything anyway. I don’t have power anyway. Are you going to say all these? Are you going to keep giving up on your rights?

Do you know why I started this blog? I had initially started this blog because I wanted to paint a fairer picture of what the government puts out. I want to show Singaporeans the other side of the picture. Then, as I started learning more and finding out more information, I began to understand why the government does certain things. So, I tried to paint a more balanced picture as to why the government does certain things, to let Singaporeans understand that perhaps, just perhaps, the government has its reasons. But as I, yet again, learnt more and looked at our government’s appalling treatment to its workers and people, by denying our rights and depressing our wages, then I realized that something is very, very wrong. The government keeps talking about its principles of governance – we should believe in meritocracy, we should have compassion towards one another. And yet, when they jailed workers who have been airing their grievances for months without recourse, and when they deny our voices, I began to realise how Our National Conversation is a just a sham to pretend that they are listening and they have no real want to listen or to figure out what they should do for us. They have it all figured – they will make as much money off us as they can, while they can. And time is running out for them.

For the longest time, PAP has also kept saying that the other countries will invade Singapore if PAP is no longer in government? Do you really think they actually will? Malaysia and Indonesia are major trading partners of Singapore. They have a lot of investments in Singapore. They rely on Singapore to thrive at this moment, so that they can thrive with Singapore. Do you think they would want to attack Singapore? Would you, in your right mind, launch an attack your bank, when all your money is inside and you are letting the bank earn interest for the money you’ve put inside? We live in a capitalistic world, whether it be good or bad – countries’ fate are too intertwined for them to want to do anything to cause another to fail, not when they are next to each other and rely on one another. And, let’s say, if one day, Singapore does indeed languish. Do you think Malaysia or Indonesia will want to attack Singapore? They wouldn’t be bothered to do so by then. Singapore has nothing worth fighting for. No resources, no land. Why would they waste they money fighting us to achieve nothing?

If the military isn’t created to protect us from external forces, what else is the military built for then? I’ll leave it up to your own conclusions. I only hope that if one day the government decides to use the military against its own people, that our men will have the smarts and honour not to turn the guns on our fellow Singaporeans.

New Year’s Day is coming in a few days. What’s your New Year’s Resolution going to be? For me, I’ve already started on a journey of speaking up, doing what’s right and sharing what I know. But I cannot do it alone. The many Singaporeans who are also doing it cannot do it just by ourselves. it’s time you do more than just reading and commenting on blogs and on social media platforms. Singaporeans, we need to come together, we need to be united. We need to be strong and come out with a plan together. Otherwise, we will continue to be run over and over again, not knowing what hit us, yet again, and again.

For 2013 onwards, what will you do? How will you speak out? How will you be involved? How will you take a stand? And how will you make what you know and believe in, known, so that together, we have a voice – one voice – and we will demand what is ours back to us. We have a right to be treated with respect. We have a right to speak out and demand for what is ours. We have a right to live in dignity.

What say you, Singaporeans? Will you rise and will you be heard and let our voices be known? The time is now. Our eyes are opened. YOUR EYES are opened. What will you do? Let’s do it.

IMG_20121110_121120My name is Roy Ngerng. I am the author of this blog.

I want Singapore to be a better place for ALL, and not just for a few. This is why I am writing this blog. 

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7 comments

    • My Right to Love

      Hey,

      Thank you for reading this. A friend commented that its too long. And perhaps, there’s a bit of angst in it.

      I will try to write a shorter version, on a less emotive level, so that more people would be able to access it. 🙂

      Thanks for sharing it, so that we can raise more awareness on this!

      Roy

  1. GingerBaker

    Very interesting piece. Long yes, but fascinating.
    Still trying to work out some of your arguments.

    Your calculation for the drop in health spending
    is wrong however. Going by your figs, there is a
    15 Percentage Point drop, Not a 15 per cent fall.

    This 15 Percentage Point drop works out to arnd a
    THIRTY PER CENT cut in health spending.

    If however, the budget is larger, the amount they are
    spending on health may have decreased in percentage
    but could actually mean more money or the same amount
    of money is being spent, btw.

    Say your budget is $50mill and you spend 20% or $10m
    on health. If your budget goes up to $100m, and you still
    spend $10m on health, you would be spending just 10%
    of your budget on health. You could even be spending
    $15m on health but that would be just 15% of your budget.
    So actual amt of $s counts. This should be going up if
    there are more citizens. Otherwise, it means we’re each
    getting a smaller slice of the cake. And if medical prices
    are rising, our slice will be yet smaller.

    happy new year and plse keep up the good work.

  2. bubble

    has it ever occured to you that keeping lower income tax lower, and when u keep salaries costs low, then multinationals will come to SG to set up office?
    once u increase salary costs, these multinationals will go elsewhere and there will be thousands of Singaporeans jobless.
    do you really think that Singaporeans are so hardworking or clever that multinationals want to go to Singapore?
    they can go other countries where the workers are paid lower, more creative, hungrier for opportunties and work harder. AND complain less.

    • My Right to Love

      Hi bubble,

      I agree with what you say. The reason why the government has suppressed the people, in a way, is because we need a hardworking and docile population so that there is a willing and controlled population which can be pushed to work. Like you say, if people are given more rights, will they be more hardworking? Then, if they are less hardworking, will they still want to work? And this is not an airy fairy thinking the government dreamed up. I am pretty sure the early leaders have observed the other other countries to come up with this idea.

      We can look at it in two ways – if this is the case, we can keep wanting to keep a population controlled, suppressed and docile. Then the question is, how far can you keep the population like this? By no means are our calls for change one that is against the flow of the natural progression of Singapore. You see, whether the government likes it or not, all over the world, when there is access to information and where people are able to connect the dots for themselves and realise for themselves how controlled they are, they will start to grow unhappy. And second, when there is a growing income inequality, the people will be unsettled and they will want change.

      There are a few things the government can do if they want to maintain a controlled docile population – cut off information access so that people cannot learn more about their condition and increase wages for the lower income groups, so that the do not ‘feel the pinch’ and things will go back to square one. This will easily resolve the whole situation in Singapore.

      1) But – do we want to cut off information access? We cannot because as the world transits into a knowledge economy where you need people to have the innovation to create new ideas and thoughts, we simply cannot. But how to you control people’s urges to want to have more autonomy? You give it back to them – you give them freedom by allowing demonstrations, by allowing freer access to information, which means mainstream press which is not controlled by the government. Will the government want to do that? This is the paradox – if you know people want autonomy because they have access to information, so they want to be given more rights, you give them more rights by allowing demonstrations etc, then this, the government feels, goes against the very idea of creating a controlled people, so that they can be hardworking. If they are freer, how can they be controlled – then how can they be hardworking?

      2) Then, on increasing wages for the lower income groups, again this is a paradox – the whole reason why the government wants to depress wages is precisely because they, or the companies can earn more profits, so that they argue there is incentive for companies to want to invest in Singapore, the argument being that then Singapore provides low cost labour, which can cut costs. Not forgetting when we import labour, we can further cut costs by employing foreigners with the same skills, yet be able to operate in an interconnected environment, such as Singapore. Then, the question is – can the government keep suppressing wages, just because increasing it contravenes with their planning model?

      You see, this isn’t a matter of whether the government can control the changes. These changes, across the world, are an evolution of the landscape and the mindsets of the people they are in. It’s a natural evolution of economies where as you become richer, people start to be able to ponder, and then the question of wealth vs autonomy comes into play. This is not something the government can control – it’s the natural evolution of rich societies and the way the mind develops alongside it. Yes, the government can control and buy time – for how long? Another 5 or 10 years? If so, it means you only further suppress the people. By then, things will reach a boiling point, and very surely, the flood gates will open – this is not a hypothetical scenario. This has happened all over the world, in history.

      Then, you might want to continue to depress wages. And again, for how long? The people won’t take it. A people who are considering their autonomy, and who are able to start observing the rights of others will start to question to legitimacy of treating people like this. Also, they will start questioning why they aren’t advancing as fast as those who are able to in society. This, again is a human basic evolution of the societies – when the people at the top becomes more and more selfish, they continue to accumulate wealth at the top, the income gap grows wider, people feel less respected and they will fight back.

      Like I have said, this is a natural order of societies and the government cannot go against the tide, only because the government cannot. As mentioned, there are some things the government can do to act as a stop-gap measure for now – allow for freedom of speech and demonstration and increase wages at the bottom – but this itself is a paradox to their governing principles. And also, even if they do so, this will only be able to suppress the population for another 10 years or so, then they will again ask for change, as it is inevitable, as the other societies before us have developed.

      Then the question is this – how can the government go along with the ebb and flow, and change their policies or governing principles to adapt to the evolution of Singapore? Like you say, if we increase wages, will companies still want to pay a worker population who might become less hardworking, and might complain? Well – there you go. You’ve identified the precise problem and issue that the government wants to keep a lid on. Then this means, if we have to open up, as its inevitable, how do we re-envision the people? How do we ignite their passions and create a worker population that continues to strive, even as they achieve more freedom and higher wages. You do realise, that as we discuss, it looks like there are contradictions, but they aren’t really?

      See, if you look at the Nordic countries, because people are given more autonomy, they take more pride and passion towards what they do. And because of that, they are more committed towards their jobs and they find ways, by themselves, to be efficient and productivity. Then, because the society recognizes that there needs to be equal treatment of the people, they respect that the people at the lower rungs should be paid a higher wages, and those at the top are willing to accept a lower wage and higher taxes so that they can equalize the distribution of incomes across the board, and allow people at the bottom to have a more equitable living. So, is this possible? Clearly, it can be done.

      Why is the government resistant? Lets face it, if you are a rich in Singapore, are you big-minded enough to start thinking for others and letting go of your wealth because some people might be better off even if you go of just a little bit? The thing is this – no where in the world did the rich decide to suddenly be nice. The government needs to enforce this and the government needs to teach its people. So, it’s about time we do that in Singapore. Because Singapore is evolving and it’s inevitable, we have to go with the flow – we simply have to! This means the government has to tear down laws which prevent the freedom of speech and demonstrations, and along the way, teach people how to be responsible about it, allow people to grow and bloom, find their passions, put in place incentives to help them believe in what they do so that they will be a committed workforce, and one that is truly is – not one that is bought over compelled. Then, redistribute wealth and educate society to learn to see equality as an ideal.

      This is the way to go because its more sustainable anyway. Imagine that we keep the population controlled for the next 50 years. Let’s not even say 50, let’s say 30 – our population will grow to become so unthinking, and mindless that we will just keep working and working mindlessly. Companies will equally stop coming because you have a population which isn’t able to innovate and create ingenious solutions for the company. What’s more so is that we are moving into the knowledge economy, or are already in one. Even more, companies will find this a significant disadvantage.

      As I’ve said, we can grow beautifully and the government can go with the flow of social developments, as can be observed throughout time and space, move with it and develop relevant policies and governing ideals to move with it, so that we continue to make Singapore relevant, to its people and to the world economy. This is is as simple as that.

      Now, the basic fundamental question is this – would the government? You see, what has clouded our government and muddled their judgment is this – our government are also the companies which earn profits and who look at things in a short term perspective, when they look at the economic policies, without having a broader picture of the evolution of societies. Also, the government is also made up of people who are the rich as well. With this out together, there is a lot of resistance among those in the government to change – why? Simply because they feel there’s a lot to lose. But it’s true, when you are the rich, there’s more to lose, but financially. Will a more egalitarian society equate out the losses by having more sustainability in the country and by having a people who feel more respected and committed, down the road? The question then is – are they able to see this! Are they willing?

      What has really complicate the issue is because our government is the business owners and the rich. This is what the problem is – the government cannot step out of its role as the business and the rich and so they continue within their trappings of thinking that if they change, that’s it. Well, if the current government doesn’t change, they will render themselves irrelevant, by the natural order of things. Then another government which becomes more relevant will be voted into power. They can prevent this from happening, and I can detail to you the mechanisms they can use to stop this change from happening. But change will come. It just means that it will be prolonged if there’s any resistance. Then instead of 5 years, it might take 20 years, but change will come. And it will be much wiser and better for the whole of Singapore if the current government takes need and evolve among themselves so that they can be the one to make this change happen. But then – now long will they sustain this change, before they revert to their old ways, and where people will then vote for change immediately?

  3. Pingback: Why PAP Doesn’t Want to Change. And Why It’s Inevitable | The Heart Truths

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