Truth Exposed: How The PAP Will Crash The Singapore Economy

PAP’s Big Four Profit-Making Strategies

So, there you have it – 4 strategies that the PAP has used to cut down on Singaporeans:

  1. Increase prices unilaterally as they have monopolised the essential services
  2. Increase the rents of companies and caused them to depress the wages of Singaporeans
  3. Opened the floodgates for cheaper labour and allowed the wages of Singaporeans to be depressed to the level of a lower-income country
  4. Implement the foreign worker levy and increase the business costs of companies which caused the wages of Singaporeans to be depressed

Slide8

Indeed, you can see that the PAP has its hands in so many economic sectors in Singapore and has monopolised the market to such an extent that The Economist ranks Singapore at 5th on the crony-capitalism index. In short, The Economist had called Singapore the 5th most country “where politically connected businessmen are most likely to prosper“.

20140315_IRC363

Chart: The Economist Planet Plutocrat Our crony-capitalism index

Low And Middle-Income Singaporeans Made To Earn Less While Rich Allowed To Get Richer

So far, what you have heard is that the wages of Singaporeans are being depressed. But do you know that this only applies for poor and middle-income Singaporeans? For the richest in Singapore, they actually earn the highest salaries among the developed countries and one of the highest in the world

Rich Earn High Wages

ChartECA Global Perspectives National Salary Comparison 2012

Not only that, the high-income earners in Singapore also pay one of the lowest tax and CPF in the world.

Slide11

Chart: KPMG’s Individual Income Tax and Social Security Rate Survey 2012

And when compared to other Singaporeans, high-income earners also get to pay a lower tax and CPF rate than the majority of the low- and middle-income Singaporeans.

Slide10

Chart: The Heart Truths How The Government Undercuts Singaporeans’ Wages

So, what is happening here, the richest in Singapore have possibly the highest purchasing power in the world. And because they are able to spend and have the ability to pay, the net effect is that this has driven up prices in Singapore such that Singapore is now the most expensive place to live in the world.

But what of low- and middle-income Singaporeans, or the majority of us? This means that with our depressed wages and declining real wages, it is now more and more difficult for us to buy even the most basic necessities.

In fact, a survey had shown that even for the middle-income in Singapore, more than two-thirds of Singaporeans do not even have enough to buy for anything else, other than the basic necessities that they need.

Happiness and Well-Being cropped

Chart: The Straits Times Middle-income Singaporeans feel the squeeeze, survey finds

Also, a survey by Nielsen also showed that 48% of Singaporeans have to change their spending patterns to “shop at more discount/dollar stores” – the highest proportion of individuals out of 58 countries who have to change our spending patterns to “continually look for ways to stretch their budgets and find the best value for money” because we don’t earn enough.

In fact, it is worse off for the lowest-income in Singapore! According to National University of Singapore economics don Tilak Abeysinghe, “the bottom 30 per cent household (in Singapore) are spending more than what they are earning“. In fact, “the bottom 30 per cent of households (had to spend) 105 per cent to 151 per cent of their income last year“. 

And what has this caused? This has resulted in a situation where the rich has gotten richer and richer in Singapore while the poor has continued to remain poor.

photo 2 (32)

Chart: Singapore Perspectives 2014 Differences

Not only that, the poorest 90% of Singaporeans have only seen our real incomes grow by 1% from 1990 to 2008 while for the richest 10%, they have seen their real incomes grow by nearly 4% or more every year!

photo 3 (23)

Chart: Singapore Perspectives 2014 Differences

Even among the richest, you can see that the richest 1% has seen their incomes grow the fastest – and do you know that the Singapore Prime Minister actually belongs to the richest 0.1% in Singapore? Also, the PAP politicians would belong to the richest 5%.

What this means is that their incomes have grown faster than the majority of the 90% of Singaporeans – that’s you, my friends.

photo 2 (33)

Chart: Singapore Perspectives 2014 Differences

So, what has all these created? As Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh had written most fluently, “as Singapore becomes increasingly fractured along economic lines”, “Singapore’s pro-rich policies (have) led to a higher expat:local quality-of-life differential”, where “economic ghettoes” have emerged.

In short, what we are seeing is that the Singapore market is now quite distinctly divided between a luxury upper-end market for the super-rich and a lower-class “leftover” market for the rest of us Singaporeans. The PAP has effectively created a dual-class society where the rich would earn the most and not only that, have it relatively easy – lesser policing, lower fines etc, while the rest of us Singaporeans are treated as second-class citizens.

Slide21

Now, wait a minute – we are the Singaporeans! We were the ones who had voted for the PAP (well, 60% of Singaporeans anyway), so why have we put in place a PAP which would create policies which would make us Singaporeans the second-class citizen? How does this even work? You put in a government which is supposed to work for you and protect you but what they did was to push you down further the social ladder and made you less important? Is this how a responsible government should be treating its people – the 60% of the people who had voted for it no less?

In fact, because of the severely high inequality in Singapore, it has been shown that we have one of the lowest social mobilities among the high-income countries – which means that a child from a low-income family would be more likely to be stuck in poverty than his/her counterpart in another high-income country.

Inequality vs Social Mobility

This is a shocking embarrassment, if you ask me and it is utterly disgusting that a government would stoop so low as to want to earn money off its citizens that it’s willing to sell them out and make them second-class citizens in their own country while favouring people who are not even citizens! Does this mean that Singaporeans should learn to be contended with how we should rub the shoes of the well-heeled and learn to clean up after them, once they’ve come into our country, earn what they can, then leave the country while Singaporeans have to clean up after them (note that this is by no means representative behaviour of all foreigners)? But is this what we had voted for? Is this what you expect from a government? Has the PAP renegaded on its responsibility?

Please note that there are 5 pages to this article:

Pages 1, 2, 345

Page 1: PAP’s Big Four Profit Strategies

Page 2: PAP’s Profit Strategies Increasing Income Divide

Page 3: Lower Wages which Increases Debt and Reduces Spending

Page 4: PAP’s Faux Solutions to Fix the Economy

Page 5: The Real Solutions to Fix the Economy

54 comments

  1. Marcus

    Quite true. The PAP monopolies everything. They even use “anchor operator” as an excuse to award themselves (PCF and NTUC MyFirstSkool) subsidies on the rental of HDB void decks to grab a big mouth of the childcare business pie. Then now they try to rope in their cronies so that it would be seen less “unfair” to the public.

  2. Marcus

    One just need to look at EM Services to see how far and wide their tentacles can spread. Even the appointment of SMRT CEO has to go through LHL’s wife.

      • Bobby

        Well, Firstly, economics doesn’t really always rebalanced itself. In economics, there are many school of thought but i am not which school of thought you are belong to. Secondly, for PAP Profit #1 monopoly, Could you describe what is monopoly? There are three telco in singapore, Starhub, Singtel, M1. Both three are owned by temasek holdings directly or in directly though various companies such as, Keppel as for M1 case. If there is monopolization, is there a need to have three telco, why not just allowed Singtel to be there. One of the purpose for this, is to let them be competitive. Companies such as telecom are hard entrants play due to high cost and financing involve. Let say if they want to privatize, privatize to who? Who is capable to run it? Property prices had been a hot topics in Singapore for this few years. Do you know of any reasons for property prices rise except rambling at the government? When the government influx of foreigners, you are rambling, imposing levy on business to curb the influx of foreigners, you are too rambling. So if you are the government what you will do?

      • Roy Ngerng

        Hello,

        (1) To answer your first question, please look up the definition of “free market”: http://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/freemarket.asp

        (2) To answer your second question, please read this link: http://opinion.financialpost.com/2010/09/08/fake-competition/

        (3) HDB is a public organisation. It is not in the business of competition. The HDB sets its own price. If there is a price increase, there can only be one reason why.

        (4) On the solutions, please read page 5 of the article here: https://thehearttruths.com/2014/03/19/truth-exposed-how-the-pap-will-crash-the-singapore-economy/5/

        I would appreciate if you read carefully before rambling in your comment.

        Thank you.

        Roy

    • yevets

      Bobby. Of course M1, Singtel and Starhub are monopoly because they are all subsidiaries of Temasek. If only I can have provide internet service in Singapore and I want maximum profit without being call a Monopoly, I will form 3, 4, 5, 10 companies selling internet service to Singaporean to create the illusion of competition! I will instruct them to create the illusion of competition among themselve but at all time keep the price higher than if there is free competition. This the same for our transport industries. Do you believe there is guinuine competition between SMRT and TIB ?

  3. Bobby

    Do you believe in free market? By being a public organization doesn’t means that it would need to set a price that can be beneficial to anyone just like in the world of economics. I believe from what you mentioned, they are deliberately setting prices that high to profits themselves. Let me tell you, this a not the reasons. Since 2008 sub prime market crisis, the world is recovering due to the so called recored low interest rates and cheap or Quantitative Easing (One day, they will suffer). Cheap money and low interest would fuel up property prices especially singapore since we are small. Take a look at the other parts of the world, China, Hong Kong just to name a few, They are having these problems. You might want to take a look at the SIBOR. The good thing about it is those people who had properties are getting richer due to the property prices. I don’t see people getting rich through property are complaining. Those people are complaining about property are those who wanted to buy properties not seller. Just like the economics, you can’t satisfy both. You think HDB can manipulate the pricing? If they can manipulate the pricing in accordingly, Free market wouldn’t be exist. We can go back to Economics 101 Chapter 1, supply and demand. If you will to remove the foreign worker levies, this will cause the the supply and demand curve of labor force to shift. By removing foreign workers levies, Supply pool of labor cause will be more and this will in turn depress wages other than that tax revenues would decrease. What make you think that those foreign levies can be channeled to the workers? Businesses wouldn’t book that as their profits? Increasing health care, who is going the pay for it? Take a look at the US or the western world, these country had a huge health care expenditure to GDP but what happen to their budget? All in debt and deficit and their government are living their fiscal year in borrowing of money nevertheless, i do not see their health expectancy increase much. Indeed, there are some of the things that i am also unhappy as a Singaporean but if they are not in charge, who do you think that they are suitable for this job, Opposition party? I don’t think so though there are one or two capable, Anyway is nice reading your articles on various issues on singapore.

    • Lee

      thank you bobby… i read part of roy’s dissertation and couldn’t continue… there isn’t anywhere i could even start correcting because its full of assumptions, fallacies and textbook definitions. roy needs to take out your economics textbook and burn it because that’s full of precedences (the past is irrelevant at this juncture). thank you for being a voice of reason bobby!

      • Natasha

        There is no such thing as free market. Even US impose sanctions on import of cheap solar panels from China. Why? To protect their own people. Singaporeans, living in a developed nation with high cost of living can never compete on equal ground with cheap labour from the third world. A government’s first priority is to look after its own people. Even the US and Europe have anti-dumping laws and tight control of migrant workers. The PAP government does not care about us. It just want us to compete with these cheap workers so that our pay will be low and that their businesses can reap more profit. Enough is being said. Only the blind cannot see something that is so obvious.

  4. TheCow

    Hence competition is immoral. It’s like putting the wolves and the sheep on an open field to fight for their survival . No prizes for guessing who will be having buffet for lunch, dinner and supper and who will be getting crumbs and doing dead end jobs(no rest).

  5. Bobby

    Roy. You do not really need to care what established economist said. Generally speaking, academicians such as economist can be really right in their form of theory or whatsoever but in practical they are not that capable as it seems if they are that capable why there is such a thing called financial crisis or efficient market hypothesis. All this are just hypothesis. For the foreign worker levies, it is just as simple as supply and demand which all the economist would agree no matters what school of thought they are from.

    • Roy Ngerng

      Bobby,

      You’ve been very interesting.

      First, you claim to speak about the different schools of thought in economics, but gave a baffling explanation of economic theory.

      Then, you countered yourself by saying it is not necessary to “care (about) what established economist(s)” say.

      Clearly, you are not interested in logic or discussions on the fundamentals of economic principles.

      It is evident that your claim of economic thinking would be as much as what would convenient to your own way of belief or current monetary practices.

      As such, I can only conclude that your resistance towards a government that would care for Singaporeans is due to self-interest. But that would square with the PAP’s motivations, which might explain your defence.

      I think readers here can see the truth for themselves. Your opinion was appreciated.
      Thank you.

      Roy

      • Bobby

        Hey Roy, I do not think that you understand the fundamental of economics. Look, how many economist are right in the sense by looking back historically. I do not give any baffling explanation, it is just supply and demand even some kids would understand.

      • david

        Hey Bobby, nice try. I do not think you understand the purpose of having a government. Your rambling baffles me.

  6. Elijah

    Bobby,

    You are not entirely wrong. You can’t buy(demand) and sell(supply) without kowtowing.

    Revelation 13:17 >>
    And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

    So how should the game be played?

    • yevets

      No religion please. Nobody can argue with a person who has direct communiction with god and quote god’s word.

      • 7seals

        It is religion if you don’t understand. The good news is..it is purely secular and hence, accessible and relevant.

  7. johhson

    Ha..ha…Mr Bobby must be dreaming. Speaking about demand & supply, u have to ask who is the main supplier/controller of housing in Singapore. It’s the government that supply 80% of the housing to Singaporeans. When there was demand in housing, how come the government didn’t supply enough housing for the citizens, resulting in huge price escalation. Prices rise in 100 to 200% in last decade is phenomenal! Where is the free market when government is the only one who owns the land & supply our public housing?

    • Bobby

      If government wouldn’t be the one to own land and supply our housing, who going to supply? You? Private Sector? If so, prices would be even worst. What causes the demand of housing? Like i said cheap money, low interest rates was one of the main cause to the shift of demand curve.

      • Saviour

        My grandpa used to own large tracts of land but forced to sell to government at the cheap so that the government can build HDB flats and roads for the benefit of all Singaporeans. When Lim Kim San was the minister, he did precisely that. After Mah Bow Tan took over, everything becomes like private sector business. My father and many of the pioneers were able to single-handedly pay off their HDB mortgage and feed a family of six due to the good policies of yesteryears. Now, instead of helping, the younger generation is burdened with a lifetime of debt to buy these 99 year leasehold flats. If you don’t know what is the duty of the government, you better keep your mouth shut.

  8. Gaba

    Nice article. Fully agree. All the PAP cares about is the upper class and rich foreigners. Once upon a time, being middle class in Singapore meant owning a car. Now, cars are priced out of Singaporean’s hands, reserved for the rich. They’re just grabbing and grabbing, while claiming that the rich help job growth. Yah right… look at poor Singaporeans who barely earn $800 a month, such as the baggage handlers at Changi Airport. The government really tries to take every penny that it can from Singaporeans. Shameful greedy buggers.

  9. Layman

    @Bobby,as a layman like me can see what the pap are doing !!! Though you are educated but can’t tell right from wrong…..sigh….!!!

  10. Bobby Pom Pee Pee

    Bobby is confirm a ball carrier. One track mind can only see one tree and miss the entire forest.

  11. sanjay perera

    Hi Roy

    Many interesting things and good graphics. Many issues need to be highlighted
    but wanted to give a focus on what is at stake. You ask good questions then have a
    fundamental problem in what your entire article hinges upon, which is something many
    academic economists subscribe to:

    a. that there is something called an equilibrium that is optimal for an economy
    b. governments tend to interfere with the ‘free market’ which it shouldn’t do
    c. things left as they are will balance out well, no need to interfere in anything

    But your correctly point out that at the heart of the matter is power.

    Reorient yourself to another way of looking at this: money/capital is power.
    How it is utilised is an expression of power. Think about this carefully not just about
    governments, but the ultra-rich, megabanks, megacorporations and big financial players.
    Big wielders of Capital are the players who shape political/economic forces the world over.

    In other words, let go of the neoclassical economic narrative you are clinging onto that
    there are ‘free markets’ and that private banks and companies left alone will work for the
    benefit of mankind, people in a specific state and workers of the world — do you really believe this?

    Take some time to go through this essay and mull over the concept of Capital as power:
    http://philosophersforchange.org/2012/05/29/capital-as-power/

    Even the PAP cannot hijack the world economy and cause economic and socio-political
    havoc worldwide. Am not asking you to reduce your criticism of them, please carry on: am
    suggesting that you have to start understanding that there are greater forces at work.

    The truth about what is happening over Crimea and the Ukraine will come out one day — be
    assured all is not as it seems as portrayed by talking heads in the media.

    All the best and take it easy 🙂

  12. Bumbler

    Temasek’s takeover of Olam is a perfect example of this. According to Muddy Waters Olam is a failing company but Temasek bought it anyway at 1.5 times earnings. way above the industry average valuation of about 1.1. It looks like a bad deal for Singaporeans. To make matters worse, Olam’s share price rocketed 50% in the week before the takeover, which is extremely suspicious, and in any other country would almost certainly attract an insider trading investigation.

    • Kok

      The takeover make sense. Olam is not a bad company, just bad management and some bad investment The price Temasek paid for however is totally illogical . The share is at $1.4~$1.6 before Temasek pay $2.2 for it . (50% more)
      Of course , when Temasek said they are going to pay $2.2 for it, it logical that the share price will rocket to that price.

  13. sanjay perera

    hello again

    something your readers may find interesting as a follow-up to comments on
    Capital as power and the Ukraine situation: “Behind the U.S.-backed coup that
    ousted the democratically elected president of Ukraine are the economic interests
    of giant corporations – from Cargill to Chevron – which see the country as a potential
    “gold mine” of profits from agricultural and energy exploitation.”

    please do read:

    http://consortiumnews.com/2014/03/16/corporate-interests-behind-ukraine-putsch/

    Have a good weekend.

  14. Samuel Adams

    Hi Roy
    I just stumbled onto your website for the first time. I like the way you put together your thoughts & facts to support your thesis.

    I believe in free speech and real “meritocracy”.
    If what you say is rubbish, why should a government that is genuinely working hard to improve our lives be afraid?
    Are they so weak and fragile?

    Free speech on the internet is the ultimate in genuine meritocracy.
    Talk rubbish and eventually you will be ignored.

    As a Singaporean citizen, I can be arrested if I were to stand in front of the Istana to protest against the PAP government policies.
    But America will allow a Singaporean citizen to stand in front of the White House to protest against American government policies.

    http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/31693.Samuel_Adams

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  16. Cognose Solvere

    I attended classes by Samuelson and the like. They look at economy as a close loop among monetary fiscal policies supply and demand. They do not consider wealth creation, especially disciplined educated work force like us. So Joseph Stiglize said it is not Politicians nor Economist who created growth..

  17. Cognose Solvere

    The key is we have retarded to rely on oldest trade Gambling and Massage Parlour in heart land during 3PM hours of watch. We have not invited EDB to expand our capabilities. When did u last heard of EDB? When did u hear of mass AFFORDABLE housing n factories. 3PM basically go against all our founding principles. It demolished our critical success factors. It is not only commoners, the founders of Singapore are the most offended by such foolish disregards, disrespect.

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  20. lim

    Truth may not be simply what you can see what you cannot see. Importantly is to be responsible for Singaporean’s future in whatever you write. If economy is as simple as what you have illustrated, a nation would be easy to manage. Singapore is not a self-sustaining economy unlike most other nation where they have natural resources and plenty of land to grow their own food. Singapore has to trade in order to get our daily necessaries. In Singapore, we are talking about global economy. We are competing for rice bowl with big powerful nation like China and India.
    Once you start to hold yourself responsible for the people around you, you will start to realised what you should so to bring food for your people. Theory is useless if it is only in words and on paper. Do it, proof it.

    • Roy Ngerng

      Once you start holding yourself responsible, you would not pay yourself extravagant salaries while your own people are left to languish on low wages – the lowest wages among the high-income countries.

      Once you start holding yourself responsible, you will want to help your people grow, and grow with them – not grow yourself first while letting them languish.

      • mariasharapova

        Let’s be very clear – if the current crop of PAP politicians had failed to plan for Singapore properly, then they jolly well apologies, go back to the drawing board and rethink how to develop Singapore. It’s irresponsible and lazy to simply decide that Singaporeans are the problem when Singaporeans had no choice but to go along with a system that is dictated to us.

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  22. Hardeep Saini

    Dear Bobby.
    I left Singapore in ’89 and has been residing happily in Australia ever since.
    I thank Roy for his untiring research (without costs to any of us) in educating not in Singaporeans but people around the world.
    Thanks to his selfless efforts, we are all better informed.
    Bobby, you are a bloody idiot and no doubt a P.A.P. stooge.
    Keep posting your ideas on this website and keep proving to us all what an ignoramus you are.

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