Propaganda Galore

Below are some observations taken from the e-version of BigO, a magazine for music buffs.

History repeating

About two years ago, General Lee Hsien Loong told Parliament May 22 2000 that recent hikes in public transport fares and water and electricity tariffs will not cause significant hardship for $ingaporeans.

He argued that government rebates for HDB rentals, town council service and conservancy charges and PUB charges for lower-income households, will exceed the likely impact of inflation on these households – in other words, don’t worry.

AND given the tight labor market in 2000, workers could expect their wages to go up as well. He said:

“Thus, while consumers will not welcome any new or increased charges however moderate, taken together, these adjustments are unlikely to impose hardship on $ingaporeans.” At the time, he also ruled out off-budget measures to help the poor. People first?

As to the future, he predicted: “There are some uncertainties. But I think that overall, we feel much more optimistic now than we felt a year ago and certainly even six months ago.” His predictive powers were flawed. The $ingapore economy took a dive, unemployment and bankruptcies jacked upwards. And once again fares and utilities prices are rising. Can you predict what the General is going to say?

“$ingapore’s 27 ministers cost tax-payers $27.8 million in salaries. Recent fare hikes won’t affect them.”
– The Mirror of Opinion, July 6 2002.

PAP MP and new head CASE, Yeo Guat Kwang

“I will not hesitate to confront businesses but if I can’t solve the problem through barking, I will do it through biting.”
– Mr Yeo Guat Kwang, head CASE talking to the nation-builder press. CASE has been quiet since the public uproar over recent price hikes.

“For biting, please use your teeth not your tongue.”
– The Mirror of Opinion, July 6 2002.

Won’t get fooled again

On April Fool’s Day 2002, PAP MP and NTUC leader Madam Halimah Yacob said that MPs in Parliament do not have a monopoly on wisdom. Those outside Parliament, who did not agree with existing policies, also had a role to play in shaping the country’s future.

She said: “I would like to encourage all $ingaporeans to come forward and participate actively in debating policies and contributing ideas. Cynics and sceptics should dispense with their judgements and allow this maturing phase of our political process to develop.”

“We can count two. Zulfikar Mohamad Shariff and Robert Ho. Both spoke up and are now under investigation for criminal defamation.”
– The Mirror of Opinion, July 6 2002.

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