People pay for horrific miscalculations

January 3, 2003
Singapore Democrats

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On 27 January 1998, Mr Lee Kuan Yew predicted: “I don’t think you’re going to get a significant or dramatic political change in Indonesia.”

Four months later, Suharto was forced to resign as President.

In 1995, the Senior Minister stated: “Both the Suzhou and Singapore sides recognise that they need to work as a team for the Suzhou Industrial Park to compete successfully…”

Three years later, the project collapsed.

In 1997, Mr Lee told HDB residents that upgrading would lead to a “40 to 50 percent increase in the value of your HDB property.”

One year later, well…let’s spare the Senior Minister even more embarrassment.

These are just some examples of how Mr Lee Kuan Yew can be, and has often been, spectacularly wrong with his predictions.

Miscalculations by PAP leaders have affected the lives of Singaporeans in dramatic, even horrific, ways.

Take for example the family planning policy in the 1970s. In 1969, Mr Lee Kuan Yew told Singaporeans: “The authorities have worked out that the maximum population the island can sustain is four million and so they have planned accordingly.” (emphasis added)

As a result, many couples were “encouraged” to undergo sterilisation. Many of these people have regretted the decisions to tamper with their bodies, to take away what nature has given them.

All because Mr Lee thought at that time that for the sake of the economy Singapore could not afford too many people. How wrong he was!

Now when it suits the times, theGovernment suddenly announces that Singapore can comfortably fit 5.5 million people and Goh Chok Tong even laments over the high number of abortions Singapore has every year. Singaporeans always end up paying for the PAP’s misjudgments.

The PAP has taken similar drastic missteps with the economy. Again Singaporeans continue to pay for these mistakes by having to take CPF cuts and losing their jobs.

Another horrendous miscalculation has been the CPF-HDB policy which has left the majority of the population with little funds for their retirement years.

All this happened because through the years, there was no Opposition to check the PAP. Left to its own devices and hearing only it own voice, the ruling party embarked on a series of dubious policies that has brought, and will continue to bring, more hardship to the people.

Singaporeans must wake up to the reality that many of the policies of the PAP need to be thoroughly questioned and debated before they are allowed to be implemented. Without an Opposition in Parliament, however, such a process cannot occur.

Of course, PAP supporters will claim that even ministers can make mistakes. After all, they say, ministers are only human.

True, no one has ever denied that ministers are homo sapiens. Because they are humans they are also fallible and because they are fallible they must be checked, especially when they are given powers that can affect the lives of the people so significantly.

Logic also questions that if the ministers are only human, why do they claim to deserve super-human salaries – salaries so completely out of proportion to their abilities and talents?

Incidentally, if they are so well-endowed intellectually, why then is Singapore in a recession again after only three years after the Asian crisis?

The truth of the matter is that the ministers don’t have the answers they only think that they do. They make the same mistakes that other governments do.

Singaporeans, don’t let the PAP fool you into thinking that the ministers have some kind of special quality that “ordinary” citizens don’t. This self-promotion is nothing but a ploy to justify their unjustifiable salaries.

If it were true that these ministers are extra-intelligent and extra-able, then Mr Lee Kuan Yew, the lead “thinker”, would not make such embarrassing predictions about Indonesia, Suzhou, and upgraded HDB flat prices.