The Art of Adding Insult to Injury

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By Augustine Low

Forgo the GST hike and Singaporeans could end up finding imported goods and holidays less affordable. This was the warning given by Chan Chun Sing at a Lunar New Year dinner.

The pain of having to contend with price hikes and tax hikes is bad enough. But politicians like Chan have the habit of making it worse by giving excuses and rationale which shows a disregard for Singaporeans’ common sense and intelligence.

Defending the GST hike, Chan Chun Sing somehow managed to turn it into something which simply had to be done, otherwise Singaporeans would lose their privilege to continue enjoying imported goods and cheaper holidays.

How he got from GST hike to imported goods and cheaper holidays is a classic case of taking the argument to the extreme in order to convince Singaporeans that a GST hike is the only way out because the alternative is far worse.

To sum up Chan’s argument: without the GST hike, the government would have to draw from reserves and the world would surmise that Singapore has a weak fiscal policy. Forces at large would therefore collude to weaken and destabilise the Sing dollar, and after the Sing dollar comes under attack, Singaporeans’ savings and spending would be negatively impacted. The result: less money for imported goods and holidays.

Wow! And just like that, Singaporeans are supposed to buy into his argument that a GST hike is preferable to none?

Of course, Chan conveniently forgot to mention the most crucial part which would have killed off his rationale straightaway: Singapore’s reserves are already very high, far exceeding the reserve limit recommended by the International Monetary Fund for countries to keep in order to ward off currency attacks.

It’s the same tactic Chan used when it came to defending the steep water price hike last year. Chan said its was to “socialise our people to the challenges that we are facing on the water front” and that water is an existential issue.  We do not have the time and space to go into his argument on the existentialism of water. But right on cue, MPs also rose up in Parliament to rationalise that Singaporeans would treasure water more as a precious resource. In the words of MP Lee Bee Wah, the 30% water price hike “is just to bring up the awareness of the importance of water.”

It is better for them to just get on with it than to give Singaporeans lessons on how bitter medicine is supposed to be good for Singaporeans. Adding insult to injury only makes delayed pain like the GST hike more agonising than it should be.

68 COMMENTS

  1. You 70% decide
    whether he is ministerial material.
    First and foremost his face makes you wanna puke. Secondly, this moron should be confined to the army to plan for the next national day. Paper Generals are only capable of doing that and nothing more!

  2. If really so, why are there so many tourists from 3rd world Countries in Spore ar? Like that say by right 3rd World Countries do not have such High Reserves within their Treasury but why these 3 rd World Countries tourists could tour around the World leh? Which part of your formula i missed??

  3. Lol motor mouth CCS at his best again! This guy’s arrogance is the pits! To think that Singaporeans would buy his moronic utterings! PM material? Definitely not! More like “least likely to succeed”

  4. If a graduate from Cambridge University, he can answer any questions objectively with reasonably answer. The way he answers is just like any Tom, Tick and Harry. How can he from Cambridge.

    May he just take a short basic course in Economic and claimed that he was from Cambridge.

    If I go to US and enrol a short course in law from Harvard University, can I claimed that I am a law graduate from Harvard University.

  5. High academic achievement but being out of touch with the common men on the street is no good formula for PM !!! Go earn your billions in the corporate world , no one will fault you for your personal successes but do not f*#^**% k up the common men on the street acting like a saint holding a public office !!!!! mahbeh fr*%#^*^%^king plp keechiu kia!!!

  6. With Pinky at the helm, it is already bad enough.
    If under this Kee Chew, it will be even worse!!! He spews nonsense and he treats Singaporeans like recruits and idiots! BTW, he looks like one of the latter!

  7. While everyone rejoicing on GOOD savings obtained when shopping online
    But merchants in shopping malls badly affected
    Low sales not only affecting profit margins.
    But landlords too
    Most landlords are also getting no commissions
    Who is biggest landlord / investor of shopping malls?

    What will happen if you try to use stick to attack a dog?
    Kena bitten lor
    LMAO

  8. Mr Heng u so good to count until 2020 and need GST increase if no we face problem, can u prove 2020 how much income can government earn from ERP, casino levy , workers levy etc , don’t keep telling us government spend on what can u tell us what government earn from those name above and those no named

  9. Graduate from Cambridge with 1st class honours. Like 1 former Malaysian Transport Minister said.’ Wasting of tax payer money. Should have send him to the sun instead of the moon. When journalist asked. But sir,isn’t the sun hot. He replied; That’s why I becomes minister for 30 year. We cannot go during the day,too hot. We can go at night, manyak sejuk.(very cold)

  10. Because there is significant opposition, PAP Ministers n MPs are aloof n arrogant….if we are not careful about the calibre of PAP today, Singapore will be ruined by legacy of LKY descendant. A rich country that does not care it’s citzens….instead it is taxing it’s citizenry via indirect taxes n levies.

  11. Baby face Chan Chun Sing will be receiving a very strong divine message in the cabinet’s meeting in due course!
    The angels of the Lord are getting ready to be in action soon!
    Though Singaporeans forecast that he will be the successor of our dishonourable son, but he is under close scrutiny by the angels as the cries of the oppressed poor citizens are reaching the throne of the Almighty God who did not spare even the sins of angels at large!

  12. I have a suggestion If the ministers stop receiving 6-7 months bonus and get 1-2 months bonus like everyone else that will save a great deal of money. And if we find the govt expenditure is still increasing needs more money we could cut the ministers salary by 10% per year for the next 5 years. Boy will we have a big surplus and no need for increase in GST. On a lighter note if that were to happen I will bet you the budget for all the ministries will be reduced tremendously.

  13. He is trying to impress that he is much better than HSK by giving that kind of statement. He was trying to undermine HSK by trying to show he is smarter ie can come out with a better reason for the proposed increase in gst. Low class politics!

  14. This chap is just an academic. Because of this stupid elitist school he became a Major General. Ask him to go to China and show his military knowledge.

    This gang of elites are snobs who thinks they are all rounded, super heroes. Carry on, keep voting, time will teach Sinkies a very painful lesson.