“You have been robbed, dear Singaporeans” – Budget 2018 forum on VIDEO


Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat will deliver Budget 2018 tomorrow. Even as political analysts predict that taxes will almost certainly go up this year, four civil society players gathered last week to discuss their beliefs on what the nation’s economic direction should be for the next year, at the Budget 2018 forum organised by The Independent and Maruah.

Human rights NGO Maruah president Leong Sze Hian said that he does not expect the budget or the economic goals and approaches of the government to change much from previous years. In fact, he expects the cost of living for “ordinary, lower-income folks” to go up.

Discussing the annual budget surplus, jobs for locals, wages earned by lower-income workers and in-work poverty from a unique perspective as a statistician, Leong pronounced:

“You have been robbed, dear Singaporeans.”

Former presidential candidate Tan Kin Lian felt that the government should be focused on improving the welfare of the people.

In order to improve the people’s quality of life, the government must reduce the Goods and Services Tax (GST) instead of raising it. Tan advocated that the government scrap the GST altogether as he feels the government can afford to do without this tax, in the interest of improving the quality of Singaporeans’ lives and help alleviate some of their stress:

Watch out for part 2 of our exclusive pre-Budget 2018 coverage here.


  1. Singaporeans robbers are armed with nuclear lightning and thunder while the common citizens are armed with our sovereign votes once in 5 years or earlier !
    Those who are craving for quality Swiss standard of living must vote for SDP and WP
    Lots of citizens call the radio station to say that their citizen tree is blooming with flowers, this is a heavenly sign that what is impossible, will ultimately become possible!
    Our parliament is becoming 3 party system in due time!

  2. I was staying at this hotel and chance upon a Korean who came here to work after graduation. On the other hand, Singaporeans are so lazy about working overseas. When they cannot get a suitable job, they whine and whine. Or when they are affected financially, they look to the government for help. And the politicians who have no brains to counter propose a grand strategy of how to grow Singapore, start playing trivial games like wrapping their faces on trains, bullshitting in budget forums. Come on ! How many of these desktops have global or even regional experience that can win kudos, worthy of intellectuals.

    • K – this is bullshit. Middle managers can easily be assigned overseas. Or they can take local contract. Problem is we want house, car, school children education, flights, then expat package. Then the wife say this say that. Singaporeans are not that good globally. Mostly goodie two shoes who keep quiet in meetings. Not aggressive enough. So even if there are opportunities at the higher level, Singaporeans lose out. Yet unwilling to take a lower level job without full blown benefits.

      • @ Anonymous who wrote:

        Singaporeans are not that good globally.

        I agree with you. We do not possess any skill which other country’s people don’t have. So, skill-wise and education-wise, we are not special at all.

        What we have, to be fair, is honesty (in general…forget about people like Jover Chew). But outside of Singapore, honesty is more of a liability than an asset, while we are seen to be square and naive. This is why so few of us survive in China. Just knowing how to speak and read Chinese is NOT good enough.

        Talking about languages, it is in fact a MAJOR handicap among most Singaporeans that we cannot speak either English or Mandarin fluently. If we go to China, our Chinese cannot pass. If we go to English speaking countries, our English also cannot pass. As a result, many Singaporeans lack the confidence to work overseas, to step out of their comfort zone here where they can get by with Singlish. This also explains why in formal meetings especially when the big boss from HQ is sitting in, and it’s a MNC, many locals dare not speak. They lack the vocabulary, fluency, basically the proficiency in the language. Just look at how all those “Anonymous” wrote at this site…horrible *Engrand*!

        The strength which Singapore has is not portable. We have a very efficient government, good infrastructure, clean air, safe this safe that…but can we bring all these with us when we go overseas? No. We can’t. All we can do is to say “I am from Singapore” while leaving everything behind, and then we find ourselves surrounded by people who are not Singaporeans, who don’t deal the way we do.

        • I refer to “Why are so many people posting as Anonymous here?”

          Quote “Talking about languages, it is in fact a MAJOR handicap among most Singaporeans that we cannot speak either English or Mandarin fluently.”

          First , your English is not that good either , so who are you to make criticism here ? For example you said “Just look at how all those “Anonymous” wrote at this site…horrible *Engrand*!”

          Is there the word Engrand in the dictionary or thesaurus?
          FYI, there are Singaporeans who speak very well Chinese but you just never have the chance to know them.

          Never criticize your own kind unless you decide to give up your citizenship and leave this place for good.

  3. Anne W Holloway

    I’ve decided to join those who post at CNY. In my case my post is addressed to our Prime Minister and I’ve written this in a message on his FB page.

    I applaud you for saying “First, as the population ages, Singapore will need to create strong social support and community networks for seniors, keep them socially engaged, and build up healthcare systems and services.” However, as I am 69 this year and my husband is 89 and has Alzheimer’s I would like to know how and when help will start for people like us who do not live in HDB units and not desperately poor? We have paid our taxes and continue to do so; we have Pioneer Generation cards but the ONLY benefit I have enjoyed was an invitation to a free Screen for Life screening. Otherwise we have paid our way. You, your Ministers, MPs and Government employees (I hesitate to call them Civil Servants) earn decent wages and enjoy certain benefits – some for life. As a citizen I do not begrudge you that, but perhaps you all do not realise or want to see that there is much too be done for those over 60 or even 65 – we number in the hundreds of thousands and are expected to increase in numbers. Having spent time overseas, I can tell you – from personal experience – that Singapore offers the least to the average senior citizen. And yet we call ourselves a First World country? And every time the forthcoming Budget is mentioned we are told that taxes will be increased and new forms of taxation are going to be introduced. A country that is doing so well (going by the statistics and surveys quoted in ST) probably runs a balanced or surplus budget – not that we citizens would know. And if we take health and social spending into account, it’s so disappointing that you spend so little on us the people considering how well we are doing and by all the visible signs of prosperity – new airport terminals, shopping malls even at the airport, expressways and roads (pedestrian pavements are a totally different matter though), showcase hospitals and medical centres, new and expensive cars on the road (soon to rival per capita Rolls Royces in HK, if we have not surpassed them) with the exception of Teslas. I could go on but this suffix yes for now. I have gritted my teeth (no wonder my dentist says I grind my teeth at night) for long enough. For this coming year I will ask no more than you put some of your promises for seniors into action. Thank you.

  4. Tell us increase taxes to help the poor. Now, poor cannot afford housing, then
    they said 1k can buy HDB.
    After taxes increase, first thing PAP did was to increase their own PAY.
    Now every PAP minister’s family can buy BUNGALOW in cash. You think they
    care about you?
    Only DUMB Singaporeans do.

  5. We have the highest paid politicians with the lowest quality of life. These politicians are incapable of improving the quality of your life. The only strategy they have is to squeeze the last dime from your pocket. Singapore needs change. Time for Singaporeans to vote for change.