After hearing the national day rally speech 2022 by PM Lee, a netizen who felt very strongly about the speech, penned an open letter. In a long WhatsApp message circulated on Tuesday (Aug 23), the netizen raised a number of points that affected the everyday man. The anonymous letter was not signed off and it is unclear who its author was.
In the open letter, the netizen asked: “Who is destroying the affordability of our basic cost of living?”
He wrote that he struggles “to reconcile his speech against the statement that “Singapore is a land of opportunity” (as told by a few friends) while witnessing the hardships faced the average Singaporeans when everything is going up except for their salary or income”.
Without stating exactly who, the netizen added that small business owners and service providers have been complaining that their businesses have fallen drastically against an increase in operating costs.
Against such a “horrendous socio-economic outlook”, the netizen asked how it is still justifiable to initiate an increase in GST.
“Are these 4G politicians trying to mock or trivialize the pains, plights & hardships suffered by fellow Singaporeans”, he asks.
Talking about the end of “cheap & fabulous local food”, the netizen writes that “For price-sensitive Singaporeans, they all know that NTUC is no longer offering the quality products at the lowest cost, and this was vividly evident during the pandemic when the cost of basic food and essentials escalated out of control at its supermarkets”.
“At a time when inflation, food security and employment security are the primary concerns of many hard-pressed Singaporeans, it is indeed shocking for NTUC to defend the sales of 2 fresh chickens weighing 3.212kg that were bundled at S$72.27 or S$22.50 per kg”, he added.
Blaming NTUC FairPrice for “sucking up all the opportunities that should rightly be afforded to our smaller business owners and entrepreneurs”, the netizen speculates that this could be why Singapore has not been successful in grooming local start-up and real entrepreneurs.
TISG has reached out to NTUC FairPrice for comment and clarification three days ago.
The full letter:
WHO IS DESTROYING THE AFFORDABILITY OF OUR BASIC COST OF LIVING?
After hearing this year’s National Day Rally Speech by PM Lee, I am struggling to reconcile his speech against the statement that “Singapore is a land of opportunity” (as told by a few friends) while witnessing the hardships faced by the average Singaporeans when everything is going up except for their salary or income.
But when small business owners and service providers start complaining that their businesses had also fallen drastically against a massive increase in their operating costs, it may be imperative for us to be asking who is actually profiteering.
Under such a horrendous socio-economic outlook, how can the 4G politicians within the current PAP government still feel that it is justifiable to initiate an increase in GST while exacting the full excise tax for petrol while not forgetting about our utility tariffs and increase in these charges?
Are these 4G politicians trying to mock or trivialize the pains, plights & hardships suffered by fellow Singaporeans in order to please their Big Bosses?
If Singapore is indeed a land of opportunity, then we may have to ask the government who are the real beneficiaries of all the socio-economic opportunities, governmental grants, schemes & tax breaks that they have been dishing out since the majority of Singaporeans and small local businesses are still struggling and suffering just to get by.
Think about it – if Singapore is indeed a land of endless opportunities as exclaimed by pro-government supporters, why aren’t we seeing an exodus of politicians, senior bureaucrats or union heads leaving the comfort of the government to venture into these “perceived” land of opportunities?
As the current 4G PAP team loves preaching about upskilling and transformation 4.0 as if they have all the answers to the challenges of the New Economy, it would be nice if some of them can step forward to show us how to do it, and maybe in the process, just maybe, demonstrate to us that they have the capabilities to match the likes of Jack Ma, Masayoshi Son or Steve Jobs.
The Hard Truth is that politicians, bureaucrats & union heads these days are busy indulging themselves with the excess of our economic success, have become complacent and have no problem in peddling their feel-good “perceptions” conceived by the 4G PAP, aided by a new legion of spineless party-centric propagators & reporters (since they are no longer worthy to be called journalists or editors).
Where Has All Our Planning & Investment Gone To?
Singapore was once well known for our obsession with planning for almost every conceivable eventuality as Lee would like us to believe but when his current 4G government was caught flat-footed by the pandemic, our Gold Standard for Public Healthcare was ripped to pieces.
As more bad news starts emerging about just how badly the 4G ministers had failed to even plan or manage the security of our food & basic essentials, and are now unable to respond decisively as inflation goes breaking the backbone of the average Singaporeans, we need to ask PM Lee if it is fair that Singaporeans have to put up with this bunch of clowns that he has put together for his succession plan but at what expenses?
It is one thing that Lee is struggling to plan for his own succession planning but when his team of successors are unable to plan or even manage the legacy left behind by previous generations of politicians, I think that is something that he should have addressed or at least apologized for in his rally speech.
Electricity & Fuel Crisis – Where Are Our Stockpile of Energy Reserves?
For years, we have been investing many tens of billions in Deep Tunneling Project to fortify & secure the management of our water resources, essential services and energy reserve, and yet, when the world faces the current energy crisis, why are we still caught in sudden price hike when we are supposed to have a substantial amount of energy reserves in our stockpile to buffer us against any sudden surge in pricing?
If we have been using so much of our public fund to plan for such an eventuality, where is our buffer of energy reserves that were supposed to protect us from the sudden price increase of electricity, and fuel costs?
It will be good to know who are the ministers tasked with these responsibilities and why have they been so silent instead of explaining why these super-major investments have yet again failed us when we needed them the most.
But if these stockpiles of reserves were used by the government, or its related entities, to sell them at an obscene profit to utility & fuel companies, isn’t this a breach of the original objective of crisis planning?
If everything that the government is going to do from here onward is all about profiteering at all costs, then who is going to protect Singaporeans from the risks of future crises?
Alas, with the PAP politicians having to sing and defend the government’s position while unions are so busy chasing after their own business opportunities to fatten their own accounts, I guess Singaporeans will have to rethink who is left to defend their constitutional rights and protections.
So what is the use of Lee’s call to Singaporeans to stand in solidarity with them when we still have to “walk alone” when it matters most, as the current socio-economic upheaval has shown?
The End Of Cheap & Fabulous Local Food:
With NTUC Enterprise announcing its acquisition of the 56 food courts, 21 coffee shops, 3 hawker centres & 2 central kitchens from Kopitiam in September 2018, NTUC has been assuring Singaporeans that prices at its outlets will stay affordable, just like its supermarkets.
For price-sensitive Singaporeans, all know that NTUC is no longer offering quality products at the lowest cost, and this was vividly evident during the pandemic when the cost of basic food and essentials escalated out of control at its supermarkets.
At a time when inflation, food security and employment security are the primary concerns of many hard-pressed Singaporeans, it is indeed shocking for NTUC to defend the sales of 2 fresh chickens weighing 3.212kg that were bundled at S$72.27 or S$22.50 per kg.
As monkeys see and monkeys will do, some business owners have also started to bid aggressively for coffee shops and food courts, by assuming that since NTUC is betting billions on the local F&B sector, they must know something about our government policy and its future plan, or assume that the government will be obliged to support NTUC in their shared-endeavours to control our food courts, coffee shops and hawker centres.
Against such a disturbing outlook, it is advisable for Working Singaporeans and those living in the heartlands of Singapore to brace themselves for further price increases in food and drinks as rentals at the food courts, coffee shops and hawker centres under the NTUC can only go higher and higher.
To think that NTUC can be worth billions in assets and is literally everywhere in Singapore but has nothing to show regionally or internationally, is NTUC really that dynamic or is it just a huge co-operative of parasites that are sucking up all the opportunities that should rightly be afforded to our smaller business owners and entrepreneurs?
By looking at NTUC from the perspective of Michael Potter’s Competitive Advantage of Nations, it is so clear that the PAP-led government foolishly deprives our entrepreneurs and enterprise owners of succeeding in those sectors that NTUC has cornered.
That may well explain why Singapore has not been successful in grooming dynamic local start-ups and real entrepreneurs (and not PR-packaging of rich scions).
If NTUC lacks the deep skill-sets needed to regionalize or internationalize, then why are they allowed to be so entrenched in training that several governmental funding, including the use of SkillFuture, have been approved for courses offered by NTUC Training Centres?
Can the blinds lead the blinds?
Or is this the political price the 4G PAP government has to pay for NTUC to allow a political reject of the PAP to be appointed as the secretary-general of the NTUC?
It is understandable for businesses to make money but it is not acceptable when Singaporeans are exploited to sustain the co-operative of parasites that are living off lavishly from our collective success or when we have to foot the bill for the political exploits of the PAP in order to keep their deadwood under employments.
As such, isn’t Lee’s rally speech for this year a real waste of opportunity when he failed to use it to do what is right by the people?
I wonder if Lee still believes that Singaporeans deserve better…
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of The Independent Singapore.