Many Singaporeans have taken to social media to express their unhappiness at Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s suggestions during the National Day Rally, asking them to be more frugal in the way they live in order to deal with rising costs.
During his speech, PM Lee said, “Earlier in my Chinese speech, I spoke about cost of living pressures – what causes them, what the Government is doing, and how you can stretch your own dollar”.
He continued, “I described our changing lifestyle, how handphones, infant formula, and eating out, among other things, have impacted families, and what you can do to lessen your burden and what the Government is doing”.
Netizens and Singaporeans alike were outraged at his asking them to cut down on the small things, when they felt that the Government itself was excessive in its expenditure. Many also said that they were not leading by example and it would be unfair for the Government to expect them to be thriftier.
On Monday, former Nominated Member of Parliament Calvin Cheng wrote a rather harsh Facebook post. In it, he said, “I don’t think this Government has the moral authority to tell people to be frugal and spend within their means”.
His analogy: “If Ah Gong or Father tells you to use WiFi not 4G and save money, you probably will nod your head and say ok even if u not happy. If your rich brother tells you the same thing, you will probably tell him to go fly a kite.”
Other netizens shared similar Facebook posts.
The consensus that netizens came to was not that Prime Minister gave bad advice, they just felt that the advice was a bitter pill to swallow, coming from a Government that was hardly thrifty.