The PAP’s Unique No. 1 Election Strategy

The dismal quality of political debate and public discourse in general can be attributed primarily to the incumbent ruling party’s reluctance to engage in serious debates, resorting, instead, to hyperbolic ‘denial as rebuttal’ techniques of argumentation and the ‘scaring as persuading’ method of garnering votes. In other parts of the world where societies have not been engineered into shallow naivety (most other places on earth, in other words), the ruling party would be a laughable failure. But in Singapore, the PAP is taken so seriously that the joke is on the people rather than on the party.

Now Mah Bow Tan warns us that existing HDB flats would depreciate in value if the price of HDB flats were, as proposed by the Workers’ Party, to be pegged to the median income. How frightening. I bought my flat for $1 million and if the opposition gets its way, my flat would only be worth $500, 000!

But well, I only have one flat. Even if its value were to go up to $5 million, what could I do? Sell it, get $5 million and be homeless? Or sell it, get $5 million and buy another one for $5 million—or more? On the other hand, to use the PAP’s argumentation techniques, if the PAP gets its way, flats would soon cost $10 million and my children’s ability to buy a flat would be even lower than mine. And my descendants can’t be staying in my current flat forever. It’s ours for 99 years. (Editor’s disclaimer: Figures given are for illustrative purposes and are not necessarily representative of current or projected prices of HDB flats.)

It doesn’t matter to Molly that her fine feline brain is worth billions of dollars or worth two cents. She can’t possibly sell her brain for money because she needs one to stay alive and rant about stupid governments oppressing her. Or if she really wants to sell it, she could sell it and use the money to buy an equivalent brain (which would not be worth the hassle), buy an inferior made-by-PAP brain (which would be a senseless expensive downgrade) or buy a superior brain (which would require more money than she has). But if brains were to be more affordable in general, her adorable litter of kittens would not suffer so much when they grow up to be the good bitchy anti-PAP cats that all respectable cats ought to be.


Picture from icanhascheezburger

Other than his fallacies (or should we say fantasies?) about the value of the ceiling over our heads, Mah also accuses the Workers’ Party of being against the upgrading program: “Why is the WP against upgrading programmes, which enhance the value of Singaporeans’ homes and enable the people to enjoy the fruits of Singapore’s progress? Why does the WP want to push down the value of all existing HDB flats?” In Mah’s world, identifying upgrading is one of various causes of rising HDB flat prices is the same as going against upgrading and all that might appear to be its benefits. I suppose one might find this logical if one is bereft of logic. (In other words, many PAP fans would find it logical.) Mah would do well to read the Workers’ Party Manifesto where it is stated in page 24:

The policy of upgrading older estates and building new flats in mature estates to minimise the movement of population should be continued.

The value of “upgraded” flats is “higher” only when there exists un-upgraded flats from which they can be distinguished. The problem may lie with the execution of upgrading rather than with upgrading itself. Mah could have told us that upgrading is just one of many factors that have caused the rise of housing prices, and it is likely not the most significant factor. But he preferred to try to make Singaporeans fearful of the opposition instead. If there is no demand for the flats or if there is enough supply to meet the demands, the price of upgraded flats would be higher than the price of flats that have not been upgraded, but the prices would not have gone beyond the limits of affordability. But of course Mah won’t tell us this. As it is, upgraded or not, housing has become too expensive. And the PAP’s policy of importing the whole of China and India into the tiny island of Singapore (Editor: Molly’s claim has not been verified. She was drunk with anti-PAP Wrath Vodka when she was writing this) and the fact that not enough flats were built in anticipation of the population increase has caused the price of housing to rise unnecessarily, resulting in people’s inability to afford a flat which is in turn because, again thanks to PAP policies, their wages have to be depressed in order to maintain a competitive edge against those of third world workers.

It is not as if Molly has an issue with increasing the value of her assets even if she has no way of selling them off for tangible cash at the moment. After all, Molly’s irrepressible charms might earn her a free bungalow from a prospective sugar daddy one of these days and she can then sell her flat for a tidy profit and go live in the bungalow. (*Winks at rich male readers. No—all rich readers.) The problem is that Singaporeans’ spending power is not going up in tandem with the price of housing. At least the average Singaporean’s spending poewr isn’t. What this means is that many will be caught in a debt bondage for decades just to afford a PAP-whitewashed ceiling over their wretched heads for 99 pathetic years. Or they can rent flats. But rental prices seem to be aiming for the moon too. Singaporeans should realize that expensive housing is not at all a matter of asset enhancement for Singaporeans. It is through and through a financial burden that can be avoided.

Instead of addressing the issue as it is, Mah and his PAP friends seem to think that they can smoke-fart their way through the elections and beyond, promising to “upgrade and preserve the value of older homes and estates” in their manifesto, which to Molly, is as good as saying, “Expect to continue to be unable to afford HDB flats, bitch!” Singaporeans must not allow this. Of course, they might, given how Mah warns Singaporeans that the WP (and perhaps all opposition parties) have some bizarre conspiracy to “raid” Singapore’s reserves. He refuses to engage in a real debate with the opposition. Or perhaps Mah is confessing to Singaporeans that Singapore has massive reserves because the government has been profitting from the people through public housing. Instead of saying that the WP’s proposal is going to “raid” the reserves, Mah should have said that the WP’s proposal might result in the loss of an easy way of growing the reserves.

When the HDB buys land from the Singapore Land Authority, the chief valuer determines the value of the land. Pardon Molly’s ignorance, but it all sounds like the government decides how much the government pays for the land used to build HDB flats. And perhaps in the instances when the reserves are being depleted but wise, lucrative investments by Temasek Holdings or the GIC, the sale of land at high prices can help to replenish it somewhat. It sounds speculative, but how much transparency is there when it comes to Singapore’s reserves? (How much transparency is there in general?) We do not even have a breakdown of construction costs plus land costs for HDB flats. And this brings us to the importance of demanding change in the government. We need transparency, we need more and better political debate, we need a balance of powers regardless of which political party wins the elections. We have seen the PAP’s impeccable track record in the lack of transparency and how it expects Singaporeans to trust it blindly. We have also seen whether our lives have truly improved or if we have degenerated to a mendicant citizenry perpetually awaiting the next condescending gesture of kindness or handout from the PAP government.

The PAP’s No. 1 election strategy? Secure votes by screwing up the voters’ lives. This is a feat that no other political party in the democratic (or undemocratic) world is capable of. Implement policies that cause housing prices to reach for the skies and tell the people to be grateful and vote for the PAP because it has enhanced the value of their flats. Perhaps it is true after all that our ministers have rare talents what are worth millions of dollars per year.

The least we could do is to tell the PAP a big NO through our votes. The little dignity I have left of being a Singaporean is going to vanish if Singaporeans decide to give the political mandate to the PAP once again on May 7. I should perhaps start organizing a farewell party. If not for my dignity, then for the PAP. Gladly.

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10 Responses

  1. I totally agree with you. PAP has cultivated the fear factor so successfully that they are able to apply it at will and yield incredible results. I guess the key factors for their success is the total control of the main medias; liberal use of ISA and legal proceedings to suppress freedom of speech. They are so successful that I believe that these fear factors not only affect the people at large but also their own party gang members. As an example, if you were to ask Tin Pei Ling, I bet that she would say MBT is absolutely correct! She is the kind of “Talent” that PAP need to help propagate such fear. People like you are too smart for them but more importantly you have a soul. Anyway I wouldn’t consider Pei Lin sold her soul because I believe that she hasn’t had a clue what the hell is going on!

    The internet has opened up the eyes of many but sadly the majority would continue to get blasted by their propaganda machines endlessly to ensure that they remain “DAFT”!

  2. […] – Molitics: The PAP’s Unique No. 1 Election Strategy – Chapter Two: Reload: Flat prices: enhancement or inflation – Mr Wang Says So: Mah Bow Tan is […]

  3. Hey where do you get your anti-PAP Wrath Vodka? share share le….. lolz..

  4. 這就是所謂的愚民政策。新加坡人所以就這樣笨。一個正當的好政府是必須要確保能夠達到建國大業最基本重要的一個目標:國民政治成長,而不是實施愚民政策使本黨永遠當權。當然,政黨都為了能當權。不過為了當權而忽視了建國大業就不能算是一個為國為民的好政黨。應該是退位的時候了。

  5. hdb does not release the cost breakdown of the hdb flats, we all know why.

    form what i have see and read, i have come to believe that pap is using housing as an indirect tax.

  6. Hey Molly, isn’t Lee See Nao going to say something to swing votes to the PAP soon? There’s too much anti-PAP propaganda around.

  7. You would have to marry a very fat cat nowadays to live in a bungalow. And the image of a fat cat meowing its head off during mating season is quite off putting actually. 😛

    • Lol… Molly’s standards are very high. The bungalow is the COE for courtship, not mating. For mating (in the bungalow or outside), cute, hunky cats are preferred.

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