When Milan Fischer from Canada, 68, surely one of the oldest YOG volunteers in the Olympic Village, was taken to the medical station for a leg cramp, he would end up costing the Singapore taxpayers a nifty sum . He had a 4-hour open-heart operation for an aortic dissection, remained in hospital for two weeks, and stayed with wife Beata at the Fairmount Singapore for about a month to rest before flying home. We were told all medical expenses and lodgings for the extended medical holiday were paid for by the Singapore Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee, presumably signed off by Vivian Balakrishnan.
Meanwhile 14 -year-old Thai student Peneakchanasak Nitcharee lies in Tan Tock Seng hospital, both young legs severed by a MRT train. Her parents have to make their own way from home town Trang in southern Thailand, and catch a plane from there to Singapore. Transport Minister Raymond Lim is keeping awfully quiet about the lack of safety measures at the Ang Mo Kio station which contributed to the amputation of both limbs. He's probably afraid to admit liability and having to pick up even part of the hospital tab. It would appear not all ministers have equal access to the cookie jar.
That kind of disparity should knock the wind of DPM Teo Chee Hean's arguments about the need for an insurance policy. Teo was attempting to belittle the Workers' Party call to vote opposition as an insurance against the failings of the PAP. This is one premium Singaporeans are willing to pay, considering the financial exposure of the one party dominance which allows them to dispense taxpayers' funds without accountability. The list of abuses is long, and the YOG over budget is but one glaring example. Not forgotten is Mah Bow Tan's extravagance of spending $400,000 to rename Marina Bay. Lee Kuan Yew claims that the present team costs less than what Mindef paid for an F15 fighter jet, but exactly why we need such a fancy plane was never up for debate. Do you know that RSAF purchased 400 aircraft to to protect 710 sq km of land? Wanton profligacy is only one issue, how they came up with the magic population number of 6 million without provision of supporting infrastructure is another. You don't even want to get started on affordable housing for the masses.
Retired top civil servant Ngiam Tong Dow once called for an alternate leadership that would keep the current leaders on their toes and stave off inevitable decline. Accusing fellow civil servants of "a particular brand of Singapore elite arrogance" and "believing our own propaganda", he said that unless Lee "allows serious political challenges to emerge from the alternative elite out there, the incumbent elite will just coast along. At the first sign of a grassroots revolt, they will probably collapse." If an insider has such concerns, is there still doubt for an insurance policy to be in place?