Monday, April 15, 2013

A Disgraceful Episode

The first registration exercise for Ministry of Education (MOE) kindergartens was met with a curious response. Over 196 applications were received for a total of 240 places, while at Dazhong there were only only 56 applications — less than half of the 120 places available. Soon members of parliament were mobilised to enter the heartlands for the hard sell.

School fees were set at $150 per month for locals and $300 for permanent residents. Families with a gross monthly household income not exceeding $3,500 or per capita income not exceeding $875 are entitled to subsidies, which could reduce the fee to as low as $10 (Gross monthly income < $2000, gross per capita income < $500). That level of subsidy we wish could be made available for public housing, not the arbitrary link/delink roulette in the spin.

Perhaps the lukewarm response could be attributable to horrible memories of the past. In April 2008, some 1,500 students attending 7 PAP Community Foundation (PCF) kindergartens in Woodlands saw their fees shoot up by 30 to 100 per cent.

Woodlands kindergartens in Blk 601 and Blk 875 hiked monthly fees from $50.90 to $110 per child because they will be air-conditioned. Air-conditioned kindergartens in blocks 899B, 652 and 824 increased fees from $86.60 to $110, while non-air-conditioned ones in blocks 624B and 853 ramped up from $50.90 to $95.

In less than 5 years from 2006 to 2011, PAP kindergarten prices had jumped 4 times. In 2006, the monthly fee was only $30.50, then in 2007 it went up to $50.60. Then in 1 July 2008, it was $95 a month. Then in 2010, it was $120 a month. Minister Grace Fu then defended the 20% price raise in 2011, saying the price "was lower than many operators".

Now we know there was a system then of awarding sites in Housing Board estates to private pre-school operators based solely on the highest bid. Naturally the operators passed on the increased costs to parents by raising fees. And thus culminating in the disgraceful practice of hiking PAP kindergarten prices because they were "lower than many operators". Now, that looks awfully similar to the pegged-to-private-sector formula that guarantees riches for a select few.


  1. When a leopard changes its spot, who would blame grazing bisons for being suspicious? This "world class" government is well-known for privatizing when it suits their agenda, how would parents know they won't throw our children into the PCF fold further down the line and then jack up the fees for those who have fallen prey? Who knows whether rules will be changed in future with some smart "profit motive" arguments to justify regular fee hikes? can leopard change its spot? can or cannot?

  2. Hey, even worse, now they say they will select operators based on the "quality" instead of highest bid. You know, because, PAP PCF, MOE and NTUC My First Skool can now have their cakes and eat it too. And a second bite at the cherry by giving themselves anchor operator status with subsidized rental.

  3. When you let PAP government run businesses, the citizens will become involuntary milking cows for the PAP to suck until bone dry. We are at their mercy for now. Let's show them no mercy and cull all the pigs come 2016.

    1. Yes, especially the ugly and disgracefoo pig who should be sacrificed to save Singaporeans tax money.

    2. Love pork meat. How many should we slaughter?... lets go the whole hog.

    3. Well said, Papigs have morphed into the Vampire Squids and London Whales (aka Goldman and JPM) always ready to fleece their customers, front and back, any positions can ... just round them up and into the abatoir, pigs sure know slaughter business

  4. Vote Opposition for affordable kindergartens.

    1. ?? How does voting for opposition equate to affordable kindergarten.

    2. Well, it's elementary watson, did voting PAP result in affordable kindergartens, hdb flats, etc.....etc...??

    3. Just because doing A didn't achieve an objective doesn't mean doing B will.

    4. So you are one of those who expect a different outcome by doing the same thing over and over again. Somewhat like those who keep voting PAP and hoping they will stop their conjob...

  5. well done pappies .... keep it up

    well done lee hsien loong ... truly god sent to serve singaporeans

    long live lee kuan yew ... stay mentally alert

  6. "was lower than many operators".

    My private operator charges us $50+ per month, way cheaper than government subsidized rates that supposedly enjoy economies of scale and government incentives. No wonder our economy getting uncompetitive against other countries.


    Celebration for Margaret Thatcher's Death in UK will be replicated in Sg many times for those that follow in her footstep.


  8. What type of investmetn you can't take back your money?

  9. Singaporean don't so much foreigners, only hte ruling parties need so much foreigners to support votes and their high pay?

    1. The PM and Mps will never understand unless they are also replaced by foreigners.

    2. It's time to help them understand.
      Let's replace them with Workers' Party.

  10. The Singapore Economic Miracle.
    It's the 8th wonder of the world.

    The way government linked not-for-profit organizations keep delivering record profits year after year.

    Are citizens being overcharged?

  11. Definitely overcharged dude.

    Vote for WP and you can see that costs will come crashing down and our income shoot up like a rocket.

    The opposition will show you what they are capable of. Their IT system will be top notch, their kindergartens will charge you free for citizens with standards as good as those $1000 kindergartens. All costs will crash down and you will see your income increase across the board. Transport fares, COEs, hospital costs, HDB costs, private property, kopi costs, HDB conservancy costs etc, all will drop like nobody's business.
    Our incomes will go up and unemployment will drop because FTs balek kampong.

    Well done WP. We will vote for you, for a better future.

  12. Politician in waiting...4/15/2013 10:56 PM

    Hopes & expectations about what WP can achieve.

    Though they can be the lesser evil they may not be able to meet all expectations. Politicians are what they are and allwill twist the story.

    Never trust politicians. Their main motive is always to acquire influence and power (which is far better than authority). Can you recall the office colleague that stabs and poison to get further?? Yes! That is the basic political trait.

    1. Why condemn WP when they have not done anything yet?

      Why don't you blame people who have actually committed the wrongs you high-lighted?
      Are you a PAPig?

    2. Politician in waiting...4/16/2013 12:16 PM

      Sure I will vote WP

      But not because of what they intend to do.
      but because the PAP is not my favorite anymore.

      And my expectations of WP is not high. Probably no change but just status quo.

      Maybe no:
      chasing of patrons from food court
      reserving of car park lot for MP
      use of RC room as temporary frontline HQ
      increase of conservancy fees

      Maybe yes:
      introduction of min wage
      revamping PA into truly a citizen's body
      reconstituting the Public Transport Council
      search & destroy PAP supporters

      Condemn?? you are too polite.

    3. "And my expectations of WP is not high. Probably no change but just status quo."

      People always thought their vote is very big, big but yet have they ever wonder what they themselves do to remove status quo ? did they do anything themselves to change that ?

      No, they did nothing but yet expect WP to do everything for them.

    4. I took care of my aging parents myself

      I used my own money to do it

      I used public transport to do it

      I found this blog myself

      I teach my sons to stay out of trouble myself

      I found a job myself

      I negotiated salary myself

      I did not visit the MP for help

      I did not listen to PAP speeches

      I went to Hougang to listen to WP

      Do you want me to change the Gahmen myself?

      Please give me a clue. I am a Singaporean and I am clueless