Monday, August 19, 2013

No More Opting Out

He's kinda thick, isn't he? After one whole year of feedback through the National Conversation/Our Singapore Conversation, he still doesn't quite comprehend the complaints about affordable healthcare.

Instead of reducing medical expenses, he plans to hike the Medisave, which is basically our own hard earned money deducted to pay for ever inflating government charges. Medishield is the other horror. Most private insurance companies quote you a fixed rate for the type of policy you decide upon. And stays fixed for the duration of the contracted cover.  Medishield increases your premium without your permission. No wonder many have opted out. Do we need Medishield Plus for cover beyond age 90? Not many of us fancy living like a zonked-out zombie like that character, who is 89, going on 90 in September. Whatever good ideas PM Lee floated for housing and education, it all went out the window when he announced: "There will be no more opting out for MediShield.”

We know the math about paying for a $100,000 housing development board (HDB) flat on a $1,000 per month household income. Now the new math about $170,000 3-room flats and $285,000 4-room flats. It has to do with those elusive grants - you'll need a score card to keep track of those "subsidies", and tick off the qualifying criteria. Why can't they just disclose the actual building cost, and declare a profit margin or desired rate of return to keep HDB from going bankrupt? One astute commentator remarked: "PAP only likes to talk about supply, “subsidy”, “grants” and “affordablility” of public housing but does not tell Singaporeans the actual cost of building HDB flats. The greedy and corrupt PAP cannot be trusted."

If they are tightwads with medical and housing essentials, where are they spending all the taxes collected? Another Gardens by the Bay type extravaganza, to be located where the current public carpark for Terminal One is. Needless to say, parking charges there will be taking off soon. Many have yet to visit the Two Conservatories because of the high entrance charges - as much as $28 per head - so most settle for the poor man's $5 Outdoor Tour. Gardens was budgeted at $893 million in 2006, revised to $1.035 billion in 2009, and annual operating cost is estimated to be $53 million. We need another Gardens like we need a hole in the head.

The Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) topic apparently was too hot to handle. But what's so difficult about implementing the clever idea of halting the disclosure of T-scores? The way they stopped releasing ranking of schools. That should take the heat off the pressure cooker of kiasu parents. Instead, they put it on the back burner, for another round of procrastinating conversations.

There's something haunting about the expression of Dr Yeo Sze Ling on tv, the blind 4-year old who made it to A-star researcher after a life time of struggle. Maybe she knows more than we do. Many problems have been glossed over by the pretty speeches, it's always darkest before the dawn.


  1. //Another Gardens by the Bay type extravaganza, to be located where the current public carpark for Terminal One is. //

    Don't get me going on that $1 billion bay, and now this!
    We must be the only nation in the world who wants to build garden that are air-conditioned indoor instead of nature's fresh air, blue sky and outdoor! Are they expecting more haze to come? Talk about building ruggedness among citizens, we are turning it into what I suspect, is actually the future Columbarium to house a certain "jewel" when the time comes. Thus the project is still codenamed Jewel? There is a reason why he mentioned his Dad's insistence on building the airport to begin with. You can count on the elder and second sons now to continue and finish off with a runaway legacy of 5 airports! Expect more hotel guests coming through, old man would love that. But of course, he didn't mention those 6.9m did he? That exam place for students to study, oh yeah, it was a nice throw in. Lee won't con me again.

    1. He conveniently avoided the 6.9m target population in his rally speech. Why is he not sincere enough to tell us what is going to happen to this White Paper ?

      At least be honest enough to tell us whether the Paya Lebar township is part of this plan, mah ?

    2. The best part is that, while he has us squabbling over healthcare, education, the aged, housing, new mosques, artificial gardens, new schools, new airports, etc, he is quietly moving along with his Population White Paper. Any wonder then why no mention of the 6.9 million - overpopulation is, given our limited space, the root of all our problems, from congestion, inflation, high costs, income disparity. The developments of Paya Lebar and Tanjung Pagar are part of the plan.

      Those who are applauding his NDR speech loudest are the real estate developers, bankers, financiers, business people, the "foreign talents", and the PAP and their boot-lickers. Tomorrow, when they have completed their ramp up of infrastructures, there is no turning back from 6.9 million or more, because it is a fait accompli, and damn to quality of life and sincerity.

    3. 3 terminals now + all that shopping ain't enough, we need another mega complex mall, right! The drones are going for the 3rd dome, like is going to lift us out of our doom.

      2000 species of orchids that they have bred are used to name any Princes, Consorts, Dictators and Entertainers at the Botanic. Now that GBB has another 10,000 species that were imported from all over the world for their lab cross breeding that has absolutely nothing to do with benefiting the citizens. How much of billion dollars budget a year does MND want to spend for their expensive gardening hobby? I wonder if all these elitist horticulture is getting to the gardeners' heads? If we want to see the real plant and rainforest, just top up $60 for budget airline and you can be in the richest & bio-diverse place like Sabah rainforest and get the entire jungle to yourself.

      So tell us, which Minister is leading the Rebranding exercise?

    4. Methinks is just a visage to build an underground vault, store the real jewels and gold bars. Airhub sounds better than wealthhub.

    5. The irony about their second aircon Gardens is that even as they spend a billion building it, the plan is to clear ALL the secondary forest on the island over the next decade or so. The free stuff, that doesn't need aircon.

      That should raise temperatures here.

      What will be left is only the forest around the reservoirs.


  2. when he spoke on education and the system. noticed how he kept highlighting : it is the parents who are causing the stress, it is the parents who are kiasu ...

    he is trying to push away the real cause : the real culprit is the MOE SYSTEM. : parents are as much a victim as the students under this system. Don't believe ? just see the "meet the teachers/parents" sessions every year, teachers and schools will grill the parents about what is wrong with their child's results and what they need to do to bulk up. i have teachers telling me to get tuition for my child more than once. The truth is, teachers and schools are only interested in your child's results and they push for it, bec the system push for it. So obvious and yet they are not saying it as it is.

    1. i have three school going children, my oldest just started university 1st year..........they all went to neighborhood schools one is still in primary..... have attended many meet the parent teacher meeting.........what you say is not totally true there are both kiasu schools and parents

  3. Our PM said Medishield will cover for all including those who can't pay for the premiums. Doesn't that sounds great ?

    But anyone realise the clue that gave his game away is "it has to break even"? So where do you think the money is going to come from that the G says they will pay for them ?

    Essentially it would either mean Medishield has been making tonnes of monies or that they are going to rob more from those healthy ones to pay for the unhealthy plus uninsured ones ?

    And when speaking about reducing BTO selling prices further, he actually said let's not touch them which is another way of saying let the profiteering continues ? So in reality, are they more concerned about profiteering rather than selling public flats at more affordable prices ?

    He warned that any fall in HDB property values will not be good for everyone. I think it would be more honest for him if he will admit that any fall in HDB property would be suicidal for PAP at the next GE, isn't it ?

    1. Proceeds from land sales should be taken as government revenue as what is done in Hong Kong, and not going straight into reserves.Cap the defence budget to 4 % of GDP or less than 20 % of total budget, whichever is lower.Get the feeling they will opt for the easy way out, raise the GST to 10% after the next GE.

  4. What is so landmark about the speech?
    All that drumming and there is still no political reform which must be demonstrated with democratic deeds, not words?!

    So other than a major shift into universal healthcare (which I am rather pleased about but would qualify that the devil is always in the details) that will benefit the pioneer elderlies and those with pre-existing conditions, everything else is still vanilla with perhaps a bit of chocolate sauce on top.

  5. I knew he missed the elephant in the room when he concluded that healthcare is affordable because he could not find a good example of patient incurring huge medical bill. Siow ah! Of course he couldn't find; people would have chosen to go home and die before their medical bills threaten to bankrupt them and their family.


    Dr Yeo Sze Ling case is no doubt inspiring, and already reported back in 2005. What took the G so long to acknowledge her kind of success?
    Perhaps the truth of matter is, cases like her has been glossed over for so long (where she has the part where it was reported she has to pay her classmates to read to her!) before they could even see the light, had it not been for GE2011 and the people's power!

    Maybe that long neglect by his G has finally pricked his conscience that he had to choked publicly.

    Nothing like a politician who knows how to pick a vogue subject to display his empathy and compassion for the long down-trodden. Better late than never.

  7. tatler you always have nothing good to say about the government..........i wish you were our pm and see how you far you are nothing but N.A.T.O........

    invite you to be a PM or minister:)

    1. Invite Tattler to be minister in the PMO and join the likes of Lim Swee Say and company and be a NATO on tax payers' money?
      I want also lah!

    2. I am sure there are more capable Singaporeans who can lead a team to govern Singapore well, and at a fraction of the cost. If we add the cost of our current PM's liabilities .. Wow !

      Even FTs with a pedigree can do... Obama ? Clinton ?

      Tattler may also prove better than our PM, with his sharp wit and keen intellect.

      They all have my vote.

    3. Ok then here are some things he's "good" at:

      He is very good at crocodile tears
      He is very good at empty promises
      He is very good at fixing the opposition
      He is very good at paying Ministers well
      He is very good at disappearing in crises

  8. If Paya lebar Airbase is not enogh for 6.9 mil, there is still the Istana. Pretty big place.

    1. Istana should strictly be used as a mausoleum for LKY cum tourist attraction. Future presidents of sin city will continue to reside at the Istana but primarily as gatekeeper.
      Actually no worries about shortage of land, there are plenty of golf courses on this island that will be enough for 9.9 mil, in fact Khaw has yet to explore building HDB vertically downwards.

    2. No, pleeease !!

    3. yup, 9 hole golf course used by tony as his personal driving range, as if he has such a long one... phui

  9. "tatler you always have nothing good to say about the government..........i wish you were our pm and see how you far you are nothing but N.A.T.O........

    invite you to be a PM or minister:)"

    Ha Ha ! If you want to hear good things about the PM, please read your straits time.

    Here is a place for us to release some steam and say things we want to say !

    Thank you tatler.

    No need to be PM to criticize lah !

  10. this chimpanzee is getting out of hands

    may god quickly summon him to be my his side

    oops .. not the self proclaimed god, kuan yew

  11. Another Garden By the Bay?
    I hope they use that old fart as fertilizer.

    1. Best one I've seen today, thanks.

    2. Old fart as fertilizer means only mushrooms can be grown.

    3. it will be so toxic that even the land will be barren for at least ten thousand years

  12. 其实你不懂我的心8/19/2013 5:05 PM

    He has governed for 10 years now as PM.

    Yet we let these molehills rolled into big mountains and today we are still talking about bread and butter issues that will always need tweaking, to differing degree. Issues like (housing, healthcare, education, baby/childcare, grass cutting) etc will never go away. There are ultimately competing values, competing interests and competing priorities. Agree to disagree is fine to a certain point, but ignore the ignorance on political and philosophical issues on the best and fair way to govern is not acceptable. Pretending that there is only ever 'one party' who can ensure the survival of Singapore, or 'common sense' option crafted by a single dominant party is a denial of democracy.

    Can the first world electorate have their cake and eat it? If those million dollars politicians think they can, so can you!

    1. "He has governed for 10 years now as PM. "

      Don't be naive. This clown has been in politics for more than 23 years... so please don't tell us that he is just 10 years as PM. You telling us he learnt nothing about what the people want for more than 23 years ? And still he need NatCON as wayang ?

    2. "This clown has been in politics for more than 23 years"...

      He has earned himself a place in history to be studied by future generations.

      Despite being personally nurtured, mentored by the great LKY, schooled in the prestigious Cambridge Uni, is it we end up with a PM whose abilities are only comparable to a boy scout leader ?

      Does this mean his inherent DNA(clown)is simply overridding and somehow neutralises all external inputs?
      In this instance, I must agree with LKY that he was right all along about genes deciding a man's potential.

  13. Wah, SMRT cannot get the workers to the office and students to their exams on time, but can get married couples to their ROM on time.

    I think next year PM must up the drama ante a bit. Probably will showcase a pregnant woman due for delivery after her water bag has burst! Liddat more convincing leh.

  14. 10 working days to write this load of hot air! Taxpayers' money is quite easy to spend.

    The gist of the annual tearful dog and pony show is always the same: "you are going to pay more, education problems are all the kiasu parents' fault, we will need more FT, and PAP will boost GDP by giving out more land to upscale housing and spend more of your taxpayer's money on grand white elephant projects". In the last 15 years, they had durian, ferris wheel, sentosa cove, F1, garden all funded with your money. And I am still stuck in my old f!#@% HDB flat and the stinking SMRT and SBS bus paying 3 times what I paid in 1995!

    And before we all forget, the myth of "garmen subsidies" is not limited to HDB flats; who has ever audited the garmen's claimed healthcare costs and their so-called "subsidies"?

  15. So after National Day Rally ... how?
    Got anything new or not?
    Can the leopard change his spots?
    Can the PAP change its LKY political ideology?

    Can. Sure can one.
    When pigs can fly.
    The PAPigs will "change from within".
    And Whore Jinx will sit on Tony's face.

  16. He forgot he paid himself as the highest paid Prime Minister in the world. Yet can you believe he tried to joke that he should be entitled to a commission from the housing minister Cow ?

    How greedy can you be, Mr Prime Minister ?

  17. "How greedy can you be, Mr Prime Minister ? "

    This bugger and his wife, old fart have already paid themselves more than US$100 billions. How can you not treat those billions lost in gambling not their money especially they are not accountable to people of Singapore over the loss ? Must be taken as their own money already. Must be the universe most highly paid buggers in the world. Apple, Microsoft, etc have no comparison !

    1. those clowns gambled big in investment fiasco and remember the loss of town council too over those toxic financial product , and lost big big big time... Must be the most extraordinary family in the world as they still have the audacity and cheek to talk down and hoodwink the nation.

  18. Everyone says Singapore is small... from business people to politicians..( even outside of Singapore!)

    Then he cites USA & Finland as having failed medical policies, where citizens are cared for using state funds.
    Singapore should not follow.
    But that is an odd comparison! Remember.. Singapore is small! but our reserves, GDP is top 10 man!! and our population is not enough man!

    Population of Finland & USA ( not to mention other natural resources ) is much bigger than us anytime.

    Yet we cannot afford??? ( afte rall our population is declining no?) There is a danger??

    Come on man! Is there no one else that will stand up to the plate???
    All talk big about business but come to politics everyone chicken out??

    So many billionaires and not a single one wants to achieve nirvana and become PM??? still accumulating $$??

    Forever stuck in the mud, bullied, conned and pay and pay.

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