Thursday, January 8, 2015

Hey Big Spender

Hey big spender, move aside, there's a new profligate in town!

There's no record in the mainstream media, but those who attended an election rally at Clementi in 2011 will recall hearing how Balakrishnan found the money to burn. The way he told the story, when he approached the prime minister for more funds for the Youth Olympic Games (YOG), PM Lee asked, "How much?" Balakrishnan did not ask for $300 million, he did not ask for $400 million, the number he requested for was $387 million dollars. He thought he scored a debating point when he told the crowd - mostly old folks shipped in from some community center - he did not spend one cent more. It still boggles the mind how the sum requested matches exactly the final bill presented in parliament. If his prediction is that good, how did he miss the original budget of $104 million?

Giving Balakrishnan a run for his money is Lawrence Wong, who admitted that within the first week of 2015, he has already blown $3 million of the $5 million set aside for the SG50 celebrations. No worries, there's more where the money comes from. Speaking at the first ground-up event supported by the free money, the chairman of the SG50 Programme Office told the crowd gathered at the Botanic Gardens, "If there are more good ideas and we need to will top up the fund, we will top up the fund." With 51 weeks more to go, he is unlikely to break Balakrishnan's record. Then again, who knows what else they have up their sleeves?


  1. It's other people's money, and these ain't nothing yet. The Gardens By The Bay was budgeted at $893 million in 2006 but finished up at $1.035 billion, and Minister Khaw said the final cost was within budget. The Marina Coastal Expressway overran it's original budget of $2.5 billion by $1.8 billion. And the latest vanity project, Pinky's Changi crown Jewel, will cost $1.47 billion - anyway that's what they say now.

    So nobody is as profligate with taxpayer's money as Pinky, since all are happening under his watch. If one also takes into account the lack of infrastructure and housing to accommodate his open invitation to all the foreign talents, it gets one to wonder if 20/20 foresight is his forte. Water is already up to the gunwale in his sampan 2.0, and more years under him would probably sink it. Reminder to him: Singapore is not "a cruise ship" !

    1. Sorry, Sir. Our PM has already confessed that he does not always have " foresight ". That was a relic of his Artillery Training. All those Big Guns and Motars do not have Front Sights as in an Infantry Rifles or pistols!
      What about hindsight?

    2. No hindsight too. Only backsight.

  2. It is better that they spend YOUR MONEY
    than them keeping it and we dont know where it is kept. Spent or not, we dont get to see the Money.

    Tioh erm tioh?


  3. Tattler, your piece raises a serious problem in governance. With an overwhelming majority in Parliament and a strangely silent WP, the powers that be are confident of getting their way no matter what the rights and wrongs are. The PM merely asked Balakrishnan what he wanted and gave it away as though it was his own to give. There is a reason for requiring a Budget to be prepared with as much precision as possible and presented to Parliament for approval each year. The PM's action is improper in that it evaded Parliamentary scrutiny and approval.. A Supplementary Supply Bill has to be passed to give Bala the money he wanted.

  4. Isn't there a limit on election spending per head of constituents?

  5. The PAP government is a very expensive government.
    It's costing Singaporeans a lot of money.
    Spare a thot for our children.
    Do our children a favour and vote Opposition before the reserves are all gone.

  6. Now you bring back that branded bag from overseas, the Customs can charge you for GST if your bag costs more than S$600. This is one sure way of making everyone pays for all the election goodies including that packet of chicken rice for that senior supporter they ferried from some community centre.

    As one PAP Minister put it, where do you think the money comes from .... LKY & son's pocket ?