At least one member was not asleep when Khaw went into the standard spiel about "substantial price discount", "housing grants", and "affordability" during the Parliament session of Tuesday 4th February . MP for Nee Soon GRC Lee Bee Wah was like, excusez-moi, "If I heard correctly just now, minister mentioned that the resale price of the flats in the vicinity is taken into consideration. I thought recently minister mentioned the price of new BTO flat has just been de-linked from the resale price?" Khaw's response has to be classic text book doublespeak:
For those not familiar with George Orwell's novel "1984", Wikipedia explains doublespeak as language that deliberately disguises, distorts, or reverses the meaning of words making the truth less unpleasant, without denying its nature. Examples include "downsizing" for layoffs, "ponding" for floods, "planning parameter" for targets - you get the idea. It may also be deployed as intentional ambiguity, or reversal of meaning. In such cases, "doublespeak disguises the nature of the truth, producing a communication bypass".
On Monday, Teo Chee Hean said Singapore was heading for a crisis given its rapidly ageing population. Yesterday, Khaw said the Government has made a major shift in the way it provide housing and public infrastructure - it will now invest and build well ahead of demand - evidencing the lack of 20/20 vision admitted by the prime minister is endemic among their ranks. So did the chicken come first or the egg? Was it the building shortfall or the population surplus that contributed to the current overcrowding? To decrypt the duplicity of utterances, throw away your Oxford or Merriam-Webster, what you need is a Concise Dictionary of English Usage as Perverted by the Pro Alien Party.
The only people talking sense are opposition members like NCMP Mrs Lina Chiam who pointed out that soiled White Paper is based on a very unique event in human history, namely, the Baby Boomer phenomenon. "Given that this is a unique event in history and is transient in nature, albeit for 10 years or longer, is it wise to plan for a country’s population and infrastructure based on this event?"
|Baby boomers (circa 1966) marching at National Day Parade|