Saturday, September 12, 2015

We Wuz Robbed

The Singapore version of September 11 is a tragedy comparable to happened at America in 2001. There, jihadists flew jet planes into the North and South towers of the World Trade Center complex in New York City. Here, the ghostly apparition of the horrible person piloted the political machinery into the pillars of our fledgling democracy. That's the guy you saw on state television all week, whose name was invoked ad nauseam in print media as well. If the old goat was still alive, even he would have protested: "Have a care with my name. You would wear it out." (line from Judi Dench as Queen Elizabeth in "Shakepeare In Love")

The dissonance between the popular support at election rallies and the final count at the ballot boxes is evidence something is greatly amiss. Bashar was elected president with 97.29 percent of the votes, slightly less than the 99 percent his father regularly received to confirm his seven-year terms in office, but that is Syria. Asked to comment on the results, Reform Party's Jeyaratnam said the people deserved the government they are getting.

The big question floating in the haze is whether the leader of the Workers' Party would do a Lee Siew Choh. Latter yanked his Barisan Sosialis out of the first post-independence general election in 1968, and allowed the People's Action Party to grab all 51 of the seats in Parliament. Why bother to give credence to the mockery of a democracy when a monopolistic oligarchy is actually in charge?

The citizenry have other options, such as checking out the embassies to find out which country is better for the family they plan to raise. Making their way to Syria for military training is less attractive, the desert is far too hot for comfort. Or simply lie back and think of England Singapore, and the Swiss standard of living promised but will never be delivered. Bloggers should declare a moratorium in disgust.
Testing the "within 200m does not include inside 200m" law

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Not About To Lose Face

The gutter politician is at his tricks again.

This time he is laying blame on Mark Zuckerberg. Vivian Balakrishnan is saying that a glitch with the well honed Facebook technology used by 1.18 billion people on the planet every month caused his election advertising first published on Sept 4 to be “auto-posting recurrently”. Although some spokesperson - notably not Balakrishnan himself - said the minister has explained to the Elections Department (ELD) about the potential breach of the "Cooling-off Day" law, it was Balakrishnan who claimed the "We have contacted Facebook headquarters to conduct an investigation into the source of this bug."

There are some problems with the way the minister or his to-be-designated scapegoat is dealing with the transgression. First, they deleted the offending Facebook post, which makes it slightly more difficult for Facebook to examine the metadata. Secondly, the ELD is specific about election advertisements that were put up on the Internet which must be left unchanged once the campaign silence period kicks in at the stroke of midnight. Note also the use of technology to automatically deliver digital ads online and on social media platforms - such as "auto-posting recurrently" - should not be conducted on both Cooling-off Day and Polling Day.

But the minister will not be losing sleep over the matter of whether electoral rules have been broken. If the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) has to get permission from the prime minister before initiating an investigation, would the ELD dare take action without consulting same?

The Lettter That George Yeo Did Not Write

Out of desperation, some People's Action Party (PAP) supporter put into viral circulation a WhatsApp love-note ("Uncomfortable Questions") that ousted minister George Yeo (GY) categorically denied he ever penned.

GY was/still is capable of misleading the public - recall he once said "But we are building integrated resorts, not casinos" - but this load of crap has to be composed by a juvenile. It's a waste of space to reprint the message, but fun to deconstruct the flawed arguments point by point.

Point 1 raises the spectre of a "freak election" first mooted by the horrible person, and the scary sight of Leopard tanks rolling down the streets in a reprise of the Tiananmen spectacle. That's as likely as Khaw Boon Wan's "No guarantee PAP will be in govt after polls" headline. That's coming from the same fella who said the town council finance software can be easily bought off the shelf. Last time we looked, there's nothing at Sim Lim Square retailing at $24 million (cost of develpment) or $14,000 (selling price to PAP town councils).

Point 2 asks if the opposition camp has any candidate capable of doing us proud in front of an international audience. There is one much maligned person who is Chairman of the Asian Alliance for Reforms and Democracy, and has been engaged by the National Endowment for Democracy. He was also awarded a Hellman/Hammett Writers Grant by Human Rights Watch in recognition of his courage in the face of political persecution in Singapore. 'Nuff said.

Point 3 wants to know if alternate voices are able to talk with world leaders and business leaders on equal standing. We assume this refers to experience on the international stage (as in Point 2) and not about having to be paid at least $1 million to garner sufficient self confidence to meet with business leaders.

Point 4 is about maintaining good relations with with our "sensitive" neighbours. This coming after Shanmugam, Lim Swee Say, and Lee Hsien Loong's intemperate remarks about Malaysia's education system, their racial policies and Indonesia's haze, respectively. The writer must be living under a rock.

Point 5 asks if the alternate voices in parliament truly speak for the people or merely to serve their personal agenda. All we know, on record, is that Goh Chok Tong spoke up only once in parliament after GE 2011, and that was in support of the Population White Paper.

Point 6 raises a scary thought: "We might have to be foreign workers ourselves." That's exactly what the horrible person predicted: one dose of bad governance, and "our women will become maids in other people’s countries, foreign workers."

Point 7 claims markets will react, foreign funds will flee Singapore immediately, our currency will lose its value if if PAP is voted out of the government. There were those who swore Singapore will not survive without the horrible person running the country. Yet on the day he kicked the bucket the Strait Times Index actually advanced quite a few points.

Point 8 reminds us that some candidates only appear every 4-5 years when election comes. That explains why the son of Punggol is now just reappearing in Ang Mo Kio.

Point 9 says nobody like(s) to be the one to give hard truths. Hello, someone wrote a whole book about it. Did the writer read it, or used it as a door stop?

Point 10 asks why are countries sending their diplomats to study from a small little red dot. The country who sent the most "students" for the free education is Communist China. Their generals were even treated to expensive tution in English so they can find their way to the little boys' room without having to resort to subtitles.

Point 11 is easy -  will a weak government fighting for political survival have time for long term projects? The answer is that the weak government is "going to spend all my time thinking what's the right way to fix them, to buy my supporters votes."

Point 12 reminds us what really captures the world's attention on Singapore. No, not the F1 night race, not overblown YOG - it's the highest paid salary for a sitting prime minister. Of course, when CNN finally airs the interview with Amos Yee, we will be number one again on the world stage for all the wrong reasons.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

With Friends Like These

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen at Toa Payoh Stadium rally was asking the crowd who protects Singapore if the defence budget is cut. He cited external threats linked to extremism and radicalised individuals from Malaysia and Indonesia who have gone to Iraq and Syria to fight for Islamic State militants. What he left out were the big mouths who provoke our neighbours and endanger our small nation through their careless tongues. Thinks of the millions saved if these jokers would just learn to zip their lips:

Law and Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam at a Singapore Press Club forum on 27 Aug :
"Their biggest problem is education because they have not integrated their schools. Politically the Chinese MCA wants to maintain control of the population by having Chinese schools. So they take the Chinese out of the mainstream schools, the kids don't integrate. The Malays are in mainstream schools which are becoming more and more Malay and Islamic, which discourages the Chinese from getting into schools. So from a very early age you keep the Malay and Chinese populations apart, how do you integrate them later?"

Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say at a campaign rally on 3 Sep:
"Then in 1965, Singapore and Malaysia separated, because Mr Lee Kuan Yew wanted a nation regardless of language, regardless of race – one that is equal.
So we can’t stay in Malaysia, as the tenet of Malaysia is: Malaysia belongs to the Malays. So we had no choice, we could only separate. So I am thinking, if we didn’t separate in 1965, today you and I would be Malaysians, ‘heng’ (lucky) ah."

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the UOB Plaza lUnchtime rally on 8 Sep:
"Whenever there's haze blowing to us or to Malaysia, somebody in Indonesia will say 'these people are so ungrateful, (for) 11 months we supply them fresh air, never charge for oxygen. One month haze already so unhappy'."

So far only the toothpicker raider has been reproached publicly. Malaysia’s MIC leader, Datuk R. Ramanan, called Lim an “idiot”:
"Lim is a minister who behaves like an idiot. Singapore should be embarrassed for having a cabinet minister like him.
I understand you want to be patriotic but you do not have to throw insults at your neighbour. It does not bode well (for a nation) to have ministers such as him.
If Lim wants to talk about luck, the manpower minister should feel fortunate that there are so many Malaysians working in Singapore and paying taxes to the island republic. Do you not feel lucky about that?"

MCA central committee member Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon added that Mr Lim’s ill remarks were uncalled for especially since both countries have been working toward a better bilateral relationship in recent years. Shanmugam and Lee didn't exactly help in fostering neighbouring ties either.

Lessons From The Titanic

Not exactly Leonardo DiCaprio's "I'm the king of the world" shout
At a People’s Action Party (PAP) lunch-time rally at the promenade area beside UOB Plaza yesterday, you have heard how prime minister Lee Hsien Loong tackles wrong-doing and corruption in high places in Singapore:
"That's why we have the CPIB reporting to me as PM, and if I don't give approval to the CPIB to investigate somebody, the CPIB can go to the president and ask the president for approval. The president says yes, and the CPIB can proceed, against the PM."

The argument would have been more convincing if the president were not related to him by family ties.

No wonder Workers’ Party (WP) chair Sylvia Lim said Goh Chok Tong’s statement that the PAP is its own check was a “more seductive lie”. She was referring to Goh’s remarks that the opposition’s call for checks and balances on the PAP was “a seductive lie”. Goh, while rejecting the call for more eyes on the government from the opposition, had boasted, “We are our own checks.”

The captain of the ill-fated Titanic, Captain Edward John Smith, had failed to take proper heed of ice warnings which was transmitted to him. As the most senior of the White Star Line's captains, he thought he knew it all. We now know one of the reasons for the collision was the direct result of steaming into a dangerous area at too high a speed. We also know the Titanic only had enough lifeboats to carry about half of those on board. There were also stark differences in the survival rates of the different classes: although only 3 percent of first-class women were lost, 54 percent of those in third class died. That's what can happen with growth at all costs, overcrowding and ignoring the Gini coefficient.

The British inquiry findings warned that "what was a mistake in the case of the Titanic would without doubt be negligence in any similar case in the future". Sylvia Lim's own take is that the ruling party might not be what it was in the past and there is no assurance on the quality of future PAP leaders (or past and present pms).

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Someone Must Be Feeling Invincible

“You must separate your public political position from your private business or professional interests,” Lee Hsien Loong thought he had made it plain. “You must not exploit your public position as Government MPs, your close contacts with the Ministers, or your access to government departments and civil servants, for your personal business interest or the benefit of your employers."

That didn't stop People's Action Party (PAP) member of parliament (MP) specifically in-charge of Nee Soon South, Lee Bee Wah, from her company being awarded the contract to provide Civil and Structural engineering services for the Khatib Court development located within Lee’s constituency.

The Singapore Police Force (SPF) had warned that getai performances are “strictly not allowed before, during or after election rallies,” as stipulated under the Public Order (Election Meetings) Regulations 2009.

That didn't stop the PAP MP from being introduced as a PAP candidate for Nee Soon GRC at a 4 September Seventh Month Festival event, with the emcee openly asking the audience to support Lee at the ballot box and vote for her.

This is the same Lee Bee Wah who had falsely alleged that Workers’ Party (WP) supporters mislead elderly residents about how to vote, and uploaded her own graphic of a ballot paper with her Nee Soon GRC team on it with explicit instructions to boot. “Look at this drawing: You should draw a cross next to the party you want to vote for,” she inscribed. Too bad the Facebook posting was not done on "cooling off" day.

Defending her stage time with the getai hotties, Lee stated that she is familiar with political campaigning rules. “Of course I know what the rules are, what I can or cannot do … I’m just supporting the community group in my constituency, as I’ve always done — does this mean that during General Election time I can’t support them?” Thanks to vigilant members of the community, a police report had been lodged about the cameo appearance, and the court gets to decide who is the law in Singapore. The big assumption here is that our SPF boys are responsible, accountable and transparent, and ever ready to respond to reports of infringement of the laws of the land. And not unduly obssessed by the rantings of 16 year olds.

Monday, September 7, 2015

A Deficit Of Logic

Lee Hsien Loong's team may like to borrow words like Responsibility, Accountability and Transparency, but in their perverse version of the English dictionary, they spell only R.A.T. If you thought the rodents burrowing at Bukit Batok were bad, the species unearthed from parliament house are downright despicable.

It was Charles Chong who told Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao that the Punggol East SMC had a surplus of $1 million when the People's Action Party (PAP) handed it over to the Workers' Party (WP). Chong was "misleading, lying to the public." These were same words Lawrence Wong used to slime Chee Soon Juan at a recent forum, and claimed an apology should have been forthcoming.

PAP Pasir Ris-Punggol candidate Zainal Sapari inadvertently confirmed the big lie when he wrote in his 9 Sep Facebook posting, Punggol East’s town council accounts showed that “At the handover to AHPETC on 30 Apr 2013, although there was a deficit in the accumulated routine fund of $282,009...” As students of accounting 101 are familiar, the amount of $303,372 claimable as reimbursement from some fund is merely an account receivable, not cash in hand. There's no guarantee that accounts receivable will not turn into bad debts, especially when the Town Councils Act has opaque rules about what happens when there is a change in party managing a constituency. By same definition, your minimum sum in your CPF account is also "claimable", but we know how that goes.

When chief Low Thia Khiang  held up a printout of the ward’s town council accounts as at April 30, 2013, showing a deficit of more than $280,000, he had the proverbial smoking gun in hand.

In 1997, J.B. Jeyaratnam waved a copy of a police report, complaining that Goh Chok Tong, Tony Tan and Brigadier-General (NS) Lee Hsien Loong had been inside a Cheng San GRC polling station on Polling Day. Then  Law Minister S. Jayakumar put it to Attorney General Chan Sek Keong for a legal opinion, and resulted in the warped logic, "while it is illegal to be within 200 metres of a polling station unless you are voting, IT IS NOT ILLEGAL IF YOU ARE INSIDE." Jeyaratnam was also sued for waving another police report, in support of another candidate in Cheng San, lawyer Tang Liang Hong (who Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong had accused of being a Chinese chauvinist). Goh considered the $20,000 award for damages as "derisory", and on appeal, the damages were raised to $100,000 plus $20,000 in court costs.

Times may have changed, but the rats still proliferate. Let's see how this saga unfolds.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Mouse That Roared

Finger pointing in the wrong direction, Lee Hsien Loong missed the quiet mice in his own team in Parliament. The brigadier general was never strong in marksmanship anyway, he was bested by his own papa at a rifle range in Brunei.

Raymond Lim obviously zipped his lips after being dethroned from his million dollar perch. He was not about to give his successor any tips on running the Transport Ministry, not for a paltry $16,000 a month anyway.

The surprise revelation - and this is according to Hansard, the name for Parliamentary records - is that Goh Chok Tong spoke only once in Parliament since he was re-elected in 2011. He finally got off his seat-warmer bum in February 2013 to support the divisive Population White Paper. He was one of the 77 PAP MPs who endorsed the 6.9 million "planning parameter".
"Regarding population size, I, too, am not sure about the idea of having 6.9 million people. Many Singaporeans cannot imagine how that can work, when their daily experience with 5.3 million people is of crowded trains and buses. It is good that Deputy Prime Minister Teo has reiterated and reassured all of us that 6.9 million is only a planning parameter and not a policy target."

If the parameter is the bull's-eye of a target, and the arrows are estimates, then a relatively high absolute value for the bias means the average position of the arrows is off-target, and a relatively low absolute bias means the average position of the arrows is on target. They may be dispersed, or may be clustered. The relationship between bias and variance is analogous to the relationship between accuracy and precision. Notice the accuracy and precision is specified to a first decimal point. Not 6, not 7, but exactly 6.9 million.

Goh's skewed understanding of the fable of the rooster that crows when the sun rises is that the feathered creature was claiming credit it could cause the sun to rise. Thanks to alternate voices, we now know the rooster was heralding the dawn of a new day.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Minimum Wage

In his attempt to explain why the People’s Action Party (PAP) opted for the Workfare scheme rather than a minimum wage, it is clear why the Social and Family Development Minister Tan Chuan-Jin actually thought collecting cardboard boxes under the heat of the tropical sun is a healthy exercise for our senior citizens. They must be having a blast now that the haze is on, with the 24-hr Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) hovering at the 82-94 range.

The Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) Scheme, like all pseudo help government contrived programmes, makes one jump through many hoops, before you get to see the real cash. Some requirements posted on their website:
  • - must be 35 years old or above on 31 December of the work year;
  • - must work at least two months in a three-month period;
  • - must earn an average gross monthly income of not more than $1,900 for the period worked;
  • - must live in a property with annual value of not more than $13,000 assessed as at 31 December of the preceding year.

So the student who tries to pay his way through school will continue to be exploited by working at a fast food joint for $500. Even if he's desperate enough to collect the WIS handout, he has to first labour for 2 months at slave wages. And if he happens to be staying with his retiree parents in a nice house, he is disincentivized from taking on a part time job to help with the bills. Minimum wage has no such artificial constraints.

So what happens to the employer who refuse to pay the minimum wage? These are the same folks who typically ask their $500 employee whether they want a paycheck with or without CPF deduction to avoid the compulsory contribution. They march to the friendly neighbourhood PAP MP and threaten to close shop and wreck the economy. And dummies like Tan will fall for it hook, line and sinker.

“These companies may not be prepared to pay that wage level. We've seen that happening in other countries,” Tan claimed. Please name those countries at your next rally, first world types preferred.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Behold Thy Alternate Voices

Associate Professor Daniel Goh's opening remarks:
"Good evening voters.
In 2011, many of you supported our call to move Singapore towards a First World Parliament and sent seven elected Workers' Party Members to Parliament. WE have seen the result. Today, we have a more responsive goovernment that is more sensitive to the struggle struggles of the people. We have seen policy changes responding to the needs of Singaporeans. But the journey towards a First World Parliament has only just begun. We cannot let our guard down now."

And here's the rest of his message:
We must continue our journey to protect our future and the future of our children. To protect our future, you have to further entrench your power and your rights in Parliament.
You need to take charge of your future, but this is not possible if we have an imbalanced Parliament with an overwhelming majority of ruling party MPs.
This election is a landmark election in the new era in Singapore.
Our formula for success in the last 50 years was to allow the ruling party to monopolise power, to exercise control over every aspect of our society, and set the direction for us. This was largely based on the mentality  that we only have a small talent pool that could lead Singapore. But times have changed. Our talent pool has vastly expanded through education and exposure. Many talented Singaporeans today excel in their own fields. However, our enterprises struggle to take off in the global arena and our workers struggle with productivity.
This is not for lack of talent, but because Singapoeans are not empowered to seize our future for ourselves.
For Singapore to become an outstanding smart nation in the next 50 years, we must build and nutrure confident professional, business and people sectors unfettered by unhealthy political monopoly. To do this, people must be able to think out of the box; people should be able to express themselves freely and debate issues within known limits as a multi-racial and multi-religious society. People must also feel secure and be assured of their rights against unreasonable and disproportionate actions from the Government and political leaders.
We have the opportunity now with the General Election to take that step to become such an outstanding nation. We can empower ourselves through a Parliament that truly represents the diversity of Singapore society for our future as a nation.
We are the masters of Singapore.
Our political leaders should serve us and facilitate empowerment of the people, not encourage subservience and groupthink. You have to decide whether having more ruling party MPS resulting in an imbalanced Parliament is in the best interest of the future of Singapore and your children.
Your vote is a signal to the ruling party that it cannot do what it wants without taking you seriously. It will signal to what extent the ruling party can deprive you of your power to participate in the policy-making process in the name of acting in your best interest.
Before 2011, the ruling party cruised along with policies that led to escalating cost of living, employment and retirement insecurity, and strained infrastructure due to runaway immigration. Your vote changed the course, but change for a better future is only just beginning.
Singapore is one of the richest countries in the world, but Singaporeans still feel stressed and disempowered at every stage of our lives. This is not right. The Government is planning for a 6.9 million population to solve the problems at hand. This is heading towards the wrong course. We have to change this.
Your vote is your power.
Use it to empower yourself.
We understand that to exercise the power of your vote, you need to have an alternative party deserving of your support. The Workers' Party is your credible choice. We are a rational, responsible and respectable party. We do not oppose for the sake of opposing and take a balanced approach in politics. We have worked hard to offer a a slate of capable candidates, balanced between seniority and youth, experience and idealism, but all united in seeking the empowerment of Singaporeans.
You can empower yourself to make decisions for your own future. Vote Workers' Party. Empower your future. Good night.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Hail victory! Hail victory!

Teo Soh Lung once wrote that her mother would walk away from the television set whenever the ghastly image of the horrible person appeared onscreen. If you had gone into the kitchen for a drink of water when his successor took to the mike, you would have wondered who was raising a ruckus when the next speaker came on. Maybe someone had changed channels, and it was Hitler ranting away in the famous scene from "Der Untergang" (English title:"Downfall").

It was no less than the "keechiu" general, punching his clenched fist into the air, in an uncanny resemblance of the Bavarian corporal rousing his faithful with "Seig Heil! Seig Heil!" (English: "Hail victory! Hail victory!"). Screeching away for all his high octave's worth at the massive turnout - we have to resort to imagination here, state television cameras seldom pan to a shot of the actual size of the gathering - he lambasts the "quality" and "inexperience" of the opposition party candidates.

Maybe he's not aware that his master is leading a batch of anal neophytes at Ang Mo Kio (pun intended, they include the colorectal surgeon Koh Poh Koon). The most seasoned of the lot actually led his team into the wrong entrance at the nomination center, and had to double back. When a reporter asked why they took so long to finally emerge, the lame leader coughed up something goofy about "making sure of dotting the i's and t's".

It would have been useful if Chan had addressed, and perhaps taken pot shots at, some of the innovative proposals from the alternate voices. The Workers' Party's idea of a 10-year "through train" to do away with the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) is surely worth a few rounds of robust debate. But no, their preferred weapons of destruction seem to be the usual fifty shades of character assassination. The horrible person would have approved.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Painted Target On His Back

Wow, if looks could kill, Chee Soon Juan would be a dead man by now. It is not exactly clear what set off Lawrence Wong, but it was written all over his face and body language - pugnacity, rambunctiousness, belligerence - all in glorious full high definition (FHD). Justification enough to invest in a television set that supports the new DVB-T2 digital broadcast standard.

Apparently it had something to do with what the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) chief had said earlier in the day about "moving forward" and "constructive politics". Wong dug up history from 1996 ("when I was just stating work in the civil service") about how a select committee determined data submitted was false and Chee was charged for lying in public, and demanded an apology. Chee admitted that way back then his party was the only one who took the government to task over medical subsidy, and added even George Yeo, as health minister, "repeatedly" had apologized for some facts that the government gotten wrong there.

Chee tried to enlighten the rookie politician and instant noodle minister (add hot water and wait 2 minutes) about political discourse in pre-internet and pre-social media days. Unfortunately, the moderator had to cut him off - opposition members on the panel are allotted half the speaking time given to the incumbents.

The key difference in information dissemination is referenced when Chee issued a challenge to George Yeo to an online debate in 2009:
"You will note that the active censorship of the mass media prevents the news and views of the SDP reaching the mainstream public. The little information that reaches Singaporeans about my party is often biased and inaccurate. Your party, on the other hand, is always positively portrayed.
The Internet offers no such refuge. It is a greater leveler of information flow. In this medium, the SDP's views are transmitted accurately, as are yours. We are judged by readers on the merits of our arguments - not by how the Singapore Press Holdings spins and adulterates the information."

Other opposition members on the panel suggested this election should be about the future, no more grandfather stories about the past 50 years, please. Even they must have had enough of grainy footage in sepia filmed during the time when the agitated minister was not yet born.
All not so quiet on the western front

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Today Is Nomination Day

It is Nomination Day today (Sept 1), the day when official campaigning is permitted by law to start: "Candidates can start campaigning after the notice of contested election is issued, up to the start of the day before Polling Day (which is the Cooling-Off Day)." Expect your television screens to be flooded by more archived images of the "founding father" a.k.a. the horrible person.

Institute of Policy Studies’ Gillian Koh expects the ruling party to campaign on the “foundational” pillar of good governance. Another academic from the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Department of Political Science said that while numbers can be trotted out to show there have been improvements since the 2011 GE — such as more flats constructed, reduced inflow of foreign workers — it is harder to convince people over “intangibles” such as one’s sense of job security, and the perception of being squeezed out by foreigners.

It is easier to spot the tangibles, such as when residents at Pasir Ris ONE discovered that the corridors were only 1.2m wide, the bare minimum required under the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) rules. No one has yet come forth to accuse the developers, SingHaiyi Group and Kay Lim Holdings, of grossly profiteering from the BCA loophole. Minister Khaw Boon Wan, who helms the BCA, is unlikely to order a probe into their books.

It is also difficult to prove that the mother of all issues, liberal immigration policies, is the root cause of lost jobs, transportation woes and unaffordable housing. Opposition members in parliament may question what accounts for the drastic fall in job growth from 28,300 jobs in Q1 2014 and 40,700 jobs in Q4 2014 to just 300 jobs in Q1 2015, but transparent answers may not be forthcoming. It is cold comfort that the union leader turned Manpower Minister, Lim Swee Say, declared aloud in parliament, "Our aim is to moderate the inflow of foreign manpower, at a pace that we can accommodate." In other words, the onerous strain in infrastructure which we have been putting up with, is here to stay. That's the stark future for the next generation, if the incumbents are allowed to have their pace of governance.