Sep 13, 2015
It seems that the bookies had forecasted more opposition wins as all 89 seats were contested. The large crowds at rallies held by the opposition supported the forecast. The PAP would lose more seats as it had lost to the opposition in by-election due to a PAP MP resignation from an affair around 2011. There was a pattern of favouring the opposition to check the powers of a dominant party. Some high-handed civil servants caused much unhappiness and these have had impact on the ruling party.
But the PAP won with a bigger share of the votes. The PAP had more concern with the problems of the ordinary people, like job competition from foreigners, subway train breakdowns and high cost of housing. These were bread and butter issues brought up by the opposition in 2011. These issues were tackled well and shown to be caring.
So, there was a general increase in PAP's votes across the 83 seats and now it has the majority, it has the support of over 70% of the population. The bookies may have lost money. As for me, I have always voted for the PAP as it has a record of good governance as evident by the progress seen in infrastructure and economy.
For example, in Potong Pasir. It looks much brighter under the PAP which won the seat only in 2011 when Mr Chiam See Tong left to campaign in Bishan-Toa Payoh, leaving his wife to rally the residents to vote for her in the 2011. She lost by around 118 votes. This time, she around 30% as the residents are happy with the hard working and persevering PAP MP whom I have not met. The election success speaks for his efforts. I predicted he would win in a video 7 days before the election as he had the advantage of being an incumbent and had worked hard. I am not in his constituency but I could see the improvements.
Where other countries have high employment, here in Singapore, the unemployment is probably 5%. Therefore Singaporean employees are like kings as they are in great demand and many do not want weekend work. A work-life balance for them. So, who does the weekend and evening jobs in the private sector? Some employers need to close their operations. In 4 years' time, there may be a higher unemployment rate and the government gets the blame. Will the civil servants become more high-handed since they can't be corrupted with money?
Many Singaporeans including myself have had suffered from some of these high-handed unsympathetic civil servants in the regulatory authorities. I gave two examples:
1. A friend who used to vote for the PAP told me he voted for the opposition to check the powers of the PAP. He had seen many financial hardship cases. In one case, the woman asked for financial help to treat her husband's cancer. The bureaucrat said she did not qualify as her son was working. By the time the government gave her the check, she told the officer to present it to the coffin where her husband was in. This friend said that the government has lots of money and in this case, could have helped out. So he stopped voting for the PAP.
2. Some years ago, I did not meet the deadline for 100% completion of re-building of my veterinary premises.
The only fittings I did not have were no wooden cabinets and a receptionist table. There were the airconditioners, the water, electricity, the drugs, the anaesthetic machines, the lighting, the crates. The AVA officer, Dr Lau E K came to inspect and pointed to the absence of these items. He said I could sue the contractor for the delays. In any case, he would not license me to practise till I had these two items. He had the power and he exercise his power absolutely. Mine would be the first veterinary clinic that would not be licensed for lacking in wooden cabinets and a receptionist counter. Never mind that I had mobile cabinets and a table and chairs for the receptionist and clients. There was no mercy. Bad luck to me. He said no to my appeal to him to re-consider and walked out to go home after the inspection.
I just can't believe his lack of concern whereas the HDB officers tried their best to expedite my construction at all times and these HDB officers were also regulatory government officers. I appealed to the Director of Primary Production, Dr Ngiam and he could see that my clinic was operational. He permitted my licence renewal.
It is a hard to believe story but it is a true life experience I share with readers as regards the high-handedness of some regulatory officers.