Why is PAP thinking of elections, now? Virus election kills!

Here’s the transcript of the video on why PAP should not call for a virus election.

Fellow Singaporeans, there are more and more coronavirus infections every day.

Yet the Prime Minister distracts himself and the government with an election.

He wants to seek a “fresh mandate and a full term”, when he has one more year to go.

This is highly irresponsible.

If this virus crisis continues beyond a year, he can always invoke emergency powers to postpone elections.

If UK and Sri Lanka can postpone their elections to focus on the crisis, why can’t Singapore?

The PAP should not ask for a new job.

They should just do their job!

If the PAP calls for elections, they hope to benefit from Singaporeans’ uncertainty and desperation.

This is a disgraceful and dishonourable way to seek the people’s trust.

Elections should be fought with facts, not fear.

Singaporeans’ lives should come first, not the self-interest of PAP leaders.

The PAP must rule out a virus election!

Budget 2020 – An Old Strategy that will not Meet New Challenges

Contrary to his claim, DPM Heng’s strategic financial plan in Budget 2020 will not prepare the country for the long term. It’s an old strategy of an investment-driven, export-oriented economy that was suitable for the past few decades but are either inappropriate or inadequate in meeting new challenges.

These challenges are of a different kind; they are disruptions caused by new factors such as geopolitical rivalries, technology advance, climate change or global epidemics like the current coronavirus. The net effect is to lower demand and supply, usually significantly and sometimes permanently. While we cannot simply wish these disruptions away, we can and should build and develop “anchors” that will stabilize and hold Singapore firmly and not be “blown off”.

Domestic consumption

To do so, we have to increase domestic consumption and investment significantly so that whatever happens outside Singapore, our economy can still grow and our people can continue to be employed. This extra spending should be targeted at essential sectors such as healthcare and education, help families cope with the rising cost of living, reinvigorate the local neighbourhood economy of shops, markets and eateries, and lower costs of doing business. This boost to essential consumption (which I have estimated at $25 billion) will bring the welfare of our people to First World standards and substantially reduce business cost by removing and replacing the 8 to 10.5% Medisave contribution with full government subsidy on healthcare.

Domestic Investment

To increase essential investment that will really prepare our country and people for the long term, I have proposed building more schools and hospitals with the necessary increase in manpower, public flats with full land subsidy and a new SERS programme to solve the problem of the 99-year lease expiry. In addition, I have also suggested a Midcareer Change and Upgrade Fund for our PMETs, a Young Enterprise Fund to inspire our young to dream big and a Green Fund to tackle climate change. This investment package will cost $10 billion.

No tax increase, No bankrupting the country

This combined package of $35 billion ($25 billion plus $10 billion) is not one-off boost to the economy but an annual one that is sustainable for the long term. It does not require any tax increase nor a dig into our past reserves (meaning not touching the principal sum of our savings). The consumption part of the package of $25 billion comes from the long term expected real rate of return of 4% on our reserves of over $1 trillion (=$1,000 billion) while the investment package of $10 billion is to be paid out of the revenue from the sale of state land leases (averaging $16 billion a year in the past 10 years).

The details are spelt out in my economic plan “Take Back Our Money, Be True First World” which is available at my website https://tanjeesay.sg

Letter from Maurice Tay to Chan Chun Sing

Out of 12 new cases today, 9 are from SAFRA. I reproduce below a letter from a certain Maurice Tay who points out the direct cause of the problem and who should be made accountable. (I do not know who Maurice Tay is but he talks sense and I am reproducing his letter here.)

“*Why non-essential event was given go-ahead despite DORSCON orange alert?*

Letter to People’s Association Chairman, Lee Hsien Loong and Deputy Chairman Chan Chun Sing

Dear Sir,
It beggars belief that such a large scale, non-essential event was given the go-ahead to proceed despite a Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) orange alert in place on the 7 February. For it to be given the tag of a “private function” misleads the public into thinking it was a small family function or such when it was later revealed that the two events hosted a combined total of a few hundred people, most of whom attended singing classes under the purview of People’s Association (PA) and/or Resident Committees (RCs). On top of it, the event(s) were held in the premises of SAFRA Jurong.

I think the public would like to know if PA/RC had any knowledge of a function being organized that gathered a few hundred people in an enclosed air-conditioned environment. The attendees of this function were part of the PA/RC singing classes.

If PA/RC were not in the dark, what happened to the oft-touted social responsibility advocated by our government in a bid to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus? As a grassroots body, where is the “lead by example” approach?

Why hadn’t SAFRA Jurong erred on the side of caution given the scale of the function in question when DORSCON orange was already in place? Even private condominiums have ceased the booking of all function rooms and bbq facilities in a bid to do their part to contain the spread. The AOG Church which had originally planned for a function to be held on the 8 February, had made the socially responsible move of cancelling the event after the DORSCON alert was raised to orange.

This, to me, is a classic case of playing Russian Roulette on the part of the singing coach(es) and whoever was responsible for letting this event take place. Well, the suspense is over and unfortunately for the larger community and our medical workers, those who chose to play this risky game lost. We now have this SAFRA Jurong case as the second-largest cluster in Singapore. It is not a game we can afford to keep playing given our limited resources.

Yours faithfully,
Maurice Tay. “

US rich need not fear Bernie Sanders’s love of Nordic socialism.

I read this article in the Financial Times, “Wealthy Americans need not fear Bernie Sanders’s love of Nordic socialism”.

“…they are also more egalitarian, since there are fewer very poor people while the extremely wealthy own a smaller share of total national income.”

The Nordic welfare benefits are probably the best in the First World that are a key part of my proposal for a true First World society for Singapore as outlined in my economic plan “Take Back Our Money, Be True FIrst World” (click https://tanjeesay.sg).

Free Public Transport in Luxembourg

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-luxembourg-politics-transportation/luxembourg-becomes-first-country-to-make-public-transport-free-idUSKBN20N0RX?fbclid=IwAR02z9gMLwNvMTTnewUWSBbF5fEp15U9nxdx9NahyxVB6I4hZb1XpzV6BGU

Even before public transport becomes free from last Saturday, Luxembourg households paid only 0.6% of their total monthly expenses on bus and train fares, the lowest in the European Union where the average household pays 2.5%., Belgium 1.1%, Denmark 1.4%.

How much of the average household budget do Singaporeans spend on public transport? A much higher 3.5%.

What should Singapore do to bring First World welfare to the people, not only in public transport but in many other essential services, all without increasing any taxes or bankrupt the country? You can read about my proposals in my economic plan “Take Back Our Money, Be True First World” available at https://tanjeesay.sg

拿回我们的钱,当个真正的第一世界

This is a summary of the full report which can be found in English, Mandarin & Malay.

一个不平等的社会

新加坡是一个不平等的社会。我们不是一个真正的第一世界国家。其他第一世界国家有我们没有的东西。丹麦、芬兰、日本、韩国、荷兰和挪威等国家更加平等。他们把更多的钱花在他们的人民身上。他们的政府更晓得取之社会用之社会的道理,人民行动党政府对人民征税过高,对人民的支出更是过低。他们从人们那里拿走了一整只鸡后只给了我们一只鸡翅。因此,政府积累的巨额盈余,目前已超过1兆新币(1万亿新币)。

这些巨额储备的确产生了可观的投资回报,但政府只将高达2%的极小比例分配给国家预算。这是他们预计储备金将实现更高的长期实际年回报率4%后所做下的决定。我们建议将4%的全额预期回报率拨入预算案,因为这样仍可保留储备的本金不变,而这些储备仍可作十足投资以赚取未来的回报。这就是挪威利用其超过1万亿美元的主权国家财富所做的事情,使国家预算每年都能得到预期的全部回报。

第一世界福利

新加坡预算全额缴纳4%将意味着2019年可用于帮助人民的资金超过420亿新币,而不是分配的170亿新币,额外的250亿新币足以让我们取消7%的消费税,增加对医疗、教育和公共交通的补贴,并向儿童和老年人提供适度的现金津贴,从而提振当地经济,帮助小企业发展(商店、面包店、超市、小贩中心、美食街、餐馆)。

如何持续走向未来

虽然这些计划将大大改善人民的日常福利,但我们必须通过维护和建立他们在国家的长期利益,将其维持到未来。我们必须正视建屋局旧单位价值下降的问题。与其用VERS拖延20年,我们应该继续实施新的SERS,而不是在政府这样做不再有利可图的时候放弃它。同时,我们必须使建屋计划真正为年青人负担得起,不应将土地成本计入建屋计划单位的定价内。为对支付土地成本的早期房屋业主公平起见,这些新单位的转售需要施加限制,例如大幅延长最低入住期或要求转售回建屋局。

我们还应该在医院和学校等相关部门进行大量投资,建设更多这样的部门,并使医疗保健和教育人员增加一倍。为了帮助我们在职业中期的专业人士,经理,行政人员和技术人员PMETs有效地克服动荡,我们应该用职业中期发展和升级基金来资助他们的职业转变计划。新经济中充斥着小型初创企业发展成为引领经济增长并创造数以千计新就业岗位的科技巨头的例子。我们可以用10亿新币的青年企业基金来激励和帮助年轻人实现他们的创业梦想。在新经济中,应对气候变化必须成为当务之急。这应该是一项涉及年轻人的有根据的倡议,特别是因为这关系到他们的未来。我们可以而且应该设立10亿新币的绿色基金,以促进这一倡议的工作,减少碳排放,保护我们免受海平面上升的影响。

这项将我们强大的福利系统维持到未来的计划估计耗资高达100亿新币。由於涉及保障未来的问题,因此,这项计划的经费应该而且可以来自卖地收入。国际货币基金组织的国际预算格式使我们能够做到这一点。过去10年的卖地总收入为1580亿新币,平均每年接近160亿新币。以未来每年平均近160亿新币的卖地收入计算,资助拟议的福利可持续发展计划仍有60亿新币的巨额结余,可为未来带来投资回报。

没有新的税收,不是“掠夺”储备,不是让国家破产

多年来,人民行动党政府一直将公共支出主要集中在投资上,对人民福利的支出很少。人民行动党的态度是,福利将使我们的人民失去动力,导致高税收,并使国家破产。这项建议所引述的事实显示,我们建议的第一世界福利计划无须加税,反而可以取消消费税、教育和医疗收费等税项。此外,我们只会花掉储备的投资回报,而不会触及本金。我们的国家不会破产,但会继续保持超过本金的储备完好无损,这将继续产生回报,以维持我们的福利支出。

双引擎经济:发展与福利并举

现在是我们拿回我们的钱来改善我们的福利的时候了。我们现在必须摒弃人民行动党的一边倒的增长思想,同时启动两条战线的经济引擎,像一个真正的第一世界社会一样,实现经济增长和人民福祉的共同发展。这是我们应得的,也是我们能够做到的。现在是我们拿回我们的钱,建立一个真正的第一世界社会的时候了。

“没有公款这回事。只有纳税人的钱。” 玛格丽特·撒切尔,1983年10月

“拿回我们的钱,成为真正的第一世界”—— 陈如斯,2020年2月

Take Back Our Money, Be True First World

This is a summary of the full report which can be found in English, Mandarin & Malay.

An Unequal Society, Not True First World

Singapore is an unequal society and not a true First World country. Other First World countries have things that we do not have. They spend more money on their people. Their governments give back what they take from the people. But the PAP government over-taxes and under-spends on the people. They take away one whole chicken from the people and give us only a chicken wing. As a result, the government accumulates huge surpluses that now exceed $1 trillion ($1,000 billion).

These huge reserves generate substantial investment returns. But the government allocates only a tiny proportion of up to 2% to the national budget even though they expect to achieve a higher long term annual real rate of return of 4%. We propose allocating the full expected rate of return of 4% to the budget as this would still leave the principal sum of the reserves untouched. This is what Norway does with its sovereign wealth of over US$1 trillion, giving the full expected return to the national budget each year.

First World Welfare

A full 4% contribution for the Singapore budget would mean over $42 billion available to be spent to help the people in 2019, instead of the allotted sum of $17 billion, and the extra $25 billion is more than enough to enable us to

  • abolish the 7% GST,
  • provide full subsidy for healthcare,
  • provide full subsidy for education (no fees for school, ITE, poly, university),
  • provide cash allowances to children and the elderly which will in turn boost the local economy and help small businesses (shops, eateries etc ), and
  • lower fares of public transport.

How to Sustain into the Future

We can and must sustain this First World welfare well into the future by safeguarding and building up the people’s long term stakes in the country –

  • continue with a new SERS to counter the declining value of old HDB flats,
  • make HDB flats truly affordable to the young by not charging the cost of land, adding additional restrictions on the resale of these new flats,
  • build more hospitals and schools, and double healthcare and educational personnel,
  • fund career change plans of mid-career PMETs facing career disruptions,
  • inspire and fund the young to realise their dreams of creating technology giants and
  • support and fund initiatives of the young to tackle climate change.

This program is estimated to cost up to $10 billion. As it involves safeguarding the future, it should and can be funded by revenues from land lease sales. The past 10 years of land sales had generated an average of nearly $16 billion a year which is $6 billion more than required.

No New Taxes, Not “Raiding” the Reserves, Not Bankrupting the Country

No tax increase nor new tax is required to provide and sustain our proposed First World welfare programmes; instead taxes such as the GST and fees and charges for education and healthcare can be removed. Moreover, we will only be spending the investment returns on our reserves without touching the principal sum. Our country will not go bankrupt but will continue to have more than the principal sum of our reserves intact that will continue to generate returns to sustain our welfare spending.

Dual-Engine Economy: Growth & Welfare Together

We must now abandon the lopsided growth ideology of the PAP and fire the engine of the economy on both fronts at the same time, achieving economic growth and people’s welfare together like a true First World society. We deserve it and can achieve it.

It is time that we take back our money and build a true First World society.

“There is no such thing as public money. There is only taxpayers’ money.”
– Margaret Thatcher, October 1983

“Take Back Our Money, Be True First World”
– Tan Jee Say, February 2020

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