The PAP’s image has taken a big hit with its handling of the CPF money. Netizens are making all kinds of suspicious and derogatory remarks of the PAP and forming a very negative impression of what it is doing with their money. Yes, it is a perception, but it is a very bad perception that the PAP has to live with. Can it ignore such a perception and think that everything will be fine and the next GE will just be fine without doing anything to clear the damaging image, without correcting the impression?

Here is an example posted by a blogger

• pioneer_generation:
July 11, 2014 at 8:21 am (Quote)

The PAP just cannot keep their grubby hands off any money belonging to the citizens. The excess premiums are desperately needed to make up for all their poor investments and losses after being cheated and easily swindled by the banks, crooks and sweet talkers. They are like little spoilt children in a toy store. I want, I want, I want…… without ever to have to pay for it. Now they find the cupboard bare, so they have to retain the citizen’s CPF, rob their medisave funds and sell them grossly inflated HDB flats to make up the shortfalls. We are really in a fix! Fixed by the PAP! We have to unfix ourselves by kicking them out so that later generations can have a fresh start. Never again should we give any political party unlimited and uncontrolled power. After all they are only humans. They cheat, lie, screw around like anybody else.

The strong words used and the thinking behind the words speak a lot about what the blogger thinks. And if more and more people are thinking this way, PAP will have a tough time living it up and living up to this image.

How would the PAP’s PR team tackle this adverse publicity and a perception that will be costly if not explained away? It would take a very stubborn or confident PAP to think that they can live with it and continue to do as they think right, be like deaf frogs and keep on climbing up the mountain, ignoring all the noises from the lunatic fringe. It will take a very brave man, or a very stupid one, to think all is fine. Just keep delaying the return of the CPF money under all the good and caring excuses. Just keep loading up on the premiums for the MediShield Life for all contingencies and for the rainy days of tomorrow. The people will understand and accept them quietly like in the past and will keep on voting for the party and all its good policies.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean

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