Many Singaporeans still don’t get it. The Pioneer Generation Package was not designed to benefit our pioneers.
The Pioneer Generation Package (PGP) was designed by civil servants with a profit motive, to channel more CPF for GIC to invest and to coincide with the next GE.
Singaporeans must remember the PAP runs our country as a corporation and civil servants and politicians are rewarded by a set economic KPIs. They reward themselves according to the revenue and profit generated by their policies. For example, Josephine Teo, SMOS for Transport, recently linked the increase in traffic speeds to the increase in ERP charges. Did anyone expect Teo to say the opposite?
It is therefore not surprising the biggest component of the PGP is not cash but CPF Medisave contributions. The PAP does not want to resolve the real issue of exorbitant healthcare costs because lowering healthcare costs, and therefore profits, will contribute negatively to their performance. With this understanding in mind, we can only expect more PGP-related issues.
The PGP is used to support high healthcare costs which have been privatised by the PAP. Take for example the $38 consultation fee charged by a polyclinic doctor which is way above that of a private clinic and medication which could cost higher than retail price.
The PGP pumps money into CPF Medisave accounts which is then channeled into GIC. If the PAP sincerely wants to show recognition to our pioneers, there would not be tens of thousands of elderly Singaporeans doing menial work.
With the PGP, the PAP will actually be lowering the standard of healthcare service. Lower-income citizens who had not been able to afford medical attention will now contribute to longer waiting time to see a doctor. Seeking medical attention is good for them but the problem is the PAP did not plan any infrastructure increase because the PGP was a short term quick fix to a chronic issue, designed for political mileage.
Since there will be minimal additional expenditure, and unless the PAP provides a break down, the $8 billion figure is really questionable ie no increase in the number of doctors, healthcare workers and medical facilities.
The PGP helps to support huge Medishield Life insurance premiums next year. The PAP will gain some support from pioneers who will be shielded from the doubling of premium increase with subsidies. But guess what? The PAP will actually pass on the increased costs to non-pioneer citizens.
The Medishield Life insurance scheme is administered by the PAP government which of course will be profitable. Aren’t HDB, ERP, COE, NTUC, ICA, etc. profitable?
Goh Chok Tong, ex PM, likens the relationship of Singaporeans and the government to one of family members. Of course he has wrongly assumed the government to be the parents and citizens as PAP’s forever-must-be-obedient children. Goh lived in la la land when he was the PM and has not given up his la la citizenship.
Question for Goh:
Do real parents need to advertise to the world they are looking after elderly family members with a package similar to the PGP? As a parent of three children, am I expected to announce to the world I will be providing basic healthcare for them? Will any responsible “parents” allow tens of thousands of elderly to slog till their last breath? Such an analogy really makes Goh look sillier than ever.
PAP’s definiton of taking care of the pioneer generation and recognising their contributions to the country?
So what is the PGP all about? PAP providing jobs so the government can continue to channel billion$ into Temasek and GIC from their CPF?
The PGP was conceived to, again, profit at citizens’ expense and for political mileage. That is the reason why citizens are still confused after months of explanation by the PGP Taskforce set up with tax dollars. In a desperate attempt to get a buy in, the PAP has now decided to throw more tax dollars to set up a new office, the Pioneer Generation Office.
The PAP should not have designed a complicated scheme and ended up with unintended consequences. It appears setting up offices will be PAP’s ‘solution’ in future – Pioneer Generation Office (PoGO), Municipal Services Office (MiSO), .. what next? An office to oversee the entire government like maybe the Singapore Government Office, SoGO?
Taking care of elderly citizens and vulnerable groups of Singaporeans is a basic responsibility of every government and is pretty straightforward.
If the PAP is sincere in helping citizens, it should simply remove the profit element from all its policies. Don’t complicate a basic responsibility with so many terms and conditions. If it doesn’t remove the profit element, perhaps it’s about time the people remove the PAP.