Back in the 1970s and 1980s, it was clear why the people chose to vote for the PAP. Singapore registered strong economic growth and there was confidence that the government under LKY was able to sustain the phenomenon.
Consider this: Your average factory worker earned $500 a month back then and a bowl of noodles cost 50 cents. Disposable spending (as a percentage of income) was high and people could afford to live comfortably. The price of a 3-room flat was only $20,000 in the 1970s and Singstat showed that 1 in 3 middle-class families owned cars by the 1980s.
Those who chose to be gainfully employed could live a decent lifestyle without financial worry, with everything catered for and adequate retirement security from a CPF interest rate that was as high as 6.5%! Better still, there was no minimum sum and you would withdraw your CPF monies upon reaching the age of 55.
Now, the social contract between the PAP and electorate seems to have gotten on worse terms.
Today things are drastically different; a worker in the same position will be earning $1200 (2.4x) because of the influx of cheap workers but the same noodles costs $3.5 (7x)! PAP doesn’t care, with their ministers even saying you can buy a BTO flat with that kind of income!
Even for the middle class earning $3500 to $4000, they have quite little disposable income left after battling the high costs of living. As a result, they have no to little savings and assets except for their HDB flats. A car becomes a luxury out of reach to many.
And this is not the worse part.
When it comes to settling down, the OA will mostly be empty after paying their mortgage and all they have is their SA. Given the small percentage which goes into SA (and the 4% which barely manages to fight inflation), retirement is a difficult thing in a country which lacks social security.
Later at 40, they have children to feed and are at their most vulnerable but are still at risk of losing their jobs to foreign ‘talents’ thanks to PAP’s ‘cheaper, faster and better’ mantra. Their children are enslaved to NS obligations while PAP gives scholarships to foreigners!
The first batch of PAP leaders were not paid highest salary in the world but they contributed and improved our lives. Now we have highest paid yet greedy arrogant uncaring toads who prove they are not doing as well as their predecessors who were paid so much lesser than them.
So we have to examine PAP’s policy thoroughly when they say that they have given us a better life! The difference between 1st and 3rd generation PAP leaders is as different as day and night! Instead of Swiss standards of living, we have Swiss costs of living with Russian standards!