There are a number of flawed policy pillars that need to be addressed quickly or the PAP will torn apart at the ballot box.
1. THE DEMOGRAPHIC EQUATION
S’pore is ageing rapidly. The stop at 2 family planning policy & subsequent educational pressures had reduced TFR below adequate replacement numbers. In short, the future workers of S’pore will have to contribute more to support more retirees. In addition, CPF backstop to retirees will reduce consumption to mere subsistence.
2. THE HDB LEASEHOLD DILEMMA
Minister Lawrence Wong stirred up a hornet’s nest when he said that at the end of the HDB’s flat 99 year lease, it will be zero value. This runs contrary to previous PAP pronouncement of their Asset Enhancement Policy. The problem is called the lease drop-off cliff. 80% of S’poreans lived in HDB flats & for some, their only sole asset. If they can’t monetize the asset, how will they live in their old age?
3. BRICK ‘N MORTAR & THE REAL ESTATE QUESTION
In the US, Amazon is wrecking havoc upon brick ‘n mortar retailing. They just bought grocery chain Whole Foods – overnite, all Supermarket share prices felled. In S’pore, Orchard Road has increasing vacant retail spaces. It’s a Structural problem re: REITs holders. In S’pore real estate, the easy money eco-system encourage people to load up on new condo launches as a sure-win investment. But the real estate equation doesn’t work out because our PMETs class is nearly extinct; our demographic profile is ageing (& less nuclei family formation); & foreigner class is transient (many of S’pore Chinamen return to China for better opportunities). Greater fool theory?
4. ANTI-GLOBALIZATION & STRATEGIC PIVOT
TPPA ended hopes of more global financialization. In fact, tax authorities are on the hunt for tax evasion re: Rio Tinto, Caterpillar. China’s OBOR were carefully constructed to bypass S’pore. S’pore foreign policy is tied to the past – it showed as all our ASEAN neighbours pivoted to China – the new growing economic power & leaving S’pore standing all alone. And what did we do to get this treatment? Jokes like free smokes & pork soup. Isn’t it self inflicted wounds. Ironic as PAP can muzzle it’s people but yet can’t contain the loose cannon from within.