This is an email I wrote to our Prime Minister on 3 Sep 2020. I guess it’s kind of pointless, but if anyone on my page wants to understand what’s wrong with PM using the free rider analogy, this might potentially be helpful.
Dear PM Lee
I am writing this to you, knowing that you’ll probably never read this personally but I’m taking a chance.
I, am a potential voter in Aljunied, and I have always identified as a opposition voter. And as Leader of the Opposition (LO) has predicted, I am genuinely insulted and disappointed at being referred to as a free rider.
This free rider analogy you have employed is totally wrong. The free rider problem, in economics, refers to when non-tax-payers take advantage of tax-payers by using public goods that are non-excludable, such as street lighting, our civil defence and armed forces.
Hence, how on earth am I a free rider? I pay tax, I serve 22 months of my life for my country. That equates to around 80 thousand SGD in lost income if I were to earn an average 4.5k job as a university graduate.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but as the government of Singapore, you serve Singaporeans. First and foremost, I am a Singaporean. I said it every morning for 12 years of my life. “We, the citizens of Singapore”. So would it be wrong of me to be benefiting from the government’s policies, even if it’s the one I didn’t vote for? Remember. I still contribute to my country, as well as its reserves.
If anything, please don’t be a hypocrite PM. Your party has said in Parliament, that we must not let diversity lead to polarisation among Singaporeans. But yet you are creating this divide between PAP and opposition voters. Don’t you think that’s contradictory?
As a youth in my country, I am genuinely worried about my country’s future in your leadership. All I ask for, is to be respected as a Singaporean. We’re supposed to be accepting of differences, even political. So don’t denigrate me for choosing the opposition, because I’m just exercising my right to vote as a Singaporean. After all, we’re apparently a democracy, isn’t it?