The recent online debate about how foreign students are perceived to receive much more aid in terms of their education in Singapore than Singaporeans themselves had the government scrambling with their PR machinery, first inducing the POFMA to Lim Tean who first made the claim, and then the government acting by announcing more bursary and aid to local students from next year onwards. It is clear that such issues resonates with Singaporeans, and thus, the government had to act fast.
It does not matter in this case whether the CPF Board was justified to to refuse to aid the woman, this was between them and the aggrieved party. The public need to be informed why the Board has its justification, just as we have been told the mother's side of the story. After all, everyone can make their own conclusions after hearing both sides of the story. But was there really a need to name the mother, and even inform the public of the daughter's education background, whereby they indicated the daughter receives government bursaries to help pay her school fees? Why stoop so low?
However, the Minister Ong's statement that he felt this should be reviewed is simply him trying to get onside with the Singaporean public once again, to show that the government listens to the ground, especially as Singapore is nearing the election period. And just to buy himself and the MOE more time, he said that he will only address this in Parliament next year. Why not just address this now? Trying to earn more goodwill from the voting public next year?
After all, how many Singaporean parents can afford to have a maid to look after their kids on top of sending them to childcare? That in itself will cost a bomb. And who can afford to drive their kids around while they go for meeting after meeting, and can still find time to drive home during lunch time?
In an open letter by a Singaporean father who was disappointed that his own daughter finds it hard to go to a local university, he questioned on what basis are the foreign students deemed good enough to attend the local universities under a bursary, denying locals who has good grades to study at said university.
But what about the Government themselves? Can they ever be issued with POFMA? After all, telling half truths and not the full facts is a common tactic used by governments the world over. So, to be better than the rest, why not the Singapore government come out with actual facts, with stats and reports to back up what they want to disprove, instead of just issuing Correction Orders?
All four POFMA issued by different Ministers, is this what the government mean when they want to wish Singaporeans a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year? It does seem like the POFMA is now the shiny new toy for the Ministers themselves were given to fix the opposition. And for the PAP at least, it is turning out to be the best Xmas gift they can be given, ahead of the next, upcoming, General Election.
The government’s response to the Bukit Batok fire has been deafeningly silent, despite clear evidence of gross negligence on the part of the town council in failing to ensure fire safety regulations were followed. Attempting to shift responsibility to the contractor does not diminish the town council’s culpability. One can only imagine the ruling party’s reaction had the fire taken place in Aljunied-Hougang Town Council.
The lower bonus paid out to civil servants are expected to resonate, with the private sector also possibly taking the same cue. No one is in the mood to spend big, if they do spend at all. And naturally, Singapore's own economy will be affected too, with the lower retails sales returns.
That every time a mistake is made, it is the lower ranked staff that gets the blame, while the leaders, normally PAP Ministers and MPs, say sorry and moved on with their cushy pay secured a long time ago. It’s appalling that the buck stops with the men at the bottom, while the men at the top receives not even a reprimand.