More Evidence That PAP Policies Have Contributed to Singapore Being One of the Countries Worst Affected by the Covid-19 Epidemic in Asia
Three days ago I wrote how Singapore’s former US Ambassador, Chan Heng Chee, while attempting to defend her master the PM and deny PAP culpability for the way Covid-19 returned with a vengeance (after our leaders were basking in a glow of global approbation) , had unwittingly in any irony-free manner laid the blame squarely on Lee Hsien Loong’s shoulders. I will repeat her words again here:
“Singapore is the densest city and the densest country in the world … We are denser than Hong Kong, and dense cities have a problem dealing with epidemics, with pandemics.”
Perhaps she should also said we have the densest Government in the world.
Now, in an opinion piece in the New York Times, written by David Rubin (director of PolicyLab at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia) and Paul Offit (director of the Vaccine Education Centre at the same hospital) comes further research which supports her hypothesis:
Models we created at PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania, tracking and forecasting outbreaks in 211 counties in 46 states, as well as in the District of Columbia, revealed that crowding and population density, whether in densely populated areas in New York City or a meatpacking plant in South Dakota, are the most important factor in determining the havoc the virus can wreak.
After accounting for age distribution and health issues it was clear that risk not only of infection but of death broke between two groups: those in densely crowded areas, and everyone else.
They go on to say:
Large, densely populated cities are going to need a more cautious plan [for reopening] . This is not just because more crowded areas increase the risk of spread, but also because we’re learning that crowding itself may also affect the death rate. The relationship between the amount of virus to which one is initially exposed and the severity of the illness is found in most infectious diseases. Models assessing outcomes from the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic reveal that the likelihood of death was dependent upon the number of infected individuals with whom that person came into contact. When a family is infected by chickenpox, the second child to contract the virus often becomes more seriously ill, presumably because they have been exposed to more of the virus.
The PAP have for decades used the same tired 1950s W. A. Lewis economic growth model “Economic Development with Unlimited Supplies of Labour”. This was the blueprint for Winsemius’s economic development plan which Goh Keng Swee and LKY adopted. Once Singapore’s own reservoir of cheap labour was exhausted the Government looked at the rest of Asia and just expanded the plan to include the neighbouring countries, China, Bangladesh India and Pakistan. In the absence of a minimum wage it depressed wages for unskilled labour to levels well below those of other developed countries.
In 1990 Goh Chok Tong famously promised Singaporeans a Swiss standard of living within ten years. Thirty years later the Swiss minimum wage is $30 an hour while elderly Singaporeans work at McDonalds for $3 an hour. If the Government had compensated the losers from their low productivity cheap labour policies then there might have been some justification for them. But instead of providing universal health care or free university education, the Government used these policies to generate a huge surplus which Singaporeans did not share in, with the justification that the reserves were there “for a rainy day.” Like the grapes of Tantalus, they have remained forever out of reach. However the supposed strength of our reserves is something the PM points to when he seeks justification for his autocratic rule.along with productivity-free economic growth that has failed to give us even an Italian standard of living, let alone Swiss. Now the rainy day has arrived. Singaporeans should be able to see that tGovernment support, while unprecedented, lags significantly behind that extended to citizens of other countries like the UK and the US, despite their high level of Government indebtedness.
Now Singaporeans can see that as well as not benefiting from PAP policies that have significantly reduced their quality of life, these policies now pose a significant threat to their health and even their lives. The Government will be unable to raise the CB anytime soon because in Singapore’s overcrowded conditions it will risk a swift return of the pandemic. We need a new Government and a new social compact, one that benefits our people rather than enabling huge secret salaries and wealth for the PM’s wife and a shadowy network of relatives and cronies.