Skip to content

Why Singaporeans Need To Be Less “Genteel and Civilised”

Recently I tweeted about how Georgians in large numbers had protested against their pro-Russian government’s attempt to introduce a bill requiring NGOs and media receiving more than 20% foreign funding to register as “foreign agents” and be subject to restrictions. The BBC report said that the proposed law was modelled on a similar law introduced in 2012 in Russia. However the model could equally well be Singapore’s Foreign Interference and Countermeasures Act (FICA) which in turn undoubtedly drew inspiration from Russia’s law.

A few days later I read that Georgia’s government had withdrawn the proposed legislation after huge street protests though the Opposition there had told their supporters not to relax yet as the government would likely try to reintroduce the legislation or something similar by a different route.

Of course Singaporeans have never had an independent media since LKY shut down the Singapore Herald and the Eastern Sun in the early 1970s and introduced the Newspaper and Printing Presses Act. The Broadcasting Act similarly gave the government a monopoly of TV and radio and made it an offence to receive foreign broadcasts via a private satellite dish. All media are state media, which is itself a misnomer since all editors and journalists can be hired and fired at the whim of the PAP, which, unlike the Chinese or Soviet Communist Parties, is solely the vehicle of one man and one family, a microcosm of the country which is just a family business. To use state resources to ensure favourable, indeed hagiographic, media coverage and to denigrate, belittle or destroy your opponents so you can stay in office and your wife or relatives can continue to enrich themselves on secret remuneration packages is by definition corrupt and has led to prosecutions in several countries with greater checks and balances than Singapore.

The trillion dollar question (or $3 trillion question to use my likely extremely accurate estimate of the reserves is why Singaporeans put up with it. As I have shown, every year the Budget is stuffed full of fake spending and tricks to divert Singaporeans’ money into the reserves. Apart from the wholly exceptional year of 2020, the Government takes more from Singaporeans than it gives to the tune of $30 billion or so a year. And that is before gains by Temasek, GIC, MAS and the host of other opaque state owned companies.

Unfortunately the quiescence of Singaporeans is mirrored by that of the Opposition MPs they choose to represent them. In this year’s Budget round-up speeches, supposedly neutral but of course PAP Speaker Tan Chuan-Jin praised the Budget debate for being relatively genteel and civilised” while Indranee regurgitated the usual PAP claptrap about avoiding populism and “the politics of division”. Singaporeans should not be fooled. If the PAP are praising the Opposition for being genteel and civilised it means the Opposition are not doing their job. JBJ was never genteel and civilised. He never shied away from asking hard questions, like the current crop of WP MPs do. I remember him saying, after the PAP appointed him to a committee dealing with the comfort of members that he had been very bad at looking after the comfort of members, all of whom apart from him were PAP at that time. The proof that JBJ did his job well was LHL’s t attack on him in the insulting condolence letter he wrote to my brother and me, accusing JBJ of seeking “by all means to demolish the PAP and our system of government. Unfortunately, this helped neither to build up a constructive opposition nor our Parliamentary tradition”

Now we have an Opposition that pride themselves on being “constructive” and seem to want the PAP and LHL’s dynasty to stay in power forever. When the PAP Speaker and the Leader of the House praise the Opposition for being genteel and civilised what they really mean is that the Government has achieved its objective of not being forced to answer any difficult questions or give away any important information, let alone spend more of what should be a mountain of cash on improving peoples’ lives. When we have a Parliamentary Opposition that is intimidated by the PAP and fears losing their exceedingly generous tax-free MPs’ allowances, one that does not want to fulfil the constitutional role of an Opposition within a democracy and hold the Government accountable, that is when Singaporeans get a bad deal. The amount of the reserves goes unchallenged and the PAP get away with inflating the total spending figures in the Budget and diverting them into the reserves through a variety of dirty tricks. LHL’s and Lawrence Wong’s unproven assertions that Singaporeans need to pay more tax go unchallenged or the Opposition go to great lengths to prove that revenue can be raised by other sources, thus validating the PAP paradigm that state resources are almost exhausted due to the demands of feckless and greedy citizens who dare to fall ill or grow old.

To take just one example of how ineffectual our Opposition is, it was not until I told Sylvia Lim and Pritam Singh that they should ask a question about Ho Ching’s salary that the WP plucked up courage to do so. Sylvia Lim even tried to argue with me that it was disclosed in the Temasek Holdings Annual Review. Even then they failed to ask a direct question instead asking what the remuneration of the top three management was. They were far too easily fobbed off with contempt by Lawrence Wong who said that Temasek was a private company and having done what they felt was their duty promptly sat down and have not raised the issue since. WP have accepted the role that Indranee outlined for them in her speech, of “reflecting genuine ground concerns”, nothing more.

Singaporeans need to be less genteel and civilised and more like Georgians in demanding the truth from their Government and refusing to put up with repressive laws designed to entrench the PAP in power. and keep their leaders, spouses and relatives monopolising the top jobs and paying themselves billions while lying to the people about the resources available. I promise that if elected to Parliament I will, like my father, be neither genteel nor civilised but instead be dogged in pursuit of the truth, no matter the cost.


  1. Dear Kenneth

    1. The person who drew one of the powerful salary at Temasek, likes to fast, because when you fast, no matter how much you earn in bad ways the vibes and karmic cycle will not hit them. This is their game plan.

    2. And her disciples are on the ground, who ride bicycle and wear slip knot caps in pink and can been seen in neighbourhood shopping centers observing things, some will wear ” I love bank of China shirt” and roam to show defiance against western banking system.

    3. It’s a shame to be born in Singapore with such personalities showing totalitarian control of the people lives! Disgusting piece of family!


  2. It’s a harsh reality, that majority of Singaporeans accept the top three of temasek holdings salary. We keep quiet and let each page of this blog pass by without much challenge.

    The government talks about PWM for security officers, till today non unionised security agencies pay below the progressive wage model. Like me many other security officers were bullied and tried on the ground, nobody spoke for us, the SPF, took a light time and enjoyed their days, but we went through the boredom and stress of standing for long hours without much remuneration.

    The top personal whom once drew the high salary at temasek, fasted and told herself that I must be the most powerful women in the world. She wanted herself to be projected as the goddess of mercy and mother of wealth in the blood sweat of the poor and middle class. Shame On You!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: