Saturday, April 23, 2011

Singapore Election: Vote for the PAP, or your ward will become a slum

"Vote for the PAP, or your ward will become a slum." This is the undisguised, clearly understood, and despicable threat of the PAP.

PAP has been cynically claiming housing estate upgrading as a ward-by-ward policy that  it, and it alone, advocates -- as if any opposition party would advocate to have its ward degenerate into a slum. (And the Workers' Party has to assert the contrary.) How ridiculous.

And so if you don't elect a PAP MP, you are deemed to have rejected PAP's upgrading plan, and your ward will surely degenerate into a slum.

Estate upgrading is a national housing policy, approved by the parliament for the whole nation. 

The parliament annually allocates the budget for estate upgrading (for the whole nation), as proposed by the Finance Minister.

Once the broad upgrading policy guidelines are in place, scheduling of estates for upgrading, and all implementation details, should be in the hands of the civil service, free from any political interference.

It should be completely akin to the maintenance of roads, totally divorced from party interference.

This blurring of distinction between the government and the civil service is an evil that comes with one-party rule.

Even amidst widespread discontent with the government, voters fear the reprisal of the PAP through withholding of national resources for their wards, and therefore fear voting for the opposition.

This fear has been the single most powerful weapon in PAP's hand. Voters are intimidated into voting for the PAP.

It is high time that we establish the independence of the HDB from the cabinet in its routine implementation of housing estate upgrading.

Such independence is essential for us to create a level playing field for free and fair elections.

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