Listen to Comedians

ST's pic of our most popular comedian
…it was possible only if the country was willing to accept a higher goods and services tax of 20 per cent to fund the policies.
- PM Lee, on whether Singapore could emulate the higher TFR of the Scandinavians by spending on parent support.

This type of response is what makes me detest our government officials. If this is meant to be a joke, it wasn't funny and neither was it an occasion to crack one at. We are paying millions to a man to solve difficult problems, not to perform stand up comedy. I knew the crowd laughed. I wonder if they were laughing at themselves for electing him as their Prime Minister. 

The TFR is probably the root of our social problems in Singapore, directly or indirectly. Not that I expect the PM to lose sleep over it, not at all - not when there is such a convenient workaround solution by taking in cheaper and hungrier foreigners. Believe it, I will actually not begrudge PM Lee if he told Singaporeans that night that he did not believe going socialist will spark an upward trend in our TFR, and that is probably not far from the truth. I will even forgive him if he admit that he has long given up tackling the TFR issues. After all, what else can he try that our previous two PMs had, in vain?

That is why plucking off numbers from the air in bid to humor the Singapore public seems to imply we are all running on AI. How does the PM come out with this percentage within seconds? Have the government done their research and this is the conclusive figure? Tough call between a joke and lie. The last time a Minister pulled off the stunt like that, he was subsequently uninvited to return to another term of service in the next GE. Back then, the ex-Minister of Transport said this at a public forum,

“The money still must come from somewhere, right? It is about 1.5 percentage point increase in your GST. So now it’s 7 (per cent), you want it to be free? You want the GST to go up to 8.5 per cent, to run a completely free bus and MRT system?”
- ex Minister of Transport Raymond Lim on providing  

I hate it that none of the Singaporeans attending stood up and exclaim,"Then do it!" I bet many of you, including those who drives and do not use public transport, wouldn't mind that happening. It isn't that I believe that Singaporeans who do not plan to be parents at any time of their lives are willing to pay GST of 20% to subsidize the others who do. PM Lee knew exactly that when he made his strawman statement. In reality, if the PM think it is a viable idea, it will be well within his capabilities to kick start it with our yearly budget surplus without increasing GST at all, or raising it up to anywhere close to 20%. Suggesting otherwise will be an insult to the almighty PM Lee, whom I believe is a living deity who achieved amazing feats such as learning how to drive when he was 3 years old.

One good thing about having a stable government (that will never be changed despite, in spite of, regardless) is that we can get a good general outlook of our futures in Singapore. When I started working some 10 years ago, I began to listen hard to our leaders. Albeit our stand up comedians appear not to take their crowds very seriously, the messages behind their jokes have been accurate to reflect their intent. With that, I made my move. That is the reason why I am still listening to jokes I cannot muster a laugh to.

1 comment:

  1. Good joke but Singaporeans are daft to be paying so much for a stand-up comedian.
    His recent jokes include the one about the rightful place of aristocrats (meaning himself) and being a servant to the people at the same time.