Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog


No, not the TV series. It’s about how, at times, I feel about our government. Lost in how they communicate, or lost in direction, or maybe both.

The peeve I have here is concerning the issue of cost of living. You might remember some time ago how our President Halimah Yacob suggested that we should eat fist if the price of chicken increased, and thereafter receiving much ridicule from numerous Singapore netizens.

More recently, in Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s latest National Day Rally, he suggested that the pressure on the cost of living was our own fault, and enumerated several reasons for that.

PM Lee is totally right. We actually know all that already. It is so obviously so that it makes him look totally clueless.

Just imagine if you’re complaining about how hot it is today as you head out to lunch, and along comes an expert who tells you:

You’re just feeling hot, because the outside temperature is high.

Your appropriate response might be, abuden?

PM Lee enunciated four main points:

  1. costs of housing and pre-school education
  2. healthcare and education costs
  3. changing lifestyles, quality of life improvements
  4. inflation

Almost as bad as President Halimah Yacob’s fish idea, PM Lee tried to give some of his own suggestions on the matter of changing lifestyles. You know, like we didn’t know any of that already?

PM Lee’s suggestions:

… save water, save electricity, and at the same time, shop around for the best prices, and be a smart consumer

Thank you very much, I think we are quite competent in shopping for the best prices and being a smart consumer. However, we can’t control the price of water and electricity. We could save, but our savings could be negated by increases in tariffs.

The government is surely in a position to help, what with all the budget surpluses we’ve been hearing about. The problem seems to be that they haven’t quite figured out what they want to do. Oh they have a high level idea, copy an old plan, like how Merdeka Generation Package is descended from Pioneer Generation Package, but as you know, we won’t have the details until next year. Sounds a bit like an employee goal setting session with the boss:

Boss: So what are your goals for this work year?

Employee: Oh, uh, I will improve the efficiency of our factory assembly line.

Boss: How will you do that?

Employee: Eh, I’m still working out the details, can I get back to you next week?

Maybe the situation is not as bad as it is playing out, or at least I hope so. However, they are surely failing in communicating with us.

Often times I feel like we’re all being treated like small children, incapable of understanding the complexities of life, needing guidance on basic life needs. I’ve wondered if sometimes their target audience are children and teenagers. No, maybe not even teenagers, they would be too impatient to listen to them beating around the bush.

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