Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the government would do its bit to alleviate the concerns of the Singaporean population, which is creaking the rising cost of living.
During his speech in Chinese at the National Day Rally on Sunday (August 19), he said: "We will ensure that housing, health care and education from HDB are affordable so that the Singaporeans do not have to worry about it".
"I know that not everyone has grown their wages, for some, their wages have stagnated, others are worried about losing their job as a result of economic restructuring, some have lost their jobs, but fortunately they're the minority. who no longer have any income and are worried about the loss of their savings, "he said.
"Therefore, for these Singaporeans, when prices rise … they have the feeling that & # 39; their wallet has shrunk & # 39 ;."
PM Lee said that while & # 39; measures are being taken & # 39; In order to reduce worries caused by the increase in water and electricity prices, Singaporeans also have the responsibility to "take care of their own wallet." amid lifestyle changes.
"Each of us has the responsibility to take care of our own wallet – save water, save electricity and at the same time shop around for the best prices and be a smart consumer," he.
Citizens reacted – mostly negative – to Prime Minister Lee's speech that Channel NewsAsia reported on his Facebook.
Many commented that the speech is hollow, because it does not provide concrete steps to help Singaporeans overcome the rising cost of living, and instead relinquish old promises, which in fact tells people to just accept things like they are.
Wong Hong Teng wrote:
One of the worst rally speeches. So far, nothing has been done, except repeating the old broken record about how they care about us by giving U-Save Vouchers, and then asking Singaporeans for the price increase with the electricity, water, S & C and to accept parking charges, followed by GST, transport in the future. In the end, ask if we want to save and save, or blame us because we can not cope with the rising cost of living because we spend more, not the government's debt. I think he has forgotten the other reason for rising cost of living, namely walking by the government [the price of] everything.
Harbhajn Singh said:
I have lived for 54 years, and, I think, 33 years as an objective adult, in Singapore. I have always supported the government party. Do I believe that those in power who make decisions and strategies have ALL OF OUR BEST INTERESTED INTERESTS? A RESOUNDING NO. I have lost confidence [in them]and I realize that it's all about money. Singapore could have been a utopia. The ruling party has given up her God given opportunity to be one. If they reflect well, they would know. TIME FOR A CHANGE.
Harbhajn Singh also wrote in response to Netizen Cheng Kim Siang, who said he still has confidence in the PAP government and that is him
"grateful for the 53 years of good living" when "nothing is being fed":
Mr. Cheng, I worked 32 years. I paid my taxes when necessary. I chose PAP ALL MY LIFE. I am not shy to say it. I have a younger wife and children. I would be silent if I was single … but I'm worried about them because they have a long life ahead of them. I believe it will not be easy anymore.
Wilson Wong wrote:
Mr. Singh, I certainly feel. At this moment it is said that the government wants to exercise caution [of the citizens] but what they miss is how they are going to do it. The information I read through the MSM is that it is rather defensive than visionary.
And I think that's the core of the problem. The way things are communicated is not ideal. No one is a perfect communicator or orator, except for Winston Churchill, JFK and very close to home, our own lord Tharman.
What has contributed to this feeling of helplessness is the fact that the problem is not being addressed. Yes, the problem of the cost of living is being broadcast … but instead of giving probable solutions, the speech sounded more like giving excuses. Again, the [poor] communication skills have led to the impression that it is all about money.
Of course, money is needed to run things … What is not being said is why so much is needed in the first place. For me it's always good to be careful … but why get so careful until everyone can not survive, people can not have children, people have more stress? Again, do not ask to plunder the reserves, because some people would start to talk about it, but more about WHY … Why such a high level? Are our costs escalating uncontrollably? Who has the control? How to check if it is a problem?
So much to say, but not much was said. And that's where the issue lies … When you leave a communication vacuum, people really have no idea what's going on and so they lose their faith.
Again, Mr Singh, I feel completely because we do not hear things that have to be said.
Simon Sim comment:
If measures are indeed taken, why not overtake the chase, be immediate and announce these plans?
Wai-Cheong Loh wrote:
Hol and no substance in the Mandarin speech … In fact, he tells Singaporeans to just accept what it is.
Several citizens noted that the speech was only intended to pave the way for the PAP campaign before the coming elections:
Lim Kengboon Ryan wrote:
National day rally or election rally? Speech seems to be the same as election rally speech. These and that explain to justify why.
Tay Vincent comment:
Certainly or not … Is it because the election is just around the corner?
Fabian Wong wrote:
Please say it after the election. Win hearts from there. Pacifiers work only for babies & # 39; s.
Other comments focused on the relationship between their CPF and HDB purchases:
Kelvin Peh said:
I use my CPF – my contribution to buy an HDB flat. What I used did not earn the interest that the government could have given. Why do I have to pay back the interest that the government could have given me if I had not used it?
Suppose you take your $ with me. I promised to give you an interest. But you take your $ back to buy an investment that I have offered, and I ask you to pay interest on the $ that I offered to pay interest, but did not, because you used it to invest in a product that I offered …
Jack Tan wrote in response to Kelvin Peh's comment:
Wrong. You can not say that. You have to separate the housing from CPF. Housing is only that: for you to live in. It does not generate any returns unless you rent it out or sell it at a profit.
CPF is for retirement. It can generate guaranteed interest and when it is 30 years, you generate a huge amount if you keep the money inside. So when you use it for housing, it can no longer generate interest for you.
For example, if you withdraw $ 5000 at the age of 25. That $ 5000 will be $ 21000 ++ by the time you reach 55.
Let's say you're saying the house at the age of 50, and you're just giving back $ 5,000. How much do you think it will be $ 5,000 if you only hand in it for 5 years? Confirm that you do not make the minimum sum. Ultimately, the interest you pay back & # 39; back to you when you reach the recording date at 55 and 65, because it is in your CPF account, under your name. & # 39;
Sophia Tan wrote:
I want my CPF as promised at 55 … It's my money and I can not use it … What a joke!
Cheng Adrian said:
Give us our CPF at 55, thanks.
Jonus Jun comment:
The government will have a new top-up project for those HDB flats that will turn 70 years to keep the value of the house … What is the value you are talking about? If the value of a five-bedroom apartment in AMK costs $ 700,000 at 37 years, how much does a buyer pay for 70 years? $ 300k? Imagine how much the seller will suffer a loss …
Pat Eng wrote:
We are no longer a & # 39; child & # 39; country. What about releasing the CPF as originally planned and the let-people who take care of themselves?
Raymond Tan said:
You say not to worry about HDB homes, but we are faced with a different story. When we request HDB flats, we always receive letters from HDB with our application number. Already finished. HDB sends us a letter later in which we are informed about the remaining flats that are left. All these balance flats are sold for a high price. If we can not accept all these balanced HDB files, HDB will prevent us from submitting an application for HDB flats for a year. We have really lost our confidence [the] Singapore [government].
Christopher Lim wrote:
You do not have to worry about HDB, because they will take back the flats after 99 years or earlier.
Martin Archie Lee comment:
HDB-CEO Dr Cheong Koon Hean said last week on a forum that buyers of resale properties should pay less for older flats because these flats have a lease of 99 years.
This is bad news for the Singaporeans who paid premium prices for the flats, because we were promised that the value of our flats would rise over time. In addition, many of our savings on our savings have been used to maintain home loans.
Because of the promise of capital gains from the government, pensioners now hope to earn money from the flats to finance our pension. But what is happening now is that as the flats get older, their trade-in value falls, causing retirees to end up in a financial nightmare.
However, such a development does not have to end in a disaster. There is a solution and this can be found in the SDP [Singapore Democratic Party]the alternative housing policy.
Other citizens regretted the price of food in the country:
Alan Tan wrote:
Now where to find $ 3 economic rice. He tries to harden the false information he collects from his dogs. Water is taxed 3 times more, which makes sense.
Marcus Tay comment:
I eat rice with $ 1 fruit and 1 meat, already $ 3.50. I think I must say quickly that they do not have meat, only gravy, maybe $ 1.00.
Cheng Kim Siang said:
My place is economical rice: 1 vegetable and 1 meat = $ 2.50.
Vincent Law wrote:
Serious. It is not about the brand of infant milk. Bellamy's is $ 40 here. It's $ 25 in Australia. It's 80% more! Why does he blame people for choosing expensive milk?
TK Wong wrote:
Try Canadian maple syrup too. It costs about $ 15 in Singapore, $ 10 in Australia and about $ 13 in Malaysia.
Saravanan Naturopath wrote:
Breast milk is free, but women can not breastfeed because they are very stressed. Secondly, they have to go back to work after the maternity leave, so they can not continue. That is how people buy bottle-feeding. When it comes to feeding their child, no parent would choose a cheap chemical mix from China.
Netizens also responded to PM Lee's comment, stating that & # 39; when prices drop, we become forgetful & # 39 ;:
Tay Chin Peng wrote:
"When prices fall, we become forgetful."
I know an example: increase in bus transport due to the rise in oil prices. When oil prices fell, you became forgetful.
Adrian Djong said:
I will never forget: when oil prices per barrel fall, the prices of petrol pumps never drop because of the imposed tax, but when the oil prices per barrel rise, the prices of petrol pumps rise. This is just one of my lively examples.
Some netizens touched on exorbitant water and electricity prices:
Ong Liang Wei wrote:
Water 30 percent, electricity is high and what is the oil price now? 70 plus for Brent and they cut the 23.65 cent kilowatts, compared to more than 140 dollars for Brent 10 years ago, and the electricity price was 25 cents plus watts.
Yong Ching Goh said, in response to Ong Liang Wei's comment:
Yes, you are right. He said the electricity tariff was slightly lower than 10 years ago without mentioning the cost difference.
Ong Liang Wei replied Yong Ching Goh:
Speaking about that, SP services earn a lot of money with 400 million plus last year's profits. By the way, the cost of using electricity should not be that expensive, because Singapore does not use oil to burn, but uses natural gas instead. Transport costs are minimal compared to the generation of energy or storage of crude oil.
There are also several comments regarding CPF withdrawal:
Ong Joo Huat wrote:
I am permanently disabled and when I reached the age of 55, the SSO helped me to submit an application to withdraw all my money in OA. The CPF top management, however, asked me to get a doctor's assessment to prove that I have a terminal illness and only live 60 days, because only then can I include the full amount in my OA.
Jenny Tung said:
To be honest, some people become better or go longer than their prognosis. What happens if you have spent everything before you actually died and have no work? I think they just do their due diligence.
Ong Joo Huat commented on Jenny Tung:
I am permanently unsuitable for all kinds of work as a result of an accident in 2012. I have 3 children and they are all still in school, with the oldest who has just graduated, while my second daughter goes to NUS this month and is the last one my son who is in Primary 3. My wife works part-time at McDonalds. The Social Service Office did not want to help me obtain financial assistance when I reached 55, and that is why she submitted the full amount to CPF on my behalf. Do you think the 5K and monthly $ 240 is enough to survive until my second daughter ends her university in 3 years? If you were in my shoes, would you still want to make that comment?
Some netizens have raised health care costs and parallels with the significantly lower cost of healthcare in Australia:
Karen Goh wrote:
Last year, my blood pressure and cholesterol medication ran out while I was visiting my son in Melbourne, so I went to a recipe for the purchase. To my surprise, the BP meds that I paid $ 75 for in Singapore was only $ 11 in Australia. The same case for cholesterol drugs. I got the brand name medication, not the generic version. Curiously, I checked with the pharmacist for the price of other medicines that I knew and were all within 40% to 70% cheaper than in Singapore. I was really angry.
Wilson Wong said:
There is no subsidy for foreigners. Even foreign students (I was once one) have to pay health insurance to get cheaper medicines. And here's the joke, my knee operation is cheaper at Melbourne Private Hospital than Singapore Private Hospital, and I have insurance on both sides. It is a good thing that I have a driver, otherwise I will pay through my nose with pocket money from a student.
Mitra Nathan comment:
Healthcare is a company in Singapore. And it is not affordable at all. Sorry boss, you did not succeed!
Some netizens responded to the high costs of education in Singapore:
Nazri Mooiz wrote:
Make education free for Singaporeans.
Evelyn Chan said:
Education is still cheap for primary and secondary schools. Wait until you reach the polytechnic and higher. Pay $ 1.4k per semester (about 2 months). Transport about $ 80, her pocket money about $ 350. How can you save $ 500 every month after your household bills?
Others expressed their opinion about choices – or lack thereof – in the country:
Ed Sim wrote:
PM spoke about various topics related to the cost of living. At the end of the day it's about choices.
Wilson Wong said:
Although I agree that it concerns choices, some choices have already been made for us in one way or another.
Expensive COE, so can not drive … Stuck with MRT or buses. I have made the cheaper choice, but it is still a bad choice.
Or buy HDB because I can not pay private property. Even if I can pay private property, I can not buy HDB if I earn more than 10,000 euros per month, even though it is well within my budget and I want to save money to start a family and a car for the ferry to the family. then getting stuck with prams in trains and irritating other train users, especially during rush hour or peak time.
Look, it's easy to say that it's about choices, but when the choice is made for you and the people who use the system are incompetent enough to make it a worthless choice, what other alternatives do we have?
Several netizens commented on the issue of GST vouchers or their suitability:
Kyle Fu wrote:
I was told that I was not eligible for the GST voucher because my income was high last year.
For the record, my salary has now dropped DRASTIC. So I am not a Singaporean anymore? Do I have to starve now?
Lim May said:
I remember that every citizen was entitled to GST vouchers worth $ 500 a piece. However, since LHL took over, they became stingy and as a result not all citizens are now eligible to receive GST vouchers.
Kyle Fu comment:
I have not received (GST voucher) the last few times …