GEK2003 Politics and Governance in Singapore
Name: Toh Zhi Qi
Matrix no: A0111368 L
Tutorial Group: E2
Q2: Of the many issues facing Singapore’s politics, which, in your view, is the most fatal for the PAP and if unresolved, could severely affect the PAP in the coming general elections?
During the 2011 General elections, the PAP lost a GRC for the first time and the election was described as a watershed election by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. In the past 7 years, Singaporeans are getting increasingly unhappy with the ruling party despite enjoying relative peace and prosperity amid the gloomy global economic conditions. These issues ranges from foreigners ...view middle of the document...
The influx of foreigners also threatened the demographics and national identity. There has been ongoing intense debate on the Singaporean core definition. A fading national identity will weaken the social link and attachment to Singapore. People will not see Singapore as a home.
The workers’ party has cited the influx of foreigner as the root of many problems in Singapore. The influx of permanent residents (PRs) and foreign talents (FTs) are the suspects for the inflated prices of HDB resale flats. The high housing price has led to worries about unable to afford a house. Without a house, people will not feel a sense of belonging to the nation as their stakes are not here. To tackle this, cooling measures has been implemented in stages; with increasing supply and forestalling the speculative activity.
The increasing trend of trains breaking down and delays, traffic jams on the road, has led to frustrations in the daily life of ordinary Singaporeans. More time are spent on commuting which can be otherwise used for productive activities. The daily frustrations in waiting for trains and buses can accumulate and lead to pent up anger against the PAP. As a student, I am deeply concerned about the competition for education. Singapore has offered ASEAN scholarship to foreigners to study in local universities. This undermines the number of places available to Singaporeans. The episode of NUS scholar Sun Xun calling Singaporeans dogs have led to outcry and debates over the government funding the education of foreigner with taxpayer money. The punishment meted out to Sun Xun was deemed too lenient (42%) by a poll by Yahoo. Furthermore, MP Baey Yam Keng defence of Sun Xun cause people to think that the government cares more about the talented foreigner that the locals. Furthermore, FTs are competing with locals for jobs, the recent effort by the government, the Fair Consideration Framework, is meant to allow Singaporeans to compete on an equal level with the FTs.
The negative impact of foreigner influx affects many aspects of our lives, from housing, transportation, education, jobs, overcrowding to national identity. Despite efforts to mitigate the effects of foreigners’ influx, the foreigner influx is still a deep concern for many Singaporeans as it is a core to many of our problems. It is the link to many of the problems we suffer today.
Secondly, the widening income gap. Singapore Gini coefficient of 0.459 is the second highest only to Hong Kong. According to statistics, in 2011, Singapore have a median income of 6.3k and the average income is 9.6k. Singapore has a GDP per capita of USD 51,709. There is a sharp disparity in income, we have people buying yacht and houses in Sentosa Cove, on the extreme, we have people living in tents in parks or beaches. We are seeing more luxury cars in the street and more glitzy shopping malls. It seems like Singapore is indeed a rich nation, yet the gap between the rich and poor is one of the widest...