Saturday, April 02, 2011

Quick Notes from A Political Forum on Singapore's Future

I've just caught the political debate between the PAP and the various opposition parties on CNA. As a whole the program wasn't too bad, though I would have preferred more substantial material.

Below are the quick notes I took during the programme. I'll post my thoughts and opinions at a later date, probably tomorrow.

** On second thought, since the programme has been discussed extensively, I shall no longer be posting my own comments on this issue.

A Political Forum on Singapore's Future

Opening Speech
PAP- global competition , income increase, best education, geriatric care
SDA- clean energy, innovation, education
SDP- those left behind
SPP- alternative voice, democracy, equality, safe place, financial hub, technologies
WP- wealth distribution, dignity, entrepreneurs, education (formative years, love for learning instead of drilling), affordable and quality healthcare, social safety net.
SDP- quality of leadership, whitely escape, ubs poor quality of living russia

Cost of Living
WP- hdb houses (pegged to median income), rentals (cost of business)
SPP- open door immigration policy forces increases cost of living
SDP- rising healthcare costs, waiting period (3mth subsidized, 3 mins unsubsidised) for medical care, 0 rate GST for basic services, hdb run as non-profit, assets locked into homes
SDA- housing (should not be a commercial issue, should be run as public good) healthcare, education, basic items
PAP- 23% servicing cost (cheaper relative to developing countries), medifund etc expanded (cities are expensive), poor get more than GST collected

Foreign Workers
SDA- harmful to jobs, level playing field, companies top up salaries of local worker
PAP- selectively recruit foreign workers (manufacturing 80% not sg, 80% managerial sg), not reduce, 2% unemployment, quota system (Singaporeans first),
SDA targeted industry
WP- rate of immigration not exceed capacity to absorb and integrate, no foreigners unless positions unable to fill, reduce reliance by increasing productivity (to fill with locals)
SDP- displaced due to cheap labour, Singaporeans first policy, demonstrate need first before hiring

Short and Long Term Challenges
SDA- wage does not match inflation, public interest ahead of commercial interest
SDP- shadow budget, public services (not private), cost of govt decrease (ministerial pay), 0 rate GST, Singaporeans first, minimum wage, build up SM enterprises
SPP- education build more universities, lifelong learning, political awareness in youth for platform for critical thinking, build more hospital beds (due to medical tourism), conductive environment for thinking, marginalized Singaporeans not normal (single mothers)
WP- lack of checks and balances in govt, need for parties to build strength to be alternatives
PAP- 85% utilization of beds, bulk of GST paid by rich and foreigners