Senior Minister of State for Finance and Law Indranee Rajah yesterday (Feb 13) posted on Facebook a propaganda video dumbing down the coming Budget. The Minister’s video claimed that the Budget will hinted Singaporeans to pay more taxes by “taking the plunge”, and highlighted on defence spending and ageing population as main expenditures in the Budget.
Stringing together photos of otters from Bishan park and a comedic background music, the propaganda talked about “embracing technology, keeping Singapore green, building strong families and keeping the country secure”. There was no mention on the specifics like the unpopular and exorbitant Terminal 5, and the impending tax raises.
In a state media interview with Straits Times, the 54-year-old spinster PAP Minister said that she created the video because all she can think of is the Budget on the eve of Valentine’s Day:
“I thought the pictures were great and the otters were so cute. However, I have obviously been immersed in the Budget process for too long because every time I looked at the images, these Budget themes kept popping into my head! This kept happening so much so that in the end I decided that I might as well make a video out of it…Why otters? There wouldn’t have been a video but for the fact that Hilarion sent me those pics and the Budget themes kept buzzing around in my head. But I think it also has to do with the fact that the otters have such human expressions and their activities so easily correlate to the things we do. I think of the otter in the deterring threats picture as the Ministry of Defence otter!”
The Singapore government is currently trying to coerce Singaporeans into supporting tax raises to fund the ageing population, and then use part of the tax revenue to pay for Terminal 5 and other lavish government projects. Terminal 5 have no budget, but the government has already prepared to increase taxes like airport charges to pre-fund the island’s fifth airport terminal.
Propaganda fake news is a major threat in Singapore, with the citizens often falling into false impressions of the actual effects of government policies. A good example would be HDB ownership, where most Singaporeans were shocked to learned that their HDB apartment would be worthless after a 99 years lease and that there would be no compensation from the government to these “homeowners”.