PAP MPs were out in flocks parroting Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and supporting the arbitrary 50% rule of drawing investment returns of GIC and Temasek Holdings. Every PAP MP expressed support to raising GST, and refused to draw more than 50% of the investment returns to fund exorbitant projects.
PAP MP Liang Eng Hwa led the singing saying the 50% rule is “fair balance” and parroted Lee Hsien Loong:
“This 50-50 split is a fair balance between current and future generations. Rather than use more of the returns for current spending, we should let the power of compounding returns do the work by re-investing the other 50 per cent so as to grow the principal amount of the reserves and contribute to (the) bigger value of the NIRC (NIR contributions) in the future. It is always tempting to go for the short-term painless solution. Our forefathers were resolute in not taking this easy path and so should we.”
PAP MP Henry Kwek then sang the chorus:
“Singapore is a small boat in a large ocean, the country’s reserves served as an anchor that provided much needed stability during the global financial crisis in 2008. Amid lingering risk factors, the only certainty is that bigger and larger financial storms will eventually come to our shores. If our reserves fail to keep up with our growing economy, maybe not at the next crisis but a few crises down the road, our reserves may not be of a sufficient size to anchor the bigger Singapore economy then. We must be wary of dipping more into our reserve income.”
PAP MP Foo Mee Har chipped in and even praised the government’s intention to borrow more money:
“To ensure a sustainable fiscal position, there may be a need to consider a limit upon which Government spending can tap NIRC to avoid over-dependency. the Government’s consideration of providing guarantees for long-term borrowings made by statutory boards and government-owned companies to build critical national infrastructure is a “much better way” to tap on the strength of the country’s reserves without having to draw directly on them.”
PAP MP Seah Kian Peng also expressed support, but somehow confused his speech with men’ rights:
“We must recognise that even relatively well-off people can have a legitimate experience of relative deprivation, when compared to the very wealthy. At the same time, we must see the need to allocate resources more urgently to men (who are most vulnerable). It is only when we do not have enough to cater to men (like these) that I feel we should consider raising the percentage – not as a means of populist hot air balloon for everyone who demands a specious equality with their neighbour.”
The Workers’ Party MPs are the only ones who opposed the GST, citing the lack of projected expenditures as main reason why they cannot support the GST increase.