When Straits Times propaganda writer Han Fook Kwang admitted that more Singaporeans are openly cursing the ministers, he was just being courteous.
With just a random browse through Facebook pages and articles on current affairs, Singaporeans can be seen cursing at the PAP leaders everywhere, and their favourite object of ridicule is none other than Lee Hsien Loong.
“Dishonourable son”, “Pinky”, “CPF thief”, “Legal robber”, “Prime Moron”…
These are just some of the milder pet names for the Singapore dictator, and the rest are just outright expletives. Unlike his father, Lee Hsien Loong’s 15-years dictatorship has apparently earned nothing but disrespect from the people. Cursing at Lee Hsien Loong has somewhat turned into Singapore’s national pastime, and the group is from a diverse background including ruling party supporters.
For many PAP voters who still hold Lee Kuan Yew in high regards, they are angered by Lee Hsien Loong’s abuse of premiership to deny his last dying wish: demolition of 38 Oxley Road. Lee Kuan Yew expressed himself clearly and instructed that his house be demolished to uphold a democratic political system, that does not hinged on a single dictatorship. Lee Kuan Yew wanted Singapore to move forward on merits and more importantly, abandon dictatorship.
His son Lee Hsien Loong however saw his last will as a threat to his power, and ordered his cabinet ministers to preserve the house. The unpopular Prime Minister who always tag his father’s name in every speech, needed 38 Oxley Road to serve as a temple for his Lee family name and pave the path for his son’s (Li Hongyi) takeover of the premiership.
To achieve his aim, Lee Hsien Loong sent his Attorney General friend and former private lawyer Lucien Wong to prosecute his nephew, Li Shengwu. The Harvard professor and grandson of Lee Kuan Yew ironically became a wanted man due to his uncle’s political persecution. Lee Hsien Loong also exiled his younger brother, Lee Hsien Yang, and sister-in-law Lee Suet Fern, where he alleged that the two forged Lee Kuan Yew’s last will. His sister Lee Wei Ling had to confine herself living in the old house alone to prevent Lee Hsien Loong from converting it into a national monument. Lee Hsien Loong’s predatory actions on his own siblings does not go down well with Lee Kuan Yew’s supporters, with many vowing to vote against him despite being ruling party supporters.
The second major group most afflicted by Lee Hsien Loong are those who were previously supporting status quo. This group was jolted into discomfort after hearing that the GST would be raised by 28%, and the subsequent waves of double-digit taxes from water prices to electrical tariffs. Already barely surviving with the current cost of living that has been consecutively ranked 4 times for being world’s most expensive, these Singaporeans found that they have to make greater sacrifices to pay for the drastic price rise. The worst part about it all is that Lee Hsien Loong refuse to negotiate. There is no alternative to the GST raise, and his decision is final.
While many would still felt that the increase in cost of living is not a factor to change the status quo, they were given a second slap after Lee Hsien Loong announced that there would be no bailout when HDB lease expired. Lee Hsien Loong effectively eliminated inheritance wealth for the 80% of the population living in HDB housing, and his decision triggered a fallout in resale property prices. After gathering that they would be poor and their future generations would be similarly stuck in the poverty cycle, Singaporeans who were previously comfortable with the status quo are now not sure if the country is heading in the right direction. The group has after all traded their freedom of expression and political rights in exchange for prosperity and progress, only to realise their trust is now betrayed.
Then there is the last majority group who are middle aged and retirees. The CPF regulations under Lee Hsien Loong can only be described in one word to retirement: destructive. More elderly Singaporeans are taking to the streets working in demeaning manual labour work like cleaners and security guards. Those with health problems and unemployable took to the street half-begging selling tissue paper, and living off the charity of the man-in-the-street. These elderly are no lazy people, they worked for decades their entire life but they still could not retire thanks to Lee Hsien Loong’s chaotic CPF regulations.
In the past 15 years, CPF saw the most changes from increasing of the withdrawal age from 55 to 65 to the depression of interest rates at 2.5% (for a record 16-year straight). Minimum Sum were nearly tripled from S$80,000 to S$181,000 this year, with more changes yet to be announced by the dictator Prime Minister.
The upcoming general election is now no longer about political leanings (of whether a single-maker dictatorship or consensus-ruling democratic system is better) or keeping Singapore’s political system stable. It has become a referendum to decide whether if the current policies will reverse Singaporeans’ declining prosperity and livability. Ruling party voters of GE2015 are now looking to cast the protest vote, to keep Lee Hsien Loong out of power and ensure political stability in the long term.