Island-wide election carrots have been announced by the ruling party PAP candidates to make up for shortfalls in national policies and corruption links which are taking headlines this General Elections.
Here are the promised upgrades by PAP:
1) Admiralty and Woodlands, Sembawang GRC
-New swimming complex, polyclinic, childcare and eldercare centres next to Admiralty MRT station.
-Upgrading of Woodlands Interchange
2) Teck Ghee, Ang Mo Kio GRC
-Improved community centre and HDB upgrading under Home Improvement Programmes
3) Taman Jurong, Jurong GRC
-Three more childcare centres with 370 childcare places and 50 infantcare places
4) Sengkang and Punggol
-Two large childcare centres with 500 childcare places each
5) Potong Pasir
-Lift upgradings in 8 HDB blocks for 32 households
-New 5-storey 24 hours coffee shop in an upgraded community centre
The announcement of election carrots is a common practice in Singapore and there is no existing legislation to outlaw the abuse of national taxes for disadvantageous political gains. Along with gerrymandering that relocates Opposition-inclining residential areas to PAP-strongholds, the Singapore Government also have Group Representative Constituencies (GRC) to bring in new candidates who are unable to win in a one-to-one single member constituency. Each GRC has an “anchor minister” and the PAP introduced the new election law in 1988 to leverage on the popularity of the ministers for its new candidates.
Just earlier this week, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen told Singaporeans to vote for “enlightened self-interests”, suggesting to put constituency upgradings above national policies.
The prospects of PAP’s success in the coming General Election has been marred with corruption-related lapses in multiple ministries announced by the Auditor-General Office, unpopular policies like having a 6.9 million population, and the slew of infrastructural failures like frequent train breakdowns. Singaporeans have made clear that they are not ready to increase the number of foreigners presence when public amenities are lacking and housing prices and car ownership are pricing out Singaporeans out. Retirement and CPF-related policies is also a major problem for the ruling party as by far, their only solution is to tell Singaporeans to sell their HDB homes or part of their lease.