WP MP Sylvia Lim

The GST has been raised and it has caused severe resentment on the ground. However, there is barely any discussion on the impact of the GST and precious parliamentary hours were instead spent admonishing MP Sylvia Lim of alleged “dishonourable conduct”.

Like a good Opposition figure, MP Sylvia Lim questioned the government for accountability. She is only doing her job and this probably explains why Singaporeans are rallying behind her.

Working in a pack, 5 Ministers started the bullying – Law Minister K Shanmugam, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, Culture Minister Grace Fu, Minister Chee Hong Tat, Minister Indranee Rajah – and everyone is just parroting each other, peppering Sylvia Lim with insults and demanding her to apologise. The veteran Opposition MP stood her ground and even won a debate over 3 Ministers in two parliament sessions. The drama is now on Facebook where two Ministers continued their baseless defamation against WP MP Sylvia Lim.

The Parliament in the past week has become a Korean drama. What happened to the important questions?

Why is there a need for GST increase? Where are the projections indicating how much shortfall there would be in 2021 to justify the tax increase? Could we avoid having a GST increase? Could we remove GST on essential daily food products to lessen the impact on the middle class and low income? How are local income going to increase as a buffer in response to the inflation caused by GST?

So if MP Sylvia Lim apologise, can we not increase GST?

There are so many outstanding questions about the GST increase but nothing productive came out of Parliament this past 2 weeks. The Opposition are distracted into defending their positions and the ruling party ministers are having a good time making sneaky remarks and throwing insults.

Seriously, who cares whether if the government had intention or not to raise the GST prior to the announcement? The GST has been raised isn’t it? What integrity? The ruling party has no integrity, as far as 30% of the population is concerned and, few in this group will disagree the PAP government is corrupted inside out.

We can see that the ruling party are desperately trying to avert a debate on GST increase, hence the distraction. The Workers’ Party should not be distracted and bring back the important questions. MP Pritam Singh was on the right track, asking for expenditures and revenue projections from the Ministry of Finance. The question caught Minister Heng Swee Keat off-guard, and it is clear he did not think that far when proposing the GST increase.

Alex Tan
STR Editor