Photo of PAP MP Edwin Tong with Kong Hee

In a state media interview with CNA, Senior Minister of State Edwin Tong said that the government is not giving more to Singaporeans because the people will become lazy:

“I’ve seen the experiences of the Western countries where the more you give, the more one asks and I think that’s really the start of the erosion of the work ethic that Singaporeans have. Once we start giving, we can’t scale back. You look at our country. We have nothing but our people. If we erode the competency of the workforce and we introduce a policy that undermines the work ethic, I think that’s going to be a big problem for us as a country.”

The corrupted millionaire PAP Minister who drew an undisclosed amount from a S$20 million lawsuit defending City Harvest Church fraud pastor Kong Hee, concurrently sat as the Deputy Chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee (GPC) for Home Affairs and Law. The GPC recommends only a heavier sentencing for senior management of charities after the sentencing of Kong Hee ended. Thanks to his minister-lawyer, Pastor Kong Hee ended up with only a 3.5 years jail term despite misappropriating S$50 million for his wife’s doomed singing career.

When questioned if he would defend Kong Hee again after facing criticisms over corruptions, Minister Edwin Tong equate himself to being a doctor saving lives:

“I don’t make any apologies for that. I would do it again. I can’t discount it. I hope it will not but if it has, I just have to live with it, get on with it. Beyond doing what I do as a lawyer with all the right safeguards, checks and balances in place and as long as you don’t compromise on your ethics as a lawyer, what are those higher standards? Are you suggesting that a PAP MP who is also a lawyer should not act for criminals? Or are you suggesting a PAP MP who is also a doctor should not be treating a criminal? What are those standards? Why do we draw that line artificially?”

Minister Edwin Tong then expressed his support for the 2% GST increase and lied that the amount of state reserves is “out there”, saying that Singaporeans are not properly communicated with:

“But look at the information. Look at what Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat has been saying about the Budget. Look at what had been said even prior to that. Make an assessment as to where we are, looking at healthcare costs, looking at the population profile, looking at demographics. When it comes to such issues, the Government could afford to improve its communication to the public. In the years leading up to this year’s Budget, I think you’ll see that the information is out there – what the expenditure needs to be focused on, what is the state of the reserves. But I also agree that there’s always room for improvement in the way we transmit the information to the ground, the way the Government communicates. I think constant engagement with the public will only improve that.”

The PAP Minister then suggested sugar tax to help Singaporeans be “responsible”:

“Costs are not coming down. I think if you look around the world, Singaporeans demand the best healthcare options and I think rightly so and we have to deliver that. The tradeoff for giving first-rate healthcare support and options to Singaporeans must be also that Singaporeans must be responsible for their own health. You see how now some countries have sugar taxes. So you actually do try to find a way to control lifestyle because I think people realise that with social spending and the social costs of looking after people and healthcare, there must be a sense of responsibility.”