Photo of Indranee Rajah from Straits Times

A courageous act of an anonymous elderly resident was greeted with cheers from the people after he admonished Minister Indranee Rajah for poorly-conceived government policies raising water and electricity prices by more than 15%.

The incident took place yesterday (Jul 1) when the elite ruling class minister did her monthly neighbourhood walkabout at Tiong Bahru market in her constituency. Surrounded by PAP grassroots members, the S$1.1 million-a-year Minister had a shock when she was told off by an elderly resident:

“I don’t care who you are and I don’t want to be disturbed when I am having my meal.”

When the Minister demanded to know if the “rude” old man was Singaporean, the old man replied:

“I am a born and bred true blue Singaporean and I am in deep thoughts about the second tranche of water price increase of 15 per cent and the 6.9 per cent of electricity tariffs increases starting today.”

Minister Indranee Rajah confirmed the encounter in state media Straits Times today (Jul 2) but denied that she was told off by the resident:

“The wife was friendly. The husband said he preferred not to be disturbed, a decision which I respected and hence smiled and moved on. Somewhat oddly, an online article surfaced soon after her walkout, purporting to set out a whole conversation which allegedly took place after the husband said he did not want to be disturbed.”

The millionaire minister however admitted that she has indeed asked the old man if he is Singaporean:

“Since I had moved on once he said he did not want to be disturbed, there was no opportunity for further conversation. While many people at the hawker centre are regular patrons living in the neighbourhood, many are also from elsewhere in Singapore or visiting from abroad. I usually ask where they are from to get a sense of their profiles. I have learned however not to be deterred by such online things.”

Such acts of open defiance are rarely displayed by Singaporeans but many are now more assertive when meeting their PAP MPs and Ministers. More Singaporeans are reading independent news sites like States Times Review, where they are informed of actual current affairs development instead of the whitewashed propaganda version from the local state media.

In the past year, water prices were raised 30% and electricity tariff has risen by 13.7%. The ruling party elites have also announced a 2% GST increase by 2021, blaming Singaporeans for increased healthcare spending. The unofficial reason for raising taxes however is to cover the undisclosed losses in the range of tens of billions by Temasek Holdings and GIC, respectively managed by the Prime Minister’s wife and Prime Minister himself.