Photo of Ong Ye Kung from Todayonline

Blaming social media websites like Facebook for the ruling party’s declining popularity, Education Minister Ong Ye Kung claimed that the internet is “breeding angst and impatience” among the people, causing governments to be “short-term and populist”:

“Singapore has to remain on this track despite global changes that have seen politics and governance becoming “more short-term and populist. It is hard to explain this trend. Perhaps social media is breeding more angst and impatience among people. Perhaps online falsehoods are dividing societies, and creating national security issues. But in Singapore, we have chosen to keep our orientation firmly towards building for the long term. It is the only way that a small state can survive and do well.”

The comments came in the midst of pending new legislation governing “fake news”, which would pave the way for the ruling party to arrest critics and ban criticisms.

Speaking at a business summit on Friday (Sep 14), the S$1.1 million-a-year PAP Minister said that the ruling party PAP dictatorship will need 20 to 30 years more in power to “remake” the country. The Prime Minister candidate-in-running tried to impress his audience and went poetic about future government spending – only to be met with puzzled looks from the crowd:

“Apart from embarking on a major economic shift, the Government is remaking Singapore in several ways over the next 20 to 30 years or more, in areas such as education, infrastructure and housing, as well as support for an ageing population. There is the need for long-term planning despite global politics changing from being “an art of a long-term search for the better life, to an auction for short-term euphoria.”

Minister Ong Ye Kung then went on to touch on several issues, giving brief explanations to justify newly-incurred government debts, used to fund Terminal 5 and the Tuas Mega Port:

“When it comes to infrastructure, the Government is building ahead of demand, as it is set to double airport and seaport capacities. It will construct the new Terminal 5, which is expected to start operations in 2030, and the Tuas mega port will be completed by 2040.”

On HDB, Minister Ong Ye Kung openly lied saying that home prices will not depreciate because of the estate upgrading works:

“The Government cannot allow entire residential towns to become old and run down”, as this will reduce quality of life, segregate the population, and drive down home prices. That is why the Government will expand the Home Improvement Programme — first announced at this year’s National Day Rally — so that HDB flats can be upgraded twice during their 99-year lease period.”

On the ageing population, the millionaire minister said he will make Singaporeans work as old as possible by raising the Retirement Age:

“There are policies in place, such as raising the retirement age and introducing legislation on re-employment, to help older Singaporeans work longer should they want to do so.”