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How the game is played in Singapore

February 27, 2011

“What it means is that government will have to tax and tax and you will have to pay and pay. If you don’t want a Pay and Pay government, better don’t vote for the opposition. Vote for the PAP.”
– DPM Lee Hsien Loong rebutting opposition’s economic proposals, Straits Times, Oct 29 2001

In Singapore politics, the game is quite simple. As the General Elections approaches, the ruling party will put the brakes on price rises which affect ordinary Singaporeans. Not good to go to the polls with an electorate all pent up with anger. Once the brakes are on, the goodies are dished out – as in the recently-announced Budget. All adult Singaporeans will get between S$600 and S$800 – in cash. As in the General Elections of 2006, this will undoubtedly be credited into citizens’ bank accounts. Citizens need not do anything – except to trudge to their nearest ATM to withdraw the cash.

And again, as in 2006, the cash dished out will be close to Polling Day. That year, it was one week before citizens went to the polls. This year – 2011 – the cash is set to be given out from 1 May. A General Election is expected to be called soon after.

That’s the strategy of the PAP, a party which is gradually losing its appeal. No wonder that it resorts to handing out cold hard cash.

While some, perhaps most, Singaporeans will be happy with the few hundred dollars, it actually is not a lot of money. If you take S$600 and divide it by 5 years (before the next elections are due and another tranch of cash given out), it amounts to just a mere S$10 per month. That’s not even S$0.50 a day. It’s S$0.33 a day.

But that is not what will affect Singaporeans, to be honest. What will affect them is what comes after the results of the elections are confirmed which, inevitably, means the PAP returned to power with a huge majority.

In 2006, three things happened immediately after the elections:

1. The prices of virtually everything went up, driving up the cost of living.

2. Ministerial salaries were given a huge hike.

3. The Goods and Services Tax was increased by 2 per cent, from 5 per cent to 7 per cent, to “help the poor”

Lets take the first issue first – the cost of living.

The Online Citizen has aggregated all the rises from 2006 to 2010. Have a look here: The Relentless Rising Cost Of Living. For the purpose of this article, lets just see the list immediately after GE 2006 and the year following that:

Polling Day in the GE 2006 took place on 6 May. So, lets look at the price rises from then and in 2007.

In June, barely a month after the elections, the first price increase took place, led by the government-affiliated NTUC:


June 1: NTUC Car Co-Op raises fuel surcharge: We cannot continue subsidizing the fuel price increase in the long run without compromising the quality of service. Thus, the management has decided to implement a fuel surcharge of $0.30 for every 10km free with effect from 1 June 2006. (link)

June 27: Electricity tariff to go up next quarter. Domestic users, for example, will have to pay 21.15 cents for every kWH of electricity, up from 20.49 cents currently. (link)

July 10: Comfort Delgro raises taxi fares. Besides raising the flag down fare and the peak hour surcharge from $1 to $2, ComfortDelgro is also making distance-related adjustment.(link) (link)

July: Taxi companies raise fares. (link) (link)

July 17: SMRT hikes taxi fares. (link)

Aug: SMRT, SBS apply for fare hike. (link)

Aug: NUS hikes tuition fees by between $180, $220, and $510, depending on faculty.(link)

Aug: ERP rates to go up at six gantries, mainly at CTE. (link)

Oct: Public Transport Council approves 1.7% fare increase for bus and trains. Adult EZ-link fares for buses and trains will increase by 1 to 3 cents, which amounts to an overall fare hike of 1.7 percent. (link)

Nov: SingPost revises postage rate. (link)

Nov 12: Rates for HDB rental flats pegged to income. (link)

Dec: Govt spells out fees to be frozen. (link)

2006: Loan sharks cases rise by 19%, to 10, 221 cases. (link)

2006: A total of 419 people committed suicide in 2006, up from 346 in 2003. The suicide rate per 100,000 residents – a sobering indicator in population statistics – is also on the upswing, growing from 9.3 in 2003 to 10.3 in 2006, figures from the Registry of Births and Deaths reveal. It is the fourth straight rise in as many years. (ST, Aug 13, 2007) (link)

2006: Islandwide, home rentals climbed 10 per cent in 2006. (ST, Aug 6, 2007) (link)

2006: At Alexandra Hospital, A&E charges went up from $55 to $60, as did C-class ward charges — from $21 to $23 — and subsidised specialist outpatient clinic consultation rates, from $18 to $20. (link)


Jan: All diesel-driven vehicles to undergo smoke test. (link)

Jan: NUH’s A&E fee raised from $70 to $80. (link)

Jan: Skilled Foreign workers levy raised by $50, from $100 to $150, for all sectors. (link)(link)

Jan 26: SMU Law Course to cost more, NUS says it may increase fees too. (link)

Feb: KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital hikes ward treatment fees. (link)

Feb 14: Tax penalties from GST audits could increase. With the hike in Goods and Services Tax (GST) by two percentage points, tax analysts said tax penalties arising from businesses making mistakes in GST audits may also increase. (link)

Feb 25: Sunny Cove: Fees to Pulau Hantu Raised – As of 24th February 2007 (Saturday), the operator had increased the price for the chartering of boat to local water. With the price hike, all courses conducted at local water will be subjected to the increase from 25th February 2007 (Sunday) onwards. (link)

Feb 25: Eldershield premiums to go up by year’s end. (link)

April 1: Singapore Medical Association withdraws guidelines on fees. Doctors now have more flexibility to adjust their fees, following a decision by the Singapore Medical Association (SMA) to withdraw its guidelines on fees, as of 1 April. (link)

April 1: URA increase fees for Housing Developers’s Licence – from between $500 to $8,000. (link)

April 2: NUS revise car park charges. (link)

April 8: Means testing for hospital admission to start within a year. Subsidised patients that stay more than five days in a public hospital can expect some questions about their income. (link) (link)

April 11: Ikea to start charging customers for plastic bags. (ST, 11 April, 2007)

April 25: The Singapore American School increased tuition fees by between $425 and $1,000. (link)

April: Within hours of each other, the four petrol companies in Singapore – First Shell, then Singapore Petroleum Company (SPC), ExxonMobil and lastly Chevron – each revised its prices. The retail price of petrol and diesel rose by 10 cents. (Electric New Paper) (link)(link)

May 12: Inflation heads for a higher plane. For now, the major public concern is a rise in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from 5% to 7% in July, which is likely to exacerbate the series of worrying price increases over the past year. (Littlespeck)

May 14: NUH increase ward charges for B2 and C-class wards by $2, increases of 4 and 8 per cent. (link)

May 23: DBS raises its e-transaction fee for initial public offering (IPO) applications. Retail investors who applied for IPO shares launched on or after that date, through the local bank’s ATMs and Internet banking, were surprised that they now have to pay $2.(link)

May 29: New fee hikes at public hospitals and polyclinics. A NEW round of fee hikes is underway at most public hospitals and some polyclinics. Subsidised patients at four public hospitals will now pay $24 or $25 for every visit to a specialist clinic, up from about $21. All 18 polyclinics, which used to charge a standard consultation fee of $8 for adults, now charge anything from $8-$8.80. (link) (link) (link)

May: From milk to Milo, cooking oil to coffee, canned foods, processed foods, wheat products and more, prices have been rising recently at supermarkets and hypermarts here. (link) (link) (link)

June 1: Prices of milk go up. The price increase for condensed milk ranged from $0.10 to $0.50, which means the prices for some brands of condensed milk have gone up by nearly 45 per cent. The price increase for evaporated milk ranged from $0.15 to $0.47, marking a percentage increase of between 18 per cent to 48 per cent. (link) (link)

June 4: Online hosiery shop increases price. There will be a overall price increase on 4th June 2007 for all brands due to increased cost of yarns and cost of shipping. (link)

June 6: Even before the Nets fee hike kicks in, a shoe shop in Parkway Parade has already started charging customers extra to cover the increase. (link)

June 7: Wholesale price of ducks goes up. The wholesale price of ducks has increased by 20 cents a kilogram. (link)

June 7: Eggs price increase. Eggs now cost between 17 cents and 18 cents each. (link)

June 29: Rental space rents rise. Islandwide, rents at Grade A malls have moved up by between 5-7 per cent in the first half of this year and could increase by another 5-6 per cent by end-2007, analysts said. (Business Times, June 29, 2007) (link)

June 29: Fees up by 14% on average at NUS. Two days before the higher 7-per-cent GST kicked in on July 1, prospective students of the continuing education arm of the National University of Singapore (NUS) received news that fees for many courses had gone up — by an average 14 per cent. (link)

July 1st: GST increased from 5% to 7%. (link) (link)

July 1st: THE Singapore Petroleum Company (SPC) and market leader ExxonMobil became the first companies to raise pump prices at their petrol stations following the GST hike. The two companies increased prices across the board for their three grades of petrol and diesel by 0.23 cents to 0.33 cents per litre from 7am. Caltex will be increasing its pump prices on Monday. (ST, July 1, 2007) (link) (link)

July 1st: NETS announced a price hike for its Electronic Funds Transfer Point-of-Sale (EFTPOS) and CashCard Services to between 1.5% and 1.8%. (link) (link)

July 1st: Pasir Ris – Punggol Town Council revise penalties for late payment of S&C charges to 2% and absorb 7% GST. (2004 rates) (2007 rates)

July 1st: Cigarette prices up as bar ban kicks in. Tobacco companies raised the prices of popular brands by an average of 40 cents. This brought the price of a 20-stick pack of Marlboro or Dunhill cigarettes, for example, to $11.60. (AsiaOne)

July 3: Resale price index for HDB flats rise 2.9% from 3 months before. (link)

July 4: The Committee Against GST Profiteering (CAP) has found price changes to be generally moderate since the announcement of the GST increase in November 2006. (link)

July 10: Changi General Hospital increases A&E charges. Following in the wake of earlier hikes by the National University Hospital and Alexandra Hospital, CGH this month increased its A&E attendance fee by $10 — or 15 per cent — to $75. For the B2 and C-class wards, the daily treatment fee went up by $1, representing a 6-to-10-per-cent increment. The daily ward charge for B2 wards also rose by $1, or 2 per cent. (link)

July 11: Starhub raise prices for cable tv packages. SCV subscribers pay $4 more across the board. (link) (link) (link)

July 11: The Committee Against GST Profiteering has received 33 complaints in the past six months about price increases, all dealing with food items. About 10 cases involve chain businesses. (ST, July 11, 2007) (link)

July 15: Electricity tariffs to be raised by almost 9% for July to September. (link)

July 18: Govt raises development charge from 50% to 70% for new building projects from 50 per cent to 70 per cent of the increase in value of the land. (link) (link)

July 21: HDB rents at 10-year high. For the first time in recent memory, monthly rents for some HDB flats have pushed northwards of $2,000 in leases signed in the last couple of months. (ST, 21 July 2007) (link)

July 25: Hospital bills up 10% to 30% across all ward classes. (link)

July: July inflation hits 2.6%, highest in over 12 years. (link)

July (CPI): Housing costs increased 4.9 per cent because of higher housing maintenance charges, electricity tariffs and rented accommodation costs. (ST, Aug 23, 2007) (link)

July (CPI): Food prices went up by 1.4 per cent, mainly due to dearer cooked food, fresh fish, fruits, vegetables and milk powder. (link)

July (CPI): Transport and communication prices moved up by 1 per cent, reflecting mainly dearer petrol and higher car prices. (link)

July (CPI): The index for education and stationery rose by 2.1 per cent as a result of higher fees at commercial institutions and universities. (link)

July (CPI): Prices of clothing and footwear increased by 3.9 per cent. (link)

July (CPI): Health care cost rose by 2.2 per cent on account of dearer chinese herbs and higher charges for general medical consultation and dental treatment. (link)

Aug 2: SBS, SMRT seeking bus, train fare increases. If approved, transport fares could rise by up to three cents from October. (link)

Aug 2: Singapore Airlines raises fuel surcharge – from between US$2, US$5 and US$9.(link)

Aug 6: ERP rates at Orchard, YMCA and Fort Canning Tunnel to go up. From August 6, cars passing the Orchard, YMCA and Fort Canning Tunnel gantries will be charged an additional $0.50. That makes it $1 per entry. Rates for motorcycles will also double to $0.50. Goods vehicles and small buses will now be charged $1.50. Heavy goods vehicles and big buses will be charged $2. (link)

Aug 7: Student made to pay adult fare. (link)

Aug 7: Cost of living in S’pore getting higher compared to neighbours. Singapore retains its 9th position out of 41 Asian locations as the most costly city. (CNA)

Aug 7: Car insurance premiums likely to increase. Higher premium rates for car insurance look almost certain, after the motor sector suffered a second consecutive quarter of losses. Rises could be between 5 and 10 per cent, according to one insurer, as the industry battles higher claims. (AsiaOne, ST, Aug 7, 2007)

Aug 8: 17% hike in Delifrance’s tuna croissant sandwich, from $5.05 to $5.90. (link)

Aug 10: Change of supplier sees spike in price of medicine. A 80ml bottle of Minoxi 5 from Trima Pharmaceutical used to cost $38.50. This time round, the price was $45.50 for a 60ml bottle. Going by volume, the price increase was a hefty 57.6 per cent. (ST Forum,Aug 10, 2007) (link)

Aug 13: Up to 30% levy imposed on hotel room revenues during F1 race. The Trade and Industry Ministry (MTI) has decided a levy of 30 per cent for hotels on the trackside, and 20 per cent for others. (link)

Aug 23: More ERP gantries, extended hours. (link) (link)

Aug 24: By Aug 24, the Committee Against GST Profiteering had received 115 complaints on alleged GST profiteering. In the first two weeks of July, after the GST increase came into effect, 49 complaints were received, surpassing the 30 complaints received in May. (ST, Aug 29, 2007)

Aug 27: Singapore raises 2007 inflation forecast to 1-2 per cent. Singapore’s central bank confirmed an apparent off-the-cuff remark by Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang in parliament that inflation would come in at 1-2 percent this year, above the government’s previous forecast of 0.5-1.5 percent. (Reuters)

Aug 29: Middle-aged suicide rate up. In 2003, there were 14 suicides (of men in their 40s and 50s) per 100,000. In 2006, it went up to 19 per 100,000. For women, there were 8 per 100,000. In 2006, it went up to 13 per 100,000. (TODAY, Aug 29, 2007) (link)

Aug 29: Storage boom as rents rise. Companies which provide self-storage facilities are reporting a rise in rentals by foreigners as rising rental prices force more of them to downsize. (The Electric New Paper, Aug 29, 2007) (link)

Aug 31: Government raises property development charges. For non-landed residential use, the charge was raised by an average of 58 percent with prime areas like Cantonment Road seeing the biggest jump of 112 percent. Areas seeing the highest increase (of over 100 percent) include Telok Ayer, Maxwell, Shenton, Anson and South Bridge Road. (CNA)

Sept 1st: New dog licensing rules. To discourage dog owners from keeping unlicensed dogs, allowing their dogs to stray or not muzzling dogs of breeds2 that are required to be muzzled in a public place (eg, the Rottweiller or Mastiff); the maximum fine for such offences has been raised from $500 to $5,000. (link)

Sept 5: Esso won’t go public on fuel price changes. IF YOU are an Esso customer, you will not know if the price of your fuel has changed until you drive right up to a pump. ExxonMobil – the biggest player here with 74 out of the total of about 200 stations – has adopted a new policy against revealing changes in pump prices to the media. Neither does it display prices at station entrances. (Straits Times, Sept 5, 2007)

Sept 11: Adult EZ-link fares for buses upped from October. From 1 October, adult EZ-link fares for buses will increase by between one and two cents. But there will be no increase for train fares. (CNA)

Sept 12: Special needs school raise fees by 100%. I was shocked to receive a letter in July stating that school fees would increase by 100 per cent from this month. No other institution – even private schools – operates in this manner by increasing its fees by 100 per cent. (Letter to ST forum)

Sept 13: Employers to buy medical insurance for foreign workers. From January next year (2008), employers will have to buy and maintain insurance for the medical expenses of all foreign workers on Work Permit or S Pass. (CNA)

Sept 25: Electricity tariffs to go up because of higher oil prices. Barely 2 months after the increase of 9% in July, electricity tariffs will again go up later this year because of higher oil prices. SP Services said electricity tariffs will be raised by an average of 0.86 cent, or 4.29 percent, per kilowatt-hour, for the three months from October to December. (CNA)

Sept 25: Cosmetics costing more? Taking a hit from the Goods and Services Tax hike, prices of consumer products in Singapore grew at a pace not seen since 1994. (TODAY)

Sept 27: Gardenia loaf of bread cost 5% more in three months. “Yesterday we found out that its price has soared to $2. If you work that out against the original $1.90, it means that the total price increased is 5.3 per cent in three months.” (Letter to ST forum page.)

Sept 29: Why higher fees for vacant flat? “MY LATE grandfather, who was the sole owner and occupier of a three-room HDB flat, had been paying $38 a month in conservancy fees to the town council. His estate now has to pay $55 a month (a 45 per cent increase) for the vacant flat, the reason being that the $38 concessionary charge no longer applies as it is now unoccupied.” (Letter to ST Forum Page)(link)

Sept: Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society to increase fees from between $5 to $10 due to the society becoming a GST-registered entity. (link)

Oct: Starhub Cable TV sports channels subscribers pay $10 more. (link)

Oct 1: Public transport fare increase takes effect.

Oct 1: Private home prices in Q3 up by 8%: URA flash estimate. The prices of private residential property in Singapore increased by eight per cent in the third quarter of this year.. (CNA)

Oct 1: HDB resale prices up by 6.5% in Q3: HDB’s flash estimate. Public housing resale prices went up by 6.5 percent in the third quarter of this year, compared to the previous three months. (CNA)

Oct 1: Petrol, diesel price up 3-5 cents. At 10am, Caltex increased its petrol and diesel prices by 3 cents a litre, while Shell upped its rates by 5 cents a litre. By 3pm, Singapore Petroleum Co followed suit by raising its pump rates by 5 cents a litre. The increase is the fifth upward revision since July, as crude oil prices hover at record levels above US$80 a barrel. (AsiaOne)

Oct 1: Hotel room rates expected to go up by 25% in Q4. Hotel room rates in Singaporein the fourth quarter are expected to be 25 per cent higher than that of last year, according to industry players. (CNA)

Oct 3: The price of chickens has risen by 20 to 50 per cent here since last week, caused by the wholesale price hike from Malaysia, among the factors, according to media reports.(Bernama)

Oct 4: Queensway Shopping Centre, Sim Lim Square and sky-high rentals in Singapore. As the leases are expiring about now, get ready for a radical change in Sim Lim Square, the highest�rentals for the shops selling the lowest margin products ever. (C Net Asia)

Oct 19: SIA ups fuel surcharge by between $3 and $9. The new charges, which are between $3 and nearly $9 more than the current surcharges, will apply to tickets issued from Oct 24 and to both SIA and SilkAir flights. (TODAY)

Oct 20: Price of flour up 30%. The price of flour has increased again, but this time it has gone up by thirty percent. This is the biggest ever hike, according to industry watchers. From January, it will cost 20 cents more to buy a loaf of bread. (CNA)

Oct 22: Caltex petrol, diesel prices up. AMERICAN oil company Chevron raised pump prices of its Caltex petrol and diesel by five cents a litre on Monday – the sixth increase since July and the second in about a fortnight. The others – Shell, ExxonMobil and Singapore Petroleum – are likely to do likewise in the coming days. Chevron’s move brings its pump prices to record levels. (Straits Times)

Oct 26: Private home prices up 8.3% in Q3. Singapore private home prices rose 8.3 percent between July and September to their highest level in a decade. (Asia One)

Oct 27: Prices of HDB resale flats keep accelerating. ‘As at end-September, the HDB resale price index has increased by about 11 per cent since the start of the year,’ the HDB said. For five-room flats, the median resale price in Queenstown is the highest at $603,000, followed by Marine Parade at $560,000 and Bukit Merah at $530,000. (Straits Times)

Oct 28: Singapore raises noodle prices. Starting Nov. 1, the price of noodles in Singapore will increase 20 percent to 30 per cent, the Singapore Noodles Manufacturers’ Association announced on Sunday. (AHN News)

Oct 30: ERP rates going up again for third time this year. Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) rates are going up again for the third time this year. There will also be new gantries erected. From November 5, motorists will pay $3.50 from 7:30am to 8:00am. The amount charged goes up to $5.00 between 8:30am and 9:00am. This is a $1.50 increase in the 8:30am to 9:00am period since February this year. (CNA)

Oct 30: 100 bakeries to raise bread prices by up to 20%. OVER 100 bakeries have indicated that they will be raising bread prices by up to 20 per cent, following a jump in flour prices. (Straits Times)

Nov 2: Expect steep hikes in tyre, wheel and battery prices. BESIDES record fuel prices and higher Electronic Road Pricing rates, motorists must prepare to pay more for batteries, tyres and wheels. The Singapore Motor Tyre Dealers Association is preparing to announce sizeable price hikes, with battery prices going up by as much as 50 to 70 per cent. Tyre prices will go up by 20 to 30 per cent, and wheels by 10 to 20 per cent, the association’s assistant secretary, Mr Robert Tng, told The Straits Times. (Straits Times)

Nov 5: A TRIP to the supermarket will cost more now than it did at the beginning of the year. A Straits Times check on a random basket of basic goods sold at supermarkets here revealed price increases in almost every category, from fresh chicken to coffee and milk formula. (Straits Times)

Nov 5: Prices for Singapore Petroleum Company Limited (SPC) motor gasoline across all three grades and diesel will be increased by seven cents per litre. (SPC)

Nov 8: Raffles Place retailers face space crunch, soaring rents. A recent study by property consultant Cushman & Wakefield found rent rises of up to 24 per cent over the past two years in the area. (Straits Times)

Nov 23: Singapore’s October CPI up 3.6% on-year, 1.3% on-month. Singapore’s October consumer prices rose 3.6 percent from a year earlier after an increase in the Goods and Services Tax (GST), government data showed on Friday. (CNA)

Nov 29: Pump prices increase by 5 cents. All four oil companies — Shell, Caltex, ExxonMobil and Singapore Petroleum Company (SPC) — have increased pump prices for petrol and diesel by five cents. In the past 11 months, the price of petrol has shot up nine times and twice just in this month alone. (CNA)

Nov 29: Second Link toll charges to go up next year. VEHICLES from Singapore crossing into Johor via the Second Link Expressway will have to pay higher tolls from Jan 1, the Malaysian government announced yesterday. Passenger cars using the Second Link route will have to pay RM10.80 (S$4.60) next year, compared with RM8.40 now. (Asia One)

Dec 9: Price of luncheon meat soar, from $1 to as high as $3. Prices of luncheon meat have been on the rise since August when the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) rejected and destroyed a consignment of canned pork products from two food processing plants in China. (New Paper)

Dec 10: ComfortDelgro raises taxi fares. Commuters will pay between 18 per cent and 49 per cent more for a taxi ride home from the city from 5pm to midnight. (Straits Times) (CNA)

Dec 11: SCHOOL bus fares will go up by at least $5 to $10 in January, sparked by the increase in diesel prices in recent months. (Straits Times)

Dec 14: Singapore’s second-largest taxi operator SMRT will be raising its fares from next Friday, December 21. The changes are in line with the adjustments made by market leader ComfortDelGro which will be increasing fares from December 17. (CNA)

Dec 14: Hike in POSB coins charge excessive. “IN THE past, whenever I made a deposit or withdrawal in coins, I paid $5 in service charge for every $500. Now, I have to pay $15 for every $500. So if I changed $1,000 into coins, I would lose $30.” (ST Forum Page)

Dec 14: Adjustment rate for housing loan changed unilaterally. “This unilateral change in adjustment rate is an increase in effective interest on the loan, and it is done without changing the loan interest rates. Is it fair for banks to offer adjustment rates as a ‘feature’ to woo customers but, six months into the loan, unilaterally reduce the benefits of the feature?” (ST Forum Page)

Dec 14: Hike in luggage surcharge wasn’t publicized. “When they were at the check-in counter, they were informed that the overweight charge was $20, not $8, and if they did not pay up they would not get their boarding passes. They had no choice but to pay.” (ST Forum Page)

Dec 20: Potong Pasir to raise S&C charges. THE opposition-held Potong Pasir ward is raising its service and conservancy (S&C) charges for the first time in a decade. Residents there will pay between $2.50 and $8 more a month, depending on the size of their HDB flat. (Straits Times)

Dec 20: Expect to pay more for food from next month. SINGAPOREANS should brace themselves for a sharp hike in food prices starting from New Year’s Day, which could affect anything from curry puffs to ice cream. (Asia One)

Dec 24: Singapore’s Nov consumer prices up 4.2% year-on-year. Singapore’s consumer prices rose faster-than-expected in November. The consumer price index – a non-core measure of costs for goods and services – rose 4.2 percent from a year earlier, after rising 3.6 percent in October. (CNA)

Dec 28: Electricity tariffs to go up. Highest since 2001. From next month (Jan 2008), electricity tariffs will go up nearly 6 per cent, to 22.62 cents per kilowatt-hour (kwh). (Straits Times)

2007: HDB ups valuation and administrative fees for valuation report of flats. This is to include the new 7% GST. (link)


Phew, huh? Incredible, isn’t it? And that’s only for the first one and a half years after the GE. What about 2008, 2009 and 2010? Check out the list here. (CAUTION: Might be fatal for those with weak constitution.)

Increases of prices, fees, levies, etc .

Now, the same game is played again – except that if Singaporeans buy into the game this time round, they may find themselves with an even harder struggle just to make ends meet after the elections. This is because Singaporeans face even greater challenges, in particular these:

– The government will not relax its foreign worker policy which will lead to continued depression of wages for locals.

– The government has been hesitant in truly getting a grip on housing prices. It’s 3 “cooling measures” to address the overheating of the property sector has failed so far and prices continue to rise out of control.

– CPF withdrawal age limits, upon retirement, is going to be raised – from the present 55 to 62. Then to 65. And eventually to 67. Minister Lim Boon Heng also indicated that it could go up to 72.

– Government’s employment policies continue to favour foreigners and businesses, leaving locals at the mercy of these.

My dear Singaporeans, there is only one thing you can, you should, and you must do – not because you want to spike the PAP, or even because you hate the PAP. It is simply because you have seen how the game is played – and you are always at the losing end.

No one will look out for you if you do not look out for yourself.

Yet, you are the ones who bestow the power on the PAP to do as they like.

It’s time to take back your authority and power.

And that time is when you go and cast your vote.

Remember, it is only an incompetent and desperate government which resort to handing out cash, in its flailing attempt to keep its head above water.

Singapore and Singaporeans deserve much better – and more.


In my next post, I will elucidate on the second issue, one which also always take place after an election – the rise of ministerial salaries.

After GE 2006, ministers’ salaries was given a huge hike – a jaw-dropping 60 per cent!

Stay tuned.

Categories: General
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