The Real Singapore has published an article falsely attributed to me, it is pure fiction – Ms Irene Ng

Thought should alert readers that the website The Real Singapore has published an article falsely attributed to me it is pure fiction. It carries the title: “PAP MP IRENE NG: WE SHOULD NOT PLAY THE BLAME GAME OVER THE HAZE PROBLEM”, with my photo and the attribution to me as PAP MP. 

I did not write this article and have nothing to do with it. Sad that the website allows the publication of such malicious forgeries in the name of an elected MP to deceive and mislead their readers. I have asked TRS to take down the article from its website immediately, and to apologise for publishing the article, and for the damage caused to me.

Given the seriousness of the matter, I have also made a police report. Cheating, fraud and impersonation– whether online or in real life – cannot be condoned. Singaporeans deserve better and need to know when they are being duped by a website with fictitious articles and forgeries. It is one thing for a website or its writers to be critical of the Government; it is another to impersonate an MP and deceive its readers.

I am all for freedom of speech and for people to have the right to express their views. But this is not about freedom of speech – it is about forgery and impersonation with a malicious intent to deceive. And some Singaporeans have indeed been deceived, as can be seen by the posts following the article. Such unethical and criminal activity must not be allowed to happen with impunity. Otherwise, all MPs – and, indeed, anyone of us – can be the next victims of such a crime and there will be no end of it. This will not be in Singapore’s interest. Such irresponsible and unethical websites need to be exposed.

Hence, I have decided to take this stand. I take no pleasure from this. 

Hope for your support. Look forward particularly to the support of all the reasonable people in the Singaporean online community who believe in their ability and responsibility to check each other and to uphold ethical standards online. Thank you.

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* Update from Ms Irene’ Fb * 28.6.2013

There has been some posts about why TRS did not verify the authenticity of the article with me.

I asked TRS that same question in my email asking it to take down the post. In its email reply to me today, TRS said that it did not verify the article with me for this reason: “We are unable to deal with the authenticity of PAP MPs because none of them reply to our emails and request…”

Amazing. I don’t know how it can then genuinely believe that a PAP MP would send them an article to publish.

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Comments : 

“Someone with the email of IreneNg.TampinesGRC@gmail.com actually sent the email to us.”

Ridiculous reasoning there. So if I set up a gmail account “therealsingapore@gmail.com”, does this mean I’m authentic?
Obviously not.

Accept the blame and stop coming up with weak excuses for your editorial lapse, please. It does not do any justice to the online news community of Singapore to continue with your current slant.

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Con artists trying to fake and peddle their fake goods on the website. Sounds like black market.. Readers beware!

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FreeMyInternet from such sites !!

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Wow. Politics in Singapore taken to a whole new level with people attributing made-up statements to MP Irene Ng. Perhaps The Real Singapore could admit it’s mistake forthrightly and live up to it’s name rather than simply pushing the blame elsewhere.

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“FreeMyInternet”? All the more we need Mr Yaccob’s new guidelines. No. Not new guidelines. It’s even tougher punishments against those spreading falsehoods and refusing to provide evidence to back their claims in their post! Very thick skin of those midgets to impersonate a genuine MP eh?

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First it was “we replied and verify. we even email to her Tampines GRC email.” Now its “We are unable to deal with the authenticity of PAP MPs because none of them reply to our emails and request…” So which is the truth? First? Second? Or neither? Those Real Slimeballs.

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The Real Singapore FB page published a forged post that was attributed to MP Irene Ng, and which had drawn vitriolic attacks against her. How ironic for a site calling itself “Real”. Have we sunk this low that people are forging things to attack their political opponents? What’s next, sending poison through the mail? We don’t need this!

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Not easy being politicians.. Often maligned and quoted out of context. As readers we just have to be discerning..

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the credibility of  therealsingapore has always been questionable, such irresponsible ppl.

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As moderate Singaporean living in this Country, we have to action against this baseless information & fabrication that will harm the fabric of Singapore.

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although i am not a PAP supporter, i do agree that such falsehoods should not be condoned .. impersonating another person (be it MP or otherwise) is indeed shameless, especially if its done with a clear intent to hurt/malign the person involved.

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Let me guess , soon these anti-government website will say PAP forbid freedom of speech and they will then again gather at hong lim park and protest FreeMyInternet 

To these bloggers like the infamous Andrew Loh who cursed the President , being responsible is out of their equation .

They as usual will cry being victimized by the government . 

What Irene Ng is doing now is the real FreeMyInternet from these nonsense

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by now TRS have firmly accredited itself as the glaring testimony of whats wrong about irresponsible media.

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Latest – 30 June 2013

A netizen has come forward to claim ownership of the article falsely attributed to Ms Irene Ng.

Read his post as attached.


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Are those who are angry at cyclists for being on roads or on pavements barking up the wrong wheel ?

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Bryan Ti  Thanks for your views. For some reason, I can’t reply to your post, so am replying here in a new post.
The issue is not what cyclists use the roads for – whether for recreation, work, transporting kids to school, etc. We do not categorise other road users (motorbikers, car/van/lorry drivers etc) according to what they use the roads for. The issue is about taking a serious view of the vulnerability of this group of road users – the cyclists – especially as their numbers are increasing.

Many other cities promote cycling as they want to cut down on car journeys, road congestion and pollution. Besides being environment-friendly, it is also a healthy sport (as long as you don’t get killed on the road). Singapore should study how busy and congested cities, such as Chicago, London, New York and Paris, integrate bicycles seamlessly into their transport system. And how they have brought down bicycle accidents.

If I may say, those who are angry at cyclists for being on roads or on pavements are barking up the wrong wheel. What we should be outraged about is the slow progress in making our roads safer for them.

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Irene, this comment on my FB just about sums up the issue with the particularly vocal segment of cyclists who are clamouring to have dedicated cycle-lanes.

They are not cycling because they need to get to the MRT stations or bus terminals,  to work or to the markets. They are generally cycling enthusiasts who want to be given infrastructural provisions, at the cost to taxpayers and other motorists, so that they can pursue their weekend sports interests and excursions.

Creating cycling lanes around the housing-estateswill not meet their wants because theirs is one of enjoyment, and not of need or life’s practicalities. No matter how extensive NParks builds the park-connector network, it will not serve their purposes because cycling on these paths is not ‘cool’ and they can’t indulge in high-speed or cycle in large groups – other slower park-connector users are seen as impediments.Lastly, it is somewhat contradictory for these people to talk about danger to their lives, when at the same time, they use our public roads for mini Tours-de-France. Just pay a visit to the straight-stretches of Changi Coastal Road on the weekends to observe for yourself.

PS. which gives me an idea: maybe we can designate cycling lanes for them on broad non-high-traffic roads which are applicable only on weekends and holidays.

by Bryan Ti

Remembering the father of polytechnic education Tay Eng Soon

 Irene Ng

everytime I pass by Temasek Poly, or hear people talking about how wonderful our polytechnics and ITEs are, I think of the late Senior Minister of State (Education) Dr Tay Eng Soon.

 At a time when technical education was considered a dead end, Dr Tay believed that it would give future to students who might not be academically-inclined, and laid the foundation of technical and polytechnic education.

 Few knew he was battling with five illnesses – not even some of his Cabinet colleagues or grassroots leaders.

 He gave me an exclusive interview when I was a journalist – he had a lot of time for me and trusted me – and the last interview was just before his death. Reproduced here in memory of his hard work and sacrifices

*********************************************************************************************************************************Tay Eng Soon revealed

August 6, 1993 Senior Minister of State (Education) Dr Tay Eng Soon, who died of a heart attack yesterday, battled five illnesses in his lifetime. He spoke of these illnesses and how he fought them in an exclusive interview he gave to IRENE NG before his death.

DR Tay Eng Soon suffered from cancer, diabetes, heart and eye diseases and a skin condition. Three of these diseases – diabetes, heart trouble and the skin condition – were the result of the treatment he received for his cancer. He knew he had nasopharyngeal cancer way back in 1986. It is a cancer that attacks the nose.He spent two months in Hongkong undergoing radiotherapy. Since then, the cancer, which was diagnosed and treated early, had not recurred.

But the radiotherapy upset his immune system. To support his immune system, he took steroids. DrTay said: “One of the consequences of taking steroids over a long term is you’ll get diabetes. So it’s medically-induced. “So one thing leads to another. And also, long-term steroids affect your cholesterol level. So that’s why I have the heart problem. It’s medically induced, I would say.”

In August last year, just before National Day, he had a minor heart attack. “Three of my arteries were blocked. A by-pass operation was done to remove the blockages,” he said. It took three months for him to recuperate. “The regular checks with doctors confirmed that the whole process has been successful. So now I have no problem with that side of the operation. But since the operation, I’ve become very conscious of the importance of a good and well-controlled diet and regular exercise.”

Talking about his skin condition which makes his skin sensitive to sunlight, Dr Tay said: “It’s due to the immune system being upset. It predisposes me to getting very sunburnt under the sun. “If I expose myself, I’ll find my skin getting burnt, sunburnt. So I avoid it. I have to put on sunblockers. I feel the sensation more than normal people…But it has not stopped me from doing anything, so longas I take normal precautions.

“Even in my constituency work, when I do block visits, door to door, it’s not in the sun but in the corridors. And there are many constituency functions which are in the evenings. So that’s okay.”

In the last General Election, where he sent to contest the hot seat of Eunos GRC, it was overcast most of the time – “very fortunate”, he said. “So moving around during the campaign, it didn’t really affect me very much. And I’ve got some very good sunblockers, which are very effective. I wear a hat quite often – you’ve seen me wearing a hat – or carrying an umbrella.”

Dr Tay also grappled with an eye problem. He said: “There was an unexpected development…a tear in the retina. And once this was diagnosed, the doctors decided to operate immediately because such a tear can affect the eyesight and if it is not attended to, you could go blind.”

At heart, he was a family man who liked to come home from work and be with his wife, Rosalyn. “Quite often, we go out for walking exercise before dinner.” He relied on his family and his Christian faith for strength to fight his illnesses and to give his best. Dr Tay has three children.

“They’re cheerful, positive and they have also been really a positive support for me. They not only support me, but also support their mother, who has to carry the burden. So I would say the family has been very united. And that has been the great source of strength.”  

Cheered the hopeful news of Aung San Suu Kyi’s political breakthrough in Myanmar

cheered the hopeful news of Aung San Suu Kyi’s political breakthrough in Myanmar. Have been following the developments of Myanmar closely for many years, and sought to put some pressure in our Parliament and through Asean parliamentary caucuses.

In 2007, I was invited by Myanmar activists to speak at their indoor forum attended by about 600 people. We were all outraged by the junta’s violent crackdown on peaceful protests, including those led by monks. The Myanmar activists, who live and work in Singapore, had noticed that I asked sharp Parliamentary questions as a member of the GPC for Foreign Affairs at the time. I accepted their invitation in my personal capacity.

In my speech, I emphasised my call for the safe and early release of Aung San Suu Kii and condemned the junta’s repressive measures. I also stated my stand that Asean must not be slow ‘to take Myanmar to task, including suspending it, if its rulers continue to refuse international and domestic demands for reform’. At the same time, I urged the Myanmar activists here to follow the rule of law in Singapore, which they did. It was a humbling experience for me – they gave me the most rousing and sustained applause I have ever had in my life.

The activists then handed me a petition, signed by 3,626 Myanmar nationals, addressed to the United Nations Security Council. I gave the petition, which called for ‘effective intervention’ to foster national reconciliation and political reform, to the then Foreign Minister to forward to the UN. I hoped such efforts, tiny as they may be in the larger scheme of things, at least kept up the morale of the supporters.

After her victory yesterday, Aung San Suu Kyi expressed the hope that it would mark the start of a new era for the long-repressed country. As a member of Asean, we share her hope.

   Irene Ng
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Irene-Ng/203324189686193 

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi addresses journalists and supporters at her National League for Democracy (NLD) headquarters in Yangon on April 2, 2012. (AFP PHOTO/Soe Than WIN)

News : 
ChannelNewsAsia : Suu Kyi declares Myanmar on cusp of new era

A Good Nationalist wants his Country to be admired by other Countries

  Irene Ng

As we ponder on the recent episodes of racial and nationalistic slurs, it may be useful to recall some lines from S. Rajaratnam’s radio plays, which he scripted in 1957. A character in the play muses on building a nation based on nationalistic sentiments: “There are good sentiments and bad sentiments. There are emotions like love, compassion, brotherliness which have made men better men and nations better nations. There’s the patriotism which can better be described as love of country. There is jingoism and phoney patriotism which is arrogant and full of hatred. But a good nationalist wants his country to be admired by other countries.” (p 111. The Short Stories and Radio Plays of S. Rajaratnam) 

In the words of another character, Rajaratnam reminds us: “It is up to us who care for this country, who really love the people, who believe that our great resources and talents can be used to bring more happiness – it is up to us to teach the people, to explain to the people, to continue to fight with truth and decency against the racialist….If we believe that our people are essentailly reasonable and decent, then we can believe that they will understand us when we say that, unless we become a nation, we will destroy ourselves.” (p 106)

Rajaratnam, who later drafted our National Pledge, was a good nationalist. In spite of the many disappointments and the torrent of abuse that came his way, he never gave up on his vision of a nation built on high-minded ideals that can make our people better people, and this country a better Singapore. We should never give up too.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=403750709636827&set=a.115376445140923.18399.100000057055656&type=1&theater

PEECH BY MS IRENE NG (TAMPINES GRC) ON BUDGET 2012, 29 FEB 2010

 

      Irene Ng 
https://www.facebook.com/notes/irene-ng/speech-by-ms-irene-ng-tampines-grc-on-budget-2012-29-feb-2010/10150595873738160

 

Singapore is the world’s third richest country, according to Forbes. 

Is this cause for cheer or concern? Well, it depends on your perspective. 

The economic achievements of this small city-state can be a source of national pride if you take the macroeconomic view. It shows what Singapore and Singaporeans can achieve with the right policies, despite the odds.  

Most of the other rich countries on the Forbes list – Qatar, Kuwait and Brunei, for example – rely on natural resources to fill their coffers.  

In contrast, Singapore generates its wealth from being plugged to the world as a technology, manufacturing and finance hub.  

But there is a price to be paid for living in a wealthy global city – High prices and a wide income gap. 

Indeed, Singapore has one of the highest income disparities in the developed world. 

While a sustained period of strong economic growth has lifted our people from absolute poverty, it is clear that the benefits of growth have not been distributed evenly, and our high levels of income inequality have risen further. 

According to Forbes, Singapore has a GDP per capita of about $71,000 Singapore dollars after adjusting for purchasing power parity. 

However, our average cleaner or security guard does not earn a tiny fraction of that. The news that Singapore is the third richest country in the world would not give him much cheer.

If we continue in this trajectory, we will be an increasingly rich and unequal society with an upper class of the super-rich and an underclass. An underclass of Singaporeans stuck in low-paying jobs can only lead to more social tensions.  

We see these low-paid workers at our MPS. Some are angry and hurt by the hand that life in this city has dealt them.  

One security officer, aged 61, said his salary of $1,000 a month has remained stagnant for the last 20 years.  

He came to see me for financial assistance to help support his family and cope with the rising cost of living. He is working on contract, which gets renewed every two years, so he dares not make a complaint against his employer.   

Another resident told me he has been earning $700 a month as a cleaner for the past 10 years, also on contract, and needed help with his escalating household bills.  

The squeezed middle class also feel the pressure – they compete for largely the same scarce resources as the rich: places in good schools, housing in prime areas, COE for cars.  

The super-rich have contributed to inflation in the prices of some of these goods. Many of the middle-class, being better-educated, hold higher life expectations. Now, to their dismay, they find themselves struggling.

Sir, against this backdrop, I commend the Finance Minister for a Budget aimed at building a fair and inclusive society. It shows a Government keenly aware of the effects of the widening income gap, and determined to contain inequality and to sustain social mobility in each new generation.

Over the years, there have been many conscious attempts to increase wage and skill levels of our low-paid workers.  

The Workfare Income Supplement scheme and the Workfare Bonus help to top up the wages, but they do not go far enough.  

In my previous speeches, I have asked for a review of the qualifying criteria, the cash quantum and frequency of the Workfare pay-outs, and so, will not belabour the same points here.  

But the Workfare scheme should be reviewed sooner rather than later.  

The push to encourage best sourcing and productivity is another important step. But the pace of change is too painfully slow.   

Sir, we have to recognise that for many families, the rising cost of living is a real concern. Not a few find themselves short of cash at the end of the month.  

Their situation can easily tip over with a major life change, such as a divorce, the death of a spouse, the loss of a job, an accident, the need to cope with an illness or to care for a sickly elderly parent. 

Some cannot get a loan from banks to pay off their mounting debts, given their low salaries and poor credit ratings. Those who do get bank loans get threatened with a seizure of their flats or bankruptcy when they default on the instalment payments.  

Some chalk up credit card debts or turn to loan sharks out of desperation. This leads to even larger problems.  

Yes, we have Comcare, Medifund and a myriad other welfare schemes, but most residents tend to seek such help only as a last resort, and by that time, their problems had reached a dire state. For some, by the time they see us at MPS, they have fallen into depression.  

Such residents would find some relief in the Budget’s initiatives to uplift and support the lower- and middle-income. Of particular note is the new permanent feature in our tax system: the GST Vouchers.

Sir, in our Budget over the years, there has been increasing Government transfers to the low-income and lower-middle income. But are they enough to close the income gap? How much would be enough?

Actually, the more fundamental question is: How much income inequality can we tolerate? 

What is the level of inequality that we can live with, as a society? 

In Singapore, the Gini coefficient – a measure of income inequality – was found to have increased from 0.472 in 2010 to 0.473 last year. But after taking into account government taxes and transfers, the Gini coefficient for last year fell to 0.452. 

But still it is high at 0.45, compared to other developed countries. 

Let’s take Luxembourg, which is ranked by Forbes as the second richest country in the world. Its Gini coefficient is also about .45, but after redistribution, it fell to 0.26.   

In other words, Luxembourg achieved a 0.19 point reduction in the gini coefficient following its tax and transfer policies, compared to the 0.02 point reduction in Singapore.  

Luxembourg is also a more self-reliant society with a healthy domestic sector.  

It respects quality plumbers, builders, and service staff. Its cleaners are paid a lot more than ours. 

Or compare with Qatar, ranked the richest country, It has a gini coefficient of .45 – also about the same as Singapore. But it has a different society from ours.  

Citizens make up only about 15 percent of the nation’s 1.6 million people. They live luxurious lifestyles, and enjoy the benefits of living in an oil-rich country with free electricity, health care and other perks. 

The underclass is formed by the army of foreign labourers from the developing world who do whatever jobs the Qataris feel are beneath them.  

But even with the country’s oil wealth distributed generously to the citizens, the country is riven with increasing tension, anger and frustration between Qataris and foreigners.  In other words, rich country, rich citizens, but poor social cohesion. 

In Singapore, we foresee the income gap widening. How much more government transfers each year are we prepared to make to close the gap? Where will the money come from? 

We need to forge a consensus on what kind of society we want – 

we say we want a fair and inclusive society. How fair? How inclusive? This is the core issue that defines the character of Singapore society.  

The social compact between the Government and its people must be underpinned by this consensus. But I feel we do not yet have such a consensus.  

We can sense this from the angry reactions of some segments of our society to housing the lower-income in rental bocks in their estates, or the elderly in a studio apartment block nearby or an eldercare centre at their void-deck, as if the poor and the elderly were a blight on the landscape.  

We can sense this when cleaners tell us that residents continue to litter indiscriminately in the housing estates, and keep pushing them to work harder to keep the estates clean – yet would object to any raising of the conservancy charges to pay the cleaners more for their work.  

We need to create a social ethos where people value self-reliance and equality, not only as ideals, but also actually practise them as a way of life.  

Where we behave as citizens committed to building a society we can be proud of, and less as consumers out to squeeze the most out of every deal for oneself. 

Any paradigm shift towards a more fair, inclusive and self-reliant society will require a mindset change. For this to happen, we need constructive political exchange, informed debate, and the broad participation of an active civil society as agents of positive change. 

 The Finance Minister is wise to say that building an inclusive society is not just about the government redistributing resources to help the poor.  

As he said, it is about building a society with a spirit of responsibility and community, where people seek every opportunity to improve themselves, where the more successful step forward to help others, where citizens are empowered to bring about a better society.  

Our lower-income and marginalised groups also need support and encouragement to contribute as citizens so that they do not remain at the edge of the community as passive recipients of handouts, dependent and under-valued. 

Defining people as needy and trying to comprehensively fill those needs with services and handouts may not be the best way of helping them.  

More can be achieved by directing investment towards citizen initiatives that build relationships which mobilise people to make a difference, thereby building bridges from the margins to the centre of community life.  

On the ground, we have truly inspiring stories of ordinary citizens in control of projects and bringing about change in their lives and communities. The poor, the elderly, the disabled and other vulnerable groups are offered the opportunity to share their gifts and talents. 

If I may give an example from my constituency Tampines Changkat. We run the Silver Connect programme to reach out to our vulnerable elderly and keep them engaged and active.  

Under this programme, residents are trained to not only befriend the elderly and to spot signs of depression, but to also draw them out to link up with one another and to join community activities. 

We provide them free medical and dental check-ups, free hair-cuts and other services. This programme is powered mainly by volunteers and grassroots leaders.  

Through this programme, we discover many talents among the elderly we serve, and support them. 

One of them is Ramdzan Maslam, who is 85, who lives alone in a three-room flat. He was an aircraft technician and retired in 2005. He is good at ballroom dancing and so we roped him in as a dance teacher, teaching the elderly how to rhumba, cha cha and waltz. To encourage him, I dropped in one of his classes and did the cha-cha with him. I am glad to report that the experience has not scarred him.

He is also a skilful handyman. He can fix pipes, curtain blinds, water heaters and even washing machines. So our residents call him up whenever they need such help. 

Indeed, our elderly have many experiences and lessons on life to share.  

Last year, we compiled some of their stories in this book, titled “I Remember”, so that the younger generation can have a glimpse of the world through their seniors’ eyes. 

Such programmes are part of our ongoing efforts on the ground to build a more compassionate and caring society, across all ages and income groups.  

If I may add, in my constituency, a new rental block for the poor has just gone up; and we are in the midst of constructing a studio apartment for the elderly, as well as our third eldercare centre in a void-deck. 

These developments have been met largely with support from our residents. When the needy moved into the new rental block, we held a welcome party for them. At my community functions, I often commend my residents for their response which shows the strong community spirit in our neighbourhood, and their active support for our vision of a caring and compassionate society. 

Sir, to return to the questions posed earlier in my speech: How inclusive a society do we want to be? How fair? 

The answer comes not only from what we say, but from our collective response to developments such as rental blocks and eldercare centres in our estates, and how we treat the more vulnerable among us. 

Society will always have a level of inequality but everyone plays a role in closing the gap, and we should not be satisfied with our Gini coefficient of 0.45, and our existing state of affairs.  

Generating respect for all segments of society and promoting the acceptance that everyone merits a living wage and a fair share in the prosperity of this country, is everyone’s business.   

Certainly, we cannot take for granted that Singapore will continue to be a rich country. Neither can we take for granted that our social cohesion will remain strong. 

The Budget, which is forward-looking and compassionate, gives us some confidence for our future. On that note, I support the budget.

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Budget 2012

 

 

 

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 Irene Ng

just listened to Finance Minister Tharman delivering an excellent Budget speech. A fair and compassionate budget which lifts up the lower- and middle-income families, the elderly, those with disabilities. Am particularly struck by the permanent subsidies put in place – a new $20 K Silver Housing Bonus for older folks, new GST vouchers for lower-income and retirees, more medical subsidies for long-term care, and more. A budget with a heart.

 

 Foo Mee Har 

Here is my personal take of this year’s budget: A budget with whole lot more heart: Centered on our people, our nation and our futureOur strong fiscal position means we have the capacity to invest in our future and yet take care of our people, especially the older, lower and middle income families. This is a unique position we are in, contrary to the state of government finances in many other countries.

Upgrading and restructuring our economy so that we can sustain growth, create better jobs in every vocation and enable Singaporeans to earn better incomes.

Helping companies, especially SMEs, depend less on foreign labour and invest more on skills, innovation and productivity to grow.

Helping children from poorer homes to have a leg up, find their strengths and develop to their fullest potential, so that we keep social mobility up.

Providing for our elderly citizens to live active and fulfilling lives.

 

 Liang Eng Hwa

I find Budget 2012 sound, inclusive, caring yet future-centric. I applaud the Govt efforts to help older Singaporeans with the Special Employment Credit (SEC), rising CPF contribution to enhance retirement financial security, Silver Housing… bonus among others. With aging population on our horizon, we have to start addressing this issue now. The enhancement to heathcare capacity and affordability is also timely. Let’s help our seniors live long, live well!

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