PAP voter not impressed by Grace Fu’s display of arrogance and high-handedness

Here’s two FB posts by a senior lawyer who admitted that he voted for the PAP in past elections

I think that Minister Grace Fu should drop the threat to refer to the Committee of Privileges.

Such a display of arrogance and high-handedness doesn’t impress me, and should not impress Singaporeans.

The facts are this, simply.

The G has said since 2013 that revenues must be raised. I was long aware of PM’s comments at the time. So we know that taxes are going up at some time in the future, but not when.

I was also aware of DPM’s 2015 remarks that the G had enough revenue for the decade. This implied that GST might not need to be raised this decade but it was not a clear, direct and explicit promise not too. Neither was PM’s remarks at the 2017 PAP Convention a categorical promise or confirmation.

The was much discussion in 2017 about an impeding announcement of a GST increase, promoted at least in part by PM’s and Minister Heng’s remarks.

Many economists speculated about the timing of the GST increase. Many of them thought it would be this decade, notwithstanding the G’s earlier comments.

For myself, I was not sure what the G would announce in Budget 2018. I expected an announcement of GST to be raised, but I had no confidence whether it would be after or before 2021.

Does this mean that I thought the G dishonest in its earlier comments?

No, not at all, because while earlier statements were made about having sufficient revenue for the decade, these statements did not amount to a clear promise not to raise the GST in this term of government.

If the G thinks the earlier remarks were clear and categorical, so that citizens could have no doubts, how does it explain why so many reputable economists were willing to entertain thoughts of an increase this decade?

And later

Having read all the transcripts, Minister Fu’s ability to understand the debate seemed dodgy at best. As Bertha has written elsewhere, she seemed out of her depth and one has to say that this impression is not without basis.

For example, she deplored the fact that Sylvia Lim “continued with this accusation” after the G’s explanations but what does the Honourable Minister mean by that? Sylvia said clearly that she can accept, in light of the G’s response as to its intentions, that her suspicions may be wrong, but she simply does not accept that there was no basis for suspicion when originally made.

I rather struggle to see how this position could reasonably found a complaint to the Committee of Privileges except for a hyper-sensitive government – and that should NOT be encouraged.

Minister Fu also failed to give any coherent explanation of how – if the G’s contention that their intentions not to raise taxes this decade has been made clear in numerous statements pre-budget 2018 – that numerous respected economists could have entered and speculated about exactly that possibility.

Her answer was this : “But having said so, after she has brought the matter here, we have laid down the facts to her. And yet she continued to insist on the allegation. This is the difference between what we say in this chamber and what economists, analysts say outside this chamber.”

This answer of course says nothing about whether Minister Fu would claim that the G had previously made its position so clear that entertaining the possibility of an increase this decade was an unreasonable idea. And probably Minister Fu would, with respect, struggle to make a convincing claim here.

Instead, Minister Fu focuses her complaint simply on Sylvia’s (alleged) continued maintenance of her claim despite the G’s response.

But what does this (alleged) continued maintenance consist of?

Sylvia made plain that in light of the G’s insistance on its position, her suspicion might be wrong as a matter of fact (although the true facts are only known to Cabinet).

But she maintains that, when made, the suspicion was not without basis and essentially Minister Fu had no coherent explanation for why that was the case. She simply is unhappy that Sylvia did not withdraw the original allegation or apologise.

But why should Sylvia, unless the G could demonstrate that there was no basis for suspicion when the claim was first made – and here Minister Fu has no explanation (see above). For example, she did not respond to the question of whether all the economists who speculated on a budget increase this decade after after DPM’s 2015 statement and PM’s PAP Convention speech were thinking in an unreasonable way.

So to threaten to refer to the Committee of Privileges in these circumstances simply reflects poorly on Minister Fu, with the greatest of respect.

 

Cynical Investor

Cynical Investor blogs at Thoughts of a Cynical Investor.

 

 

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24 Responses to “PAP voter not impressed by Grace Fu’s display of arrogance and high-handedness”

  • N.Jungne:

    Alarmak from Hero to Zero, resign lah.

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  • Move on please:

    Ministers should be spending more time to improve the life of singaporeans not wasting so much time on this issue -’say sorry, say sorry, say sorry…” Citizens got eyes to see and feel how the country is ‘going forward?” and the frustrations of its people.

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  • oxygen:

    BUDGETS ARE NECESSARY FORECAST OF REVENUE FLOW AND EXPENDITURES – expenditures can be internally varied but revenue forecast is by far more unpredictable with any quantum of certainty.

    When budgets are UNCERTAINTY in finance, its implementation must necessarily follows of AMBIGUITY AND CHANGE ANY MOMENT.

    Just look at how fast reputable global investment banks change their economy outlook ( forecast) from comfortable confident bullish stance to bearish concerns – in JP MORGAN it was about 3 weeks. Ray Dalio, globally the largest hedge fund manager changed his market/economic forecast in less than 24 hours in Davos. So Tharman’s promise and PAPpys own later forecast is CATCHING WIND flowing past their ear-lobe – same as analysts/economist forecast on ShentonWay/Raffles Place.

    Grace Fu is a long standing Minister in Government and senior MP within Parliament of experience, she should know of all these vagaries of budget forecast BUT DEMONSTRATABLY OTHERWISE. It is very shocking indeed but that also points to too many Ministers in Government came from backgrounds without the requisite or sufficiency of financial or economic/banking experiences that is needed to fulfil their roles in ministerial jobs they now hold.

    She should have offered some financial data in challenging SL but no. Instead she went on a rampaging attack of character assasination – exactly the kind of behavior exhibited by Ministers in government every time a little challenge is offered by opposition.

    Grace Fu is a highly experienced political incumbent, so her performance is found badly wanting now in that senior political role – with all due respect. She should step down after this failed episode. The portion of informed public mind will – rightly or wrongly – think she has no comprehension of the budgetary process and how exogenous events can suddenly emerge to upset the apple cart of the best, most sincere and well-thought out forecast.

    One is also stunned by Finance Minister, HSK claims that he was working on GST forecast from the day he assumed office of Finance Minister. Me thinks it is REDUNDANT FACTOID of this strong claims – even if completely true of facts. HSK must know from his experience as an ex-Central Banker – THAT FORECAST ARE AS RELIABLE AS THE WIND OF ECONOMIC TURBULENCE CHANGE DIRECTION. His forecast of GST from that date he became finance minister is WAY OUT OF DATE AND NO RELEVANCE in his debate with SL who is a mere lawyer – not an economists. HSK can pull wool over SL’s eyes but not any one else in cyberspace with significant exposures in economics and capital markets. The debate in Parly is watched by peasants outside. They are mocking.

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  • More important:

    More important to the man on the street is their life going to be better or worse down the road…with the cost of living going up all the time…
    What the Government will do to help them cope…

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  • M LuHsien Wrong - woof!:

    The arrogance of our ministers actually stemmed from the blind votes of these very people who wrote those comments. Ask ourselves, are these elite ministers really of minister calibre or simply lhl’s Yes-men? If you’re not dumb, blind or deaf, you don’t have to wait till this incident to tell. The huge no. of votes that the PAP voters gave them GE after GE have resulted in MIW thinking they’re untouchable, beyond criticism and beyond suspicion.

    A country ruled by these fake ‘cream of the crop’ leaders, how long do you think we’d last? If that fateful day comes when sg gets into trouble, those who have never failed to vote for the PAP please be honest to raise your hands to admit that you’ve played a part in the collapse.

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  • can the UN help WP's Sylvia?:

    now ah loog is playing big liao.
    breaking news reported that the G is now seeking AhGong’s advice.

    the end is near for Sylvia? 2years in prison?
    can WP seek United Nation’s intervention?

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  • grace will be promoted soon?:

    cabinet reshuffle coming soon.

    where will grace find herself. promoted or demoted?
    put in a position where she can do lesser damage to the PAP’s brand?

    or even damage to Singapore. we can now see that grace do not possess the qualities to represent SG to deal with foreign governments.

    sinkies are now just waiting for LHL to make his announcement.
    is he making last minute changes? LOL!

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  • Gee:

    Gee Guess a particular country’s minister cum M P can anyhow park her\his black mercz w/o any apologies. Whereas some one park for 10 mins to unload and load or fetching someone disabled or of inconvenience are subject to receive a summons.

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  • HarderTruths:

    Sylvia Lim will be found guilty as sin. If not for one thing then for something else.

    Does anyone remember JBJ and CST plus Amos. It does not matter what you do, as longas you stand up to these bunch of bullies you are done for.

    The problem is 70% of the voters are behind these despots. An economic crash or a complete replacement of 70% by FT will happen one day soon. That is the only way this can turn out.

    All those pappy supporters who will be roaming the streets looking for jobs will get no sympathy from me. Just show the the way to Desker Road.

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  • opposition dude:

    So disGrace didn’t get the sorry she wanted and is feeling pretty malu by now. How can a respectable minister not even get an apology out of a mere MP right? What will voters think of her as a minister now?

    Face is very important to the PAP you know. I wouldn’t be surprised if she is already working on something else to one up Sylvia in the next parliamentary session. I don’t think she will just let it rest like that.

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  • Black Heart:

    In addition to the reasons giving by People’s Elected MP Sylvia Lim, I would like to add that Shanmugam is also guilty of contributing to the impression that GST hike will be coming very soon. He said publicly that he expects his ministry spending to increase 30% over the decade, which means government’s tax revenue has to be increased to cover it.

    Even during Budget announcement,

    “It was announced in the Finance Minister’s Budget 2018 speech on Monday that expenditure for home affairs is projected to rise from S$5.8 billion to S$6.5 billion.”

    https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/shanmugam-home-affairs-ministry-spending-budget-2018-9981818

    As compared to Defence Minister, Dr Ng Eng Hen’s statement

    “We intend to keep our defence spending steady despite countries around us spending more and against wide-ranging new security threats.”

    https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/no-need-spore-raise-defence-spending-play-catch-ng-eng-hen

    In response, Ms Lim said: “I can understand why (Mr Shanmugam) wants to accuse me of various things, because he probably is not happy about past debates where I had disagreed with (him)… In typical fashion, he always accuses me of dishonesty. As far as I am concerned, I acted honestly.” Her statement was based on an “honest suspicion”, she added.

    https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/sparks-fly-pap-cabinet-ministers-and-wp-mps-spar-over-gst-hike

    We can see that Shanmugam is a shallow, incompetent man with a small heart. MINDEF is also facing evolving threats, they are taking on cyber defence while able to maintain a steady budget.

    With people like Shanmugam in charge, there is no end to increasing the spending, to take on this “old” threat of fighting terrorism which gained prominence after September 11, 2001. There is no end in sight to “spend more” to fight terrorist. Shanmugam has also pushed for more power, to be able detain anyone. With his bulldozer approach, the Orwellian Nightmare will be upon us very soon.

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  • Unfit to be a Minister..:

    Dismayed and disappointed by her arrogance and loss of words in her debate with WP’s Sylvia Lim.

    Should be dropped from Cabinet at the next reshuffle. There are more deserving candidates.

    Retire her please!

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  • ganeshsk:

    I think PM might have told her – GET AND APOLOGY OUR OF SL and I might consider you among the list possible 4G leadership even PM, after all I already installed lady president.

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  • Isn't this normal?:

    PAP ministers, sub ministers and MPs all have arrogance and highhandedness imprinted in them. Chaitowkweiinsults, the gangster mentality and as if w overwhelm majority in parliament give the PAP the damn right to insult ordinary citizens showing in no uncertain terms they are bloody ingrates not less than the PRC student enjoying full support on Singapore tax payers degree of ingratitude that even orompt the German top executive to expel him from his attachment to his institute with thevstatement that his organization cannot accept such ingrate. Indrani condemned SIN netizens for strong reaction against the Briton scum Anton Chase for his and his boy’s insidious remark on public transport commuters as group of lynchers in defence of the scumbag. There are more incidence of the insidious attitude of PAPists to the hands that feed them, the worst kind of political ingrates and self gratified billionaires. Arrogance and gangster mentality have becomevthe hallmarks of PAP MPs ministers. Even the tremendous rage and vindictiveness of the former PM towards the Constitutional Head of the country when he just tried to do his constitutional duties and claimig that the account will take many men years to compled against a recent official response from the ministry to a Singaporean concerned citizen affirming that Government ministry spending are available available esp at all parliamentary sessions on the annual budget. If that is true then why it needs many man years to compile the records for presidential review. Why the rage and disrespect to the Head of the Nation! If this is not arrogance and… in the extreme, what is? So the recent display of arrogance and gangsteric behaviour are seen to be the norm of papists and would expect this to disappear when Singaporeans rightly assumed power to resolve such problem by their votes! The bulldose thru the pap form of ISA is such example in the extreme.

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  • Amos humiliate LHL and PAP:

    Grace Fool thinks she is LKY who used arrogance and intimidation (fear) to “get things done” and to silence critics and the Opposition. He succeeded but did he wind up doing right things. The answer is NO. Everybody was afraid of disagreeing with him they did not tell the arrogant. self-serving SOB he was doing the wrong thing focusing on just annual GDP (instead of productivity) growth. That is why Singapore is NOT a real 1st World country, notwithstanding PAP’s claim or “spin”. Singaporeans do NOT have 1st World wages (except for PAP office-holders who have “out-of-this-world” wages) productivity and standard of living. Singaporeans only got 1st World COST of living with stagnant wages, less job security, no minimum wage, over-priced public housing, depleted CPF account and unreliable public transport.

    LKY wasted his time as PM and failed Singaporeans big-time. His hubris and arrogance did him in. PAP hubris precludes admitting LKY made a big mistake. PAP will never change. That is why Singaporeans should “bury” it with LKY at the next GE. Time to “clear the swamp” and get a fresh, clean start without the arrogant, self-serving greedy, incompetent and pro-alien PAP. VTO.

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  • 4th ranked crony capitalism:

    The crony way that businesses and investors can make money is by getting the government to rig markets in their favour – through erecting barriers to participation so as to restrict competition, by providing the cronies with cheap credit or by allowing them to use their political connections to grab contracts and other privileges. These gains are not the fruit of value-adding economic activity. Rather than helping to grow the economy, they often merely redistribute wealth.

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  • Bapak:

    PAP knows how selfish is Sinkies. Let oppos fight alone. They can jail oppos anytime yet by giving sinkies one drumstick sinkies will forget everything and vote for them. They did this to JBJ, did they lose a seat?

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  • Change We Must:

    Very disgracefu. She is paid millions and now wasting multi millions in the whole parliament.How much it cost for her disgracefu debate for the whole house of MPs and cabinets add up together?$$. Spend more time thinking of how to help Singaporeans rather suing your million $ time on this. Sylvia question is what Singaporeans are asking, she represent us in the house. Enough is enough !!! Disgracefu!!

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  • Mediocre Fu:

    grace will be promoted soon?:
    cabinet reshuffle coming soon.

    where will grace find herself. promoted or demoted?
    put in a position where she can do lesser damage to the PAP’s brand?

    or even damage to Singapore. we can now see that grace do not possess the qualities to represent SG to deal with foreign governments.

    sinkies are now just waiting for LHL to make his announcement.
    is he making last minute changes? LOL!

    She has a new name. Mediocre Fu formerly known as Grace Fu.

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  • rukidding:

    Pappy is falling apart due to its own arrogance and pride !

    So happy that this is happening…..and making them look like “Fools”.

    F. U. !

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  • PAP Branding down the drain:

    These new 4G Ministers and 3G Shamugram definitely devalue the PAP brand several notches to the public which ultimately lead average Sporean to wonder what calibre of leaders they are getting for their tax dollar and most pertinently how on earth our esteemed PM can find this bunch even talented and competent. They are debating simple issues agst one local SL and they lost face bigtime how on earth do they face and deal withtheir international peers over major issues for Singapore. Look at the disgracefool/fu -citizens find that u absurd and hypocritical to be admonishing SL from a script and her only substance was to repeat her threats and not even pretend to understand SL’s repeated stance. Mousy Heng fared no better as his body language and creepy attempts at indignant intonation made him act like a toad ; again drumming on SL without basis. No need to undrline Minister Shan supposed trained mind but came across more like tired incoherent, bullying leading questions leading no where. How on earth do these PAP highpowered ministers deal with and represent our nation on the international arena I sincerely shunned to imagine> Obviously the PM should realise PAP brand is not going to last if it is represented by twhese inepts.

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  • jaywalker:

    This is what you get when Ah Soh becomes a minister!

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  • Tay Say Tan Nick:

    Requirements to be a member of the elite force:

    Revengeful
    Vindictive
    Cunning
    Arrogant
    Self-centered
    Greedy
    Liar
    No empathy
    No compassion
    No sympathy
    No respect
    Ungrateful
    Think you are ALWAYS right and everyone else is WRONG
    Immature
    Childish
    Must throw tantrums
    Talented in twisting words/insulting/belittling others
    Abuse powers
    Don’t practice what you preach
    Think yourself as an elite and others as a subhuman species
    Break/bend the law according to your whims and fancy
    Always think that you are above the law
    You are the law.

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  • Bystander:

    What’s the big fuss. Anybody could bring up suspicions, WP MP did not accuse PAP of lying. So why Foo is so bitchy like a low class pasar woman.
    Hello, who’s low class here.
    Can’t answer, then dun use such despicable tactics.

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