Budget 2019 : Fulfilling Old Promises?


By: B. Goode

If you looked back at the old news reels of PAP election rallies of the 60’s right up to the 80’s, you’d understand if I were to say that budget 2019 and indeed the budgets for the past few years were attempts by the PAP government to make good on their past election promises.

Back then, when the present older generation, the very group of people who have been showered with benefits after benefits in each of the past 3 budgets or so, were younger and at their prime, they were promised a ‘better tomorrow’ by the late LKY and his comrades.

Basically the PAP promised affordable housing, accessible healthcare, jobs, safe and clean environment and the eradication of poverty.

Whether the end justify the means is beside the point. The fact is, for today’s older generation they cannot but appreciate what the PAP government have done to make their lives tolerable.  I feel dirty just saying that but credit must be given where credit is due.

They have roofs over their heads; they have easy access to healthcare; they could `wheelchair’ their way everywhere with little or no humps or bumps; and they have no fear of starvation. In short, they are enjoying the basic of human needs.

Of course if one was to be cynical, one could say that the PAP government could have done better. But here’s the thing about the word `better’. It is infinite. Everything in life could be better. It is a never ending story.

But is life now for the older generation better than 50, 40, 30 years ago? I’d say yes.

For those who have not counted their blessings, I’d suggest going to some third-world countries and do their counting there.

On the surface, budget 2019 gives nothing much to the older generation. A hundred dollars here, a thousand dollars there; it was more of an icing on the cake. But the bigger picture, the cake, has been delivered as promised and on time.

It was more of little tweaks to ensure that for those who fell through the net, they would not have too hard a landing.

But for those who fell through the net, how much of it was the government’s fault? At the end of the day, we should not expect the government to totally replace the family’s responsibility; or for the government to clean up after the consequences of one’s irresponsible actions.

If an old man got cheated out of his house and savings by his incorrigible son, or if an old man went broke because he decided to spend all his savings living his second childhood, we should not expect the government to come to their rescue. No government in this world would do that. But at least for that old man, his basic needs, no matter how rudimentary would be taken care of by the government.

Some people argue that budget 2019 is an election budget. So be it. But for today’s younger generation, when you hear the promises made by the PAP of a better tomorrow, look no further than your older family members and ask yourself whether their lives are indeed better. Not the best maybe, but better.

Then you decide who to vote for in the coming elections:

Heng Swee Keatb2b3b4b5


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