The Government just announced a $13B budget that has most workers salivating. But of all the comments made about this budget, I like the one from Mr Chiam See Tong, the Member of Parliament for Potong Pasir. He called this a "Fantastic Election Year Budget". Spoken like a true politician!
Unlike many opposition politicians in Singapore, who cannot say anything good about the government, Mr Chiam gives credit where credit is due. But in so doing, he manages to put forth the opposition view, and that is this is pork-barrel politics at play. Mr Chiam does not dismiss out of hand that this is indeed a people's budget. It is obviously very good for the man in the street. Come on, what can beat being given cash, and legally at that? So we go off with a clear conscience that this is not a bribery. Of course some will read this as a sort of 'bribery' in an Election year. Well, you can't please everybody, not even after forking out S$3.2 billion giveaways. I venture to speculate, though, that this largesse will have little impact, if at all, on the additional votes that the PAP can pull in some time this year. The ROI just won't do justice to the amount of money spent.
But then again, some would say that the money is the people's in the first place, so no big deal when it is given back to them. And since its theirs, they'd probably make a bee-line for the Casinos to gamble it all away, and then wait for next year to come. Just make sure that the chicken that lays the golden egg is not inadvertently, and prematurely, slaughtered.
To those who still say that the budget could have been better for the man in the street, I say, get real. Opposition for the sake of opposition is way past its used-by date. They should take a leaf out of Mr Chiam's approach. He has credibility and integrity.