He takes issue with income inequality in Singapore. Indeed it has increased, as it has in many other countries. But in Singapore, the low-income have access to high-quality education, health care and public housing, like other citizens. Families earning just 1,000 Singapore dollars ($800) a month can afford to own a two-room apartment. Indeed, 80% of households in the bottom income quintile own their homes, with an average of more than S$200,000 net housing equity. Their wages have also grown by 10% (in real terms) in the past decade, unlike the stagnation often seen elsewhere. There is no parallel in other countries. Our model is not perfect, but it is dishonest of Mr. Chee to claim that it has failed, or that we have done nothing.
Mr. Chee criticizes government-linked companies. His charges are absurd. GLCs include highly successful, internationally renowned companies, such as Keppel, SembCorp and Singapore Airlines. They provide good jobs and opportunities for Singaporeans, but they make up just 10% of the economy. Privately owned small and medium-sized enterprises employ seven in 10 Singaporeans and enjoy the bulk of government support.
But Mr. Chee is not interested in facts. He is out to make a political case and trim his sails to the wind. When he writes in The Wall Street Journal, he attacks GLCs, but when he writes for the Huffington Post, he attacks free-trade agreements, in particular the U.S.-Singapore FTA.
Mr. Chee claims Singapore lacks a democracy. The reality is that elections in Singapore are free and fair. Every time Mr. Chee and his party have contested, Singaporeans have rejected them. He might do better to take the interest of Singaporeans to heart, rather than pander to the editorial tastes of the Western media.
Oh, and all good things comes in threes, so here’s a third one.
During the lead-up to GE2015, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong himself used a quote which Chee himself used during a lunchtime rally:
“I was very surprised to hear Dr Chee Soon Juan here yesterday on this spot say: ‘Reputation is temporary, but character is permanent’. I agree. Of all people, Dr Chee should know character is permanent, doesn’t change,”
Don’t even get me started on a history class on what Chee has been doing by badmouthing Singapore when he travels around the world.
And when he’s unable to travel, he goes to YouTube and podcasts to badmouth our democratically elected government.
So you can see for yourself. It’s not just me saying things about Chee. But many others who are. I’m just stringing all of them together for you. You judge.