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Vikram Nair attacks Chen Show Mao: Show me the money to invest in Singaporeans

Posted by temasektimes on March 1, 2012

Workers Party MP Chen Show Mao (Aljunied GRC) came under heavy fire from PAP MP Vikram Nair (Nee Soon GRC) during a parliamentary debate yesterday as the latter asked him repeatedly to show him the money to pay for the extra expenditure proposed in his Budget Speech.

Mr Chen had earlier called on the government to invest more in Singaporeans:

“To invest in Singaporeans is to invest in the future of Singapore. It has been said so many times and for so long that the only resource Singapore has is ourselves, that our most important capital is our human capital. Inclusive growth must be built on the growth of our human capital.”

However, Mr Vikram Nair accused Mr Chen and other WP MPs of scoring ‘political points’ by repeatedly asking the government to do more for vulnerable groups without acknowledging what had already been done, criticising him for not having a plan to pay for the extra spending he proposed.

“The one question I have is: what does Workers’ Party intend to do on the revenue side? Is it planning to raise taxes or eat into reserves to pay for all these additional programmes? Because I think the objectives are noble. I am just wondering how you balance it out…,” Mr Vikram Nair said.

He also insinuated that Mr Chen might not understand the reality on the ground as he just returned to Singapore. Mr Chen worked overseas for a number of years before returning to Singapore to contest in the general election last year.

”Let’s do more, let’s spend more,’ (they say), and, of course, they never talk of where this money is going to come from…I think many of us here have been working year in, year out, helping the vulnerable groups, and it is pretty hurtful coming from Mr Chen because he might have held this belief for a long time, but he came back only quite recently to help in this,” he added.

In response, Mr Chen said he is proposing that Singapore run a ‘deficit’ to fund additional social spending, but to “look at the numbers both on the revenue side and how much we hope to make in terms of investments to come to a solution.”

Read Mr Chen’s Budget Speech here.


26 Responses to “Vikram Nair attacks Chen Show Mao: Show me the money to invest in Singaporeans”

  1. Ukiya said

    I am sure we will have the money to spend on singaporeans if the ministers pay is lowered.
    They only care about whether their own pockets and not the citizen’s.
    Seriously, the amount can be substantial if all of them give up like 10% of their pay per month.

  2. Vickram Nair,every one sits in Parliament wants to score politcal points.Make no mistake about it.
    Singapore’s resource is its people capital and its people is depleting fast.Therefore,the future for Singapore in not for true blue Singaporeans.Save them while there is time before the next GE 2016
    Vikram Nair,I seriously doubt you know the amount of reserves we have.The domain of national reserves is not for you to know.It is meant for a selected few and you,Viram right at the bottom of a “need to know basis” list.
    Mr Chen may have come back to Singapore recently but his pulse for the country and its people far exceeded what you,Vickram Nair,thought.

  3. Sky said

    well, for starters, is there really a need to increase buses? with roads being so congested at the moment, is it really an intelligent move on this?
    and maybe cut down on FT Scholarships and giving strict rules and regulations, things like revoking rules and such? this would be a win, win situation, it allows FT Scholarship holders to know about the hardship of getting the scholarships, as well as, to respect singaporeans as a whole.

    ****and i really don’t like being called a “dog”…

    with the resitual money from the above, and maybe many more areas, those could be well invested in singaporeans too.

    example, HDB previlage to singaporeans, further discounts, on new BTOs, and Resells, to 1st timers would be of great help.

    you are asking for higher briths rate right? with many of us, being not able to own a flat, how do you expect us to have more kids? more over, life is quite tough for the mid and lower classes… try having to have a family of you, your wife, 2 parents and 3 kids… with household income with the combination of you and your wife’s to be at maximum 4k excluded CPF(***it is actully lower then 4k for some cases***).

  4. oute said

    Where does the money from

    a. YOG $300 million
    b. $750 million for “ponding” at Orchard Road.
    c. $1.1 billion dollars for the buses, wages
    d. $1.o billion dollars for Bishan Canal.
    e. $ billions on Defence Budget

    comes from.

  5. Moses Oh said

    Dear Mr Vikram Nair,
    If the government can invest S$36 million into housing, feeding and educating people like “Sun Xu” intop Singapore. Why can’t they divest half of those in Singaporeans. At least you do not have to house Singaporeans as we already am living here and have a house over our head. So with the same amount, you can invest more in Singaporeans than to invest in foreigners.

  6. Jason Low said

    If we can spend SGD 1.1 billion on privatized transport companies that pays their CEOs top dollars… I don’t see why we cannot spend more to benefit Singaporeans directly. In the first place, why should tax payers’ money be used on private companies?? Are these companies bankrupt that they need a ‘bailout’? If they need money, they can raise capital through the debt or equity markets!! Please stop taking us for a ride!!

  7. YEAHHHH said



  8. PMET said

    I am not pro-partied when it comes to discussing policies that shape the future of Singapore and Singaporeans. The elections are over and who ever is elected into parliment are suppose to work together to come up with sound policies to make the life of Singaporeans better. Yes, Singaporeans, not some visa attached foreigner!

    This Vikram Nair, before he even start his lamblasting Chen on his proposals, did he even see the merits of what Chen is proposing?
    so, the highly paid minister with his million dollar salary, now not only wants ideas on how to run the country and spend the taxpayers dollars, he wants a whole solution as well?

    Sure! Why not. Question is, are you will to share information on how much reserves there are, how much is used, how much can be spent?
    with those information provided, i am sure the WP will gladly come up with a solution with numbers thrown in.
    Even the suggestion (a few post above) of allocating more of the $36 million spent on foreigners’ scholarship to SINGAPOREANS is a sound one.

    The sole purpose of a debate is to throw up ideas, then debate the feasibility of that idea, then work upon a solution if that idea is to be adopted.
    if the governing party cannot even understand this, this makes you really wonder, are they really worth their salt in millions?
    there are suggestions aplenty in the forums/blogs/chat rooms. A simple google would have tossed up shit-loads of really good ideas that are never mentioned in any parlimentary debates.

    Scoring political point is one thing. Serving your duty like you are paid to do is another. Do your bloody job to serve the people of Singapore first before you try to score political points! Whacking the party minority for the sake of scoring political points just shows up how shallow and short-sighted you are.

  9. ken lee said

    million of votes coming, if you have many free thing giving to you would you not votes them??
    should new citizen be ban for voting for ten years? look like votes buying to me!

  10. We should care for our old said

    Mr Chen Show Mao gave up his job came back to Singapore precisely because he understands the frustrations of the pple and wants to help be our voice in parliament. If we can spend SGD1.1bn on buses, when the PTO can raise their own funding, if we can spend SGD36mio on foreigners who call us “dogs”, if we can spend SGD10mio to teach new citizens/ PRs/ foreign talents Singapore culture, if we can blow SGD120mio on YOG, and not to mention hundreds of millions spent to tear down our national stadium just so that we can get a new white elephant stadium.

    Why cant we seriously look at the numbers and try to invest in infrastructure that cares for the old, esp this year where tax revenues are billions above forecast? Do we want to continue to be a society where only economically productive pple count? Or should we be proud of our Asian values and look after our old?

  11. anonymous said

    Empty out Temasek Holdings & GIC. Oops that is our CPF & tax payers money.

  12. worldorder said

    There is money to invest in foreign scholarship but none or little for local Singaporeans. SIgh ! We have been called Daft and now being called Dogs by foreign student (fully sponsored by local administration). Very soon somebody will call us Donkey (hardworking dumb labourers) to level up to the 3D effects !! My parents and like many other local parents have to work very hard (scrap and save) to sent my siblings to the highest education possible. For someone to debate in parliament to such low level on an important social issue it’s just so appalling. I hope the government will take a very serious look into this one of the many thorny issues among the “roses” that have been perceived as ” good enough for locals so far”. Ironically, in China, the CCCP frequently advocates “for the people” or “yi min wei zhu” policy in public and they have lifted some 400 million population from pure poverty over just 20 years or more.

  13. needy singaporean said

    You just announce humongous surplus. You dump 1.1b into smrt/sbs jjust so you can continue get dividends and pay the rich exorbitant bonus. You pay immigrants scholarship $$174k a pop just so they can break the bond subsequently and return home happy, Singapore no budget for needy singaporean? what a joke!! may u rot in hell, self serving greedy leeches!!

    U have million dollar salaries, u dont know how the needy feel, who is the one lost touch with the ground!!?!?! Shame on you!! people who are not in the country are more in touch with the ground than you are!! Go ahead, keep on touching the balls of the high and mighty. may u rot in hell.

  14. Vikram the Dog said

    Vikram Nair, nothing but a PAP lap dog. Always on e lookout to fix Sinkies and oppositions. He is one of e most f-up MPs around.

  15. kenny said

    Didn’t newspaper named Singapore as one of the richest country in the world, being so rich, our government can spend more on us? Can’t invest more on us?

    What is Vikram trying to do? Is he saying just to insult WP or is he looking into the issue….I really doubt him.

    He was voted in to discuss and solve issue for Singaporean, and not there to find loopholes to insult other or to find faults.

  16. Ken said

    Vikram Nair,

    Tell me and to the Singaporeans….what the government has been invested so far with the tax-payers money, including those the government has been collected from ERP, GST and foreign workers’ levies ?

    Tell me and to the Singaporeans….what are the return the government has made so far in using the tax-payers money ?

    Last but not least, tell me and to the Singaporeans…what you have contributed to the country (I mean Singapore if you have mixed up) so far which encourage you to make such a comments ?

  17. Xiaoqiang said

    Vikram nair,I was so impressed when I saw you drinking the water on tv, but I am very puzzled at your response……. are you are saying that government is broke???????

  18. jim said

    I call upon the PAP to comment on the remarks made by Mr. Vikram Nair about the value helping the poor, equating it to as much value as a cheating scam. Mr. Vikram Nair should resign to avoid dragging the PAP name through mud.

  19. true blue singaporean said

    Mr Vikram Nair is a superb and sharp debator quick with his rebuttals. Mr Chen Show Mao has convinced me that he is a true Singaporean with a passion for his people whom he serves! It is needless to predict who will win if they contest the 2016 GE in a Single-Seat Ward!

    • fabianwee said

      Singapore wants a true Singaporean,, stand up for Singapore and sing our national anthem in combat fatigue. Talk less and do more.

  20. Ben said

    In the first place why this Vikram guy dare ask where the money comes from annoys me to the max. U are supposed to serve us, so the money should come from your Pap pockets for a starters! U cant have the best of both worlds u noe? U wana earn big bucks, neglect true blue sporeans but still b seated in the parliament???!!! Wake up ur freakin idea. Oh n for the rest of the funds, cutting on useless “investments” like Yog, scholarships on ingrates, cutting all MPspay to a regular few K salary is definitely sufficient to support sporeans without eating into our reserves. Talk with some brain pls Vikram! If not u just look like a fool, act like a moron, n disgrace not only urself but ur grandpa LKY. And when ur taking tat kinda low salary only then r u fit to talk to any one of us. Mind u, ur the servant n we r ur boss. Suck it up to us or ur gona lose it in the next GE. Lol. Loser

  21. Ben said

    And what u guys used to invest is taxpayers money mind u, without consulting us and u use our money n u dare tok to us like tat?! FYI ur biting the hands that feeds u, be a gd boi else we will starve u. N FYI agn, i wud rather take back lotsa cash than see sparks in the sky during national day. Tats our money too. And lastly, dun even tink abt raising any more erps or taxes etc in order to give more “support” to singaporeans, we r the citizens here n we deserve every support and funds we sud get frm the govt without paying more, n. Guys im sure they hav no guts to raise anymore taxes la, coz they know once they raise them they lose their seats in the next GE. Boohoo…..

  22. fabianwee said

    Would you show Vikram the money when he cannot control the situation of someone on the waylaid who can harpoon your novel idea. If Vikram can show us the money spent oveasea by GLC… we can show him vice versa.

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