Politicians have to make promises on future plans

Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing with Mr Sam Tan (standing), Minister of State for Social and Family Development and Foreign Affairs and chairman of government feedback and engagement unit Reach, at the Budget dialogue on Feb 23, 2019.
Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing with Mr Sam Tan (standing), Minister of State for Social and Family Development and Foreign Affairs and chairman of government feedback and engagement unit Reach, at the Budget dialogue on Feb 23, 2019.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

It is heartening that ministers and MPs are conducting feedback sessions with the public on the Budget, a matter of great concern to all Singaporeans (Focus on Govt's total social spending: Chan Chun Sing, Feb 24).

However, I found a comment by Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing puzzling.

He said that governments should not make promises at an election because "you have not yet earned the money".

The revenue of the country comes fundamentally from the contribution of the people through the payment of taxes.

A government is given the task of managing and taking care of the money only in order to fulfil the duties of a good steward elected by the people who have placed their trust in it.

It is thus acceptable for any government to make "promises" or state its projected plan of action and management of the money, whether it is during election time or not.

The Merdeka Generation Package is one such example, where the people were informed of the amount being set aside and spent for this purpose.

All political parties make promises or spell out their future plans to the people during election, whether they are the current ruling party or not, as they all aspire to be the future government.

William Yip

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 01, 2019, with the headline 'Politicians have to make promises on future plans'. Print Edition | Subscribe