The Workers' Party (WP) is quick to claim credit and call for more, but hesitant to offer their own detailed proposals, said Senior Minister of State for Law and Education Indranee Rajah in a Facebook post on Monday morning.
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Senior Minister of State for Law and Education Indranee Rajah's Facebook post on Monday morning:
The Art of Claiming Credit
In the Worker's Party (WP) statement on the Medishield Life, Mr Gerald Giam welcomed the recommendations but was quick to claim credit saying: " Many of the recommended enhancements to the MediShield health insurance scheme have been articulated by Workers' Party MPs in Parliament as well as by many Singaporeans over the years. ......"
The statement is instructive in its' approach which is: 1. claim credit; 2. keep it vague; and 3. call for more.
We can infer from the speed at which WP has claimed credit for Medishield Life that they think it is a great idea.
They are effectively saying the Medishield Life enhancements are their ideas. There is vague attribution to articulation by "many Singaporeans" ( more on that later ) but that's about it. The implication is that Medishield Life happened because they spoke up in parliament. No credit is shared or given to anyone else.
While WP MPs have raised healthcare issues in parliament, so too have PAP MPs and in far greater numbers and volubility.
The fact is, Medishield Life was born out of the Our Singapore Conversation (OSC) with the active participation of 50,000 Singaporeans, and healthcare was identified as a key area in which "Assurance" was needed. Thousands of Singaporeans from all walks of life contributed myriad ideas which were collated, reviewed, analysed, and formed into policy, eventually taking concrete shape in the form of Medishield Life.
Medishield Life is the sum of the combined efforts of OSC participants, civil servants who manned the OSC secretariat and those who worked tirelessly on the policy recommendations, the PAP ministers, in particular the Ministers for Health and Finance and Mr Bobby Chin and his Committee all of whom worked to translate it into reality. It is a live example of what many have called for - a collaboration between government and people, and government listening and acting directly on what it has heard.
Ah, you may say, but WP also attributed the recommendations to Singaporeans. Well, let's see what WP has said elsewhere about this.
In the debate on the President's address. Mr Low Tha Khiang said: "To me what is important is the outcome of political process...constructive politics does not happen by order of the government nor does it happen through a national conversation or public consultation".
A lofty statement and a grand dismissal of the OSC process and public consultation.
Yet here we have one of the most constructive outcomes of a national conversation and public consultation - Medishield Life, an outcome for which WP now seeks to take credit.
Two weeks ago, they dismissed the citizen feedback process. Now they attribute this policy to citizen feedback, obtained by that very same process.
In the last line of their media statement, WP says that it " will continue to advocate that the Government should shoulder a higher proportion of healthcare costs, and share more risks on behalf of Singaporean families."
WP provides no details of how this sweeping objective is to be achieved and they speak as though the government operates apart from its citizens.
Never mind that when they call on the government to pay more, they are effectively calling on taxpayers to pay more, since government is funded largely through taxes.