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Dr Chee: Gahmen Should Spend More on Healthcare Instead of “Risky” Investments

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In his rally today at Raffles Place, one of the key issues Singapore Democrats chief Dr Chee Soon Juan spoke about was that of healthcare.

He questioned why the Singapore government was willing to hedge its bets on “risky” investments, while spending so relatively little on healthcare.

Dr Chee said the PAP government made a “big song and dance” over its planned additional $4 billion planned for healthcare spending, which was announced earlier this year.

He said that spending came only after the SDP pointed out its limited expenditure on healthcare spending, which was about 30 percent.

Dr Chee said that most OECD nations spend about 70 percent of their healthcare expenditure.

Criticising the government’s 4 billion increase in healthcare expenditure, which is spread out across 5 years, Dr Chee said that the sum is the same amount of money that Temasek Holdings offered in 2014 on a “highly questionable” investment in Olam Holdings – a debt-ridden company.

Market watchers across the board decried the move, Dr Chee said.

He added that S$4 billion was also the amount that was spend on Shin Corp, only for the company to “go up in smoke”.

And adding fuel to the fire, he spoke about how Temasek Holdings lost billions in the 2008 financial markets collapse, despite warning from observers like Warren Buffet , Nouriel Rubini and Jim Rogers.

“In 2008, the GIC and Temasek admitted it had lost a combined sum of S$120 to S$140 billion dollars in investments in western banks.”

Dr Chee said that the Government accuses the SDP of “coming up with policies of tax and spend, but what they will do is take our reserves and make failed investments.”

In the meantime, he said, Singapore hospitals face repeated shortages of beds and have to put patients in corridors and makeshift tents.

“Some of you may have experienced it yourself, bringing elderly parents to the hospital. Some of you may have had to wait, sometimes up to a day for them to be admitted to get a bed in a ward.”

The SDP has recommended halving the S$13 billion annual spending on defence, and pumping the funds into sectors such as healthcare.

And in a barb aimed at rebutting Dr Vivian Balakrishnan’s criticism of the SDP’s policies, which he said would “bankrupt” Singapore, Dr Chee had one simple question:

“Don’t you think that’s a bit rich coming from Dr Balakrishnan, who blew a hole in the YOG budget and overspent by S$300 million dollar?”

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