a young girl sitting on a chair © The Independent Singapore

Singapore — There has been an uproar over a speech in Parliament by People’s Action Party MP Tin Pei Ling, during which she said: “If we look at the relief per citizen or PR, Singapore tops the chart at S$23,225 per capita.”

Ms Tin, who is MP for the MacPherson Single-Member Constituency, took to Facebook on Thursday (June 4) to share the speech during the debate on the Fortitude Budget. An item from her address was the calculations she made on the estimated financial support per capita given by the Government.

“Based on my back-of-envelope estimation, the budgetary support per capita in Singapore is S$23,225,” said Ms Tin, noting that this number was higher than that of Japan and the United States. “To standardise for comparisons, I took the entire package value divided by citizen population size,” she explained.

Ms Tin saw this as a manifestation of the Government’s resolve to aid Singaporeans and ensure that the country overcomes the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. “On per capita basis, Singapore is top of the charts around the world,” she said.

Although Ms Tin said that it was necessary for the Government to draw from its reserves to provide Singaporeans with multiple stimulus packages, she stressed the importance of managing the “pot of gold” wisely.

She also cited how in 2011, Singapore was able to bounce back from the global financial crisis and said: “Let us hope we will be able to rebound from this crisis as well, and when we do, to remember to set aside something for future generations of Singaporeans.”

Although it was a lengthy post, most people seemed to zero in on the estimated budgetary support per capita. Many argued that, since they had received only a small fraction of her S$23,225 estimate, the Government had yet to provide the rest.

While there were those who wanted to know how Ms Tin arrived at such a number, others did their own calculations by deducting the financial support they had received from the Government from Ms Tin’s estimate and asked when they would receive the rest of the amount. One person told her: “Be straight with your numbers.”

These are some of the comments on Ms Tin’s post:

a screenshot of a cell phone © The Independent Singapore Photo: Screengrab from Facebook comments / Tin Pei Ling

Ms Tin responded to the comments to clarify how she had arrived at the figure.

a screenshot of a cell phone screen with text: Photo: Screengrab from Facebook comments / Tin Pei Ling © The Independent Singapore Photo: Screengrab from Facebook comments / Tin Pei Ling a close up of text on a black background: Photo: Screengrab from Facebook comments / Tin Pei Ling © The Independent Singapore Photo: Screengrab from Facebook comments / Tin Pei Ling

/TISG

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