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“Don’t Rock the Boat!” June 6, 2008

Posted by The Truth in Im Allgemeinen.

As a Singaporean, i think this is worth a read. You know, of course it’s not the time to nitpick and blow things out of proportion. This author, Chin Hwa, thinks that we’re playing with fire by rocking the boat. Here’s the full text…

This is not a time to nitpick and blow up matters out of proportion.

Singaporeans enjoy more than 45 years of plenty under the rule of the PAP. Today, instead of crushing under the weight of the heavy global oil and food prices like many, many larger and resource-rich countries, this tiny resourceless and no-economies-of-scale little red dot continues to give out goodies to its people – Progress Package, Growth Dividends, Inflation Bonus, etc., to the envy of many countries. Thanks to the good management of Singapore.

No one wishes to unconsciously stir up the ground from any thread. Look what’s happening around the world today. It’s volatile like kerosene and can spread out of hand. It that what we want? Street protests as advocated can turn to anarchy where looting and violence is the norm. Tourists for example will be too scared to come here then. What then will happen to the livelihood of the thousands of our taxi drivers, hotel people, food & beverage people, etc.,? Moreover, investments thrive on a peaceful, safe & secure environment. It may then not be easy to turn back the clock. Playing hero or Robin Hood is. See what’s happening time & again in Thailand.

Don’t play with FIRE. There’s no starvation, no food riots, no NEP, no torture and what-not that plagues others in Singapore. In the 80-20, it’s bad to play up the 20. No one will benefit in the end, save our rivals and enemies. Don’t bring back the Lim Yew Hocks (one who sold Pedra Branca [Christmas Island]), Ling How Dongs, Cheos, etc. Don’t rock the boat.

If we didn’t know. The faces in government come and go after they have made their contributions. They are people like you and me. They are not entrenched in stone; only the party’s name. Leadership faces self-renewal and self-regulation. The only founding member remaining is our grand old MM. No one will deny that he deserves the seat for as long as he can still contribute to the well-being of the nation. Contributing, beyond self and family, he is. It must be hard for a loving husband to leave his beloved sick old wife to go to Russia to seek out business for Singapore. Bother to give that a thought? Altruism? Need he?

Look at the bigger picture, Singaporeans. Be grateful. And finally, there’s no utopia and paradise on this dog-eat-dog planet.

Firstly, let’s look at 45 years of plenty. Have we HAD 45 years of plenty? Or 45 years of just enough? YOU may have had 45 years of plenty. But there are many who haven’t. Ditto for costs not being necessarily crushing as yet. As for the handouts…well, the Progress Package was doled out just before the elections, something which the opposition could not do. Growth dividends was a payout of the shocking 7.7% budget surplus, and the inflation bonus was given out in response to inflation in May 2008. Isn’t it rather surprising that many of these correspond with rather significant occurances in Singapore, like the General Elections, the freak budget miscalculation, and Mas Selamat’s Great Escape?

Hogwash, you could say, these are just coincindences. It shows that the Government cares for us, and that Singapore is well-managed. Well, if Singapore is well-managed, then why did Mas Selamat escape and the people only given bits and pieces of information LATE? Why would the PAP give out money just a few months before the General Elections? It’s because these small amounts of money are meant to appease the population, so that the voices may be silenced. Money can buy many things. Unfortunately, it can’t buy us, well, not yet, at least…

It’s interesting to assume that if the boat is rocked, it’s sure to capsize, which is just what our author does. This, of course, proceeds by arguments which word precisely on one premise – namely that we’re weaklings who do not have any reason at all – what’s happening around the world is like kerosene, and it can spread out of hand. This as a reason is used to explain why street protests can turn into anarchy, with looting and violence. Thus, foreign tourists will not dare to visit us, and what will happen to the livelihood of thousands? And for a negative example, we really should look at Thailand! Granted that Singapore is relatively better-off than Thailand, but since we are better, isn’t it good to demand more? The Government always exhorts us to work more, anyway! And, by the way, the belief that rocking a boat will capsize it has been used by the PAP to explain most of its prophylactic policies. To think that the education system has failed to teach us one thing – reason – that they have to take so many preventive measures against us!

Play with fire? What fire? You mean Armageddon for Singapore? I would say au contraire, not doing anything is playing with fire just as well. And playing up the minority – how does our author know what that we’re in the minority? For all i know, Singaporeans really love complaining, so i don’t think we’re in the minority at all…furthermore, who are these enemies? Is it the ‘fictional enemy’ scenario which is muchly ingrained into NE classes? Demonise everyone who isn’t a model Singaporean citizen – that means our neighbours (which is why NS is important), a certain opposition head, netizens (don’t listen to what they say! It’s anonymous and has no credibility!), foreign press, and much much more? Do we need such clear boundaries with OB markers, or do we need a graduating amount of acceptance, with the extremes (like fundamentalists or murder) definitely within the OB markers, whereas others which don’t really fit in are neither accepted nor persecuted?

The faces in Government come and go. This i have to disagree with. Lee Kuan Yew will be immortalised after his passing as the founding father of Singapore as we know it, and he will be glorified in the history textbooks, just like how the video of him breaking down after we got thrown out has been shown again. And again. I don’t declare that Lee Kuan Yew isn’t important, but i wonder what Singapore is to him. Is it like a hobby, like a model plane which you can’t ever finish building, or is it like a real-life SimCity? In this sense of the word, i don’t think the world ‘altruism’ comes in. Altruism would be, however, a convenient explanation which everyone would like to hear. But perhaps real altruism is in firstly in perceiving that your citizens are human too, not inferior creatures with lesser rights than you. Only then can you be altruistic. (But seriously, what am i talking about? Money gives you rights in Singapore, silly!)

Be grateful, Singaporeans. Be grateful for what? The Singapore in the Straits Times? Look at the bigger picture. What bigger picture? The bigger picture that we are told to see and have exams over, or the bigger picture which is the ugly truth which you’re not supposed to know about?



1. Aidil Omar - June 8, 2008

Whoever wrote that piece is an equivalent paranoid like the insidious writers from our 154th Pravda. A whole load of bollocks and utter rubbish.

2. CelluloidReality - June 8, 2008

That letter is founded on the strawman premise. It is full of slippery slopes and one really wonders if Chin Hwa has really understood the world that he perceives, in critical terms.

All that he mentions, seems like an experience borne out of reading the Straits Times exclusively, and that is a worrying trend.

By staying still, you become complacent, and Singapore cannot afford complacency in the disguise of “not rocking the boat”. If something is wrong, fix it. If change is inevitable, accept it.

3. The Truth - June 8, 2008

Model Citizen award anyone? haha.

4. hilary - June 8, 2008

Well said Chin Hwa! U must have understood d downside of life n travelled extensively 2 appreciate d upkeep of life. These people who make negative comments seem 2 wanna be popular in adulthood.Not suffcient being fed with a golden spoon, in their growing years. Grow up children!

5. CelluloidReality - June 9, 2008

Hilary, on the contrary. Those who have seen more of life, will understand that we require far more than what is told is good enough for this nation.

Those who need growing up, are those stuck in the ignorant phase of not understanding that change is the only constant.

6. guojun - June 9, 2008

wah. i wish i had a golden spoon growing up. heh.

7. The Singapore Daily » Blog Archive » Weekly Roundup: Week 24 - June 14, 2008

[…] Fallout – Die neue Welle: “Don’t Rock the Boat!” […]

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