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I am Singaporean VI – The Right Thing October 30, 2008

Posted by The Truth in I am Singaporean, Vol. II.

What is The Right Thing?  I was looking through the ST Forum and apparently someone has an answer.  To this piece, there has been much opinion, ranging from incredulosity to outrage.  Greg Gan has been calling for the States’ Times to do The Right Thing (although I wonder what The Right Thing is.)  Honestly, i would send him a certificate for giving me something to laugh at today.

You know, some people like to see themselves as morally superior to the incivilised barbaric masses.  And the author of this piece is no different.  But it fits in well with that the States Times is trying to do, namely something called ‘nation building,’ which we know is building the nation in the way the politicians want it.  And it reflects something very important in the Singaporean context, especially when it comes to politicians – they are/should be morally superior, which is why they were allowed to join the PAP in the first place and which is why they can rule over the plebian unreasonable masses.

That’s the reason why the Gahmen tells other countries to butt out of our internal politics and that’s also why the States Times has undergone a surface change, with not much of what’s inside changing.  Because they think they’re right doing so, if not Singapore will sink back into the South China Sea (interestingly, who lives on the hill near Fort Canning?)  As for ‘doing the right thing’ to show transparency, ethical conduct and compassion – are you sure that’s what we have in Singapore?  Let’s reiterate…i’m sure there was transparency when the Xiao Lee remained zip-lip during the first few days of the economic crisis.  I’m also pretty sure eugenics is ethical, and the Gahmen damn sure showed compassion by offering people affected by the mini-bond crisis compensation after Hong Kong did, in order to retain its competitiveness!

As for moralising, that’s all very good and nice to moralise, because if not there wouldn’t be a use for the verb ‘should.’  So i wonder what he refers to as ‘morals…’  It seems that he sees that the morals are equivalent to the laws we have, like capital punishment for drug peddlars, gun laws, and the like.  However, laws are expressions of morals, they are not equivalent.  I don’t think, for example, that it is moral to kill someone because he threatens to harm many others.  Of course, in a utilitarian way, it is moral.  But i’m not an utilitarian.  In fact, i don’t think it is the full expression of our morals, because there are so many more laws which may not necessarily reflect our morals!  Think about defamation laws, for example, and think about who uses them the most.  For if our ministers are practically speaking always right, then where is the freedom of opinion that everyone should be entitled to as a moral right?  Or is it morally right not to say anything when things are not right?

Irresponsible and immoral people hating good laws?  Wow.  That makes me irresponsible and immoral too.  Because i don’t like some of the “good” laws we have.  But isn’t that what the States Times doing in publishing this account of The Right Thing – there is only ONE right thing?  Is there ONE right thing?  If i have a bone to pick with this dude, it’s with his simplistic view that ‘everything i’m not familiar with must be wrong.’  As for morals being never grey – well.  Say you should not lie.  But should you lie to save a friend’s life?  Morals are always grey, the moral ideals and aims are not, like one being moral to be happy.

Perhaps Greg is right – the States Times should do the right thing.  If they can twist a particular Agnes Lin’s message to put her in another light, perhaps they should zhng this guy’s argument as well, because the praises he sings are not going to satisfy us much longer, if it hasn’t already stopped satisfying us altogether.



1. xinyuan - November 15, 2008

Haha. Um, isn’t he George Lim? Who’s Greg Gan >.<

Anyway, the guy really sounds like a wannabe pastor (/mad messiah) scrabbling to find a pulpit, and doesn’t deserve it “But what does it mean to do the right thing? It simply means not doing the wrong thing. Right and wrong are as clear as light and dark. Morals are never relative. There are no shades of grey when one’s heart is as bright as the noon day. ” Most illuminating :O

Thanks =) Really made my day, that article!

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