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I am Singaporean III – The Importance of a Good Memory January 28, 2010

Posted by The Truth in I am Singaporean Vol. III.

Elections are coming!

In spite of what our politicians are telling you, the signs are clear (as is the incongruence in what different politicians from the same party tell us):

But at the same time, since all this talk is a pretty sure sign that the elections are around the corner, it would be appropraite to call to mind everything that has transpired in the past PAP term.  Did we have to Pay And Pay more? Did we Stay Together, and Move Ahead? (You can refer to the PAP’s 2006 manifesto here.) More importantly, dare we give the PAP carte blanche for another 5 years?

One huge thing which went wrong was this “Stay Together, Move Ahead” thing. It certainly doesn’t seem that Singapore has stayed together and moved ahead. The richer are richer, and the poorer are poorer than ever. 36% of our population aren’t Singaporeans, and companies, which are focused on profit and survival, are hiring these foreigners en masse, simply because they ask for less money. Richer foreigners, those who can afford a roof over their heads, are artificially inflating the HDB market, so that Singaporeans feel that they are rapidly becoming 2nd class citizens in their own country. Instead of staying together, we have drifted apart. As for moving ahead – a lot of people are getting ahead in Singapore, but are many Singaporeans getting ahead?

Secondly, we have to consider how responsible our Gahmen has been when times have been tough. Have they been responsible? Have they admitted their mistakes to the people? MM’s admission that the bilingual policy was a mistake only turned out to be a mistake in implementation, not in theory (see my other post on this topic), not the catastrophe MM makes it out to be, and I am pretty sure too that yet another change in implementation (teaching Chinese in English..?!), the way MM sees it anyway, will be a turn for the worse. But leaving that aside, what about the other shenanigans? Did our Dear Leaders show that they were ready to take responsibility, or were they only responsible for progress?

In Singapore, they say that “talk is cheap”, but when it comes to the failings of the system, our Gahmen loves to use talk, instead of action – the status quo, so it is thought, has worked up to now – so why tweak it? Thus, apologies from the Gahmen are hardly forthcoming – bad things are normally accompanied by exhortations to “accept it and move on.” Pragmatically, that is the right way to look at things – i don’t deny that – but for a Gahmen to say that would mean that this particular government is either really inept when it comes to governing or that it has nothing to fear from the population. What the population has to do is to forgive, but not forget. True, we have to work ourselves out of this problem, but we should NEVER EVER forget what has happened, nor should we let ourselves be blinded by handouts and promises of lift upgrading. Having a good memory is the only way you can effect change – it’s like remembering that the last time you ate something bad, you had a really bad tummyache, and so you avoid stuff which smells bad. You don’t continue buying food which smells bad, because it is a lot cheaper, or because the mama shop around the corner stocks it, when you could go to NTUC for non-bad-smelling food.

So yes, were they responsible?

  • Mas Selamat’s Great Escape was swept swiftly under the rug, and Lee Junior said “we should move on.” Lee Senior accused the population of “complacency”, i.e. it’s not our fault, it’s YOURS for being complacent, but we are willing to work with you and solve the problem.
  • The financial crisis was blamed on “global circumstances” (which is partly true), but the massive losses by GIC and Temasek were never explained. Instead, Ho Ching took a sabbatical (maybe to take some heat off her), an ang mor put on the board, only to have him leave due to “strategic differences”. So essentially, the status quo remains.
  • Our Law Minister told us (without proof nor logic) that foreigners don’t make our lives more difficult, or more inaffordable. But then, PM Lee said that “the Government actually has no control over HDB resale prices”, thus absolving the Gahmen of all blame.
  • Remember the old “Stop at Two” policy? Now, the Gahmen is trying to plug the leaks – by importing foreigners. It seems that the Gahmen has no sense of how to deal with its population – it wants a fast and effective solution, but a solution which may not be tenable in the long run (unless the various political conspiracies online are to be believed). The distrust against citizens (“if we give you welfare, you will become lazy”) shows how much the Government is reliant on its citizenry, but also how much the Government believes that they are better than the citizens. The benevolent dictator has forgotten what it means to be benevolent.

The same dubious kinds of “talk” are also present in the above signs that the elections are coming. Not speculating on when the elections are coming means that you can actually forget that the elections are coming, so you will be surprised by a nice Gahmen handout and you will vote for them. Lee Junior’s intellectual theft can be explained as integrating the thoughts of others into their own, thus making the PAP seem more progressive than before. As for Lee Senior’s promises and threats…you have to ask yourself whether they will come to fruition.

So, how do we make sure that we have better leaders who will take care of us? An Opposition is good, because, in the words of PM Lee, in the course of “fixing” each other, the population benefits. A strengthened, more outspoken Opposition can act as a conscience against the ruling party, as a form of checks and balances. The impotence of our current opposition politicians is not based on personal incompetence, but on the fact that no one has their backs. Strengthen the Opposition, and you strengthen the possibility that Gahmen failings and problems are actually discussed (and not mentioned and applauded) in Parliament, and that all parties, PAP and Opposition, will turn a more acute ear to the common man, if only to garner more support. Want to get rid of insensitive elitists? Then you have to change the balance of power.

But to do that, you need a really good memory to dredge up everything that has transpired in the last 5 years. Make an informed decision!


1. Singazine - January 28, 2010

Linked under, ‘Politics’. Thanks.

2. The Singapore Daily » Blog Archive » Daily SG: 29 Jan 2010 - January 29, 2010

[…] Road to Election – Die neue Welle: I am Singaporean III – The Importance of a Good Memory […]

3. George - January 29, 2010

Voters should cast their ballot with a sickle in hand to remove all the ruling party’s lallang roots and all.

Only then can we have replant the ground with carpet grass.

4. Alan Wong - January 29, 2010

Someone working in the civil service mentioned that elections will be held in March after this year’s budget but our PM said it won’t be so soon.

Which one should we believe ?

5. MIW=scums - January 29, 2010

It is absolutely crucial lesser mortals stay together, move ahead and leave the bloody Men In White behind.
This can be achieved by collectively voting for any opposition.
Anything less will be a disaster because my instinct tells me lesser mortals may never have another chance, not with Scums of the Earth.

6. xingrencha - January 31, 2010

To Alan Wong. U shld believe PM of cos!

7. guojun - January 31, 2010

SM say one. PM never say anything about election…alert can liao mah.

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