OTP Series* IV: PAP: Stay Arrogant, Stay Clueless

The recent “debates” at the opening of the 12th Parliament show that PAP still doesn’t get it.

1. Teo Chee Hean: ISA is the Govt’s greatest “shield” to protect the people, and proceeded to cite the unrest caused by CPM and unions in the 60’s as justification.

Million-dollar minister Teo doesn’t get it. This is not 1965. The threats are different. The perils of the past do not resonate with young voters.

More importantly, the standards of justice and human rights is different. What was acceptable then is not acceptable today. Voters’ expectations are different.

Mr Teo, policemen used to wear shorts, as we say in Singapore. Your grandmother stories are not going to work, not when they hear how ISA detainees were tortured in detention.

2. Law Minister Shanmugam: Hand over heart, does Pritam Singh believe that the Govt indirectly controls the media?

Where do you find such kludges? It really isn’t that important what Pritam Singh, MP believes. Yet you spent the better part of 5 mins trying to pin him down.

It’s more important what 70% of Singaporeans believe. It’s ok if you want to be in denial, but most Singaporeans do not believe our media are free from Govt control and influence.

Here’s to you making a tearful exit in 2016!

3. Cedric Foo: Singapore is very different from Bhutan. Khaw Boon Wan: ‘To the Bhutanese we could well be Shangri-La

Point missed completely. Eh goondus, the thrust of Sylvia’s speech is that you guys have focused too much on GDP. The poor have not benefited from the fruits of growth, and the low TFR shows even the middle class have not benefited from the “opportunities” that you “seized”.

Sylvia’s speech is a call for the Govt to refocus its priority. But instead of heeding this feedback, we get Minister Khaw claiming Bhutanese think we are Shangri-La, and Cedric Foo claiming Bhutan is happy because they only have two opposition MP’s.

I don’t know what to say!

4. Christopher De Souza: Mr Giam should “not throw the baby out with the bath water“. He added: “Our housing is the envy of many first world countries. Therefore, to suggest that we have failed in housing, I think it is unfair.”

I don’t recall Gerald’s speech was about bathing babies. But he did highlight the ridiculous price rises of HDB flats in the last 10 years, which have caused hardship and anxiety for many, and the difficulties faced by those marginalised by HDB policies, such as singles.

Instead of labelling Gerald’s criticisms “unfair”, Mr De Souza should reflect on how unfair it is that citizens can’t get public flats when foreigners can.

5. Chen Show Mao said that it is not political differences which are divisive, it is intolerance of differences that is divisive.

Dr Teo Ho Pin’s response: he “did not know the difference (Mr Chen) has made” in defining the differences. Dr Teo added, “The PAP MPs are different but we work together as a team to serve our people.”

Can someone examine Dr Teo’s head? What’s so difficult to understand about Show Mao’s point? For months now PAP ministers have talked about not letting political differences, ie anti-PAP sentiments, divide us. They’ve even asked people to put their differences aside and unite behind the Govt, ie PAP. They’ve also repeatedly warned of the risks of political “gridlock”.

Show Mao has indirectly told them back: it doesn’t work this way. It is you guys who have to accept that there are differences, you have to work hard to find common ground, you can’t just expect people to accept whatever you propose in the name of unity.

PAP, you just don’t get it.

Stay arrogant, stay clueless. Prepare to lose power in 2016.

*OTP = Out of Touch Party. This is an occasional series to provide commentary on how PAP is out of touch with Singapore

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42 Responses to OTP Series* IV: PAP: Stay Arrogant, Stay Clueless

  1. hika6ru says:

    Inside the Parliament House –
    So far the cabinet and the ruling party “never thanks” (acknowledge at most) the Pro-SG electorates (declining percentage of winning margin) to wake them up. Never handling social perception well. Policy changes remain to be seen. And still substantial numbers of old-mindset PAP backbenchers reamin in the Parliament House.
    Outside the Parliament House
    To save SG and Singaporeans, we have to ….. …..

  2. Kai W Lin says:

    “When a wise man points at the moon the imbecile examines the finger.”
    ― Confucius

  3. Kirsten says:

    Pathetic. It is depressing to see that after so many years in power they can still be so immature. And what’s with all the nitpicking, instead of focusing on the main points? Do they not know how to debate?

  4. kojakbt22 says:

    Excellent observation of PAP’s responses in parliamentary exchanges. Indeed, from these exchanges, one can conclude that they are continuing their old ways and that the “sorry” they expressed during GE was merely lip service…

  5. Pingback: Daily SG: 21 Oct 2011 « The Singapore Daily

  6. xtrocious says:

    It’s great that we are having opposition of Mr Chen’s calibre in Parliament…

    If not to put those PAP MPs on their toes, but also to show the 60.1% how “talented” they are…hahah

  7. Saycheese says:

    They can remain arrogant to impress the lower mortals who voted for them. They have a working model where they get more votes than all others combined, so why mend something that ain’t broke?

  8. stella says:

    1. Teo Chee Hian did cite the unrest in the 1960s in his speech. But that was only to provide a historical account of the ISA.
    He does understand that the threats are different.. which is why Teo Chee Hean stated “But today we face a new serious threat. Al-Qaeda’s global jihadist terrorism, like communism, is an ideology with a global agenda that advocates the use of violence.” And “Using the ISA, the Government could take prompt pre-emptive action to neutralise and disrupt the network. Otherwise there could have been several truck bombs targeted at embassies exploding in Singapore in 2002. Information from those arrested under the ISA assisted in the arrest of the JI bomb-maker Fathur Rohman Al-Ghozi in Manila in January 2002. He had already amassed 1.2 tonnes of TNT and 2.4 km of detonator cord, and was on the way to Bangkok to obtain funds to complete the purchase of explosives for the attack in Singapore. Singapore also narrowly missed an attack in early 2002 against Changi Airport: Mas Selamat and his team backed off boarding the plane in Bangkok to Singapore when their identities were exposed in the Thai newspapers. Singapore had a third narrow miss when JI’s master bomb-maker, Dr Azahari Husin, gave up trying to stage an attack in Singapore after failing to connect with the local JI network which had been disrupted by ISD. Azahari then went from Johor to Indonesia to join the JI team planning the Bali bombing.’

    2. Not on the reach website. So wont comment.

    3. I think Khaw is trying to say that the term “Shangri-La” is subjective. Maybe the Bhutanese feel that utopia is having the comfort of modern life i.e. maybe Singapore.
    I actually do not think that Bhutan is Utopia. It only started having TV and Internet in 1999. I have not been there but I do not think that it is very technologically advanced. If one says that Bhutan is utopia, one is saying that being close to nature is utopia.
    I feel that Singapore should instead attempt to spread “Contentment” as part of our values. Advancement is necessary but being content is essential too. It is a very hard balance to thread.
    I do think that “the poor have not benefited from the fruits of growth” is too sweeping a statement.

    4. Throw out the baby with the bath water is an idiomatic expression used to suggest an avoidable error in which something good is eliminated when trying to get rid of something bad, or in other words, rejecting the essential along with the inessential. (Please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Throw_out_the_baby_with_the_bath_water).
    The prices are increasingly rising because inflation and other reaons. And some might not be able to afford HDBs.
    However, I think what De Souza is saying is that one should not condemn the HDB policy entirely because of the high prices. I do agree that it should be resolved but the underlying policy is still sound.

    5. Not on the reach website. So wont comment.

    Excerpts of speeches are from http://www.reach.gov.sg/microsite/sgparliament/
    Not from any party. Do agree that there are issues that the govt needs to resolve. But think that should not read the entire speech and not focus on only one aspect of it.

    • Thanks for comments.

      1. Speeches are released on Reach, although I think the Hansard should be the more authoritative source. Notwithstanding this, exchanges outside of the prepared text are not there, hence if you want to wait for them to be on Reach, you’ll never comment.

      2. It’s strange that you use these examples to justify ISA. If someone is caught with even one live round, he can go to jail for a very long time here. What more with explosives?

      Teo Chee Hean misses the point. ISA is not needed to secure Singapore, there are many other laws which can do the job. ISA was enacted as a quick and dirty catch-all legislation back in the 50’s Emergency. We have a much more sophisticated legal environment now.

      More importantly, Mr Teo totally ignored the human rights abuses committed under the name of ISA in his reply.

      3. Like Khaw and Foo, you harp on Bhutan when it is used as an illustration only. Sylvia also mentioned the pursuit of happiness as expounded in the US Declaration of Independence, why don’t you harp on that too? US is also very different from Singapore, no?

      Her point is that this country’s leaders blindly pursue GDP growth, and even when hard statistics like TFR are an unambiguous sign that Singaporeans aren’t happy, the leaders still ignore these signs. Instead, they blame Singaporeans for not reproducing themselves despite incetives, they warn of the tax consequences of an aging population, and they attempt to reverse the problem by mass import of foreigners. Rather than look at the overheated, overcrowded and overstressed country they’ve created.

      4. Every time whenever PAP policies are criticised, the response is that our policies are fundamentally sound, we just need to finetune. Please tell me how we are going to finetune a 30-year mortgage for HDB flats when the interest rate shoots up, as it will some day. Please tell me how we are going to finetune flat prices when property values go into negative equity as they may well do in the event of a crisis, given how large mortgage loans are relative to incomes. And please tell me how we’re going to finetune retirement savings when people don’t have enough after paying for their HDB flats.

      Fundamentally, we have problems in the making. And the biggest problem is, PAP still refuses to admit we have problems.

      • fsj says:

        well said. they try to “act blur, live longer”… like in most civil sectors.
        let’s see come 2016.

      • stella says:

        Indeed, there are problems with the system. However, i think you have written your article to sensationalise the issues as you have chose to focus on certain excerpts of the speech and tend to generalise your statements. My points were to provide clarifications on what the minister could have meant.You have made sound points and I agre with some. But by sensationalising your points, you reduce your credibility.

      • stella says:

        oh, and in singapore, hansards are known as Singapore parliament reports. the debate was not available at the point of writing.

      • I reject your points. I am not hear to explain what Ministers might have meant. They are paid millions of dollars, they can do it well enough themselves with all their aides.

        I highlighted certain points because it is reflective of what happened in Parliament.

        If you read Today’s Insight, I think you’ll find comments even from PAP MP’s noting their “disappointment” with Ministers’ performances in the “debates”. That’s about as far as they are allowed to criticise ministers, and it says a lot for a State-owned newspaper.

        If you want to see the acrimony from the PAP Ministers and MP’s, go read the Hansard yourself.

        And by the way, Hansard is the right term.

  9. Kaffein says:

    I remember someone called Singapore ‘daft’. Well, I’m pretty sure who is daft and deaf. Someone did admit the PAP is ‘deaf to criticisms’.

    Ah… well. I’m not too keen to pay millions to ‘daft’ politicians. Are you?

    Kaffein

  10. Be Reasonable Please says:

    I think that anyone – PAP supporter or not – needs to take responsibility for what they say. I urge you to propose your thoughts on what the government should do in order that they have ‘listened to the people’ and are less ‘arrogant’. It is easy to criticise, but not so easy when you have responsibility over millions who are really the ones being arrogant.

    Singaporeans are arrogant – we have enjoyed over 46 years of growth. Tell me which country has that track record? What do we have to start with? A whole lump of mud – we’re just a tiny country with no resources, citizens who did not feel a sense of belonging when the country started, and was kicked out of our hinterland. Yes that is the past, but do not forget what policies were in place to ensure the 46 years of growth. Singaporeans now take growth for granted – again I say – look around the world and tell me which other government has delivered such results? You want democracy with no certainty of tenure for the government? Take a look at results of India vs China over the past 20 years – take your pick which country you prefer to be in.

    I have my own grouses on the government’s policies, and personally impacted by many of them. But please, my fellow Singaporeans, think about the facts, and think about how we can improve this place, not how we can criticize. There will be enough people outside Singapore who will put us down and kick us.

    • Bryan says:

      I don’t think you can count this as arrogance. Years ago, due to a less credible Opposition, I might still support PAP. Today, our PAP are not like before. We have credible & highly qualified Opposition teams. Any rational being can see the high-handed tactics, ‘carroting’, bribing methods (upgrading, NTUC vouchers, goodie bags etc) & personal attacks they meted out to Opposition parties. Seems like desperation to me. The PAP Spirit is not like before, now it’s all about GDP, $$$$. If you have not woken up to the reality, please wake up! We are not trying to overthrow the PAP nor take over the govt. We remain grateful & appreciate our founding fathers for their vision & sacrifices. Gratitude, however, ought to be used in the right context? Am I grateful to the postman for delivering my letters daily? Of course I am. However, when the time comes where the postman stops delivering my letters, i think we should look for a better postman who can deliver to our needs.

      • kojakbt22 says:

        >> “The PAP Spirit is not like before, now it’s all about GDP, $$$$”

        Yes, case in point – privatization of wet markets by HDB. HDB made the money upfront. And as a result…

        [Sheng Siong raises rent at 5 wet markets by 30%]
        http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/1045371/1/.html

        “Sheng Siong said it had no choice but to increase rental rates, as it had to pay bank interest fees, property tax and maintenance fees after buying over the five wet markets for about S$25 million.”

  11. Fiona Hong says:

    No argument there that Singapore has progressed fast due to past government policies and Singaporeans are a lucky lot compared to many others.
    However, I have seen poor children playing by muddy streams with big smiles on their faces. I have also seen bespectacled singaporean 8-year olds cramping tuition and enrichment classes in hope of becoming successful in life (in their freetime they play with their iphone). Please do not mistake me, of course there are millions of heart-wrenching stories of babies dying of hunger, little girls getting knocked down and trampled over by lorries repeatedly and many others that we don’t have the stomach to know.
    Its just that I do not think monetary and material gains = happiness. $ is necessary of course, who are we to fool. But there is more to life. Singaporeans are so immersed in this culture of ‘study-hard, earn-more, buy-condo’ mentality that many of us no longer recognise the beauty of life and real happiness. Oh yes many singaporeans are happy, especially when the new ipad2 or playstation is out.

    It is a little sad.. really.

    Is the government to blame for such a nation-wide culture? Maybe.
    Are there ways to change this? Only if our fellow PAP ministers see beyond the GDP and recognise that perhaps, the Bhutanese are SATISFIED and HAPPY with hotel81.

    • Simple says:

      We all hope to live a happy life, but happiness is only a feeling, which has nothing to do with wealth or poverty, but with the inner heart.

      To be happy or not is your own personal choice, why blame the government on that? Life can be simple if u want it to be, if u are willing to do away with all the ‘wants’, which might only give you temporary happiness, and to ignore how people will see you, you can choose to work for the minimum amount of days enough to keep you alive and just rent a house instead of buying it, if you believe you’ll be happier that way.

      • Fiona Hong says:

        Dear Simple,
        My sentiments exactly, except for the part on ‘why blame the government on that?’
        Of course we have our own freedom to rule our lives as we want. Its just that, do you think it is right that our leaders inculcate these kind of consumerism behaviour?

        I do not want my daughter to grow up in a place like this. Where people don’t even know how to express themselves properly, where teachers(many not all) and schools teach their students to CONFORM and to put academics as the top priority over the other aspects of education
        (oh yes there is Community Involvement Programme- tho’ its carried out in a way that makes the children shunt volunteerism even more-, and there is CCA, overseas exposure programmes etc etc but the bottom line is most schools, their teachers and the principals are rated on how well the schools/students do academically. Some such new attempts to mimic other countries’ systems are just made for the sake of making them, without the directors truly understanding why).

        What i want my child to learn is how to relate to people, how to speak and communicate properly, how to appreciate nature and the non-tangibles, and most importantly self-esteem. I can teach and share that with her at home, but she’ll have to go to the expat schools to experience these during her studies.

        Well, maybe not all Singaporeans think this way. Maybe for some of us who are yearning for other things in life, we should just leave Singapore.

  12. kojakbt22 says:

    To Be Reasonable Please,

    > “Tell me which country has that track record? What do we have to start with? A whole lump of mud – we’re just a tiny country with no resources, citizens who did not feel a sense of belonging when the country started, and was kicked out of our hinterland. Yes that is the past, but do not forget what policies were in place to ensure the 46 years of growth.”

    There is a common saying in the fund management industry: “Past Performance is No Guarantee of Future Results…” Policies that are good in the past may not necessarily be good for the future. “Two is enough” is one such example.

    Rather than keep harping on our “glorious” past, we should be looking towards the future. In particular, how can we increase our productivity and median income which have fallen in the last few years.

    Ask any Singaporeans. Life was certainly better before than the last few years.

    > “Singaporeans now take growth for granted – again I say – look around the world and tell me which other government has delivered such results? You want democracy with no certainty of tenure for the government? Take a look at results of India vs China over the past 20 years – take your pick which country you prefer to be in.”

    Why compare ourselves with 3rd world countries like India and China? In fact, if you want to feel even better, compare with African nations instead. If we aspire to be a first world nation, we ought to be comparing ourselves with first world countries. We may look like a first world country in per capita GDP term but certainly, on the inside, we are not.

    > “But please, my fellow Singaporeans, think about the facts, and think about how we can improve this place, not how we can criticize.”

    Netizens do criticize and give suggestions too. It’s all over on the Net. Just google.

    • Be Reasonable Please says:

      Thank you for your comments. All I am saying is that let’s not isolate the issues we face only. Look out into the world for ample examples of how differently things have been done and the results achieved. For eg, you mentioned life now is worse than before – I do agree, however can you name a country or two where that’s different? Perhaps better to compare degree of worsening and understand what has been done to mitigate that, rather than simply a sweeping statement that life is worse now.

      Also, I was not comparing us to China or India. Again, my point was to compare countries where there was continual leadership vs another where there you see democracy in full force resulting in politicians more concerned about retaining power (resulting in short-term policies being put in place), vs thinking long term. If you prefer to compare, then please let us know which sort of jurisdiction you prefer us to model after.

      I do agree with you that there are many others who make suggestions. I do applaud them. The more well-thought through their suggestions, the more worthy their posts.

      Lastly, I just want to reiterate my point – let us Singaporeans not be too insular. Look out there in the world and see for yourselves what has happened. Let ourselves not be too arrogant. Thank you for reading.

      • kojakbt22 says:

        >> “Also, I was not comparing us to China or India. Again, my point was to compare countries where there was continual leadership vs another where there you see democracy in full force resulting in politicians more concerned about retaining power (resulting in short-term policies being put in place), vs thinking long term. If you prefer to compare, then please let us know which sort of jurisdiction you prefer us to model after.”

        So, you prefer China’s communist party? One party that rules a country forever? Are you trying to say because democracy would result in having ruling parties concerning with short-term policies (ie, 5 years or less) and hence we should throw away democracy?

        Are you saying you prefer PAP to rule Singapore forever?

        >> “Lastly, I just want to reiterate my point – let us Singaporeans not be too insular. Look out there in the world and see for yourselves what has happened. Let ourselves not be too arrogant. Thank you for reading.”

        Actually, I don’t think Singaporeans are being insular at all. We are the most well-traveled in Asia Pacific: http://www.tnp.sg/content/sporeans-most-well-travelled-asia-pac. And, in terms of internet penetration rate as a % of pop, we are among the highest in the world at 77.2 % (www.internetworldstats.com), enabling us to get much info from the Net. How can you say we are insular?

        As for arrogance, I don’t know where you get your info from but perhaps some of the rich Singaporeans may be arrogant (I recalled one girl calling a radio station complaining about heartlanders spoiling the ambiance of Holland Village by wearing shorts and sleepers there. She later apologized after incurring the wrath of Singaporeans). Anyway, I think most Singaporeans are simply struggling day to day. I don’t think they have time to be arrogant…

  13. An Electorate says:

    8 months ago when the peaceful people occupied Libya and asked Gaddafi to step aside, the dictator refused. After calling his citizens rats & cockroaches for years, he was subsequently chased into hiding in a bunker (like Hitler) and eventually found & caught in a drain. The tragic end to his defiant life is a bullet in his head. In comparison, his fellow dictator from Egypt is facing trial on a lying bed, having to account to his people after overstayed his power.

    Not withstanding Singapore’s progress, if PAP continues to disregard people’s voices, deny or take away more rights instead of respecting and give people their dignity, I hesitate to think what will be the outcome. There’re many countries (developed/developing) with persistent or periodic unrest & instability in Europe & Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan etc who have grown impressive GDP growth without losing its identity and pride. The PAP is not too big to fail. Singapore is not too small to reinvent. As Aristotle puts it, “A great city should not be confounded with a populous one”. Question is, does the ruling men recognize that, and truly walk their talk?

    To the reader who said “It is easy to criticise, but not so easy when you have responsibility over millions who are really the ones being arrogant”. It takes only a second to shift the blame indeed. It’s easy to put spurs in people’s hides, but not so easy when you have hides put behind you by millions who are really the ones being tolerant after 4 decades. Your Choice.

    • ” if PAP continues to disregard people’s voices, deny or take away more rights instead of respecting and give people their dignity, I hesitate to think what will be the outcome.”

      Why hesitate? The outcome is simple. We will have a new govt, a non-PAP govt, something we should celebrate, not dread.

      The reason for democracy is to have a peaceful process for changing govts. Democracy does not exist just to elect opposition mp’s to “check” the pap. If you fear change of govt, that’s because pap has brainwashed you that way.

  14. David vs Goliath says:

    There’s really nothing left to say.

    The MIW party is/has always been an abomination.

    It’s the BEAST.

    The BEAST has to be slain completely in order for the peasants to come out safe again.

    Now the BEAST has little babies in 60.1% of the land.

    We need the Templar Knights soon to vanquish this evil.

    It must and will happen.

    Have faith everyone!

  15. Daniel says:

    It astonishes me how immature you (the writer) are portraying yourself. Clearly you are a highly intelligent and reflexive person, yet you choose to take cheap potshots at the metaphors used by the PAP replies (pls go read up what “throwing the baby out with the bath water” means. oh, you knew? then why didn’t you say so?) instead of analyzing their reasons. Selectively highlighting only those bits which make for sensationalist sound-bites, instead of giving your readers fair context for their statements. Focusing on their rebuttal tactics rather than giving them a little benefit of the doubt, as rightfully elected leaders of the (majority of) the people. Do you respect democracy? i don’t see it.

    Why don’t you pause a little and think why they fear change too rapidly. You think they’re stupid. Oblivious to the cries of the populace, reveling in exploiting the poor for… what was it for again? their salaries? last i heard, their salaries weren’t tied to the size of the Gini Coefficient. Ok, want a really smart government? That would be one which knows exactly what the people want, responds promptly to it & stays in power perpetually. No economic research, modeling or forecasts necessary. The people dictate it anyway. Oh, that is, if the people know what ‘it’ is, or if they can even all agree on one thing.
    Yeah, our government might be dumb. They choose not to respond to the clamour of the rabble even though it might spell their downfall. Then why choose to stick to their guns? Hmm, dunno, maybe because otherwise might spell the downfall of the COUNTRY? i’m just saying.

    Have you ever watched sport debating? I’ve been one. a champion senior once told me: ” you might think that conceding to your opponent’s argument a little will win the audience over a lot, but you’re wrong. a little concession will lose you a huge chunk of credibility. the audience isn’t there to hear you admit your argument has flaws, they’re there to listen to both sides back it up, and then make their own conclusion. NEVER concede. you might as well say, ok we lose.” this is the nature of debating, but do you think the combatants walk out of the room without pondering over what the other side said? Debating is based on the sacred principle that no one knows which is the absolute right or wrong, there are only convincing arguments and not-so-convincing ones. The government was first convinced by some argument somewhere behind their doors. the opposition isn’t so convinced by everything put forward. yeah, the government may be clueless, but the worst arrogance is the one who acts as if he/she is speaking on behalf of everyone else, when actually it is nothing but bigotry and narrow-mindedness.

    • Love your attitude. Hope PAP carries it onto 2016 and lose power completely, ie they don’t even get to be in a coalition.

      • Another Daft Singaporean. says:

        Oh now we see it.

        The author has no intention of being ‘someone who sees beyond PAP and “opposition” in Singapore politics”, or having a “new look at Singapore politics”.

      • JH says:

        Agree with Daniel. Can’t take what is presented in Parliament at face value. The politicians are posturing for the electorate after all. What do you expect PAP to respond in public? To apologise, to grovel in public? That will only gain the WP more credit and the PAP will never do that. They will only concede points grudgingly, if at all.

        What is more interesting is to see whether policies change in the coming months and years. If the lives of Singaporeans improve by the time the next GE comes along, nobody is going to remember what was said now. By reading so much into what was said at this first Parliament sitting, you are committing the same error as what you claim the PAP is guilty of: missing the point entirely.

  16. Daft Singaporean says:

    To survive and continue to progress, the old system must be broken to give way to the new system. History proves this. It is a matter of when the break point is. Perhaps, the sooner the better for survival of this red dot. GE2016 should come close. Yes, democracy is about change of government if the present one cannot perform. Democracy is not about voting in more opposition MPs to check on the irrelevant party elected into power. Democracy is about political choice that the people have. If the people feel that the current government cannot perform anymore, just change the government and move on.

  17. Orang Pendatang says:

    All of you here, please just shut up and be grateful that your overpaid politicians are ONLY arrogant and out of touch. I have been working in Malaysia the last few years and it is truly disgusting to see the politics in what I now call my adopted step-motherland. The ‘elected’ politicians here are are arrogant, incompetent, wasteful, greedy, corrupt, disconnected from reality AND not adverse to use racial or religious threats to cling onto power. Of course there’s no need to compare Singapore to a third-world country, but do consider that 50-over years ago we were all part of the same country and now just look at the difference! So yes there’s a lot that Singaporeans can still expect of our political system but most of it generally can still be fixed and I am sure with all of you monitoring/criticising/helping, it can be done!

  18. Michigan Ave says:

    Singapore has struck lottery with the government they have. It seems that young Singaporeans are more interested in fixing an efficient system that is not broken for democracy. Grow up! take a look around you Singaporeans, you want to be like your neighbours where people do have many choices and where politicians lies to the public and squanders public coffers just to get elected instead of telling the truths and taking necessary bitter medicine to bring their nations forward. In their cases they have natural resources, etc to squander. In Singapore, you have nothing to squander.

    HongKong have China to back them up, Europeans Nation have the EU. Singapore? you think Malaysia will bail you out? or any other Nation? Grow up! you are on your own. All the more Singapore must adapt faster than others and be able to accept tough choices necessary for their survival.

    Singaporeans must understand that once humpty dumpty had a great fall, putting it back is near impossible case.

    Cheers

    • kojakbt22 says:

      >> Grow up! take a look around you Singaporeans, you want to be like your neighbours where people do have many choices and where politicians lies to the public and squanders public coffers just to get elected instead of telling the truths and taking necessary bitter medicine to bring their nations forward. In their cases they have natural resources, etc to squander. In Singapore, you have nothing to squander.

      Why compare ourselves with 3rd world neighbours or countries? Are you saying that the first world countries are as corrupted as our 3rd world neighbours? I thought the idea is for us to move forward to become a truly first world nation?

      >> HongKong have China to back them up, Europeans Nation have the EU. Singapore? you think Malaysia will bail you out? or any other Nation? Grow up! you are on your own. All the more Singapore must adapt faster than others and be able to accept tough choices necessary for their survival.

      Can you be more specific about the “tough choice” you have mentioned? So, should we accept another 10 million foreign influx into Singapore just to grow our GDP? To survive?

      >> Singaporeans must understand that once humpty dumpty had a great fall, putting it back is near impossible case.

      It is precisely we don’t want humpty dumpty to fall, that is why we are voicing our concerns and opinions here. We could have easily become like North Koreans and kept our mouths shut except to praise the Great Leader and the Dear Leader everyday. Is this what you want Singaporeans to be? Zombies?

    • Again and again the brainwashed utter the PAP bogeyman lines.

      When will they understand that democracy does not mean corruption or incompetence? When will they stop trying to use third-world countries to scare us? When will they realise that that there are more choices than the two they imagine (ie corrupt and incompetent democracy vs an ordered one-party state)? Can they see that the world is not just black and white?

      • kojakbt22 says:

        Yes, some PAP supporters like to equate democracy with countries like Philippines, Indonesia etc to argue for the need of a single party state. They forget that political systems of top first world countries like Denmark, Finland, Norway etc are also based on democracy. Democracy doesn’t work well in 3rd world countries because of rampant corruptions, intimidation and even assassinations in their electoral process. Thankfully, we have the Net these days for Singaporeans to exchange ideas and hold discussions so that the truth can be sought…

    • Fox says:

      Actually, Singapore’s standard of living is comparable to cities like Seoul, Taipei, Hong Kong and most major Japanese cities. There is no basis for comparison with Jakarta, Manila or KL because Singapore already had the 3rd highest GDP per capita in Asia in 1959 even before the PAP took over. The PAP did not inherit a fishing village, as you may believe.

  19. Michigan Ave says:

    We all know that Lee Kuan Yew’s Singapore is not North Korea, if he is then you wouldnt be here making comments in the Internet, therefore such comparison is completely irrelevant.

    Singaporeans have to accept immigrants for demographic reasons, economic reasons.
    Singaporeans have greatly benefited from foreign capital & talent, and now you are complaining about foreign influx? You think Singapore can be this prosperous without foreign capital & talent flowing into Singapore? And I dun think anyone in Singapore can complain about ‘foreign influx’ since technically speaking 84% of Singapore population are not of indigenous people and are descendants of ‘foreign influx’ in the first place. And look at what you descendants of ‘foreign influx’ do to Singapore? You made Singapore prosperous. In case you think you are alone, look at Australia, United States etc, all these nations are build by ‘foreign influx’.

    You want to close your doors? Feel free, in no time all the foreign capital & talent will flow elsewhere and make elsewhere prosperous. The one who will lose out will be Singaporeans.

    Nations that you mentioned are in Europe and yes they generally have much better governance that 3rd world nations that was brought up. However, their politicians have created a form of Socialist welfare system that is unsustainable to get themselves into power. In the long run all these socialists welfare states will be too expensive to maintain that they will have to face austerity. (On a side note, they have oil, timber, agriculture etc.. Singapore has nothing.)

    Enough said.

    Watch all six parts starting from link below:

    Cheers

    • kojakbt22 says:

      >> We all know that Lee Kuan Yew’s Singapore is not North Korea, if he is then you wouldnt be here making comments in the Internet, therefore such comparison is completely irrelevant.

      Not trying to compare Singapore with North Korea. Am just making a point that we shouldn’t behave like North Koreans who only choose to say good things about the leaders. If we think the leaders have made a policy mistake, we should voice it out, as concerned citizens of this nation.

      >> Singaporeans have to accept immigrants for demographic reasons, economic reasons.
      Singaporeans have greatly benefited from foreign capital & talent, and now you are complaining about foreign influx? You think Singapore can be this prosperous without foreign capital & talent flowing into Singapore?

      Nothing wrong with having real talents helping Singapore. In fact, we have been doing that since independence. Malaysian FTs have been coming to work in Singapore over the many years without creating much problems to Singapore or Singaporeans. It’s the OVER-INFLUX which I believe most Singaporeans will not want to see. This happens after the 2006 GE.

      A good analogy is food. Our body need food to survive. But when you overeat, all kinds of problems will start to arise in your body.

      >> And I dun think anyone in Singapore can complain about ‘foreign influx’ since technically speaking 84% of Singapore population are not of indigenous people and are descendants of ‘foreign influx’ in the first place. And look at what you descendants of ‘foreign influx’ do to Singapore?

      This is a common argument used by PAP to justify foreign influx. There is a difference between then and now. In the past, Singapore is just an entrepot. Our forefathers can freely return back to India or China if they want. Today, nationhood has been formed. If we don’t like to live in Singapore, can we just simply walk back to India and China to live there? Would they accept us? The answer is a clear cut no. Singaporeans must fend for themselves. Since nationhood has been established, the interests of citizens will naturally have to come first.

      >> You made Singapore prosperous. In case you think you are alone, look at Australia, United States etc, all these nations are build by ‘foreign influx’.

      Sure. But do you know how stringent are Australia and US in accepting immigrants? For your info, for US, the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) requires a citizenship test to be taken by all immigrant applicants. The citizenship test will be based on the ability of reading, writing and speaking English, knowledge of American history and the government of the US.

      In Australia, potential immigrants must also pass their citizenship test before being accepted. The citizenship test is to assess whether an immigrant has adequate knowledge of Australia and the responsibilities and privileges of Australian citizenship. It is also designed to assess whether the immigrant has a basic knowledge of the English language, the common language used by Australians to communicate among themselves.

      In Singapore, a PRC masseur who doesn’t speak a word of English can somehow, amazingly become a PR and eventually a Singapore citizen!

      >> You want to close your doors? Feel free, in no time all the foreign capital & talent will flow elsewhere and make elsewhere prosperous. The one who will lose out will be Singaporeans.

      Not advocating a close door of course but certainly, there is a need to tighten the requirement. We have been rather “loose” in the past few years. We’re like a prostitute willing to take in all kinds of customers…

  20. Papa Pappy says:

    The story was reposted @ http://www.reach.gov.sg

  21. snk says:

    We are being govern by a demon and materialistics government-PAPies. A body with no heart and soul. Rules by colorism. cronyism and favorism. They survive in the name of hypocritism.

  22. Pingback: George Yeo Should Be President | Political Writings

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