April 6th, 2008


Send this to the ST Forum 4: S'pore Govt Too Good

Important to De-complacentize Singaporeans

I refer to MP Lee Wee Kiak's comment that Singaporeans might have become complacent because they have a government that is too good. I fully agree with Mr. Lee. Mas Selamat escaped because Singaporeans were complacent and the people are blaming the Government because they are complacent. This is an atrocity against the top talents of the world that make up our Government.

In fact, the Government is so good that it is the probably the only government in the world that is able to remain totally unscathed after a virtual Mission-Impossible kind of terrorist escape. In fact, the Singapore Government is so good that people have started to believe that nothing can go wrong in Singapore with the PAP around. This is abominable.

One might ask: if the Government were so good, why was it able to prevent the people from becoming complacent? Action needs to be taken immediately to remedy the problem of rampant complacency.

One of the first critical steps to take is for the Government to stop being so good. In order for such a great Government to stop being so good, incompetent people are needed. This can be done through electoral reforms that will allow the none too credible opposition candidates will seats in the Parliament. For example, we should abolish the GRC system and make it a politician's constitutional right to defame the PAP.

Incompetent opposition politicians in the Parliament will serve as a balance to the excessively good PAP. The result will be a Government that is good without being excessively so. Given that the PAP is so unbelievably good, we probably need to have the opposition winning about 80 seats in the Parliament before the excesses could be neutralized.

Another step to take is to ensure that our nation-building media plays its part. I have to say that the excessively good Government has been accompanied by an excessively good and responsible media that will report on how great the Government is. After years of such excessive goodness, people begin to become complacent and think that nothing will ever go wrong as long as MM Lee Kuan Yew and the other PAP politicians are around to set things right? (For a start, MM Lee should disavow his claim that he would return from the grave to set things right even after he dies. This has certainly made people complacent.) What the media needs to do is to activate its spinning machine and start featuring news about the Government's deficiencies. For instance, instead of constantly assuring the people that the GST hike is to help the poor, it could critique the GST as a regressive tax that burdens the poor. Instead of featuring news articles about the amazing number of jobs, it could focus on how most of the jobs are not going to Singapore citizens and how the latter are affected by structural underemployment. This will help to tackle the problem of complacency.

Of course, Singaporeans must also not be complacent and leave all the de-complacentizing to the Government. They should start demonstrating against all the problems in Singapore instead of thinking that Singapore is so wonderful and perfect.

Or perhaps Singaporeans are complacent because some people do want them to be complacent while reserving their right to accuse Singaporeans of being complacent. Who's afraid of Mas Selamat?

Lee See Nao