Monday, 27 August 2012

New PAP Chapter or New Singapore Chapter? Who will care more about the future of Singapore?

It looks more like an election speech: give me your ideas and suggestion what you want Singapore to be 20 years later.  If the PAP likes it, they will incorporate the ideas into the strategic plan of Singapore. How wonderful it is! It is like a real Singapore dream. However, from the past experience, most of time no new ideas will be accepted as the PAP thinks they are the best. Perhaps, they are making changes now.  Who knows?

There is no alternative. If you don’t join them, you and your ideas are out.

So, this is the back to square one situation for the past 50 years.

Why can’t we have alternative future plan for Singapore? Why can’t voters vote on the merit of the PAP and alternative chapter?   A new chapter of Singapore story must provide options to let Singaporeans to choose the best. Had PM Lee mentioned the option during his National Day Rally 2012?

Obviously, the answer is NO. He wants you to make contributions to his PAP new chapter. A new Singapore story bases on the old PAP bottle. Can you change the mould?

A National Conservation without a free press is what PM Lee and Heng Swee Keat can offer Singaporeans.  How can you hear and read the alternative plans of Singapore in a NOT free and easy access environment?  Even in the internet and social media, PM Lee had already pre-warned you the negative comments of one-eyed dragon:

“There will be social frictions from time to time. We should deal with these incidents maturely. It’s alright to express disapproval of what happened, it’s necessary even. It’s not alright to be a one-eyed dragon, or to condemn all non-Singaporeans or Singaporeans based on the actions of a few bad apples. Also it’s wrong to slam the shortcomings of others, but ignore our own transgressions.” (NDR 2012)

I wonder whether PM Lee has used the same judgement for the main stream media.   The MSM has consistently targeted certain politicians from the alternative parties for the same reasons stated in the NDR 2012.  

Without a free press, without being given a fair chance to air alternative plans, all of us are one-eyed dragons.  Some even prefer to be one-eyed dragons like the MSM.       

Who will care more about the future of Singapore?

New citizens and PRs will be more concern about the new PAP chapter of Singapore. They have come here because of the PAP government.  The PAP has, in return, painted a beauty picture for them 20 or 30 years later.  If this PAP chapter cannot be materialised, they will have to re-calculate their future plans.

However, it is important they also calculate the alternative plans if they are seriously thinking of sinking their roots here.  20, 30 years later, there is no guarantee the PAP will still be in power in Singapore.  By then, the PAP chapter has gone and they may like or hate the alternative plans of Singapore.  This is an important step for integration into Singapore society.  Without knowing the alternative future plan will make new citizens and PRs one-eyed dragons.    

Not knowing the reality of Singapore politics will be a costly decision for them. They may think that the one-party politics will continue forever, and 20, 30 years later they suddenly realise they are experiencing a different Singapore dream, a different “Hope, Heart and Home”.

It is important all Singaporeans noticed the shortfalls of the NDR 2012: “Not enough attention highlighted the challenges of raising incomes, reducing cost of living and addressing inequalities”.

Bridget Welsh, associate Professor in Political Science at SMU, acknowledged that Lee’s speech was more “big picture” and “future-oriented” and less focused on technocratic solutions.
It also showed “that there is a growing understanding of some of the reasons for angst in Singapore, as ‘anxiety, lack of empathy and displacement’ have been pronounced and growing”, she said.
However, she said it continued a pattern of failing to address the systemic reasons for growing unease and, in some places, anger.
“It revealed the unwillingness to engage in a fundamental paradigm shift, harking back to old standby images of family, education, good behavior and the need to sacrifice,” she said.
“Not enough attention highlighted the challenges of raising incomes, reducing cost of living and addressing inequalities,” she noted. “More attention could have been spent on how to promote stronger social cohesion and integration.” (

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