Saturday, 3 August 2013

Must Singapore Fourth Prime Minister Come from the PAP?

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is going to talk about dream home in his National Day Speech
(如何打造一个美好的家园, Zaobao). According to his own plan to retire in 2020, he has only seven years left to build a dream home for Singaporeans. Hopefully, it is not another Swiss garden that Goh Chok Tong had promised us before.

Who will take over from him? Another People’s Action Party political leader or the oppositions.   Of course, it has to depend on the development of the promised land and dream home in coming years. Even he is doing a little better than Goh’s Swiss garden, voters will still not happy and want to vote the PAP out. Why? Take a look at our neighbours or even the world you will understand what I mean.

From Malaysia to Cambodia, their ruling parties are getting below 50% of the popular votes in the recently held elections. Will you dare to say in these two countries the ruling parties will still in power in the next elections? Remember, these two countries are having positive economic growth (growth rate even higher than Singapore).  According to the PM’s ‘right politics, right economics’ principles, voters in Malaysia and Cambodia should give a strong support to the ruling parties. Why don’t they?  Look around the world, it is hard to please the voters not to mention the PAP is a party refuses and rejects changes!

Independent analysis can also be a misleading analysis

Let examine the following principles:

P1: Singapore prime minister must come from the ruling party.
P2: The PAP is the ruling party and so the nominated PAP member will be appointed PM by the President.
Conclusion: Singapore 4th PM is from the PAP.

It is logical if and only if the PAP is a ruling party when PM Lee steps down in 2020. Then, the 4th PM of Singapore will come from the PAP.  Alternatively, he can do it just like what Goh did when he handled over power to PM Lee without a general election.  We don’t know the dates of the next two GEs. We also don’t know whether the PAP will be in power after 2020.

So, if there is an independent analysis forecasting the 4th PM is coming from Mr Chan or Mr Tan of the PAP, it can also be a misleading analysis. Its assumption is only valid if and only if the PAP is the ruling party not to mention whether there is any infighting for the PM post within the PAP or not. There is also another possibility that PM Lee will step down earlier than expected when the PAP is still a ruling party.  In this case, the logic of the 4th PM a PAP man is valid and one senior minister, not from the 2011 batch, will be the PM and not Mr Chan or Mr Tan.     

An analysis pointing the 4th PM is a PAP man can mean the early retirement of PM Lee or it can mean after 2020, the PAP will continue to win in GE.  Whichever it goes, it is projecting the next PM is from the PAP that itself may not be an independent analysis.  It leads readers to believe that the 4th PM is from the PAP and the PAP is still a ruling party at the time the 4th PM is being appointed by the President.

Which is a better arrangement? PM Lee steps down early to make way for the 4th PAP PM or the PAP takes a chance after 2020 to win in the GE. The PAP will then has to assess and judge the best strategy to ensure the 4th PM is a PAP man and the timing of PM Lee’s retirement. One example is in Australia. The Australian Labour Party has decided to let the former lady PM goes and appoints a new leader to fight and (hopefully) continues to stay in power in the coming GE.

After all it may not be so important whether the 4th PM is a PAP man or not.  Whoever can promise a better Singapore, a caring Singapore and an inclusive Singapore with better home and quality of life is deserved to be the 4th PM.  PM Lee is taking more than 1 week to draft his ‘dream home’ speech and what can we expect from him as he plans to bring in more super billionaires and enlarge the rich-poor gap.  Does he have a dream team to deliver his dream home?

Biased analysis may lead to independent thinking

For this, let think about flying the national flag of Singapore. Is this a state flag or a nation’s flag? Will you really go and burn the flag if you think this is state flag? No. You should think of the bonding, the association and the belongingness.  Who is the flag belong to? Why there is no bonding? What is the evolution from independence till now? When the grassroots leaders knock at your doors requesting you to fly the flag, if your answer is yes, you are in the dream home of PM Lee. Really? If your answer is no, you are bias. You don’t want and don’t accept the dream home offered by PM Lee. Really not?

We come back the the principles again:

P1: Singapore flag is designed and created by the ruling party.
P2: The PAP is the ruling party and so they are promoting the state flag to unify Singaporeans.
Conclusion: Singapore flag is associated with the PAP.

The principles and the conclusion are all true. However, the conclusion is not a good conclusion. The more the flag is associated to the PAP, the more Singaporeans want to keep a distance from the flag. It has nothing to do with the loyalty or bonding with Singapore. Without flying the state flag, you still serve national service, you still carry with you the pink identity card and the red passport.   So, this biased conclusion makes you think, think independently it is a state flag or a national flag. also, do you want to associate with the PAP by flying the flag?

A Singapore flag should belong to all Singaporeans and should not be associated with a political party. Unfortunately, the evolution proves it the other way. When it is associated with a party, like the Nazi or Japanese war time flag, it is only a symbol of the party, being used by the party leaders exclusively and not the people.  

Social media is bias and a ‘threat’

By the same analogy, the conclusion of social media in Singapore is not only bias but in addition, a ‘threat’ to national building and Total Defence.

Online misinformation, rumours and smears a 'threat' to Total Defence: Ng Eng Hen

As explained above a so-called independent analysis may lead to misleading conclusion and a bias analysis can make you think out of the box, we therefore have to judge the online news and analysis very objectively. A political statement by a minister may lead us to a wrong conclusion, just like flying the Singapore flag. 

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