Saturday, 29 October 2016

新中关系之蓝瘦香菇 - 谁失恋了?


新中关系之蓝瘦香菇 - 谁失恋了?

如果李光耀还在世间,看到现在的新中关系,他会不会蓝瘦香菇起来?李光耀看到他儿子一下子到日本,一下子飞去了印度,又一下子赶往澳大利亚,风尘仆仆就是跳不进北京,充其量只是到了人间天堂杭州出席G20峰会。

望着杭州蓝蓝的天空,游走于瘦瘦的西湖,李光耀回想往事,会不会突然从地下难过的香菇起来。

李显龙的新加坡,最近与中国的关系,在南海立场上,似乎有着失恋,失落的感觉。不然,怎么会同一时间叫两位师爷在新加坡中英文报评论新中关系。(见上文)

许通美和王庚武两位资深的外交和中国问题专家在文章中,极力强调新加坡的多元种族特色和遵守法律,国际关系法则的重要性。他们似乎说新加坡的生存就是要平衡多元种族,以及希望其他国家配合遵守合同,不要人为破坏既定规则。小国如果遇到不遵守法理的大国,就会无所适从,生存面对问题。

资本主义社会的发展,经济得以发展,在很大程度上,就是做生意要讲合同精神。而新加坡在很大程度上,就是根据这个原则,取得快速的经济发展。当然,我们的发展是以小国对大国,后发国对先进国的优势来成长起来的。

这个模式确保我们过去几十年的高国民所得成长。现在,我们比很多发达国家都来得富,当然,也希望这个游戏规则能够继续的“遵守”下去。这是一种冷战思维,就正如李显龙曾经说的“高处不胜寒”一样,冷战过后,新加坡的外交如何发展?我们的人均所得在高处,却不知道寒在哪里?

李显龙在2004年接任总理的时候,国际上的冷战局面已经结束。这是一个1997亚洲金融风暴和2007/2008世界金融风暴之间的变化时期。这也是一个很容易出现错觉的年代,判断错误的年代;也因此,很容易高处不知寒。不知寒就是不知道世界经济政治局势的演变和发展,已经出现根本性的改变 -美国一国独大的垄断已经结束。

当我们说多元种族的时候,我们是否发现除了韩日以外,世界上主要的发达国家,也已经进入多元种族,多元文化,多元宗教的阶段。多元种族不是新加坡专有的特色。在欧美国家,同样出现多元种族的情形。他们面对的困境,很可能比我们还要严重。

因此,我们的师爷,希望中国了解新加坡的多元种族特色,我们的苦衷,我们的蓝瘦香菇,我们的不得已。就像王乙康说的:新加坡历史很短,不能理解长历史。所以,我们是做短线投资,而不是长线投资。所以,我们认为我们的四大种族就是多元种族,而忽略了56个民族的中国,没有多元种族?因此,我们有“去中国化”,“去华校化”,去“方言化“的必要。这样才能配合多元种族国家的发展。

就是因为我们有这么多的蓝瘦香菇的”去“,而在这个过程中,新加坡就认定自己这个多元种族的特色。久而久之,新加坡就无法了解中国,根本连懂得中国长历史的人都没有了,更何况是发展这类的人才。缩小到对华的外交人才上,那就更加不堪目睹了。

发展到现在,我们的驻华大使也只能和环球时报对话,而不是和中国外交部对话。

基本上,我们还是同意新加坡要在中美间取得平衡,不得罪这两个大国。这是新加坡获取最大利益的平衡点。但是,平衡点是一门艺术,是一种长历史,不是短历史。

而且,同样一句多元种族的背景,守法的重要,在不同场合,不同地点,用不同的语调,不同的外交手段释放出来,结果就会出现很大很大的不同结果。当中国用长历史思考问题,而新加坡用短历史出发,尝试平衡中美的关系时,很不幸的就会摆出乌龙来。

这就是新加坡在外交上的蓝瘦香菇了。 TPP的梦已经成为过去; 中国海军竟然可以停靠越南金兰湾; 而菲律宾这个美国"小三", 居然也敢移情别恋...

   #蓝瘦是没有适合的外交人才,在不同地点,不同场合,说出正确的话。

   #香菇是往往在很多地方,说出不得体,不对称的话,想要打圆场,又没有人才可用。

小国要在大国间周旋,外交的灵活性,非常重要。而杨荣文之后,新加坡的两位外交部长,似乎对外交不感兴趣,尤其是对华外交。现在,出动两位师爷发表评论,只不过是对内对新加坡人民做出交代,而对外没有一点作用,不会改善新中关系。这种短历史的冷战思维评论,可以说是李显龙政府的立场,高处不知寒流的蓝瘦香菇。

长历史是怎么一个概念?2000多年前, 东西间就有贸易往来,当时在陆路上,依靠快马,骆驼来经商。今天,同样的路,利用高铁,快速公路来完成。

Image result for from rome to china silk road 200 BCE map
http://images.slideplayer.com/18/6176140/slides/slide_16.jpg

短历史又是怎么一个概念?你看看新加坡兵乓总会如何处理球员的问题, 就大约明白了.  新加坡连一粒小小的兵乓球问题,都无法解决,就更不用说那五千年的文化传统了。

下面这个台湾东森电视台制作的时事节目,道出新加坡目前的一些困境。事情是否如此的失控,见仁见智。


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jyBdq8W_-g

说到底,当前的蓝瘦香菇困境,就要看新加坡的现任领导和所谓的接班人的能力了。李显龙是否还有什么怪招没有使出来?现任领导中,有没有懂得对华的政治艺术的人?如果统统都没有,那就不幸被东森言中了。 而一直被动的新加坡人,将会是最大的受害者。

很不幸的,我们现在只看到李显龙关注修改宪法,改变总统选举制度;在反对党的市政问题上大做文章;鼓励年轻人出国,又没有给他们心理准备;鼓励创业,又偏偏遇到被动,害怕失败的创业者;鼓励科研,却只能引进外才。。。

Sunday, 23 October 2016

China-Singapore Relationship in Hot Water? And our foreign minister can't help.


Two published commentaries in the Straits Times and Lianhe Zaobao confirmed China-Singapore relationship is not as good as before.

# Tommy Koh talks about China’s four misunderstandings (Singapore not a Chinese state, support ASEAN, foreign policy towards big countries, and different world views)

# Wang Gungwu’s looking back to understand the future that China must understand Singapore’s self-image as a multicultural nation with a global outlook.
http://www.straitstimes.com/authors/wang-gungwu

Is this a coincidence two commentaries appearing at the same day, from Koh’s misunderstandings to Wang’s understanding? What do they want to tell their readers? Not to worry, just a misunderstanding and China needs to understand us to improve the relationship.

Both Koh and Wang stress that even though 75% of Singapore population are Chinese, we are a multicultural and multiracial society.  Does it mean we don’t need to understand (master) Chinese to understand China?  

Have they mentioned anything about our foreign policy and the work done by Singapore’s foreign ministry?

It is very obvious that after the departure of George Yeo, the two foreign ministers are just part-time ministers as they also hold other important portfolios. When a ministry without a calibre minister, this is the expected outcome. One will wonder why PM Lee Hsien Loong does not appoint a ‘qualified’ minister to head the foreign ministry.

Before talking about the fourth generation leadership, we may have to seriously searching for a suitable foreign minister. So far, none of the potential ‘six’ has the calibre. Or maybe Ong Ye Kung who talked about short and long history in Beijing recently ("We cannot over-rely on history because it was not too long ago in history that Singapore did not exist," ). Ong also stated our position: "A small country needs a world order that respects and abides by international law and the sanctity of contracts and agreements,"

Is Ong’s short-long history different from Wang’s looking back to understand the future?

After all, we want China to understand we are small, we are multicultural and we want others to respect international orders.

Are these thinking up-to-date? Or is this a stagnation thought, a cold war thinking?

China’s development is a world history. The world order is no more a bipolar. Chinese domestic politics will affect how it interacts with the world.

Xi Jinping now emphasized not only the defense of territorial sovereignty and maritime resources but also increasing China’s cultural influence and improving regional security cooperation. He is less interested than previous Chinese leaders in abiding by the liberal economic order and more interested in molding the international order to match Chinese interests.


The two commentaries have not discussed Singapore’s own problems: attitude of new citizens, declining Chinese proficiency, lack of foreign affairs/Chinese experts, …

When Xi is promoting Chinese cultural influence, he is, in fact, targeting our weakest point. This is very different from participating at a singing contest in China!

Sunday, 16 October 2016

行动党的健康食谱解决不了“下流老人”的问题



李显龙总理推介行动党的乐龄健康食谱,不但不能解决”下流老人”的问题,反而避重就轻,忽视乐龄老者的真正问题。】


“下流老人“的问题,就是贫穷问题,联合国人权最高专员就道明这是低收入年长者的问题。根据《香港2015年贫穷情况报告》,这是指贫穷老人的问题。“下流”当然就是针对“上流”而言。上流和下流面对的问题,当然不同。对于丰衣足食,乐龄生活费用没有问题的人来说,行动党推介的乐龄食谱,或许就有点用。但是,对于生活面对困境的老者,这似乎就像庄子的借粮故事,老者面对的是变成鱼干的现实。

李显龙总理说:“食谱不仅针对年长一群,也适合年轻人。吃得健康不代表菜色一定单调,食谱所介绍的菜肴可口且容易准备,可帮助大家保持健康生活。”总理这里指的是上流问题,不是下流问题。行动党政府关心的是上流的问题,而不是下流的问题。所以,即使“下流老人”这个句子出现风化,对于行动党来说,也无伤大雅。下流的问题容易掩盖,上流,尤其是收入最高的那几个百分点,只要有些微不妥,就会影响投资,就会影响出口,就会影响GDP。

因此,李显龙总理所推介的行动党乐龄健康食谱,不但不能解决”下流老人”的问题,反而避重就轻,忽视乐龄老者的真正问题。那么,这些“下流老人”有些什么问题?

联合国人权专家如何评论新加坡的贫穷老人问题。K Matte 感到困惑为何新加坡作为世界上年均收入第三高的国家,很多低收入的老者需要通过社会网络获得生活资助。而他们之中,很多人缺少这种资助,面对财务困境。


“I was puzzled to learn that in a country with the third highest GDP per capita in the world, many older persons with low-income continue to depend on their social network for a significant portion of their livelihood and that many of those who lack such support systems face financial hardship,” Ms. Kornfeld-Matte said.

因此,联合国人权最高专员在文告中才使用了下面“下流”的标题:

太多新加坡老者(下流老人)继续在挣扎中活着。
Life remains a struggle for too many old Singaporeans – UN human rights expert says

联合国人权最高专员也呼吁新加坡当局让老人有尊严的活着。专员认为新加坡在协助贫穷老人方面处于刚刚起步的阶段 (这是客气话)。这一点,我们落后于香港。香港已经启动扶贫计划,但是问题依然严重。

 《香港2015年贫穷情况报告》映射出来的问题,就是新加坡的借鉴。香港面对的问题,就是新加坡会面对的问题。在香港,长者贫穷有恶化的趋势。同时,更加严重的是高学历的人,向上提升的机会也越来越少了。

新加坡行动党政府是不会,也不可能像香港那样公布贫穷报告。因为,行动党只看到上流问题,没有看到下流问题。也不承认我们有贫穷问题,即使我们的贫富悬殊高居世界前几位,行动党就是不承认下流出现问题。更何况,这还是人权问题,偏偏行动党就是不理,也看不起这些“下流问题”。

 这不正是新加坡正在面对的问题吗?忽视下流老人,可以说是行动党的常态,就像行动党推出健康食谱,就以为能够解决贫穷“下流”的问题。

 2015年香港整體貧窮狀況

愈扶愈貧 窮人直逼百萬

貧窮人口不跌反升的原因,主要是長者貧窮再度惡化,去年有近卅一萬名貧窮長者,較前年增加一萬四千多人。長者貧窮導致及時退休困難,○九年六十五至六十九歲在職長者僅得四萬二千多人,惟去年有逾九萬一千名,增幅逾一點一倍。

。。。

深水埗最多窮人 高學歷也難向上流

學歷較高亦不代表就可以脫貧。去年在職貧窮人口中,二萬四千七百人擁有專上教育學歷,包括學位或非學位學歷,較前年增加二千一百人,增幅近一成,反映高學歷人士向上流動的機會遞減。

https://hk.news.yahoo.com

 

这不正是新加坡面对的问题吗?下流老人越来越贫穷,大学毕业生的展望也不理想,终身学习真的能够提高他们的生产力,对他们有用吗?当然,行动党的健康食谱也无法解决这些“下流”问题。

行动党还有更加下流的地方。就是做爱不需要很大的地方,先考虑生孩子,而不是组屋问题。 行动党就是没有考虑下流的问题,低收入的问题。对于老者,对于年轻人,贫穷是一个可能的现实。生活费,医药费,保险费,结婚费,房子贷款,学费,这些都是下流问题,下流的费用。


新加坡和香港的发展很类似,香港有超过百分之十的人口处于贫穷的下流阶段。有超过30%的老者属于贫穷阶级。这是资本主义自由发展的结果。我们只需要几个百分点的上流阶级,就能够推动经济发展,难怪李显龙总理说,新加坡只要吸引世界上最高收入者的上流人士来投资,新加坡就可以了。

 

真的这么简单吗?

 

当上流社会拥有社会财富的极大数,少数人拥有国家财富的绝大数,而中下流人民看不到希望,尤其新加坡比香港还缺少援助计划,扶贫计划,可想而知,下流老人的前景将如联合国人权最高专员所形容的:挣扎求存

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Foreign Policy and Votes of New Citizens...And the (Incomplete) Contract Theory…


Singapore’s foreign policy is rule-based policy. As we have short history, we cannot over-rely on history. Will the short history and rule-order foreign policy affect the voting pattern of new citizens?

Many analyses claim new citizens will support the People’s Action Party in General Elections. In fact, this is a worry for oppositions.  With the increasing number of new citizens, it seems a mission impossible for oppositions to have further breakthrough in future GEs. And the PAP is so confident that they intend to introduce more Non-Constituency Members of Parliament, from 9 to 12, in future GE.

Everything looks good for the PAP.  Will there be any game changer?

Perhaps, Singapore’s foreign policy and the contract theory? 

Nobel Prize in Economics Awarded to Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmström for Work on Contract Theory   WSJ.png
http://www.wsj.com/articles/nobel-prize-in-economics-awarded-to-oliver-hart-and-bengt-holmstrom-for-work-on-contract-theory-1476093193


Singapore’s Foreign Policy
The fundamental principles of Singapore’s Foreign Policy are:

  • As a small state, Singapore has no illusions about the state of our region or the world.
  • We need to maintain a credible and deterrent military defence to underpin our foreign policy.
  • We must promote and work for good relations with our neighbours in all spheres.
  • We are friends with all those who wish to be friends with us.
  • We stand by our friends who have stood by us in times of need.
  • We fully support and are committed to ASEAN.
  • We work to maintain a secure and peaceful environment in and around Southeast Asia and in the Asia Pacific region.
  • We must work to maintain a free and open multilateral trading system.
  • We are ready to trade with any state for mutual benefit and will maintain an open market economy.
  • We will support and be active in international organisations such as the UN.
https://www.mfa.gov.sg/content/mfa/overseasmission/manila/about_singapore/foreign_policy.html


The PAP is very happy to see this. Contract is rule based and so do our foreign policy. Contract, Foreign Policy and the PAP seem to be a perfect match.

[Being a small city-state, Singapore cannot survive in a world where might is right, which is why it needs to be a strong advocate of a rules- based world order, said Singapore's Senior Minister of State for Defence Ong Ye Kung.

He cited an example: With independence in 1965, the Separation Agreement guaranteed Singapore's water agreements with Malaysia.

"A small country needs a world order that respects and abides by international law and the sanctity of contracts and agreements," he told delegates at the Xiangshan Forum in Beijing.

"We cannot over-rely on history because it was not too long ago in history that Singapore did not exist," Mr Ong said at a plenary session titled Responding To New Security Challenges In The Asia-Pacific Through Cooperation.

This is one reason why Singapore diplomats have actively helped to set up international conventions such as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, multilateral trading regimes, and also climate change negotiations, he added.]
http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/why-spore-needs-world-order-based-on-rules


Contract, Foreign Policy and the PAP seem to be a perfect match.And we don't talk history but new citizens have long history.

Will new citizens agree with this perfect match? Will old citizens too agree with the perfect match?

When Lee Hsien Loong took over the government in 2004, his economic policy is ‘casino’ based. New citizens come here because Singapore offers a ‘casino’ contract of get rich quick. Now, Singapore’s economy is slowing down and we may no longer offer the same get-rich quick ‘casino’ contract.

New citizens will think the PAP government is breaking the contract - no high growth, no get rich quick casino. Will they act differently from the old citizens?

(Old citizens know but act passively)

This year’s Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences is awarded to two economists who develop Contract Theory.   The theory can also apply to politics.


         https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHTtEv06sR8

It is too early to tell the implication of Contract Theory to Singapore politics. For sure, it can be used for (or to check) the high salary of ministers, the CPF, insurance, privatisation policy, ownership, etc.

When we talk about contracts we have to consider the visible and invisible impacts.  The PAP always says they are presenting the facts and figures and the calculations.

How about the invisible side? For example the foreign policy. In 2004, new citizens think the casino economic policy and foreign policy is a perfect match. But in 2016, it may no more a perfect match and so they will vote differently.

For the local born ‘old’ citizens, the promised contract, such as Switzerland Life, has broken. With the awakening and awareness of contract theory, will they continue to be so passively thinking the Parliament only needs NCMPs and Nominated MPs?

Friday, 7 October 2016

当李玮玲遇到李显龙,谁的使命高?


当李玮玲遇到李显龙,谁的使命高?

李玮玲和李显龙都是李光耀的孩子,但是,在李光耀眼中谁才能不负所托,完成李光耀交代下来的使命?李光耀的最后使命是什么?是不是他的遗属?

从家庭传承的角度来说,为何李光耀遗属的执行人是李玮玲和弟弟李显扬,而不是作为长子的李显龙?

难道,贵为一国总理,还不具资格成为合法的李光耀遗属执行人吗?

在上一篇博文中,谈到李显龙的使命感是建立在赌场上的。因为,2004年,他一上任,就批准设立两间赌场。李显龙认为只有通过赌场,新加坡经济才能更上一层楼,生产力才能提高,国民所得才能提高。10多年过去了,我国经济,GDP的确增加了。但是,与此同时,贫富悬殊了,低收入工人并没有获得实际的所得增加。这场建立在赌场上的经济理念和使命感,似乎并不是李光耀的理念,甚至不是李光耀要给接班人留下的使命。

李光耀基本是反对建立赌场的:

【历史上新加坡就对赌场很是忌讳,担心其可能产生的不良社会效应。李光耀在担任新加坡的总理的时候,就取缔了所有的赌博场所,只允许彩票和赌马的经营。李光耀在这次接受访问的时候依然认为,新加坡人只需要乘船半个小时就能到达印尼的宾坦岛赌博,而上马来西亚的云顶或者是新加坡的度假游轮上赌博也是一件简单的事情。他表示虽然自己坚决反对新加坡开设赌场,但赌场到底开还是不开,还是应该由新加坡政府来决定。】
http://news.sina.com.cn/w/2004-07-28/15353226334s.shtml

李显龙对于赌场的热爱,似乎有上升的趋势。最近,新加坡网上的赌场业务开放了,但是,只是让两家政府控制的组织来经营:

【新加坡博彩公司和赛马公会获准推出网上投注服务,两个机构的赌博网站将从下个月起陆续推出。为免网上赌博危害社会,赌客下注时将受到限制。
经过一年多的审核,内政部发表文告,正式批准新加坡博彩公司和赛马公会在网上接受投注,为期三年。博彩公司将从10月25日起接受网上投注,赛马公会则会在11月15日推出服务。】http://www.channel8news.sg/news8/singapore/20160929-sg-gambling/3166296.html

李显龙的赌场经济学在经过10年的成長后,已经开始出现缓慢。两家合法赌场,出现业务下滑,裁员的现象,当然,赌博税的收入自然而然也跟着下滑。这和当初大力推行赌场的经济理念有所不同 --创造就业,提高收入,增加经济发展等机会,似乎已经成为过去。

现在人民行动党政府把手伸入网上赌博,一方面不让肥水流入外人田,增加国家收入,另一方面,又能延续李显龙的赌场经济的理念和使命。这种做法,似乎和李光耀的坚决反对赌场的立场,渐行渐远。

相反的,李玮玲作为李光耀遗属的执行人,似乎更加坚持自己的立场,并且以李光耀精神的延续自居。

有一点,我们似乎搞不清楚,当李玮玲批评总理李显龙的时候,说他哥哥想建立王朝,为李光耀进行的造神运动,不孝子等等的时候,李玮玲是以妹妹的身份,还是李光耀遗属执行人的身份来做出评论?

【“过犹不及,纪念得过头了就会起反作用,而且未来的新加坡人都会想,没准儿我父亲一生的功绩都是为了想出名、想要搞出个王朝出来。但实际上他披荆斩棘、矢志不渝的一生都是为了新加坡的发展,不是为了他的名字能永载史册、或者要留下怎么样宏大的政治遗产。”

---

在一条已经被删除的她与该报主编的交锋里,李玮玲写道,她的哥哥“对滥用职权无所顾忌,在李光耀去世仅一年后就搞出这么个纪念名堂来……假若当局就是想弄出个朝廷来的话,我作为李光耀的女儿,绝不允许李光耀的名字被一个不孝之子玷污。”】
http://www.bbc.com/zhongwen/simp/world/2016/04/160411_world_lee_family_spat

我们如何解读李玮玲的身份?或许,她自认她是以执行人的身份来提醒李显龙,而不是以妹妹的身份。因为,李光耀赋予她的执行人身份,因为这个使命,她不得不在李光耀过世后,对李显龙说三道四。就像李光耀曾经说过的一样,如果看到新加坡出现状况,他会从棺材里爬出来。正是这种使命感,李玮玲才不得不与他哥哥分庭抗礼,把家里的不同看法公开。

古装连续戏,宫廷王朝连续剧看多了,在戏里,有多少人为了一个正统,为了一个继承人的身份,而斗得你死我活。李玮玲的遗属执行人的身份,似乎给了她这个正统,这个继承人的合法性,也给她的话语权加力。因为,她才是李光耀的使命的合法执行者。

就像她说李光耀的老屋要拆掉,这是李光耀的使命,不是李玮玲的使命,一个真正的李光耀使命,一个遗书说得清清楚楚的使命,因此她只是一个执行使命的人而已。

(如果在古代,违背先皇的遗属,就能于是抗旨。。。因此,连续剧里经常出现篡改遗书的情节。)

李玮玲最近还开设了一个新的脸书户口,并且第一次提到她的嫂嫂何晶:

【(星岛日报报道)新加坡总理李显龙的妹妹李玮玲在社交网facebook开设新户口,并指新户口「没有其他人可以写任何东西」。事件令人猜测兄妹内讧加剧。已故新加坡建国总理李光耀的女儿李玮玲透过原有的facebook户口(Wei Ling Lee),宣布开设了名为「玮玲·李」(Wei Ling Lee)的新户口。她写道:「未来只会使用新户口,(在那边)没有其他人可以写任何东西。」她并表明:「我这样做是因为没有公共媒体敢违抗李显龙及(李显龙夫人)何晶的命令。】

这个剧情的发展,让人联想到李光耀的使命,似乎延伸到了后宫去了。。。

李光耀和李显龙对于新加坡的使命感,有着明显的不同。 李光耀代表了英校生的价值,殖民地精英的价值,他要把资本主义发挥的淋漓尽致。而李显龙奉行的是赌场经济,赌博心态的价值。如果严重一点,套用李玮玲的话:王朝,造神。。。那就跟李光耀大不相同。

当我们了解这个背景,这个不同后,我们就能更加明白李显龙最近的一些动作,,如:为民选总统修改宪法,以及他在外交上的表现,他在南中国海的立场,对美国,对日本,对印度的态度,。。。是不是赌场经济理念的延伸。

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Black President cannot solve black problems. Our minority EP can???


President Obama is going to end his 8-year presidency soon. However, the black problems in the United States of America remain unsolved. Not only there is no improvement, the problems are getting worst as seen in the recent various racial conflicts.

It is too idealistic to think black president can solve black problems for those who believe in the change.  Singapore’s PAP proposed EP constitutional changes are following this logic. As a matter of fact, the truth is change the color of the president does not guarantee problems solved.

Racial issue is one of the three key point debates in the first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.  Obviously race is an important problem and an unsolved problem since the US independent in 1776.  For 240 years, it remains an unsolved problem.

Now, we turn to Singapore. The People’s Action Party seems to suggest a minority Elected President can solve minority problems in Singapore.

The PAP government issued a White Paper and said:

[The experience of the United States is a reminder that racial
differences are natural fault lines. In the entire history of the United States, there have only been nine African American senators, 135 of whom only about half were popularly elected.
When President Barack Obama became elected as the first
African American President in 2008, there were suggestions
that the United States had become a “post-racial” nation.
However, the voting patterns for President Obama’s election showed that race mattered to a significant degree – only 43% of White persons voted for him, while 95% of African Americans cast their vote in his favour. In the upcoming Presidential election in the United States, one candidate has been outspoken on specific racial minority groups.]

The White Paper seemed to stop halfway and quickly jumped to a Channel NewsAsia survey to make a conclusion that Singapore is not a “post-racial” society.    
   
We know that the Obama experience did not work. The post-racial society of the USA is in question as the White Paper used the word “suggestions” to question the post-racial situation.    

By using the Obama example, the PAP government is only half honest in the racial issue, whether in the US or in Singapore. Many of the unfair racial issues were initiated by white presidents, including President Lincoln.  The PAP’s suggestions of only minority president can help minority race is a misleading statement.

Black president cannot solve black problems. Can a minority EP in Singapore solve the minority problems here?  The PAP is just taking the advantage of US case to prove the PAP’s half right.  

So, where is the half wrong? The White Paper never says. White presidents did help to solve some black problems - slavery, equal rights etc. However, more can be done.

And in fact, in Singapore, in addition to racial issue and EP changes, we have an ignorant problem. As many as 40% of the population do not understand the proposed EP changes. They also fail to understand the function of the Council of Presidential Advisers.

民情联系组(REACH)针对民选总统制改革,过去三周到蔡厝港、榜鹅和西海岸收集民意。收集到结果显示,当中四成的人对民选总统制的改革不甚了解,大多数人也不了解总统顾问理事会是如何运作的
http://www.wanbao.com.sg/local/story20161002-91780

In addition to the half right and the half wrong, there are also a substantial number of Singaporeans don’t really care about the proposed changes. The half wrong (or the half right depending on how you see it) and the unknown will give the PAP an easy time to pass the changes in Parliament.  

Passing the EP changes is a piece of cake for the PAP. But really how many Singaporeans do understand the rational and the implication of the changes. Perhaps, this is the PAP meaning of inclusive society.