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NTU Ministerial Forum 2014 – The 4th Fault Line

Hope springs eternal….Here’s a satiric take of a ‘revision’ to what’s said on that Ministerial Forum……

Dear Students and Staff of NTU

Fault lines Title

As part of my sincere effort to deal with my ‘lack of 20/20 foresight’ and also to take into account all the feedback that is swirling on the ground (including those in cyberspace that do not always conform to the ‘right thing’ that my cabinet are used to hearing), I offer you my revised take on our earlier encounter.

A quick recap; The 3 fault lines are race and religion, the income gap and between locals and new arrivals.

I should like to clarify that by the ‘income gap’, I mean that the richer are getting richer while our poor are getting poorer, relatively speaking. I have clearly demonstrated this fact during my National Day Rally when I have little choice but to give more grants to buy 3-room, 4-room & 5-room HDBs. It has been highlighted to me that if I had done a good job, there wouldn’t be any need to give more grants. It’s funny that I didn’t see it from that angle. Regardless, I am sorry.

Next, instead of ‘locals and new arrivals’, it will have to be ‘citizens vs other residents’. Residents include not only PRs but also newly-minted citizens and all the foreigners in our midst. Anton Casey, despite 11 years since arriving at our shores, has amply shown us the fault line, aside from the Indian curry incident of back then.

Now, for an even more important clarification. There is actually a 4th fault line. It is the already lack of trust of Singaporeans for the government.

I have tried not to raise this as a fault line in an effort at self-denial. But the face of the owl in my office kept bugging me. So, I told my wife, best not risk it, the old man can go sooner but I am still young, so let’s come clean instead.

I realize that this is THE fault line that I must focus on. Not only will it take care of the other 3 breaches it’ll make the bright future ahead for you possible. Let me explain.

The fault line of race and religion is actually an illusory one that Minister Kee Chiu has suggested as a strategy to distract if not divide and rule Singaporeans. So, when the tudung issue surfaced, we got the Taoists amongst the Chinese to write about the need to create a new national holiday for Taoist followers. For good measure, rumblings to restore the Thaipusam public holiday can then be heard in the background. Quite clever actually, right?

But now I realize that Sun Tze’s Art of War’s ‘deception is the key to victory’ is not meant to be apply to our own citizens but against enemies. Kee Chiu is wrong and I have asked him to stand in the corner during the next 3 cabinet meetings. Hmmm, maybe I should verify Kee Chiu’s “Distinguished Master Strategist Award” certificate.

Whilst we must continue to be vigilant on race and religion as a toxic mix in national issues, I sincerely hope that this removes the illusory threat as clear and present will also resort a measure of trust for my government. No more deception by the government!

Next, the 2nd fault line of ‘income gap’. Let’s call a spade a spade. I want to be honest and discard the more euphemistic ‘gap’ in favour of ‘income divide’.  You can agree that we need to make more money – but not at the expense of unity since it is our solemn pledge that whatever we do it is ‘as one united people’.

So, we will stop the crazy idea that we must grow the economy at all cost and over and above everything else. As I noted, we are richer with more resources (except land and people). So, l will ask Tharman to look deeper s to redistribute all the hidden money in our various accounts. Yes, yes, despite Ho Ching’s (as a small favour to me, pls stop calling her Ho Jinx, can?) objections, Temasek’s hoardings will have to be included.
But I hope you will agree with me that we should move judiciously and not do a Santa Claus. Can?

The 3rd fault line of ‘citizens vs other residents’. With the PRs, we will relook to change NS obligations with a view to lighten citizens’ and make it compulsory to serve for PR. If they don’t want to, I tell them to (pardon my Greek) “F**k off!”. After all, as I mentioned but only now realize, there are thousands of others queuing to come make a life and commitment. So, ‘eff off’, I say again! Likewise, Tan Jin Chuan will have to relook the FCF. Ehh, I am thinking, FCF should mean “First come First” to mean citizens being the First here in Singapore should also Come First for jobs. What do you think, quite a clever, creative idea and short form, uh?

Coming back to the 4th Mother of All Fault Lines – trust of and between people and government.

Actually, I am not so blur as what many netizens claim. I did point out to you that “Only when fellow Singaporeans are ‘not divided, not fighting with ourselves, not split and at odds with one another’ can Singapore continue to prosper in the long run.”

I have been manipulating my words to suit my case. But now I know better. What the heck was I talking about ‘Singapore continue to prosper in the LONG RUN’ when that same ‘need for unity and absence of infighting’ are what we need more than anything else NOW! To achieve prosperity NOW! In the long run we are all dead, right? So, it is onus, no, imperative that I focus on this 4th fault line.

No more ‘get the politics right and the economics will be right’. I change it to ‘get the trust right and the politics, social and the economics will be right!’

Here is how to get it right. We must start with the govt showing explicit trust of the people. Some will go overboard. But we are, to quote Shanmugam, “BIGGER” than that. So, immediately, I have instructed Yacob to stop the IDA ruling on the internet. I’ll need more time on CPF withdrawals since Tharman will have to take that in the context of the redistribution remit that I mentioned earlier.

Next step, I’ll release the Shit Times, I mean Straits Times, and all other mass media from our vice grip cleverly applied over the years. There will be no such thing as a ‘nod and a wink’. The editors are free to do as they like. If anyone does otherwise, I will knock out and wring his neck off his head! I’ll also allow the issue of more media licence – as long as it is local-owned and operated. I hope you agree with that condition.

A 3rd step will be to work to abolish ISA. I cannot do that by decree but will have to ‘persuade’ my Parliamentary colleagues to do so. Don’t worry, I promise you I am very persuasive…remember how I ‘convinced’ them of the 6.9 mil PWP?

(See, that is one thing good about giving them high salaries, I can squeeze their balls. Just kidding. I know my salary is another sticking point. My wife is already making so much, actually. Sometimes, to be frank, I think that it’s my father who is ‘tulan’ that my mother taunted him, saying she made more money than he did. So, he cooked up the need to pay himself more. Next time, I see you at the Guild House with a beer, I share more titbits with you.)

I know that there are many more ideas you have to better our situation. Pls send me more feedback – not just my FB account. You can also say your piece on TRE (my favourite, actually), TRS, TOC, Yahoo News etc. But let us focus on the first few critical ones that I have listed here.

So, my dear Singaporeans, Pls join me in my ‘road to Damascus’ revelation in true governing. Together, let us make Singapore what it can truly be. I’ll not be calling for the GE at short notice, whether or not my old man kicks his bucket. I ‘fix’ the date for 2016 so that Low Kah Tiang and everyone else can take more time to prepare. I welcome their participation to build the NEW SINGAPORE.