2econdsight

"to rescue truth from beauty and meaning from belief"


2 Comments

Of Insidious Constructs & Ideological Cleavage

Unlike Prof Tommy Koh, as a layman I do not view our beloved country thro’ the eyes of ideology. Ideologies, being ideas, beliefs or visions are abstract. I concern myself with mostly the empirical.

When ideologues believe their ideologies to be supremely superior in their service to Singapore and Singaporeans, the beneficiaries, and when that belief is pursued whatever it takes, then their proponents will have become blinded by the beauty of their ideologies and lost as to their efficacy. The means, actual constructs will be seen to justify the end.

Therefore, in place of the “shared beliefs”, I see 3 Insidious Constructs holding up the 5 ideologies gone wrong for their extremes. These are constructs Singaporeans want revamped.

Growth at all costs

PM Lee himself proudly proclaimed,

“we’re not going for growth at all costs, nor have we done so. Growth is not an end in itself, but a means to improve our lives and achieve our goals.” [Link].

A year later, despite Singaporeans protesting via the BE ballot box and Hong Lim Park, he still sang a different tune,

“In fact, if I can get another 10 billionaires to move to Singapore and set up their base here, my Gini coefficient will get worse but I think Singaporeans will be better off, because they will…create new jobs, and I think that is the attitude with which we must approach this problem.” [Link].

I am still waiting for the PM to support his case with a clear, verifiable breakdown of the number, type and Singaporean-benefited “new jobs” that Jim Rogers has created since he arrived SGP some years ago.

Aside from an obsession with attracting whatever speaks, reeks money, a second e.g. of this govt’s blind pursuit of growth at all costs is seen in the relentless increases in our population.

In the decade 1995 to 2004, when Goh Chok Tong was PM, the increase was 20.3% (from 3.419 to 4.1146 mil). When PM took over, from 2005 to 2013, the increase was 27.4% in 9 years. All said, one out of 3 ‘local residents’ is a non-citizen. In all likelihood, with the liberal granting of citizenship to foreigners over the years, perhaps every other citizen is not Singapore-born.

“The problem started with the crazy number of foreigners they brought in the last few years,” said Chua Beng Huat, a sociologist at NUS. “They were looking for growth at all costs. The quality of life for Singaporeans has actually declined, especially for the middle class and lower.”

So, the first insidious construct of their ideology gone berserk is the relentless, unqualified, out-of-control welcome mat for both foreigners with money and foreigners who can make money using Singapore as a base, come what may, hell or high water, to grow GDP.

“Meritoguanxi”

We have been led to believe that ours is a cabinet and a govt that is THE most qualified in the world – as a justification for the stratospheric salaries paid for their services, never mind their patriotic sense of duty or lack thereof.

And the key pillar of that justification is the ideology of meritocracy. But how has that panned out in its constructs?

Readers can cite even more e.g. than me. Therefore, I shall merely cite from the horse’s own mouth, proudly declared to the world:

“They (delegates from China) discover that the PAP has only a small office in Bedok. But everywhere they go, they see the PAP – in the RCs (residents’ committees), CCCs (citizens’ consultative committees), and the CCs (community clubs).”

– Lee Kuan Yew (Straits Times 30 December 2009).

If these supposedly quasi State apparatuses are all no more than fair game and clay in the PAP’s hands to do as they please, to promote the Party’s own self-serving agenda, what more the known publicly-listed or govt-owned entities?

It surely begs the simple, if naïve, question: Where do they get all these talented people to fill up all the juicy positions that pay so well with what is not the Party’s own money?

In its wake has arisen and now entrenched the 2nd insidious construct of ‘meritoguanxi’; the undisguised offer of plumb positions to Party faithfuls from Chairman of the Board positions with 6-figure salaries to the lowly RC activist with his 6-monthly, fully-paid trip to nowhere with no direct-benefit-to-residents purpose.

Hence, ‘meritoguanxi’ – a bit of merit, lots of ‘guanxi’ is the culture and the currency of the day to turn the key. A nod and a wink get the deal. Legally incorrupt but no less chronically crony-ic thro-and-thro. It’s more who you know and who knows you than who you are or can do.

Isn’t it ironic they claim to be so darn good, sought-after talents, why can’t they find their own positions at CocaCola, JP Morgan, Unilever, Exxon… ?

Directorships for the asking or the giving by the PAP at state-owned or related companies are the defined, guaranteed path to a comfortable retirement after active service to the Party. Isn’t it ironic they claim to be so darn good, sought-after talents, why can’t they find their own positions at CocaCola, JP Morgan, Unilever, Exxon or, closer to Asia, Sinar Mas, CP Holdings, Hutchinson Whampoa? Instead, they can only wait to be ‘given appointment’ to jobs at local Capitaland, Keppel, Sembawang, Temasek or TH/GLC entities. What right has these ideologues to treat and take State properties to reward their own?

Whilst “Meritoguanxi” cannot be eliminated, it has be considerably reduced and seen to be so.

Non-Accountability

“Accountability breeds response-ability.” — Stephen R. Covey.

If what Covey observes is true, it indicates that this govt has been running around in circles while trying to lead us by the nose.

New unfavourable situations can and are explained away. Consider, when underlings spin a 2010 flood as ‘ponding’ and the Headman himself offered, ” – no amount of engineering can prevent flooding.” What does that translate to for PUB managers? Why the need to develop ‘response-ability’ if the Man himself declared the impossible?

But then 2 years earlier, meritoguanxi-ly appointed managers received their first major, major lesson  in the Mas Selamat escape. No head, but a low-rank, was cut to atone or held responsible for SGP’s own Alcatraz version of the Great Escape.

It would appear, at first sight, that the then MHA Minister should be the fall guy. But Mr Selamat is no ordinary criminal. And the responsibility for his detention fell outside MHA ambit and squarely in the PM’s oversight for ISD matters much like CPIB.

Well, we know the PM himself responded, “Let us close ranks to deal with this, and bounce back to move forward”. To think that the PM himself can so irreverently wave aside such a screw-up but throw the gauntlet down to the WP over some minor hawker centre cleaning issue – does that not speak volumes about the skewed mindset of what’s important, pedestrian – and what’s absolutely crucial to the nation?

And so, the story continued with the lame FCF to help us unemployed PMEs instead of taking the FT policy bull by the horn, the mild ministerial rebuke for ongoing MRT breakdowns instead of a thus-far-and-no-further directive, the spinning of hospital beds lack as seasonal demands, morphing into an healthy living issue…and hospital tents as structural, strategic response to supply shortage. The list goes on.

Separately, managers on the meritoguanxi leash have already learned ‘what to do to survive’ in the non-accountability culture. The SMRT appointee’s first move was to cover his own back, declaring that the ‘existing business model’ was not sustainable. The SPF Commissioner would only reveal the lack of 1000 headcount at a COI and after a riot. Both appointees see no need to worry about their integrity, possibly because the salary is way too sweet to resign in protest. The list goes on.

Singapore Inc has all imbued the non-accountability culture. If the leader does not hold himself and others to the same, most basic standards of accountability, why do underlings have to bother?

The chart shows the likely price Singaporeans are paying for lack of accountability, a culture developed under the PAP during their half-century reign.

Conclusion

So, Prof Koh, ideological cleavage or other abstracts, your learned friends can debate till their own abstract ideological cows come home. Meantime, the 3 insidious constructs are what we see, hear, breathe, feel and taste – and sense – day in day out.

The 3 constructs continue to feed into each other, reinforce each other’s as an unholy threesome. Regardless the good intent and intention behind each construct, they are no long so for the effects that we citizens are now suffering.

My layman’s view is that we have given the PAP much too much for far too long to do right by us for the good faith that we put in. Therefore, it’s now Change We Must.

If we do not end any one party’s dominance to do whatever they like, however they like, then that party’s continued dominance will end us.

2cents

 

 


1 Comment

A Satirical Retort to A Farcical Response – WF’s Lessons from MH370

I have been happier and less poor, monetarily & intellectually, since I cut off my ST subscription since 2010. Now, I only read it at the library occasionally.

But after I read the many comments to the editorial, http://www.tremeritus.com/2014/03/23/st-editor-uses-mh370-incident-to-champion-pro-ft-policy/, I just had to plough thro’ W Fernandez’s piece to understand what I might have missed about him that so many are just plain disgusted with. Now, I know better….

What can we make of that person and his attempt at, purportedly, trying to draw 5 lessons for Singaporeans to learn from the MH370 tragedy?

If asked for only one word to describe his 1259-word piece, FARCE would be most appropriate. Why?

It is a farce to, try as he did, masquerade his obvious sense of “schadenfreude” (@Thomas Pain’s choice) with words to the effect that any view that “Singapore would have handled the crisis better” “seems like hubris” to him.
Why? Simply because we can see thro’ his hypocrisy in including phrases like “floundering of the authorities”, “Many have mocked the response..confusing statements… and changing positions to the comic antics of shamans, to the flood of leaks and clarifications, with each day seeming to bring a new lead, theory or explanation.” And, “of course, Singapore would have handled the crisis better,” (purportedly Singaporeans’ instinctive reaction).

The fact of the matter is that Fernandez could have excluded all these remarks – without taking away anything from what he claimed to be the purpose of his commentary; namely, his 5 lessons for SGP. As an editor, he should know better than not to self-edit the redundant. So, what’s his true intent was to include those lines disparaging Malaysia?

Given the above, including ‘some recent fiasco of our own’ is but a cursory charade. Did you write anything remotely bad but true of the ‘floudering…confusing (and) comic antics’ of our own fiascos, let alone draw 5 lessons from same? Zilch!

All his talk about ‘mounting anguish…painful to watch’, ‘priority remains the urgent search’ blah blah blah cannot mask the lack, absence even, of a sense of common humanity for those in their hour of need.

How low can one go – to put others down to elevate ourselves or his masters?

Next, let’s look at his ‘lessons’ for us. Fernandez actually paused, pondering subconsciously whether to proceed. “I am by no means an expert in aviation security, but let me offer…” If you are no expert, did you ask an expert before you ‘offer’? Oh well, shoot himself in the foot he must, mustn’t he? Let’s see from what he had to ‘offer’.
5 Lessons – bordering on the farcical.

1. Just no letting up on security
Say that again. “Just no letting up on security”?
You mean that is lesson # 1 – and it’s only a lesson when such a disaster occurs?

“No doubt, this will give rise to moves to tighten up the system, if only temporarily.” “Ultimately, security is only as good as the officer on the job staying alert and ready to respond to a crisis which might arise when he least expects it.”

Warren, Warren…you are not only no aviation expert, professing to be wise, you become a fool.

Life has many “lessons too late for the learning, made of sand, made of sand”. Systems and procedures are mainly conceived in retrospect to lessons not foreseen. Human frailties – fail. Murphy Laws, there are more than just 2, always apply <http://www.murphys-laws.com/murphy/murphy-laws.html>

I am not saying that security should then be let up. I am wondering, Warren, tell us something we don’t already know. We are the NOW Singaporeans, not your past dafties.

2. Safety comes first, really
“Yet, there have been recent scares with planes having to be turned back or make emergency landings because of mechanical faults on both Airbus and Boeing jets.”

I say it again, you are not only no aviation expert, you know nuts about nuts.

We live in the real world. Nothing we make can be perfect or perfected. Nothing. What did you do all the time you were in Shell (I got this from Wiki)? Did you ever speak with the printing floor lower mortals producing your ST hardcopies?

There is such a thing as AQL (Acceptable Quality Limit or Level) in production. And yes, truly, if anything can go wrong – that has never gone wrong before – will go wrong. And the worse of any two possible wrongs will occur first – and earlier than you think (if you are capable of that, that is).

By the way, didn’t you check with the ‘expert’ to whom you send your underling to interview recently? Remember Mdm Scratch-Head Jo Teo, “with…anything new, you will always learn something…things could always have been better” and “We cannot have the attitude that everything will be perfect from Day One. If we go in with that attitude, it can only mean that we have to build in a lot of redundancy.”

Daaahh!

This is not to trivialize ‘safety first’ in everything. But, hey, you are still not adding any value to the discussions.

In fact, what do you think our very own aviation experts at SIA might have reacted to your lame, “Airlines everywhere will have to reassure passengers that they…are not compromising on safety”? Nope, they wouldn’t be scratching their heads a la Jo Teo. Some would say, “Better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt” or “Boy, go fly a kite.”

3. Pick the right people
This lesson…it’s hidden in the middle, lesson #3 of 5, for a reason, a sinister one, isn’t it, Warren?

By now, at least with some 50k readers, your words will be hard to forget for a long time, “Finding the best people must entail appointing whoever can do the job best, regardless of gender, race, age, background, or even nationality.”(italics & bold for emphasis, which is yr key thrust).
“So please, let’s go easy on the anti-foreigner “Singaporean first” rhetoric that has become so popular these days. Give the job to whoever will deliver when it counts.”

At a time when our closest, friendly neighbour is being, in yr words, ‘maligned’, you surreptitiously sneer at them here at the beginning of yr article. At a time when many fellow Singaporeans, especially PMEs (me, included) have either lost jobs to foreigners or finding it hard to land even an interview, you come with this bull lesson? Truly, ‘I don’t know what to say!’

I beg your pardon, Warren, but I just have to ask, “Did you actually have parents?”

Our deep hurt aside (yeah, how can you claim to empathize with the MH370 victims when you spit on your own fellow citizens?), we can and will forgive if you print a clarification that you are, in fact, sending a message to the Lee Hsien Loong cabinet that if they have proven to have not done ‘the job best’ they must step aside – NOW.

Oh, and as Editor of ST, ranked progressively lowest at #150 now by Reporters Sans Frontières, editor, please edit yourself out of your job, can? Thank you.

4. Sooner or later, a crisis will come
“..simply assuming…that our systems are sound and superior, is the surest way to set ourselves up for a spectacular fall.”

On this, I agree with you. You should tell that to NEA with their ‘ponding’ spin. As COEs are unaffordable now, I bus past Suntec City often. Tell NP or LTA about the dead trees at the Nicoll Highway aside Suntec…Is it cheaper to water them during the recent dry spell – to plant new trees…that would need to be watered regularly when first planted?
Why didn’t you preach lesson #4 to Teo Chee Hien with his Riot & Woodlands Drive-thro Total Defence fiascos, all under MHA…‘Job done best’?

How about the preceding and current health ministers who have proven to be not only unprepared for our hospital bed crunch crises but actually created them with, deliberate help from cabinet colleagues who not only lacked 20/20 foresight but were blind-sided with growing GDP at all cost to boost, among other KPIs, their own annual bonuses? For good measure, let’s also parade out Mah Bow Tan & Lim Boon Heng for their respective housing supplies and workers’ salary sub-growth.
Not spectacular falls, all these? “Job done best?”

I also like this bit, “in the absence of credible and timely information, conspiracy theorists will rush to fill the vacuum, forcing the authorities to respond.” Darn right you are about the ‘absence of credible and timely information’ re all things Temasek, MOM employment figures breakdown, AIM, use of our reserves without submitting to the very Presidential oversight rules PAP set. The list goes on.

I seem to be saying some positive stuff about your lessons. But don’t be happy just yet.

5. Building trust and sense of community
“Long before such a crisis strikes, people will need to have developed a sense of community, trusting in themselves and each other, as well as the authorities, to do the right thing in a difficult moment.”

5th and last lesson takes the cake – at best, for the dumbass of an aviation non-expert, at worst, for sheer hypocrisy. Yours. And your masters’, whoever they may be, for whom you write yr current piece.

You tell us as the 1st lesson that we must not let up on security. You go on to discuss safety first. Then you preach to us that our citizenship, our citizen’s job interest is subservient to other nationals who are supposedly more ‘right’ than us for jobs we need to feed our families along with the importance to be prepared for a crisis.

And last, you hit us with the ‘trust & sense of community’ imperative?

Words fail me, Warren. Words fail me.
You are made of sand, made of sand.

You’d better go away with no word of farewell
Better you leave no trace behind
I could have warned you
Didn’t mean to be unkind
But you better disappear completely from our minds

For crying out loud, your whole piece is a farce.
A farce in its schadenfreude.
A farce for your own aviation non-expert, in fact, an anything non-expert related to the 5 lessons you expound.
And a farcical attempt to promote this government’s agenda of increasing foreign workers into our already over-crowded, economically grievously-injured unemployed or underpaid fellow citizens on an island already at #3 as densest after Macau & Monaco. STOP! ENOUGH!

It might have been different if you directly and without qualification, addressed your message to the government and the complacent, compliant civil service.

 


Leave a comment

Tribute to Sylvia Lim

A tribute to Sylvia Lim – Response to her Budget speech

 

 

A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS…

 

“I have seen old black and white photographs of my father giving briefings to then Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, who used to visit army camps with his family dressed in shorts; these photographs told perhaps of a different working culture then, with little time for pomp and ceremony.”

 

 

Maybe I’ll be damned for voicing this. So be it.

 

Say what you like about LKY, he did right by our parents and by us, then, with his right focus on issues and plans that really mattered, didn’t he?

 

In kaki shorts and his wife & daughter as plainly dressed compared to the expensive clothes the current PM’s wife appears when meeting the SCDF recently.

 

No drinks or bites on the table, can’t even see a spinning ceiling fan and no retinue of bodyguards. That’s something I always scratched my head. Back in the 60′s when Singaporeans were more violent (Hock Lee riots, strikes, protests etc), bodyguards were sparse. Now, with only a riot in 45 years and by foreigners, our ministers are either more fearful, no balls or have a greater sense of their own self-importance that they need more protection.

 

Perhaps, we need to revert some changes in some areas to what used to be…. some pomp, less pomposity, some ceremony, less ceremoniousness.

 

IT’S ONLY WORDS, AND WORDS ARE ALL I HAVE TO TAKE YOUR HEART AWAY…

 

“Foreign Minister George Yeo… told me that he had been taught Military Law by my father in the army, and that he believed the Prime Minister had been too.”

 

“As we approach our nation’s 50th anniversary of independence, it is a useful time to reflect on how we are bound by ties through the Pioneer Generation. Their high sense of commitment to Singapore lifted us through hazy beginnings and daunting odds. They had little time to complain, but just got on with what needed to be done. Their fighting spirit inspires us, their children, to defend what they have built, and to bring our country to greater heights.”

 

Perhaps, this speech will be seen later as her coming out speech to assert her place as a PM-in-waiting.

 

First, she brandishes her pedigree. No daughter of a dud she, but one whose pa had a hand in educating ministers in his area of expertise.

 

Then she, with a flourish, concludes her speech referencing our nation’s half-century run tied to the ‘high sense of commitment to SGP… thro’ hazy beginnings and daunting odds… little.. complain(t).. just got on with what needed to be done. Their fighting spirit inspires us… to bring our country to greater heights”.

 

You can almost hear a heart drop…. Lee Hsien Loong’s heart wishing he had said those simple words instead of Sylvia Lim.

Change we must.

2cents


Leave a comment >

12 Mar 2014 TRE

Alternative Lessons from the Crimea/Ukraine crisis

The crisis in Crimea/Ukraine continues to simmer, simmering it appears, from what had been left to fester over the years. What lessons for us?

Unlike PM Lee and FM Shammugam, anxious to draw lessons under the guise of ‘small countries’ needing to defend themselves but actually finding another convenient justification of the obscene defence budget. Not only that but the very raison d’etre of National Service itself, a noble necessity,  being increasingly and justifiably questioned by parents and our young alike. Why make suckers of us to defend so that others and outsiders can enjoy the relative security we offer with the 2 best years of our youth and our tax dollars?

I have no doubt whatsoever that, together with the highfalutin reason of our raison d’etat, PM Lee sees plenty to gain for his PAP. A call to unite, to prepare and be prepared for any eventuality – under PAP’s leadership. But it’s a leadership in sure and deep decline. A leadership that lacks 20/20 foresight in governance in favour of GDP growth at all cost.

Two TRE articles < http://www.tremeritus.com/2014/03/07/ukraine-crisis-lessons-for-singapore/ >, < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_population > already made short work of the shallow basis of PM Lee’s call based on physical smallness of country. Well, so much for the quality of a leader whose understanding of physical geography views a 600k km2 country with 45 mil citizens, ranked the 49th biggest amongst 244 countries by population, as a ‘small country’.

So, what are the pertinent lessons for Singapore in the current Crimea/Ukraine crisis? I suggest 3.

1. Treatment of minority / integration
Whilst Ukrainians of Russian origin make up 17.3% of total population, in Crimea alone, they make up 58%. Let’s not get it wrong. It is Crimea where those of Russian blood command the absolute majority that is being ‘invaded’ or have invited Russia’s entry. Not the rest of Ukraine.

So lesson number one is to fully integrate the citizenry.

Are we doing enough of that with the minority races that have traditionally been part of our fellow citizens? Or have we been alienating them and paying only lip service to their concerns?

There’s where your real threat is, PM, and not the surrounding countries per se. They are the ones who can ‘invite’ outsiders into SGP covertly, if not overtly. Have the cabinet of the last 10-20 years lost the key focus, if not the structural belief in truth but not in word, of demonstrating in tangible terms that we are all Singaporeans, ‘one united people’? Or alienate them instead?

Has GDP growth triumph everything else?

2. Ignore / encourage potential sabotage at our own national peril
When leaders, in their blind pursuit of GDP growth at all cost, disregard or are blind-sided by the potential threat of saboteurs or potential ones. And when citizens, so daft and so caught up trying to pay the costly bills of basic necessities of food, shelter, clothing and transportation, just as blindly give such leaders and leadership their votes, it really doesn’t take much for other countries to eye an opportunity to gain intelligence or recruit potential saboteurs.

For e.g., with so many Malaysians employed as Auxiliary Police ‘working’ and ‘guarding’ sensitive areas (airports, customs, installations etc) and Pinoys and Indians in IT infrastructure and banking, even Indonesia need not raise her own ‘spies or moles’ to gain intelligence in time of emergency or in peacetime. Any country can just get it cheap paying for the necessary insider or confidential info.

We don’t need to ask PM Lee if he’s aware, let alone exercise the foresight, of what’s already happening, what they let happened. Just look around us to see the dangers these foreigners pose, that PM Lee’s cabinet has placed our raison d’etat in peril – all for the sake of Temasek’s & GIC’s coffers.

And he, of all persons, tries to draw lessons from the Crimea crisis? He, whose hubris and blindsight have sold us, albeit potentially, to the dogs while calling on us to be prepared for eventualities?

3. Create yr own new disaffected group
On this point, I write as a long-term unemployed PME.

If and when my government and, by extension, my country creates more opportunities for foreigners to gain employment more than for me and my fellow PMEs, how am I expected to answer the call to fight for ‘duty, country, honour’ as a reserve officer of the SAF?

I may not sabotage my own country. But who am I defending for – if the leaders continue to insist on this trajectory of GDP growth at all cost? Why should my sons be called upon to waste 2 years of their youth so that others, outsiders can come and take away my job – and theirs in time to come?

I ask the 5 generals in the cabinet and the rest of the multi-millionaire leaders, what lessons can YOU draw, do YOU want to draw for yourself first before you try to tell us what lessons in the Crimea crisis there are for us.

While you are at it, please remember that the 3 situations described above all originate under your lack of 20/20 foresight watch, your GDP growth at all cost mantra. All 3 continue to fester as we speak – while you sleep….

Lead. Don’t mislead.

Change you must. Or change will change you.


Leave a comment

Roy, How not to put a reader to zzzzzzz

2cents:

Roy,

I confess that this is the first time that I actually read yr article. I doubt if more than 20 TRE readers will read the entire 8000-word that you have spent so much time & effort on.

It’s a shame as there is much to be garnered. So, I’d like to say thank you personally.

If you will permit me 2 observations.

I assume that your intent, judging from ALL yr activities reported, is to inform and persuade voters to your line of thought. Well, most of the readers @TRE do not need much persuasion, if any at all. It’s the ‘some’ amongst us, the fence-sitters and govt supporters who you should be writing mostly for.

1) Will they take >20 mins (400 word/min) to go thro’? When there are so many other topics fighting for their attention?

2) Putting myself into a PAP supporter’s shoes, I would already be mentally tuned out when I start to read. A fence-sitter may be less so.

That being the case, the use of ‘hypocrisy’ is a loaded and emotive term that will straightaway call up defensive mechanism when reading.

As I understand,
hy·poc·ri·sy = The practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess; falseness.

Or

the condition of a person pretending to be something he is not, especially in the area of morals or religion; a false presentation of belief or feeling.

I think that trying to convert a political view thro’ emotion via the written word is a very difficult task. To accuse one’s preferred party of ‘hypocrisy’ is a moral judgment. I doubt anyone likes that except detractors of the accused.

Approaching from a rationale or more objective angle would, I think, be more helpful to one’s intent of persuading another to weigh the evidence about to be presented – and, hopefully, change his view.

Perhaps, it’s just PAP’s blind side, if deliberate, that is dictating their warped approaches to policy matters. It’s hard for any supporter or fence-sitter to see any ‘pretence’ on PAP’s part. PAP actually and sincerely believe that their course of action is the right one for SGP.

That’s why many of those, we all know personally, who disagree with the policies would con’t to vote for PAP – because they see only sincerity, even if perhaps, misplaced, but no hypocrisy.

Likewise, why would they throw their hat in with an oppo that insist, incorrectly and maliciously (to them), on hypocrispy when they honestly see none? As if issues of national import are so cut & dry.

If my assumptions are wrong, pls disregard my rumblings. Rgds, 2cents.

Rating: +13 (from 17 votes)


Leave a comment

Of Detractors (AHPETC episode) & Oppo Party MP Quality

3 Mar 2014 (Comment on TRE)

The adage, ‘Open your eyes, ears and senses…’ cuts both ways. One camp says, ‘you got to see it this way’. The other counters, ‘well, why don’t you see it this other way’. Then what?

 

Which ever way someone sees it, that’s what it is – and that’s where we’ve to start from. No matter what or how, the starting point has to be ‘take that person from where we find him’ and then work from there.

 

I assume tt, for all the condemnation and counterpoints against the PAP narrative, everyone has to agree tt the ONLY WAY out of the current route to damnation is thro’ MORE VOTES to deny 2/3 seats or kick the PAP to the oppo bench.

 

If not, then pls stop reading now.

 

If so, we can’t go around insulting, condemning, ridiculing the very detracters or those you disagree but hv the courage to state their views contrary to ours. Hey, you want their votes or you want the temporal satisfaction of giving them a good one?

 

Hope most will agree with what I’m about to suggest here;

 

1. DETRACTORS
Treat the IB or ‘other camp’ as detractors. Fellow citizens but diff experiences, values, hopes, knowledge etc but no less valid than our own.
Sure, some are polite, others not so. Same same in our camp.

 

Illustration; Actually, I agree with some, even much of Petulant’s observations about the WP. To those who disagree, let me ask, ‘Could the WP have done better?’ Hello, if yr answer is that it is not a level playing field, then, did you not know that already when you voted/supported them? Anyway, if yr best excuse is tt the dice is loaded against them, sorry, I’m not impressed (with yr reasoning).

 

WP is relying on a strategy of bidding their time to strike at the right time for issues and at the time that will either cause max damage to PAP or brandish their brand name in a meaningful way or win them votes or all of the preceding – with their limited resources. Meantime, let PAP self-inflict and the citizenry do the guerilla attacks.

 

Isn’t tt a wise strategy to take when yr resources are limited and the odds are stacked against you? Why waste precious little firepower you have?

 

Look everyday on TRE alone, there are no less than 6-8 issues published, not including many times more that TRE choose not to. Which ones do you want WP to take up?

 

But I disagree with Petulant’s ‘last straw’ that broke her/his support for WP ie AHPETC. In truth, I believe it was a master stroke by Low KT, the old fox of a (honest) politician. Let me explain.

 

He knew all along PA’s ‘adverse’ audit since he raised that. Knowing the biased Speaker in the House, any further questioning he’d be ‘your time is up, Mr Member’ by Mr Speaker. As for the AHPETC qualified audit, do you actually believe tt Sylvia and Low will allow for that when they knew that their political credibilty – and re-election – was at stake? They know the spotlight they are under..con’t

 

 

con’t

So, the 2nd ‘qualified’ audit report was deliberate. Can you see, in hindsight, how very confident Chairwoman Slyvia Lim was when she ‘pretended’ to ask MND to supply more info, when she beseeched MND to intervene to find a solution – when she, in fact, threw down the gauntlet to be investigated?

Well, when a Chairwoman gives the come-hither look, at least as seen by a Chairman (of PAP), silvating over a possible ‘fix de grace’ on yr nemesis, you gotta stand erect, no? And so, he fell hook and sinker for the bait.

The rest is recent history when PA’s audit reports were signed off as ‘adverse’. Ha ha ha!

Hats off to Fox Low!

So, yeah, WP has not appeared to perform that great. But they still have a strategy. Strike where its limited resources are maxed for impact. Rely on netizens – and the trend (don’t fight but ride the trend) – to do the infantry man’s jobs.

2. OPPOSITION PARTY & SUPPORTERS
My next comments may win me few friends. I give a non-conventional take and it serves as an answer to the likes of @gong lee who admonishes me ‘don’t be harsh on him (KJ) . Let’s not squabble among ourselves as it will do our cause no good.’

I disagree with the approach but accept that it does play a role. Know what? If we did only that ie ‘don’t squabble’, are we not behaving like the PAP in secret? Everyone speaks with one voice – and atrophy over time, I guess.

Only if we demand higher standards can or will oppo candidates & MPs not take/use supporters for granted. Only when we push them to do more of what’s needed to be done (as seen fr ground level) can they not fall asleep at the wheel. Only when we make clear that they cannot simply ride, and ride ONLY, on our disaffection, our opposition to PAP and hope to be re-elected will our common cause of policy changes or party change be served or better served.

You can treat them with a kid’s gloves when they have won the 1/3 seats or form/join the next govt – but even then, for a honeymoon period only.

Is the next GE not only months away? Do you prefer to see PAP’s 2/3 majority reduced by 2016 or later?

Take yr pick. U want change sooner – then you got to kick the oppo as hard, or harder. Harder, but with a clear intent to advance their abilities, debating skills and substance, reaching out to fence-sitters etc etc.

My final argument is this; If we do not apply pressure in good amounts at the right places and times, you can postpone, if not kiss yr dreams of change goodbye.

It is not PAP per se you should be looking to change, pal. It is the SYSTEM that needs to be fully overhauled, some parts to be jettisoned.
If WP forms the next govt for the next 2 decades, they will grow to be not unlike the PAP. Hey, ‘merito-guanxi’ and ‘power corrupts’ applies to EVERYONE. Your guanxi magnifies the little merit as you have to look after yr supporters. Power corrupts need no explanation.

We must invent EFFECTIVE CHECKS & BALANCE.

Change we must!..incl how we engage detractors & support Oppo.