Lee Hsien Loong: “Some journalists have asked me whether I was really thinking of a coalition govt in Singapore. My Press Sec has told them that what I meant was that I could imagine a situation one day where the PAP is not dominant, but that I had no idea how that would work, or whether it could be made to work at all. To think that instead of PAP dominance we will have a stable two party system is naïve. Just look at the UK today – even there the two party system is no longer what it was. A coalition govt for Singapore was not on my mind. “
One has to admit that we should compliment PM Lee for his choice of words in clarifying his FT interview remarks in regard to SGP politics – if only that it’s a rare treat these days. He has gotten it right. He must be applauded for his plain speaking unlike his ministers who are wont to beat about the bush whether in parliament replying to questions on foreign student scholarships or defence and social welfare issues. Or, for that matter, out of parliament, when addressing hospital bed crunch by diverting attention to healthy living or seasonal demands.
So, yes, dominance usually brings with it stability.
The advantages accruing from stability as a result of PAP’s dominance are rather easily evident. In a nutshell, all the positive, visible and mostly physical stuff that Singapore is noted for today can be reasonably attributed to our nation’s stability under PAP’s dominance. That said, less stable countries do also attract investments, create jobs and progress. I’ll leave it to PAP’s IB to sing their own praises. Hopefully, we can offer a 2econdsight, instead.
What good is it when, alongside the benefits, insidious Meritoguanxi and No-accountability have become the hallmarks of Singapore stability?
Meritoguanxi, where a bit merit but lots more of guanxi, translates into GLC directorship appointments, awards of contracts, use of public money for RC, PA activities etc? Will not stability encourage Meritocracy to thrive and to proceed to its logical end; when and where guanxi triumphs merit? Will not the final result be mediocrity thro guanxi choking off meritocracy?
– Does it not mean that Meritoguanxi , within an environ of stability, will become even more entrenched? Will not social equity become a stillborn ideal with only token instances of our fellow citizens being able to occasionally cross the lines of social divides?
– Does it not also mean that a leadership operating in a stable environ can and will con’t to do what it pleases – never mind the possible consequences – as no one should ever rock the boat?
For the sake of and in the name of stability, as PM Lee implies, no heads of significance will ever, ever have to roll….as indeed no heads have rolled the last 20, 30 years despite grave mistakes, lack of 20/20 foresight. The culture of no-accountability thrives in a stable environment.
– Does it not also mean, when stability is the order of the day, there is less motivation, less need, less urgency to do Singaporeans right by us where our jobs are taken away from us, where and when our CPF savings are no more than gambling chips for our elite to play with while we are been robbed of reasonable interests to fund our retirement (the sacred expressed mission of the CPF), when our own citizens at the lower spectrum are made to gather crumbs while our elite and foreigners pocket their $mil, where they can ride roughshod with our feedback, our alerts, our cries that all may not be well on the ground compared to their jaunted view atop their ivory towers? The list goes on.
Therefore, where is the justification to value stability – at all costs?
Is PM Lee selling stability to perpetuate his own interests, his party’s dominance, his supporters’ pockets – or the greater good of all citizens?
It is naïve for PM Lee to believe or imply that only PAP dominance brings with it a stable Singapore that has worked, works and will continue to work for Singapore and Singaporeans – without qualifications. Is he naïve to emphasize the pros while conveniently ignoring the cons that his dominant party has brought into our Singapore culture – a sickening culture of Meritoguanxi and No-accountability?
PM Lee, what Singapore need is a dominance of sincere and competent men and women who will think, debate and come together for duty, honour, country, regardless of party affiliation, to lead us as one united people – when and where it matters – in order to realize our fullest potential as a nation. Never mind their own thin skin or thick salary.
Change we Must.
If we do not end PAP’s dominance with its Meritoguanxi & No-accountability culture, then PAP’s dominance will end us.