There is no right or wrong answers to each of these.
Unfortunately, it is these questions that invariably have led us to a state of complacency over the decades. What complacency? Aren’t we having a good life right now? Isn’t Singapore one of the best countries in the world for growth, stability and security etc. etc? Didn’t PAP lead us to where we are today? How ungrateful can you get when you question this and that?? Singaporeans are unappreciative of what PAP has done for us over the years etc etc. We should “repent” (sorry for taking a dig here).
Mind you, like many others, I queued for hours to pay tribute to the late LKY and my entire family stood for hours in the rain to send LKY off too. In my mind, showing appreciation where it deserves always makes us a better person. 饮水思源.
Chasing after stellar economic growth year after year (at all cost) is simply going to wear out the entire nation. Its people. Its only resource. If Singaporeans knew that achieving great GDP growths over the last 2 decades in the way we did will lead to the need to have 6.9m population projection, failure of infrastructure in supporting this massive growth, and housing prices going to reach a point where young people cannot afford it etc, do you think the answer from the common Singaporeans would be a resounding YES, let’s go for it?? Singaporeans can be rather simple-minded (me inclusive). We are too trusting as well.
Furthermore, what doesn’t sit well with me is that I don’t see how it can be correct, by any stretch of imagination, that all the answers needed to move Singapore forward in the right direction can ONLY come from the current G. Surely in this time and age, there is room for diversity? Asking for complete mandate to govern Singapore (all 89 seats) is unrealistic and in fact moving many many steps backwards in terms of democracy. Remember the famous phrase of “Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely”? This is not a suggestion of the G or anyone being corrupt or tends to be corrupt. Quite the contrary, I think we have a very good reputation of incorruptibility (as Singaporeans). Furthermore, isn’t the million dollars ministerial salary a hedge against corruption as the fundamental argument many moons ago (not that I agree that it is a perfect hedge).
Being too quick to dismiss others is a clear sign of arrogance – something that I cannot agree at all unless we are in North Korea for example, which I don’t think we are.
Whilst this has nothing to do with the G doing anything materially wrong (in fact they’ve done relatively well previously but had made some mistakes along the way, who doesn’t make mistakes?) or that people should be more appreciative etc, I do not feel that we will be led down the right path somewhat if things continue the way they are. The trust-me-only-and-no-one-else-can-do-a-better-job attitude doesn’t resonate with me at all.
When you start hearing ministers putting other countries down (however unintended it may be), name calling, etc. is our political scene heading down a very slippery path (again).
When there are too many complicated questions, it is only human nature (and very Singaporean too because we simply don’t have time to sit back and think) to simply fall back on the so-called tested grounds, go back to status quo, better don’t rock the boat etc. This is called one’s comfort zone. To be clear, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Undoubtedly, why would anyone be? Self-interest sets in.. In fact I caught a headline recently that the PM asked voters to vote in “your own interest”. Over time, if everyone keeps voting in one’s own interest, what kind of society are we building? What are we teaching our children? That we should just think for ourselves? What are the next words that come to mind? Selfish? Self-centred? Is this the national spirit we want to build when people only think for himself or herself?
I think the whole argument of there-is-too-much-at-stake mentality breeds further complacency in the people.
I don’t expect WP, SDP or other opposition parties combined to be in a position to form the new G anytime soon. Are their policies and manifestos all good and solid? Absolutely no. In fact, far from it. What about PAP’s policies? They are good to a certain extent but I think many concepts should be more robustly debated and tweaked. Didn’t we have a number of policy U-turns in the last couple of years?
What I think would be right is for everyone to be given chance to present and debate about various options and for Singaporeans to see/judge that even in a diversified Parliament, we can land at a spot that is for the common good of Singapore. It is not about whose idea is better than others. Didn’t we build this nation embracing diversity of race, language or religion 5 decades ago? Why is it that there is no room for diversity in our very own Parliament?
Singaporeans love, thrive and pride on effectiveness and efficiency. That’s what we are known for. We don’t want locked-horns Parliament debates that don’t get anywhere. More importantly, if mainstream media is anything to go by and be relied upon, broadcast these debates fully for all to see in the next 5 years. I believe Singaporeans will be very quick to discern who is telling the truth, who has what it takes to move Singapore forward and who is fully dedicated, passionate and puts Singapore and Singaporeans first in policy formation. It is not easy but if we don’t even try, how do you convince people that it won’t work? Only with that can someone come in and tell us this works, that doesn’t.
There is also no desire to convince anyone here because everyone is entitled his/her own views and opinions. I do strongly believe that appropriate use of social media is necessary and important.
As far as I’m concerned, I have made up my mind in giving people a chance to prove themselves, not because they say they are better or others are worse. I believe there is always 2 sides to a coin.
May the best man (or woman) wins. Good luck.