In his speech about the need for Singapore’s political system to evolve over time as circumstances changed, Chan Chun Sing was asked by opposition politician Goh Meng Seng whether more data that the government has can be made public. Chan actually had the cheek to say that people might interpret different things from data given, so simply have to place their trust on the person holding the data.
In case Chan is living under a rock, of course people will interpret different things from data, so it is the Government instead that have to trust how Singaporeans interpret the data. It is an unfortunate legacy in Singapore that the Government rather be known as opaque and arrogant in thinking it knows what’s best for the country and therefore decides to withhold info because it doesn’t trust the people. And it is really unfortunate that the Government thinks that withholding data engenders trust in the Government. And why isn’t it confident enough to refute ‘false’ interpretations without resorting to POFMA that arise as a result of greater transparency?
As Chan himself said, circumstances change, so policies should change too. We have a more literate population, who want more say in shaping policy. Isn’t this a change of circumstances form the previous generation of Singaporeans?
It is a well held believe of many Singaporeans that the Government does not trust its own citizens in interpreting data. Heck, the Government does not even trust Singaporeans to know what is fake news and what is not. Trust works both ways, but apparently, not for these 4G Leaders.