Many time, we heard Ministers and MPs complaining that Singaporeans are ungratefully. If you read postings on the Internet and social media, most of the comments are negative towards the ruling party AKA PAP. If you only read those negative comments, you may come to a conclusion that there is a disaster in Singapore and citizens are being locked up or sued till bankrupt. The fact is, it would be hypocritical for any Singaporeans to sit there in their air-conned room, earning a good living, able to walk safely in the night streets and not be grateful of the good governance that brought about these comfort, safety and prosperity.
Here is what the new generation of coat-tailed MPs don’t understand, all these achievements were possible with the 1st generation of opposition AKA PAP who became the government, led by none other than LKY himself. His daring vision for economic prosperity and stability for this country allows it to be transformed within 40 years to what we have today. Of course, along the way, his ruthless authoritarian control of the state, the law and citizens allowed all these to happen, to the expense of human rights, a robust and just judiciary and politician diversity. On its wake, rearing a generation who are fearful of the government, apolitical or even indifference to unfairness in the system, a civil service that is only obedient to the ruling party instead of serving Singaporeans and other who practically worships them like god (with benefits attached of course!).
But all these were yesterday’s work. What seemed to happened with the new generations of MPs (some even reluctant to join in the first place) is that they feel entitled to be respected and obeyed and praised, for the fact of nothing more than being in a political party that has done so much for the country. Unfortunately, ever since those bold visions, the policies and politics in Singapore are nothing more than tweaks to what were old ideas and old rules, albeit successfully initially. The visions are stale, out of sync with the new world and, even more ridiculous, controls become tighter to enforce the hegemony of a powerful PAP. Furthermore, all these coat-tailers are earning millions and thousand beyond any of their peers around the world and yet systems fail even more than before, from constant flooding, rising housing prices and COEs, breakdown in our trains to a more stressed and unhappy society. Worst of all, our government continue to formulate moral codes aligned to right-wing fundamentalist Christians, disguised as part of national education; even the language used by our government agents are those from them.
So what gives them the right to be respected and what gives them the right to receive praises despite giving themselves such a huge salary? They have nothing to prove for yet. There are no bold visions, there are no altruistic changes for the better and they still don’t listen to the people. All they ever do as Ministers is a little tweak here and there and we end up with more breakdowns, rising prices and unhappy folks. Honestly if they were paid peanuts, I have little to complain about. The biggest problem is that they are not their own best critics, they think that they are doing superb job all the time and it does not help to be surrounded by PAP worshippers around them all the time.
To me the first few generation of politicians (apart from the ruthless part) are what I respect and praise. They really know the hardship of the people, they really go out of their way to solve problems and bring about a visionary change to Singapore. The new MPs need to display those gumption and steadfast characteristics and connect back to Singaporeans more before they are even taken seriously.
Happy Birthday Mr. Lee