What changed?


It’s just over a year and a day since the Singapore General Elections 2011. Many things have been said about how we are in the “new normal” and that the PAP-led government has seen the folly of its ways and will change.

366+ days later, I don’t think much has changed. The ruling party continues as it nothing changed. They have their internal lackeys doing the dirty work of their leaders. There is still no thought leadership nor vision. It was hilarious to read that  Hsien Loong now has a “facebook” page. I kinda felt that he was slow, but did not realize that he was a laggard as well! In any case, that facebook page is not managed by him but by his handlers.

What is really disappointing are the following:

a) Why does the PM not have the gumption and thought leadership in calling for a by-election for Hougang? Enough has been said regarding this issue and some of them from his own party faithfuls. It is now three months since the seat was left vacant. Whether there is a court case pending or otherwise, if the PM is man enough to call for the by-election, it can be done today.

b) Clarity in separation of SMRT and rail infrastructure. It pains me to see the Transport Minister on 24 hour call in case the MRT has issues. I suspect he does not understand the pecking order which is Minister->LTA->SMRT not SMRT->Minister. We have one minister who says that the SMRT is private and they have to manage their issues while the Transport minister is on the beck and call when an issue erupts with the train system.

c) No public accountability of Temasek Holdings and GIC after continued calls for that to be made.

d) The importance of enacting a Freedom of Information Act in Singapore. We’ve just offered S$5 Billion to the IMF without a word about it to the public. I think there is a lapse in transparency here. I am not saying that we should not help the IMF at their time of need, it is just that we, as tax payers, should be asked or at least, brought up in Parliament first before making the offer.  The MAS is a government agency after all.

I shall stop here. I really should.

5 thoughts on “What changed?

  1. No, you shouldn’t. Holding back what ought and must be said would not help the situation. All Singaporeans, esp. those born and bread here, owe the country and their families a duty to speak up now, or forever hold their peace.

    It is precisely because Singaporeans have remained silent out of a misplaced sense of respect for the govt leaders that have led to this current moribund state of affairs. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. This saying has been around even before the ‘founding fathers’ were born. So how can it be wrong or that the founding fathers have been right all the time. It is a fundamental weakness in men that had been recognized since the dawn of civilization. Only leaders as arrogant as those of Singapore, would attempt to gainsay the wisdom of this saying for self-serving personal interest, greed and pride. But then while men proposes it is God who disposes. It is foolish pride that sooner than later be the downfall of such foolish people.

    1. That was more of a rhetorical question. I will continue to voice out and do what needs to be done. I’ve been telling the following to my two sons: “politics is too important to be left to the whips of politicians”.

  2. In my view, the belief in the “New Normal” is actually an attempt at self-reassurance and validation. A lot of people were hoping that the opposition would do better in GE2011. Though their share of the vote was respectable enough they just didn’t get the seats and so have struggled to be effective. Furthermore several opposition figures have shown themselves to be flaky on certain issues (i.e. parliamentary salaries, public transport re-nationalisation and what not).

    People need to believe that things have changed, even when they really haven’t, and that at least some of the opposition show signs of having little more honesty or integrity than the MIW.

  3. In my view, the belief in the “New Normal” is precisely because nothing has changed. It is, in my opinion, an attempt at self-reassurance and validation. A lot of people were hoping that the opposition would do better in GE2011. Though their share of the vote was respectable enough, they just didn’t get the seats, and so have struggled to be effective in influencing policy, and a credible alternative force in the eyes of the population.

    Furthermore, several opposition figures have shown themselves to be flaky on certain issues (i.e. parliamentary salaries, public transport re-nationalisation and what not) and rather more similar to the MIW than they might like to admit.

    It will be interesting to see what effect the final outcome of the Bukit Brown has on the perception of this “New Normal” – whichever way it goes.

    1. Yes, the phrase “new normal” was probably coined by the MSM who lost all credibility years ago and I like your statement that it is an attempt at self-reassurance and validation. Heck even Tony KY Tan uses the “new normal” as a given.

      Singaporeans were never compliant, we were pragmatic. There were tonnes of things to do to build this land and apart from some good policies, the hard work was done by us. That got to the heads of the 1st PM and infected the rest of his party to what is essentially legalized corruption in paying ministers exhorbitant salaries. Not sure that the “reduction” is of any value, but it remains to see if these chaps will do the job.

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