Singaporeans: Adventurers or permission-seekers?

20 October 2003

I say Singaporeans are unimaginative Followers and Permission seekers:

1) On Singapore roads, only after an explicit sign allowing U-turns may one perform a U-turn at a junction.

2) The Focus of Army and BMT in Singapore seems to be on “Asking permission”, high emphasis on military strength.

3) An unforgiving ‘survival of the fittest’, ‘master-slave’ – elitist society with widening income disparity, worsening jobless rates- a society unaccepting of the Depressed (see recent news) and having a rate of one suicide in Singapore occurring daily.

4) An unforgiving 1st world economy with a 3rd world mentality accepting of the death penalty.

5) Last election >65.5% of constituencies were declared instant PAP walk
over victories, thanks to very late disclosure of constituency boundaries
and newly-introduced 6-member GRC (PAP-policies). PAP is exceeding well
represented in the “world’s best paid cabinet”, too homogenously PAP
represented for much liberal debate to occur in parliament.

6) Very strict and authoritarian censorship laws and the limiting of much press and political freedom.

7) A ‘democratically’ elected PM Goh Chok Tong who proclaimed to the BBC on 5Sept03: “I think Singaporeans are entrepreneurial. You see, they can be very free in their economic activities and many are not really interested in the so-called human rights or free speech.”

WHY ‘Followers’ cannot survive the globalized economy:

1) This is the era of the individual and for the individual, since technology has certainly made the world a smaller place to the knowledgeble individual (with the common availability of phones, travel and the Internet). Technology and globalization, like the race to invent new weapons, will be almost uncontrollable. Thus the child of today MUST certainly be taught to be the Wise and Farsighted resident in the ‘everything-is-possible’ world of tomorrow. Misguided children will only lead to tragic outcomes tomorrow so good moral education is indeed and important priority.

2) Most modern day crimes reported include: money laundering, drug trafficking, suicide bombing, corruption etc these are all crimes/ threats mostly instigated by individuals or small groups. It takes an individual to catch another individual, big, expensive guns and warships, and the “follow what the leader says” mentality will definitely not be the solution to many modern day problems and crimes. It is said that democracies have never waged war on each other (maybe the speaker ment immature democracies and there is also the problem of classifying and rating a democracy), so now that war is not so imminent, shouldn’t we spare MUCH more time on peace efforts? Security is NOTHING without Peace so shouldn’t we logically spend more supporting UN efforts rather then on military spending? Note: Security can only bring about a tense and temporary peace as seen in the Israeli-Palestinian/China-Taiwan conflict, so shouldn’t we focus on achieving lasting peace through education and establishment of true democracies throughout the world?

3) In Singapore, PAP leaders seem to achieve parliamentary representation easily with >65.5% of MPs walking over elections without a rally. U call this an informed mandate of the people? What about the promised consultative/consensus approach? Do we have really good leaders and am I committing a crime in asking this question?

4) If leaders are not well chosen and cannot manage the local economy well, then the ‘follower’ kind of citizen will easily find himself become a misfit in the new economy and quickly become a dependent of the state.

5) Motivation and interest are integral qualities of the modern worker, a ‘follower’ – being not one associated with strong personality nor the quality of initiative will NOT survive long using ‘old-methods’ in the competitive new world economy. Afterall, Singaporeans have always been old that they ONLY need PAP, the MOST credible govt, so its PAP that the people will look to for assistance and CPF restoration. (Goh CT knows and alluded to this! (see above quote, pt.7)

6) Terrorist, foreign businessmen are people who think on their feet and have the benifit of low labour costs, can the servile-Singaporean compete?
Or will the Singaporean loose?


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