18 November 2003
I wasn’t quite sure if I should send this long tedious essay. But my personal experiences during my military service days stirred me to great compassion for the soldiers who died in the most indignant manner. If nothing else, I would like to dedicate this modest article to the deceased, and to those who still believe in democracy.
In a true democracy, a national scandal involving cover-ups and loss of lives will always subsequently lead to the downfall of some prominent office holder of high position, such as a minister. The rationale is simple. Failure to take necessary actions against an incompetent incumbent will jeopardise the re-election bid of the incumbent political party in the next election. The voters have the power, and they are at liberty to exercise their democratic duty to determine the leaders of their choice so to safeguard the future of their country.
In PAP’s self-professed democratic Singapore, however, the situation is much duller. We see innocent young lives flagrantly squandered through a series of medical misdiagnoses and military maltreatments of our soldiers. However, the government will do nothing more than to repeat the same tried line “It will not happen again”.
The trouble is, it had happened, and it has been happening for decades. I was in the army during the 80’s, and these “accidents” were common phenomenon. But the PAP government remained intact, and the office-holders responsible then had since been largely promoted and distributed to the various government-owned companies. A handful had also become ministers.
And even while the families of the victims of injustice are grieving, PAP conducts its media blitz “humanising” the present DPM Lee Hsien Loong (Ever notice that since the fateful “Slapping-Joke” speech by PM Goh, Lee Jr. now wears an artificial smile on every newspaper photo), promoting him to be the next PM under the smug assumption that the party will be retuned to power. Status quo they say. “Life must go on” we are assured.
Sure, but what kind of life?
From the all-evidence-indicating suicidal plunge of flight MI185 to the multi-million-money-pit fiasco of the Suzhou Industrial Park, the Government of PAP persists in concealing and denying the truth.
From the recent freak SARS-leak (it might well have been the extremely infectious West Nile virus, or some other abominations!) to the recent NEL-EZLink controversies, the government had refused to take concrete responsibility over its mistakes.
And from its shameful unconditional support of the UN-rejected US war on Iraq (and now against its innocents) to its single-minded legislation permitting the destruction of experimental embryos (life!) of less than 14 days old, this government makes no apology for its immoral disposition.
No sane and self-respecting individual would say they identify with those nonsense, the economic mess notwithstanding. I don’t.
The PAP government has long overstayed its welcome and usefulness. It is imperative that all voters regain their constitutional rights in the next election. Singaporeans must now transcend their own fear and prejudice, and seize the opportunity to restore justice and democracy to this once promising nation. All the threats, inducements, and promises by the incumbent (PAP) means very little when life is treated with contempt. Singaporeans must now clear the shroud from their eyes, and decide once and for all the kind of life they would like to live, and then take hold of their right to live it.
LAW SIN LING