This is our only Home. We want to engage society actively and constructively. Only by asking the right questions can we arrive at the correct answers.
There is no need for fear as we are only doing what we must. To be apathetic is to be selfish and derelict in our duty to our children and our children's children!
Huang Shoou Chyuan
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
PAP politics- still stuck in a spoilt repeating groove
The political leadership has decided to take out its old gramophone records, blow off the dust and play it for all to hear.
However, for the more discernable, the crackles and hisses are all too apparent as the analogue technology is so obviously out of date and anachronistic in the digital age.
Like a broken record stuck in a repeating groove, these messages are played out (again and again):
For younger Singaporeans this could be a new and novel experience.
But for the rest of us, this is just more of the same.
Coincidentally, one of my letters published in 2006 on the online ST forum page dealt with this matter and as it is just as relevant now, I will just attach it below.
Entitled “Beware the pitfalls of a one-party Parliament” it was written in the context of the previous General Election which was held soon after that.
Gilbert Goh has also sent in a forum letter about this here.
Dr.Huang Shoou Chyuan
Beware the pitfalls of a one-party Parliament
April 4, 2006
Online Forum page of The Straits Times
As the general election looms, I am heartened to note that there is an apparent increase in the variety of opinions being represented in our print media.
This is in stark contrast to the not-so-distant past when so-called "dissident" discussions were confined to coffee shops and office tea-rooms.
An old theme has also resurfaced. This is that it might not necessarily be bad if the PAP had a clean sweep. Implicit in this thought is that the Non-constituency MPs and Nominated MPs have made the opposition MP's election redundant.
Attractive as this argument may seem, there are serious flaws. The main one is that a monopoly would be detrimental to all in the long run. Any economics student will tell you that a monopoly is a "market failure" as demand and supply are not invoked and the consumer pays more than he should. Most of us will no doubt remember how much more goods and services cost before market liberalisation.
The short term benefits of speedier passage of legislation and less need for meddlesome scrutiny in Parliament will be negated by complacency and its effects in the long term.
The latter would inevitably creep in as few MPs would be willing to think out of the box for innovative solutions which go against conventional wisdom.
If the cabinet or senior party leaders espouse a certain cause, would any PAP MP be foolhardy enough to object strongly to it?
After a clean sweep in the elections, it is not inconceivable to imagine Parliament becoming like a tidy jig-saw puzzle with every piece snugly in place but immovable.
Whoever tries to move and advocate change will be labelled a maverick who rocks the boat unnecessarily and a spoiler out to win glory for himself. He will be reminded that we are already the envy of the world. What is there to improve? Group think will become the norm.
The effect on the people will be no less drastic. Cynicism will again rear its ugly head and despondency turn into apathy and self-interest. The more affected will vote with their feet and succumb to the brain drain benefitting only the developed economies.
The opposition parties will revert to taking non-constructive pot-shots from time to time as they are unable to attract able, idealistic men and women who by now know the score and feel that the rules of the game are not playable.
We can only hope that the Westminster model of parliamentary democracy will be entrenched here and that the playing field continues to be levelled.
Only the cut and thrust of politics will ensure that the best gets to represent the people. Unsuitable and undesirable people will be found out and the more deserving ones be chosen to replace them. The people will then be the ultimate winner. That is what counts.