Chee Soon Juan: Why I do what I do

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I want to share with Friends a short but relevant comment from Lawrence Seow (together with my response).

“Dr Chee between you and PAP I support you more. That being said, allow me to also say you shouldn’t always be digging up the dirt about them. It makes you look petty and diminishes your stature. Make no mistake I am on your side. Come up with what works better than the present system/structure. You will definitely come up tops with everyone including detractors. Cheers, Lawrence Seow”

Dear Lawrence Seow, thanks for raising the matter. It is one to which I’ve given much thought in the past. Before I get to your main point, however, let me first point out that there is a difference between “digging up dirt” and raising important issues.

The former is finding fault with one’s opponent, an exercise usually laced with malice, that have little to do with public policies. I have no interest in such activity.

The latter – raising issues like the control of the media, ills of the asset enhancement scheme, recent slew of price hikes, etc – is a necessary and crucial part of the opposition’s job.

We have to inform and embolden S’poreans, a significant portion of whom the PAP has depoliticised and intimidated, about the dire need for political change.

Of course, I would love for someone else do the work of criticising the PAP. Let them do the heavy lifting, so to speak, and when the time is right jump in and presume to lead the band.

Unfortunately, we don’t have the luxury. Against the PAP onslaught, we need every thinking S’porean – myself included – to spread and reinforce the message.

Having said this, I believe it is important to be deliberative when we point out the problems with PAP’s policies. I try to do this in my blog cheesoonjuan.com and in my books which I hope you will read.

On this point, the SDP has also drawn up a series of policy papers on key issues eg housing. healthcare, population, etc.

However, in the age of social media where attention span is fleeting, messages have to be boiled done to memes, pithy pictorials and brief video-clips. The PAP is doing it through the various ministries and govt depts. We have to do the same.

So rather than asking me to not appear petty which, as I mentioned, I’d love to do but cannot be overly concerned about at this critical juncture of our nation’s development, I hope I can instead ask everyone to roll up our sleeves and help do the hard work of spreading the message.

No S’porean, if they care about our nation’s future, can afford to mind our “stature” at the expense of action.

Dr Chee Soon Juan (SDP)

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MediaCorp DJ Jamie Yeo: United Airlines passenger should have just ‘accepted apology and moved on’

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So this viral video showing a United Airlines passenger – a doctor who was in the rush to get back to somewhere to do medical treatments – being forcefully taken down the plane – by being knocked unconscious and dragged down the aisle, to the awe of the other passengers – provoked some unexpected responses from DJs employed by none other than state media MediaCorp Radio, of one of the mainstream radio propaganda stations.

Ms Jamie Yeo, DJ for Gold 90.5FM, apparently remarked on national radio airwaves, that the said doctor should have just ‘accepted the apology and moved on’. She even made a comparison to ‘government ministers’, saying the doctor should not act like them, suing people.

A reader wrote in to All Singapore Stuff to report about the incident, adding that she was disgusted by her reaction and appalled by how she brought the ‘government’ into comparison. Indeed, the link was weak and confusing.

First, our PAP ministers have been suing Opposition figures based on a lack of evidence of the figures’ accusation, notwithstanding public perception agreeing with what the Opposition figures are saying. For the United Airlines case, it was clear and evident that United did injustice, and there is a full case for him especially in a really rule-of-law society like America where lawsuits could be made successfully against  – yes, big corporations and government – entities who bully.

Jamie Yeo should now apologise. But MediaCorp need not fire her lah, as she fits perfectly the PAP psyche and is a boon for the regime’s undying propaganda efforts.

Maybe this ‘Singaporean perspective’ story by Albert Tay could help to understand some Singaporeans’ (maybe most of the population!) mentality as well.

Bad criticism vs Good criticism

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Bad criticism: “The PAP is bad, the system is unfair and flawed. The people are suffering. There must be a party takeover.”

Good criticism: “The civil service is sometimes rigid, and ‘tweaks’ can be made to ‘smoothen’ processes so as to expediate the ‘right’ actions to be done; there are things the esteemed ministers and leaders cannot take care of because they are too small and minute. The system has its flaws but overall, it is working and takes consideration of the overall picture very well, and is the ‘best middle ground’ for all, never mind if it takes care of the high and the privileged first because that should be the way to go anyway. Some people are suffering either because they are lazy, fuzzy, or simply silly. Worse, they do not know how fortunate they are to be living in Singapore, where the poor are ‘better off’ than those elsewhere. I think education ought to be intensified to ‘correct’ people’s mindsets, especially that of parents and small business owners. ITE students’ mindsets are already taken care of. There must not be a party takeover, in fact, the Opposition parties must win less, and the people ought to stay ‘united’ to a single course/cause for progress and happiness. The PAP is also the only capable party that can rule Singapore forever and ever.”

In other news, Lee Hsien Loong says he does not like “yes men”, and implores that leaders of nations ought to be able to ‘take in criticism’.

Sure.

Albert Tay