I think much has been said about how the government shortchanges us, and punishes us in so many ways. I have been an Opposition voter and supporter all my life, but I still give credit to the PAP government when it is due.
Working in the ministry, I can see that the govt is indeed trying its best to make the best policies to solve on-the-ground problems. Sometimes, perhaps, it is the disconnection between the top echelons of power, and the ones taking orders below. Some get disoriented, or misunderstand upper orders, while some others have their own selfish agendas, and misdo what was a good policy from above.
We should not put all the blame on the higher-ups. I know it is the easy thing to do so, as they are in positions of power anyway. But sometimes, they really have our best interests at heart and really want to solve issues. But down below, those who take orders, and most importantly, society at large does not understand, or work with the government to solve issues and make things happen. One needs to understand it is not easy being a leader on top, with responsibilities and decisions to make that can sway people’s hearts and affect policy effectiveness.
From my frequent communication within the civil service, I also understand that Singapore is in a very precarious position, being caught in the midst of global China-US tensions and relations with Malaysia and Indonesia. While it is probably due to some leaders’ stupidity at screwing up our diplomacy with China, I think we needed to balance between China and the US, as has been the case all along as a small nation in a big world, thus I wouldn’t completely fault Lee Hsien Loong for his stance against China. Moreover, with Mahathir back in power in Malaysia, the inevitability of war gets up-ed a few notches and we must always be vigilant and not take things lightly or for granted.
I know there is some talk, even within inner circles, of opaqueness in our nation’s funds and all. But well, all I can say is, it probably would cost us too much to lose it all, by attempting to ‘right the wrong’. If war breaks out, some elites may escape, and we citizens become the biggest losers, not them. So I implore Singaporeans to protect and defend this land at all costs, even if it means accepting some atrocities which we have no proof of. I do take pity on our political leadership sometimes as it is not easy to govern our land in such turbulent times, and amidst growing social media discourse of free-flowing debate and ideas, some of which ‘complain for the sake of complaining’ and are not constructive.
I think as long as the government can still provide Singaporeans with food on the table, clean water and decent jobs, there would not be revolt. I do not believe in a change of government, although I agree that Opposition presence in Parliament is necessary and essential and we should not let one party run all the show. Some consultation and airing of alternative suggestions should be allowed.
However, we must also bear in mind that what we have and enjoy now did not come easy. We have what we have today because of the careful and painful, albeit sometimes undemocratic work, put in by our leaders. I think our earlier leaders and even our current ones, are working their heads out thinking of ways to make the country better. Sure, there can be cock-ups here and there, but I think generally everything is in order. Therefore, we should still give it the support where necessary and be united as one in this chaotic age and time.
The New Era does not agree with the stance by the above writer, but would like to open the ideas raised for discussion.