I generally do not like to discuss touchy topics like politics or religion on my blog, but in light of the recent General Elections, I feel the need to get my point out.
I don’t claim to know a lot about Singapore’s political history or its current state. But I know that I am one of its citizen who will come to inherit the nation as it is now. If given the opportunity, I’d love to vote, but as it is, I’m still one year short of the age to vote.
I’m pretty clear on who I support, and given the calibre of our leaders – their experience and wisdom – it is near implausible that I will swing over to any other parties. Unfortunately, what gets me riled up about Singapore politics is the fact that I am unable to make others see my point. They believe what they choose to – nothing wrong with that, of course, but a lot of voters seem to vote with their hearts and not their minds. Some get carried away with emotions and get lulled by promises and pretty words, and some oppose for the sake of opposing. Why must we be ruled by the same part for almost fifty years, they think. It’s time for change. But when you ask them what they want to change, they draw a blank. Change lor! they declare.
Because to them, the government owes them a living. The government is not taking care of us. They bring in foreigners to snatch away our rice bowls, they give opportunities to foreign students so that locals have to go overseas. The thing is, Singapore has always been competitive. It’s always been a Darwinian society that seeks to preserve the best, so that with competition each of us will strive to work harder and improve on the whole as a society. It’s brutal, yes, but that’s how we managed to rise from a Third World slumop to a First World nation in those fifty years. The fact is, no one owes us a living, much less the government.
Another point raised by naysayers is the salaries drawn by the ministers. According to them, the ministers collect their fat paychecks and tell people to improve productivity so that our GDP can increase and then they can collect fatter paychecks. This actually brings me back to the preceding argument, where the number of opportunities available to us should be directly. I’m aware that since I haven’t started working I can hardly talk like I know how the common worker is struggling. But Singapore is irrefutably a meritocratic society. Maybe wages aren’t keeping up with the cost of living, and the Singapore government is slower to address this problem of the widening income gap. The middle class is understandably frustrated. But with the amount of crap that the Singapore government has to deal with – along with ungrateful citizens who keep complaining about ministerial pay and expect regular handouts – I’d say they’re entitled to the pay they earn. And my dad raised a point: if they are paid peanuts (and I’m not referring to $60k), there will be a heck lot of corruption going on, as in the case of our neighbouring country.
I defend the ruling party, but that’s not to say, of course, that it is completely free of errors. GE 2011 has shown that more people want their voices heard, and are frustrated that no one is responding to their feedback. The ruling party can stand to make some changes, and bring themselves closer to the ground, in order to win the hearts of the people again, but to lambast their efficacy as the government just because you’re worried you can’t buy a house or that your bowl of noodles is now $5 when it used to be $3 is to overlook the big picture and zero in on the personal details. We chose our leaders because we want Singapore to progress as a nation, not for personal development. If everyone thinks that way, we’re going to live in Singapore, Inc. with no true spirit, and a very diverse and polarised population.
I came across this comment on a forum, and I’d like to say that I completely agree with what is said:
Are u guys not agreeing that our MPs and minsters are probably the most educated and knowledgeable group in Singapore? If not, how could they lead us? And living in ur own world, you do not see that many of our entrepreneur friends and property agents and re misers are earning 70k-120k per month. I do not see why 15k for an mp or 120-200k for our country’s minister could be overpriced. With their knowledge and abilities, they could be earning much more. Please do not be narrow minded into thinking everyone should earn the same to be fair. We are not communists. They deserve what they deserve.
And you say that housing is not affordable. Why is it that i don’t see people crowding on the streets with cardboards? Why is everyone complaining about every single thing that doesn’t even concern them?
Do you not have a home? Do you not have a job? Are your children not getting good education in a conducive environment? Is your neighbourhood inaccessible or dimmed with little or no streetlights? Is your living environment filled with rats and thugs? the answer is no.
We Singaporeans are living in such an awesome condition and environment and yet we complain about small insignificant things that are propaganda from another opposing team. I do not understand what aroused their unrighteousness for problems that are not even theirs to believe with.
Lastly, I love MM Lee and his robustness. If not for him, we wouldn’t be where we are now. If not for sweeping thugs, secret societies, gangs, communists, marxists off the streets in the then Singapore with no foundation nor proper education for most. We would not be a democratic nation as we are now. Not to mention a prosperous first world country.
There are tough decisions to be made in tough times. And if we don’t see the big picture. We will never progress. And if you are complaining about ur own life, DO something about it. Stop relying and blaming the government for everything. No one owes u a living.