Sunday, August 27, 2006

Its all for your own good!!

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”- CS Lewis


My friend John Ng grew up as a single child because in the seventies his highly obedient parents took the PAP policy to curb population growth very seriously. While there were opponents to this piece of extreme social engineering, they were easily rebutted by the PAP with sheer logic: "Singapore is poor and small how to support so many people?", "It is economically impossible to create so many jobs without population control"...there were of course other ways to deal with those who kept talking. Incentive was given to people have themselves sterilised and those with more kids were penalised. All this was done for Singaporeans' own good and was based on sound assumptions of the past.

Now that Singapore has 'succeeded' economically (although the PAP govt planned the success all along, they too are surprised by it) , there is simply not enough population growth around to keep humming at the rapid rate. What happened to the logic applied when the PAP was trying to curb population growth?.....You mean the global economy will developed as it did in the past 25 years and cannot slow down? How come we are so sure that the problems of the 70s that cause us to want to curb population growth won't return?

If we increase the population of Singapore, there will be inflationary pressures unleashed. Already home rentals are going up? How are the increasing number of people who are getting old going to retire in an environment where prices are rising rapidly. Don't worry, the PAP already has the answers - one possibility is to send our old folks to Batam and Johor so the Singapore remains a vibrant youthful society, the other solution is keep working them until they are in their 80s so they never get to retire. See the PAP has all the answers. It is all for your own good.

What happens if economic growth slows as in the 70s wouldn't a larger population on a small island be an issue? ...Don't worry, the PAP has it all figured out. This is all for your own good the PAP has your interests at heart when they increase the population - they are not worried about their KPI such as neverending GDP growth for the sake of profitability of GLCs that provide services to the population of Singapore. It is simply strange that Singaporeans cannot understand something that is done for their own good. Therefore it is necessary to allocate more pages in the Straits Times to further explain that all this is for Singaporean's own good.

Once you understand, you will be a happy Singaporean. Please make the effort to understand.

21 comments:

Whispers from the heart said...

Singaporeans have problems understanding the following:

1 a few hundreds is better than zero

2 mee siam can have hum

3 foreigners are talents

4 selling tissue and cleaning toilets are respectable jobs only locals are qualified to do

5 PRC kids need their mothers to sit beside them to study. They are very resilient and can solve their own problems.

6 Breaking the law to operate food stalls is talent because they create jobs.

7 how to produce low-cost babies

8 Singapore is big enough to have a population of 10 million one day

9 what the MSM is singing everyday

10 what is good for them is better for the foreigners and best for PAP!

7

sÞ¡ηηєє said...

great writings here.

I can't help being such a self sufficient "HAPPY" singaporean & ur posts reinforce my thoughts! WELL DONE WELL DONE!!

and whispers, i can't help agreeing too. what a great country and fellow countrymen we have ... ;)

Anonymous said...

We should not create despondency among our people. This is not good for the country's morale and definitely not does not create a conducive environment for "safe" and stable politics, which are ingredients paramount to the success of our country. We should have faith in the government, and believe in their policies whole heartedly. After all who would stand to lose the most if Singapore were to fail? It's the people. Surely the government would never want to see that happen? It is not in the best interests of the government to harm it's citizens.

Ms. Venus said...

anonymous, if their policies were not for the interest of the people but themselves, do you still wanna believe them wholeheartedly and succumb to whatever they have manipulate you?

if their policies were the best and made sense, why would anyone thought the otherwise? if those so call 'anti-govt' writings made no sense, why would anyone sway by those 'unreal' writings?

by the way, this is not creating discord within singaporeans. the truth is just lying there openly, it's just people are choosing to be in self denial.

Anonymous said...

To those self-denial dumbos out there, its time to wake up from the Gov's hypnosis and get back to reality. Otherwise, you guys really to deserve to rot in here. I wont mind personally, cos you dont deserve a life actually.

Anonymous said...

What's real and what's not? who's lying and who's telling the truth?

Whispers from the heart said...

And I thought we have a world class education.

There is no truths, only wisdom.

A great (but not wise) man said something like that:

If lies are told repeatedly by someone respectable (like the MSM, for example), these lies become the truth one day.

LKY's memoirs should be the basic text for our national education curriculum.

YS said...

Dear Lucky Tan,
Frankly, your unflattering post is flawed in 2 areas.
Firstly, you assumed that the PAP did not take Singapore's interests at heart (or at least you implied quite clearly). Now let's take a look at the real facts. During the 1970s, one must realise that Singapore was not what you would call "first class" or a stable nation. Instead, the PAP govt were not as established as it is now. Also, allow me to ask: if they had not tried to curb population, then what would be of Singapore's economy? What makes you think that they had not planned ahead, then assessed which was more important: the survival of a state or the influx of foreigners in the future?

The second is that those "retirement villages" overseas are FAR from being used in the correct context. Its underlying purpose was to ensure Singapore's land does not get taken by retirement villages which indeed occupy more spaces as compared to normal housing (for eg. facilities, healthcare services, etc.). It is not, however, "to remain a vibrant youthful society" in Singapore - i trust that if even you were to govern Singapore, you would not stoop to such lowly means as to use other countries for your own selfish purposes like preserving land? What more the PAP? What makes you think that they had not gone through consideration before ("30-year lease") and had to have approval of the plan by not only wise local ministers, but even foreign consultants?

And my last stand is - how about you appeal to become the Singapore PM or head the WP to win all the seats? No worries mate, I'll surely support you all the way.

Best of luck in your upcoming elections. I'll watch out for you.
YS

Whispers from the heart said...

An individual's action always bring forth a private agenda and a public agenda. Even in doing good, there is a private agenda of well, in the highest form, of doing good. However, we are seldom of that spiritual level.

Unless we are the founding fathers' inner id, we don't really know what was the agenda.

It is true an action taken 30 years ago solved a problem that existed 30 years ago. That's all there is. That's why wisdom requires one to take a longer perspective. If we keep taking short term looks and solutions, we may have unwisely created more problems for our descendants.

It is also unwise to think that only buddhists monks are wise only. Nor that only priests and pastors are holy. Nor that one needs to work against the government to say his mind. You have not reduced those lines to a red dot yet ...

Why demarcate yourself unnecessarily?

Anonymous said...

i think this ys lives in the past. that's why he want to use 30 yrs ago achievement to rationalize current doings.

what irony.

Anonymous said...

KS,

In the past HDB flats always rise and one has to queue for 5 years based on this assumption HDB build many flats only to end up with empty and glut.

In the past we assume that we can get lifetime employment, now no more already.

The govt now assume can create enough jobs to give to FT. What happen if recession hits, with so many new citizens and immigrants around, how to supply so many jobs.

Don't assume everyday is Sunday. When all the immigrants come, your MRT will be packed like sardine, you will be surrounded by strangers in your own estate and many more Singaporeans will leave the country. The PAP is the only winner in this scheme of things because they can push up prices and justify their million$ paycheck. All other Singaporeans are just losers.

YS said...

hi whispers from the heart!

"It is true an action taken 30 years ago solved a problem that existed 30 years ago. That's all there is. That's why wisdom requires one to take a longer perspective. If we keep taking short term looks and solutions, we may have unwisely created more problems for our descendants."

Again I repeat - nor have you answered me - if YOU were incharge of governing Spore one day, does the country's survival immediately or influx of foreigners/other conditions matter to you more? If you talk about long term problems, then let's not only divert our attention to PAP. Has the Brazil govt curbed logging in the Amazon Basin? Don't say this is irrelevant: the Amazon Rainforest itself produces more than 20% of earth's oxygen. And with it disappearing at approx 1 soccer field per 5 seconds - which do you think more sustainable - Amazon's rainforest or Singapore's long term problems?
As you can clearly see, one must see BOTH short and long term problems, placing balance on both. However, the criticality of a certain condition (such as a serious one like overpopupulation with implications like serious recessions and even socia hygeine) does affect one's decision.

"It is also unwise to think that only buddhists monks are wise only. Nor that only priests and pastors are holy. Nor that one needs to work against the government to say his mind. You have not reduced those lines to a red dot yet ...

Why demarcate yourself unnecessarily?"

Don't be too hard on yourself.It's ok. When governments have support and combined decision of many foreign and local consultants, and the plan does sound very very sound (i assure you. read it in parlimentary discussions of 1990-2000. you'll find it mentioned a few times), then one sometimes does have to concede that the PAP does make some wise decisions at times.

And for "anonymous'" comment, the govt is now better able to manage the economy and immigration with limitations or taxes, such that the population is balanced. Don't bother about thinking of a Singapore ruled by Singaporeans and dominated by Chinese and Indian talents from their homelands. Even if you were in the govt, your gut senses would advise you strongly against it, right?

YS

passerby said...

i guess we no need to argue or try to reason with him... he's just a ginnah who is still sheltered in our education umbrella.....
wait til he see the colors of the society...

Father said...

ys,

if you have not been in the past, under those particular conditions or settings, stop ranting.

Those people back then put their trust in the Pappies and what do they get in return? Cant you see many in their 50s are working McDonalds? Not too mention so many things worth mentioning that is attributed to their half-baked policies

Either its inherent in you that you lack the foresight, analytical, mindmapping skills or its too much trash fed to you since you started education. Either ways, you still the ability and capability to form your own stand.

Whispers from the heart said...

You read it from the parliamentary sessions and you conclude they are sound?!

I think you have not understood my message to you then. I think it requires one to have gone through a few decades of life and having acquired some wisdom.

I am not here to change the world. If PAP can't solve a tiny dot's problems, then they can't do much about the bigger problems of the planet earth either. So, there's nothing to talk about.

As I said, the immediate problem, besides solving problems of massive unemployment and hygiene?!, the other more critical issue is to prove themselves worthy of the people's choice. So that they can uphold their power and control as the new government. In those times, it was very fragile. Anything goes... the ruling party did not have a population that benefitted from a decade of national education like now. They needed to show results fast and furious, to ensure they enjoy the power and control in the years to come....

As any leader, I would have done the same thing too. But, I would not call myself a saint for doing so, really. I'm just opportunistic.
Of course, for public consumption, I won't tell you this too. It's always feel good to have people worshipping you.

It's up to you to form your conclusions.

Actually, I had the pleasure of listening to one Minister who had this to say : if we don't solve the root problems, they will come back to haunt us one day. Only problem, root problems are very related to sacred cows.

Oh, I hate this, like lecturing my son. Nevertheless, you are entitled to your opinions and beliefs. And you can't change mine. So, let's not waste any more bandwidth. This is Lucky Tan's space and I respect that.

Anonymous said...

If the PAP expand the immigration and cause population to grow artificially, what happens when this enlarged population becomes old? That means we have to import even more people to replace them.

Society and human species have natural build-in controls. If the conditions does not favor an enlarge population, humans will have fewer children - eg Singaporeans refuse to have children because high cost and stress is causing many problems in our society. Unless the root cause of people's refusal to have children is addressed importing more will just cause more serious problems.

The PAP had a horrific track record of social engineering failures and never learn its lesson. The current problems we have are due to wrongful policies in the past. If the PAP did not have the stop at 2 policy we would not have such a big problem today - the population would have been just the right size and there will be no need to import people.

Now the PAP wants to liberalise immigration and make it easier to grant citizenship. Our citizenship will be debased in value. It is easier to become Singapore citizen than to be a citizen of Thailand or Sri Lanka. This will create a "hotel mentality" and worsen our loss of people from emigration.

father said...

Its a chain working throughout majority of the less affluent Sgps.

First Gov policies:
1.Stop at 2 kids,

2.Signal for foreigners since a couple of years back and

3.Fare hikes, ERP, CPF contributions etc.

Sgps:
1.Working doubly hard to fight competition from foreigners,

2.By the time they reach home, they will already be dog-tired . This leads to a lesser probability of bed activities at night. Thus accounting partly for no birth-rates for some.

3.There are already high costs to cope with, prior to having kids (E.g. Insurance, road-tax, misc taxes and expenses.) Thus there is need in many cases for both partners need to work.

4.Should they decide have a kid, a maid will need to be employed to take care of their him/her. Due to aging population, they cant really expect their parents to take care of the kid. Hiring a maid will add to the cost, and they will now need to work extra hard with little tolerance for either partner to be retrenched or fired.

5.Sg, with its limited land space doesnt provide avenues for entertainment and relaxation other than movies, eating, shopping and the usual. Pent-up stress and heat builds up. Thus we see more and more extreme mix of violence and crimes, divorces etc nowadays.

I can go more in-depth, but guess these few listed are already more than what majority of the Sgps can handle. So will just stop there.

Now, the PAPpies deem it our fault for:
1.Low child birth-rate,
2.High salary expectations and
3.Complaining.

And PAPpies thus:
1.Open the floodgates to foreigners (smiling from cheek to cheek),

2.Increase costs and taxes for their economic purposes.....

3.Push for more child-birth (Which contradicts themselves in the first place) etc.

Can we not see the this chain going on and on, deeper and deeper? Majority of the Sgp dont have million dollar pay cheque to due with on a monthly basis....

Anonymous said...

When a person is young and able to contribute to the economy, he is welcomed with open arms...with personalised EP...when he's old and a liability he's shipped to a foreign land to die...the land here is too expensive keep a person with no economic value...something must be very wrong with some people values and moral.

Anonymous said...

it is the failure of the religious bodies to guard the souls of men. they sold out to one single entity idea of what the world ought to be and loses their own identity.
and to think that these are intelligent people.

Anonymous said...

it's for our own good only if it FIRST serves the interests of those who would want to remain rulers over us. what clobberisation has done is that it has transfer the power of the employees or the citizens to the employers or the rulers. only in clobberisation can they hold the people in hostage to their stomachs.and it has worked brilliantly because everyone is parroting after those who want to maintain their beastly rule us that there is no other way but go the want of either to be clobbered or to clobber! what a shame because the people have no clues that there is a better way out. one in which the playing field is more equitable; lives are more fruitful and productive; a genuinely caring society and not pretensious.

in clobberisation, it only breeds selfishness and greed. it cannot and will not seek the best for its fellowmen as the disparity between the haves and have nots widen.

the assurance that the strong or thoe benefactors of the current system will help to elevate the marginalised are cooked in half truths because it fails to understand that such a system is destructive by nature!

woes!woes!woes!one third of the city fell!woes woes woes!

YS said...

Why, why, all the insults!

Perhaps YOU are too SHELTHERED UNDER YOUR OWN BIASED, BIGOTED, SELF-ASSIUMING BLIND stand against the PAP that you are too hidden under your own umbrella?

As you can clearly see, not A SINGLE ONE has answered A SINGLE POINT I BROUGHT UP. Right, ginnah (quoted)?

I take the example of whisper's from the heart's great answer:

"As I said, the immediate problem, besides solving problems of massive unemployment and hygiene?!, the other more critical issue is to prove themselves worthy of the people's choice. So that they can uphold their power and control as the new government. In those times, it was very fragile. Anything goes... the ruling party did not have a population that benefitted from a decade of national education like now. They needed to show results fast and furious, to ensure they enjoy the power and control in the years to come...."

What he/she (sorry) doesn't realise, is that the causes of what happened before WILL COME BACK TO HAUNT US, as what you have quoted.

Precisely.

Similarly, economic instability, as I have mentioned earlier, was the prevalent problem at that time- it was solved (look at Singapore now), and ALSO the problem of Singapore birth came back. Sure, people's choice!

And the government needs more young population - and the people refuse to co-operate and "produce" more babies (sorry for the crudeness) - can the govt do ANYTHING? The people have already done their "part"!! So they have controlled the govt - to do things adversely!

And, Lucky Tan, I do not want to cross (oppose) you, I just need to state things clear, the first of which is that no one who posted a comment here really read the parlimentary discussions. Seriously.