Wow after 40 years, we finally hear this thing about CHANGE. But this change must come from within the PAP - one-party system is good for Singapore. For our own good, PAP will manage this change. The last change they made was the electric tariffs - they raise it to help us to conserve energy. They also allowed the SMRT to change its fares, then change the trains by taking out the seats. They change the healthcare system by introducing means testing. They also changed their own salaries and the GST. The PAP is certainly very good at change....but Singaporeans are asking if they have been shortchanged!!!!
Does the PAP looks like a govt that will change. With a 85 yr old Minister Mentor to mentor all his ministers and a Senior Minister to drill in the same ideas, the only change we are going to get is CHANGE ALONG THE SAME DIRECTION. The same changes we have been seeing in the past few decades....every leadership transition is a transition in the same direction. The PAP cannot break out of the box it created - this box is now ironcast and reinforced by the grand ideas of the MM. Everything has to align to his thinking otherwise it won't move....he is there to mentor the ministers and civil servants. The minibond debacle which saw the loss of lifesavings of 10,000 Singaporeans ....MM Lee said the people went in with their eyes open, they deserve those losses because they were going after high returns, legally "case closed"....So which civil servant/minister/PAP MP dares to propose better regulation, audit the banks' process and revamp the approval criteria of these products for sale to retailers.
Why should the PAP change? They have developed a system which is highly favorable to their own interests - the PAP men move from civil service/SAF to govt to GLCs the entire system is aligned the interests of these entities and creates an imbalance in policy making. The minister in parliament talks not about how he intends to lower energy costs, bus fares, medical costs to Singaporeans but about why they have to be higher. ...where the lines are clearly drawn in the minibonds saga - they defend themselves and the banks while ordinary Singaporeans have to find their own road to justice. There is no check and balance in the system and no transparency - the PAP only tells us what they want us to hear.
It takes a crisis for cracks in the system to show up. It is the collapse of Lehman Bros showed up which side our leaders stand on issues of social justice. The Town Councils losses tells us the importance of transparency and the enormous reserves they accumulated show us how willing they are to burden the people unnecessarily. We find a govt unwilling to share our burdens - the many policy tradeoffs they make are never openly and vigorously debated. Singaporeans tend to find out only when they wake up one day and realise they got the short end of the stick - seats in MRT removed after fares are increased, electricity tariffs hiked after oil prices plunged, billion dollar losses at GIC. etc etc.
The PAP claims that there is so little talent in Singapore that only one party can be formed. Any talent would have been found and recruited by the PAP. If the "talents" we see in the PAP govt are the best available....I would be very worried for the future of Singapore. They look so similar in their logic and thinking...I really wonder why we need so many of them. Let me ask you a simple question ...other than schemes and policies that forces Singaporeans to pay more money to the govt, give me one good groundbreaking idea that came from the PAP in the past 10 years. Ground breaking bad ideas plenty - 2 child policy, graduate parent scheme, etc. Please post a few good ones as comments....remember must not result in Singaporeans paying more money to the govt. There are plenty of highly paid admin officers in the public service who are suppose to research and formulate policies. As elected officials, our MPs/Ministers role is to make sure that the interests of the people are best served. Obama as an elected president does not need to have a PhD in economics what he need is basic intelligence to appreciate the advice of his experts to know what will work and plenty of leadership skills to get ordinary Americans to support his ideas and help make them work. The PAP saying that there is limited talent in Singapore and all of them are in the PAP is so unimaginably arrogant, elitist and not to mention delusional ......I can't imagine any other govt today ever saying that except for the one to the north of S. Korea. The PAP can't change itself if it believes it is already the best.... "emperor's new clothes" ....it is turning into a coffeshop joke.
If ever Singaporeans want real change, they have to do something about it. We, the rest of the world, are thankful for the millions of young Americans who in the words of Obama "refused to accept the myth of the generation's apathy" and brought forth a promise of change in America. The PAP is a product of Singaporeans' apathy and complacency. If we want real change, we cannot sit around and mind our own business - we have to learn to care for those around us...only when we open our hearts and our eyes to see, only when we are willing to act on our convictions, change will come.