Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Why we don't need DEMOCRACY...

SM Goh spoke yesterday of 4 attributes that makes a political system successful - accountability and transparency; capacity for long-term planning and execution; social justice and harmony. Democracy is not one of the attributes. It is not necessary. I would like to say something about how our govt attains the 4 attributes before I go on to explain why democracy is not necessary in Singapore.

Accountability and transparency. ...no unnecessary secrets kept by our govt. Nothing to hide from the people. In some countries this is know as Freedom of Information. (FOI) and they have something known as FOIA (Freedom of Information Act). The basic idea is this - citizens are entitled to all information as long as it does not compromise national security. Hmm....do you know how much Town Councils lost investing in minibonds? When the electricity tariff was increased by 21% - everyone wanted to know why...but our elected minister went to parliament to say it is based on a secret formula used by EMA that cannot be revealed to the public - don't worry there are no calculation errors the 21% hike was not a mistake! Of course, the opacity of GIC and Temasek was explained to us - it is necessary to keep everything secret so that we won't be attacked by hedge funds. If our reserves are vulnerable to hedge fund attacks, all the more the citizens should know what these entities are doing with the money.

Capacity for long term planning. Stop at 2 policy? Use of CPF for housing - which resulted in insufficient funds for retirement? Was the casino part of a long term strategic plan or was the govt jumping onto a bandwagon afraid to miss out on the wealth and riches it will bring us? When it comes to the PAP, things that don't do well in the short term naturally becomes a long term commitment e.g Shin Corp, Citibank, UBS, Merrill. So much for long term planning....

Social justice....minibonds saga....Chia Thye Poh....JBJ....Chee etc. Justice I guess is in the eyes of the beholder. Is it just for someone to hold a full time job but cannot make enough to raise his family? Is it just for the aged who contributed to our society for decades to continue working into their golden years because they cannot afford to retire? MM Lee's justice for those who lost their life savings buying minibonds but are not uneducated or old is their eyes were open...and they have no right to compensation.

When it comes to democracy, our 40 years of existence proves that it is not necessary for successful govt. Govt will work for the people and guard their interests even if the people are unempowered, unable to protest for things to be done right, have no say and have no means to replace the govt. Such a govt would indeed be an extraordinary govt because it can function well without check and balance and feedback from the people. Certainly if such a govt can be successful against the odds, we should be paying them an extraordinary amount of money. ....and the longer they exist against the odds, the more they have to be paid. Our prime minister is now paid 6 times the president of USA. ...guess what he will have to be paid in 10 years time to keep this system going.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

I find it ironic that nowadays SM and MM have so much stuff to say, and it's even more ironic that they can say all those things they are saying with a straight face.

I guess somebody should give them their own stand-up comedy shows at The Esplanade.

In the meantime, can somebody get me some rotten eggs?

My first three letters of my word verification password for this comment are "c", "a" and "d".

Guess, Blogspot sees the irony too in letting cads like both could-be comedians run wild.

yamizi said...

Make sure your eyes are wide open during coming election lor.

Lucky, you get to vote in your area or not?

Anonymous said...

Funny he said those great stuff, ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY.

SINGAPOREANS HAVE BEEN CALLING ALL THESE YEARS FOR OUR LEADERS TO DO JUST THAT, BE ACCOUNTABLE AND TRANSPARENT.

AND HOW DID OUR LEADERS REPLY AND RESPOND??

patriot

Anonymous said...

ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY.....show us the country's acct book.....

AlphavilleSG said...

I too agree we don't definition like democracy... If we can reduce this to a question of morality. Looking at the list below, apparently 1 and 2 is shared among all leanings in society (left and right), as for 3, 4 and 5, the left distinctively placed less emphasis on these and opposite is true for the right.

http://faculty.virginia.edu/haidtlab/mft/index.php

1) Harm/care, related to our long evolution as mammals with attachment systems and an ability to feel (and dislike) the pain of others. This foundation underlies virtues of kindness, gentleness, and nurturance.

2) Fairness/reciprocity, related to the evolutionary process of reciprocal altruism. This foundation generates ideas of justice, rights, and autonomy.

3) Ingroup/loyalty, related to our long history as tribal creatures able to form shifting coalitions. This foundation underlies virtues of patriotism and self-sacrifice for the group. It is active anytime people feel that it's "one for all, and all for one."

4) Authority/respect, shaped by our long primate history of hierarchical social interactions. This foundaiton underlies virtues of leadership and followership, including deference to legitimate authority and respect for traditions.

5) Purity/sanctity, shaped by the psychology of disgust and contamination. This foundation underlies religious notions of striving to live in an elevated, less carnal, more noble way. It underlies the widespread idea that the body is a temple which can be desecrated by immoral activities and contaminants (an idea not unique to religious traditions).

Anonymous said...

The funny part is, after cursing at PAP, you will still vote for them!

Sgcynic said...

I definitely will not vote for them. I hope that I'm not stuck with them long term. It takes just a couple of years to run the country down.

yamizi said...

sgcynic,

got to pray hard you get to vote in your area first

walkover lagi sian

Anonymous said...

And for long term planning, i guess the government had seen las vegas sands heading for trouble since the beginning; already lining up THE government-link company(wondering who is that) to bail them out (IF can avoided,not using tax payers' money).....

And, after 'deliberately' not doing appropriate regulation needed to protect the consumers as seen from the notes5 incident, our sm goh is warning us of 'over-regulation'. Nice try....

Chee Wai Lee said...

Ong Teng Cheong asked for some accountability and transparency so he could do what should have been his job as President. I think President Nathan still hasn't gotten what President Ong asked for - just what exactly is he supposed to be the "second key" to?

Anonymous said...

Haha. SM Goh just duped the international community by insinuating that Singapore has all 4 attributes:

1. accountability and transparency;

2. capacity for long-term planning and execution;

3. social justice and harmony.

4. culture of identifying and grooming talent for public service.

No wonder he ended his speech at the Asia Society Hongkong Centre's Annual Dinner with the following line:

I realise that I have probably raised more questions in your minds than I have provided answers.

He never had provided the answers pertaining to the 4 attributes to Singaporeans.

Daniel Ling said...

(1) accountability and transparency
"First, accountability and transparency were needed for long-term stability. Governments must govern with the consent of the governed, he said."
- Since when did the Governed (I, U, ME, US) agree to GST7%? Invest S&C Funds? Allow 1st Class Flying? Gold Toilet Bowl? Or Gold Basin? Increase Electricity by 22%? Increase Public Transport Fares? Etc
- NKF?
- DBS Mini Bond?
- S & C Funds + Town Council?
- How CPF money is managed?
- Whose Money is gonna be used to Bail Out IR?


(2) capacity for long-term planning and execution
"Second, governments must formulate policies for the long-term public good, even if these are unpopular in the short-term. "
- Yea, pple no like, thus it seems to contradict with (1) "govern with the consent of the governed". At the very least, listen to FeedBack and try to Forumate a Win-Win Situation right? The role of Minister do include listening to the Governed right? Or too busy? *Counting Money*????
- 1 or 1.5 Generation ago, there was Stop At 2 Policy. More child = FINE
- MSK Escape becoz of poor constructed DETENTION BUILDING
- Often SGeans blame for not pro creating enough and having enough babies, thus the talent crunch now. Though Talent now = 25s - 30s which links back to the Stop At 2 =D


(3) social justice and harmony
"Third, there must be equal opportunities for citizens to compete and succeed. Only then can leaders enjoy wide support and ensure sustained growth."
- With the GST and increasing cost, the poorer group just trying to survive. Oh but it's their fault anyway, for having children when pple say dun ve children if u lousy le... Else will spoil the economy...
- I guess i ve no comments for Harmony
- A comment from the article page.
"the social division and rich-poor gaps are too wide to breach for any social harmony"
- And the system continue to make the poor poorer and the rich richer thus enlarging the gap even more.
- Is GST fair as everyone is affected equally? Instead of Fexible Income Tax where richer tax more and poorer tax less? Won't this be more Social Justice?

(4) a culture of grooming talent for public service.
"Fourth is a culture of identifying and grooming talent for public service, to attract the best brains to join and work in the government. "
- Nice, more elites
- Maybe more daughters in future with phrases like "Get out of my face", etc?
- More benefits for elites to get married and ve children, and those lesser educated without at least a Degree to stay single.

But i think Mr Lucky Tan pointed out tat he never mentioned democracy =X

PS: my verfication word "elitie"
Elites? lol

My view on the actual article.
http://informationreadbyme.blogspot.com/2008/11/sm-goh-on-governance-from-straits-times.html

Onlooker said...

Actually democracy is a form of governance that promote competition among politician so that they must prove their value to the public they serve.
let me illustrate thru word
Monopoly = (sole control or nearly total control of a particular service/products ie microsoft, lego) result high cost for the consumer, high profit for the vendor.
Competitive environment = (many vendor selling their products that the public can choose) result:-> in order to stay competitive, vendors are more willing to sacrifice more time and effort so that their product will get distributed faster because they know there are someone else up for the job.
Commercial is like campaigning for the product to generate a need for it.
FYI Walkover really? A lot of us never even get the chance to vote because of the stupid rules.GRC also.It's like buying vegetable in the market you only want one celery but the uncle give you 3 or 4 more rotten celery and expect you to pay for the price of 4 or 5 celery(mp pun intended).
The deal still stand hopefully we get to choose our government thru our choice again like b4 1965.

AlphavilleSG said...

We cannot reduce democracy to mere economic sense! :)

Democracy is a question of morality.

If you refer to my previous post.

accountability and transparency; -> 1 and 2

capacity for long-term planning and execution; -> Reliance on 3 and having 4

social justice and harmony; -> 1, 2 and emphasising 5

and a culture of grooming talent for public service. -> Reliance on 3 and having 4, further reinforcing 3 and 4.

Time and tide change, people leanings change under circumstances. Hence Mr Obama!

Mr Goh's speech just shows which way he prefer to swing!

Anonymous said...

Transparency and accountability my ass. Lets not even talk about the country's reserves and investments. Lets start off by requiring all politicians declaring and making public their/wife/children assets and net worth. When you dare not do that keep their trap shut.

Anonymous said...

My Ass hole, so much for social justice and harmony. Ask those who are victims or involved in dirty office politics and harassment. There is no social justice at all but the managements or authorities tried covering the cases to protect someone's 'faces'. The victims are continuously victimized till leaving the office whereas the perpetrators remain in positions and even get promoted - really strange situations. If there were social justice and fairness in this society, such cases would never happen or would be exposed for fair solutions.

Secutor said...
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