Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hard Truths and the Reality on the ground....

I borrowed part of the title of this posting from an upcoming book by ST writers called "Lee Kuan Yew, Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going".[Link]

The team of writers was led/assembled by none other than Han Fook Kwang, the Straits Times editor who also wrote the book "LKY the Man and his Ideas". I guess the first book did not sell MM Lee's ideas hard enough so we need a 2nd book to get the hard truths across. When PM said he was going to gazette TOC as a political association, he said that it "has the potential to influence the opinions of their readership and shape political outcomes in Singapore". Now anyone with common sense is asking why isn't SPH & the Straits Times gazetted? With MM Lee appearing in the newspapers every other day, if not every day, to express his wise thoughts why does one need to get a book to understand his ideas?

I remember a speech by Bill Clinton a few years back. He warned about people who believe they possess the 'absolute' or 'hard' truths because it can lead to actions and decisions that are extreme and detrimental to human society.

"We do not want duds like Chee Soon Juan and JB Jeyaretnam getting into Parliament"- MM Lee during an interview for the book.

That was what he believed...and so he went on to have them bankrupted and 'demolished'. But all these people wanted to do was promote democracy in Singapore. When Singaporeans voted MM Lee into office 5 decades ago, Singapore was among the most democratic countries in Asia. Phillipines, Indonesia, Thailand were either ruled by dictators or under martial law. We had many independent newspapers, many strong political parties and a politically vibrant society. Today, many countries S. Korea, Phillipines, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan and even Malaysia have made progress to towards becoming full blown democracies while Singapore has turned into a one party state ruled by semi-authoritarian leaders. MM Lee has put in place an elitist system based on selection. You can read about how he came to the conclusion that such a system is superior to liberal democracy in Straits Times editor Han Fook Kwang's book "Lee Kuan Yew : The Man and His Ideas"[Chapter extract found here ]. While most would agree that good (the best) men with the right motivation to serve should be selected for the civil service, he extended this idea to the extreme by limiting various freedoms (speech & press) and eliminating the competition of ideas by repressing political opponents so that the selection system will have primacy over democratic elections....along the way, the PAP created GRCs and linked votes to estate upgrading. The reality is after decades of MM Lee's undemocratic system, Singapore is 27th on UN HFI and every single country above Singapore is a democracy and most are liberal democracies.

Chee and JBJ are not duds. The 82 people put in place by his selection system who allowed GST to be increased, ministers' pay to reach the highest on the planet, foreign influx to be so massive, and rejected the idea of minimum decent wage for workers....these people are the real duds.

"I’m not intellectually convinced that one-man, one-vote is the best. We practise it because that’s what the British bequeathed us" - MM Lee.[Link]

At the end of the day, we still have a "one-man-one vote" system which the PAP did not find a way to get rid of. While they undermine it by linking votes to upgrading and controlling the media to spread their propaganda, Singaporeans still do not have this right taken away from them. When ordinary Singaporeans stand in voting booth, they will ask themselves 2 questions, "Is my life better that it was 4 years ago? Will my children's lives be better 10 years from today?"....in the coming months, the one truth that will emerge is you cannot earn people's votes by making their lives worse....and this truth will soon dawn on the PAP!

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

Let's challenge our LKY, PM and MPs to live on S$300 a month and in a 3 room HDB flat. I bet most of the MPs have never had a hard life before to put in place many of the policies that they do. They don't understand that prices are high because none of them do grocery shopping at wet markets or supermarkets. They don't know how it is to live in small flats where you can get smoked out when your neighbor starts burning incense paper because they all have nice big houses/appartments. In UK they did a reality TV like that (MPs living poor).
http://www.channel4.com/programmes/tower-block-of-commons/episode-guide/series-1

Anonymous said...

Would be generous to call the book "Half Truths" maybe "Quarter Truths."

Anonymous said...

to quote Terry Pratchett. One man, one vote - LKY is the man and he has the vote.

a kind of chicken

Incompetent Ministers said...

Dear Lucky,

MM has overused the same technique too many times. People know it. It's that appeal to the "fear of the unknown"...Singapore is gonna sink if you don't vote me hoo-hah. He's playing out the SAME OLD FEAR, that Singapore is under seige for its livelihood. Yeah right! And this comes from a man who is so detached from the ground that he doesn't know how much one kilogram of rice cost. This, from a man, who is sinfully overpaid. People don't like him no more. This, from a man who tells us the pledge is a mere inspiration, not an actuality to be realised. There is this thick layer of hypocrisy in this country and I think we should start cutting through that. Life has not gotten better. I was forced to take a cab to work today even though I came out early to fetch the bus. The reason is that the bus driver coming all the way from marsiling passing through the causeway fetches so many people that the feeder driver doesn't stop at our bus-stop but moves on. 3 buses went by and I can't get to the interchange to get my train. So what if the trains run on time. I can't get to the trains because of the overcrowding. Do you expect me to leave ANOTHER hour earlier for work? For the shitty 903 bus service, I'm not voting PAP this time. I just want to get onto the first bus that I can. Is that too much to ask from a multi-million dollar ministers? Is it too much to ask really? Sembawang GRC ministers are sleeping.

David Teo said...

I fully agree and personally do not think JBJ is a dud. The man simply had no chance after stepping on the old man in Anson. But I also believe history will be re-written and people who read this book will read the other side of the story. We are not daft. dt

Anonymous said...

If he claims to have hard truths, then why can't he seem to answer one simple question

http://dotseng.wordpress.com/2011/01/14/is-there-real-wealth-or-just-fake-wealth-in-singapore/

What is the point of writing a book abt hard facts in sg, when the most important question is left hanging, like going to Paris and no see the Eiffel tower

Anonymous said...

There's a 3rd question voters will ask: "is the other person capable of doing the job?", if he or she is even there in the first place. This "problem" itself is created by the incumbent party's 40 years of uninterrupted ruling.

Anonymous said...

When ordinary Singaporeans stand in voting booth, they will ask themselves 2 questions, "Is my life better that it was 4 years ago? Will my children's lives be better 10 years from today?"

Well-said!

Anonymous said...

您现在的生活,比四年前更好吗?

Anonymous said...

Are the Cabinet Members in Sin better than duds?
As far as the Latest Book on Lee Kuan Yew is concerned, me doubts they will be laku(saleable). From the postings in the Net, the gossips everywhere in Sg, it is as good as kaput.

Anonymous said...

?"....in the coming months, the one truth that will emerge is you cannot earn people's votes by making their lives worse....and this truth will soon dawn on the PAP! - Lucky Tan

But what if it is still 50% walkovers, 66% mandate and 98% seats at the next elections? Hypothetical but very possible what, right?

Lucky Tan, what then would your analysis be?

But before this, maybe a more pertinent question is why the opposition still the way it is now? Despite all that you have written?

Anonymous said...

The old man is on the money again. Except, he probably doesn't know why hence, not convincing enough.

The next power to emerge is the power of unification.

Anonymous said...

More like "Hard cxxks to keep Singapore Going"

Anonymous said...

As in your previous post on the fertility rate, the old man had come undone YET AGAIN. Stop at 2 Campaign - his idea.
Formula 1 - anti and pro - also his ideas.
Casino - anti and pro - his ideas again.

What a schizophrenic decision maker.

Anonymous said...

No single person can get it all right but his erm.... thrust is there.

The ability, and process, to arrive at the new dynamics is what matters.

Anonymous said...

The saying "One Man's Truth Is Another <am's Lie." Let your decision which is which at the ballot box. Tehy have muzzled TOC and what is the main reason? Reality is putting food on the table, and 4 years ago it was not so difficult as today. In fact it was not very difficult in the eighties too. When someone believe he owns Singapore, and he is a demi-god, is that good?

Anonymous said...

You're so right. Total power corrupts. And PAP at the moment can do anything it wants without being answerable to anyone. Before election time, it throws out a few carrots which it takes back. Hey, can someone design some t-shirts with cool quotes? Like "I'm Singaporean, I'm daft and need spurs stuck in my hide".....better ones of course.

Anonymous said...

Singapore is heaven for foreigners, permanent residents and riches.

Singapore is hell for middle class and poor Singapore Citizens.

Anonymous said...

how about..
I am sinkaporeans, I am duds, I need sheep to send me to parliament house?

Anonymous said...

Harry Vainpot and his half baked truths.

hayek said...

I want to present a counter argument on the much loath FT policy of PAP.

Arguably, FT policy has impact many Singaporean negatively, but from my observation, Singapore is already addicted to FT that our solution out is to have more FT.

The reason is that I have observed many of our old, pensionless and zero saving people actually relies on rent for sustenance. What happen if we kick out 20% of FT? Before daybreak, probably 40-60% of our old folks will go out begging for food.

And what is the reason Singapore being one of the richest are not able to give the old folks a decent life by public wealth transfer?

I think this question can be better answer by Ho Ching and those big shot of Temasek and GIC.

Anonymous said...

"What happen if we kick out 20% of FT? Before daybreak, probably 40-60% of our old folks will go out begging for food."

Precisely. Those assholes who attack our housing and FT are attacking our elderlies.

hayek said...

Re 19/1/11 16:56
"
Precisely. Those assholes who attack our housing and FT are attacking our elderlies.
"

Now we are drug addict on FT heroin, and PAP government is our drug pusher who make billions hooking us.

What we should do is to hang PAP just like PAP hang drug mule. On the mean time, we should embark on workshop of cold turkey.

Of course, the workshop can be made less painful if we confiscate the wealth of elite. (the monies are rightfully ours)

The earlier we do that, the less painful is the process.

Alan Wong said...

I still remember his explanation for the condominium discount controversy when he said he and his wife wanted a lower floor unit to retire as they are both getting old.

Now can LKY please confirm to us again when are you actually retiring or do you actually mean that you will only retire when you kick the bucket ?

How can we ever trust you if you honestly don't seem to mean what you have said before ?

DareToAct said...

Hard truths:
1. Rising home prices is a way to keep Singaporeans on the treadmills.
2. Singaporeans are paying more taxes than they think (COEs, HDB prices, gasoline prices)
3. Meritocracy is Elitism in disguise.
4. The success of the PAP is 90% luck and 10% bad governments in our neighboring countries.
5. We do have natural resource -- the port and our location (Sir Raffles did not chose Singapore by chance).

hayek said...

Re DareToAct

Many states who did not have natural resource prosper as well as long as they facilitate monies from murder, drug and corruption.

1) Switzerland
2) Jersey
3) Channel Island
4) Luxembourg
5) Liechtenstein
6) Monaco
7) Bermuda

We do not need natural resource to prosper, we can become rich simply by becoming criminal state.

All the above state shared their wealth with their citizen. Singapore is a unique place where the ill-gotton bounties from money laundering is not shared.

Whatever we have is given to Ho Ching and LKY to bet in the Wall Street for "training purpose"--and hope that we may eventually be able to show the whole world that Lee family are capable of producing Warren Buffet as well.

Anonymous said...

"We do not want duds like Chee Soon Juan and JB Jeyaretnam getting into Parliament"

More likely reason " We fear people like them getting into Parliament because we wouldn't be able to account for our actions"
Seriously this old man is overrated
and overstayed that its waste of time listening to hime, least of all reading books about him.

Anonymous said...

"What happen if we kick out 20% of FT? Before daybreak, probably 40-60% of our old folks will go out begging for food."

if that happens, then 40-60s of our old folks can have their jobs back

Anonymous said...

Miss Lucky,

Why don't u and your team take PM at amk GRC? Let see if they will have the mandate from the people?

I would like to see how the outcome of the results.
You will have our full support!

I love to read all your post.

I have you in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

Just ask all the ministers to live on a 3k budget for his family - parents, wife, children. See how they will make it??

Anonymous said...

Anybody read the headlines dated on the 16 january 2011 in the Straits Times? I didn't buy the papers on that day but I was told that MM Lee said something that sounded serious.

I wonder how many feel their quality of living has gone down. To be really honest, I feel like breaking down. I am still thinking of how to emmigrate out and how to help myself. It seems difficult. Anyone's got any ideas?

Anonymous said...

looking at the number of 'Anonymous-s' here tells one truth of how much Singaporeans are afraid of the ruling party.

I doubt our cries are heard seriously and everyone knows it. While FTs are controlled by stricter immigration laws, the actual situation is somewhat twisted. PRs are so easy to obtained. So when foreigners becomes semi-locals, they can be readily hired.

So what is the future of the local born raised Singaporeans? Not too bright. In fact, bullying by foreigners are so common that lcoals can't do much simply because locals are often displaced in many areas. The last count of foreigners to local ratio was 4:6. Wonder if we are now totally displaced ?

Anyone out there could tell me if staying here is worth it?

Anonymous said...

QUOTE:

"I still remember his explanation for the condominium discount controversy when he said he and his wife wanted a lower floor unit to retire as they are both getting old.

Now can LKY please confirm to us again when are you actually retiring or do you actually mean that you will only retire when you kick the bucket ?

How can we ever trust you if you honestly don't seem to mean what you have said before ? "

UNQUOTE

Contrast this to what he called Chee Soon Juan. You must be daft to trust what the government says.

Anonymous said...

"3. Meritocracy is Elitism in disguise."

This is so true, it hit me right at my core when I read it. I think the government has turned ugly. They do not want an aware, conscious and alert citizenry, let alone such a society. They want o create rats in a rat race. I don't buy meritocracy anymore as I can see clearly that the government is using meritocracy to absolve itself of the responsibility to society.

You mati, your pasal. You pay all your CPF to buy overly priced pigeon holes, your pasal. You retire without CPF, your pasal. What kind of leaders are we creating in here?

Anonymous said...

""""For all you know, those unemployed PMETs may even vote for them despite their sufferings. """""

This is true.
But just hope that more people will do the opposite so that they would not be too powerful and become even more arrogrant!!

Anonymous said...

When PAP consistently had more than 60% votes in the past, definititely there must be some who, despite their not so good life as painted by Lucky Tan, still voted for the PAP.

The next election will be no exception. And don't forget the large number of new citizens since 2006!!!

So there's even the chance the PAP may even score better this time, that is more than 66.6% of the votes!!!!

And if that happens, Lucky Tan may agreed with what I said. And maybe his blog may not be the same as before!

Anonymous said...

Wasnt it the same for the Barisan National? They consistently won and lost touch with the people. This election will be like Malaysia

Anonymous said...

Alan Wong said...
"I still remember his explanation for the condominium discount controversy when he said he and his wife wanted a lower floor unit to retire as they are both getting old.

Now can LKY please confirm to us again when are you actually retiring or do you actually mean that you will only retire when you kick the bucket ?

How can we ever trust you if you honestly don't seem to mean what you have said before ?

19/1/11 17:40". Unquote.

Me doubts Lee Kuan Yew and his family members ever consider retiring.

Power is more addictive than drugs for vain folks.
patriot

Anonymous said...

I think many of the people whom the gov treat the worst...the older folks who are barely scraping by...are the ones who will vote for PAP no matter what. They are the ones who believe what PAP tells them and think that life is so much better since independence. And these are the people who voted got PAP into power in the first place. And this is how they are treated? Minimal public assistance. Left over jobs that require long hours and pay barely enough for them to live on. Our MPs have no conscience.

Anonymous said...

singaporeans are too cow to vote for oppposition. they will continue to rule and to take from those that vote for them.

Anonymous said...

"the one truth that will emerge is you cannot earn people's votes by making their lives worse".

Unfortunately they have been doing that, and will be able to continue doing that for years.

Just a simple trick, all they do is make people BELIEVE that they are better off even though is worse off.

Anonymous said...

I agree with anon 20:33.

All the government needs to do is suppress information and white washed everything, including TOC. This will create a climate where everything seems OK on the surface and the few who do see the deep shit that below the surface will be labelled as "complainers" when they speak out.

That branding has been used for the last 10 years.

So here's the truth. PAP will remain in power for as long as sites like TOC are choked.

"Make them BELEIVE they are better off" is all it takes.

With suppression of information flow, it's easy to reproduce the same bubble of unconscious citizens to vote them in again and again. The government is not stupid. They're cunning. But Singaporeans are, in my opinion, daft. If you don't believe me, lucky, just watch this year's election. PAP will be back in power and the opposition bozzos who are as invisible as ever may just wait out for another lukewarm 2017 election.

Anonymous said...

Will Singaporeans die for each other? Take the poll http://bit.ly/e9nSuM

Anonymous said...

Will Singaporeans die for each other? Take the poll and find out! http://www.allourideas.org/singaporewar/

Anonymous said...

stupid commentar from exPM...
dont realize that everyone is progressing..

i am a dumb commentor said...

i hope this is an educated rebuttal to some of the comments here:

how many of you have read the book? i think although LKY has made many controversial decisions, we need sufficient knowledge of who-how-when-whats of the issue in order to appreciate why the decision is made.

for example, "Casino - anti and pro - his ideas again." is false. from all the reports i read previously and now, he was not for the idea of casinos.

and so on. while i believe lucky tan is an well-informed individual with knowledge on issues he talk about (although he disagrees with the PAP etc), a lot of the commenters to this post are just do not know enough to make the points (actually mostly just sentinments, not really facts..) they state here valid.

singa said...

The statement made by LKY regarding the muslims is obviously ill-informed and ignorant but more worryingly it is racist, inflammatory and can dangerously incite hatred between the races in multicultural Singapore. Any other person making this statement would have been summarily arrested and detained without trial under the Internal Security Act for incitement of racial hatred. Why should LKY be allowed to say such things without consequence, he has used the ISA to imprison his critics and foes with impunity, it is time that he faces the music and be arrested for making such inflammatory statements, no one should be above the law. This is what should happen if the authorities in Singapore is impartial, question is can it or will it ever happen? Indeed, we the people should make this happen.