Sunday, May 01, 2011

The Importance of Political Progress in Singapore

5 decades ago when Singapore became independent, we had the most democratic system in the South East Asian region and one of the most democratic political systems in Asia. A little more than a decade ago, S. Korea and Taiwan were under military rule and many countries like Indonesia and Philippines were under authoritarian strongman leadership. Today many of these countries are full blown democracies.  While democracy did not solve all their problems, the overwhelming majority of the citizens of these countries prefer democracy over authoritarian one party rule for the past in which their voices were ignored.

While countries around us have made political progress, the PAP took our democracy and turned it into dominant one party rule by tweaking the system so that it becomes less democratic and parliament became less representative of the voice of the people.40 years ago we had 5 independent newspaper companies now we have one and it is not so independent. GRCs, votes for upgrading, use of propaganda and use of threats to win votes become part of our elections.

"If Aljunied decides to go that way, well Aljunied has five years to live and repent." - MM Lee [Link]

The PAP govt paddled this whole nation backwards politically so they can have dominant power.  They could do this because Singapore was one of the Asian Economic Tigers that saw rapid economic progress. We were sold this myth that dominant authoritarian rule is necessary for economic progress. When S. Korea became fully democratic after the Asian Crisis, they made far greater economic progress than they did under authoritarian rule. Their entertainment industry blossomed and they became highly productive and innovative leading the world in areas. If you look at the Middle East, many authoritarian regimes that use propaganda and fear to control their population became unstable when the Internet punched holes in their propaganda machine and their income gap became too big. The country that remains stable in Middle East is Israel which is the only country with full blown democracy surrounded by nations authoritarian govts. It is only slightly bigger than Singapore but has multi-party rule ...and it is strong militarily and has a highly dynamic innovative economy. They have diverse voices in their parliament, a free press and debate vigorously all national issues...and the nation is highly cohesive when it faces adversaries. It is not true that a country the size of Singapore can only have 1-party rule - it is something the PAP tells us to justify their harmful dominance Singapore leadership. This dominance does not lead to better stewardship of the country, in the past 5 years it can't even deliver economic benefits to ordinary citizens ...this dominance is also starting to polarise our society as many feel their voices are not heard in a parliament.

Low Thia Kiang explained very clearly his thinking behind the decision to contest in a GRC yesterday. He first contested in the General Elections in 1988. His GRC team was defeated but had the support of 42% of the residents in the GRC. During the counting, there were some precincts with as high as 70% support for the PAP and these areas diluted the votes in constituencies where Workers Party would have won. The GRC system allowed the PAP to artificially dominate parliament.  33% of the voters who voted for the opposition are represent by 2% of the MPs in parliament. The PAP likes to paddle this bogus argument that GRCs are meant to bring in minority candidates - all it takes to do this is a GRC size of 2...not 4-6. The GRC system allows the PAP to redraw boundaries to maximise its seats in parliament. Low Thia Kiang chose to contest in a GRC so that if he wins, it will force the PAP less dependent on GRCs to stay in power because they cannot rely on this artifact anymore.....it will drive the PAP to stay in power by serving the people and implementing good balanced policies that benefit Singaporeans and earn the support of the people legitimately. .

Low Thia Kiang has been an outstanding MP   He has been dedicated 23 years of his life to politics. He has played by the rules and found a way to take Singapore forward politically. The power and choice is now in the hands of Singapore voters.

Vote wisely and we will have a better Singapore on 8 May 2011.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Today, I saw a happy middle-aged Indian couple from India in Woodlands. They have 2 children.

Why are they able to do so when so many young SIngaporeans such as myself and my friends are not able to do so?

Because the COV is too high.

I got vehemently mad when I saw them. They are pushing up the COV prices and Mah Bow Tan's policies is the reason why I can start a family because I can't buy his fucking expensive COV resale flat and his fucking policy makes me and my friends wait 4 years to get a flat.

For this hurt and pain, I'm reconsidering my vote for PAP.

What kind of leaders did we vote into parliament??????????????????

And why are the people giving MAh the permission to harm the young Singaporean couples from starting up?

Can someone please do something before the hdb situation gets out of hand?

I will only vote for PAP again if LKY pulls Mah out.

Anonymous said...

"Today, I saw a happy middle-aged Indian couple from India in Woodlands. They have 2 children.

Why are they able to do so when so many young SIngaporeans such as myself and my friends are not able to do so?"
Anon 1/5/11 19:27

You don't know why? Are you daft?

Because they need foreigners to do what you young Singaporeans will not, or unable to do! Simple as that!

And why not, if they can still win big at elections?

Anonymous said...

Lucky, I hope you would not forget about Chiam See Tong. He too, like Low, is fighting for a GRC.

Let's not forget our comrades from Potong Pasir. I hope that together, they can capture both Aljunied and Bishan-Toa Payoh GRCs

Anonymous said...

Anon 1/5/11 19:27.

I can see that most Singaporeans are daft and deserve the current situation. You have no right to complain about FTs pushing up HDB prices and COV because you have used your right to mandate PAP rule for every election. You obviously do not bother your citizen rights stated in the Constitution are taken away by the PAP. You did not use your right to stop PAP doing all these craps. You cannot complain then.

Now, you are given a chance to do what you can do for the country. Vote wisely to stop all these nonsense and to reverse the freak Constitution back to the original. Exercise your voting power. Be a responsible Singapore citizen!

Anonymous said...

"If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom;
and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money that it values more, it will lose that too."
-- Somerset Maugham


"If ye love wealth greater than liberty,
the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom,
go home from us in peace.
We seek not your counsel, nor your arms.
Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you;
and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen."
-- Samuel Adams


"In the end, more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security.
They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all
-- security, comfort, and freedom.
When ... the freedom they wished for was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free."
-- Sir Edward Gibbon (1737-1794)

Source:
http://freedomkeys.com/vigil.htm

Anonymous said...

I don't know how to make this known to the opposition parties.
From what I learnt from my friends who are still blindly seeing the PAP as the party that will bring continued prgress:
1) They think only PAP will provide security,progress and peace to our country because of their track records.
2)the opposition would want to take over and create chaos.
3)They question the sincerity and quality of the scholars and top-civil servants who have crossed over to the opposition.
4) manufacturing is very important to singapore, so it's wrong to close it down.
I have countered:
1)PAP of today (esp the last 5yrs) is hopelessly less capable than the PAP of yesteryears.I haven't told them that all people then thought Lehman Brothers were the best company in the world and they will not collapsed. But they did and it caused a castrophy world-wide.
I have told them to read more than the Straits times and Chanel newsasia. But they are busy with work and that's all they rely on.
2)The opposition has clearly stated they are not ready to take over the Govt yet.
3) more need to be made known to reinterate the scholars and the top-civil servants who have decided to join the opposition. Show these ignorant doubters your sincerity.
4)the opposition wants to scale down manufacturing and not shut it down. Pleas be more specific to them as to what you want to do with our economy concerning manufacturing.

If the opposition parties can addressed these issues, I believe we can convinced a few more percentage points of voters to go for a real change in Singapore.Let's get rid of arrogance and bring back real concensus.

Please help made known to all opposition parties the above.

Anonymous said...

Repent is a very strong word to use. To me, only God can use this word. Millionaire Mentor should not think he is one.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lucky Tan

I was so outraged when I read this article http://www.todayonline.com/SingaporeVotes/EDC110501-0000297/Length-of-loan-is-not-the-issue--Mah-Bow-Tan.

I quote Minister MBT "The length of the loan varies and is up to the home buyer. They are free to take up 30-year loans, or even 25- or 20-year loans....But if people are not happy with the 30-year loan for whatever reason, they can always take a smaller loan....But a longer loan actually helps people to pay less..."

Reminds me of the French Queen Marie-Antoinette who said "Qu’ils mangent de la brioche." (Let them eat cake) when told that the peasants had no bread to eat during a famine in France.

This just shows how disconnected our highfalutin millionaire ministers have become. When they can easily pay off a 3-room HDB flat in a month or two whereas fellow singaporeans have to slog 30 years to pay off the same loan!!!

Please, Mr Lucky, can you please write something about this horrid article to rebuke MBT.

Anonymous said...

"Repent is a very strong word to use. To me, only God can use this word".
Anon 1/5/11 21:50

Ya, I would think so, even though I am a free thinker.

For lesser mortals, a better word would be regret.

And even that it also depends on the person. Just like one man's meat is another man's poison.

Anonymous said...

"This just shows how disconnected our highfalutin millionaire ministers have become. When they can easily pay off a 3-room HDB flat in a month or two whereas fellow singaporeans have to slog 30 years to pay off the same loan!!!"
Anon 1/5/11 22:35

Why are you making a big fuss out of it?

Because if MBT wins, which he most likely will, your fuss gets you nowhere.

Anonymous said...

Lucky,
It is LKY and his PAP stooges who need to repent and sporeans can use their votes at this GE to help them do so, i.e make PAP the minority in parliament.

Sporeans must realise it is their moral duty to help LKY repent before he departs for the grave.

PS: The day LKY and his PAP stooges repent, will be the day Sporeans can look forward to a more meaningful Labour Day and National Day. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Anon 1/5/11 22:41

You must be another one of those disconnected MIW or highly paid foreign talent like anon 1/5/11 20:13.

Why should I make a big fuss? Because I am a Singaporean, because I care, because I know rocket-high property prices is just a property bubble which will lead to an eventual collapse of our country, just like the subprime crisis in the US.

You may shoot me off just like Wee Shu Min did with her comment "Just get out my elite uncaring face".

But bear in mind, Singapore consists of millionaires like MBT and yourself, there are also the working-class and the underdogs. Eventually the working-class and the underdogs will win against the elites, as what history has shown us.

Anonymous said...

But bear in mind, Singapore NOT ONLY consists of millionaires like MBT and yourself, there are also the working-class and the underdogs. Eventually the working-class and the underdogs will win against the elites, as what history has shown us.

Anonymous said...

"Why are you making a big fuss out of it?

Because if MBT wins, which he most likely will, your fuss gets you nowhere."

I learn one thing from the earthquake in Japan, nothing is certain.

Or maybe, the fuss may influence others to affect MBT's chance of winning. Hence, the fuss does get to somewhere.

Ex PAP Supporter said...

Dear Lucky,

You have a larger role to play in the netizen community in this General Election.

You need to up your articles. I know for sure that many parties are reading your blog as they are many quotes coming out from your blog.

Please upload more articles each day. It's more crucial from today.

It would be best to do a rebuke of the PAPster's views in the news.

We will direct the rest of the netizens to your site.

You might want to consider to take one or two days leave this week for this National Service. Even though you reckon the results would go the PAP way but this GE is the first way as many are praying to usher in a new era of transparency and accountability in parliament.

You would do good to forward your articles to TOC in this coming week.

When the going gets tough, the tough gets going.

You need to step up this week.

Ganbatte kudasai!

TokyoSingaporean said...

I second that. You would do good to deconstruct each erroneous and crooked thinking, along with specious arguements offered by the PAPies.

Please note that SM Goh requested for no name calling recently but immediately went on to slaughter his ex colleague Mr Tay.

It's these sort of inconsistencies you should aim at now. Not the policies as the opposition will take care of that order of business, I'm sure.

You need to engage in what the PAPies are doing now: character assasination. You need to simply rebuke them by showing the inconsistencies in their statements. It would highlight their timeless forte, that is, smear tactics and disparaging people's integrity and then saying others did it.

This is needed even more as the ang pow money is out and people would be sedated.

You need to take a high moral ground and point out the moral inconsistencies in the PAPies behaviour and manners. These are more essential now.

Just do it politely.

Anonymous said...

Is it in your interest to vote for PAP (Part 4)

Mr Tan takes to the podium. He has decided to speak up for his new-found friends contesting against the PAP on 7 May 2011.

Mr Tan:
Fellow Singaporeans and friends,

My friends in the opposition camp have put their future at risk by putting themselves up against a powerful opponent, PAP. If they have the courage to stand up for Singaporeans in public display open to enemy attack, shouldn’t we fellow Singaporeans at least show them support at the ballot box? Unlike the opposition candidates who cannot hide, our voting is secret. Should we not have the decency to support our comrades who put themselves in the frontline behind the scenes?

Fellow Singaporeans, I don’t ask you to make the same sacrifices as opposition candidates. I only ask you to vote for the opposition secretly. Nothing serious will happen to you because your vote is secret. Opposition candidates are the ones taking the risks. For this, they earn my respect. If you are the type who always complain and yet when the time is ripe to do the right thing, you don’t even have the decency and courage to do it, I can only say one thing. To quote a famous PAP candidate, I don’t know what to say (Mr Tan stomps his feet).

Fellow Singaporeans, once again, the PAP is threatening and scaring you. They said you have no future if the PAP loses power. I have heard this so many times. Let me tell you a similar story at my first job. There is this engineer who caused huge losses to the companies because the system he designed had many problems. When my boss wanted to sack him, this engineer employed fear-mongering tactics by saying that he is the best person to fix the problems because nobody is more familiar with the system than him. If he is sacked, the boss will not be able to find a competent replacement who is good enough to fix the problems. My boss got scared and retained him. 5 years later, the problems got bigger. Again, that engineer used the same old trick and my boss got scared again. 5 years later, the problems got bigger still. This time, all of us got sacked. The company went bankrupt. Along the way, that engineer threatened my boss into giving him higher bonuses and salaries while screwing up along the way.

We Singaporeans have given enough chances to the PAP. In 2006, we voted them. Today, the problems are still the same. The only difference is that they have gotten bigger. Are there more foreigners of questionable quality today than 5 years ago? Are housing prices shooting beyond our reach compared to 5 years ago? Do you feel you have a brighter prospects in the next 5 years? Is our cost of living made worse by rising GST, transport costs and government fees?

Do you think the PAP still deserve to be given another chance? Fellow Singaporeans, sack the people who created the problems in the first place. Why give them chance after chance? Give them chance to raise their own salaries and bonuses, then later push the problems to us to bear? If you don’t sack them this time, then we will all end up getting the sack. We will die if we get the sack. For them, they can live in retirement happily ever because they have dug enough gold. Why do you think they can dig so much gold? Because there is no opposing voice to say no whenever they try to dig more gold into their own pockets. On May 7, Singaporeans got to rise up and install a voice in parliament to put a stop to outrageous salaries and bonuses. Singaporeans are not stingy. We just want to make sure our government earn their money deservingly. It is very dangerous to have people approve their own salaries. There will be no end to the gold-digging.

Anonymous said...

Continue from previous comment:

The PAP says vote for them because they have a track record. When it comes to track record, what comes to mind is their track record of threatening voters to vote for them. Worst of all, fellow Singaporeans, PAP use your own money to threaten you. What gives them the right to deny public funds to taxpayers who did not vote for them? If we surrender to such bullying, then when is it going to end? We will forever be bullied because the big bully is encouraged by your cowardice. Fellow Singaporeans, use your head to think! When someone bullies you, what do you do? You fight back! Of course, we are not violent people. We fight back by not voting for the people who dare to use our own money to bully us. If you do not have the courage to fight back, then you deserve to be bullied forever. Use your big head to think. If not, you don’t even deserve to have your small head!

Fellow Singaporeans, let us unite and vote for our enlightened self-interest. Mahjulah Singapura.

Vote wisely.

For part 1,
http://www.temasekreview.com/2011/02/27/is-it-in-your-interest-to-vote-for-pap-part-1/

For part 2,
http://www.temasekreview.net/2011/03/04/is-it-in-your-interest-to-vote-for-pap-part-2/

For part 3,
http://www.temasekreview.com/2011/04/05/is-it-in-your-interest-to-vote-for-pap-part-3/

Anonymous said...

Here's my take having watching it from a distance.
It would help if yr article address and attach the NMP & NCMP scheme , strongly! This whole scheme is another clear go-about ways to deter real Opp candidates into the parliament as Voters feel that the 9 "nominated" voices (as PM kept saying it nonchantlantly that it's a 'representation of pples' voices") are how he's listening to the voters need for more "Voices"...with NO BITE!
The more they get Opp to explain their definition of 1st wrld parliament the more it gives them the bullet to say "is just a mass (mess) of voices" which both NCMP+NMP are already addressed. Move on!

I'm telling you, alot of voters out there will play it safe and think "ok i can give them enough votes to get NCMP position, but ot enough to exterminate/replace my PAP MP who I want to continue running the govt. Results = half baked/effort of votes from electorate.

This is akin to the neutering of the union leaders and slowly pple came to accept that the PAP placed leaders are there to speak for the workers ....tragic ending..and very SAD day for us all. It has to HIT HOME and I hope the Opp Parties will make strong CTA in their closing..

Polar bear said...

i am voting PAP for more good years... at least for me. cost of living is not an issue anyway, my income is way beyond that. so is COE, Property, petrol and so on.

My biggest concern is income tax and no tax on foreign earnings and of course no capital and dividends tax which i take for granted.

those who cant make it should consider their value of existence.

Anonymous said...

Dear Polar Bear,

"those who cant make it should consider their value of existence."

So does that mean that the rest of the Singaporeans would have to erase off their existence from this tiny red dot called Singapore? Or shipped to JB or Batam?

One word of advice I have for you: good fortune and good health don't last forever. Even if you manage to remain rich and healthy for the rest of your life, the same cannot be said of your children (unless you don't have any).

The same goes for the MIW. Their good luck and fortune won't last forever. Heaven is watching and we are watching...

Anonymous said...

It is okay. People like Polar Bear will probably have no children either because they are so selfish.

This type is what we call 绝种.

Anonymous said...

To all Singaporean on the fence. PAP cannot be rewarded with a clean sweep or even with just one GRC lost. I was on the fence before and seeing government policies benefited only the top 30%-40% group and foreigners makes me wonder if we had elected a Government who takes care of Singaporean or themselves. PAP needs to swallow the bitter pill this time and wake up to start serving SINGAPOREAN. It would be a sad future for Singapore when come 8th May, we see PAP member with their usual smiling face and declare they received a strong mandate from fellow Singaporean. We start to whine again for 5 years knowing that it would even be harder to change anything. The change is right now. Focus on the bigger picture and not on things like upgrading, lifts and so on. Our future is in our hand, so vote WISELY and influence the older folks as well.

Anonymous said...

I certainly would not want the next 5 years to be like the past 5 years. I am a resident in Ang Mo Kio GRC and I will be voting for the opposition not because they are the A team but I can't tolerate the pain and suffering anymore. Unfortunate Singaporean.

I need to know... said...

How else can we survive?

We have no oil
We have no water
We have no agricultural lands
We have no mountains

We have competition for shipyards
We have competition for Technologies
We have competition for Airport Hub
We have competition for Marine ports
We have competition for medical
We have competition for casinos

How else can jobs be created
How else can salaries match costs
How esle can I live?


I need to know so that I can decide

Just tell me some, just some details.. not big picture like "it will be for your future"
"it is good"
"good jobs"
"there will be better growth"


Please tell me, so That I can decide.. otherwise, I will spoil my vote.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Lucky

Please get a Malay and a Chinese translator for your blog. The non-English speaking seniors is a key bloc.

In case you are not aware, the MSM had 2 days to taint the opposition with the "gay & child-sex agenda". I know it is difficult for you to comprehend but pushing gay rights and child sex does not aid your cause in the hypocritical SG (yet). We do not know how much mud will stick but you got some damage to undo.

Seriously, its time to get off the moral high horse and start fighting in the trenches Mr Lucky. The smart (like you) discuss ideas and events but the stupid majority discuss personalities. Mr LTK and WP needs your endorsement.

Anonymous said...

To vote for the PAP is to expect more of the same issues we had suffered for the last 5 yrs. Property prices will not drop, if it does, it will be due to "external" factors. Foreigners will be mass imported to maintain the voter base for the ruling party. Jobs will be created that pays 3rd world salaries, can only pay for HDB flats with 40 yrs loan. Competition for jobs for adults and education for yr CHILDREN from foreigners.
Income gap and social division will widen even further.
Vote wisely

Anonymous said...

Steve Tan denied sexual harassment at NTUC.. That why the sudden drop out...

Imagine if he is in Tanjong Pagar and had walk over. This is the risk of PAP GRC system. It also shows LKY justification of keeping GRC system fundamentally not justifiable.

Anonymous said...

"Polar bear said...
i am voting PAP for more good years... at least for me. cost of living is not an issue anyway, my income is way beyond that. so is COE, Property, petrol and so on.
My biggest concern is income tax and no tax on foreign earnings and of course no capital and dividends tax which i take for granted. those who cant make it should consider their value of existence."

Why don't you consider the value of your own existence in Singapore. Better still, emigrate to the North pole? No income tax there.

Anonymous said...

Others can talk but only PAP can deliver the goods.

Anonymous said...

Life is unpredictable. Don't be smug. Just look at Japan.

The day will come.

Anonymous said...

\\Others can talk but only PAP can deliver the goods.

2/5/11 15:35\\

The only reason why PAP can deliver the goods is because they take our monies to buy a vehicle to deliver the goods. These days, they dun even drive the truck. Its driven by Foreign Talents....

Anonymous said...

The PAP banners or posters for the elections are put up by foreign workers sometimes, ie. those from Bangladesh or India.

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For my part every person may read this.

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