20130302 PAP must learn to connect with Singaporeans

From: phillip ang
Sent: Saturday, March 02, 2013 4:25 PM
To: PM LEE
Cc: bga336 ; bokkoh ; CHARLES CHONG ; <a title="showmao.chen ; cue_liew ; DPM THARMAN ; <a title="gan_kim_yong ; gerald.giam ; HENG CHEE HOW ; <a title="heng_swee_keat ; ISWARAN ; <a title="Janil_Puthucheary ; jaya kumar ; <a title="jjauto ; ken_dxb ; KHAW BOON WAN ; <a title="lchertan ; LEE KUAN YEW ; <a title="ltk ; LILY NEO ; <a title="maliki_osman ; MP ZAINAL SAPARI ; <a title="news ; newseditor ; ngys ; nicole.rebecca.seah ; ongqyqy ; PNG ENG HUAT ; <a title="pritam.singh ; RAVI ; <a title="seahkp ; SIM ANN ; <a title="yuanyi ; ST CHINLIAN ; <a title="stnewsdesk ; STANLEY ; <a title="stlocal ; TOC ; <a title="andrew ; yahoo ; <a title="zblocal ; RICHARD ; <a title="jiankang ; PM LEE ; <a title="rchang ; MP ARTHUR FONG ; <a title="ykbaey ; MP DENISE PHUA ; <a title="21_bsec ; MP SENG HAN THONG ; <a title="inderjit ; SPH CHUA MUI HOONG ; <a title="hanfk ; BTMAH ; <a title="chunsing ; CIVIL SERVICE HEAD ; <a title="davidong ; DILLON ; <a title="edwin.tong ; FAISAL ; <a title="gan_thiam_poh ; GRACE FU ; <a title="halimah ; HAWASI ; <a title="Johnny_LIM ; LIU TUCK YEW ; <a title="masagos_zulkifli ; MND PERM SEC ; <a title="pangkinkeong ; MP LIM H ; <a title="lim_swee_say ; MP YAACOB ; <a title="ong.teng.koon ; PATRICK TAY ; <a title="sam_tan ; SITOH ; <a title="jonkwok ; TEO HO PIN ; <a title="teo_ser_luck ; TIN PEI LING ; <a title="wongkanseng ; THEREALSINGAPORE
Subject: 20130302 PAP must learn to connect with Singaporeans

Dear PM Lee

The White Paper on Population has confirmed that the PAP has remained divorced from the reality of ordinary Singaporeans.

If uncorrected, our stress and suffering will only increase.

I would like to offer some radical suggestions which I hope PM Lee is bold enough to consider and implement.

The politicisation of statutory boards, grassroots organisations and government related organisations provides an illusion of control but is in fact an administrative and governance nightmare. The business of government is to govern, not business.

With 82 per cent of Singaporeans living in public housing, ministers and top civil servants who do not live in public housing/travel on public transport will never truly understand our issues.

My suggestions to the PAP is not a joke. It’s about time PAP attempts to transform itself, walk the talk instead of perpetually talking.

Ministers/top civil servants should take 2 weeks to a month annually to bond and understand Singaporeans. How?

Ministry for National Development

MND minister/Perm Sec/HDB CEO must live in a variety of public housing ie 2 days each in 3 room, 4 room, 5 room and executive HDB flats. He/she must spend time visiting different parts of the estate, eat at food courts/hawker centres. etc essentially participating in the daily routine of heartlanders. His stay must be unannounced so that grassroots members are not able to create the all-has-been-well illusion.

A first hand experience will enable him to observe festering issues left by TCs and RCs for decades. His suggestions for his ministry will carry more weight than all the complaint letters that have been written to forum pages of newspapers. Meaningful changes will gradually evolve.

He/she is likely to realise that public housing is not about the provision of a cubicle of different sizes, limiting every block to a desired ethnic ratio and trumpeting our success story. Observations of Singaporean neighbours who live without knowing each other for years will help the government to realise that its academic approach to organising ‘bonding’ activities with newly minted citizens is an exercise in futility.

He/she would be able to chat with heartlanders and understand that the government’s definition of affordability is imaginary and stretching the mortgage payments to 30 years and beyond has a toll on TFR. That the level of ‘service’ provided by Town Councils leaves much to be desired and a deafening silence by RCs on heartlander issues could also easily be observed.

Ministry of Transport

The Minister for Transport/Perm Sec/LTA CEO must experience first hand our public transportation system. This must not be a once-a-year PR/Facebook exercise. 2 to 4 weeks traveling on different days, on different modes of transport, at different timings and locations would be sufficient to experience issues which have been repeatedly raised in the press.

He will experience the crowded conditions during weekends which are meant for leisure. Interaction with commuters might even throw up issues or suggestions which have yet to be highlighted. With an increasing ageing population and the government encouraging the use of public transportation, the removal of seats on MRT trains could be observed to be counter productive. (hopefully bus companies are not entertaining similar idea)

It could also easily be observed that extending additional kilometres of train tracks in the west does nothing to alleviate the overcrowding in the east.

eg. The addition of at least 20 blocks of public housing and 3 condominium developments near Pasir Ris MRT station will increase the number of commuters by 5000 to 10000. Being the terminal station, it has a ripple effect on all subsequent stations. As it is, a number of morning commuters are already reversing their journeys by taking the train to Pasir Ris from Tampines.

(The government would of course point out that new lines are being constructed. However, these will be completed in stages. With the current problem of overcrowding yet to be resolved, that clearly means commuters will be forced to initially accept worsening conditions. With the relief coming later, years down the road and with an exploded population by then, commuters will essentially be back to the overcrowded square one.)

Commuting by public transport (prime spot on bus beside driver) affords one the time to observe serious bottlenecks which really cannot be resolved because infrastructure planning had never taken into account our population explosion. .

There are other factors which can only be realised in actual conditions. Time permitting, I will highlight them in subsequent emails.

The above suggestions are not a joke. Please consider them.

Thank you.

Regards

Phillip Ang

PS

How about getting all PAP MPs on board as well?

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