Sent: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 9:52 PM
To: THEREALSINGAPORE ; <a title=”andrew
Subject: 20131112 Dear Silent Majority – constructive feedback good for Singapore
Dear Silent Majority
Many years ago, I belonged to your group. The 5 room HDB roof over my head was really affordable on an average single income, there was no job discrimination or competition from citizens of third world countries, scholarships using taxpayers’ money awarded to foreigners were rare and Singapore was for Singaporeans. Foreigners, the really talented ones, were welcomed with open arms without any need to spend taxpayers’ money on a forced integration programme.
While all the negative changes have been taking place before your very eyes for years, you have continued to live in the past as if present problems will not affect future generations. Most of you are doing so for selfish reasons, highlighting the efficiency of our government in providing a safe environment, good jobs, good education, etc. While some of these may be true, they should not be reasons for you to totally ignore our present serious downsides. Many have even naively insisted that we should not even make any noise because Singapore is doing relatively well when compared to other (cherry picked) countries.
It is likely you would have already acknowledged that all our current problems are a consequence of flawed policies rammed through Parliament without any checks. Many have preferred silence by allowing the ballot box to do the talking every five years. By then, problems would have been compounded and the situation may be irreversible. The fact that improvements can never result from silence makes it imperative that Singaporeans must ‘cow peh cow bu’ (CPCB) to awake a government in GDP dreamland.
Other valid reasons to speak for ourselves include a Parliament dominated by a single political party which does not tolerate dissent for five decades, absence of apolitical grassroots organisations, absence of an ombudsman, etc. There are many more reasons and the longer we embrace apathy, the higher will the odds be stacked against ordinary Singaporeans in future.
Engagement is not what the PAP wants because it wants to be left alone to serve Singaporeans i.e. tweaking the same policies which will bring us closer to the edge of a cliff. (Hmm.. maybe Chan Chun Sing’s hidden meaning of “cliff effect”?)
PM Lee: “Suppose you had 10, 15, 20 opposition members in Parliament. … I’m going to spend all my time thinking what’s the right way to fix them”. PM Lee has confirmed the above and clearly does not think that elected opposition MPs are serving their constituents but have lots of free time to cause trouble only. All the more we should CPCB and let PM Lee be aware that his assumption is mistaken.
When politicians cherry pick third world countries for comparison with our developed country to justify an untenable policy, we should also CPCB i.e. instead of using least corrupt countries like Denmark or Finland, the PAP uses the more corrupt neighbouring ones which pay peanuts in political salary. Instead of using less densely populated cities with world class infrastructures for comparison, it uses one of the most densely populated cities in the galaxy, Hong Kong, to justify increasing our population density with foreigners. This despite objection from the majority of ordinary Singaporeans. Notice also the government never mentioned that Hong Kong does not have any integration issues. Again, if we do not CPCB, it is likely new immigrants will push us off the cliff soon.
I respect those who do not wish to CPCB due to fear (including civil servants) of repercussions as well as those who have benefitted disproportionately (grassroots, government contractors) from positions of favour. But to parrot mainstream media’s ‘reasons’ to be contented with silence and attempt to rubbish others who CPCB reflects the absence of any thinking process.
The PAP has to be held to account because it claims itself to have the brightest and the best in the world. This is reflected by their exorbitant salaries. On a per capita basis, PM Lee is paid 41 cents ($2.2 million /5.4 million population) whereas President Obama receives only 0.1 cents ($400,000/ 314 million population).
What about our President whose salary is just slightly less than the PM but whose ceremonial role earns him 29 cents ($1.54/5.4 million)? I think there is a reason for someone to define this as “JIAK LIAO BEE”.
Although I would personally not resort to name calling and vulgarity, others adversely affected eg. lost job because company employed foreign talents, might have been frustrated by a government which has remained deaf to citizens’ concerns. If more of us have applied the non-violent method of CPCB, the situation would not have degenerated into such a pathetic state.
Facts – Singaporeans work one of the longest hours, do not go on strikes despite grossly unfair working conditions unlike foreign workers (we must thank them, really), allow workers’ unions to prioritise company bottom line over workers’ welfare, the majority live in public housing with rules laid down by the PAP, the only papers available are state-controlled ones, etc.
In short, the PAP wields almost total control.
To make governance easier, we also have the good fortune of not having the company of Hurricanes Irene and Katrina. Or the recent Typhoon Haiyan which has caused extensive damage in the Philippines amounting to billions of dollars, an estimated 10,000 deaths, entire villages wiped off the map, etc.
We have seen nothing close to Japan’s Fukushima, Indonesia’s tsunamis or Australia’s floods and forest fires. We have not even experienced anything close to the 2011 Bangkok flooding which cost about $50 billion in economic damages and losses.
The closest ‘catastrophe’ we have experienced is ponding in Orchard Road 2 years ago, followed by AYE, Bukit Timah and recently Chai Chee.
So the definition of “jiak liao bee” as being paid millions without the commensurate experience and the inability to resolve issues is quite appropriate. To put it in perspective, despite extremely favourable conditions to govern a country, the PAP government has screwed up big time. It has been proven that the PAP does not learn anything from silence. Instead, CPCB will likely accelerate PAP’s learning curve.
Despite total control of state resources, the PAP slumbered during the last 2 decades. It has allowed housing prices to shoot through the roof, public transportation to create an illusion of one being in a foreign land, forcing the citizens it is supposed to be serving to integrate with strangers using taxpayers’ money, favouring foreigners with scholarships despite our higher standard of education etc.
These are serious issues which require one to CPCB, without which the PAP will only attempt further tweaks to an unstable system instead of an overhaul.
There is evidence that the minds of long term readers of The Straits Times have been straitjacketed. There is no logical explanation for any intelligent human being to contradict reality by parroting propaganda. In no other country will the press be allowed to disparage its citizens into such a helpless and hopeless state i.e. when Singaporeans were labeled “(PMET) pampered, mediocre, expensive and timid”, tens of thousands should have applied CPCB and flooded ST with email objections. Even a fraction of its readers, say 20,000, would have made SPH and the government sit up and take notice. Instead, our apathy only ensured that we continue to buy our must-read propaganda regularly. Bear in mind that silence encourages powerful organisations to ignore our existence.
Public institutions such as hospitals have been in an unsatisfactory state for years. A recent case relates to a patient who had to wait 16 months for an appointment. This was reduced to 12 months after some CPCB was applied. The appointment was to see a renal specialist because the patient’s condition had deteriorated and 12 months was clearly still not acceptable. http://therealsingapore.com/content/one-year-wait-see-specialist The ‘reply’ from the hospital was a slap in the face. http://therealsingapore.com/content/singapore-general-hospital-we-will-do-our-best-improve-our-patient-experience Although I was not personally involved, I did CPCB to the minister. https://likedatosocanmeh.wordpress.com/
Thousands have been adversely affected by the poor planning of public hospitals. While the needy and vulnerable may not have the voice to speak up, those who are capable of seldom do so. Yaacob Ibrahim would have adviced everyone to do the right thing i.e. CPCB.
It is important that we do not continue to feed ourselves with state propaganda by not buying our local papers. Local news can be read online and newspapers are actually available at all libraries and Community Clubs. The current environment is a far cry from the first half of our nationhood and we must embrace the present reality instead of living in the past.
Whatever the issue is, we should have realised by now that providing constructive feedback is our right and responsibility. The more we CPCB, the more improvements we will see in our government.