I refer to CNA article “Govt will study whether and how to improve Singapore political system: President Tony Tan”.
Tony Tan’s speech is carefully worded to mean there will be no change.
PAP has been running Singapore for 5 decades with selective transparency and no accountability. Laws could be conveniently tweaked to serve its political objectives. Together with a politicised grassroots and public agencies, full control of the media as well as the ability to buy over voters during elections, why would PAP suddenly agree to reduce its chances of perpetual control? If there is any change, it will probably be cosmetic.
A PAP-dominated parliament enacts laws to its advantage and dictates to the people where we live, how much it wants to profit from public housing, how much retirees are allowed to withdraw our own money, etc. In short, it dictates to ordinary citizens how we are supposed to live in Singapore.
There has never been an instance where a dictator (a party in this case) voluntarily surrendered even a fraction of his power. Since when did any emperor give up power to improve the lives of peasants?
Let’s analyse what Tony has said to confirm PAP’s ongoing wayang.
Tony: “…Singapore needs capable, clean leadership .. as well as appropriate checks and balances in a political system free of gridlock..”
If PAP had really wanted appropriate checks and balances, grassroots organisations and the civil service would not have been politicised. It would have allowed a free media to act as a check and not continue to use it for propaganda. The truth is PAP cannot afford to have any checks and balances as this will reveal too much of its shortcomings that will lead to its demise.
PAP is such an incompetent party and that’s the reason why Goh Chok Tong insisted on PAP being its own check. It has always been fearful of real checks by elected opposition MPs and projected a semblance of checks with the introduction of the NCMP scheme.
Tony’s unique definition of “checks and balances” is conditional upon our system being “free of gridlock”. In other words, PAP isn’t interested in any debate because this may lead to a gridlock. Tony is therefore telling a half truth.
Tony: “The Government will look into whether Singapore’s political system can be improved … “
Despite the 1001 PAP-created issues, Tony has refused to admit our system needs urgent improvement but instead only says the government is looking into whether improvements are required.
Tony: “ .. this system must be refreshed from time to time,..”.
He seems confused and clueless as one moment he says the government will look into whether improvements could be made but, the next moment, he is certain the system needs to be refreshed.
Strangely, the third sentence of the article contradicts the second but what is obvious – the first three sentences engage in propaganda to trumpet the ‘achievements’ of PAP and its “clean, effective and accountable government” which has “delivered stability and progress for Singapore”. Talk about improving the system!
Tony: “For our programmes to succeed we need good politics. Good policies and good politics go together.”
Is it a good policy:
– to have exorbitant public housing prices?
– for married couples to be enslaved to 25/30 year mortgages in order to have a roof over their heads?
– to conceal all embarrassing statistics, such as the breakdown of foreigner nationalities?
– conceal statistics pertaining to PRs and citizens?
– to conceal the unit construction cost of public housing?
– award full tuition grants to foreigners while depriving Singaporeans their right to a place at public universities?
Is it good politics:
– to use the mainstream media for character assassination of opposition politicians?
– for the PM to sue a citizen knowing this will lead to bankruptcy?
– to sell public property to AIM, a $2 PAP-owned company?
– to use fear to control dissenters/criticism of flawed policies?
– to use greed to increase grassroots membership?
– to parachute those with NO relevant experience into leadership positions and ministers?
Closer to truth, bad policies and bad politics certainly go together.
The entire article is full of motherhood statements likely to be from KFC’s mascot and not a president.
PAP has thrived on opacity and unaccountability for 5 decades. One shouldn’t indulge in wishful thinking as PAP will never address these two issues which it fears most.
Transforming an unaccountable government into one that’s accountable will mean the resignation of statutory board CEOs, permanent secretaries or even ministers for epic screw ups. This will never happen under PAP.
Greed, non transparency and unaccountability are all part of PAP’s DNA. Tony Tan’s study to improve our political system is merely propaganda, lip service for much needed change.