PM Lee Hsien Loong's speech that there is not enough good people in Singapore to form another team of government ministers is less than convincing, to say the least. That the PAP has tried their level best to attract good people into the party and to stand for elections but failed does not mean that there are not enough good and capable people who can take over the government. Most of the new PAP faces come from government or the trade unions. You wonder why. I think there is an obligation factor involved or even a ladder-climbing opportunity, I mean, for the serving civil servants. After all, they don't have to resign their civil service posts if they become MP, do they? The PAP has wondered why people from the private sector are so reluctant to go into politics. I think these are possible reasons, which, I am sure the PAP also knows:
1. Being in government will make no difference to career advancement in the private sector. What's more, loose change under the table is an unpardonable sin. In the private sector, under the table shenanigans are sometimes obligatory to move the business agenda forwards, no?;
2. The good people know there is already a good government, so they wouldn't be able to contribute significantly more. In this sense, the PAP is a victim of its own success;
3. The good people don't agree with the PAP, which isn't the same as not agreeing with the government. Perhaps some of the ways the PAP does things, their policies and approaches just put these people off;
4. They don't like playing politics, at least not in public though they may not shy away from it in the office. The variables are far less in the office compared to the public. They are in control, not controlled;
5. The PAP is looking for Saints. So the good people don't want their past to be dredged up, for example, forgetting to pay that $100 tax 10 years ago, whether intentional or not. There is such a thing known as guilt by association;
6. The sixth is an extension of the 5th. They don't want dirt to be digged up about their close ones, or even the not so close ones, although they were in the least at fault themselves;
7. They don't see themselves as patriots who feel they have a responsibility to give back to society. This doesn't make them bad people, does it?;
8. They value time spent with the family more than power and glory;
9. They don't want to be traumatized and have some senior person tell on them; and
10. They hate white shirts and trousers / dress pants.
Well, ok, the last reason is somewhat frivolous, but your can't blame people for their dress sense. But you know, there are about enough reasons to stay out, at least for those thousands who are successful in the private sector. If there aren't these thousands of good people out there, who do you think is bringing wealth into Singapore? The sitting MPs?