Friday, September 16, 2011

Speaking for Pappy

Frankly, I don't think the PAP needs anyone to speak for itself. However this is what the Facebook page,  Fabrications about the PAP purports to do. When a party is not able to convince the electorate anymore, and part of the electorate needs to speak up for them, then something is very wrong with the PAP, seriously.

Don't get me wrong. I am not an hardcore blame-the-PAP for anything and everything person. If you have followed this blog all these many years, you will note that I support certain government policies and initiatives. But equally, I express my disagreement and sometimes, displeasure, when I, well, don't agree. I try to take a balanced stance. The Fabrications Facebook page writes about truth and lies. Sometimes, even with the best of intentions, it is really difficult to tell the difference and point to something as belonging to one or the other. We ordinary citizens have no access to government papers and discussion, and lets be frank about it - I don't trust anyone and everyone, at least not all the time, and this applies to the PM and the ESM. That's their job, the government machinery, to convince me of their sincerity and truthfulness. I promise to lend my ears, and I will make up my mind based on the balance of evidence. I may be wrong, but nobody can accuse me of blind trust. Truth be told, I have been ridiculed and reprimanded by my kopi-buddies when I openly supported Tony Tan. I have been given the scold stare when I openly rejected Tan Jee Say. And I have been criticized similarly in these pages as well. You note that I have never deleted any of the comments which contain criticism, It is the lay of the land. You give and you take. I am not better than you and neither are you, I believe, better than me. Many silent in the majority, some vociferous in the minority. Either way, all have reasons for their point of view, whether you agree or not.

I do not claim to be anything more than a voice, subject to abuse and the occasional praise. It's just that I try to be as reasonable as I can, for the sake of country and society, and yes, for change when necessary. A party that thinks it is always right, and refuses to change when it is manifestly wrong is just delaying the day of its demise.And that applies to the Opposition as well.

One thing though - why do I need to be anonymous? Frankly, fear of the inconvenience of having to explain myself to certain overzealous 'officials'. If you think I am reasonable, then good. If you think I am spouting nonsense and wasting my, and your, time, that's your privilege to do so.

My $0.02 worth.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

PAPolitical Association

I agree with the good professor, Tan Ern Ser. He said that "PA's actions may erode the moral ground of the PAP and dilute its political capital". (reported in Yahoo News Singapore, 2 Sep 2011). He is referring to the People's Association's (PA) policy not to appoint Opposition MPs as advisers to its grassroots organisations because they cannot be expected to implement government policies, for which the PA was set up in the first place. This would have been non-controversial, say 20 or 30 years ago when the PAP dominated the government, and thereby any state organ and statutory board, of which the PA is one. In these many years, we have had an enlightened government which, for the most part, put the people in its centre as it built up the nation's hard infrastructure, and its soft infrastructure, such as the PA. Almost all constituency wards were held by the party and it made sense to have its own MPs become advisers to this grassroot organisation in its constituencies to promote the governments' policies. This is all nice and dandy, and nobody should fault this government strategy to win the hearts and minds of the people. After all, should the Opposition one day come to power, they would want to also make use of this powerful organ to its own advantage.

But what is good in one era may not be so in another for the PAP government. PM Lee had said in May 2011, after the PAP won with reduced margins and lost 6 seats, including a supposed impregnable GRC, that today's electorate is different, and that the PAP government has to do some "soul-searching and studying". He also said that the call for a "transformed PAP...would not go unheeded". That is 3 and half months ago. With this latest PA saga, those words appear to be quite empty. But wait, just this fortnight, DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam, commenting on Dr Tony Tan's slim margin of victory in the Presidential election, said that "politics here has become more pluralistic and the trend will continue...". And what has the PAP done about this? From the same said saga, nothing, zilch, tiada, ஒன்றுமில்லை, 无. It does not appear that anything will change at all, as far as the PAP is concerned.

Perhaps history will record this PA incident to be a turning point in politics in Singapore. Faced with a near lost election and government inertia, erstwhile fence-sitters and moderate conservatives will switch their allegiance to Opposition Parties staking moderate and sensible views, such as the Workers Party. The elephant has started to move, as the electoral pattern in the Presidential elections has shown. When they stampede, there will be no stopping them. And the tragedy will be that the PAP does not know what hit them.