Thursday, October 22, 2009

Democracy Singapore Style.

After returning to Singapore, I watch MM Lee's speech, and felt little comfort on how the middle and lower income people would be able to cope with their lives in Singapore. Wages in the future will remain low, standard of living will increase, and many people will just not afford things they are used to. The government seemed not interested in proposing a solution or even considering a minimum wage system as it would make Singapore "less competitive" and somehow getting foreigners will solve everything.

I would disagree on this on many levels, but since I'm in Singapore, I fear for my freedom if I do out down actual opinions as there is certainly going to be repercussions.

On another note, I came across this article "Adviser over MP raises many questions". I am quite surprised that such an article would appear in mainstream newspapers and not be censored, and the situation is a rather grim one. Imagine a democratic system where you vote for your ministers to over see your rights and concerns, however, the government -- largely not elected due to weird laws and policies, controls the civil service and public departments -- to a degree that your appointed minister does not make decisions for you.

To make things more blunt, I believe the public service, including the police, the law courts and various ministries are controlled by a single party rather than the government, making any form of "new ideas" and "new ways for fairer governing" a form of threat which needs to be snuffed out with maximum force.

The ministers that are in the opposition ward are then simply ridiculed, even when they are elected by people, and not given the opportunity to work with the public department for the people they are serving.


"To press home the point that opposition MPs have no right to manage the LUP, the National Development Minister’s press secretary Lim Yuin Chien said in a reply to Workers’ Party MP for Hougang Low Thia Khiang:
‘Mr Low is mistaken when he cites the ‘will of the people’ expressed in general elections to justify why he should play a leading role in the LUP in Hougang.
‘The will of the people expressed in general elections is to elect a government for the country as a whole; and not to elect separate local governments for each constituency.’
Mr Lim added in his letter to The Straits Times Forum Page: ‘Singapore has a one-level system of government. MPs, whether People’s Action Party or opposition, do not constitute a local government in their constituency.’"

You can choose to vote for opposition, but they are not empowered to do anything and decide on anything. For that is the Singapore way.

--Iron Bowl

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