Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My Singapore

It has came to my attention after getting some passionate flaming and baseless arguments on Facebook and other forums that there are still lots of people out there that drank the coolade.

Yes, some folks will vote for PAP no matter what who is on the GRC team as long as there is 1 familiar face and 4 "interns" who just want to be in to show young faces and then "sit there and shut up".

Since 1965, I would commend PAP on their fantastic job of transforming Singapore into a great place to live. I was proud to have a World Class Airport, World's busiest port and a Clean and Green City.

The much planning and immaculate execution of great policies led to much support and even though I did not participate in any elections for all my life, I was proud to be a Singaporean.

There is much success, and great Singaporeans we look up to. The Fandi Ahmad, Ang Peng Siong... Many many others that brought glory to Singapore's name. The carefully thought out courtesy campaign, great national education and passionate leaders are people who we respect and look up to.

It seems that after increasing the already high salaries of ministers to millions of dollars a year in 2005(?), many things seem to go downstream. I feel that recently, the scholars seem to be in public service for materialistic gains. There is no real motivation and passion in many of them and if these people had integrity, getting a salary cap of 30 times that of the highest paid bottom 20% earners say, $30k a month should be more than sufficient to live comfortably in Singapore. When is it enough? $5 million a year?

1) There seems to be not much accountability, and when something goes wrong, there is much finger pointing below, or blaming it on "once every 50 years" event.

Being complacent allowed 9/11 to happen, and if leaders do not take responsibility, they will only lead by example. There are cowards who give all sorts of reasons for failures, and those who proactively engaging problems to prevent big disasters from happening.

2) I want more transparency and in many public things. Since there are already so much rules and regulations governing things, why not share the information? I believe many people do not like to be cheated, and to increase accountability, and to force people in the public service to give deeper thoughts before they decide on things, more transparency is needed.

I've witnesses many inefficient usage of public funds, unnecessary building of playgrounds, bus stops and covering of storm drains. And this is mostly done in March / April to finish up the annual budget to get more next year. Are the top scholars in charge of these places planning and deserve their high salaries?

3) I want more public participation in decision making. Public Transportation Commission, a body that is setup to monitor public transportation is worthless. It does not consist of people who take public transportation, and agrees with anything SBS or SMRT proposes.

When the government invests in things which uses vast amounts of funds, or decides on projects that may affect people's lives (like building a nuclear plant), I would love to vote for that.

Many people I've met online felt that "others" are not matured enough to decide, but I feel strongly that if you are old enough to vote, you can decide what is best for you like an adult and should be treated like one.

If a new recycling plant worth $100 million were to be setup, the proposing body should show the benefits, and compare the costs of similar projects overseas, and give us reasons to support it, and not just bulldozed through, and say "there is no group think." -- just "one many decide, and all agree."

I do think if we vote for our representatives, they should speak for us and listen to us. Our representatives should not think that we are not matured to think for ourselves.

There is more complains and much more unhappiness than before. The cost of living has risen, Singapore is more crowded, yet wages at the lower end is still stagnant. As many fall behind, many others benefit. It is easy to blame it on globalization, but where is the leadership and planning that was seen 10 - 15 years ago?

In the past, out leaders plan to lift us to this first world country, but it seems that complacency has set in and with formulation and very standardized ways to do things, have the leaders forgotten to think? Do these people have the capability to meet today's challenges.

Our public service is not inclusive at all. It consists of people in the system, and people with external experience and knowledge are not welcomed.

If the leaders have a passion for materialistic gains and money, and not to serve the public and take accountability, I do not think they deserve to represent Singapore as a minister.

I would urge people to vote with your heart. Just like climate change, there might still be hope for change to happen. Don't vote as status quo, being politically apathy will only lead to more harm to the society you live in and complaining without taking action in your own hands does nothing to improve your position.

Attend rallies, let your representatives know your concern, and let them work for you.

-- Iron Bowl


alarice said...

Good read. Which rallies are you gg to go to?

Iron Bowl said...

meeting friend in Clementi, probably going to the West Coast one.

alarice said...

how was it. my friend attended the hougang one and took a picture of the crowd. she said there must have been 10000 present.