Monday, March 23, 2015

The beginning of a new era: Singapore 2.0


Today marks the beginning a a new era. The passing of a man -- Lee Kuan Yew. Many people credit him for turning Singapore from a Malaria ridden British Colony to an air-conditioned Metropolis.

There is no doubt that his style of leadership with single minded push to bring Singapore this far is commendable, and his ideals that help shaped the country, while benefiting some groups of people, had some consequences which will indeed affect future generations as well.

One of the policy "Stop at Two" is largely effective in reducing the population growth, but with TFR at 0.8, Singapore does face a situation where the population does not replace itself.

When Mr Lee took a step back, but is still involved in politics by being Mentor Minister, MM, many policies which he and his team designed and built were slowly eroded. Casinos were allowed in Singapore, Formula 1 came to Singapore, the public were more eager to voice their opinions on the government's policies and PAP suffered their worst performance with 60.1% approval rate, yet getting 81/87 seats in parliament. Change was inevitable.

There was no doubt that Mr Lee dedicated his life to build Singapore in his vision and he believed it was for the good of all Singaporeans. (except for those who threatened him in 1963 and later in 1987)

With the passing of this great man, I expect some change to slowly come to Singapore. The principles we learn from the founding fathers have changed much and although, many of them were still relevant today, some of them were not followed anymore.

There future presents many challenges ahead. The government and PAP can continue with the authoritarian rule and build an elitist society or build a more inclusive society which supports everyone no matter which economic background you come from.

In the national budget 2015, there seem to be a slight move towards this direction, instead of the rhetoric, "Everyone needs to be responsible for their own health and finances."

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There is a lot of talk about Singapore failing without the lead of PAP, and with the passing of their glorious leader, there seems to be a heavy solemn mood in the air today, rather than anarchy breaking on the streets burning Singapore to the ground. (There is burning in the air due to Haze and Forest Fires though)

I guess with this historic event happening, we should all reflect -- both citizens and ministers -- on how to proceed forward. It is a wake up call for those who are politically apathetic to perhaps be more active in their communities if they wish to participate in building and shaping their nation, a Singapore 2.0.

Perhaps a more inclusive society, with less restriction on the media space is a good start, after all business, arts and culture does support one another, and restricting opinions will only limit our options in better solutions to face the future.

-- Iron Bowl

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