Friday, May 19, 2006

Random responses to comments on someone else's blog

Reproduced for my own sorry records:


Seems like a lot of noise in this entry's comments, but what are the positions here?

Pro-PAP arguments:
1. Economic stability and Progress
2. No-PAP = Philippines/Indonesia and other failed democracies.
3. Democracy is for the birds. Give me peace and stability any-day.
4. No corruption from PAP.

Can these premises be demolished.

Democracy does not mean anachy and regress. the UK/US/Europe all have high per-capita GDP & standards of living, and these did not arise out of a permanent autocracy in their democracies. (Magaret Thatcher, for all the good she did, was kicked out when the British decided she had 'served' her purpose.)

No-PAP - We don't even have enough squabbling political parties to end up in a situation like the Philippines, or even Italy and the rest of Europe. We have a few old political parties (sans PAP) without a lot of good leadership, nor any new blood. Why is this so? Because it has been systematically trained out of the Singapore population that politics = bad and PAP=good. Don't you love brainwashing? For the forseeable future (5-10 years?) we cannot turn into the Philippines overnight if PAP loses majority in an election, because the opposition isn't good enough yet. For our society to evolve to the next level of civilization (that means no more 1st world infrastructure, 3rd world mindset), we have to leave behind the "Junzi" (gentleman-scholar) mindset of always believing that someone 'better' knows better. We have to learnt to take care of ourselves ourselves.

Peace and Stability can exist without a democracy. Even in North Korea there is 'peace and stability' (not much else.) There is a misconception that peace and stability will not exist if Singapore does not have a democracy. If we had inefficient bureaucracies and governmental (NOT Political) corruption, then yes, we would not have peace and stability in a democracy.

Singapore is known for having a corruption-free governmental bureaucracy. That is a mainstay in our attraction for foreign investment. Having more opposition members in Parliament does not mean that our bureaucracies will be come corrupt.

I believe there are sufficient examples over history that no party will ever be corruption free, PAP included.

What the pro-democracy supporters can use to enhance civil dialogue:

1. A rigourous media industry with different perspectives help ensure that any shady games played by anyone will be efficiently brought to the attention of the country.

2. Singaporeans need to learn to be responsible for themselves, and not wait for an authority to tell them what they should do to take care of themselves.

3. We are a 1st-world economy competing with other 1st-world economies. It is no longer possible to just copy someone else's successful economic model. This means we need freedom of ideas to compete with other 1st-world economies' ideas, but our education culture does not encourage a free mind.

4. Singapore needs to grow up. We cannot as a society remain forever 'babied' by the agents that we give the authority to govern us.

A government serves the people, but in Singapore, it seems, the people are just 'employees' of Singapore,Inc, and encouraged to to go Malaysia when we are of no more economic use.



Looking at Europe's history, and The US's history, democracy is not an overnight event. It is a gradual process of civic realization that a society is made up OF us, and not made up FOR us.



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