Monday, 31 December 2012

2013 New Year Day’s Message to PM

Dear PM,
Thank you for taking the time to wish us Happy New Year Day’s via your NYD Message 2013. We understand that you are definitely busy with many initiatives and priorities such as the National Conversation, Budget 2013, Population Paper etc that you have not been able to decide on a by-election date for Punggol East SMC.
I read through the NYD Message 2013 and would like to add a heavy dose of reality and cynicism to the sugar coated over-optimism. Singapore has not made steady progress in 2012, instead the pain associated with a variety of breakdowns in the public transport system, SMRT bus driver strikes, escalating inflation (COEs, housing, daily necessities), over-crowding and continued foreigner “invasion” has made 2012 even worst for Singaporeans.
Tackling the specific points of the NYD 2013 message, the Singapore Conversion has been touted as the Silver Bullet to solve many of our problems and to engage Singaporeans to focus on their futures. The Main Stream Media has no doubt published many photos and videos of Singaporeans involved and enthusiastic about the Singapore Conversation. However, the enlightened ones have already dismissed the whole exercise as a pathetic wayang show ever since the netizens have identified numerous grassroots and PAP associated helpers in the televised debate. I continue to encourage my fellow enlightened Singaporeans to keep up their skepticism and instead insist on taking control of their own destinies by enacting change via the ballot box. It seems that is the only way we are heard.
On the population, the NYD 2013 message has step-sided the key point which Singaporeans have been shouting but never adopted. Singaporeans want to make sure that the guiding principle is “Singaporeans First and Foremost”.  There keeps on being this call and nag that we need to be inclusive of the new arrivals and share Singapore values regardless about where they originally came from. The question is how about all the Singaporeans that did National Service and lived in Hougang ? They had the true Singapore values but were always made to feel like second-class citizens via lack of upgrading and improvements to their estates. Are these Singaporeans worth less than the new arrivals? In my mind, the White Paper on the Population due out will undoubtly remain as a continued propaganda of needing to import foreigners (and if they are rich even better) into Singapore and lead to over-population of 6.5 million people in this crowded little island. What would not been explicated stated would also be the welcoming of rich foreign millionaires who buy their way into Singapore and inflate everything from cars to housing prices. Cases in point are COEs of over S$ 81,000 for 1,600cc and the ECs penthouses being sold for S$ 2.05 million. The imbued objective being, if you are not rich and cannot afford to stay or procreate in Singapore, you are welcomed to leave, even though you were born, raised and contributed to this country.
It is indeed ironic that the NYD 2013 message has also brought the issue on embracing the right values. When Yaw Shin Loong was implicated on his extra-martial affair, the full weight of the lynching party came down on him and requested that he come clean and that he had let down the voters in Hougang. When the same incident happened to Michael Palmer, the PR machinery was flawless in painting him in a good light and requested that he be given space and time to set things right. Double-standards don’t feature well in upholding right values, do they?
This issue on values also leads to another point of discussion, the claim that no system is perfect and that there will always been cracks. Perhaps then we should consider paying people in Public Sector senior positions and political leaders a lot less and not pegged their salaries to the private sector. This scheme may assure that they are joining to uphold the ethos of public service and not to uphold their lavish lifestyles. If Michael Palmer was paid only the median of the Singapore population salary, then maybe he would not be able to afford the expensive Monday-night rendezvous in Fairmount hotel or given to Laura Ong the expensive Dior handbag? Maybe he would focus on making ends meet like the rest of us and still be the MP for Punggol East SMC ?
The true values of the first generation leaders have seemed to be eroded over the years. When the odds were against them with the British departure, being kicked out of Malaysia, needing to provide affordable housing and good jobs to Singaporeans, the first generation leaders were fearless, innovative, self-sacrificing and focused on improving Singaporean lives. Interestingly, these values seemed to be demonstrated by the more credible opposition party members, who have everything to lose and nothing to gain if their political careers fail.  
This reflective response to the NYD 2013 message is intended to be a reality check on the year 2013 and beyond. The NYD 2013 message may have intended to be uplifting but Singaporeans have their eyes wide opened and now live by the creed, “Fool me once, Shame on you. Fool me twice, Shame on me.”

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