Monday, May 2, 2011
No Dr. Goh Keng Swee so we need opposition in parliament
Our lives have been harder the further we are separated by time with his policies because we do not have another Dr. Goh to jump out of the now old box Dr. Goh had created as he thought out of the box then.
SM Goh thinks Tan Jee Say was not Perm Sec material. Dr. Goh had wanted to field him under the PAP banner. Tony Tan said let him establish his career first. Today Tan Jee Say has a bold economic plan. The changes he proposed from it are transformational. It is as promising as it is frightening. Our courage has not been tested for a long time, I wonder if it is still there. I am surer of it in our people than the government though. How so? Because they have failed to ignite our hearts and fire our imagination in the face of uncertainties. I hate it when they tell us to leave the worries to them. Singapore is not them. Their way of governance, we will never grow up. So quietly we grew up without their guidance. They ran the country we educated ourselves. We could because Singapore is an open city. It was easy because we are comfortable in English where almost all the ideas subversive to this government's ways are coded.
I asked myself, had Dr. Goh stayed around longer, would Tan Jee Say had been fielded? Perhaps. We cannot be sure. May be Tan Jee Say should have left the country like Chen Show Mao. I can't imagine Chen would have done as well professionally if he had remained in Singapore with its more limited opportunities space.
Dr. Goh was able to make sense of social, political and economic changes better than his colleagues, including Lee Kuan Yew. However Lee Kuan Yew was the better communicator and political operator. He was probably the more determined man too, but given Dr. Goh quieter dispositions, it is hard to tell unless one is in the inner circle.
Today our leaders do not have the synthesizing abilities to put the pieces of the jigs jaw puzzle together like Dr. Goh was able to. Dr. Goh or our present leaders, we will always have to feel the pebbles underneath while crossing the river. The difference is Dr. Goh knew how to read the pebbles better and that was crucial to us. With that Singapore led the world. With our present leaders, we are merely model students of the best minds outside Singapore. Honestly there is not much new thinking from Lee Kuan Yew save those that infuriate us e.g., the Graduate Mothes's Scheme. Anyway the findings of the last fifteen years have proven his ideas nurture vs nature wrong but he has stubbornly refused to admit it.
In securing the future of Singapore, I asked myself would the present PAP led government be capable of allowing another Dr. Goh to emerge. I don't think so. The answer is simple: You have to be an intelligent Yes-Man. They play a game of "Yes" so cleverly that a sizable segment of the population bought it. I am seeing the result of that: A disproportionate number of PAP supporters cannot think. The anti-PAP types are generally smarter even if to me much of their thinking is flawed. Often there is no original thinking. A lot of their ideas are recycled from the west, who are more persuasive peddling them. For them, PAP lost in the beauty contests of ideas.
I believe Singapore is now able to produce more than one Dr. Goh and Lee Kuan Yew but they can never come from within the PAP, which means we have to support the opposition for them find their footing. The PAP needs opposition because it lacks a special quality God has: God is both familiar and surprising. The PAP is familiar and dead boring, the evidence of sophisticated groupthink. Had they been able to imitate a little of the godliness, I would unreservedly support them. Get real! The PAP are constituted of men and women who wouldn't be there if they were not handsomely paid. I asked for the impossible. The only way to help the PAP do better is us. And the practical way to achieve that is to do so within the law and that is provided for as opposition in parliament.
I am convinced we need opposition in parliament. What is moot is should I support the ones who have offered themselves to us in our GRC.
Remember Dr. Goh had repeated walkovers in his Kreta Ayer constituency. It was stupid to contest against him. Today PAP MPs do not deserve to be treated like Dr. Goh. I am glad most of them are being challenged to defend their seats. I am unhappy that they are uncreative about it, following a template. I was glad that former MP Tan Cheng Bock resisted their cookie cutter strategy and succeeded spectacularly. I am unhappy that the GRC system had given us stability but only by making the system more fragile and prone to catastrophe.
Posted by PengYou at 8:30 AM