Monday, June 13, 2011

Japan nuclear crisis and our Elected Presidency

I feel a growing sense of unease as I read this article from the NYT, "In Nuclear Crisis, Crippling Mistrust". I wasn't thinkig of Japan, but what Singapore someday might face. I wasn't thinking of a local nuclear crisis. Just any crisis fits the bill. What about the way we had been managing the floods? The explanations from PUB and MEWR are clearly unacceptable. To me they are clueless and feckless.

Next I thought of the Elected President. He could be easily overwhelmed as PM Naoto Kan was. I am starting to have doubts this institution could work. One President, his council of advisers against the government and civil service.The President can be easily overwhelmed. I think the President ought to be the custodian of government transparency. He is presently not. We need new ideas and strategies for growing transparency of governance here. How much accountability can you achieve without adequate transparency?

From the article:

“It’s more of an emotional thing,” Mr. Matsumoto said of Mr. Kan. “He never trusts bureaucrats.”

That is a legacy from Mr. Kan’s stint as health minister in the mid-1990s, when he became wildly popular after exposing his own ministry’s use of blood tainted with H.I.V., which led to hundreds of hemophiliacs dying of AIDS. Mr. Kan found that bureaucrats and pharmaceutical company officials had long known of the tainted blood.


  1. the people voted in the government. let hem do the job and if they are not up to the mark, vote them out the next time. the president should not be involved in politics. let the opposition watch over the government.

  2. in my opinion it was necessary to ask for help from Russia, and not to be pompous gobbler

  3. @ Anon 5:47
    Vote them out!? Easier said than done once they have the power. Many countries had no choice but resort to violence. Transparency would help reduce such risk. It is a mater of which is a lesser evil: unjust-peace or just-war!

  4. of the 2, i choose unjust peace... Having said that, i am sure things will get better. Cheers!!