Sunday, November 6, 2011
Bukit Brown Cemetery and policy options
Tan Chuan Jin connects quite well, at least from my point of view. By departing from the usual facts, figures and logic to also ride on the emotional plane, some readers will feel that this politician is also able to feel and communicate that feeling.
Now the larger picture. Our society is fragmenting into groups as we progress at different speeds. The plethora of choices, the diversity of ideas and easy accessibility is accentuating the trend.
Had they decided to do this twenty or may be ten years ago, the reaction would have been more muted. Worse, from reading the response on facebook, many people cannot be persuaded. How shall we go forward keeping in mind Ben Franklin's warning about what is necessary for a successful democracy?
To be practical there will be painful trade offs. The price gets costlier all the time, but let's get beyond this. What is important is that over time we might not have enough at our core (anyone knows what it is?) that we can appeal to for uniting us. A better life (mostly in material terms) would not be sufficiently compelling. For a start we must think of how to grow individual and shared space, both physically and virtually, failing which policy options will keep getting narrower. In this sense, growing our population so rapidly was a terribly unwise idea. The worst way to grow the economy is to add bodies that it is better to suffer slower growth.
Posted by PengYou at 8:58 PM