Friday, June 29, 2012
Gardens By the Bay not an easy decision: PM
So it was not an easy decision. You can see the dollars and cents forgone for this - many billions.
This government had always felt uncomfortable spending money if there is no measurable returns; the exception is spending for security.
It was really good that the PM put aside the "price of everything and the value of nothing". Keep at it, don't stop here. Grow a greater faith; deeper conviction and the courage to understand and know how to invest in our people, in social objectives far beyond what we are confident to do today. Don't let the voters force you to do them. Be different from the rest of the world. Be different by leading. What is a leader? It is to take the people to a place they want to go, probably do not know that is really what they want and on their own would never go.
Sure you need to fix housing, public transport, excessive foreigners etc, but don't stop there. In a fast changing world it may be risky and impractical to articulate a vision that in the end was unachievable, but one could go deeper and articulate a set of values and principles which guide a calibrated vision....
I know we would have succeeded when a one generation want to reproduce the next because it is so good to live here. You can't hope to raise the TFR to 2.1 by focusing on it. It is a by product of getting a whole array of policies right which today we do not have sufficient insight and courage to successfully tackle. We look excellent when compared against most other nations. Those who seem to be out doing us, on deeper analysis their models are not sustainable, not even for a generation. They are mostly supported by debt even with natural resources. The hard truth for Singapore: what is considered excellent by outsiders is not good enough for us. To refuse to bring babies into this place is nothing less than a society committing suicide slowly, the ultimate indicator of deep seated unhappiness which we cope by going into denial and not even showing up in happiness surveys.
Gardens by the Bay represents a low hanging fruit in the right direction. Many more things we need to do. They are far harder. Don't settle too easily and that is why the PAP did poorly in the last GE.
Posted by PengYou at 12:07 PM