Sunday, September 9, 2012
PM: Not culling sacred cows
Good that the PM finally come clean that they would be preserving their sacred cows. It never made sense going by the way the committee for national conversation was constituted in the first place. Heng Swee Keat was talking beyond his book. Now he has learned that the electorate is more watchful and sophisticated than before. Raise the game PM. Don't take us for kids.
Looks like we are never going to return to the strong people-government trust of yesterday. We are small or an industry of reading what the government meant from what it says will be born. The government prefer to play games with us when fear overwhelm courage while trying to deliver on their promises which is difficult. Difficult because weaker leaders first show themselves by over promising. Oh political promises! That would make us pretty much eventually like any other nation, especially the British since the structure of our government is modeled on theirs. For those who wish to have a quick education and have some fun at the same time, read the hilariously written, "Yes, Minister" and "Yes, Prime Minister". That's where we are drifting toward eventually but it might be worse if citizens are not vigilant.
Truly had the PM headed the committee himself and sincerely wanted to examine and if necessary slaughter some sacred cows, I wouldn't have bought either. The National Conversation is the wrong platform for the exercise. Only an incompetent PM would do that. This exercise unstated purpose is to train young ministers in a hurry. They don't trust us to be open about their motives. They are often behaving duplicitously with us. So don't blame us for the eroding trust. At least allow us to make Reagan's dictum practical here: Trust but verify, or we are eventually going under because we cannot allow you to play god.
Playing god, i.e, they know best what is good for us is one of the sacred cows. Keep this cow and eventually corruption will creep in and grow, a road paved with layers upon layers of justifications reinforced by group think. There is a ton of evidence from history to testify to this. It is not even a prophecy. It is a certainty. I only hope the Chinese will race ahead of us on this road and give us an unforgettable train wreck lesson before we smash into the wall ourselves. I am just thankful we are slower than them because of our British bequeath. Patriots please check our brakes and use them when the government act funny.
That's the future, meanwhile the government will find itself having to live with shrinking policy space. Trust is directly proportional to policy flexibility. Witness growing NIMBYism here. I am puzzled why they would not want to build and deepen trust with us. It will make this place so much easier to govern. Who can I ask to explain this to me? I can only think of stupid irrational answers. I saw how very smart mandarins became ossified in their thinking and lose flexibility at the twilight of the Qing Dynasty. Every nation that has fallen, has fallen from within. None of us want to be the Nouriel Roubini of our nation. On this, we prefer to be mistaken.
Update: Sep 10
Daughter reminded that there is too much negative energy in Singapore. I hope this brings some relief. A YouTube video on killing sacred cows.
Posted by PengYou at 4:44 PM