Saturday, July 6, 2013

SG must get politics right: PM Lee

Because the PM did not define or clarify what is right politics, how can I not agree with him? What I know is we are heading toward a future where it might not be possible to achieve consensus on what it means to get the politics right. The natural solution is to carve up enough space for different people and set the rules on how they engage each other constructively. However if space means more physical space as it often would, that's a problem.

Different identities, values and priorities among different groups of people living here have different ideas on what supportive politics is. We have not even began the task of informing across groups our differences, i.e., we become aware that we are different or competing when we clash over issues. The short time permitted, the intensity of the clash, I am sure they are the worst possible contexts to forge mutual understanding. There would be little give and take. Think from animal rights to the pink dot movement. Only in a few things we are joined, e.g, substandard public transport, rising cost of living, school pressure etc., all bread and butter issues. As these take up most of the energy of the government the fault lines between interest groups are mostly left alone to take care of themselves.

We are more or less OK today but it also increasingly look like we are learning to become better fire fighters than preventing them. In other words, like the PM warned we will eventually lose our specialness.

Update: 2:50pm

Just a convenient example I could use today. This family has two kitchens.

As we become more successful we demand more space and that need is met by the ones who could afford it. How will a growing number of such people result in the right politics for Singapore with such tiny real estate?

In every sphere we are creating isolation spaces where people who are different from us are kept out until we collide into each other.

Yesterday right politics is not suitable for tommorrow.

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