Saturday, May 31, 2014

Clash: CSM vs Cedric Foo

I read online some people asked why Cedric Foo was attacking Chen Show Mao over immigration when his speech was about ageing successfully and working happily as we grow old. The link people missed from Cedric Foo is that the former MOS and his party are cynical about CSM's vision which is based on laudable values and urging us to fight for it to become reality. And it is not even half as untenable as making improbable Singapore probable. The old PAP and the present only shares a name but not much else. The WP is trying to pick up what the new PAP threw away and many Singaporeans want the old PAP.

So this what they meant by CSM's mumbling and incoherent.

But I think they have completely misread the man because the way to understand him is to go back to his maiden speech in Parliament.

CSM took every opportunity to fight for the elderly. He respected and thought highly of them and is always persuading the house how they are wells of experience, wisdom and social capital. He was farseeing as we can see how the PAP government dim attitude toward older people was forced into a U-turn resulting in the pioneer generation package.

If CSM appear hesitant debating with Cedric Foo, I read that as an exasperated man rejecting many easy repartee from his mind and trying to figure out how to stop this senseless and time wasting debate. Meanwhile his ever wily SG had time to think and took over to silence Cedric Foo. Of course some saw that as LTK coming to his aid. Carry on, the WP love its opponents to underestimate them so that they would continue with their predictable behavior and they could roll out more Trojan Horses.

If you do not share LKY's public view of  CSM as "not so brilliant" the man is easy to read because the guy is so consistent with only one main message: create a supportive and conducive environment for the elderly to continue working. Even many of his Facebook pictures are with senior citizens.

The PAP trapped in their arrogant frames cannot and will not read their opponents correctly. They will pay a very heavy price eventually.

CSM never articulated this: he doesn't believe people should retire if they can have meaningful and enjoyable work. He just skipped that because no-retirement is impossible to sell politically but given the chance would create that environment and give these greying folks time to catch up and realize that they could not afford to retire. I could understand CSM because I belonged to the smaller group who had worked through this issue and realized most of us simply cannot afford to quit working. PAP policy makers think otherwise and are blindsided. Naturally they insisted on high rates of immigration to support disabled and unable old people. Of course there will be more disabled people tomorrow but the numbers will not be a large as feared.

The fatal weakness of the PAP beside its failure to communicate (until recently they never needed this skill) is that it takes us for granted. Anytime they would choose the policy option that is easier for them to be successful with no regard to the hardship the people have to endure. We are just simply fed up being brutalized by their policies, by their scare tactics. I imagine visiting leaders in private must envy what an easier job this government is having because its people are so "听话". I am sorry but this cornerstone they counted on has cracked and they have been scrambling ever since 2011 giving the WP what they want for us. If this is what's happening, why would CSM want to have a fight with any PAP MP? Especially hidden behind the curtain he is one of the brain trust for the party.

Update: June 2 10:50am 

Come across two naughty ministers, will there be a third and so on? They are all the same eh? I had expected this two ministers to be smarter especially Shanmugam.

Update: June 2 11:00am

Ah, two interesting comments accompanied that clip above. Now what do the PAP have to say to Jack Yiak and OC Yeo. I think they will ignore both of them - big mistake.

Repeating till I am already hoarse, this is what happen when the PAP is just top boy in a class of failures among governments. You can have no opposition in Parliament if you are able to earn it but you hadn't. You can make it difficult for them to get in but the will of people can only be resisted for so long.

  • Jack Yiak there are two principles brought up in the exchange which probably warrant a more critical look. 

    first is the idea that we need a bigger working population to pay for the needs of a bigger retired/older population. it follows from this line of thinki
    ng that if this working population is to be supplemented by immigrants, then the immigrants would contribute to the retirement of the older population. i guess we probably need to agree whether or not people should pay for their own retirement. if we agree that people should pay for their own retirement, then why would we need to tap taxes from immigrants to pay for the needs of a bigger retired/older population. if we are indeed under-saving for retirement or under-taxed for future needs, then the right if painful actions should be towards looking at how to increase savings/ current taxes rather than looking to fund it through external sources

    second is the implied concept that as the working population drops, we need more workers to replace them, and therefore we need immigrants. this is putting the cart before the horse. all else being equal, if we have half the working population, then we need half the number of jobs. people need jobs, jobs don't need people (of course, this is assuming we agree that people should pay for their own retirement, which we seem to be in the way cpf is set up (segregated accounts) and probably culturally as well)

    apart from these 2 points, more fundamentally, having more immigrants in itself is a stop-gap solution in the sense that as long as fertiltiy rate is below 2 or if productivity remains constant, it becomes the fall-back. there is a finite number of people for the space we have whether the number is 6.9, 10 or 20. the only ways out of this cycle is either increased fertility or increased productivity (what i can think of anyway). without these changes, it is reasonable to think that come 2030, we would be talking about a population white paper that recommends [8,10,12] population. (happy to hear arguments why this wouldn't be the logical sequitur)
    Like · Reply · 7 · 10 hrs
  • OC Yeo Sir. I have to wonder first about MediaCorp's purpose of this extended news clip that lasted minutes when typically they would telecast just seconds. Was it because they thought viewers would be very interested in CSM's view on this hot issue? Or because they saw that the manner in which he handled the question was most newsworthy? Same questions would apply when ministers start to propagate the clips. To what end? 

    If it were because of the first reason, that viewers would be very keen to know WP's position, then fine. But sadly, because of the out of the usual extended coverage, I suspect there is something else.

    I would say this. Clips like that may not put the WP in good light, but like Bertha Henson noted, it sure does not make the PAP any likeable. GE2011 was a turning point of our history. You can't deny that. Rightly or wrongly, people have also seen that this makes the PAP stay on guard. Can't prove it but the purported shift of your party to left of centre would NOT have happened without GE2011 and WP. So the people have already gained. 

    There is no turning back to the days of a single dominant party. A significant segment of us wants to see a Parliament that has a much better balance than even today. So clumsy blatant attempts to discredit your political adversaries can only backfire. After all, supporters of the opposition also know the great odds they have to work against. You accuse them of not stating alternative policies. When some do, you ridicule them, not without good reasons though the manner stinks. Why this state of affairs? Because the opposition parties do not have access to the information and data they need to craft credible alternative policies at this point. Because they are disadvantaged by a lack of a large machinery to digest through the data and problem analysis to see what's a better alternative. And yes, because they do not have better people today.

    But does this change the supporters view of the opposition? Barely so. In fact, you can only succeed to make yourselves appear more obnoxious. 

    The mood for a significant opposition is here to stay. If you truly believe there is such a thing as "constructive politics" then please for the good of my children's generation, start working to create a more conducive environment and system. I am not asking that you support them for their opposition work, but build the basics as a matured democracy would have ... constructively for the future so that we all gain. That would be my hope.
    Like · Reply · 2 · 1 hr

Update: June 6, 1:35pm

Very often seen with senior citizens. I don't even have to look. Here's one I just came across.

1 comment:

  1. Why why why it's always the old generation that get all the meat and the bones

    the young future is bleak

    cant you see that old people

    where's ur love?