Saturday, July 25, 2015

Time Interview: Perplexed by LHL's choice

Read this last night, quite impressed with the PM vocabulary but also quietly sad near the end of my read.

Lula and Merkel? I think LHL is better than either of them. Anyway his father would have chosen past characters and he had in Charles de gaulle, Winston Churchill, Deng Xiaoping.

What if Merkel messed it up tomorrow? She is only holding together the Eurozone but not leading it. She is not able to carry the Germans along to a European future. Opinion polls is running her. LHL should have chosen an unambiguous historical character.

My worry? Sometimes I don't understand why some of his choices were smart and that is why we have this foreign population problem and a dysfunctional subway system.

I think we will get by but we will only do very well like the last fifty years if we have a better man. I fear the next person to take over wouldn't even be as able as him.

Singapore is such a hard place to run.


  1. You're too deferential. He's able ?????
    Give me a break.
    You keep "excusing" him for the major debacles under him, ie. relentless growth of foreign population driven by growth at all costs, and MRT breakdowns. Its as if, he was never in charge. Or new on the job. Or that all these foreigners walked in overnight and we were caught by surprise. For goodness sake, I wish you'll call a spade a spade sometimes. This is a guy with 20 years apprenticeship. He's been in charge for the last 10 years, not 1 year. And he ruled during a period with total political power, overseen by a strong father ready to crush any hint of dissent. If he decrees that Singaporeans shall bow to the East twice a day, it shall be done. He inherited a strong, united Singapore with deep reservoirs of goodwill and strength and systematically depleted them during the last 10 years. For what??

    Yes, you can say that we have limited resources, we are special, we have no room for failure. For goodness sake, take a look at South Korea (did you watch the show - "Ode to My Father"?). Sgp was fabled to have grown from a "fishing village" (if you believe this spin) to 1st world under LKY. South Korea literally rose from the ashes of war to a 1st world. Yet, with the absence of a total Lee family dictator or the kind of absolute power with the PAP we have today. Over the last 10 years, South Korea's growh was no less impressive and yet there was no need to dilute the local population to just over 50% today.

    As a leader, when was the last time LHL inspired you with his words?

    Just think about it objectively.

    As you mentioned in one of your old blog posts, its not that we don't have GKS or LKS today. They exist. But they're just not in today's PAP govt. And no wonder - why should a high calibre person join the PAP govt when the first and foremost requirement is that he shalt not be better than his boss and he shalt accept all the 50 or so sacred cows that the PAP hadth cultivated over the years?

    Sgp is not as hard a place to run as you mentioned above. We are a uniquely far-sighted people and remarkably willing to bear with short-term sacrifices for long term gains. The problem is with our leaders. We have bear with much "short-term" sacrifices over the last 10 years - overcrowding, loss of jobs for local PMETs, housing and car prices out of reach, no sense of security - but where's the long-term gains?

    1. You must have read my blog in a real hurry and then share a comment longer than my blog post. I gave him a backhanded compliment. I thought was a very succinct way to tell you we agree more than it seems superficially :-)

      But without going into the details I think we need to be realistic and practical as well. It is not like we could or know how to hold a contest to find the GKSes etc., You have to live with what you have got and make things better in feasible instead of wishful ways.

      A wise man calls a fool wise. How wise is the former? I am not referring to you of course.