Chan Chun Sing’s ‘reform’ call hews to form

It is depressing how quickly brand new ministers, supposedly the flag bearers for the People’s Action Party government’s reform and renewal, adopt the mindset of the old guard. Chan Chun Sing, barely two months into his job as Acting Minister for Community, Youth and Sports, has just showed himself to be a breath of stale air.

At a public forum over the weekend, he effectively told people to shut up if they had no suggestions worth implementing. This recalls the trope, used with annoying frequency ten to twenty years ago, and still occasionally resorted to today by dull minds, distinguishing between “constructive criticism” and “non-constructive” ones.

Despite the seductiveness of those words, it is never about being “constructive” since it does not take a lot of  inquiry to discover that its meaning is elusive; one can never objectively decide whether a criticism is “constructive” or not. It is always a relative term, depending on what one wants to build upon.

In actual fact then, what this device does is to delegitimise criticism that does not first genuflect to the prevailing paradigm. In other words, a criticism has to implicitly acknowledge the uncontestability of the existing model — be it a model of how healthcare is delivered and paid for, or the model of how media should “serve nation-building”, or the model of how public transport should always remain profitable — and merely offer improvements on that model, before it is blessed with the label “constructive” and accorded the possibility (only the possibility, not certainty) that it will be taken into consideration.

Any criticism that challenges the prevailing paradigm is labelled  “unconstructive” and thus delegitimised.

Bedecking the man with pompous military honours, the Sunday Times reported:

Major-General (NS) Chan Chun Sing, the youngest member of the Cabinet, yesterday urged young people to ask themselves whether their ideas can move the country forward, rather than just ‘throw stones, cast doubt and tear down institutions’.

— Sunday Times, 3 July 2011, ‘Don’t throw stones… offer better ideas’, by Rachel Chang

Slightly different words, but clearly rehashing the same old “constructive criticism” trope. Chan, however, offered a new twist. In addition to asking for inputs that match acceptability criteria, he also wants citizens to execute those ideas themselves (but please continue to pay your taxes to the government).

He returned often to his conviction that young people must ask less what the Government can do for them, and more what they can do for themselves.

‘Small problems or big problems, we always ask: What is the Government doing?’ he lamented. ‘There is a certain mentality (that makes me) worry.

‘We can do much more to take charge of the destiny of our life than to ask, what is Government doing?’

He said he would rather see young people telling the Government: I believe in this, give me some help and I will do it.

— ibid.

Rachel Zeng had a quick reply, which she penned on her blog. Saying, look here, Chan boy, I have tried, but. . .

Police harassed us, agents followed us, PAP politicians complained about us via mainstream media.

Do you know how it is like, to keep on advocating for what one truly believes in and face the risk of police harassment? Do you know how it is like, to write to the government offering suggestions, send petitions and yet to have our efforts ignored? Sometimes your fellow comrades even went as far as to say that we are people who are collaborating with western infiltrators, as if we are working towards the downfall of our country. Do you know?

http://rachelzeng.wordpress.com/2011/07/04/dear-mr-chan-chun-sing/

Indeed, she put her finger to the insincerity of it all. If you want people to carry out their own ideas, you have to free up the space for them to do so — and that means a commitment to respect civil freedoms and human rights. It means allowing the space for some citizens to go about convincing other citizens of their point of view, allowing citizens the freedom to organise and to press their case.

The problem for the government becomes apparent very quickly. If they allow that much freedom to citizens to debate that’s right and wrong, what’s good and bad, and to get things done in the manner they want, the government loses its primacy in deciding what’s right, wrong, good, bad and how to get there.

Speaking as a gay activist, for example, I have no problem with the notion that it is the job of gay people and their heterosexual supporters to convince other citizens of the rightness of our case, to point out the fallacy of our opponents’ arguments, and ultimately to shift public opinion and to change society. It is our job to organise and to raise money. But at every turn, the government steps in to ban this, ban that, censor this, censor that, penalise this member of our community and gag that other one so he or she cannot help our cause, and very often too, bend over backwards to allow our opponents to do what we cannot do (and sometimes funding them).

And then they say, oh, since society has not changed, the state must continue to discriminate against gay citizens. Don’t expect us, the government says, to take the lead and change our laws; you should first change society.

What Chan wants — or worse, what Chan does not even realise his words mean — is that people should shut up and set about doing those things that further the government’s goals consistent with its unquestioned paradigms. That would make a “better society” for which the government will take credit. The energies of the government are then freed to better police the state and citizenry so that those setting out to do things contrary to the paradigms are more efficiently stopped.

Do not “tear down institutions”, he said. What institutions? The police? The courts? Parliament? The electoral system? Our mainstream media? The civil service? They don’t look like institutions to me when the way they operate, they do nothing to defend fairness, justice, and the rights of citizens, including the right to dissent. What he calls “institutions” are more accurately described as mechanisms of control, in which case, he was calling on people, in his speech, not to “throw stones, cast doubt and tear down mechanisms of control”.

The minister should sit down, shut up and think before he speaks.

52 Responses to “Chan Chun Sing’s ‘reform’ call hews to form”


  1. 1 Poker Player 7 July 2011 at 18:01

    “It is depressing how quickly brand new ministers…”

    But not surprising. The LKY generation were all originals. The GCT one was the first attempt at cloning. Chan boy is 1st generation production grade.

  2. 2 Anonymous 7 July 2011 at 18:03

    This is why ‘change from within’ doesn’t really work very well. The people you bring in got there precisely because they adhere to the party line. This will seldom result in any truly original ideas as they are cast in the same mold as the old.

    So all these ‘fresh’ cabinet faces likely represent only a superficial change to our governing decisions.

  3. 3 email.urbanrant@gmail.com 7 July 2011 at 18:32

    To the point. Good writing.

    But then again, i have never had much respect for a 2 star general who has yet to kill his first enemy or see his 1st man gets killed.

    We have paper generals. And these generals have very good paper qualifications.

  4. 4 Anonymous 7 July 2011 at 18:47

    you hit the nail on the head

  5. 5 david 7 July 2011 at 19:52

    If this is how the Gov’t responses to “engagement” then lets forget it. Don’t bother to talk to them, talk among ourselves and plan for 2016 and end the matter.

  6. 6 Stop Lecturing Us - What Are Your Action Plans for MCYS? 7 July 2011 at 20:02

    Bravo Alex.
    Nothing upsets me more than a government leader using the phrase “constructive criticism”.

    There is no such thing as “constructive” criticism.

    Criticism is either true or false. Valid or invalid.
    It does not need to be “constructive.”
    And the critic does not need to offer any solutions.

    For example:
    “Singapore has problems controlling floods.”

    If the ruling party had accepted the criticism straight away, we would have been 12 months ahead of present day schedule in looking for a solution.

    Instead, we had the usual rounds of denials.
    And we needed the 2nd Great Orchard Road Floods to prove that the criticism was valid.

  7. 7 Jonathan 7 July 2011 at 20:03

    I feel the same way. On the point, very critical, nice post!

  8. 8 Sgcynic 7 July 2011 at 20:30

    It does not matter if a criticism is valid and insightful, if the listener and stakeholder finds it not to his liking and dismisses it instead of taking constructive action to improve matters. In this case, would a suggestion be “constructive”? Sure, blame the one who criticizes instead of the one responsible for the mess or the one who is supposed to gather and act on the feedback.

    I am not surprised by the likeness of Mr Chan to his counterparts in the PAP. After all he was selected and parachuted into a ministerial post not just for his alleged competence and ability but probably also for his subscription to the mindset of the incumbent. I would only say Fat Hope to him that if he thinks he can engage / motivate me to ‘kee chiu’ with his current charisma and eloquence. As an analogy, Mr Chan is like the Fun Pack Song. Non original, cheesy, fake

  9. 9 So? 7 July 2011 at 22:11

    The thing is, he became MP and appointed as acting Minister. And doesn’t matter too whether in becoming one, he had won the election or through walkover.

    So therefore he can say what he wanted to say and even has power to implement what he said or think is right.

    As blogger do you?

  10. 10 eucalyptus 7 July 2011 at 22:28

    “What institutions? The police? The courts? Parliament? The electoral system? Our mainstream media? The civil service? They don’t look like institutions to me when the way they operate, they do nothing to defend fairness, justice, and the rights of citizens, including the right to dissent.”

    I don’t think this sweeping statement is fair. The civil service keeps much of Singapore running and while not perfect the other institutions like the police and the courts do protect Singaporeans. Is it really true that they do NOTHING to defend “fairness, justice and the rights of citizens?”. I would say Singaporeans would be much worse off without.

  11. 11 kitty 7 July 2011 at 23:00

    Actually, BG Tan (NS) seems to be doing OK as the Minister of State at MOM. He seems to adapt to civilian life a lot better than MG Chan (NS). I know people thought that having a “chat” with the recruitment agency which advertised for PRs and foreigners was nothing, but would you want to mess with a BG from the army when it comes to employment in Singapore?

    • 12 Poker Player 8 July 2011 at 11:13

      “I know people thought that having a “chat” with the recruitment agency which advertised for PRs and foreigners was nothing, but would you want to mess with a BG from the army when it comes to employment in Singapore?”

      Am I the only one who thinks there is something wrong here? You like the “Tai-koh in a bad neighbourhood” approach to solving policy problems?

      • 13 kitty 9 July 2011 at 17:48

        Dealing with a rogue recruitment agency is one thing and solving policy problems is another. If I were a rogue recruitment agency who is out to discriminate blatantly against Singaporeans and gets a call from BG Tan, and he comes down hard on me, I wouldn’t want to “play punk” with him. Maybe being a BG might not factor into whether one will take him seriously. But I still wouldn’t want to “play punk” with him.

        On the other hand, I believe BG Tan is a fair and logical person who has Singaporeans at his heart and is willing to help Singaporeans and ensure they get a fair deal in employment without hurting Singapore’s interest. If I were to compare BG Tan’s style and tone with MG Chan, I would say BG Tan has the upper hand because he engages people and not lecture them like MG Chan. Leaders don’t lecture. Leaders engage, even those who oppose him. I have not seen BG Tan lecture.

        Just in case I get flamed further, I voted for the Opp.🙂

      • 14 Poker Player 11 July 2011 at 10:45

        “Dealing with a rogue recruitment agency is one thing and solving policy problems is another.”

        In true 1st world countries, they are the same thing. The law deals with the rogue recruitment agency. No Tai-koh needed, only law enforcement.

        Stop applauding 3rd world solutions.

  12. 15 kazuo 7 July 2011 at 23:25

    When you have maundered in a box all your life, the only reality that will come across as visceral as your limpid soul are the walls that have hemmed your mind in.

    There are few things in life you can’t teach: compassion is one, wisdom the other. Chan boy has neither.

  13. 16 Plebeian 7 July 2011 at 23:46

    Good read. I tried to help myself, take things into my own hands instead of expecting the govt to do something about my problem. My children have learning disabilities so I quit my job, pulled them out of school and home schooled them giving them personal attention instead of expecting the school and teachers to cater to a couple of kids that were different from the rest of the class. And what does MOE do? Instead of giving their support to parents who are fully committed to educating their children, the MOE discriminates against homeschoolers. Homeschooling children do not receive Edusave, and are given a higher benchmark for the PSLE, having to do better than one third of the cohort in order to move on to secondary school, otherwise repeat P6 again which is what has happened to my eldest child. If you do not want to help us, if you do not want to listen to us, fine, but please don’t stand in our way!!!

    • 17 justpassingby 8 July 2011 at 10:34

      Schools are institutions for a reason. There is probably a higher mandate they need to serve, not primarily just for the betterment of the individual child. That said, your statement – though valid – must be tempered with the understanding that there fare potential abuses should homeschooling obtain that amount of support. Personally, I’m for home-schooling. Having been a teacher before, I squirm at the moral standards of some of my ex-colleagues and question the kind of values they impart to children, whether explicitly or otherwise. Salt water and fresh water cannot come from the same source. Yes, I do think better provisos for home-schooling should be put in place, giving support to parents who truly want to bring up their children up in a manner consistent with their personal philosophies of life.

      • 18 Plebeian 9 July 2011 at 12:04

        @justpassingby
        Never mind giving support; how about just removing the discrimination against homeschoolers? Why are homeschoolers not given Edusave? Why the different benchmarks for the same exam? FYI the application for exemption from compulsory education must be accompanied by a document outlining a 6 year curriculum for the child as well as the CV of the parent primarily responsible for teaching the child.

    • 19 Poker Player 8 July 2011 at 11:29

      They penalize people who don’t live life a certain way. Take income taxes.
      Let’s say a working couple earns a total of $X000. They pay less tax than a husband who earns the same but with a stay at home wife.

      Another article says they are patriarchal. But their patriarchalism is subordinate to their maximum labour extraction agenda.

  14. 20 warmhatch 8 July 2011 at 00:28

    And this, from an MP who parachuted (military pun intended) straight into parliament and the role of Minister without having a single vote cast for him. Oh the shame!

  15. 21 Francis 8 July 2011 at 01:11

    Chan boy is used to shouting down at those under him in the army and sucking up to his superiors. He still thinks he is in the army and talks this way. So what”s new. All of them are from the same box. They love the sound of their voices. They can’t hear anything else. Have they learned anything at all during the elections? Chan boy thinks he has all the answers. A smart aleck. So many of them around.

  16. 22 blingnt 8 July 2011 at 01:15

    This chan boy reminds me of the old days back in the 70’s when a boy go to the cinema not having money to pay for the tickets and due the age and size, he peeps through the curtains and sniff out an empty seat and eventually crawl and sit on it as if nothing haopens. Rings a bell?

  17. 23 GP 8 July 2011 at 08:20

    So much for change…

  18. 24 Good Question 8 July 2011 at 08:50

    In the process of building a better situation, a certain degree of destruction must take place before re-building a better one is possible. So all criticisms must of necessity have a destructive element. If you don’t understand, never mind.

  19. 25 union 8 July 2011 at 08:52

    The elite is asking the poor humble family boy to speak for them, when they are watching how he perform. If he performs well, he would be rewarded accordingly and not, he would also be rewarded accordingly.

    He has nothing to lose but to toe the line and speak bravely, even he knows it is wrong.

  20. 26 sloo 8 July 2011 at 09:01

    He really should stop talking and start working. He has yet to announce any new policy or changes at MCYS. But then yes, I do believe he loves the sound of his voice.

  21. 27 WL 8 July 2011 at 09:33

    I have always hated their “don’t just criticise, offer solutions” ruse to silence criticism. Now my comeback line would be: “you are the one being paid millions of dollars to solve problems – small problems or big problems. So, what IS the government doing?”

  22. 28 Peter Tan 8 July 2011 at 09:54

    YawningBread, do you think your piece will be taken as “Constructive Criticism” of their effort to consult people and engage netizens ?
    🙂

  23. 29 RC 8 July 2011 at 10:34

    CCS prides himself for doing a great job turning obese soldiers fit despite them not willing to submit to his strenuous routines because, as he said during his pre-election press conference, “I know what is right for them”. Does this not sound strikingly familiar with his grandmaster? Fast foward and he now wants to tell the youth out there that he knows what is right for them as well.

  24. 30 Anon. 8 July 2011 at 10:49

    amen to that.
    or in more familiar terms, “everyone who agree, KEE CHIEW!”

  25. 31 Saycheese 8 July 2011 at 11:01

    MG Chan although a new face is hewn from the old block and moulded to resemble the role model. To the powers that are in the party, he is mouthing all the correct sound bytes. George Santayana reminds those who forget their history, MG Chan learns what works. He will just need to be more articulate and charismatic and there will be less stones thrown at their ivory towers. If he can change some of the 40% to be more like the other brain dead voters, they may triple their pay and he will go very far. (The old one will have faded if not climbed the stairway to heaven by the next GE, and who is bester to helm Tanjong Pagar than a chip of the old block?)

  26. 32 Vernon Voon 8 July 2011 at 12:06

    I’m sad that he’s one of my 5 unelected MPs.

  27. 33 teo soh lung 8 July 2011 at 12:23

    Excellent article. I hope Chan reads it and mend his ways. But then, how does a little leopard change its spots?

  28. 34 VoteHimOut 8 July 2011 at 12:28

    Mr Chan Chun Sing,

    Do you understand your role and what you’re suppose to do as a Minister and as an elected Member of Parliament?

    The criticism are not throwing stones. They are feedback telling you what are the problems. You are suppose to take these information, with those information you already have from the authorities and with the civil service machinery you have behind you, come up with solutions and policies that address these problems.

    If these young people can can come up with solutions, without the kind of civil service machinery you have, then why the hell we still need you? You might as well step aside and let these young people run the show. Dialogues are feedback and information for you to do your job better.

    Do you really understand what you are suppose to do and what your roles are or not?

    If you don’t, come next General Election, we will tell you.

    • 35 Anonymous 11 July 2011 at 12:07

      “… as an elected Member of Parliament” – correction, he was NOT elected. His GRC Tj Pagar had a walkover. Not a single electoral vote was cast for him. Parachuted is the right word to use, both for his positions as MP and minister.

  29. 36 Chanel 8 July 2011 at 15:55

    This is the key problem with parachuting former military-men into political office. They are usually inward looking and firmly believe in top-down management. To them, “seeking feedback” is nothing more than a public relations exercise because they are used to issuing commands.

    Maybe in MG Chan’s case, he is also frustrated with being bombarded with so many accumulated problems that he cannot solve.

  30. 37 Servant-leader 8 July 2011 at 16:06

    MG (NS) Chan Chun Sing, you are paid millions not to sing the same old, boring PAPpy tunes again, but to formulate policies that will ultimately benefit the majority of S’pore Citizens. Last GE, many PAPies, including the top notch, had to leave cause they sang the wrong tunes. Even PM publicly apologised for the wrong choice of “songs”!

    So, if you wish your contract to be renewed for the next 5 years you should go for a course on Servant-leadership where you would be taught how to be an effective “servant” to the citizens and not a subservient servant to your masters.

  31. 38 Anonymous 8 July 2011 at 16:46

    what do you expect from army ppl? YES SIR!!!

  32. 39 anon 8 July 2011 at 17:20

    Good job Alex!

    The truth is that’s the main reason why LKY parachutes his ‘wonder’ boys into parliament and cabinet under the crotch of big names – so that they are isolated and removed from ground realities which they would otherwise feel if they have to ‘sing’ for their million dollars, so to speak. Right now, Chan and his fellows are transformed by PAP magic into overnight cabinet ‘ministars’ so to them a ‘chicken’ is something you buy from a supermarket chilled or frozen wrapped in plastic! This is the best sort to make decisions that carve a pound of flesh from ordinary citizens since they have NO feel nor understanding for the latter’s circumstances.

  33. 40 YH2 9 July 2011 at 00:05

    actually checking out his facebook page, I sympathize and understand what he means about unconstructive and constructive criticism.
    for example,
    un-constructive : “MCYS sucks. PAPpies go die!”
    constructive : “MCYS sucks. there are many homeless. Please change the 30mth wait rule about rental flats. and increase the aid to needy families, our inflation is 4%!”
    But if he thinks criticism (constructive or not) is not allowed to “tear down institutions” or “cast doubt”, then I start to doubt his understanding of criticism.

    And I do agree with your point – even if he talks about wanting constructive criticism, there does not seem to be real sincerity for reform and or even using any feedback contrary to his policies/views.

    Reading the posts on his FB page, it seems to me that the Policy Discussion he holds is a just means to convince people of his/PAP policies, with no real desire to review policy. (on FB, Chan commenting on his own post on 21 June about an Informal Policy Discussion about WP/EP numbers: “The Informal Policy Disc is a forum to help Singaporeans understand the policy formulation objectives, dynamics and process. “)

    And the most glaring insincerity is, as Alex you have pointed out, is what Rachel Zeng blogged.

  34. 41 reservist_cpl 9 July 2011 at 13:32

    By institutions he means the SAF lah, courts and police all fail also can “send in the army” what.

  35. 42 Anonymous 9 July 2011 at 23:06

    One of the problems I have run into while working with ex miliatry personal that have shifted into the work place , is that they are use to having their orders carried out with out question. So they have no experience in dealing with any one who might question them.

  36. 43 patriot 10 July 2011 at 08:31

    “Any criticism that challenges the prevailing paradigm is labelled “unconstructive” and thus delegitimised” by Alex Au. Unquote.

    This is exactly how military commanders run the army; by issuing commands and orders, so-called instructions that hardly instruct, inform, educate or enlighten). And how do most of these commanders get promoted? They themselves behaved like sheepdogs, taking all orders from their masters and then were given powers over all the sheep. Imagine how these dogs will behave towards the sheep, if their own masters died. They are likely to lose their directions due to loss of guidance from their masters and the sheep will have to suffer or be eaten alive by these dogs.

    Long long ago, the Chinese had observed that military commanders at best can ONLY defend the territories, they(military men) were/are not good at running a nation, simply because through empirical evidences, no military man had proven to be good or competent ruler. It was so in China and it is so in other parts of the World.

    As an aside, attaching military ranks to those leaders in civilian/civil appointments smack of intimidating the citizenry. By doing so, the Government is reminding the people that these leaders have military connections; that these leaders are ‘armed’ with the Armed Forces behind them, due to their former appointments. This is a modern world, when and where civilized man(kind) prefers reasonability and reasonableness as wisdom and NOT MIGHT as in the old uncivilized world. Time for our own leaders to wake up!

    There are two ex-generals in the Present Cabinet, surprisingly the lower ranked Lim Chuan Jin has been much humble and serving his post well thus far. There seems a need for the higher appointed comrade of his, to learn from his subordinate. And me am not joking here.

    • 44 Poker Player 12 July 2011 at 15:01

      I don’t think this is a fault of military life per se – but the host society itself. Think Eisenhower, Colin Powell, Petraeus, MacArthur (in Japan).

  37. 45 meiming 10 July 2011 at 22:43

    urbanrant said, “We have paper generals. And these generals have very good paper qualifications.”

    Do they actually have very good paper qualifications? I doubt it. They can’t even put up good papers. They can’t make even a simple speech… But they are paid millions…

  38. 46 Anonymous 11 July 2011 at 04:44

    It is depressing that Yawning Bread is joining the popular Singapore Netizen culture of implying that change is to do everything that is different from, or

    better, opposite of what is being done now, even if what is being done now is logical and working for the majority. Oh sorry, Yawning Bread does so more

    intellectually, choosing words to impress those who do not understand what they mean.

    For many years, we have all heard variations of “any criticism that challenges the prevailing paradigm is labelled “unconstructive” and thus delegitimised”.

    Yet we have not seen any specific examples of who tried to say or do what, but was prevented from doing so.

    What wonderful suggestions have the Government “ignored”? Were the suggestions re-sent to ensure they were received? Was the non-response escalated? Why were

    the rest of us not consulted before they were sent to the Government?

    So there are people who want the Government to take all suggestions, even if the suggestions do not make sense, so that they can post about the Government

    wasting public funds in doing so?

    If there was “police harassment” etc, was justice sought through the Singapore legal system?

    Oh, some people do not believe in the Singapore Government and the Singapore legal system, which protects us should the Government become stupid. And they do

    not know they have the freedom to move to other countries which have the systems and societies they praise.

    Do you know what it is like to be bombarded by lies, incomplete truths, misguided beliefs, criticisms which cannot be substantiated, well presented deception

    disguised as logic, irrational rants etc?

    But I suppose such are the stuff which attract web site readership and therefore increase the advertisement revenue dependent on web site readership.

    And there are possibly benefits from dubious sources just to dissent or be anti-Singapore.

    Don’t flame me. I’m just expressing my opinions. And people who allow doubts to be cast on the Singapore legal system have no reason to seek legal action.

    • 47 jem 11 July 2011 at 12:27

      “Yet we have not seen any specific examples of who tried to say or do what, but was prevented from doing so.”

      Dude..are you for real? Does such elementary logic elude you? OF COURSE we haven’t seen any, they were prevented!

      “Do you know what it is like to be bombarded by lies, incomplete truths, misguided beliefs, criticisms which cannot be substantiated, well presented deception disguised as logic, irrational rants etc?”

      Why yes. People who read the Straits Times are all familiar with this.

      “And people who allow doubts to be cast on the Singapore legal system have no reason to seek legal action.”

      Hilarious. You must be a comedian.

    • 48 Poker Player 11 July 2011 at 13:40

      “Yet we have not seen any specific examples of who tried to say or do what, but was prevented from doing so.”

      When you say “prevented”, did you include jail and bankruptcy?

    • 49 Poker Player 11 July 2011 at 13:43

      Somebody actually tried this:

      “Wear a t-shirt with LHL’s face on it with caption announcing his annual salary”.

      Ask around what happened.

    • 50 Chow 11 July 2011 at 17:40

      “Oh, some people do not believe in the Singapore Government and the Singapore legal system, which protects us should the Government become stupid. And they do not know they have the freedom to move to other countries which have the systems and societies they praise.”

      I am pretty sure that as a citizen of Singapore, I am well entitled to decide how and in what direction my country grows/goes. If I couldn’t care less, I wouldn’t even bother with reading or writing policies and feedback. Heck, I wouldn’t even bother to vote.

      “Don’t flame me. I’m just expressing my opinions. And people who allow doubts to be cast on the Singapore legal system have no reason to seek legal action.”

      You want to express an opinion and don’t want to defend it simply by trying to hide behind the phrase “I’m just expressing my opinions”? Really, you should just keep them to yourself if you have no wish to defend them. As for the last line I have quoted, that is unimaginably naive.

    • 51 Talc 13 July 2011 at 23:45

      Anonymous,
      If you are a genuine participant and not a PAPies spokesperson, or spoiler of serious discussions, do some homework at the Courts. Ask your average lawyers who are the PAPies Judges and who are the real good judges. Legal recourse in Singapore is not always just. I used to believe in the good governance of the incumbent, but not any more. There are too many cases of bias and distortion, and the Court of Appeal had to cover the deficits of badly judged cases with the most laughable explanations for over-turning these cases.

  39. 52 The 12 July 2011 at 17:21

    /// Yet we have not seen any specific examples of who tried to say or do what, but was prevented from doing so.

    What wonderful suggestions have the Government “ignored”? Were the suggestions re-sent to ensure they were received? ///

    Maybe you were borned after 1994? That’s why you missed out on Catherine Lim’s 2 great articles:

    http://catherinelim.sg/1994/09/03/the-pap-and-the-people-a-great-affective-divide/

    http://catherinelim.sg/1994/11/20/one-government-two-styles/

    Catherine basically pointed out the PAP’s aloofness, arrogance, losing touch with the ground and supreme hubris.

    The government has ignored these feedback, which is why the % of votes going to the PAP has been dropping in the last 3 elections. For 17 years, they are ignored the warnings. No need to resend because the articles were published in the Straits Times and uploaded on the website. They have received them because Catherine Lim basically got whacked upside down for giving them valuable feedback. GCT went as far as to tell her to join a political party if she wants to comment on politics.

    If the government has heeded those wonderful suggestions, they won’t have to suffer the ignominy of the Aljunied defeat. Of having to drop 3 ministers and retire the MM and SM. Of having to say sorry. Of having to revamp the entire cabinet.


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