Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Redeeming Feature of the PAP Government

As outraged netizens it is quite natural to vent our wraths on the arrogant PAP government from time to time for the innumerable injustices by it. It is equally natural for the government to promote an international benevolent feature in order to divert some of the local broadsides. It is for its political capital that it is doing this but this should not detract from the immense succours that disaster victims received, especially in the case of colossal natural disasters such as a tsunami.

The Meulaboh tsunami disaster in December 2004 presented the PAP government with a golden opportunity to show to the world its readiness and benevolent prowess in rising to the humanitarian occasion promptly. Meulaboh was a sleepy Acehnese town in Indonesia and the tsunami destructions were so widespread and devastating that they were beyond belief. The number of lives lost was inestimable.

Team Singapore was the first to descend on the devastated town, before other foreign governments and non-governmental organisations (NGO), and began the agonising task of rescuing the survivors and resettling them. After that came the laborious and lengthy task of rebuilding and rehabilitation. That Team Singapore has persevered relentlessly since the start of the disaster in Decembver 2004 till now in its noble task of rebuilding and rehabilitation showed its sterling quality and determination which in turn reflected on the international acclaims to the PAP government. The tsuname disaster in Aceh with its subsequent rebuilding and rehabitation can indeed be said to be a showcase of the PAP government's humanitarianism. The colossal devastation of the tsunami disaster had shocked a normally placid world and the PAP government's heroic role in rescue, rebuilding and rehabilitation could not but elicited a show of respectful gratitude from an amazed world.

Here is the irony of it. It is all very well for the PAP government to promote an international humane image. When it comes to the local scene, it shows it is not so benign in its ruthlessness in dealing with the opposition parties and those who are not so sparing in their vitriolic criticisms of the government. Maybe it is in its mental make-up that it finds it antipathic to show the same kind of justice and fairness universally as in its international image projection.

Prime Minister's and ministers' silence on major public occurrences and happenings is not going to endear the government to the public, not to mention losing public confidence. The recent SMRT Changi depot security lapse and the Orchard Road deluge are only two cases in point. Then there is the question of a fair general election but the general expectation is that there will be gerrymandering when electoral boundaries are drawn up, obviously not to the advantage of opposition parties contesting the election. Of course, it will be a godsend if the PAP government can show a little more fairness and justice but is this not analogous to wishing for the pie in the sky?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Are Singaporeans Paying For Monkeys?

The question that is being asked frequently in the internet is:Are Singaporeans paying for monkeys? By right monkeys deserve to be paid peanuts but how come we are paying millions.

The recent occurrences have not given the public the confidence of a government that holds high the concerns of the public. The golden silence of the Minister for Transport and Minister for Home Affairs on the debacle of the security lapse of the SMRT at its Changi depot is a typical example. They were either lofty in their attitude or remiss in their responsibility of the implication of the enormity of the SMRT security lapse. It was ludricuous that this could have escaped the attention of the two ministers.

Next is the comical performance of the Minister for Environment in connection with the recent flood in Orchard Road. Whether the public view it as shirking responsibility but his elusive presence was not to be found in the Orchard Road flood area when it was imperative for the flood victims, especially the serious ones, to be given sympathetic succour. He was like an invisible man who appeared after the storm to utter such crass statement that such flood occurred only once in fifty years. Such flippancy can hardly give confidence to the public, especially those in the flood-prone areas, that we have a minister who could tackle the flood situation.

Then there is the equally crass statement of the Prime Minister that it is impossible in Singapore to expect the place to be completely free of floods. This is the kind of talk that aims to pre-empt any public wrath to descend on the government should there be any unmanagable devastating flood befalling Singapore in future. In other words, the government is seeking an easy way out. The PUB should have by now identified the flood-prone areas and discovered the cause. In fact their officers are condifent of overcoming, if not minimising, the problem. So what is all this talk by the Prime Minister of not expecting a flood-free Singapore, if not to divert the attention of the public.

The trend of ministers, including the Prime Minister, of showing indifference towards occurences and happenings that the public view as affecting their security and welfare is disquieting, to say the least. There are very considerable criticisms by netizens on the ministers' haughty attitude. It automatically brings up the question that the astronomical salaries that the Prime Minister and his ministers get are really what they deserve and a fair charge on the taxpayers' fund. So the netizens coined the phrase:Are Singaporeans paying for monkeys?