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?