From time to time we get to see retired prime ministers making pompous pronouncements to justify the sinecures they presently occupy. So it should not come as a surprise when Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong made what he called his momentous pronouncement that "we're victims of our own success". He said Singaporeans were constantly belly-aching about carpark. housing, crowded public transport and so on. He urged Singaporeans (probably with tongue-in-cheek) to put their woes in perspective and think of the poor.
Indeed, are we the victims of our own success? We ask SM Goh to so some soul-searching and say candidly if we are not instead the victims of so-called PAP success. Any right-thinking Singaporean will know that our housing, unemployment and public transport woes are the result of mismanagement of its immigration policy by the PAP government. The unrestrained influx of immigrants from China and India is accepted as the cause of the rising prices of HDB housing, the overcrowding in the MRT and buses and the deprivation of jobs to Singaporeans. There are still extensive caustic criticisms of the Prime Minister's National Day Rally speech although he tried very hard to appease Singaporeans on the government's indiscriminate immigration policy. So what logic is SM Goh using in trying to attribute these woes as "victim of our success"? Singaporeans are not as naive or daft as he tries to make them out to be.
Recently SM Goh coined a new 5 C's namely career, comfort, children, considerateness and charity and urged Singaporeans to adopt them in place of the original 5 C's which included condominium, cars and credit-cards. There have been comments that SM Goh was not far-sighted enough and had overlooked an equally important but detractive 5-Cs namely conceit, covetousness, cunning, cowardice and contemptibility which he should consider urging Singaporeans to avoid.
There is reason for these commentators to coin this 5 C's for avoidance. It would not be wrong to say that Singaporeans were sometimes referred to as "Ugly Singaporeans" by foreigners abroad, and probably here.This could not have nothing to do with the obnoxious behaviour of some pompous Singaporeans who were pushy and brazen when overseas. They were more confined to the elite or well-heeled class who would unabashedly flaunt either their expertise or their opulence to an unreceptive audience. Of course we have not descended to the level of the "Ugly Americans" but this should not be taken as a source of pride considering the connotation of the disparaging term. Does not SM Goh consider this novel 5 C's proposed by the commentators as something worthy of adoption by Singaporeans? If nothing else, it will have the effect in the long run of retrieving the reputation of Singaporeans.