Wednesday, January 21, 2009

There is none so blind as he who refuses to see.

While I'm heartened by this awesome speech in the early hours of 21 Jan 2009, I somehow feel betrayed as a Singaporean

I humbly ask the rich ministers of Singapore, paid much much more than President Obama, to wake up and pay attention to the following:

"We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness."

Though Singapore has a very short history, it cannot be the history of One! It's time for the PAP government to grow up and not hinder Singaporeans their rights to live the Singapore Pledge of "building a democratic society based on justice and equality". Change has come to Singapore and Singaporeans are wiser and more discerning than expected. Cut Singaporeans some slack and not suffocate them with more self-serving laws.

"we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned."

I hope Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his team understand it too. Cockiness and hubris due to position, birth and affiliation to PAP is detrimental to the individual as well as the party. The comedy of error generated by the Perm Sec Tan Yong Soon of Le Corden Bleu fame and the faux pas by MP Charles Chong in calling people "lesser mortals" for their envious streak leads to the lesson of "Hey, we may think that we are 1st world, but we are not that great after all!" Meritocracy, like democracy, in Singapore can be hyped and spinned too! Give peace and happiness a chance!

"Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction."

"The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works - whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified."

Another reminder to the PM that "Staying Together Moving Ahead - Bersatu Padu Begerak Maju - can be a sham. A political hype. On retirement, please do not push the children of retirees to encourage their mothers and fathers to be chambermaids in hotels. The heartware and respect for the common (peasant) elders who contributed to make Singapore what it is today must be appreciated by the the callous elites. Do not grudge them their rights to health and medical care!

"And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account - to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day - because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government."

GIC and Temasek comes to mind. Billions went to Shincorp, Citigroup, UBS, Merrill Lynch and ABC Learning, amongst others. Town Councils' foray into Lehman Brothers minibonds and notes is another episode that PAP wished that Ms Olsen had kept her mouth shut (and enjoy her MP allowance as a poodle) and not be an inquisitive and responsible NCMP.

"and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. "

The law and the kidneys! The double standard of the punishment meted out to the poor and the properous was evident in the failed kidney transaction between a poor Indonesian and a retail tycoon. Yes, sometimes it favours not only the rich but the powerful too!

"They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint."

Humility and restraint in exercising power. While President Obama refers to the power of USA, I refer to the power of PAP. Reminds me of the treatment dished out to Chia Thye Poh (freedom lost for 31 years without trial), JB Jeyaratnam (made bankrupt for his tenacity in refusing to crawl under the legs an Emperor), Tang Liang Hong & Francis Seow (had to "chow lor" or run road, translated from Hokkien) due to their guts to tell it like it is as political opponents of PAP and our current Braveheart, Chee Soon Juan (bankrupted and jailed many times) who just did another "PAP wished he did not do" act . If PAP can always do as they please without hurting the general public, why not Chee Soon Juan? Period.

"To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist."

Gerrymandeering, messing with electoral boundaries like making Cheng San disappear and putting Braddell in Marine Parade GRC is obviously self-serving. Morphing single member constituency (SMC) to GRC's shows that we are on the wrong side of history. The threat and name calling of political opponents like James Gomes as "liar" makes it more abhorable. The silencing of dissent is so deafening in Singapore that the great grandma of my grand daughter always tell me, "Child, don't mess with PAP. Your newfangled blog will get you into trouble sooner than you think. It's not right for a mother to feed her child to the fish. Children should never expire before their parent."

"And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it."

Instead of belittling Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and even Taiwan with the grandiosity (pompous and pretentious) of 1st world standard of living, I hope leaders in Singapore will be more sensitive to the sensitivities of our neighbours when trying to impress Singaporeans of their one-upmanship. Why can't my dearest leaders learn that "You need not blow out the candles of others to make yours burn brighter".

feedmeto thefish


At January 22, 2009 at 9:14 AM , Blogger Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

this will make a good sunday sermon. amen.

ps. sermons are only for lesser mortals.

At January 22, 2009 at 11:34 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is a great summary and good write up. =)

At January 22, 2009 at 1:42 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This blog brightens my day. I feel less depressed after reading it. Please keep up your good work and humour. Feed your blogs to me, more and more. Don't feed youself to the fish. :)

At January 22, 2009 at 1:47 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

i wanted to write something like this, but you've done it, and so i thank you.

At January 22, 2009 at 1:51 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yea, yea.. Well written and my sentiments exactly. Like you, I stayed up to listen to Obama and it clearly struck many codes within my sould as a Singaporean.
All I can say is our ruling elites are shameless

At January 22, 2009 at 2:27 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The trouble with this Singapore Government is exactly like what afflicted George W. Bush. He never admitted that what he did was wrong and, almost always, those who opposed him were branded the enemies or the ones who were wrong.

At January 22, 2009 at 5:23 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've hit the nail on the head with this one !! Well written ! applause! Keep it up !! If only the great grandmother of your grandchild could read English , she'd be so proud!! Thumbs up feedmetothefish !

At January 22, 2009 at 7:51 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

George says:
They are not blind. they are just desperate!

In fact, right now they are trying very hard to prepare for the inevitable looming revolt when LKY is no longer in the picture.

At January 23, 2009 at 5:16 PM , Blogger family man said...

I do not believe there will be a revolt. There are thinking people in PAP fold and the true Singaporeans there who believe in democracy, truth and freedom wll slowly more out, cos they love Singapore and do not believe in revolt.

I believe - Yes we can.

At February 4, 2009 at 11:31 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love it. Please keep it coming.

At July 21, 2009 at 5:30 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog on and off for the last couple of years. All I can say is, 'Good stuff, fishfood'.

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This can't work as a matter of fact, that is exactly what I believe.

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