We have come so far as a nation but as a people, we are still expected to behave like sheep

Each time we celebrate National Day on August 9, we are reminded of how far we have come as a nation.

Indeed, Singapore is a metropolis with towering skyscrapers, a global financial hub and a vital and vibrant centre for commerce. As a nation, we have come a long way since independence.

But as a people, have we matured and come that far?

There is more than an inkling that Singaporeans are still expected to conform and be grateful for any comforts that come our way – no need to debate and question so much because the PAP government knows what to do and what’s best for Singapore. That attitude hasn’t really changed after all these years.

Nothing illustrates this better than Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong’s response last week to someone at a forum who suggested cutting Ministers’ pay to help fund pensions for the elderly. He essentially berated the person, declaring “Ministers are not paid enough!”

So you can still get reprimanded for a question or suggestion which is too inconvenient or bothersome to address. They decide what is off limits and out of bounds to citizens.

Every National Day, we are also reminded of how prosperous a nation we have become. But then Singaporeans are not entitled to ask about our national reserves.

More than 20 years ago, when President Ong Teng Cheong asked for a detailed account of the reserves, he became persona non grata. And yet he was someone tasked with safeguarding the reserves!

So what are the chances of ordinary citizens getting clarity on the reserves?

How much the country has in reserves – like Ho Ching’s salary – is a closely guarded state secret.

It’s like shareholders of a company being told they cannot be informed of how much money the company has. Would that be acceptable?

Singapore may have come far as a nation, but Singaporeans are still kept in the dark about many things and are not supposed to ask inconvenient questions – such as those concerning Ministers’ salary and accountability, Ho Ching’s salary, the goings-on at Temasek, and the country’s reserves.

They can talk about widening income gap and disparity between the haves and have nots but we are not to ask the questions about who perpetuated this gap.

They can talk about the wonders of meritocracy but we are not to question whether it is elitism and entitlement in disguise.

They can talk about the need for a greater influx of foreign talent and immigrants but we are not to question about the impact on infrastructure and the polarising repercussions.

So, yes, every National Day, we are reminded of how far we have come as a nation.

But as a people, have we really come that far?

We are still expected to baa like sheep and be grateful for whatever mercies and comforts that come our way, and we are expected to stop asking about the things they don’t really want to talk about.

 

Augustine Low

* The author is a proud but concerned citizen. Voicing independent, unplugged opinion is his contribution to citizen engagement.

 

 

Sponsored Content

14 Responses to “We have come so far as a nation but as a people, we are still expected to behave like sheep”

  • another:

    Things are not bad enough…for an opposition coalition to rise and organise themselves into a shadow cabinet and execute a by – election effect to prove itself in Parliament.

    It took 20 years for PKR from 1998 to 2018 to topple BN.

    And if they SERS the whole of Singapore and dole it out over 20 years like upgrading… it will be same old Lee Dynasty for the next two generations.

    So the opposition has to really focus on perfecting the mechanics of coalition politics and create a shadow cabinet to have any fighting chance this time around.

    The oppie supporter will have to call out those egotists in opposition to step down and not scuttle the process and not give these egoists hope.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Boh Kia See:

    It is not how far we have progressed to date but how we are going to progress from here. There is no point looking back. We need to look forward. The past is not a precursor of the future.

    So this harping of the past is actually saying that there is nothing to look forward to. Even in our conversations everyday we reflect this different time frames of life. When we see a child they will always say what they want to be when they grow up. With the elderly, they will always talk about “When I was your age…”.

    The issue here is about the future of the country and with it the future of our kids. New citizens should realise this too.

    There are phases in the growth and development of a country just like there are phases of growth and development of a family. When we were a child we were treated as a child. Our parents take a paternalistic view of our interest and decide what activities we should be engaged in. As we grow up and mature and our parents retire and become old, that paternalistic attitude is replaced with comradeship and respect–leaving the young to make their own decisions and their own way of life.

    That sort of scenario applies to the country as well. Except that the citizens are never allowed to grow up and mature despite now being highly qualified. As a result the country suffers too. The PAP has put a cap to the development of the people and the country. It stunts the growth of the country and that is the issue that needs to be resolved.

    So if you love Singapore and care for its future and those of your kin, you have to get rid of the PAP. We must allow Singapore for fly high and not be shackled to the past.

    The past we can’t change–the future is up to you.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Rabble-rouser:

    S’pore & S’poreans had already sailed past the crossroad of a turning point 2 decades ago. We’re already on a path of no U-turn & barreling towards a bleak future under PAP.
    I’d travelled overseas frequently to the various developed economies. And I had the opportunity of speaking with many migrants of different nationalities over the last few years including a young S’porean gentleman who had migrated abroad. I begin to see a vastly different perception of their views & aspirations. In short, migrants from populous nations like India & China took full advantage of their migration to have a better life abroad (the “Pull” factor). Many came to English speaking countries with poor English skills hoping to make it there. I met a young Chinese mother @ NYC who migrated to the US, had a baby there but couldn’t speak English at all. Despite being in a totally alien environment, she was willing to survive despite the odds. And she was very happy to meet a fellow person who could converse with her in Mandarin. We sensed she was not in her comfort zone but she was willing to make the best of a difficult situation. In short, the pull factor (for her) was greater thean the push factor.
    In Japan, I’d met a Mongolian mother & daughter who operated a BBQ beef donburi stall. Again, they were there to make it. The story repeated itself as we went around Japan. We met a Taiwanese young man working in McDonald’s in Japan, a Sri Lankan man in 7-11, etc. The story the same, everyone wants to make it abroad.
    The story contrasted thereafter when I spoke with the young man from S’pore. I asked if he had family with him. He sadly replied that they were all in S’pore including his siblings. Why? Because they were in their comfort zones afraid to venture out of their familiar surroundings. In a sense, S’poreans are afraid of venturing outside. The push factor not strong enough to push them out of S’pore despite the warming waters turning up to boiling point. They were the victims of PAP’s psychological conditioning & social herd instinct of closing ranks with a cunning predator (they’re more afraid of the bigger predators outside than the one inside). And that is the tragedy of S’poreans!

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Don't Agree:

    We were a country that became a nation. We then reverted to a country when the MIWs started importing foreigners by the planeloads.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • clown in pap has ruined SGP:

    Boh Kia See:
    It is not how far we have progressed to date but how we are going to progress from here. There is no point looking back. We need to look forward. The past is not a precursor of the future.

    So this harping of the past is actually saying that there is nothing to look forward to. Even in our conversations everyday we reflect this different time frames of life. When we see a child they will always say what they want to be when they grow up. With the elderly, they will always talk about “When I was your age…”.

    The issue here is about the future of the country and with it the future of our kids. New citizens should realise this too.

    There are phases in the growth and development of a country just like there are phases of growth and development of a family. When we were a child we were treated as a child. Our parents take a paternalistic view of our interest and decide what activities we should be engaged in. As we grow up and mature and our parents retire and become old, that paternalistic attitude is replaced with comradeship and respect–leaving the young to make their own decisions and their own way of life.

    That sort of scenario applies to the country as well. Except that the citizens are never allowed to grow up and mature despite now being highly qualified. As a result the country suffers too. The PAP has put a cap to the development of the people and the country. It stunts the growth of the country and that is the issue that needs to be resolved.

    So if you love Singapore and care for its future and those of your kin, you have to get rid of the PAP. We must allow Singapore for fly high and not be shackled to the past.

    The past we can’t change–the future is up to you.

    very well said, bro. agree.

    we unreservedly the once great SGP is ruined by lky son the clown.

    1st, how can a leader of a nation tell the world, SGP belongs to everyone?

    2nd, how can a leader of a nation, formed based on justice and equality regardless of race, language and religion, come out with a scheme whereby an election is reserved for the malay RACE when he has selected an INDIAN?

    3rd, how can a leader of a nation, formed based on justice and equality, have a judiciary that seems to run on one pap law two pap interpretations? can sue peasant who asked the inconvenient questions, Mr Roy Ngerng. cannot sue own brother and own sister when the siblings say even more serious things, ABUSE OF POWER.

    4th, how can a nation progress if it is run on loyalty reward basis. good obedient Ljs and Cbs, after serving public office, nice S$m jobs in gic temasick, and even ntuc. can such a…

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Loong Meh Meh:

    You gotta under the sheep’s mentality. Sheep thinks this way:

    “Hey! Look at the grass elsewhere. If not botak then it’s chao ta (burnt)! Ours better. Greener and in abundance. I can graze the grass freely and will not go hungry. You don’t know how lucky you are with the PAP taking care of us. I don’t mind being fleeced, at least I won’t die. It’s better than having to suffer in hunger and die.”

    Beware! The PAP IB has been and is still trying to brainwash more sheep to think liddat.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • patriot of Temesak:

    The leaders after the Founding Generation leaders are a BUNCH of IDIOTS with no bloody BACKBONE or BRAINS to “THINK” for themselves…the few who did were marginalized or cold stored…The Bastard picked his Idiots to do his will with The Freakish Idiot of a son heading the LIST of IDIOTS!!!

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • emptyplaygrd.:

    don we change clothing etc….

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • All that glitters is not gold:

    It’s not enough to have bolstered an economic nationalism founded upon national service conscriptions. What about patriotic chivalry towards generational Singaporeans?

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • rukidding:

    Pimps don’t see the need to “entertain” their “captured slaves or victims” !

    Their Prostitutes will do their “bidding”.

    So,….what do you expect from a Pimp and prostitute ( P.a.p. ) , “Head Macho’s” reply ???

    Why do there call you “Dafts” ????

    If their “victims” were “Brave” and “Dares retailate back with force”…..you think these Pimps and prostitutes dares behave these way ???

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Harder Truths:

    It is to be always remembered that there is nothing special or unique about $ingapore – an island in the Straits of Malacca dependent on trade for a livelihood, goodwill fron our neighbours and stability in the region.

    $G’s rulers has changed hands many times in the past. It is unrealistic to think it will not happen again. it all depends on factors outside of $G’s control.

    No matter what is said by certain individuals about $G’s defence etc. – it is unlikely there will be anything of worth left and the pappies and their previous FT will all have left. Saying $G can survive another 50 or 100 years is not realistic and does not help those of us born here who are tolsd to sac5rifice for those ‘good times’ ahead.

    So the local-born should be realistic and look after themselves for the short time we are allowed to survive as an independent nation. Choose a government that looks after the locals for as long and as well as possible.

    There is no future for theis island giving whatever we have become to FT to fulfil a political party’s fantasy of glory on the world stage in the years to come.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Haigen-diaz:

    Augustine Low lecturing about false equivalence between urban myths and sheep, look within—what is it you/we fret over? How about a really simple explanation of why many sheep buy into the dystopian vision of this Govt? The main reason for most sheep continuing to be gung-ho and think the nation is doing great is that they get fed a whole alternate universe of facts than those who aren’t. Too many journalists have abdicated their responsibility to identify falsehoods, and to keep their own preference and prejudices out of the articles they write. Of course, the “coverage” is just what our oligarchs like ESM Goh wanted. Right now the pundits of the incestuous media-political complex are clutching their pearls over the internal mayhem. Everything is sensationalized. Everything is presented to sway public opinion, from the tone and tack of media pieces, to what even makes the news, to what gets top billing in today’s ad nauseam news. This is just the kind of idiocy purism and twisted logic that will get them elected. The storm will only hit home when these sheep pockets aren’t any fuller than they were before when they first vote on them. That will be true poetic justice!

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Humor:

    Has it change since Amos Yes was incarcerated for being a …non sheep? Nope. It is still….no comment with the establishment.

    You are born s sheep and shall die a sheep for…..amusement of the wolves

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • LIONS:

    HERE only ONE PAple,ONE PARTY,ONE PAP???

    THEY ARE ALL FOR THEMSELVES,CAN THEY HONESTLY DENY?

    THE PEOPLE ARE CRYING OUT LOUD BUT DO THEY LISTEN?

    COUNT ON ME SINGAPORE IS ACTUALLY COUNT MONEY,PAP???

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
Member Services
Members LoginSelf-ClassifiedsSelf-Support
Sponsored Advertisement

Search On TR Emeritus
Sponsored Advertisement


Most Recent Comments
  • Zhenzidan: OOer&Mangala: [IMHO] It is well known in the industry these [extracted from the Public...
  • Shouldn't AIM instead of WPYC: Is this Singapore Constitutionally guaranteed independent public imstitution at work?...
  • OrangeTree: Actually,if not for the garment’s policy,home prices would have increased more with interest from...
  • MarBowling: It’s karma. AIM at WP. Boomerang and hit own Ars*hole!
  • LIONS: pap sure win.: October 16, 2018 at 8:45 am (Quote) if oppo wins,LANDED WILL TRIPLE! new HDB flats will become...
  • LIONS: pap sure win.: October 16, 2018 at 8:45 am (Quote) if oppo wins,LANDED WILL TRIPLE! new HDB flats will become...
  • non first class honours: remember. this pap Heng does not have 1st class degree. by pap standard, not much brain....
  • rukidding: If I was given ah kong’s $$ to spend,….any how invest in 10 company,….sure a few will...
  • rukidding: Even a little kid could tell that the $2 company and the “exchange” of $Hundred thousands of...
  • rukidding: Hope you don’t become another PAP supporter just because you bought a landed property ! I can say...
  • OOer&Mangala: [IMHO] It is well known in the industry these [extracted from the Public Sector Standard Condition...
Announcements
Advertisement
Visitors Statistic
Latest Statistic
Advertisements