No tragedy, crisis or ministerial boo-boo can be a wake-up call to the government – only one thing can!

After the death of actor Aloysius Pang, training tempo was lowered and a committee of inquiry formed. Subsequently, it was announced that an Inspector-General’s Office would be set up to oversee safety practices.

We know the script by now. With every tragedy and every lapse, with every case of mishandling and mismanagement, new committees of inquiry are formed and new measures introduced.

There have been far too many committees formed over the years, too many stop-gap measures introduced. To what effect? To satisfy the public that reaction and response is swift? To demonstrate that something has been done to address a lapse or a crisis?

For any significant reaction and response from the government, we have to go back to 2011, immediately after the general elections. The People’s Action Party lost six seats, its worst performance since independence. George Yeo (loser in Aljuined GRC) concluded that the People’s Action Party needed to treat its citizens as “human beings.”

And so the PAP swiftly “retired” from the cabinet Mah Bow Tan (National Development), Raymond Lim (Transport) and Wong Kan Seng (Home Affairs), along with Lee Kuan Yew (Minister Mentor).

Ministerial salaries were cut, immigration tightened, construction of HDB flats ramped up, more buses added, and the Pioneer Generation Package introduced.

Such changes can only take place when losses are suffered at the polls.

The PAP will not hear the cries of the people about CPF, HDB, Medishield Life, non-performing ministers, non-performing ministries, training deaths, plight of the poor, rising cost of living, lack of accountability . . . UNLESS and UNTIL electoral losses are suffered.

So the key lesson learnt must be that any tragedy, crisis or ministerial boo-boo – no matter how serious – will not provide a wake-up call to the government.

It is only when losses are suffered at the elections that they start to listen and take action.

Will Singaporeans also wake up to this reality?

 

Augustine Low

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

 

 

 

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9 Responses to “No tragedy, crisis or ministerial boo-boo can be a wake-up call to the government – only one thing can!”

  • opposition dude:

    The PAP needs another bloody good wake up call, this we all know. The problem lies in the majority kiasees who don’t dare to vote opposition.

    The PAP isn’t bothered with losing another GRC because they have got over it already. Witness 2013 and the Population White Paper or even the number of times the MRT was having countless disruptions at that period in time.

    You want PAP to make more changes to actually benefit Singaporeans you have to make them lose a MINIMUM of 3 GRCs. If one of those GRCs is the PM or DPM’s then it’s lagi more shiok, otherwise it would just be 3 normal ministers losing their obscene pay.

    So come on all you East Coast GRC, Tampines GRC and Marine Parade GRC voters, the nation is counting on you guys to show PAP the political middle finger! The east has always been more favourable to the opposition compared to the rest of the island so please do us all this favour hor!

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  • Bapak:

    Thank you Augustine Low. Your very well written article sums up everything we want to tell the sleeping Sinkies70. All friends, please help broadcast this article to them and wake them up.

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  • NotMyProblem:

    “It is only when losses are suffered at the elections that they start to listen and take action.”

    @Augustine; It could be true but PAP is not afraid. With almost 40% of new citizen, votes for the PAP is almost guaranteed. These new citizen is not aware of the past and they would vote PAP out of gratitude.

    Bukit Batok by-election proved my point.

    We must depend on true blue Singaporeans to decidedly vote for the Opposition. But how to cure stupidity so that we can take back the country for our children and grand children?

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  • The Other Hard Truths:

    NotMyProblem:
    “It is only when losses are suffered at the elections that they start to listen and take action.”

    @Augustine; It could be true but PAP is not afraid. With almost 40% of new citizen, votes for the PAP is almost guaranteed. These new citizen is not aware of the past and they would vote PAP out of gratitude.

    Bukit Batok by-election proved my point.

    We must depend on true blue Singaporeans to decidedly vote for the Opposition. But how to cure stupidity so that we can take back the country for our children and grand children?

    Precisely, and that is why the PAP is so hell-bent on importing FTs by the millions and turning them into citizens.

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  • Singapore Fooled Again N Again:

    And Singapore is the ONLY country ini the world that welcome foreigners with red carpet when they buy our public housing (yes, foreigners are given PRs and can buy resale HDB flats and new citizens can buy new HDB flats). I have seen many Singaporeans who bought resale or new HDB flats but were almost forgotten by the papaya.

    They set up stages and extended tentage with welcome speech by the PAP MP and I think have some food and refreshments and entertainments, etc

    The Other Hard Truths: Precisely, and that is why the PAP is so hell-bent on importing FTs by the millions and turning them into citizens.

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  • VTO:

    This PAP govt has rule & control SG for more than 50 years… they became complacent, fat, slack, heavy, protect their herd mentality/groupthinking, their ‘YES’ people, their elites, their own titles n status quo n $$
    Only heavy losses & big % drop in the coming election will shake up that damn PAP core.
    After election, even if this govt still rule SG, lets hope that more good, humble, capable & daring opposition people can, in parliament, rigorously debate against most of these complacent, out of touch & arrogant ministers!

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  • HarderTruths:

    I do not think anything will change. Too many fools voting blindly and then KPKB. This is why we are f*cked.

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  • Mike:

    opposition dude:

    You want PAP to make more changes to actually benefit Singaporeans you have to make them lose a MINIMUM of 3 GRCs. If one of those GRCs is the PM or DPM’s then it’s lagi more shiok, otherwise it would just be 3 normal ministers losing their obscene pay.

    You are being modest… wrong!!!

    3 grcs is not enough. Minimum 6!
    We need more tgan 30% of seats falls into alternate parties! Best uf can make current ruling party hold less than 30% seats.

    Voting rights counts in the parliament, let’s not kid ourselves by being ignorant.

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  • Unbelievable daft population:

    Whoever boasted SG is a SMART nation is 100% wrong.
    With 70% dafts who keep voting a party who deride them / make them suffer ever rising costs plus many many gov lapses, how can we be called a SMART nation, regardless of having all the latest SMART tools.

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