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Singapore’s sociopolitical situation has entered an interesting dynamic

Previous criticisms of the PAP’s policies have resulted in activists and critics being persecuted, sued or charged, resulting in the space being reduced for discussion surrounding economics and livelihood that threatens the PAP’s profit imperative. Discussion on the CPF, the healthcare system, wages and inequality has thus been controlled, to bring them in line with the PAP’s wants.

Social distrust has festered over the last decade due to spiraling inequality over the last 30 years and the political persecution of activists which has reduced the space for diverse discourse, leading to both distrust in the government and state media which propagates singular perspectives. In part due to the early mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic, this has also fuelled distrust in the PAP’s capabilities.

As a result, stronger ideological differences are being borne out of decades of economic and social inequalities, as well as the inequalities that are exacerbated during COVID-19. Distrust in the government and mainstream media has led to people seeking out explanations of real or perceived government inadequacies, with growing ideological basis.

The distrust in Singapore has therefore followed trends in other countries where a segment of the population have veered towards trusting information sources not aligned to the establishment. However, the limited space for diverse thought and discourse in Singapore has led to a situation where some readers choose to take a retaliatory stance towards information, leading to them being swayed by information that takes opposing stances against mainstream perspectives.

While it seems that a segment of Singaporeans have fallen for far-right perspectives (insulated perspectives based on in-group dogma and conspiracy), it does not help that the PAP itself adopts economic right-wing perspectives (the urgency to open up economically and the misguided advice of non-mask use at the start of the pandemic).

However, where persecution was done previously to contain perspectives contrary to the ruling regime, doing so today in a more divisive ideological environment threatens strong spillover effects, in terms of further rage and distrust, which would make pandemic response difficult, especially given how much of the disinformation being spread surrounds that of the pandemic. A younger generation with greater critical thinking underpinned by the open Internet is also less tolerant of political persecution.

The social distrust and divide in Singapore’s society today will unfortunately be difficult to resolve due to distrust in the current establishment among a segment of the population, and due to the economic and social inequality.

Policies that reverse the inequality would be urgently needed to resolve the current social tensions. However, while there are some positive steps (e.g. wage subsidies for those affected during COVID-19), these policies have not been implemented in a sustained way, Social distrust has led to a segment of the population being resistant towards the ruling party anyway.

There needs to be bolder, more sustained and long-term policies aimed at reducing inequality, if the tensions today have hope at being mediated in the short to medium term.

Additionally, political diversification is necessary to ensure diverse views are represented, or seen as being represented. Political hegemony, monopoly and inequality will only further fuel distrust in a climate of economic and social inequality.

It is in the interests of not only citizens/residents, but also of the ruling party to ensure more equal economic, social and political policies are adopted, or risk fueling social tensions further.

Unfortunately, it does not seem the current ruling party recognizes the importance and urgency of these policies yet. or if it would.

The PAP has therefore caught themselves in a conundrum where the unequal political, economic and social policies have now created a divisive society, coupled by fears and insecurities fuelled by the pandemic, which has made governing all the more tricky. Yet, the former tools of persecution used by the PAP have less perceived legitimacy and effectiveness, which means the PAP would require consultative participatory approaches, but a PAP mired itself in fear of the masses is trapped in not knowing how to do so.

 

Roy Ngerng

 

 

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READER COMMENTS BELOW

27 Responses to “Singapore’s sociopolitical situation has entered an interesting dynamic”

  • oxygen:

    @ Roy Ngerng

    BRILLIANT ARTICULATION of the social/political and economic landscape prevailing.

    The detachment of the establishment from the peasantry, in IMHO and observations is real – if not entirely visible yet – and palpable.

    The establishment is behaving in denial of reality. You see some GLC’s behaving poorly in their treatment of their own customers. It is like the mantra espoused in past of – we do what we like, never mind what the peasants think or we do what is convenient, never mind what the law says. Copybook play of power expression?

    Any wonder why there is NO BANKING/TELECOM Ombudsman despite repeated representations from opposition politics in and out of Parliament?

    I have compelling apprehension that the public mind thinks the establishment is just empty talking airheads totally detached from an ill-ridden body of peasants. And that distrust gap is making the pandemic collective efforts that much more difficult of solidified coalesce in efforts.

    Peasants don’t know when and if the establishment/cynical political cows is telling truths, lies/disinformation for public consumption, humour or even discriminatory of intent in this pandemic seeming dramatization.

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  • oxygen:

    ADDING ON THE PRECEDING, peasants are left to ponder in this Covid-19 pandemic handling if adverse outcome at different juncture, is just misstep of risks taking or plain incompetence overwhelmed by the magnitude and severity of impact of pandemic consequences or plainly liar’s poker game of chance adventurous undertaking.

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  • Chan Chun Sing talking cock:

    Straits Times: MOE looking at buddy systems to help students cope with problems: Chan Chun Sing

    Another STUPID idea from Chan Chun Sing.

    What’s wrong with the “buddy system”.

    1) Students have to be trained for it to make it effective. This takes times and adds more responsibility / workload (and therefore stress) on students.

    2) More work for teachers since they have to train the students to be effective “buddy”.

    3) How will the school know that students are doing it properly? Give them a exam.

    4) Adding another “layer” (i.e., young students) between students with problems and properly trained professionals is a big mistake. It is stupid.

    5) How will the school know the “buddy system” is working properly. What are the metrics for it?

    6) A young student also under a lot of stress will likely be giving bad advice to his buddy with mental problems.

    7) The buddy system will like cause a lot of friction between students. The student will likely ask his “buddy” for help with his school work. If the “buddy” refuses, it can lead to more problems.

    The mental health of students should be handled by professionals with the proper training. Since identifying early students with problems is key it must be left to professionals. Constant monitoring of students be trained teachers is key. Teacher should be trained to identify the early signs of mental issues with students. Those identified should be promptly referred to trained professionals.

    The government had the resources to hire more teachers to keep the class sizes small. Smaller class sizes means teachers can devote more time caring for each student after classes.

    Chan Chun Sing idea is the usual (and stupid) “everybody is involved but nobody is in charge so nobody is responsible.” He should learn the KISS principle of the private sector. “KISS” – keep it simple stupid.

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  • Illogical Retirement:

    Retirement needs retirement money.
    Rich men need money but so too does poor men.

    The poorer you are the less you are able to meet the high retirement sum, one size being fits all of same cohort.

    Does this make real world sense?

    So far few sinkees have discerned the illogic.

    1. The Poorer you are, the More this cpf retirement sum is needee to retire.

    2. The richer you are , the cpf becomes less important for you to retire on as you have cash.

    3. My f.cking friends, do your f.xking brains finally can discern what is fxcking wrong ? Or are you a jiaksai?

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  • A really stupid idea:

    Straits Times: MOE looking at buddy systems to help students cope with problems: Chan Chun Sing

    MOE wants to get the students involved so it does less work and equally important less responsibility for teachers and MOE.

    If the “buddy system” fails to stop another murder in school (which is likely) who will be held responsible and accountable? the students? What a (sick) joke!

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  • CCS is really stupid:

    CCS is really stupid: What happens if the psycho student manages to convince his “buddy” to join him in a killing spree. There will be two axe murderers in the school and more victims.

    The Columbine School Shooting in the US in 1999 that killed 12 students and one teacher were committed by two students. They were “buddies”.

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  • Singaporeans R Free Riders:

    Dear Roy,
    Social inequality is always there, even in your newly adopted corrupted demoncratic cuntry ROc Taiwan …

    Social inequality is caused by people who are lazy and unmotivated and unrealistic who fake their degree and got caught just like your shemale President Tsai Ing Wen. (fake PhD … hahahaha)

    Also, there are no one size fit all ideology as all human wants are different.
    Some like to poke backside, some like to lick puss*, some like to do both and some want to promote to school and religion that it is good to poke backside and do it publicly.

    Facts 1: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=450158922272464
    Facts 2: https://formosapride.com/

    GE2024.PAP.Guarantee.Win.and.Huat.Again
    Majullah $PAP$ $PAP$ Huat$ Huat$ Huat$

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  • CCS is really stupid:

    CCS is really stupid: The Columbine School Shooting in the US in 1999 that killed 12 students and one teacher were committed by two students. They were “buddies”.

    Two people with the same problems/gripes can easily becomes “buddies” because they have something in common.

    If a psycho student winds up having another psycho student as his “buddy”. The likely result is a carnage in the school.

    With two (sick) brains working on it they make pipe bombs instead of using an axe.

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  • PAP is The problem:

    CCS is really stupid: Two people with the same problems/gripes can easily becomes “buddies” because they have something in common.

    If a psycho student winds up having another psycho student as his “buddy”. The likely result is a carnage in the school.

    With two (sick) brains working on it they make pipe bombs instead of using an axe.

    CCS should focus on the CAUSE of the student’s problem.

    The underlying cause of excessive stress in schools is PAP’s education policy. This is a FACT. PAP is The problem. It cannot be part of / be involved in the solution. Another FACT.

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  • The party is on:

    The party has been in a feeding frenzy. Lai lai lai, $1 million for Tom, $2 million for Dick, $3 million for Harry, …, $100 million for Hohoho.

    $100 billion distributed, and normal citizens get $600.

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  • Realistically:

    Dun think you quite understand the politics of SINKaPOOR……………..when you, as usual tok about “persecution” etc.

    So long as ranters who over-rate himself/herself fail to acknowledge about the snake oil cons of the wayang-party MPs whose sole object, at least in my view, is to continue to luxuriate on their ill-gotten, but legal, $16k monthly MP allowance by helping to legitimise the bankruptcy and abuse of power of the emperor without clothes, epitomised by Low Thia Khiang’s infamous declaration of being the emperor without clothes regime’s “CO-DRIVER” status, rantings like what you and others continue to spit out would just be empty hot air…………..as the ROOT CAUSE and how SINKaPOOR functions remain beyond your respective narrow and self interest views.

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  • PAP is The problem:

    Straits Times: Singapore students say parental and self expectations, Fomo are sources of stress

    One cannot solve a problem by looking at symptoms or outcomes. One must focus on the CAUSE. The underlying cause of stress in the education system in Singapore is PAP’s education policy which is designed to eliminate MOST young Singaporeans from getting tertiary education. It is LKY’s “pick-the-winner” scheme. The other side of this “dirty coin” – “make the majority of young Singaporeans “losers”".

    PAP wants to limit the number (to a minority) in each cohort that can attend local universities because it considers local graduates a threat to PAP political dominance. The latter is the main objective of PAP. That is why Singapore is a PAP-run police state.

    Always self-serving PAP is the underlying cause of stress in Singapore and not only for schools. PAP is The problem. Removing PAP is the ONLY solution. Singaporeans should bury PAP with LKY and make both of them “GDP” (GOOD DEAD PERMANENTLY).

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  • SEND FOREIGNERS HOME:

    Straits Times: Heartbreak season: More couples are calling it quits amid challenges wrought by the pandemic

    Without a doubt, there will be less challenges for Singaporean couples if the PAP is not pro-alien. They will be more secure in their jobs and their wages will not be depressed by the massive influx of “cheap” (no CPF) foreigners.

    PAP should have started sending home foreigners a year ago when the pandemic started to keep more Singaporeans employed or get better paying jobs. It is that simple.

    SINGAPOREANS FIRST. ALWAYS.

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  • Realistically:

    B4 ANYONE tok about “persecution” that person must show the process of “persecution”: how the “persecution” is being carried out; the ingredients necessary to carry out the “persecution”; whether the person/s behind the “persecution” has the LEGAL RIGHT to do so ie in the case of a defamation suit, whether the PLAINTIFF has the legal right to clear his/her name. Importantly do show your understanding of the legal system in SINKaPOOR ie the ADVERSARIAL nature of the trial and b4 that the submissions.

    Failing the above, the person should just spend his/her time to be more constructive and how to value-add in the public interest, and not to raise his/her own profile.

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  • Egoti$m isn't reflexive....:

    “Only when a man will not do some things (no amoral realpolitiking) is he capable of doing great things. Every duty is a responsibility, but the responsibility for oneself is the root of all other duties. He who attends to his greater self becomes a great man, and he who attends to his smaller self becomes a small man.”

    - Mencius the Sage

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  • F**k you @S'pore R Free Riders:

    https://www.lse.ac.uk/News/Latest-news-from-LSE/2019/j-October-2019/LSE-statement-on-PhD-of-Dr-Tsai-Ing-wen

    The London School of Economics has received a number of queries regarding the academic status of our alumna, Dr Tsai Ing-wen, President of Taiwan.

    We can be clear the records of LSE and of the University of London – the degree awarding body at the time – confirm that Dr Tsai was correctly awarded a PhD in Law in 1984.

    All degrees from that period were awarded via the University of London and the thesis would have been sent first to their Senate House Library.

    The Senate House Library records confirm that a copy was received and sent by them to the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS). There is a listing of Dr Tsai’s thesis ‘Unfair trade practices and safeguard actions’ in the IALS index document “Legal Research in the United Kingdom 1905-1984”, which was published in 1985.

    Dr Tsai recently provided the LSE Library with a facsimile of a personal copy of the thesis, Unfair trade practices and safeguard actions which is available to view in the Library Reading Room. We understand Dr Tsai has also provided a digital version of her personal copy to the National Central Library of Taiwan.

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  • MarBowling:

    The party is on:
    August 1, 2021 at 11:30 am (Quote)
    The party has been in a feeding frenzy. Lai lai lai, $1 million for Tom, $2 million for Dick, $3 million for Harry, …, $100 million for Hohoho.

    $100 billion distributed, and normal citizens get $600.

    Response: the $100 billions that is DISHED OUT and distributed is NOT SMALL BEER, PERIOD. Hopefully, our AGO(Auditor-General’s Office) which is under the armpit of Ms Goh Soon Poh, spouse of SMOS Heng Heng Chee How, should do the Needful: conduct a very very THOROUGH AUDIT on HOW THE $100 billions of taxpayers hard earned money are being DISTRIBUTED and SPENT! Especially concerned to SinKaporean are those BIG TICKET AND “JEK YEW TONGUE” aka HEAVY DUTY LUBRICATING OIL GUZZLE RECIPIENTS : eg $100 million for Hohoho…… and provide a DETAILED FINANCIAL REPORT for FY 2021. Like Simon always say: what do you think?

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  • liew mun leong must be jailed:

    after GE2020, the pap divide was 61% against 39%

    after GE2024, the pap divide collapsed to 47% against 53%.

    but this is not the point.

    the point is, after GE20204, PSP WP form coalition New Government with parleement renamed back to Parliament and with a New CJ in place, pap clown and wife and their S$m gang are all indicted.

    prediction is, many current pap folks run road.

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  • Singaporeans R Free Riders:

    @ F**k you @S’pore R Free Riders

    Thank you for the enlightening information debunking my mistake on the bonafide credentials Dr Tsai Ing-Wen President of ROC.

    Indeed it is now unequivocably clear that President Tsai Ing-Wen is awarded the LSE Phd in Law.

    I accept this correction unconditionally and apologised unreservedly my malicous attacks on her standing and integrity.

    I regret my foolish character assassination of her without any basis.

    I sincerely apologise to everyone in this forum.

    GE2024.PAP.Guarantee.Win.and.Huat.Again
    Majullah $PAP$ $PAP$ Huat$ Huat$ Huat$

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  • Singaporeans R Free Riders:

    F**k you @S'pore R Free Riders:
    https://www.lse.ac.uk/News/Latest-news-from-LSE/2019/j-October-2019/LSE-statement-on-PhD-of-Dr-Tsai-Ing-wen

    hahahaha… 你是民主进步党养的网军1450?
    (translate .you are demoncratic progressive party paid IB 1450?

    Trying to use a piece of 2019 fake news to fool Singaporeans ?

    Hello, this is 2021 and investigation show that 817 millions had voted for a scammer… hahaha 817万人被民主进步党骗了又骗再骗选出一个骗子当总统。

    ROc追論文案真相!賀德芬「百分之一億確信蔡英文沒博士學位」
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mj57c9m2pKo

    PRc习近平的假博士学位 (Communist X’s fake PhD degree)
    https://twitter.com/john17churchill/status/1084965375924756481

    Hello 1450, here is the latest for you.

    政經關不了(完整版)|2021.07.31
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5e1hH-SF7g

    Scammer Tsai is now using full state resources to stop the truth from coming to light.

    Everyone, please donate to Professor Peng to support his efforts to expose fake degree scammer Tsai.

    GE2024.PAP.Guarantee.Win.and.Huat.Again
    Majullah $PAP$ $PAP$ Huat$ Huat$ Huat$

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  • ah chik:

    Thumbs up ,Roy.
    Yes,scholars are the worst lot.
    If scholar-gahmen think in terms of $ & cents only,society will perish.

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  • Singaporeans R Free Riders:

    Whether the Tsai Ing-Wen LSE truth is out in 2019 or 2021 does not matter.

    Truth is truth, nothing but the gospel truth.

    Put it in another way.

    Let’s just say I’m in total denial and my CB mouth should shut the fug up.

    Period.

    GE2024.PAP.Guarantee.Win.and.Huat.Again
    Majullah $PAP$ $PAP$ Huat$ Huat$ Huat$

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  • $Huat$ $Huat$ $Huat$:

    So people in Taiwan can walk around in their underwear in public.

    Spore should allow this since the weather is so damn hot. We save money on clothing!

    Ok lah you are not a backside poker, so you want to see women in thong panties? Since their shorts are shorter than panties and ainties like to wear skin tight leotards in public. The uncles seee until buay tahan, eyes popped out.

    Got one uncle wear cycling tights that look like underwear in my neighborhood.You go uncle. Just do it. You’ve got one life only. Screw what other people think.

    Want to poke backside, go and poke.
    Waht to lick clit, just do it.
    Want to do both just go.
    Like Gwen Stefani would say: What are you waiting for?

    Singaporeans R Free Riders:
    Dear Roy,
    Social inequality is always there, even in your newly adopted corrupted demoncratic cuntry ROc Taiwan …

    Social inequality is caused by people who are lazy and unmotivated and unrealistic who fake their degree and got caught just like your shemale President Tsai Ing Wen. (fake PhD … hahahaha)

    Also, there are no one size fit all ideology as all human wants are different.
    Some like to poke backside, some like to lick puss*, some like to do both and some want to promote to school and religion that it is good to poke backside and do it publicly.

    Facts 1: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=450158922272464
    Facts 2: https://formosapride.com/

    GE2024.PAP.Guarantee.Win.and.Huat.Again
    Majullah $PAP$ $PAP$ Huat$ Huat$ Huat$

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  • Ahchoy:

    Tai chi problem back to student and people.

    Any thing went wrong,people buddy fault.

    Time for commission of inquiry find out what went wrong!

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  • Confucius says.....:

    Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. Never do to others what you would not like them to do to you.

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  • Ah Chik:

    KNN,if treat ongoing and EVOLVING COVID as endemic and if sgs suffer serious illnesses,will LHL and his ministers take responsibility?

    Even big countries are treating this pandemic with care and concern for citizens’ safety.

    Dont push blame such as 177K SENIORS did not get vaccinated out of a population of nearly 6 million PLUS MORE IMPORTS OF CECA-DELTA MUTANTS???

    THE GOVT MUST BE HELD RESPONSIBLE.
    DONT BLAME SGS FOR YOUR OWN WRONGDOINGS.

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  • Teachers' Mental Health:

    How about looking into teachers’ overload
    which could lead to their troubling mental health?

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