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The old PAP that Singaporeans have trusted is gone

If the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic was a real war, then it is obvious that Singapore would be doomed by now.

Touted by PM Lee as the “crisis of a generation” in his national broadcast in June last year, has anyone realized that there is no ex-general or medically-trained politician in the MTF?

Is the PAP deliberately withholding their best politicians from this crucial battle for some strategic reason?

The Singaporean-Factor:

Defence and social cohesion, natured over many years through our collective effort in Nation Building, used to be the bedrocks that define our existence as a sovereign nation.

That was when many Singaporeans looked up to our first generation of leaders and granted them the trust and respect needed to govern our country and overcome adversity.

Ask any Singaporeans then and they can tell you about our Economic Plan by way of analogies, such as the importance of having a “Twin-Engine for Growth” or speak proudly of our Presidents, and almost everyone show high regards for political leaders like Lee Kuan Yew, Goh Keng Swee, Devan Nair or Ong Teng Cheong.

Through hard work, discipline and trust in the leadership of our First Cabinet, we proper as a nation until a few politicians start believing that they are more superior and have been more instrumental in forging our earlier success than the rest of the nation.

Absolute Rule – The PAP’s Way Or No Way:

But the seed of our self-destruction was conceived just a couple of years earlier, before the First Cabinet collectively stepped down in 1985.

Money politics became the new norms when the Pension Scheme for civil servants was replaced by a one-off gratuity while our National Saving Scheme (CPF) was turned into a Retirement Scheme.

But for the privileged politicians and their subordinates in public service, their pay scales were revised upward, and upon retirement, they were further rewarded with a luxurious Pension Scheme, much better than any welfare state in the world.

Can anyone ever forget how a Health Minister, after being paid millions in remuneration, have the audacity to openly boost about having a heart-bypass for a mere S$8 while the average Singaporeans are resigned to costly medical bills?

From being a pragmatic and prudent society that is grounded in Confucius values, we traded away our value-system and started spending extravagantly.

Our Singaporean Workforce was rapidly diluted with high influx of cheaper foreign workers while Permanent Secretary position in our ministries were reduced from being “equals” of ministers to being their subordinates.

Mismanagement, Misjudgment & Miscalculation:

Fast-forward, the follies of those politically-driven changes are finally being exposed by the pandemic.

The old PAP that Singaporeans have trusted is gone, replaced by a corporate PAP in the form of SG Inc.

We have unwittingly adopted the brutal culture of Corporate America because the majority of Singaporeans continue to give them a “blank cheque” at every general election, and many Singaporeans are finally getting a taste of its brutality for the first time.

Truth be told, the caliber of the many of the 4G politicians are nowhere close to high performing Americans as the pandemic has shown us.

By presuming that the pandemic will go away by itself, the government has been caught off-guard on several occasions, only to realize that even the mRNA-vaccination is proving to be ineffective and their strategy of herd-immunity is no difference than that of a mirage in the dessert.

Against such a backdrop of failures, contradictions and growing discontention, it is only natural that concerned Singaporeans start questioning our government about the soundness of its strategy against the pandemic.

Many Singaporeans, especially parents, wanted to know more about the many unknown of the mRNA technology and its side-effects as infection and fatality rates start escalating despite our high vaccination rate of over 85%.

It is wrong for Singaporeans to feel nervous when things are getting from bad to worse?

Instead of providing answers and more data to reassure concerned Singaporeans, or putting more effort into finding out why some Singaporeans remains unvaccinated, it is totally absurd for the government to be dismissive, and instead, put the blame of the rise in infection on the unvaccinated and start implementing discriminating policy against them.

When PM Lee make a remark at the end of the G20 Summit in Rome to the media early this month that Singapore is “making progress” when the reality is that our infection and fatality rates are soaring out of control, he was in for a rude shock when the EU placed Singapore on its list of travel restriction a week later, and subsequently, when Denmark disallows Singapore residents quarantine free travel access into their country.

Concerned Singaporeans, like the EU and Denmark, are not gullible to fall for such political rhetoric.

What Are We Fighting Exactly?

What is troubling is that there is a massive difference between the official narrative and the reality on the ground.

We spend millions stationing Safety Ambassadors at our hawker centres island-wide to control access but almost anyone can still walk into our hawker centres undetected through the many glaring physical gaps.

We exact punitive punishments on fellow Singaporeans when they fail to keep to the prescribed safety measures but seem to be turning a blind eye when it comes to foreigners.

A taxi-driver told me that every Sunday, he notices that foreign workers are bringing their FDW-girlfriends to budget-hotels across Singapore for a short-term stay of a few hours, and this is happening from Geylang to Tiong Bahru.

He even told me that beside these rendezvous at budget-hotels, there are also several karaoke that are still openly flouting safety measures.

How on earth can MOM, MHA, MOH and the other governmental agencies remain clueless about such blatant discrepancies that are happening right under their noses?

Don’t just take my words for it but do go around and see for yourself or ask taxi drivers about such exploits.

So where is our government’s resolution in fighting the pandemic?

In light of all these glaring discrepancies, who should we hold responsible for the recent rise in infection and fatality in Singapore – unvaccinated Singaporeans or those gallivanting foreigners and errand operators?

Is there even a basis to be discriminating against the unvaccinated when the government cannot get its own acts together in the first place?

Is the MTF A Political Hot-Seat By Design?

How on earth can the MTF or MOH be expected to manage our fight against the pandemic when other ministries and agencies are not taking their responsibility seriously?

What is the probability that the MTF is being used by some of the PM-wannabes to get rid of their opponents?

Who can concerned Singaporeans and parents turn to for help if our government continues to be dismissive of their concerns and needs for clarification?

Shouldn’t Lee, as a former brigadier general, don his military amour once again and rally his legion of ex-generals and all his shortlisted PM-wannabes into the battle against the pandemic and save Singapore?

In so doing, we can at least be assured that the “whole of government” will be as committed as Lee in his fight against the “crisis of a generation”.

Until our government act in better faith, the Hard Truth is that more lives will be lost needlessly and Singapore will become more divided as a nation.

Is this acceptable and do we still believe that Singaporeans deserve better?

 

Joseph Nathan

 

 

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READER COMMENTS BELOW

22 Responses to “The old PAP that Singaporeans have trusted is gone”

  • Mistakes:

    Singapore done well in handling COVID-19, but must learn from mistakes: PM Lee Hsien Loong

    PTI | Published: 02nd September 2020 04:02 PM

    SINGAPORE: Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Wednesday said that the country has done well in handling the coronavirus pandemic so far, but admitted that there were some shortcomings and it must learn from them.

    He pointed out that the city-state’s fatality rate is one of the lowest in the world, with new infections in the community down to just a handful a day and fewer than 100 patients remaining in hospitals.

    Singapore reported 49 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, including three imported infections.

    Singapore’s tally of positive cases stands at 56,901 while the death toll is 27.

    https://www.newindianexpress.com/world/2020/sep/02/singapore-done-well-in-handling-covid-19-but-must-learn-from-mistakes-pm-lee-hsien-loong-2191549.html

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  • limpei:

    now Singapore is ganasai under the current administration, became 3rd world after importing all the foreign trash camouflaged as talent but supported by the gullible Ah loong.

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  • LongTong Ai Hum:

    Dear All,
    SG under PAP has lost the war long ago, the day CECA was signed. The enemies (not one but many) were invited in openly and all they need to do to win is to simply walk out.

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  • As of 13th Nov, 14 more cases, aged between 61 and 94 years, have passed away from complications due to COVID-19 infection. All of them, except for a partially vaccinated case, had various underlying medical conditions.

    In plain sinple understandable English, it means:

    14 more cases, aged between 61 and 94 years, have passed away from complications due to COVID-19 infection. All of them, except for a partially vaccinated case, had various underlying medical conditions ARE FULLY VACCINATED.

    Out of the 2179 reported local cases, 225 are below the age of 12 while 87 are teenagers.

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  • Bounce back strongly:

    A FW and his FDW having a good time in a budget hotel is not an offence. It is the rights fighters who had fought very hard for the FDWs to be granted day off for the betterment of their working life in the country.

    If taxi drivers are aware of the fact that Karaoke are flouting safety measures, they should carry out their duty as citizens of the country by reporting to the authorities for action.

    mRNA vaccines is developed with new technology with stringent clinical trails before being allowed to use to curb the spread of the virus. Thorough assessment must have been done before deciding to purchase the vaccines for the people. We appreciate the farsightedness of the ghamen in making the decision early and made the vaccines sufficiently available in time.

    Some asked what the ghamen had done to fight the pandemic?

    For those who have been following the development of the pandemic in the country will know and appreciate the approach by the ghamen in dealing with the virus.

    Inevitably there will be naysayers along the way to cast doubt, probably in the hope of discrediting the ghamen’s efforts, the core Singaporean who have been following the development will not be affected.

    The current leadership is still as good as the old one if not better. The Covid situation now shows signs of tapering down. The country will bounce back strongly in the way ahead.

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  • theforgottongeneration:

    Good LONG article. But, hey SG seems to be in such a dire situation that its problems cannot be said in 1-2 paragraphs, hor.

    In short, SG experienced FAILED LEADERSHIP under the 3G team. OK, maybe some blame can be attributed to the 2G team as GCT is an economist by training and so the policies shifted more towards $$$-making (plus the inevitable lure of “self-enrichment” and pure arrogance). But the writings of SG’s woes were clearly on the wall when the 3G took over – the SG identity is one, another is the TFR issue, our declining global competitiveness (in part due to relying more and more on cheap imported talents/labor), etc… Given a super long runway, the Golden Boy simply FAILED to address any of these. Instead he prefers to spend time suing the pants off citizens and critics.

    The folly of all this is that the current PAP allowed itself to live off the achievements of the old PAP. The disaster is that it think it is ENTITLED to the Trust that Singaporeans had given to the Old Team. The irony is that having FAILED to deliver on leadership, Loong blamed Singaporeans as Free Riders – while in fact he has been the biggest FREE RIDER in SG (and paying himself million$ for being so too, hor?).

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  • Whats up doc:

    Mistakes:
    Singapore done well in handling COVID-19, but must learn from mistakes: PM Lee Hsien Loong

    PTI | Published: 02nd September 2020 04:02 PM

    SINGAPORE: Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Wednesday said that the country has done well in handling the coronavirus pandemic so far, but admitted that there were some shortcomings and it must learn from them.

    He pointed out that the city-state’s fatality rate is one of the lowest in the world, with new infections in the community down to just a handful a day and fewer than 100 patients remaining in hospitals.

    Singapore reported 49 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, including three imported infections.

    Singapore’s tally of positive cases stands at 56,901 while the death toll is 27.

    https://www.newindianexpress.com/world/2020/sep/02/singapore-done-well-in-handling-covid-19-but-must-learn-from-mistakes-pm-lee-hsien-loong-2191549.html

    That useless clown master is in denial or oredy lost his mind.

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  • theforgottongeneration:

    “… When PM Lee make a remark at the end of the G20 Summit in Rome to the media early this month that Singapore is “making progress” when the reality is that our infection and fatality rates are soaring out of control,….”

    Earlier this week, it was revealed that SG is currently ranked 100 on the Nikkei Covid Recovery Index. We were ranked 12 in July. Sure, any index has some debatable metrics in its scoring card, but to drop 88 places while our ClownForce keep boasting that we have one of the highest vaccination level in the world?!?!?! This illustrates the standards of the MTF/PMO/PAP’s Ownself Check Ownself, Ownself Pat Ownself.

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  • Trust only myself:

    “Crisis of a generation” is referring to the possibility of loosing their “hard earned millions” if covid didn’t go away…….

    So they must push for “living with covid” and to put someone else in charge so they are welled insulated……even if the goons wake up.

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  • WakeupSG:

    SG IS IN TROUBLE IF NOTHING IS DONE TO REPLACE THE “LIVE WITH VIRUS” MTF WITH “FIGHT THE VIRUS” MTF!

    The public does not know what is the early aggressive treatment protocols for the TWIN phases of fighting the Covid viz, the viral replication phase & 8th day inflammatory phase to prevent or reduce deaths which now stands at 576!
    (https://covexit.com/the-8th-day-therapy-for-covid-19/)

    Don’t wait till IT’S TOO LATE to fight the virus at the hospitals & ICUs!

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  • Truth,Whole truth,Nothing but:

    Thank you Mr Nathan, Sir!
    No truer words have ever been spoken.
    We ordinary folks feel it and think along the same lines but are not articulate enough to speak out.
    You took the words right out of our mouths.

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  • Harder Truths:

    TRE Techie: 14 more cases, aged between 61 and 94 years, have passed away from complications due to COVID-19 infection. All of them, except for a partially vaccinated case, had various underlying medical conditions ARE FULLY VACCINATED.

    Glad I’m not allowed in shopping centers and malls now. All I will see is vaccinated people dropping dead for no reason. Expect the dropping dead to continue for a long time to come. I need to get used to it.

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  • NotMyProblem:

    Mistakes:
    Singapore done well in handling COVID-19, but must learn from mistakes: PM Lee Hsien Loong

    …….

    Yes that was said in September 2020, more than 1 year ago!!

    Had the MTF learns anything?

    Is the team still looking for the magic solution or wishing to re-wind the clock?

    I only see the PAP’s team is now trying to pass the blame to every body or anybody except itself!! As long as the PAP’s Ministers and MPs were not affected, nothing learnt and nothing will change.

    Now, the only hope is for Singaporeans to be smart and brave enough to make the change to teach the PAP a lesson!

    Asking the 61%, are you people smart and brave enough to do that?

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  • The 61%:

    Oh, yes!

    We are definitely smart and brave enough to continue supporting PAP without any hesitation!

    NotMyProblem:

    Asking the 61%, are you people smart and brave enough to do that?

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  • Are they Daemons or Demons?:

    DAEMON (noun)

    * pronounced as dae·​mon *
    - variant spelling of DEMON

    1a) an evil spirit
    eg. * angels and demons
    1b) a source or agent of evil, harm, distress, or ruin
    eg. * the demons of drug and alcohol addiction
    * confronting the demons of his childhood.

    2) usually daemon : an attendant power or attendant spirit : GENIE, JINN

    3)Daemon (in mythology):
    is a supernatural being whose nature is intermediate between that of a god and that of a human being (patrons of witchcraft and sorcery)

    4) a person that has exceptional enthusiasm, drive, or effectiveness
    eg. * a demon for work
    * At the golf course today Doug was putting like a demon, he had birdies on the third and sixth …

    5) DAEMON : a software program or process that runs in the background

    eg. * This system has a mailer daemon installed on an e-mail system can respond to a piece of incorrectly addressed e-mail by generating an automated message to the sender that the message was undeliverable.

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  • opposition dude:

    PAP talks loads of laughable nonsense these days so it’s comedy hour every hour. Remember at the start of the pandemic they were saying things like “We have learned from SARS”, “Children are not a vector for the virus” and my favourite of all time “DON’T WEAR MASK IF YOU ARE NOT SICK”

    As usual, talk big and talk nonsense as if they already knew the virus for decades and knew what it would and wouldn’t do. None of these highly paid morons would have predicted that the virus would mutate and we would still be fighting it almost 2 years later.

    The impression of them is naturally shit since they once again shot themselves in the foot by declaring this pandemic endemic but don’t know what endemic means. If it’s endemic then there should not be any stupid rules about 2 to a table and the unvaccinated not allowed to dine out. You have rules in place means this ISN’T endemic, it is no difference when restrictions were lifted last year after the 2 month lockdown.

    Time to make some noise come the next GE!

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  • theforgottongeneration:

    LHL’s “crisis of a generation” was referring to his political legacy just before GE2020. Let’s call a spade a spade – it was never about covid. Loong gambled and LOST in getting a strong mandate – period.

    Prior to GE2020, many were warning that he better get more than the 70% PAP got in GE2015. This is to dispute what some attributed the good showing of GE2015 to the “LKY effect”. Between 2015 and 2020, Loong also import about 6-8% new citizens as voters too (the “kaisu effect”). So alas, GE2020 conclusively proved that without the weight of daddy behind him, it was indeed a crisis … for the Dishonorable Son.

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  • Temusik Patriot:

    Simply put Joe,…trust an idiot just b’cos he carries Lie as surname…Deserved all they going through n facing…
    Vote them out n get monkies in…and who knows the monkies may do a better job with only Peanuts as salaries

    “When you pay Peanuts you get monkies to do the job”

    PAY millions n what do you get??? Idiots who are pigs thinking they can FLY

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  • John Doe:

    Let me begin – I would call the PAP of the 70s-90s legends, and under them SG was legendary that period.

    Those days likes of SISIR, NPB institutions, people likes of Philip Yeo, Ngiam, Pillay, Sim Khee Boon, Chng Jit Koon, Cheong Chong Koon, Dr Wan, Dr Chiang, JBJ (true SG Patriot to me), Koh Beng Seng, Hsuan OwYang, Datuk Tan Chin Tuan, Wong (of Venture), Sim WHoo, Promet Shipyard Directors Brian and Benetty Changs, Wah Changs KP Ho – these, among dozens others endless to name here but with due respect, are the REAL LIONS of SG. These are the the PROMINENT SGpns whose tasks of serving SG, showed us what it means to the people – AND THEIR RESULTS WERE TRULY FULLY AWESOME, ENORMOUS ABSENT of all sweet talks, flip flops, excuses after excuses,bcz in their DNA, serving SGpns means true blue sacrifices for SGpns NO EXCUSES for mistakes and poor results.

    And MOST IMPORTANTLY their DRIVE were NOT MOTIVATED by salaries, OR asking for justification, if they had failed, ‘NO ONE ASK ME FOR AN APOLOGY’.

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  • A founding father warned us...:

    In a 2003 interview, Mr. Ngiam Tong Dow told The Straits Times the Singapore bureaucracy’s biggest danger was that “we are flying on autopilot”. Pressed on why this had come to be, Ngiam said: “There is a particular brand of Singapore elite arrogance creeping in. Some civil servants behave like they have a mandate from the Emperor. We think we are little Lee Kuan Yews.”

    In the same interview, he urged the country’s leaders to accept that the city state was larger than the PAP, and urged it to end the practice of placing all government scholars in the civil service as a way of preserving its own longevity.

    “It is the law of nature that all things must atrophy. Unless [Lee Kuan Yew] allows serious political challenges to emerge from the alternative elite out there, the incumbent elite will just coast along,” Ngiam said.

    More controversial was a 2013 interview with the official publication of the Singapore Medical Association. This time, Ngiam challenged the PAP’s long held argument that political office holders need to be highly paid, not only to deter corruption, but to ensure that top talent in the private sector can be persuaded to enter public service.

    He suggested that ministers being mindful that their million-dollar salaries could be at stake, would hesitate to “tell off” Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

    https://amp.scmp.com/week-asia/people/article/3098182/ngiam-tong-dow-pioneering-singapore-bureaucrat-who-bemoaned-little

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  • theforgottongeneration:

    A founding father warned us...:
    In a 2003 interview, Mr. Ngiam Tong Dow told The Straits Times the Singapore bureaucracy’s biggest danger was that “we are flying on autopilot”. Pressed on why this had come to be, Ngiam said: “There is a particular brand of Singapore elite arrogance creeping in. Some civil servants behave like they have a mandate from the Emperor. We think we are little Lee Kuan Yews……”

    Good reference and thoughts, to remind us where we had been. The Old team had a shrewd/respectable (not necessarily lovable) leader and good people working for him. Now we have an over-rated Golden Prince who only surrounds himself with Clowns – by paying them million$ for their loyalty. How the Great have fallen indeed.

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  • Don't ever forget this Ahgong:

    This “shrewd/respectable leader” was also the rebellious caveat in the natural aristocracy of vanguard PAP. Ahgong resisted the PAP leadership and their principles: recall that Dr. Toh and Dr. Goh were chairman and vice-chairman of PAP, while LKY served as secretary-general; that he got to lead the team was a marginal 7-6 internal CEC vote for him against the party treasurer Ong Eng Guan, later to be the first Minister for National Development.
    The “Golden Prince” maths guy BG was christened by none other than his own father who singularly chose Goh Chok Tong to warm the seat while the prince went through the paces of party on-the-job training. Don’t we remember our beloved Ong Teng Cheong the father of MRT and the master of technocrat-labour relations? He was hugely popular with common Singaporeans and we hoped for him to be the 2nd PM – Nope! Not in LKY’s designs….. Ong Teng Cheong (the 2nd PAP chairman) was too much the party man of democratic socialist principles – one thinks of the kiwi PM Jacinda Arden in this respect.
    But Ahgong was intent on fabricating his new Singapore Incorporated nation; the unfortunate President Ong was booted out from the algebra of national governance for insisting on political checks and balances with regards to the National Reserves and CPF accountability. LKY also forced the legislation of the compulsory citizen Medisave public health care savings against the strong protest of Dr. Toh and Dr. Goh – it would deplete everyone’s retirement funds after hdb flats had carved out a big chunk! And the old PM did the unthinkable: He innovated a poltical creature known as the (party) ceo-politician out of the depths of his Machiavellian imagination for which all Singaporeans therefore have no refuge from the assaults of Corporate ambitions and its hubris posing as representative government for the people….. Thus doth the Emperor rule over his kingdom where legalism is the autocratic instrument for subjugating the masses of cpf-pooling sheeples. Together with the empress, they rule the sovereign wealth funds from the same bed – blessed by their shrewd/cunning father…..yes, our Republic had been hijacked by the elitist leader for his dynasty. Who just corporatize every damn ministry and government department, sit back and demand year-end profits! See to believe your electricity and water and medical bills in the world’s most expensive city…. a little island state of crony-capitalist Papeconomics.

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