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CAN SINGAPORE CONTINUE TO SURVIVE?

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  • Sg_Review-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
    David See wrote: Date: Thu, 12 Aug 2004 22:55:53 +0800 (CST) From: David See Subject: CAN SINGAPORE CONTINUE TO SURVIVE? To:
    Message 1 of 3 , Aug 22, 2004
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      David See <dslk8348@...> wrote:
      Date: Thu, 12 Aug 2004 22:55:53 +0800 (CST)
      From: David See
      Subject: CAN SINGAPORE CONTINUE TO SURVIVE?
      To: Sg_Review@...

      CAN SINGAPORE CONTINUE TO SURVIVE?

      by See Leong Kit 12 August 2004

      Irrefutable facts

      1 For the past few decades, Singapore was fortunate to ride alongside a rosy global economy. But the tide had since changed.

      2 The Peoples' Action Party, as the ruling Government, can claim SOME but definitely NOT ALL the credit for Singapore's success SO FAR. Our hardworking people, favourable time zone and geographical location are other notable factors that have also contributed to our development as a financial centre and air/sea hub.

      (Put simply, had the PAP governed Timbuktu in Africa, would the outcome be similar to that in Singapore?)

      3 The whole world knows about Singapore's "top-down control" and "we-know-best" style of political governance. This is a fundamental root cause of the many national problems we face today.

      4 See how, despite 39 long years of independence from British colonial rule, the vast majority of Singaporeans are still fearful of speaking up openly about their concerns. The minority with the moral courage to do so are often "stonewalled" by either "dead silence" or "exasperating replies with spurious arguments" from our public servants.

      This fear of speaking up is an all-pervasive "social cancer" that spreads beyond political issues to even non-political issues, such as when teachers are hesitant to talk openly about the weaknesses of our education system and when social workers are hesitant to talk about the unfolding social issues afflicting our youths. Even professionals like doctors are hesitant to speak openly about emerging health issues.

      As a result, whatever few strengths are openly trumpeted but many weaknesses are not exposed but conveniently swept under the carpet. How can Singapore ever progress on such a basis?

      Indeed, Singaporeans have been conditioned for nearly 40 years to behave like kids i.e. to be seen but not heard. The basic human act of speaking up has become such a Herculean hurdle for most Singaporeans. How can we ever foster resilence, self-reliance, creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and political talent in "yes-man" citizens?

      5 The current over-55 generation of people which have lent their "unquestioning" support and "blind" loyalty over the past decades will soon drop dead and depart for Heaven.

      Taking their place will be a younger generation of better-educated, Internet-savvy Singaporeans who can think, read between the lines and add two and two to make five. They may be largely apathetic but are definitely not stupid. Taking them for fools will constitute "political suicide". Any wise politician will never take these people for granted.

      Necessary ingredients for Singapore's continued survival

      6 Fundamentally, Singapore's continued survival must ultimately depend on the collective inputs and teamwork spirit of its politicians, civil servants and people. No one group has the monopoly of ideas. Each group has to make its share of contribution, whether big or small.

      Such tripartite (politicians/civil servants/people) bonding is far more fundamental/important than the politically-motivated so-called "symbiotic" PAP-NTUC relationship or the Government/Employer/Union relationship.

      7 So what Singapore urgently needs to survive are as follows

      (a) "professional" politicians with such hallmark traits:

      > act professionally just like practitioners in the medical/legal/accounting professions

      > govern though cogent arguments and not through fear, armtwisting , political ploys,etc

      > know they are "answerable" to the people and must "earn" their respect

      > encourage people to speak up freely to understand their concerns and tap their contributions

      > manage the Civil Service as an institution in a professional "at arms length" manner

      (b) "professional" civil servants with these qualities:

      > trying HARDER to serve the public BETTER

      > senior civil servants must be humble/confident enough to put their own names to public replies as an act of responsibility/accountability

      > acknowledge and accept responsibility for mistakes, and will not hide behind the trousers of politicians

      (c) "active" citizens are people who know:

      > they must speak up when things are not right. Otherwise, a small mistake can balloon into a big catastrophe that will affect not just themselves but their children's generation as well.

      > they cannot and must not leave everything to the Government

      > there are more important things in life (such as good health) than making money, asset enhancement, HDB upgrading, etc

      8 So it is incredibly naive for Singapore's politicans to constantly "lecture" Singaporeans to "change their mindsets" and be "self-reliant". Common-sense dictates that the correct sequence of "mindset change" must start at the very top, and then filter downwards as follows:

      Politicans first changing their "we-know-best" mindsets and acting professionally. They will then set the correct example for civil servants to act professionally too.

      Civil servants will next change their mindsets to serve the people in a humble, productive and cost-effective way.

      People who see politicians and civil servants acting professionally will then overcome their fear of speaking up and help provide invaluable feedback for improvements and changes. Only when people can speak freely will they have a sense of ownership/commitment/rootedness as shareholders/stakeholders of Singapore. They will then not be "quitters but stayers" and will not be "boh chap" in leaving everything to the Government!

      In a nutshell

      9 Fundamentally, this is the critical challenge now facing Singapore:

      Our politicians must quickly make up their minds once-and-for-all whether to continue breeding "yes-man" civil servants and citizens who will let them govern this country their way or sincerely nurture thinking Singaporeans who will team up with them to govern our country our way.

      10 Put simply, if the fundamental facts stated above are not addressed, our politicians can talk and talk until the cows come home about "restructuring" Singapore's economy, "remaking" Singapore and "promoting" entrepreneurship and NOTHING WILL EVER CHANGE ONE WEE BIT FOR THE BETTERMENT OF SINGAPORE.

      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      This message from Sammyboy's Alfresco Coffee Shop™ on DelphiForums.com was forwarded to you

      Forum: the Sammyboy's Alfresco Coffee Shop™ Forum
      Subject: Liquidity crunch. Hold on to your money
      From: (HENDRIXTAS)
      To: (ALL)
      DateTime: 20/08/2004 21:13:57

      "Another sucker, Another bankrupt!"

      The snide comments from passers by who see the shutters
      down in a shop/business that opened barely 6 months ago.
      The limited savings he had collected from his CPF got
      washed out from his POSB savings account and into the
      pocket of the fat cat shop landlord, as rental payments.
      The sucker is obliged to complete his rental contract whether
      he is broke while doing that.

      The caustic passer by comments are not wrong in their content.
      The fellow who started the business came with high hopes,
      sincerity and willingness to slog hard. But he missed out
      one thing. There is not enough liquidity in the market
      to support so many retail outlets in HDB estates as well as
      in various shopping malls. The money flow is thin and there
      are just too many retailers chasing too little dough.

      This is the unfortunate story that is being repeated day in day
      out all over Singapore. Hawker stalls folding up, shops downing
      their shutters and people being bankrupted and worse, their
      entire pathetic life savings eroded into thin air.

      Who is to blame for this rot ?
      The Sing inc media, the TV, the Crooked Times, who all play
      a big part hyping up "feel good" stories of success and
      good profits. Making simple people fall for the bait and lose
      their all.

      You may say , what is wrong in the news media hyping up ?
      After all the individual has a choice to believe or ignore.
      You are right. The choice is with the individual, just as in
      many other countries.

      But then you see...in other countries you have an open media.
      When one newspaper hype something, the other puts forward the
      opposing view point, in this case, the liquidity crunch and
      why venturing into business can be risky at the moment etc etc.

      The 'sucker ' is now better informed, better alerted and cautious.
      In other words, he has the privilige to make an informed decision
      whether to jum in or not. If he does, then it is his fate.

      But over here, we have a very controlled media and over the years
      a lot of the reporters of this controlled media have learnt to
      play the game to their benefit - prostitute themselves to vested interests. So many private property and condo buyers are having sleepless nights thanks to this irresponsible an unethical controlled media hype.

      They do it well for their MIW masters. But they screw up so many lives
      too. Not that they have any choice to warn and caution people about the risks. If they do that, they get screwed.

      The bottom line is this. There is just not enough liquidity in the market to support so many retail shops and businesses.

      Tell your old folks to keep their money safe and in the bank.
      At the moment cash is king. For old age and sickness.

      To hell with these feel good stories. Just take them around some
      coffee shops and HDB shop blocks and show them the empty stalls and thge regular change of old sucker sign boards with new sucker sign boards.

      How do you know when the liquidity cruch will be over ?
      When the stock market start to really pick up. Not the 30 odd
      index linked counters that is prime pumped and manipulated by gahmen GLCs.

      But the braordbased picture in the equity market will tell the difference between cash crunch and easy liquidity.

      Now, you may ask why should this be allowed to happen, cause these bankrupts could end up as burden to the gahmen when they fall sick and have no money to pay medical bills etc.

      "No money ?. Sorry. Go home please";
      That is what the girl at the hospital admisison counter will
      now tell you after she key in your IC number into the computer
      to check your medisave balance.

      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Minister Mentor Lee forecasts S'pore can grow 4-6% a year for next decade
      -By Hwee Goh, Channel NewsAsia


      SINGAPORE: Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew says the Singapore economy should be able to grow by 4 to 6 percent each year for the next 10 to 15 years.

      That's because growth conditions across the region are very strong.

      Speaking at a National Day dinner at his Tanjong Pagar constituency, Mr Lee explained why Singaporeans have every reason to be confident and not to over-react when crises strike.

      What the people need, said Mr Lee, is ambition and the dare to climb to greater heights.

      Mr Lee said: "We are a young country and from time to time, our people tend to over-react. So, when times go bad, everybody gets depressed and they think the world is coming to an end because we're not making the same progress like before and we're facing retrenchments. The difference between the present generation and my generation is not that the present generation is weaker but that they have not gone through the same hardship."

      Mr Lee added: "The future is ours to make and I tell the younger generation 'you have been tested in the last 6, 7 years - Asian financial crisis, SARs, Indonesia pressure, Malaysia pressure - you have not collapsed, you can make it provided you have the determination, you have the ambition, and you have the courage, the dare to seek new heights and take Singapore and your children up to a higher level of civilization.'" - CNA


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    • David See
      (For Editor, Sg Review --- pls download as is . Tks) CAN SINGAPORE CONTINUE TO SURVIVE? by See Leong Kit Irrefutable facts 1 For the past few decades,
      Message 2 of 3 , Mar 2, 2006
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        (For Editor, Sg Review ---  pls download "as is". Tks)
         
         
        "CAN SINGAPORE CONTINUE TO SURVIVE?"   by See Leong Kit
         
        Irrefutable facts
         
        1   For the past few decades, Singapore was fortunate to ride on the coat-tails of a rosy U.S. and global economy.  
        But the September 11 terrorist attacks on American targets had changed all that.
         
        2   The Peoples' Action Party, as the ruling Government, can claim some but definitely not all the credit for Singapore's success so far.
        Our hardworking people, favourable time zone and geographical location are other notable factors that have also contributed to our development as a financial centre and air/sea hub.
         
        (Put simply, had the PAP governed Timbuktu in Africa, would the outcome be similar to that in Singapore?)
         
         
        3   The whole world knows about Singapore's "top-down control" and "we-know-best" style of political governance. 
        This is a fundamental root cause of the many national problems we face today.
         
         
        4   See how, despite 40 long years of independence from British colonial rule, the vast majority of Singaporeans are still fearful of speaking up openly about their concerns.
        The minority with the moral courage to do so are often "stonewalled" by either "dead silence" or "exasperating replies with spurious arguments" from our public servants.
         
        This fear of speaking up is an all-pervasive "political/social cancer" that spreads beyond political issues to even non-political issues  ---  such as when teachers are hesitant to talk openly about the weaknesses of our education system and when social workers are hesitant to talk about the unfolding social issues afflicting our youths.   Even professionals like doctors are hesitant to speak openly about emerging health issues.
         
        As a result, whatever few strengths of our public servants are constantly trumpeted but their many weaknesses are not exposed but conveniently swept under the carpet.
        On such a basis, how can Singapore ever "improve and progress" from  "a small country to a Great Nation"?
         
        Indeed, Singaporeans have been conditioned for nearly 40 years to behave like kids i.e. to be seen but not heard. The basic human act of speaking up has become such a Herculean hurdle for most Singaporeans.
        How then can we ever foster resilence, self-reliance, creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and political talent in "yes-man" civil servants and "yes-man" citizens?
         
         
        Necessary ingredients for Singapore's continued survival
         
        5   Fundamentally, Singapore's continued survival  must  ultimately depend on the  collective inputs  and  teamwork spirit  of its politicians, civil servants and people.
        No one group has the monopoly of ideas or can claim all the credit for the country's achievements. Each group has to make its share of contribution, whether big or small.
         
         
        6   So what Singapore urgently needs to survive are as follows:
         
        (a) "professional" politicians with such hallmark traits:
         
        > act professionally just like practitioners in the medical/legal/accounting professions.
        > govern though cogent arguments and not through fear, armtwisting , political ploys,etc.
        > know they are "answerable" to the people and must "earn" their respect.
        > encourage people to speak up freely to understand their concerns and tap their contributions.
        > manage the Civil Service as an institution in a professional "at arms length" manner.
         
        (b) "professional" civil servants with these qualities:
         
        > trying HARDER to serve the public BETTER
        > senior civil servants must be humble/confident enough to put their own names  to public replies as an act of responsibility/accountability
        > acknowledge and accept responsibility for mistakes, and will not hide behind
        the trousers of politicians
         
        (c) "active" citizens are people who know:
         
        > they must speak up when things are not right.  Otherwise, a small mistake can balloon into a big catastrophe that will affect not just themselves but their
        children's generation as well.
        > they cannot and must not leave everything to the Government.
        > there are more important things in life (such as good health) than making money, asset enhancement, HDB upgrading, etc.
         
         
        7   So it is incredibly naive for Singapore's politicians to constantly "lecture" Singaporeans to "change their mindsets" and be "self-reliant".
         
        Common-sense dictates that the correct sequence of "mindset change" must start at the very top, and then filter downwards as follows:
         
        Politicans first changing their "we-know-best" mindsets and acting professionally.  They will then set the correct example for civil servants to act professionally too.
         
        Civil servants will next change their mindsets to serve the people in a humble,
        productive and cost-effective way.
         
        People who see politicians and civil servants acting professionally will then overcome their fear of speaking up and help provide invaluable feedback  for improvements and changes.
         
        Only when people can speak freely will they have a sense of ownership/commitment/rootedness  as  shareholders/stakeholders  of Singapore.
        They will then not be "quitters but stayers" and will not be "boh chap" in leaving everything to the Government!
         
         
        In a nutshell
         
        8   Fundamentally, this is the critical challenge now facing Singapore:
         
        Our politicians must quickly make up their minds once-and-for-all whether
        to continue breeding "yes-man" civil servants and citizens who will let them govern THIS country THEIR way  or  sincerely nurture thinking Singaporeans who will team up with them to govern OUR country OUR way.
         
         
        9   Put simply, if the fundamental facts stated above are not addressed,
        our politicians can TALK AND TALK (until all the cows have come home) about "restructuring" Singapore's economy; "remaking" Singapore; "promoting" entrepreneurship; etc, etc.....
        but  NOTHING WILL EVER CHANGE ONE WEE BIT  for the  BETTERMENT
        of  SINGAPORE (as a country)  and  SINGAPOREANS (as a people) !!!
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         


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      • David See
            CAN SINGAPORE CONTINUE TO SURVIVE?   by See Leong Kit                  July 2008     Part 1 of 2:    My published ST Forum letter:
        Message 3 of 3 , Jul 30, 2008
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          CAN SINGAPORE CONTINUE TO SURVIVE?
           
          by See Leong Kit                  July 2008
           
           
          Part 1 of 2:    My published ST Forum letter:
           
          July 31, 2008   ST Forum 
          Singapore's success not about PAP or opposition
           
          See Leong Kit
                I AM from the same senior-citizen generation as Mr Lee Choon Wah, who wrote the laudatory letter last Saturday, 'Opposition yet to show it can deliver'.
           
                In the past few decades, this generation lent its unquestioning support and blind loyalty to the ruling People's Action Party (PAP) Government.
           
                Taking its place will be a new generation of younger, better-educated and Internet-savvy Singaporeans who can think, read between the lines and add two and two to make five.
           
                The PAP Government can rightly claim some but not all credit for Singapore's success so far.
           
                Its hardworking people, favourable time zone and geographical location have also contributed to its development as a financial centre and an air and sea hub.
           
                Put simply, had the PAP governed Timbuktu in Africa, would the outcome have been similar?
           
                Singapore's continued survival must depend ultimately on the collective input and teamwork spirit of its politicians, civil servants and people. No one group has a monopoly on ideas or can claim all credit for Singapore's achievements. Each group makes its share of contribution, big or small.
           
                The necessary ingredients for good political governance are:
           
          >>  Caring politicians, who know they are answerable to the people to earn public respect, as well as encourage people to speak up freely to understand their concerns and tap their contributions.
           
          >>  Competent civil servants, who try hard to serve the public better and accept responsibility for mistakes.
           
          >>   Active citizens, who must overcome their fear of speaking up to highlight society's shortcomings and know there are more important things in life than making money, asset enhancement and HDB upgrades - such as good health.
           
                Only when people can speak freely will they have a sense of rootedness as citizens of Singapore. They will then not be 'quitters' but 'stayers' and will not be indifferent and leave everything to the Government.
           
                This is one critical challenge facing Singapore. Politicians must make up their minds once and for all whether to continue breeding 'yes-man' citizens who will let them govern 'their country their way', or sincerely nurture thinking Singaporeans who will team up with them to govern 'our country our way'.
           
           
           
          Part 2 of 2:    The ST Forum letter referred to:
           
          July 26, 2008    ST Forum
           
           
          Opposition yet to show it can deliver, unlike PAP
          Lee Choon Wah
          I REFER to Wednesday's letter by Mr Alvin Tan, 'JBJ must be careful if he wishes to espouse Singapore's cause'.
           
          I admire Mr J.B. Jeyaretnam for his fighting spirit. Even though he is 82, he is still actively engaged in politics. I hope he will retire graciously.
           
          I welcome an opposition, provided it is constructive and helps Singapore make progress.
           
          I have been through six or seven general elections. At each one, the opposition candidates always seem to have the same agenda. They criticise government policies and fight for freedom of speech, but they say nothing about how to help raise national productivity or revenue.
           
          The People's Action Party Government has given us a well-run system. Because of this, all my siblings have at least 10 years of education, they own Housing Board homes, and their children can have a tertiary education and hold stable jobs.
           
          This is what we want for our future generations.
           
          I would like to recount an incident in the 1960s, when I was a secondary student.
           
          I had the opportunity to meet then-prime minister Lee Kuan Yew at the official opening of Outram Hill Community Centre. He had walked from Outram Road up Outram Hill. The moment he offered me his hand, I did not hesitate to shake it.
           
          I had the feeling then that Singapore was in good hands.
           
          Voting for the opposition now, in the light of what the Government has promised and fulfilled, would amount to dismantling what it has achieved, and moving backwards.
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           


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