Friday, August 18, 2006

There are idiots...

...and then there are idiots. (See below for the offending article)

I love it when people try to impose their values on the general population. I love it simply because they make themselves out to be complete and utter moron!s. (Thus requiring little effort on my part to retort.) How?

Let us count the ways:

  1. Han is trying to push for a utilitarian perspective. One should be happy when all basic needs have been met. He completely ignores the fact that a utilitarian society like the one that he is trying to sell us is one in which its citizens are non-thinking, mindless automatons...And let's face it, Singaporeans (despite my misgivings) are capable of thought. And they have emotions. And they have aspirations of something more than a job and a roof over their heads. Democracy brings us more than just an opportunity to vote. It brings us choice and choice leads to freedom.
  2. He ignores the fact that having an opposition is more than just having another team to root for in the GEs. It's about checks and balances. It's about accountability and a reminder to the government that unless they do their jobs right, there are credible forces available to take over the reins. Infantile thinking by the man at best.

Let's pull apart his arguments here:

I am no politician but a working man. I do not have many facts but I know what I want and what I need.

We have many jobs in Singapore and unemployment is not a major problem. We have good housing. Our economy may not be super but it's good enough in that our Sing dollar is stronger than some other currencies.

Of course, he's making a huge assumption that the things that he wants and needs are the things that all Singaporeans want and need. Way to go with the humility.

We have many jobs in Singapore and unemployment is not a major problem. We have good housing. Our economy may not be super but it's good enough in that our Sing dollar is stronger than some other currencies.

We have a low crime rate. At least I know that I don't fear walking down the street with the thought of being killed or stabbed. So there's no problem with jobs, housing, getting food on the table.

Uhm...Many jobs in Singapore. Fine. Unemployment low? OK. But what makes you think that just because you're employed, you'd be able to put food on your family's table. Like Han admits, he doesn't have all the facts. So in the succinct words of forum posters all over the world, GTFO!
I also love the fact that he says that our currency is stronger than some currencies. Great...nice to know that...especially since the countries that these "some currencies" are based in are countries like Myanmar, Africa, Cambodia, Afghanistan...etc. The list is endless. Basically, the implication is that Han's happy as long as we're not the poorest nation in the world. Talk about underachieving. Nice.

Many people say that Singapore is not democratic enough. But which country in the world is truly democratic? I don't think there is one because it's impossible.

The USA? UK? Many Americans and British opposed the idea of going to war in Iraq. Not all opposed it, but almost half the population did. Opinions were split, at least in the UK.

As leaders of the two most democratic nations in the world, Bush and Blair had a responsibility to act in democratic ways, respecting the will of the masses on a global scale the same way that democratic governments should act on a national scale.

Yet what did Tony Blair and George Bush do? They did not wait for another round of UN inspections and talks, etc. They invaded Iraq the moment they could...despite international disapproval.

(I'm going to assume that this part was butchered in typical Straits Times fashion because otherwise, I'd have to assume that this guy can't string a proper argument together. The bolded bits are what I felt completed the ideas.) OK. Well, "almost half the population" is not a democracy. "Almost half the population" means that a mojority still felt justified to go to war. The point is that come 2008, the whole population gets to choose a new leader (at least in the US). Pick a new direction or stick to the old one. The present leaders, reckless as they are, know that there are consequences to their actions and they'll pay for it, hopefully, at the next elections.

Correct me if I'm wrong. Isn't democracy supposed to be when the majority or everyone is for the idea, and action is taken? That's the whole reason for consulting the public in the first place. Otherwise what's the use of it?

Which returns to what I was saying earlier about accountability. When a government consults the people and a voice of protest is raised, what measures are in place to ensure that the voice of the public does not go unheard? *cough*integratedresortnationallibraryfarehikes*cough* What measures are in place to ensure that the government listens? Possibly a bad showing at the polls would surely drive home a message to those in power that their power is by a mandate of the people and they really should avoid the arrogance of believing otherwise.

So if it's not the case of making Singapore a super, truly democratic country, what's the problem? Getting more opposition into parliament? But why? Is the PAP doing something wrong?

It's at this point that he believes that we're not really trying to become a democracy but just holding elections for the sake of voting. Of course, this is what we call a logic jump. I would try to work out what he's arguing here but as a teacher, I'd say he's full of crap and this is all a smoke screen. -10 points from Slitherin!

I cannot honestly see what's wrong. All I can see is that the need for jobs, food, housing and security are all met.

This is where we'd be spamming the message boards with: L2Pn00b. (Learn to Play Newbie for those not fluent in leet speak...) What I see is someone who's living overseas taking a look at our system and trying to say that we should be happy without giving us any reason why these utilitarian needs are going to make us satisfied.

So what is the PAP doing wrong? Do we want to get more opposition into the parliament for the sake of it? So that the PAP will not be the dominant party? But why?

To put this to rest, let's quote FDR.

“The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it comes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism - ownership of government by an individual, by a group,”

'Nuff said? Let's move on.

Will the opposition really do anything different that I want? I cannot imagine having any more needs other than jobs, food, housing and security. And I find the PAP is doing a good job at them. So why would I want anything different?

Hmmm...How to respond to this? I love how Han speaks for the country. What he wants is what is good for the country. I'm sorry, are we to be mindless automatons? Don't answer that.

Why spoil something that's already working? If one day the PAP starts to get things wrong and there are no more jobs, housing becomes amazingly expensive or there is none at all, or if I cannot walk down the street without peace of mind, I would then say that the PAP is finished.

We should change things. That is when I would want a good opposition that can change things to be in the parliament and make a difference to Singapore.

Uhm...When that day comes, you'll realise that it's a whole lot harder to actually get an opposition party into the government without bloodshed. The ones in power do not generally relinquish said power easily. Also, what he does not realise is that the system in place to change the government in Singapore would have been eradicated due to his "happy thoughts" dissolution of all opposition. Who's going to step up?

Idiot.

With the PAP in charge, who needs opposition parties?

I find it amazing that many people can be so pissed off with the Singapore Government. What for?

I am no politician but a working man. I do not have many facts but I know what I want and what I need.

We have many jobs in Singapore and unemployment is not a major problem. We have good housing. Our economy may not be super but it's good enough in that our Sing dollar is stronger than some other currencies.

We have a low crime rate. At least I know that I don't fear walking down the street with the thought of being killed or stabbed. So there's no problem with jobs, housing, getting food on the table.

It's a pretty safe place to live in; no problem in getting big foreign investors to invest and create jobs in our country. So what is the problem?

Many people say that Singapore is not democratic enough. But which country in the world is truly democratic? I don't think there is one because it's impossible.

The USA? UK? Many Americans and British opposed the idea of going to war in Iraq. Not all opposed it, but almost half the population did. Opinions were split, at least in the UK.

Yet what did Tony Blair and George Bush do? They did not wait for another round of UN inspections and talks, etc. They invaded Iraq the moment they could.

Correct me if I'm wrong. Isn't democracy supposed to be when the majority or everyone is for the idea, and action is taken? That's the whole reason for consulting the public in the first place. Otherwise what's the use of it?

So if it's not the case of making Singapore a super, truly democratic country, what's the problem? Getting more opposition into parliament? But why? Is the PAP doing something wrong?

I cannot honestly see what's wrong. All I can see is that the need for jobs, food, housing and security are all met.

So what is the PAP doing wrong? Do we want to get more opposition into the parliament for the sake of it? So that the PAP will not be the dominant party? But why?

Will the opposition really do anything different that I want? I cannot imagine having any more needs other than jobs, food, housing and security. And I find the PAP is doing a good job at them. So why would I want anything different?

Why spoil something that's already working? If one day the PAP starts to get things wrong and there are no more jobs, housing becomes amazingly expensive or there is none at all, or if I cannot walk down the street without peace of mind, I would then say that the PAP is finished.

We should change things. That is when I would want a good opposition that can change things to be in the parliament and make a difference to Singapore.

But for now, do we need that?

Han Fook Kwang
Liverpool, United Kingdom

3 Comments:

Anonymous Mike Wee said...

Maybe, just maybe, it's the greatest piece of satire ever written by a Singaporean!

...okay maybe not.

I cannot imagine having any more needs other than jobs, food, housing and security.

I have to say, if that is so then he's a damn simplistic person. Which might then explain a fair bit about his letter.

Fri Aug 18, 08:38:00 pm 2006  
Blogger K35732 said...

lol the best part is that he's in Liverpool!

Fri Aug 18, 10:27:00 pm 2006  
Blogger rook said...

Wow, just wow.


I cannot imagine having any more needs other than jobs, food, housing and security.

That list of human needs is, technically, not incorrect. However, he has simply overlooked that these things don't exist on a binary state (yes we have them / no we don't) -- that's why we talk about QUALITY of life.

Either he's one of those who's achieved the ability to be content with getting his basic needs satisfied (pretty much prescribed by the 3 major religions in SG), or he's got an overly simplistic way of looking at things.

Looking at his argument of "only when the PAP does things wrongly should we look at installing opposition," I'm inclined to think he falls into the latter catergory.

Sun Aug 20, 02:22:00 pm 2006  

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