Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Mancrush on our DPM, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam

Almost a year ago, I attend the DBS Asian Insights Conference and that was the very first time that I saw Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnum live in person. It was bloody impressive.

Recently I stumbled upon this video of DPM at the St. Gallen Symposium. I actually had a friend who had helped organized one of the previous symposiums before. This was the first time I've seen a video from it.

The video is really long, but it is absolutely awesome. If you want to see how someone so clearly frames problems that Singapore has and answer them with such striking clairvoyance, this is it. I've always liked our DPM for being a very good speaker, especially when put on spot.

The breadth and depth of knowledge that this man has is mindblowingly amazing. Which isn't surprising if you know more about his background. I am really proud that he represented Singapore there and is a civil servant.

I cannot say that I trust the thinking and mindsets of many of our political leaders in Singapore, PAP or opposition, but I think that my view of economics and politics (same thing, by the way) are eerily similar to our DPM.

I was just explaining to my visiting friends over the weekend about the importance (and intrusiveness) that our government plays in our public housing system, immigration laws and freedom of speech. I didn't even watch the video yet. Needless to say, just like Stephan Sackur and the audience started our skeptical and very defensive of cliche western values, but slowly understood the bigger and more important point of creating a better social outcome at the cost of imposing some limitations, they warmed up to the idea that the "western way" isn't the only way.

Will Singapore go the way of other developed countries further down into the future? I seriously hope not. Screw the western definition of "free speech" and "personal liberty". I want to live in a country where I have a good job, I feel safe and I can eat whatever the hell food I so damn please. Am I sad that I can't slander people and speak whatever is the first fart that sparks up in my brain? No, because why the hell should I be doing that in the first place? Am I am an asshole or what? I am glad that people cannot go around just saying anything that they want to say, "juz cuz', freedom of speech yo". (if you support Amos Yee, GTFO)

To think that we're so far ahead of everybody else that we can stop is to fall victim to the allure of a simple non-self sustaining way of life. If you have to take away anything from this video and post, it is that there isn't a specific goal that we have to achieve or a place that we want to be so that we can stop and be satisfied.* It is about create a self-sustaining model that keeps us relevant and ahead, now and for many years to come.

*Of course I am only referring to business and competition. In terms of personal happiness and lifestyle goals, you shouldn't be endlessly chasing a carrot on a stick.


  1. I thought Tharman did very well in handling that sucker. But your hyperbole runneth over...

    "such striking clairvoyance"? What crystal-balling are your talking about?

    1. Aye, probably so. Hence, the mancrush. I just really admire how he like to tackle problems at the root, and not from the conventional western way, and that makes people gasp at such heresy.

  2. "Will Singapore go the way of other developed countries further down into the future? I seriously hope not. Screw the western definition of "free speech" and "personal liberty". I want to live in a country where I have a good job, I feel safe and I can eat whatever the hell food I so damn please"

    My 2 cents here. This way of thinking is either naïve or dangerous. A nation of people with your way of thinking is doomed in the long run. Btw, I am not here to preach...

    1. Hi Xmen,

      So in what way is that kind of thinking naive and dangerous? Big brother? Why would a nation of people thinking that way be doomed? I am just trying to understand your pov.

      Is a proper way of mass thought that would definitely ensure eternal sunshine?

  3. Those were hardly tough questions! Tharman's reply were all stereotypical cliché replies used by all the PAP ministers, including LKY and LHL.

    A tough question would why prosecute and persecute a 16 years old adolescent for some rude remarks he made about LKY? Did you not notice that Tharman side-stepped this issue which was alluded to by that Chinese girl who asked the second last question during the Q &A? I did and I think the Hard Talk man in fact let Tharman off the hook and gave him face on a few occasions just so to make the occasion 'friendly'..

  4. wake up and do some research before you blog. nobody in the know will label you a moron then. I give you ten years. and that's being bloody generous in view of your imbecility.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Funny, that's exactly what I think of you, too!!!

    The Brits and Americans are known to be 'kind' to the Singapore govt for shall we say, mutual back scratching reasons.

    Prove to me you are not moronic with valid arguments, not name calling. Of course, the fact you have resorted to name calling quite simply exposes your vested interest.

  6. Hi guys,

    It's so funny that so many people come here and tell me, "you wait 10 years and see" and "in a few years time then you know". Same person again? Anyway, it seems like I really don't know a lot of things. Or maybe I say things that people just don't like? Whatever.

    It's my blog. I can pretty much post almost anything I want. Except things the usual limitations, such as libel, slander, pornography, sedition etc. Why? Because I'm not a COMPLETE imbecile.

    Maybe I'm only half an imbecile. I'm not sure yet. I need to wait 10 years. Apparently, I will only know then. Oh well.

    It's a bit too flattering that you guys find the opinions of a 25 year old nobody so compelling that you have to comment. Unfortunately, this isn't a discussion forum to show how ignorant I am or how much more wise, correct and worldly you guys are. Congratulations if you are! Guess what's the prize for telling me how much of an imbecile I am? And no, it is not any of your friends thinking that you are the authority on current affairs.

    You get nothing here. NOTHING.

    I don't like Amos Yee. Ignorance of law is not an excuse to break it. Whether or not we should have such laws in the first place is a different issue (and I think we should have such laws). He broke it, he deals with it. I like the laws that we have here. If you don't like the laws we have here, you are welcome to try and change it, suck thumb, or GTFO. Not trying to be a (total) dick, but seriously, that's your only options.

    Not whining to me about it. I don't care. I seriously, really, don't give two shits. I don't even give a shit.

    Comments are closed, IPs are logged for future reference.

    That is all.