Monday, August 17, 2015

My 2 cents on local politics

I just read this post by Cassidy from Swinging Singapore and I think it is really almost exactly whatever I have wanted to talk about.

Anyone that says the gubbermint takes our CPF because they are broke, please GTFO now. You clearly must have been accidentally linked here from the usually cesspools that you lurk in. You would not enjoy my pro-PAP post.

There all this crap about the "old guard" and how the OLD PAP under LKY is so awesome with unicorns and shit. Of course they have to say that, since we all collectively agree that Singapore was pretty crap 50 years ago when we had to fly solo. But then the next statement is how the "current new people" are all idiots and useless. Somewhere somehow everyone just turned incapable and started ruining the country. With their MRT breakdowns and all. Give me a break. In fact, give me 2. I can't handle this shit.

Cassidy has ripped apart idiots that have commented on her piece and I think it is lovely. Here is my favourite exchange:

So many people that have the urge to comment on such pieces talk exactly like Kelvin Wong, saying that the authors live in ivory towers and know jack shit about reality. Cassidy threw back a sucker punch with one the best counter arguments to shut all these people up. Jeez, everybody has bloody problems. But only the people that you happen to talk to somehow just happened to have the most important problems that needs to be solved? How unbiased of you to think that way. (clear sarcasm here, fyi)

One thing that I have observed personally is that the people I know who have lived overseas, either for study or work, or they happen to not be Singaporeans, almost all agree that there are many things that are right in Singapore compared to the few complaints about things that are wrong in Singapore. Unfortunately, spending your whole life in Singapore doesn't make you an expert on developed countries, or as they like to call it now, "first world". Without any alternative perspective or basis of comparisons, it is hard to critically examine yourself and know what is good. That is why, as silly as it sounds, people from overseas have a more honest and objective take than what the locals would have.

You don't think so? Let's try this easy exercise. Whatever complaint anyone has, substitute Singapore for any other country and see how they are dealing with that same problem. You're going to find out that others are in a shittier situation and handling it much worse for pretty much anything you can think of.

Here's another exercise. How about reading the newspaper and seeing all the headline shit happening in other countries, then substitute that country for Singapore and see if we have that same problem and how we are dealing with it.

Go to another country and take your checklist of shit that you're so unhappy about and find out about how they handle it in their country. You don't even need to go so far. Just cross the border. Why not? Malaysia not good enough for you?

I'm not saying that because all other countries are having their own shit and we have less shit than them that we should be happy and contented about our position. I'm just saying that we should recognize that we are in a position with a lot less shit and we should slowly work on fixing the problems that we have in a smart way. The people who have brought us to this position of less shit should be given credit despite all the "massive uproar" over missteps like... a fucking MRT breakdown.

Do you really think that no more COE and ERP, no more CPF, no more foreigners will bring us to the pinnacle of developed "first world" countries and solve all our problems?

Just like stocks, we can make our decisions based on past performance as well as the present situation. Alternatively, we could invest in future promises. I personally prefer the former.

What irks me about elections are the people that know so little about government policies. They are probably voting based on a single issue that they like/dislike with complete disregard for everything else, yet they have the same vote as me. But, democracy, amirite?

At the end of the day, vote for what's right for the country. Vote PAP. Vote opposition. I don't care. I plan to live here and retire here, but all it takes is for the driver to make a few wrong turns and if we go backwards far enough, I ain't going to stay and put up with crap.

A sailor doesn't curse the weather, he adjust his sails.

Please be reminded of my house rules.


  1. Let me first state that I find Singapore to be run relatively well compared to many other countries and I too also have the experience of foreign friends saying the same thing.

    However, I disagree with you that Cassidy's reply is good.

    Talking to people on the ground is another data point and an important one too as statistics are just numbers and there needs to be some contextual understanding to interpret the numbers (or at least form hypothesis to dig deeper into the numbers to more objectively determine the "truth").
    If not, the government would not have its meet the people sessions.
    Also, otherwise there would not be the saying about "lies, damn lies and statistics".

    An example in point is a well-publicised recent research on why elderly in Singapore collect cardboard for sale. The statistics showed that one significant reason was for exercise (and to make the world a green place).
    However, if you have ever seen the elderly who do such things and actually talked to them, you would realise that it would be the reason they TELL you but it probably is NOT the true reason. They have pride and will not say that they are poor and need to scrape by through such activities.

    1. Hi Anon,

      I have to agree with gagmewithaspoon that both ground work and statistics used together would be ideal. After meeting enough people and if the findings corroborates with the statistics, it would be meaningful. However what Cassidy said about a natural limit to real life interactions is a very strong point. Leg work can still give very skewed results.

      If the statistics are constantly being doubted, perhaps more work can be done to show and prove to the public that the data being collected is reliable.

      Still, problem identification is just one consideration among the many things, such as crafting good policies, implementing them and remaining flexible to monitor and adapt them.

  2. Pretty interesting - well, i think statistics lie. so you need both - on the ground leg work, and good statistics! like stock investing - good finances, but its also great if you can actually see for yourself the physical products, or the service the company offers! Of course, a good understanding of what the numbers means and how they are derived is necessary. be that as it may, i don't think people should just keep slamming brick bats at the existing government, or set themselves up against every policy of the government. We are all part of the same country, you got to trust the leaders that are elected, and do your best, review the necessary policies / directions but once a decision is made, everyone got to be behind it. that's the best way to succeed. In-fighting never wins. i just hope people realise that. But come 5 years, sure, its time to review and give the assessment but after that, let's work together again.

    1. Hi gagmewithaspoon,

      I think you've come up with some very good nuggets in there! Perhaps we all really need to sit down and reflect what are the basic fundamental goals that we all want to achieve together as a nation. I think if we all do that exercise, many of us will find that we all do have the same common goal, though our preferred route of reaching there might differ. Thanks for the comment!

  3. The author likes to use "big picture" a lot. I always feel "big picture" should not be an excuse to sacrifice others. It is always easier said than done, until you are the one being sacrificed. Should we kill someone, harvest his organs to save many more lives? One life for many lives, rational is'it? But who get to decide on the sacrifice? Why don't YOU volunteer to sacrifice for the big picture? =)

    -Working in Civil Service on Public Policy-

    1. Hi Anon,

      What you are saying is that the rules of the game should be changed such that no one is sacrificed. I don't think that is possible.

      Unfortunately life isn't rainbows and unicorns. As long as people are being sacrificed, I will constantly push myself to make sure I am far away from being that sacrifice. If somebody has to go, of course better someone else than me.

      Who should be sacrificed is not a question that I can answer since who I am to have moral authority over such choices. However, I know who will be sacrificed. The slowest runner of course.

  4. Can there be a Utopia? i think not. Therefore we shld try our best to provide for the less fortunate if can when we our-self needs are fulfilled somewhat.. "big picture" theory is used everywhere be it a company or in a family unit. We try to compromise for the greater good/harmony isn't.

    1. Hi Anon,

      I agree that once our self-needs are fulfilled we should look towards helping the less fortunate.

      Fortunate is an apt word of choice, because I believe people should not be punished because of the luck of the draw.


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