12/10/2005

lessons of the white elephants

today's straits times devoted a big article on the lessons of the white elephants. lesson one, must stay within the law. and 'be lighthearted so that the law will not come down too hard, ' so said jeanne conceicao, a researcher in the institute of policy studies. should the law come down so hard on an issue raised by the people, an issue that is not meant to attack the govt. how else can the people's view be given an airing when all the doors are shut or nothing comes out from them? can the law be more discriminating and allow the people an avenue to give feedback to the govt when all feedbacks failed? lesson two. grassroot leaders and mps must be willing to speak up for the residents. if this is a lesson to be learnt, are we saying that they have not been doing so? st also posed a question to charles chong, that the perception by the people is that those who spoke out are 'those who have nothing to lose,...not intend to stay in the party and stand for the next election,' now isn't that sad? charles chong's comment on this. 'you have to make a difference in whatever small way you can, to benefit your constituents. they elected you to be their voice and it is your duty to articulate their views, but it should always be with the law.' if we need the white elephants to learn these, it is really pathetic. and after the whole issue people seemed so apologetic. and 'it's still a "very sensitive issue with some higher-ups", says one who spoke on condition of anonymity. there was....' why should a simple issue of serving the people, for the people's interest, be seen as sensitive and affecting people's feeling. can't issues be handled without people getting personally attached to them? objectivity?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is morally wrong for the relevant authorities to withhold the opening of the MRT station after so much money had been spent building it.

The SMRT Corporation seems to have forgotten her core duties one of which is to provide an efficient public service to the people.

redbean said...

their priority is now to the shareholders. profit is the main reason for their existence.

this is what this country has become. we have taught our people the new value of living. make money, make money at all cost. i have more money i am a better man. company that makes more money is a better company no matter how unscrupulous or unethical or how irresponsible.

an organisation that makes money is a good organisation. a person that makes a lot of money is a worthy person.

can we blame why our young is behaving differently from us when show them our new definition of goodness.

Matilah_Singapura said...

In a socialist system, there are 2 governing principles:

1. "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need"

2. The central control of all (or as many) of the factors of production: land, capital and labour.

All these commentators are, I'm afraid wrong - because they do not understand nor appreciate nature.

In any socialist system - total or in S'pore's case - partial, white elephants are par for the course. When a govt controls and decides what to do with the factors of production, it disregards a fact of nature: The Market.

And the market has its own internal regulation by way of prices - prices for the ultimate consumer good and the subsequent prices for the factors of production.

There is only one lesson to be learnt from white elephants:

The less govt interfence, the freer the market and the better lives for all

To expect a govt to regulate itself is like asking a criminal to reform himself...i.e. it is nonsense on stilts!

redbean said...

hi matilah,

in many ways i agree with you on this one. the market is like nature. it has its own rules and forces that will move it the way it wants.

man on the other hand is by nature selfish. you nailed this one very well. so man's decision, no matter how sincere and honest in the beginning, will gradually drift away to serve his private interest. sometimes he knows, sometimes he half knows, and sometimes totally oblivious to it as he grows into his own belief system.

that is why empires fell, corporations collapsed, rich people got themselves bankrupted. up to a point, greed will destroy everything.

Matilah_Singapura said...

With destruction comes opportunity for rebirth.

Ignorance destroys. Intelligence creates

redbean said...

what about intelligence destroys and ignorance creates?

what is good for singapore today will destroy singapore tomorrow.