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9/28/2006

guided democracy singapore style

While on the way to work I was pondering what Singapore will belike in the future and came out with a hypothetical situation. I didn't realised that this could be a solution to the list of problems Lim Swee Say raised as reported by Clement Mesenas. I will think about it a little more and get it our on Sat morning. Let me just reflect something about guided democracy in Singapore. Hsien Loong had a long session with the post 65ers, a very encouraging and engaging session as was reported. But why guided democracy? Apparently the 17 to 30 year old youth had a preparatory session with a group of younger MPs who coached them on what to ask and who to ask and the sequence to ask their pre prepared 12 questions. That is meticulous work and needed as these young people would probably be lost as they have not a clue on what they were talking about, I think. So the guidance and help sure did them a lot of good. And the programmed session went on as they have planned. The only interruption came when Hsien Loong wanted to hear a bit more about race relations. And the room waited. Quite expected as it was not planned and they did not know what to do. Very Singaporeans. Out of the script and they will be lost to the extent that Hsien Loong had to push for more spontaneity. Given their youth, this is natural. Give them a few more years when they are in the 30s or 40s, they might be more ready. Only problem is that their useful years will be very short as many would probably be retired by 55. Maybe the political lifespan of politicians could be extended.

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