4/28/2008

Myth 179 - PAP and people disconnect

The disconnect is due mainly to the PAP government’s failure, or refusal, to understand the importance of the affective component in a government-people relationship. Indeed anything outside their sternly pragmatic, rationalist, functionalist framework is viewed as just so much unnecessary emotionalism or ideology. Catherine Lim The above quote from Catherine Lim came about after the Mas Selamat escape. Catherine concluded that the way the govt handled the issue showed that there is a disconnect between the govt and the people. It seems that what the people expected of the govt have not been met. I think this is only a single issue and is not sufficient to say that there is a disconnect. Furthermore the escape is not even crucial if a journalist's comment is to be taken seriously. So my view is that there is no disconnect. The people will likely return the govt to power in the next GE and with bigger majority. That will be the best proof that there is no disconnect between the people and the govt. And the party will go on and on. You want more proof? See, no public demonstration. And the online petition calling for Kan Seng's resignation is not even receiving any support. Neither were there a flood of letters in the ST forum page criticising the way the govt is handling the case. Case proven. Case closed.

16 comments:

Matilah_Singapura said...

Yeah, she's a cool one, hip and happening and no doubt a great influence on many younger S'poreans.

But I'm sorry to say that occasionally Doc Lim writes a swill-pail of piffle when making one of her frequent socio-political commentaries. It is not surprising however. she's not the only public intellectual to amke an occasional ass of herself from time to time. Noam Chomsky is arguably the USA's most "celebrated" public intellectual, and he makes himself an ass all the time when he talks politics. MIT faculty too.

Anyway, back to Doc Cat...

She begins with a premise, which it patently false, ignores or is unaware with the error, and then continues a lengthy argument based on her wrong assumption.

> The disconnect is due mainly to the PAP government’s failure, or refusal, to understand the importance of the affective component in a government-people relationship. <

I begin with an "idea", which I leave the reader to decide whether it is true or not. I believe it is true. I have yet to find any empirical evidence or a priori argument to convince me that this is not true. Anyway, the "idea" is:

The People get The Government they deserve, no exceptions.

Therefore if there is a "disconnect" (no one has proven that to be the case... it is merely stated),it must surely fall squarely on the shoulders of The People, as they continue to keep the PAP in (expensive) office, and their feudal stat boards in expensive offices (usually situated on prime real estate).

Just because some of the people disagree with the govt doesn't automatically mean "disconnect". In fact, the majority want WKS to stay at his post, and for a govt to be "legitimate" it requires majority support.

Also, every relationship doesn't "just happen". It takes a long time to develop a relationship--whether it is good or bad relationship. It took a long time for the dynamic between the govt and the people to develop, and the people were not VIGILANT enough. Over time, the dynamic between govt and people become a CULTURE... the "status quo" if you will. That won't change until the people don't just DEMAND change, but actually TAKE ACTION to change it into a culture that might be more suitable to The People.

For e.g. The People might want their govt to be ACCOUNTABLE to them ,The People, thus making The People in-charge of their country, and a govt merely formed to protect the rights and lives of the People...

...I don't know. I'm just guessing.

However, I agree with one of my favourite authors, Rober Ringer, that everything will stay the same, and develop along the same path. Nothing happens until action is initiated.

Talk is cheap. Anyone can write social commentary. everyone on this blog and blogs like this one write commentary every minute of everyday. No big deal. If the People want change, they will have to stop the yammering from their pie-holes, and deal with the business of taking action.

As for my own life, I don't vote so I don't give a shit what happens in politics. I get my kicks from commenting on it, but I will not do a damn thing to try to "convert" The People into making better choices, nor participate in ANY political process. That is for them to find out, and for me to enjoy as entertainment, everytime The People fuck up, and fuck up they WILL! (Praise the lord for free will!)

I'll leave the "let's change the world" chit-chat to the likes of public intellectuals. As a beach bum, my schedule is too full to accomodate their impassioned objectives. And actually, I have to take steps (action!) to make sure their "dreams" don't interfere with mine!

Anonymous said...

"You want more proof? See, no public demonstration. And the online petition calling for Kan Seng's resignation is not even receiving any support. Neither were there a flood of letters in the ST forum page criticising the way the govt is handling the case. Case proven."

Wahaha, I love the way you prove it.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:27 PM says:
"You want more proof? See, no public demonstration. And the online petition calling for Kan Seng's resignation is not even receiving any support. Neither were there a flood of letters in the ST forum page criticising the way the govt is handling the case. Case proven.

What you state may be true provided Singaporeans are not living in a climate of fear. Sadly, we are akin to living in a police state, where freedom of speech is practically non-existent. The public has been fed daily with government propaganda and this has been going on for so long that it has been deeply ingrained into most Singaporeans. No one has been spared and that this has now become part of the Singaporean psyche. Needless to say, the ISA has been put to good use to instill this climate of fear and ISD is the organisation implementing it.

I wonder whether Singaporeans do yearn for the day where they can live life without the ISA. What will it be like then when that happens? Can the present government still rule Singapore without the ISA? I really doubt so.

Anonymous said...

heh, it's been days yet there's still isn't a post on rice

redbean said...

rice is actually not a real issue here. we must thank our small population. We need so little rice compare to say the philippines. We are 4 mil and they are something like 70 mil. the world's biggest rice importer and with a weak currency to push around.

also, singaporeans don't take much rice. we eat more meat and others. for poorer or rural countries, rice is the bulk of their food intake. that makes thing worst.

our small family unit of 3 or 4 heads means rice consumption is very small. so a few dollars more a month is still affordable. hey, i am using the word affordable leh. but it is true till now, all things are affordable if one lives within his means. a ferrari is also affordable.

Anonymous said...

>Anon 7:56 PM says
What you state may be true provided Singaporeans are not living in a climate of fear. Sadly, we are akin to living in a police state, where freedom of speech is practically non-existent. The public has been fed daily with government propaganda and this has been going on for so long that it has been deeply ingrained into most Singaporeans. No one has been spared and that this has now become part of the Singaporean psyche. Needless to say, the ISA has been put to good use to instill this climate of fear and ISD is the organisation implementing it.


Generally, Singaporeans are living under a climate of fear. This needs some elaboration. The climate of fear refers to the fear of doing something legally or morally wrong, and not the fear of political persecution or sudden disappearances as had happened in other countries.

The Singapore Government is respectful of civil liberties as much as they are able to do so. This much I can say.

I am contributing this comment so as to aid readers in understanding of the general Singapore society.


sufferer

Matilah_Singapura said...

> The Singapore Government is respectful of civil liberties <

Yes, they are, I agree. What they are (genuinely?) afraid of is people rioting and killing each other, like what happened in the past.

However, there are ongoing attempts to use this line of reasoning to "engineer" the society, but there are many S'poreans (just read the blogs) who don't fall for shit anymore. The present generations are better educated, widely read and widely travelled. they are also richer than their forebears.

There is no rational reason for "fear" in S'pore. the people can have the exact govt they like, but they always get the one they deserve.

Fear? It's all in people's heads. Most people in the world grow up with religion, so they've been CONDITIONED to be motivated by fear, and to carry unearned GUILT when they "disobey" authority.

Thankfully in my case I am not like that...though it took me awhile to learn how to be free, and enjoy it regardless of other peoples' opinions.

Anonymous said...


Thankfully in my case I am not like that...though it took me awhile to learn how to be free, and enjoy it regardless of other peoples' opinions.


That's excellent! To be free (there's actually such a book titled To Be Free by a Dr something in Singapore) is something many people dream of, and is a very precious gift that anyone can get. But I doubt anyone actually wants to be free, in the true and pure sense. Most would want to be connected in order to get economic benefits, and in that sense, one cannot be totally free.


sufferer

Matilah_Singapura said...

> Most would want to be connected in order to get economic benefits, and in that sense, one cannot be totally free. <

Then, I think they are missing the point. Being "free" doesn't mean being disconnected. "Freedom" means being able to CHOOSE the right connections--connections which are "right" for you--on your own terms by your own standards, in order to get what you want for your one personal reasons.

This falls under the purview of 'freedom of association". You are free to associate with those you choose and free to not associate with those whom you wish to have nothing to do with. Of course, total freedom of association is not possible as long as we have States and governments which run the states. However, one can be reasonably free--free enough to do whatever or be whoever you choose to be.

People are also free enough not to help you, nor are they obligated in anyway to support, agree or assist you in any way. They are also free to shit all over your dreams and be mean and nasty to you.

Once you understand that, you will realise that 'freedom" is first a mental attitude rather before one can choose to ACT freely.

Denouncing religion and other bullshit mystic beliefs, ot political dogma based on the mechanics of religious brainwahing is a great step in the right direction.

Matilah_Singapura said...

...continued...

Freedom is not a "gift" to be "gotten". First, get rid of the myth that everyone is "born free". This is pure nonsense.

When we are born we are naked, screaming and covered in blood. We are also usually hungry. We can't see nor hear properly yet, our limbs don't work as they will much later on, we are physically weak and dependent on grown-ups for our survival. Our brain is not even developed, we can't conceptualise or identify anything in thei brand new world. And it take YEARS before we are able to function on our own.

Freedom is something to be EARNED. It is not free, nor can anyone "give" it to you.

redbean said...

hi sufferer, welcome to the blog. your choice of the nick speaks a lot on the mindset of singaporeans.

how much freedom we have is relative and depends on which field we are talking about. even in expressing ourselves, they are relaxing and that's why we are able to kpkb here. but there are conditions. if we join a political party or compete for political power, the rules of the game change immediately.

as long as we don't pose a threat to anyone, and if we don't libel anyone, i think we will be left alone to share our grouses openly.

but i think everyone also has this sense of being wary.

Matilah_Singapura said...

In the Economic Freedom of The World Report 2008 Singapore has retained its second place next to Hong Kong, the Number One economically free country in the world.

After about 10 years of economic reforem, Australia has made it 10 #4, which will explain why the place has been booming for about 15 years, and continues to forge ahead. You will note that as far as financial freedom goes, Aust trounces S'pore, as MAS are still a little "kiasu".

Many Singaporeans are unaware of the freedoms they already have and are not grateful for them. They spend too much time complaining about freedoms they DON'T have.

****************
My comment directed to those "living in fear" neurotic nut-jobs:-
*******************

Living with the idea of "a climate of fear" is simply neurotic thinking (stinkin' thinkin') as far as I am concerned. If you are feeling "bad", it is YOUR FAULT and you fucking deserve your suffering. You make your own emotions, so don't fucking blame it on anyone else.

Please resort to doing stupid things--especially where you put yourselves in harm's way--as it entertains people like myself who have a schadenfreude streak, and a re a great fan of "reality shows".

When you crash and burn, you can immortalise yourself as a "victim" and continue to blame the fucking government for your gross misfortune!

Let the show continue! Bring on your pain!

... for all of us to ENJOY!

redbean said...

no need to get hysterical lah. kpkb in cyberspace is also an action to show disapproval and unhappiness.

cannot meh? just like you are free to enjoy people's misery, people are also free to express their frustration. and this is only the surface of a deeper disatisfaction and can grow and erupt one day.

the manifestation can be uncontrollable.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Hey don't blame me for schadenfreude. I can assure you I'm of stable mind :)

The only thing that is going to "erupt" today is my lust... when I go for my massage here in Bangkok. ;) However, I have great self-control.

Without enjoying the misfortune of others there can be no comedy, no entertainment, and Shakespeare would not be as famous as he is.

For e.g. we laugh at Roadrunner cartoons. We enjoy the coyote's neurotic thinking which he uses to act such that he puts himself in harms way, and reaps the consequences.

Don't be a sone-cold hypocrite lah redbean. You know it is damn healthy to laugh at the misfortune of others--especially when they do stupid things. At least be grateful and applaud these individuals. Many of them give their lives to entertain humanity.

You don't have to shit in your pants and take a shot at me everytime I post something you have problems with.

Lighten up lah. You'll enjoy life more!

redbean said...

ok, something more impt. which massage parlour you going, and which room? i wanna take a look can?

Anonymous said...


redbean said...
hi sufferer, welcome to the blog.


hi readbean

sufferer :)