An apathetic populace is good

50th Year: An apathetic people Affluent, educated, yes - but we've also become a dispassionate people with little interest in politics and the government; it augurs ill for nation-building. By Seah Chiang Nee. June 6, 2009 The above article is posted in www.littlespeck.com. I would like to modify that statement a little by looking at it positively. A dispassionate people with little interest in politics and the govt augurs well for a paternalistic govt that would want to dominate over the people, controlled them and make all the decisions for them. It also augurs well for the preservation of a single dominant party and hinders the political maturity of a people. It will always be the govt and the people on two sides, the governed and the being governed. Is this good? I never believe that nurtured or cultured greenhouse plants can withstand the elements when the roof collapses. They need a sheltered environment and artificial fertilisers to grow well.


Wally Buffet said...

I don't know much about one party government, dispassionate population, apathy and whatever.

What I do know and care very much about is:

1. A safe, clean, crime free living environment.
2. Good and relatively affordable healthcare.
3. Freedom to go wherever I want. Just take passport and credit card and go to Changi Airport.
4. Able to tap into the world via the internet.
5. Good and affordable education for my grand children.
6. Meritocracy.

As for the greenhouse plant example, yeah, I think when there is a big hole, and all the cozy environment is gone, all the weaker plants will wilt and die.

Hey, I am just an ordinary Singaporean Joe. I am no resilient Hong Konger remember?

Anonymous said...

One day when the shit hits the fan, few in Singapore can stay clean. The few clean ones will be those with 6 figure salaries from the ivory towers. The rest of you will either find it hard to survive or just wither and die. so sad.

redbean said...

can a family with $1200 pm income afford a 2rm flat with a price tag of nearly $100K?

can a family with a household income $2200pm afford a 3 rm flat?

paying for a life time? what kind of quality of life is that when they could use the money for better things in life other than just to pay for that roof over their heads.

this is about public policy and about looking after the people and giving them a better life.

Wally Buffet said...

Strangely, the high cost of a roof over one's head has been the solution to a better life for some.

How? They bought bigger flats initially. They were able to withstand the few years of monthly payments using their CPF. When the economy boomed, they sold it and downgraded to a smaller flat and pocketed the difference. Instant wealth. Then, I even heard of families moving in with their parents who stayed in granny flats after selling their bigger apartments for a tidy profit. To many, this is how they were able to buy all the things comprising of a "better" life such as cars, LCD TVs etc. Some who emigrated, used the profits from their flats and bought FREEHOLD landed properties elsewhere. So, the high price of flats is not such a bane after all.

For those with lower and unstable incomes, it is better to rent. And it seems, the HDB is responding to this new trend by building more rental flats.

Anonymous said...

What is it that gives rise to an apathetic Singaporean and a resilient Hongkonger?

Both countries have a predominantly Chinese population. Hongkong only came under China in 1997 and was under the British for more than a century. What did the British do right to give rise to a Chinese population that is politically conscious, fights for their rights when they think they have a reason and finds their own solutions to problems.

How is it that after more than 40 years of rule under a first world government Singaporeans become politically dispassionate, just whine when they are dissatified with their situation, but do nothing about it to change the situation, and runs to the Government for aid when they run into problems?

My feeling is that it is a failure of our system, the political system, the education system, and the erosion of values, never mind the rosy picture they painted about our economy and what upgrading has done to their living environment.

Lost Citizen

Wally Buffet said...

In short, too much of a good thing is BAD, BAD, BAD.

He he.


redbean said...

the trend of citizen not being able to afford small flats is a bad trend. the govt should not begrudge the poor hardlanders for making some profits out of their first HDB flats. the people will appreciate that and be grateful to the govt.

but when the govt steps in to take away this profit for themselves and at the same time make it difficult and unaffordable for the lower income to buy flats but to rent flats, this is a misplaced public policy.

public housing is to help the lower income to have a stake here, to defend and die for this place, not to defend and die for the wealthy when they have no stake here, or a miserable stake that is not worth defending.

Anonymous said...

From a visitor to Singapore.

I feel so sorry for the poor of Singapore. They have no security and they have no way our of their poverty trap. Working in such a dog-eat-dog society, having to jostle with the lean and mean prc and indians from india, they do not stand a chance. All they can do is moan and bitch about their plight and vote for the same govt that has ruled over them for the past 50 years. Income disparity is growing wider and more unfortunate souls are falling through the ever widening gap. I see no joy for being poor in this milk and honey land of Singapore.

Anonymous said...

The government is so efficient to the extend that your ability to rationalise and think is taken away. You become a working machine that will only expire when you hit 85 yrs of age and die immediately. From cradle to grave, don't expect welfare, work for the greater good.
Sounds like a communist state.

redbean said...

it is time to reveal and rethink the concept of a good life for singaporeans. keep chasing money to pay for ever increasing cost of living is definitely not the best thing.

and what is a good life should not be decided by some 80 people. or more precisely by a handful of people.

Anonymous said...

The good life for a Singaporean is only attainable outside the borders of the country. Make your money here, but plan for the good life overseas, just like the Foreign Talents are doing. Stay in Singapore, and you condemn yourself to a life of misery at the mercy of Lord PAP.

Matilah_Singapura said...

I'm glad to see that Wally Buffet has finally ditched his/her 'anonymous' tag and created an account at gmail/blogger.

I agree with Wally: people will always make 'judgments' about other people. It goes like this: Everyone else is dishonest, selfish, apathetic, dispassionate...unlike me. I am perfect.

At the end of the day, we all have but one life — it is here and now — not "later" in the clouds somewhere with that angry invisible old man with magic powers, or his nemesis with the horns, pitchfork and pointy tail living in the inferno of the earth.

That being said, there might be things "wrong" in S'pore, but the fact remains — your life is your business. If other people want to be dispassionate or apathetic, that's their business.