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9/03/2011

Govt institutions must be freed from politics


This is the most decent thing to do for any govt in any country. The civil servants are neutral and apolitical and just want to have a job to bring up their families. Govts that involved civil servants in politics or meddling in politics will only compromise the civil servants to do things that they should not be doing. Civil servants will be caught in a bind, cannot say no or will lose their jobs or doing things that will affect their values, principles and integrity.

It is unfair for any govt to make civil servants do their biddings for political cause or agenda. In many countries, particularly the authoritarian or dictatorial regime, the fall of the regime will lead to the arrest of civil servants or their escape from their own country as they will be found guilty for working with the authoritative or dictatorial regime.

It is the moral responsibility of all decent govts to free their civil servants to run their ministries and statutory boards in the good of the country and people, without getting them entangled with the politics of the day. When civil servants are not involved, they will provide the continuity of govt during a crisis or regime change, to ensure stability and as little disruption to public services and the security of the people.

The British model of govt is still the role model for democratically run countries to follow. And the neutrality of civil servants should not only be an empty claim but must be seen and believed by the people. Only then can civil servants live in peace and not be pricked by conscience for doing and administering public policies unfairly for the benefits of their political masters.

The civil servants are people and citizens of the country. They must not be coerced or implicated by the power of the day to act against their conscience or against the people. The people and civil servants should not be politicized against their will.

I can’t imagine a new political party returned to power and appoint their own men to run the PA, HDB and all the govt services while those currently in office will have to flee.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

This seems to be mission impossible with the way that the current regime rules and holds on to power.

In Yahoo, there's an article on WikiLeaks that reported that the local news are vetted to ensure their "pro-government leanings".

Although this has been an open secret, it has not stopped our govt from controlling news to PA to NTUC etc to advance its political agendas. So how can one expect that its institutions be freed from politics? Is a mission impossibility.

Anonymous said...

When civil servants are free of political affiliations, any change of party in power will ensure the whole system does not break down.

Singapore's perverted system is more to ensure that no change of ruling party can or will ever take place, hence the total politically bias towards the ruling party by the civil service.

What we have here is a civil service, encompassing all departments, now so beholden to the ruling party, that it is unthinkable that any opposition party taking over the Government will be able to carry out a smooth transfer of all the administration machinery.

It is a system devised to thwart and prevent, not to ensure continuity when power changes. Just look at the fiasco in their treatment of opposition MPs and wards. The ruling party is practically putting roadblocks using all the might of its civil servants to thwart the opposition at every opportunity.

This is not good for the country. It is good for a dictatorship only. And we are almost there without realising it.

Anonymous said...

Government refers to the
a)legislators (parliament),
b)administrators (civil servants), and
c)arbitrators (judges) in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized.

Government is the means by which state policy is enforced, as well as the mechanism for determining the policy of the state.

Source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government

An Opposition Member of Parliament is a legislator.
Hence an Opposition Member is part of the Government.

So the PA (Ms Ooi Hui Mei) is wrong to exclude Workers' Party elected MPs.

Anonymous said...

The way and tone Ooi Hui Mei argues about the PA's stand on the issue says it all. It is political to the core.

Anonymous said...

Singapore is never a democracy so it is unfair to demand for independent civil service. Not even civil service, most businesses are also political to certain extent because of GLC domination in the economy. There are 2 future scenarios. One is that the PAP continues to rule and the country is deteriorating. Another is that PAP is ousted by the people and the country also deteriorating due to dependent civil service failing to support the new government. Both scenarios point to the end of a country and this country has no hope without real political reform.

tkw said...

"Mission Impossible"....Perhaps it is possible...with a change of heart/philosphy and resulting attitudes.

The ruling party can still win over 3/4's of the 40% if the resulting decisions incorporate a sensible level of fairness in local daily/policital life, a degree of openness with important aspects of life eg CPF/HDB pricing/media reporting/unfair practices accorded to officials or party members /matters raised by the public online/print...

There is no need to "weaken and demolish " every iota of dissent/disagreement if we want to build a nation ( if we want to build a buzzing city-state for the foreign wealthy and the fortunate Singaporeans who can afford a "buzzing" lifestyle...then it's a different matter and we can continue with present day philosophies and attitudes horned by years of one party/attitude/group dominance ).

Will there be a new dawn for most of us????

If the latest ST response from PA serves as a bellwether...it's a long long night for most of us.

Anonymous said...

In fact, within the 40% opposition voters, most probably have multi-faceted grievances, not purely due to the unfairness of the system, but their total feeling of haplessness brought about by the foreign workers' policy and resulting housing affordability.

To win them over would proabaly require not only addressing the issue of fairness in the system, but a more fundamental mindset change concerning the mass import of foreigners, that resulted in the frenzied demand for housing. And there is no guarantee that such changes will work.

Would the ruling party also be willing to make such a trade-off just to win over the opposition voters at the expense of economic growth?

When their support base was still high, as in the earlier years, they probably did not see the need to change. But when support continues to slip over the years, the pressure to change is an issue becoming more relevant.

Waiting till GE2016 to gauge the support before coming to such a decision is a risk that the ruling party must seriously contemplate. It might be a slip too far to pull back.

Anonymous said...

in tying the civil service and other agencies and organisations so tightly to it, the pap works on the presumption only it can make correct decisions about how spore shld be run and the direction of the country. that it does not and is unable to make any mistakes.

only God does not make mistakes, and the pap is certainly not God.

its more recent decisions are taking the country right back to where it was in the 1960s - jobs sporeans don't have them, cost of living - too high, transport - too packed, housing - cant afford it. cohesion - what cohesion, etc.

only the surroundings are glitzier now.

it is also being highly irresponsible by attempting to keep the level of political devt in the country Third World.

Anonymous said...

yawn . . . .
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