Thursday, April 14, 2011

Hard truths you won’t read about elsewhere, Part IV

As I should have made clear by now through all my previous posts, it is that unique combination of the PAP’s assuredness of political victory, single-mindedness in achievement of its goals, dismissal of criticism and self-aggrandizing braggadocio that puts us all at the mercy of their policies.

I do not think the result of this upcoming election is in much doubt, just like other elections. The PAP will be returned to power again, and for the foreseeable future. This is because of the PAP’s electioneering tactics, because a large segment of the population is supportive of the current regime, perhaps because they benefit greatly from current policy, and also because there is another very large segment of the population that votes like sheeple, perhaps to their own and others’ detriment.

As much as I and some other Singaporeans would prefer an alternative, hope is not a viable strategy.

Therefore, Hard Truth#4 is:

The PAP will continue to be returned to power for the foreseeable future, and their policies will continue to be set to our benefit, as well as to our detriment. Plan accordingly. 

Some segments of the population do benefit disproportionately from the PAP’s policies.

The rich, the highly educated high income earners, the large business owners, foreign investors, foreign talent, high level corporate executives – these are the ones that Singapore welcomes and bends over backwards to accommodate.

If you are a member of one of these groups, life in Singapore is sweet indeed – so long as you toe the line and ignore the bad social outcomes all round. If you are a current net beneficiary of present day policies, you have less to worry about after elections are over. Does that mean that you should ignore issues of social and economic inequities? Perhaps, perhaps not. However, the shoe may well end up on the other foot one day.

If you are not a current net beneficiary, you should think about what’s going to happen after the elections.

Hard Truth #4 is about containment. It emphasizes mitigation and contingency planning, rather than changing a problematic situation.

What is likely to happen after the PAP returns to power?

A resumption of business as usual. A sequel of the movie we have just seen in the last few years, except that sequels by definition are sophomoric in effort.

Choose your career, your job, your course of study, your lifestyle, the number of kids you intend to have, your house, and your living arrangements with care. 

Think critically about what you hear and read, especially from government-controlled media. Do not make decisions solely on advice from the government. Such advice may be in the best interests of “Singaporeans”, as per Hard Truth #3, but may not be in your best interests.

Hard Truth #4 means being self-sufficient, flexible and accommodative, like living and getting medical care across the border to mitigate the higher cost of living here. Such arrangements may not be ideal, but they are prudent.

It would be unwise to count on a PAP government for assistance when the same government has publicly expressed its desire to discourage a “crutch mentality”.

Hard Truth #5 in the next post will be the last in this series. 

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