Singaporean Matters: Read only if you agree to disagree ….
I seldom blog about politics as find Singaporeans still too immature to separate a person’s political views from the person. Discussions in this environment only serve to divide our society as the mindset is that if you have a political view different from mine, you are the enemy that needs to be destroyed.
I believe we should discuss politics not to be right, but to get it right. And, if we cannot do it with maturity, we will become a fractured society like what we see in the US. Given the ongoing debate in Parliament on housing affordability, I thought I will share three perspectives on the state of politics in Singapore:
1. Means vs ends. Both sides of the aisle want the best for Singaporeans. The difference is that the PAP sees Singapore as the means to accomplishing this, while the opposition sees Singaporeans as the means. Understand this nuance and you will understand the different arguments on policies like foreign talent.
2. Different time horizons. Unusual for a democracy, the PAP designs and implements policies for a Singapore 50 years into the future, while the opposition wants policies for today’s Singaporeans. As the future is uncertain, necessity dictates responsible stewardship of Singapore’s only asset — our reserves. This results in policies that spend within our means and not on future earnings.
3. Pragmatism vs idealism. The PAP is pragmatic and embraces both conservative or liberal policies where it makes sense for Singapore. Unlike other countries where these philosophies divide a country into left and right (which is what the opposition is using as their political platform), in Singapore, the PAP applies these philosophies vertically — depending on one’s social economic status. Singaporeans who have less will receive more, while those who have more, receive less. A vertical approach allows the maximization of finite resources.
No government is perfect and no policy permanent. I hope sharing my three perspectives will lend new perspectives to the ongoing debate.