Government has just announced that it plans to bring in at least 100,000 more foreigners to meet the demands of our growing markets.
I honestly have so many reservations about where our ship is being taken. If my qualms are right, then we are sinking - indeed a hole has been punched into the hull since the day the government decided that Singapore's goal would be to develop itself into an economic powerhouse rather than a country with culture and national spirit. Bringing more people on board to pour the water out of a sinking ship won't solve the problem.
The news (and very unpopular public response) comes quite timely along with an interview of Gerald Giam of the Workers' Party on Yahoo! Singapore. The PAP might have gotten it 'right' so far (whatever 'right' means), but we can never be sure where absolute power can be taken. A political system that is healthy always requires checks and balances. I always believe that absolute power never has a pure end.
Singapore might be economically thriving at the moment and we definitely have living standards that are much higher compared to half a century ago thanks to the ruling party. But with economic development and wealth as the ends instead of a proud and thriving national culture, we've given up so many other important things, such as knowing how to relax, investing time in our families, art.
The best thing about how effective the government is? They’ve managed to convince so many people to believe money is indeed more important than all those other less important social and creative pursuits.
And when I refer to the development of culture, I don't mean the one that we tend to associate Singaporean culture with, such as being kiasu, or God forbid, Phua Chu Kang.
A worthy culture is one that we’re willing to be proud of and be a part of. Looking at how so many Singaporeans want to leave the country, I can't really see how our culture is steeped in the right direction. It is somewhat disheartening to see any one out of two typical responses coming from Singaporeans: the unthinking acceptance that what we've got is as good as it gets, or the desire to leave this country that many don't feel a loyalty for. Many Singaporeans shape their worldview around the heavy notion of pragmatism instilled by the government - therefore, many Singaporeans are pragmatically choosing to migrate away.
This post is skimpy - there's a lot more to it than what I've chosen to air. But at least with the potential for bi- or multiparty politics, hopefully more issues can finally appear on the policy-making agenda.
Has there been a more ripe time than now in recent years regarding civil and public participation in Singapore's current affairs?
Three articles (out of many others) have caught my attention just in the short span of one day:
Future Generations will Pay for the Sins of PAP
Lee Insults Singaporeans - Again
Worker’s Party member: Why more young graduates are joining the opposition
With more sources voicing opinions of this sort, progressive politics might actually finally arrive at our city state's shores.