Monday, November 02, 2009

Fourth generation leaders

I am disappointed to read that the Prime Minister is searching for a fourth generation team to lead Singapore into the future. Surely the people of Singapore should have a say in this matter?

I think that it is better for a team to be honestly tested in the real life situation and be accepted by the people, rather than to be selected by the current leaders.

The system adopted in many democratic countries offer a better choice of leaders, and a better bond between the leaders and the people.

On a positive note, I am encouraged by the statements of the Prime Minister addressing the concern of the people about the high cost of HDB flats and the high cost of living. I hope that this will be followed some change of policy in these two important aspects of our life.

Tan Kin Lian


Anonymous said...

There is nothing surprising. PAP's ideal political system would be China style Communism.

Khiat Han Hwee Adrian said...

If the government do not make an effort to groom new leaders, there may not be enough Singaporeans willing to step out to lead.

These appointed team of leaders are people who had worked through the grassroots, mixing with people on the ground. They had shown commitment and sacrifice much of their time for the people.

I believe if there are people with the passion to serve, will be good opportunity. I wish the new generation of leaders well and will have the continuing passion to lead us down the years.

Anonymous said...

4G or 5G is here:

Anonymous said...

Why talk so early? Maybe the result of the next election result will make them sit up and think about how not to keep asking for more money for the cabinet and CBF for the workers.

Anonymous said...

REX comments as follows,

I think the Prime Minister seems to be living in a world of his own, bolstered by his own ego and group of "supporters"... as in the story of Emperor's New Clothes which was carried in this blog some months ago.

The PM said he will look for new leaders, ... well... he is merely stating that he is looking for new clothes. The trouble is that he is not wearing any, to extend the analogy! What real support he is getting everybody knows in their hearts.

The PAP continues to ride on the historical success of the Grandmaster who unfortunately (or - fortunately - as some may swear by) will expire in due course.

The bubble will burst as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow morning.


C H Yak said...

Many still harbour a misconception about communism in China today. China can be even more democratic to their average commoner than Singapore in various ways.

In China, the commoners can gather and protest against the local government and police, etc, and this is even reported and shown in their main stream media. That is wihout a "permit". In Singapore we can't do it without a permit, and will a permit be issued?

Actual footage of their convicts in court hearings can be shown on TV. Here, you get to see "pictures" and the final verdict.

It is even more "flexible" and easier to deal with those in authorities and people generally in various matters. Here authorities and organisations keep you at bay when you approach them.

In a way, if the our system works the China style, it may be even more "flexible" and comfortable. That is without resorting to such things as giving "ang-pows". Just simple dealings.

I was in China recently and had the rare opportunity to watch their grand 60th National Day parade live on TV and caught up with other related TV programmes thereafter.

I was surprised that the media paid much more tribute to the participants and common people who put up the grand N-Day parade and show.They did not glorify the political leaders or system. The programmes and coverage treated the participants like "heroes" especially when they were dispursed from the "rehearsal village" and returned to their own bases and provinces.

The day after their N-day parade and show at Tian An Men, their President actually took the MRT train early the next morning to visit the commoners exercising in a park to get feedback and sense their pride.

A drama and other documentaries that show how hard and proud the participants worked and felt to be involved the moment they were selected and stepped into the "rehearsal village".

The sincerity of these programmes touched and convinced me it was not simple propaganda. Nothing glorifies the leaders, the poliburo or the system.

China also face high inflation and cost of living now compared to previous years.

There will be better bonding if our future polical leaders stop glorifying themselves and their party for what Singapore has achieved. Equity and entitlement to high pay aside.

Anonymous said...

PM Lee had asked why LDP in Japan failed after 55 yrs in power?

Becos the fathers passed down their MPs to their sons!

Sounds familiar in S'pore? A pot calling a kettle black??

A Singaporean said...

Those people up there are stuck in the mindset that they themselves are the ones controlling the country, and the people have no business in this.

Anonymous said...

Dear CH Yak, China has no opposition parties to speak of. It is a one party state and therefore will never be democratic. That is what i am alluding to. The PAP would love to be in the position of the CCP, a one party state in a totalitarian system. After that the PAP can allow you some room to protest, allow you voice your dissent and you will think this neo-Singapore is democratic too.

Tan Kin Lian said...

I share the same views as C H Yak regarding the political situation in China.

In many ways, China's political process is more accountable and democratic than in Singapore. The views of the ordinary people are respected.

I read about genuine competition for elected positions at the local levels, in the cities and villages. Incompetent and corrupt officials are shunned by the people.

Remember, that there must be more than 50 cities that have more people than Singapore.

Although China is a one party state, the Communist Party must have more than 10 million members.
Within the party, there is a genuine competition for election into leadership positions.

I wish the political process in Singapore to be more democratic, so that our elected leaders can reflect the real wishes of the people in Singapore.

Unknown said...

Interesting post, Kin Lian.

I think their response to your comments would be: In Singapore, the people elect the party, not the candidates.

How would you counter this argument?

C H Yak said...

Dear Anonymous 11.55 PM

Political systems have evolved, same with communism in China; perhaps when it first started modernisation under Deng X P.

Systems exist to serve the people and not to enslave them, and system must reflect more of the needs and wishes of the common people, and lesser of their leaders whether elected under a full democracy or through genuine "competition" under a single-party communist state.

More important it is how policies are implemented to cater for the commoners and how organic this process is. Be it a single party communist state or fully democratic state, if the interest of the common people are met and their views respected, it is not totalitarian.

You can have a democratic political "shell" with mutli-parties but if the dominant party's leaders are so
"disapproving" of views of the common people and their political opponents, it is not much better than a communist state with a single party but which respect the views of the common people and seek common interest.

The first part of the totalitarian definition is being "disapproving" of views and the final part being "a political system in which those in power have complete control and do not allow people freely to oppose them".

In communism, the "opponents" may be taken away, but if views of common people are respected, I am sure common interest could still be met.

We can have a democratic shell, where the opponents are "technically" removed through high level politics practised by its leaders, and if the views and common interest of the common people are not respected, it is not much better than the afore- mentioned communist state. If such a party then dominates and seek to perpetuate its ways while taking high salary, it is risky for the nation.

Worst if such political party and sytem is not receptive to "CHANGE" by the people. And "CHANGE" is more likely and the system will evolve if the common people are more politically matured and the system is more "open" for the common people to voice their views. Hence, the political system must mature together with its electorate. It cannot be left to "evolve" or "change" only within a dominant political party where future leaders are chosen based on ideal prototypes.

In China, the common people speaks up with an "open heart" both to people they are familar or unfamilar (e.g. on the train). They are not as inhibited the way we are, with an unknown "fear".

Anonymous said...

In a nutshell, a single party rule vs a system that accommodates multi parties.

The argument for a single party rule is ultimately inline with PAP's constant refrain of getting "good men" into the party. The emphasis is always on "good men" competing within the system to reach the top. It is very convenient if one happens to be sitting atop such a system and refuses to relinquish power. The opaque going-ons and power struggle amongst CCP's central elites and ex-leaders is akin to a state within a state.

Unfortunately history and human nature is not on the side of the "good men" argument and one party state.

If one believes in competition, what is there to fear from multi-party competition? Furthermore a multi-party system of check and balance is far superior than a so-called self-checking internal competition model.

One needs to see beyond their noses of "hey, things aren't too bad now right?" That takes vision.

Anonymous said...

In China, the education minister is sacked when the education system is chaotic

Have you ever heard of any minister in Singapore get sacked? Those that boo-boo were asked to leave quietly (and take up important appointments in other MNCs)


Anonymous said...

China got 1.3b people to choose from to be a education minister but S'pore only got 3.3m people to choose from, remaining 1.7m people of PRs and FTs not counted.

So as you can see the pool of people to choose from is so small here, that explains why we don't get to see the sacking of minister in S'pore becos every minister here is an "asset" (somemore selected from the most stringent process) no matter how screw up he is.

They will quietly go to GLCs not MNCs.

Vincent Sear said...

PRC is an official one-party state under CCP, whereas Singapore is a pseudo-multi-party state under one-party PAP. Notice that PAP goes headhunting for ministerial calibres, implicitly (but also realistically) self-assured of forming government term after term.

In other democracies, parties go headhunting for members. Then choose candidates among the members. Then from winning candidates choose the ministers.

Anonymous said...

Kin Lian,

If the PM annouced that he will pick you as his next finance minister in view of the fantastic stuff and believes portrayed in your blog and that you were former CEO, will you be dissappointed?

I think it is better we shut up and let them do the job. It is too late to change anything. The process is irreversible. If you cook rice you cannot get back padi!

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