Sunday, March 02, 2014

Challenges facing Singapore

Dear Mr. Tan Kin Lian
Our MEWR Minister was quoted recently as saying even though there is a drought in spore we do not need to worry about water shortage. He then went on to say it was the farsightedness of spore govt investing in Newater and desalination that we do not have to worry about water shortage.

We all know droughts lead to water shortage. But many of us also should know that droughts may also lead to bush fire and other hazards. Punggol and Jurong east already got hit by bush fires now. Look around spore and you will find grass turning brown and leaves on trees turning yellow. Bush fires are a real and present danger.

Last year when PSI hit record high in spore it was due to fire in Indonesia. What is the danger of wide spread bush fires hitting spore if the current drought is prolonged? We may be prepared for the haze but are we prepared for bush fires?

When spore is flooded or water ponded, it was due to heavy rain. When bush fire strikes it is due to prolonged drought. All acts of god. But Machiavalli already told us long ago that when act of god strikes there was nothing much man could do. However there was nothing to stop man from taking preventive steps before these acts of god strike so as to mitigate the damages and destruction when they happen e.g. widen canals, clear choked drains. . . etc before the heavy rain falls to mitigate the ill effects of heavy flooding.

The COI on the little India riot showed us clearly our govt is no longer as good as they used to be. And what is most dangerous is not so much their weakness now which can be improved but a lack of awareness of their inadequacy which if ignored further, more once in 50 years incidents are going to hit spore. We have so far seen flooding, strike by bus drivers, riot.

Rest assured more once in 50 years incidents will take place unless there is a genuine effort to acknowledge there is a problem. It will not be a question of ifs but what and when. Honestly without the humidity to acknowledge a problem, there can be no real solution. Home Affairs Minister quoted to be disappointed. Saying some lapses by his ministry unacceptable. Transport Minister quoted to be concerned over SMRT's regular breakdown. If Ministers are concerned and disappointed,  what about citizens? Should we not be even more disappointed and concerned?

What are you views Mr Tan? Are you disappointed and concerned as well?

Singapore has many serious problems accumulated over the years. The ministers are trying their best to cope, but their non-transparent approaches  do not produce good results. We need a more open society and broad-based approach, which is the approach adopted by most other countries.  

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