Two-Pronged Approach to Avoid Deep Social Divides

Two-Pronged Approach to Avoid Deep Social Divides – this is the title of an article that appears in REACH [a Singapore govt website]

[my comments]:

Can the present state of our govt be considered as satisfactory or acceptable? Some may think so, some may say no and some may be neutral. I am in the group with the negative view.

Insufficiency of opposition representation in Parliament is not a good form of govt, as some of us have found, from experience and observation. In the context of Singapore, presently, with only six elected members representing the opposition, out of an aggregate of 83 elected members, it is clear the opposition will never win in a voting process requiring all members to vote; two clear-cut cases – the White Paper on immigration and the recent Bill introducing changes to the Constitution concerning the election of the President – are evidential of how skewed it is when it is about discussing a matter in Parliament and putting it to the vote.

The PAP govt appears to have been afraid of ascertaining public opinion via a national referendum; with such a vast PAP representation in Parliament, the PAP govt knows what the outcome would be, whenever a matter is decided via Parliamentary voting. The PAP has been presented with a carte blanche, in all these years; and where are we today? First-world status?  Perhaps in name only, but not in reality. In reality, many people have found life difficult to cope in terms of the costs of living that have risen significantly in the last 20-30 years.

The Pioneer Generation Package and the SkillsFuture Fund are two laudable initiatives of the govt, but they alone cannot be seen as the panacea for our ailing economy, where high costs of living is still a major obstacle for many. If a visit to a clinic would cost a senior citizen much less, in terms of the Pioneer Generation Package, a visit by a non-senior person might mean a recovery of the cost to the govt for lowering the fee for the senior citizen. By jacking up the fee and then giving a discount, to a particular group, the net result may still end up as a plus, if not even.

Any attempt at developing a sense of identity and togetherness among the people is most welcome, and is laudable of course.

But the PAP, of all political parties in Singapore, should have been aware that amending the Constitution regarding the Presidential election was clearly a case of playing the race card. And how could the PAP be so naïve as to have thought otherwise? How could playing the race card be seen as developing togetherness, in multicultural Singapore?

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