~ By Tan Jee Say ~
I was a guest speaker at the dinner of Rotary Club Jurong Town on 24 April 2012. I shared with Club members what I thought should be the focus of Singapore politics going forward.
The pre-occupation of opposition parties thus far has been on providing checks and balances to the ruling party. The fundamental assumption is that we have a good and competent government that is prepared to listen to and act on feedback. The last few years including post-GE 2011, have shown how wrong this assumption has been. I told the dinner guests that the days of merely providing checks and balances are over as the government is not prepared to change but is determined to stick to its old ways whilst giving false and misleading impressions that it is amenable to change.
I gave 4 reasons why it is necessary and urgent to have a change of government:
- PAP has become incompetent and is seriously lacking in accountability for major and repeated lapses in the provision and administration of essential public services;
- Government policies are divisive as they seriously widen the income gap between the rich and poor; allowing the 2 casinos against strong objections from large sections of the population, divide the people further;
- PAP ministers are self-centred and are more interested in paying themselves high salaries than in raising the wages of lowly paid Singaporeans; and
- Recent events have raised questions about standards of behaviour of public officials.
We need new leaders with a different vision to take Singapore forward. Singaporeans who are concerned and serious about Singapore's future, should organise themselves and provide an alternative government. Serious opposition parties have a duty to take the lead. There are about a dozen to 15 outstanding individuals spread among the various opposition parties who could form a formidable team. We need more of such individuals in substantial numbers. If we can double the number to at least 25 to 30, we will raise the confidence level of the electorate. I would urge serious-minded Singaporeans to join and strengthen our ranks.
Photo shows, from right to left, Ambassador Pavlo Sultansky of Ukraine, TJS, MC Cheong (President of Rotary Club), and Stephen Lee.