On 2 January (Wednesday), Adjunct Professor at the Department of Architect at the National University of Singapore (NUS) Tay Kheng Soon posted on his Facebook Page, saying that the government is repressing one-third of the educated population’s freedom to be critical and creative.
In his post, he said that at the nation’s stage of development, one-third of the educated population would have reached the top of the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which is the self-actualisation stage where they’re able to achieve their full potential, including creative activities.
As such, many feel cramped by the government as they lose their freedom to actualise themselves.
He added, “In doing so, they are critical and creative and when they think of actualising their feelings, they feel pressured down by a government that is hypersensitive to criticism and an administration fearful of new ideas from Singaporeans.”
However, a portion of the remaining two-third of the population are seeking psychological satisfaction which they may feel is not respected. Although they are concerned about their livelihood as the cost of living has increase despite a stagnant income, but the government cannot take their support for granted.
“This is why the ruling elite needs to change its human value assumptions and ruling methods more, as the global shifts to new technology and the Anglo American elite falters and global economy slackens,” said the renowned architect.
Having said that, Mr Tay feels that Singapore needs to unleash its pent up creativity while reassuring the masses, and this can be done by the top one-third population. In order to achieve this, the People’s Action Party (PAP) government has to trust this group and respect the masses, something that they dislike doing as they fear them.
“It requires a new type of 4G leadership, not the same old defunct ‘people are digits’ types. A more down to earth and human inspiring leadership is needed to regain lost most authority and trust. This requires a drastic self-initiated pay cut,” he concluded.
Upon posting this post, many netizens shared their opinion on this matter and felt that the government needs to trust the people.
World Toilet Organisation founder, Jack Sim wonders why the government is afraid to engage these intellectuals and hopes that they can trust the people as "the people still largely trust them."
However, Mark Goh Aik Leng feels that the main problem here is the "lack of institutions and the division of power to various institutions".
Chen Yi Quan added that "when you think of solutions, think of things that simultaneously enrich people". He believes that things will fall into place if "we could make self-interest and community interest the same thing".
On the other hand, Bernard Cheong opines that it's normal for all politicians to pander to the needs of the two-third of the society as the voting populace is there.