I was attending a talk last night where a report by the World Bank was presented and Singapore was rated number two in the world for ease of doing business.
Factors that were taken into consideration were the efficiency levels, the streamlining of processes and the quality of the agencies. Notably, a factor that was highlighted as being considered in this ranking is the number of agencies that a business would need to interface with before getting properly regulated to do business.
For example, a business can speak to one agency which can liaise with the other agencies without your need to speak to multiple agencies at the same time is an important part of ease of doing business as it reduces work duplication and reduces the waste of time and resources. This is a clear indication of Singapore’s high levels of efficacy.
Contrast this with the calling of an election in Singapore whereby the process seems rather lengthy, confusing and unwieldy.
I may not be alone in saying that the processes and timeline requirements are unclear and that the general public are not aware of the various steps in the processes. Take the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee (EBRC) for instance. I will confess that prior to 2011, I did not even know that there was an EBRC to begin with! Added to that is the general confusion as to when it needs to be formed and who it comprises, amongst other things.
Taking the conclusion of the World Bank report into account whereby it clearly holds Singapore in high esteem, it is evident that Singapore is not a disorganised country. Rather, it is a highly well run country that is able to build a sophisticated regulatory system that is internationally business-friendly.
Why then is it so seemingly different in the political spectrum? Does it mean that the current government is of the opinion that the political system need not be efficient? If so, why is that?
Can this confusing election stance lead to speculation that it is deliberately confusing to ensure that the ruling party has wriggle room to ensure that it has the most conducive environment to win? If so, is this right or fair? Not only to the opposition candidates but to the people who are then arguably not being given a genuine choice?
The government cannot possibly say that the current process for calling an election is efficient. Nor can it be said that we are not an efficient country. Why then is there so much questions surrounding the when and how where the general election is concerned?