by Rudy Irawan Kadjairi
The fascinating world of the Singapore irony:
- We would demand transparency and accountability of an outrageously incompetent Town Council, but wouldn’t bat an eyelid at any of the incompetent mismanagement of taxpayers’ money as highlighted annually by the AGO.
- We beat our chests, clench our fists and proclaim proudly how we are champions of equality and fairness, yet turn away sheepishly at the double standards we impose on each other.
- We, the citizens of Singapore, have no qualms commenting about other countries and their leaders, but get butthurt when others say something about our country, or, God forbid, our leaders.
- We like to think we are a compassionate society led by leaders who always insist they will listen to the people. And we prove that by suing those who criticise the leadership.
- We say we are a dynamic nation filled with dynamic people. But we can barely find the right person now to lead this great nation of ours. The ones who want to lead, aren’t exactly the kind you want as a leader. The ones who should lead, have recused themselves out of some morbid sense of duty not to nation, but to a deluded rationale.
- We pride ourselves with a world class education system, that does not seem to prepare a workforce to face the demands and expectations of the 21st century.
- We have been working on a Smart Nation initiative for a while now. But still feel the need to impose on the population about what constitutes “fake news” because many apparently cannot tell the difference.
- Part of the Smart Nation initiative calls for the importance of data security. So we highlight this by having multiple unscheduled and unexpected data breaches on personal data. On a regular basis. But always assure the public that the breaches are no cause for alarm. Which contradicts everything anyone should know about data security.
- We have been telling the population, for generations, that our supposedly subsidised, low-cost, public housing, is their ticket to wealth-building.
- We need to pay an enormous amount of money (the highest), in salaries and pay packages, to political leaders, so that they will remain honest, corruption-free, and be willing to sacrifice to serve the country selflessly.
- We speak of the importance of being blind to our race, language or religion, yet, find it difficult to come to terms to admit that many within ourselves still feel a special kind of uncomfortable about these matters in our common spaces. We insist we need tolerance. What we have, however, is racism and bigotry.
- We pride in being equal to all, yet cannot see the disparity in offering scholarly awards to those who achieve phenomenal academic success due to their ability to afford tuition and personal guidance.
- We remind citizens of the importance of National Service, but treat our servicemen as if they were only a statistic.
- Many in our workforce believe it is their right to a job, but would not strive towards improving themselves to be more valuable in the organisation they work for.
- People here are so used to complaining and blaming everything on the government, but would not exert any gray matter to even think how they can contribute effectively and positively to the country.
- We proclaim that we are not elitists, yet feel that only a select few are capable of running this country.
- Alternative voices crave for attention, but do not organise their thoughts, nor themselves, eloquently or strategic enough to warrant any.
- We work hard to convince everyone that we are a multi-cultural and multi-racial nation, then present some of our various groups, companies, organisations and even sports fraternities that question that theory for all to see.
- We will tell everyone what we want them to hear, to deny what they should know, by insisting they should not need to think.
Singapore. We are a beautiful country.
But if we can deal with the ironies of our own making, we can be so, so much better.