Ideally, there should be park space of 16 square miles for every 1 million people. With 5 million people, 30% of Singapore should be green open space. With 6.5 million people, we need half of Singapore to provide that. It therefore bewilders me that the government should think that 10% of Singapore should be enough for our recreational and psychological spatial needs.
What then should be the aim of our population policies? It must give our future generations a better our quality of life, in terms of better economic, physical, mental, and social well-being.
We cannot build a core of Singaporeans with a heart when new immigrants flock into Singapore in large numbers. When foreigners come in large numbers, they find security in their own community. This makes it harder for them to assimilate and become part of the larger Singapore community. It is even more difficult when, with modern technology and communications, they are still connected by easy travels, internet, and cable TV to the motherland from where they had come.
When the Singapore Democratic Party announced its intention to contest the by-election and made known the seriousness of this intention by going on walkabouts and house-to-house visits in impressive style, the PAP changed its mind.
When people called for opposition unity, it was not really about calling for a united front to fight the PAP or for the best candidate to be fielded. The idea appeared to be for everyone to get out of the fray and leave it to the Worker’s Party to do the battle.
Growth may be good, but it rarely spreads its benefits evenly. It rewards the rich and the powerful amply. By comparison, the benefits to the poor are meagre. For this reason, the income gap continues to widen with economic growth. Singapore has one of the highest income disparities in the world. This means that the bulk of wealth is flowing into the pockets of the rich leaving the crumbs for the poor. Thus, the greatest beneficiaries of growth in the long run are the elites.
These are big problems. The party knows it. If they are not solved by 2016, a portion of the 60% who have tolerated the pains and voted for it in 2011 may lose their tolerance and decide to switch sides. Then this would bring the party closer to the edge of the slippery slope.
There is really no need to stage any kind of national conversation because Singaporeans have been engaging in political conversations all the time. You can hear or read them on the internet, in homes and in the coffeeshops. However, the PAP prefers the conversation to be carried out in their own way so that they can be seen listening to the people.
By Dr Wong Wee Nam 04 October 2012 The Scholar in White (白衣秀士) is not an idiom referring to those “scholars” selected by the PAP to be its candidates for the general elections. It is actually the kungfu nickname of Wang Lun (王伦), a character in the famous Chinese novel, The Water Margin (水浒传). To… Continue reading
By Dr Wong Wee Nam 28 September 2012 The Senior Minister of State for Education and Information, Communications and the Arts, Mr Lawrence Wong, wrote in his Facebook blog a few days ago that he had some heaviness in his heart as he watched some incidents unfolding on the internet over the past few weeks.… Continue reading