My response to Mr Syu Ying Kwok’s ST letter (08 July 2008)

July 8, 2008 by
Filed under: Archives 

This is my response to Mr Syu Ying Kwok’s letter to the Straits Times Forum page published on 08 July 2008 (print edition).

In the letter entitled “Five years? MM Lee’s estimate was optimistic”, Mr Syu argues that with modern telecommunications and banking infrastructure which allows trillions of dollars to be transferred out of Singapore in an instant if the current leaders and their policies change overnight, Singapore’s success might be undone within “within weeks”.

He says emphatically that “it is naive to assume that all human beings can be trusted to do the right thing, and that we should appeal to the public by their conscience and sense of fairness.”

But isn’t this precisely the reason why we need a strong, credible Opposition to check on the Government in Parliament, or even a Opposition that is ready to form the next Government should the current one become corrupt and/or complacent?

Mr Syu has acknowledged implicitly that it is naive to assume human beings can be trusted 100% of the time. The same goes for the Government as a whole. That is why checks and balances are so necessary, and that is why a strong Opposition presence in Parliament is needed, an Opposition that is capable of taking over the reigns of power should the incumbent become manifestly unfit for office.

The one paragraph in Mr Syu’s letter that truly startled and shocked me was the paragraph on NSP member Mr Tan Lead Shake.

Mr Syu said, “Recently, opposition politician Tan Lead Shake made headlines after a tragic event in his family. But what chills the bones is the fact that in the past three elections, an average of more than 20 per cent of the electorate voted for him or anyone else who stood for election with little consideration of his credentials or abilities.”

I find Mr Syu’s remarks disgusting and repulsive.

Mr Tan Lead Shake is going through an extremely emotional time with the loss of his brother. It is a personal crisis, not a political one. Why is there a need to unceremoniously drag out this family crisis and relate it to Mr Tan’s political history? How in the world are these two even remotely related? Why is there a need to mention Mr Tan’s family crisis in connection with his credentials and his supposed poor showing at the polls?

Even if Mr Tan had performed poorly at the polls, it is unjustified of Mr Syu to accuse him of having poor credentials or abilities. That is for each individual voter to decide, not for Mr Syu to speak on behalf of the electorate.

Mr Syu’s letter is attached below.

Five years? MM Lee’s estimate was optimistic

Syu Ying Kwok

http://www.straitstimes.com/ST%2BForum/Story/STIStory_255634.html

WITH reference to last Friday’s column, ‘Welcome to scary Singapore, land of four million smiles’, I could not help but disagree with Ms Lynn Lee.

It is naive to assume that all human beings can be trusted to do the right thing, and that we should appeal to the public by their conscience and sense of fairness. While it is ideal to strive towards a kinder and gentler society, Singaporeans must be made to realise the world is actually very brutal.

Why is Singapore schizophrenic? To me, it is both a modern-day wonder and an insane attempt to push the boundary of human sociology, political science and human ingenuity.

With a population of 4.6 million and no natural resources, Singapore is like a 3,000m-tall giant inverted pyramid balancing precariously on a ridiculously small footprint of less than 700 sq km. To further create instability and complexity, the population is a mixture of races, religions and cultures due to its historical immigrant origins.

In some ways, Singapore’s few short decades of peace may bring hope to a millennium of violence in Jerusalem.

On the contrary, I feel Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew is very optimistic when he said recently that Singapore can be unscrambled in just five years.

With modern telecommunications and banking infrastructure, trillions of dollars can be transferred out of Singapore in an instant if the current leaders and their policies change overnight.

Singapore’s economy can become an empty shell within weeks. The grim reality is that global financial investors would have no qualms in rendering us incapacitated in this fiercely competitive world.

In many ways, Singapore is a failure due to its own success. Thanks to its ability to provide housing, work opportunities and good economic growth year after year in a First World environment, it is no wonder that most Singaporeans, especially those born after 1965, have bred a false sense of security, thinking modern Singapore is a creation by mother nature.

Recently, opposition politician Tan Lead Shake made headlines after a tragic event in his family. But what chills the bones is the fact that in the past three elections, an average of more than 20 per cent of the electorate voted for him or anyone else who stood for election with little consideration of his credentials or abilities.

Will Singapore last as long as the 3,000-year-old Great Pyramids of Giza? Very unlikely, when civilisations in history last an average of less than 500 years.

But the real answer lies not just in our children but in the choice we make now to ensure a better future for them now.

Syu Ying Kwok

Comments

9 Comments on My response to Mr Syu Ying Kwok’s ST letter (08 July 2008)

  1. DavidSeeLeongKit on Tue, 8th Jul 2008 9:08 pm
  2. Another one of those shameless PAP bootlicker-cum-running dog!
    After reading his disgusting letter, I almost puke my breakfast.

    He has an NUS Bachelor of Accountancy (1993).
    Can anyone check out what he does for a living?
    I suspect he wants to curry favour with the Men In White for possible business dealings with GLCs/TLCs.

  3. CP Lum on Tue, 8th Jul 2008 10:06 pm
  4. I find it equally disgusting and revolting that the Fourm Editor had allowed the paragraph on Tan Lead Shake to go through. Would a similar comment on the Men in White be published? Gutter press!!!

  5. Ned Stark on Tue, 8th Jul 2008 10:28 pm
  6. E-Jay,

    Just a query, did u post ur reply to the Forum?

  7. admin on Tue, 8th Jul 2008 10:34 pm
  8. Dear Ned Stark (post 3),

    No, I do not write to ST forum often.

    Most of the time, I prefer just to post on this blog. I can be as hard hitting as I want and don’t have to deal with issues of whether my letter will be accepted or rejected, or whether they will make modifications to it.

    E-Jay

  9. Kai Xiong on Wed, 9th Jul 2008 5:10 am
  10. All dictatorships begin with a contempt for the common man. They are unsophisticated and cannot therefore be trusted to choose the right leaders. They must be threatened with punishment if necessary lest the empire falls into incapable hands and crumbles.

    Seriously, LKY might as well take away our right to vote. Having a democracy in name only serves to give people a false sense of hope of changing government through elections and deflect genuine criticism of undemocratic rule.

    I quote the 36 strategems (三十六計):

    “In order to capture, one must let loose (traditional Chinese: 欲擒故縱; simplified Chinese: 欲擒故纵; pinyin: Yù qín gū zòng)

    Cornered prey will often mount a final desperate attack. To prevent this you let the enemy believe he still has a chance for freedom. His will to fight is thus dampened by his desire to escape. When in the end the freedom is proven a falsehood the enemy’s morale will be defeated and he will surrender without a fight.”

    […] Gospel of Harry – Looking through the eyes of: Time and Singapore – Sgpolitics: My response to Mr Syu Ying Kwok’s ST letter (08 July 2008) – a blog @ Singapore: Right time for the right words – To Fix a Mocking Peasant: Let PAP rule for […]

  11. David on Thu, 10th Jul 2008 8:40 am
  12. Kai Xiong, that is the point. To wayang the democracy so that the foreigner have nothing to complain about Singapore, and government then internally suppressed citizen to no end and treat them as moron and moneything.

  13. A Tale of Two Organisations « Winter Is Coming on Thu, 10th Jul 2008 6:35 pm
  14. […] not paint the government in a good light, though with the help of the Straits Times and people like Syu Ying Kwok I would opine that they will come out of it none the worse (if they can come out of all that […]

    […] Gospel of Harry – Looking through the eyes of: Time and Singapore – Sgpolitics: My response to Mr Syu Ying Kwok’s ST letter (08 July 2008) – a blog @ Singapore: Right time for the right words – To Fix a Mocking Peasant: Let PAP rule for […]

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