The Gahmen simply can’t do it.
Before you pappies come out to defend your beloved establishment, read the article first.
Why, after 50 years of independence, do we not have strict laws favouring Singaporeans? The best we have is that Fair Consideration Framework to counter the Foreigners Come First mindset that many capitalist companies have.
Why, only in recent years, did the government swing towards protectionism (more for Singaporeans, not yet so for local SMEs) after various backlashes towards 6.9 million, crazy angmoh cyclists and a big loss in GE2011? Shouldn’t the government have a more proactive approach?
Here are some theories I have after hearing various friends complain about the government.
1. The government has too much trust in the success of a free market
In their perfect world of economics, policymakers may forget the free market is the means to an end (i.e. a better nation for Singaporeans to live in).
I propose, in the spirit of a free market, we fire inept public servants who only know how to be postmen and delegate their duties to someone else (usually their overworked subordinates).
2. The government takes a reactive approach towards issues of the heart
Are policy makers so focused on hard numbers that choices based on emotion and gut feel are seen as the antithesis to logical decision making?
I propose, that before policymakers formulate their policies, they must do the job of average Singapore workers (who will be impacted by these policies) for a whole week.
3. The government bodies sometimes just cannot work together well enough coz ownself jaga ownself
Fishball stick. Enough said.
4. Public servants have totally messed up career scales and performance appraisals
Too much focus on paper qualifications and everyone gets a C (again for the nth year? sianz ji pua) unless you can really suck backside (which means you spend less time doing actual work).
5. The government’s leaders (especially those who don’t even meet the people on the ground) may think that caring for Singaporeans is a downstream job
Caring for Singaporeans doesn’t mean the government has to spoonfeed everyone. It comes in the form of empathizing with Singaporeans on their pain points and not casually dismissing feedback without going deeper towards the root problem.
To be fair to the public servants who may totally disagree with me, the government can’t possibly do EVERYTHING.
That’s why consulting and working together with other stakeholders such as unionists, volunteers, NGOs, VWOs, companies, associations, MPs, civil society and even the opposition is important.
Since the government can’t possibly care for Singaporeans to the standards of perfection we hold it to, we have to learn how to care for ourselves and even others who aren’t in our circle of family of friends.
If you see something wrong happening, how likely are you to try to right a wrong?
If you notice something amiss, will you care enough to consider how it’ll affect others, and then act on correcting it?
Singapore is our responsibility too, and many Singaporeans are beginning to wake up to this idea. Are you one of them?