Singapore is Bigger than PAP

In the wake of Workers’ Party Lee Li Lian’s stupendous victory in Punggol East by-election, it is timely to remember what was once said by an ex-civil servant when he warned PAP of its elitist excesses and power obsession:

Former Head of the Civil Service, Ngiam Tong Dow was interviewed by MSM  in 2003:

Q. With all this pessimism surrounding Singapore’s prospects today, what’s your personal prognosis? Will Singapore survive Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew?

A. “Unequivocally yes, Singapore will survive SM Lee but provided he leaves the right legacy. What sort of legacy he wants to leave is for him to say, but I, a blooming upstart, dare to suggest to him that we should open up politically and allow talent to be spread throughout our society so that an alternative leadership can emerge. So far, the People’s Action Party’s tactic is to put all the scholars into the civil service because it believes the way to retain political power forever is to have a monopoly on talent. But in my view, that’s a very short term view.

It is the law of nature that all things must atrophy. Unless SM allows serious political challenges to emerge from the alternative elite out there, the incumbent elite will just coast along. At the first sign of a grassroots revolt, they will probably collapse just like the incumbent Progressive Party to the left-wing PAP onslaught in the late 1950s. I think our leaders have to accept that Singapore is larger than the PAP.”

Mr Ngiam should have become a senior minister with his wisdom and clarity of mind. But guess he wasn’t PAP’s cup of tea. I agree with his insights though my view is if PAP and LKY have to be told that Singapore is bigger than them, something is terribly wrong, For any political party to be reminded of this, it means that they have lost sight of who is master,  who is servant and their duty to the people. And it shows that they have become dictators who try to bend and break the people to their will at every turn.

But as Mr Ngiam rightly pointed out, there is a universal law that says all things will atrophy and end eventually. Yes, even the seemingly omnipotent Lees and the strong grip that PAP has on this country, Our country.

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10 Responses to Singapore is Bigger than PAP

  1. Solid Citizen says:

    Mr Ngiam is absolutely right. Over the years, the monopolization of mandarin scholars in the civil service and PAP has also bred an ultra elitist, high-and-mighty, “I know all” mentality. Such mentality is reflected in how even officers (we are not talking about directors and super-scale civil servants) in government departments and government statutort boards.agencies deal with the public. We have scholar officers who exhibit arrogance by brushing off inputs of experienced practitioners and condescending telling these “lau chiaos” they (the officers) are right. The arrogance has permeated deep into the whole government apparatus. Will PAP and their scholar civil service learn? I hope they will otherwise come 2016 they will be in a rude shock. The response of PAP after the Punggol East results is one of denial.

  2. Although I’m glad that a ‘parachuted’ PAP candidate lost the by-election and the elected MP got more than 50%, I remain sombre if WP can take on the challenges. Slicing power off PAP is one thing. Will WP be able to lead the country come 2016? Will the current glory get into the heads of the WP ranks? I certainly don’t hope WP or any political party for that matter, to fail. Neither should we see Singapore as PAP or WP.

    Singapore is for Singaporeans, no matter which political party one may be affiliated with. The party that lost sight of this will fail.

    I apologise if I sound like a party spoiler.

  3. we may have to take each day as it comes for now and address the immediate problems that are facing us which is the unhealthy dominance by PAP which has control over way too many areas of our lives and our country. We all want stability in our government but how can we not shake things up when we can see the rot? There is no easy answer. Let us hope the PAP leaders will seriously reflect and start making real changes. Depoliticise the People’s Association and the grassroots organisations for starters. But will they give up some of these sources of their power willingly? I have my doubts.

    • Oh yes. Depoliticise PA and grassroots for starters.

    • JG says:

      “I have my doubts”

      Welcome to reality!! If there’s any remaining doubt as to whether PM will, at the very least pause and reflect after given a tight slap, we can put that aside today. Look at his remarks in the ST, basically admitting lacking in 20/20 vision when the floodgates is opened to foreigners but remaining totally defiant.

      Instead of depoliticising PA, his next step is to “fix” social media. And of course, “fix” the opposition too. Looks like he STILL didn’t get it.

  4. Pingback: Daily SG: 28 Jan 2013 | The Singapore Daily

  5. JG – We will just have to shout louder and louder till he and his comrades in arms get the message. This is our country, not PAP’s not the Lees’.

  6. Pingback: 20150706 GE 2015 – peasants will be able to question self appointed aristocrats after another watershed election | likedatosocanmeh

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