Thursday, May 29, 2008

Give me 10 mins and I'll just waste it ranting

I'm at an internet cafe checking out my life in cyberspace and so I thought I would drop a posting here to try and lighten the load of the bored and oppressed on this planet. Life this week has been quiet. Slow and quiet but instead of spending it in bed, I'm surfing, surfing and surfing on the net. Like most mindless cretins I've decided that having a purpose is overrated.

But if it's been fairly quiet on the personal front, it's been a bit more interesting in the wider world of global politics. In Singapore, the court case between the Father and Son against Dr Chee Soon Juan seems to be reaching a conclusion. Dr Chee and his sister, are revelling in their role as favourite punch bags of the government and I don't think anyone doubts the verdict - the Father and the Son will be awarded enough damages to fund the government for a year and the already bankrupt Dr Chee will be unable to pay...

This business of suing has been a comon tactic of the powers that be. Yes, sometimes the buggers need to defend their reputations but they've really used this on so many occasions, that every law suit they launch and win in Singapore only serves to make them look like mafia dons. In fact, it's reached a stage where, if you are a publication or a writer, it's become a stepping stone to fame and establishing your credibility.

However, it's hard to feel sorry for Dr Chee. Yes, the powers that be are bullying him. Talk to the man in the street, and they applaud him for being a "brave" man (but they'll never vote for him). But is he serious about being an opposition or is he in desparate for attention from I don't know who. It's as if coverage from the foreign media becomes more important for him than finding alternative ways to achieve his cause's objectives, which if you look at them are not bad.

Singaporeans are simply not the "Activist" kind. We don't applaud student demonstrators the way they would in Europe or even around the region. Life is exceedingly comfortable, and as the whole, the government has done a good job in delivering. As such, whenever a "trouble maker" starts asking questions and gets slapped down, most of us just think "Ai Ya, why rock the boat."

I believe that as good as things may seem, the boat does need to be rocked from time to time. Its the best way of ensuring that a culture of complacency does not set in, as was plainly clear during the Mas Selamat incident - a case where the government and public spent most of the time playing tai-chi instead of catching the bugger. A few private sector practices need to be injected into the government sector. I'm all for Jack Welsh, former CEO of GE who made it a point to sack the bottom 10 percent of his management every year.

However, anyone with an ounce of common sense knows that this won't happen. The status quo is too comfortable for all parties involved. It has to change. We already have signs of developing socio-economic cracks appearing - just look at how inflation is eating into economic growth and how "some" groups seem to be inflation proof. So something's got to give sooner or later. But at the end of the day, we're going back to the same solutions - an "All Wise" government is telling the drones what to do and anyone who may have an alternative idea gets killed off. As one young PAP wanna be says, "You have economic growth or political freedome?" ( we have more of the same old solutions?)

So, knowing change is necessary, how does one go about achieving it? The answer is simple to talk about but difficult to do - sell it to the public. Ultimately governments of all sorts are beholden to the will of the public. The decision makers have to "feel" your issue if they are to make your issues become reality. Look at the Bush Administration. It's stuffed with Homophobic Fags (no contradiction here - gay bashers are usually confused gays who don't the balls to open about their sexuality) who need to brandish their "Moral" authority. Yet , they've avoided producing homophobic leglislation. Individual States are even giving licenses for gay marriages. Why is that? Well, one of the most powerful figures in the administration is the father of a Lesbian who is not just Lesbian but proud of it. Suddenly you have Dick thinking like a father and not a Vice-President.

Likewise in Singapore, you have to make people think as human beings if you want your issues turned into reality. Nobody cares if you get beaten up by the establishment. But the establishment will start to care if you can make them understand that it could be their kids getting beaten up. I remember telling M Ravi, Dr Chee's egotistical lawyer that if he wanted to crusade against the death penalty he had to make the Ministers and public understand what it would be like if their kids were caught making "silly mistakes" (as is the case of quite a few drug cases). He seemed to agree but once his press conference began he decided to indulge in his role of victim of the establishment. It was "sexy" stuff for the visiting White Liberals in the was utter crap for listening Singaporeans.

Incidentally, I have nothing against White Liberals. Many of them mean well but a good majority of them are jacking off on the suffering of everyone else. Too few of them are interested in offering solutions and too many of them are interested in their media coverage.

But there you have it. In Singapore, our most vocal activist, Dr Chee is a darling of the White Liberal crowd. Todate, he's achieved........nothing for the people he claims to care about. I look at the way the Tibetan issue gets covered. White Liberals rush to condem the Chinese. The Chinese side plays the nationalist card. In-between all of this, nobody is terribly interested in speaking to the Tibetans, including the Dalai Lama. As a friend of mine once said, "Be weary when the white man takes up your cause."

1 comment:

John said...

Good analytical work. Totally agreed. "People Issues" are keyed to every cause, be it political or personal. Coining the Chinese phrase "身同感受“, epitomizes the success of the current ruling party campaigning messages. Are there no flaws in their years of governing Singapore? Are Singaporeans so blinded and so-called "Brainwashed, Converted" like most like to stereo-type. Definitely not but when decision making affects personal value, that is where the voting counts.