His main line of argument always seemed to lie in the Singapore government aims being to brainwash the contemptible masses, cruelly but quietly suppress the opposition and limit our psychological freewill. His extreme one-sidedness was such a turn off that it made it almost impossible to even attempt to seek some truth in his words. Having not been in contact with him since SAJC and hence being more mentally objective now, I may agree to a negligible extent that what he said has some faint trace of truth.
Nevertheless, my faith in the Singapore Government has been reaffirmed with our new Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s debut National Day Speech.
It is in a big way a blessing that we do not vote for our leader (or as that classmate would probably have phrased, “that the PAP does not allow the people to choose their leader and simply, in a seemingly natural manner, assure continuance of the party”) because that saves a lot on campaigning funds, political bitching, and most importantly, selfish political agendas to gain favour from the masses by playing the popularity card and making promises not based on the objective good of the state.
On LSL’s Fatherly Character
“…as parents, I think we have to let go a little.
“Take some risk as parents so that the children can learn, take some knocks, take some risks, grow up.
“It's okay for children to get hurt. They fall down, bruise their knee, knock themselves, a few scrapes, can't be helped, that's part of growing up. If you grow up with no scars anywhere, you've never fallen off a bicycle, I think you are a different sort of person.”
What struck me was how he brought in his own parenting style and sincerely but casually advised Singaporean parents not to fret over having their children getting injured while playing because it is simply part of growing up.
I absolutely love this enlightened and westernised attitude towards bringing up children, because I have seen how detrimental it is for parents to be over-protective of their precious (which does imply that I hold the belief that most of my generation are softies). While working in the preschool, I wish I could tell the parents that too, with the way they express disproportionate concern and wag the accusing finger at the caregivers, over a small cut or knock their child brings back from the play session.
When my father was around more often during my earlier childhood, he used to give hell to the maid when my sister and I cried, fell down or even when we got a mosquito bite.
Thankfully, my mother was the enlightened one, and she was the one who did our entire upbringing – with an ecosystem perfect balance too.
On the Too-Good-To-Be-True Pro-Family Package
He definitely pleased the crowd with the jokes he collected from the Singapore community and more than pleased many with his family-friendly policy package. I was one of those who applauded the extended maternity leave (that would also be borne by the Government to ensure the employability of women), the reduced maid levy, the extra parental days off to “bring your child to the zoo on a Monday” and the 5-day workweek.
Yet, I do not suspect Junior Lee of attempting to curry favour with his new charge. I honestly believe he is bringing in his own style, and being very sincere about it.
On The Future Of Singapore
I am at this point quite assured that Singapore has been transferred to yet another pair of capable hands.
Sometimes, Singapore really spoils us too much with the unfailing security and decently good life she gives that we pampered babies take for granted.
I cannot decide whether the demographic, natural and circumstantial aspects of Singapore, or the leaders’ ingenious political moves and approaches have made the Government’s job relatively smooth-sailing (with regard to having the people’s support, or at least the lack of dissension) and successful.
One thing I do notice is how the Singapore government has always chosen the moderate path. It is very much the Singaporean character to me – not very daring, playing it safe. The leaders here avoid taking sides, but when required to, are very careful to downplay their stand on international or contentious matters.
My political apathy, and probably that of most of my generation, is a good sign that this government is doing a terrific job. Elsewhere, people get themselves involved in politics because there are things they want changed and government stands on issues they do not agree with. It is hard to get Singaporeans interested in local politics because there is not much to complain about, and hence, little to contend with, hardly anything to take it out with the Government.