Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Good Government

Last week, I had the opportunity to play host to some visitors from the Philippines. Some comments that they made helped me to appreciate the good government that we enjoy in Singapore.

First of all, on the several occasions that I met them at the hotel, I noticed that the lobbies were often crowded with tourists of all shapes and colours, and the car park jammed with tour buses. Our STB must have done a pretty good marketing job to bring in so many people to visit our expensive ‘little red dot'.

Then, when I looked at the photos that they took at the Esplanade and Merlion Park, I suddenly realized that Singapore is really quite beautiful, albeit in an artificial sort of way. Because I seldom go to such ‘touristy’ areas, let alone take pictures there, I didn’t notice this before.

When driving my friends around, one of them remarked that our streets and roadside parks are so beautiful and well-maintained. “You really are blessed to have such a good government”, one of them remarked. I shared with them a little about our efforts to keep Singapore ‘clean and green’. True – our Nparks has done an excellent job.

After nearly one week, one of them said, “Its strange; I hardly see any police around in the public areas. Back home, we have police at every street corner, and yet there is so much crime. Here, you have so few police, but you have so little crime”.

I could not help but agree with them, although, in order not to sound too proud, I remarked that our government employed very highly qualified and highly paid professionals to manage the government departments; and many of our public sector organizations like the Singapore Police Force and the Library Board have actually won recognition in the form of national quality awards.

When I surf the internet and visit various forums and blog sites, I notice that many people complain that our ministers are over-paid. I do not have any opinion on that. However, I totally support the principle that the best talents should be hired to run the country; and such people should be paid salaries that are comparable to those in the private sector.

Today, we live in perilous times. Earthquakes, terrorist bombings, hurricanes, SARS, dengue, and a very real threat of a bird flu epidemic stare us in the face. Now, more than ever, we need good leaders to run the country.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

What Will We Be Tomorrow?

For the past few days, every time I turn on the tv to Channel News Asia, I see this trailer about their new documentary, A Species Odyssey. The trailer ends with this question; “Today we are homo sapiens; what will we be tomorrow?”

I thought the answer to that one should be obvious. Yesterday we were monkeys; today are humans; tomorrow we will be gods of course. This is called Evolution.

Sigh - and this the kind of stuff are being taught as Science in schools.

“and ye shall be as gods” - The serpent to Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:5)