Thursday, February 28, 2008

My Top 5 Gahmen Boo Boos

I have always had strong faith in the effectiveness of our government. I have always felt proud when I hear foreigners sing praises of how well Singapore is governed (Example here). I even support, in principle at least, the high salaries of our top civil servants and ministers.

But lately, that faith has been shaken by some events which I never expect to happen in a small and first-world country like ours.

1) The drowning of 2SG Hu Enhuai during so-called Combat Survival Training in August, 2003. (Tortured to death would be a more accurate description)

2) The Nicoll Highway Collapse of April 2004.

3) The NKF (National Kidney Foundation) fiasco of 2005.

4) The great Budget Surplus of 2007. After forecasting a deficit $0.7 billion and increasing the GST by 2% points, they tell us we actually had a surplus of $6.47 billion.

5) ‘The Great Escape’ of the suspected Jemaah Islamiah terrorist, Mas Selamat Kastari from police custody yesterday.

Which would you vote as the biggest blunder of all?

I would vote No. 2 because human lives were lost and destroyed; and ample signs of the impending disaster were ignored by those in charge.

But No.1 is the one that makes me most angry because of the sheer negligence and arrogance of the leaders involved.

Thus I am deeply disappointed to read remarks like these being made in parliament a couple of days ago.

“It is this far-sightedness and prudence, as well as the many timely and astute policies implemented, that have played a major role in bringing about such a large surplus.” Hong Kah MP Amy Khor

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Wrong move

It was reported yesterday that former US President Bush has endorsed John McCain as the Republican Party's nominee for the next US president. McCain was apparently quite happy.

After Bush spoke, McCain said that his endorsement would "help me enormously in the process of uniting our party and moving forward." (CNN)

I wouldn’t be so happy if I were McCain. Right now Americans are sick to the core with the mess created by Bush Junior during his 7 years in office. They are desperately looking for change. Thus anyone who wants to be the next president should be fleeing in the opposite direction from anything to do with the ‘worse than fierce tiger.

In Singapore we had a similar situation in the last election. The PAP was desperate to win over Potong Pasir from Chiam See Tong. And so they brought in the big gun – or so they thought, in the person of former prime minister Goh Chok Tong to endorse their candidate, whose name I cannot even recall. Goh Chok Tong even threw in lots of goodies in the form of lift upgrading and that sort of stuff to entice Potong Pasir voters, assuming that Singaporean are kiasu and cannot resist goodies.

PAP as we know, lost, and I doubt Potong Pasir residents ever saw Goh Chok Tong again.