I remembered thinking at the time that it was so like him: And we the authors were very keen at the time to get him to talk about it, pressing him about this scenario and that. How might its demise occur?
This was my response. However, from the mids, the new policies became decidedly less favourable towards Singaporeans, where the government reduced health subsidies and where public housing and education prices escalated by even several times over.
From the mids, real wages for the low-income workers started stagnating and for the middle-income, this has been happening for the past 10 years. And some Singaporeans are today beginning to feel that Singapore is seeing a reversal of our fortunes in the last five to 10 years.
As a result, this has contributed to the belief that the current PAP leaders are in the business of politics for money, also because they earn the highest salaries among politicians in the world, as well as because they have pegged their salaries to the richest in Singapore, who also earn the highest salaries among the developed countries.
Thus if you ask me, Lee Kuan Yew could have a much favourable legacy but his selection of people after the first-generation leaders, as well as their obedience in an effort not to offend him have resulted in a system which became lopsided, as they were too eager to get into his good books.
Thus moving forward, what does this mean for Singapore? I think Singapore has to go back to the basics. First, over the last 10 to 20 years or even 30 yearspolicies that have been created have moved away from caring for the people.
What we need to do at this point is to undo some of these policies and their effects and to bring balance back to Singapore. Thus we need to increase wages to bring it parity, so that income inequality and poverty can be reduced.
The government also needs to increase health and education subsidies so that all of Singaporeans can be uplifted, and not just the select few in the elites.
Also, pension returns need to be returned to the people and transparently managed, so that Singaporeans will be protected for their retirement. In that sense, we have to remove or reduce a lot of the complications that have bogged down our system and which are making the system less efficient.
We need to streamline the system and start making it more focused towards the people, and to protect the people.
The PAP over the past 30 years have steered away from the objective of governance — for the protection of the people, and so, either the PAP has to regain a sense of ethical responsibility or Singaporeans have to do what is right to for themselves and to vote in a new government that will take care of and protect them.
I think the latter is a more viable alternative, seeing how the PAP has become rigid and entrenched in its ways and is resistant to change. Singapore cannot continue on the current modus operandi that the PAP has taken for the past 30 years.
The very reason why the first-generation leaders wanted to focus on educating the population was precisely because a more educated populace will be able to help the country grow. The current development of Singapore is not sustainable if we continue on a model of self-inflicted price escalation and artificially-depressed wages where the growing inequality can tear the social fabric apart.
We need to focus on bringing our country back to balance. It really depends on which era and which team you are talking about. Where Lee Kuan Yew had a good team in the first-generation leaders, Singapore was progressing nicely.
I would say it is about putting in a team which has the heart for Singapore and Singaporeans, as well as the other inhabitants on this island, and which have the foresight and belief to start re-investing back in Singaporeans, for our health and education, and retirement for the elderly, so that with the right commitment to the people, we can bring our country back on track.
Where a dictatorial leadership might work in the earlier years of consolidation and growth, a more equitable and collaborative governance is needed now where the PAP does not monopolise or hold onto power stridently, but where governance becomes a shared and decentralised responsibility and distilled among the people.
Only with unity and equality, and justice and fairness, can we see Singapore move towards a brighter possibility, and this also requires Singaporeans to let go of the fear that the idea of Lee Kuan Yew has created, and to be willing to restart our engagement with our country.Aug 27, · The future of the banking industry will depend on its ability to leverage the power of customer insight, advanced analytics and digital technology to provide services that help today’s tech.
Whether it will be 15, 20, 30 years depends on them getting a team of players very soon. Part of the team is in place but you need a leader man. You need somebody who can communicate, who can mobilise people, move people.
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I mentioned how far our neighbours have come over the past decade.