Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Democracy: PAP Government IS NOT PAP

I have read the coverage on PM Lee interview on Channel News Asia recently. What caught my eyes was naturally about the "next General Election". Nope. It is not about any speculations on whether there will be a General Election this year but rather how our Prime Minister made his statement here.

The very first sentence read "The Government will leverage on new media in the next General Election, Prime Minister Lee Hisen Loong has said". I am not very sure whether the Prime Minister has actually uttered that SPECIFIC wordings because I do not have the chance to watch the whole interview but it seems to me that it must be a "Government" stand on new media during "General Election".

First of all, the GOVERNMENT, which is filled with civil servants, has nothing to do with General Election apart from making sure that the election is carried out in a FAIR and JUST way.

During General Elections, the Cabinet will only be a care-taker government. Political parties and members SHOULD NOT utilize public resources for their political campaigns. How close PAP has observed such democratic rules is up to anyone's guess.

But if the CNA report is "presenting trusted, unbiased and informed opinions" as what the Prime Minister has proclaimed, I guess it just demonstrates that CNA, its reporters and editors have actually thought that there is absolutely NOTHING WRONG FOR A POLITICAL PARTY, even though it is the ruling party, TO UTILIZE GOVERNMENT RESOURCES DURING GENERAL ELECTIONS!

If CNA is, as proclaimed, a TRUSTED NEWS PROVIDER, then the Prime Minister must have uttered the very specific words that the GOVERNMENT is actually CAMPAIGNING by LEVERAGING on New Media DURING GENERAL ELECTIONS! So who is the GOVERNMENT CAMPAIGNING FOR during GENERAL ELECTIONS? This is a very FUNDAMENTAL QUESTION that citizens of any DEMOCRATIC country should ask the ruling party.

I am really beginning to doubt whether the ruling party takes DEMOCRACY SERIOUSLY or not! Or is it just WAYANGING about being Democratic while deep down its heart, it just takes for granted that PAP=GOVERNMENT and GOVERNMENT=PAP? And that PAP could utilize all the GOVERNMENT resources for its political interests?

Well, maybe I am still very naive after witnessing the pork barrel politicking of PAP in using GOVERNMENT HDB upgrading, GRC and Electoral Boundary redrawing as political tools to attain political interests for itself, I still hold the belief that Democracy still exists in Singapore with the basic fundamental principles intact. I must be wrong in believing that PAP still believes in Democracy. It is just basically a DICTATORIAL political party which only WAYANG about Democracy by having some elections with all the rules skewed heavily to their political advantages.

From this little report here, I must say that I am more convinced that Democracy is already dead in Singapore, in principle. People from the Prime Minister to the reporters and editors of local media no longer believe in the basic fundamental principles of Democracy any more. Unless there are enough brave souls that could stand up to such absurdity in the system, win a few GRCs via that totally skewed and impossible odds against the PAP + Government machineries + Media, I do not see how Singapore could evolve and progress democratically.

I would actually urge the PAP to do away with such a pain of going through the motion of General Elections where they themselves do not respect the fundamental principles of Democracy and declare Singapore a dictatorship once and for all. If PAP does not even respect the fundamental principles of Democracy, why do they need to try to Wayang about General Elections? If they could not even differentiate what is PAP as a political party and what is the role of government, then just equate PAP=Government=Singapore. It will really save us a lot of time and trouble in playing such Wayang game.

Goh Meng Seng

CNA - THE Government will leverage on new media in the next General Election, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said.

In an interview with Channel News Asia to be aired on Tuesday night, he noted the growing influence of the Internet on politics, citing the recent United States presidential election as an example and said Singapore would go the same way.

President Barack Obama's campaign, for instance, used new media to put out their messages, organise and even raise money. But PM Lee said the change here will not be an an easy one.

'We are still learning. It is not easy to make this transition. It is like going from sea to land or vice versa, you are changing your medium and you need to get comfortable with it. But we are working hard at it.'

He also said the party was on the lookout for more MPs comfortable with new media. His remarks are the latest sign of the Government's changing mindset towards new media.

Last month, Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts Lee Boon Yang said that the Government is 'fully into' e-engagement, when responding to suggestions made by the Advisory Council on the Impact of New Media on Society.

Since then, Government agencies have also begun responding to forum letters posted on The Straits Times website. PM Lee stressed, however, that traditional media will always have a place in presenting trusted, unbiased and informed opinions. But he didn't dismiss online views outright.

'Well, there is a place called the Wild West and there are other places which are not so wild. And the new media - some of it are Wild West and anything goes and people can say anything they want. And tomorrow take a completely contrary view and well, that is just the way the medium is,' he said.

'But even in the Internet, there are places which are more considered, more moderated where people put their names down and identify themselves. And there is a debate which goes on and a give and take, which is not so rambunctious but perhaps more thoughtful. That is another range.'

The interview on the evolving media landscape was in conjunction with Channel News Asia's 10th anniversary in March.


Anonymous said...

Will we be charged if we wear "kangaroo t-shirts" to vote?

Anonymous said...

I don't think you will be charged,
if you include a large PAP logo on your T-shirt as well.
Also don't forget to tell those men-in-blue, you are part of the PAP grass-roots team. lol

The Void Deck said...


Correcto! The faster more people realise that the govt, PAP and Spore are different separate entities, the earlier people would realise that the PAP is not some permanent fixture here and life can go on without them. Some adjustment needed surely, but life can still go on.

Actually, in the PAP case, the mixed up There Can Be Only One roots go deeper , grassroots = PAP, major proudly Sporean corporations = PAP, trade unions = PAP... ROFL

Edward said...

Singapore's media is ranked 146 out of 167 countries, below Somalia and Sudan, in the World Pree Freedom Index.

To the PAP, there is nothing wrong for them to utilize all govt resources for its political interests because they consider themselves indispensible.

Anonymous said...

"Will we be charged if we wear "kangaroo t-shirts" to vote?"

Surely not. To play safe, you can wear a old senile kangaroo sleeping in the coffin filled with Billion dollars of Singapore note when you vote. The coffin will be encaved with the words: "More Good Years !"

Anonymous said...

"Will we be charged if we wear "kangaroo t-shirts" to vote?"

Then don't wear kangaroo t-shirts, just act like a kangaroo jumping around voting station, reciting "More Good Years & Golden periods"

Vincent Sear said...

The PAP is the Government now and the Government now is the PAP. The Civil Service is "on government service". That's different from saying that the PAP is not Singapore and Singapore is not the PAP, which is of course correct. The land and the people is the country, not the Government.

The Government (supposedly) serves the people over the land, and the Civil Service serves the Government by executing and administering Government decisions. The Civil Service is not the Government. It doesn't decide what taxes or policies to impose, but it implements what the Government decides.

As even Meng Seng as an experienced politican and economist gets confused between these terminology and power/duty demarcation, can't blame lay people for not getting it clear too. The Government is not filled with civil servants. The Government is filled with ministers. The Civil Service is always there, regardless which party or coalition of parties fill the Government. That's why top civil servants are called Permanent Secretaries and don't have to go for elections.