Sunday, August 23, 2009

Defendimg Our Nation's Core Values - Democracy, Peace, Progress, Justice and Equality

I have stared at this screen for hours before I could put my thoughts on it. The emotions and feelings within is so complex that I couldn't even find an appropriate title for this posting.

But I know I have to write this because this is a vital crossroad that our country has reached. I feel emotional because I feel that I have been cheated for over 30 years of my life for believing in the basic founding principles of our Nation.

I will never Pledge anything that is "UNREALISTIC" nor "Highfalutin". How could one Pledge to do something that he doesn't even believe in? Furthermore, I do not think that the late Mr. Rajaratnam has written our National Pledge with such "disbelief" to start with.

The PAP refuses to acknowledge that these founding principles and spirit are the key guiding stars of our Nation's development. The reason is simple, they could not answer for their deeds for the past 44 years that have deviated away from these CORE VALUES.

PAP may want to argue its way out of its shameless pervasive acts of extending its monopoly of power which has slowly eroded the fundamental values which this Nation has been founded upon. But there is not a single doubt that the Pledge, as well as our National Flag, have enshrined and embedded all these values permanently to remind us, the present and future generations that what this Nation should be striving for.

Our National Flag, unlike the Pledge which sound like empty words to PAP's ears, is the most important representation of our Nation.

The National Flag symbolizes the following:

Red symbolises universal brotherhood and the equality of man, while white signifies pervading and everlasting purity and virtue. The crescent moon represents a rising young nation. The five stars stand for the nation's ideals of democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality.

EQUALITY appears TWICE in this elaboration of what our National Flag symbolizes. But yet, our PAP ministers have just brush it aside as "UNREALISTIC"?

Words of the Pledge could be so twisted or even ignored by the PAP but I think the Five Stars on our National Flag are not something that the PAP could deny altogether. Yes, the National Flag has specifically enshrined "DEMOCRACY, PEACE, PROGRESS, JUSTICE AND EQUALITY" as "the nation's ideals". It is not just mere "aspirations", so to speak.

Our attention should not be diverted by the racial cards flashed by PAP. Equality comes in many forms and helping minority races who might have been disadvantaged in certain ways are not discrimination but affirmative actions to provide level playing field to achieve equal opportunities for all. Some bloggers have dealt with this issue and I shall not repeat it here. The key issue here is whether we should discard all these Core Values as the guardians of this Nation.

Both the Pledge and National Flags are the creation of PAP itself as it was the dominating ruling party since Singapore was forced into independence. These ideals are the very Promises that PAP has made to Singaporeans; to uphold the ideals of Democracy, Peace, Progress, Justice and Equality. We, as a nation and a people have accepted these values as the CORE VALUES and IDEOLOGIES for our Nation building. We should hold any ruling parties, especially PAP, past, present or future, accountable to these fundamental principles. It is not just about Racial equality but the whole set of CORE VALUES.

To illustrate this important point, let's say if a political party took over as Singapore's ruling party but suddenly it decides to turn Singapore into a monarchy. Or turn Singapore into a Religious based country. Or that it decides to change the Constitution to follow the China's style of political system and declare that this political party will forever be the Ruling Party while the parliament will be filled with appointed or even "elected" people's representative because we are Asian country and we should follow "Asian political system". Or this ruling party promotes apartheid policies under the excuse of "stability"...

Should Singaporeans just accept the excuse of such ruling parties that the founding values embedded in our Pledge as well as our National Flag as "UNREALISTIC" and it is only "REALISTIC" for us to become a country ruled by a religious doctrine or a monarch or full dictatorship etc.?

Of course not! Thus, these values are not just "aspirations", so to speak, but CORE VALUES and guiding principles of this Nation! Singaporeans should revolt against such ruling parties who try to distort our Constitution and rule against the founding principles of this Nation!

Thus, we should not belittle such Ideals and Principles embedded in our Pledge and National Flag by branding them as "aspirations" or "unrealistic highfalutin ideals". These are the guiding lights of our Nation, without which, we will be endangering our Nation to be destroyed by dictatorship or religious fanatics.

I have specifically put up the idea of reciting the National Pledge during the last election rally at Serangoon Stadium during last General Elections basically because I find it necessary to remind all Singapore voters what we are fighting for. What direction our Nation should develop into and we should not be blinded by those "pragmatic talks" of PAP politicians about the "unnecessary hassle" of having "opposition MPs" in parliament.

A political system without the balance of opposition force within will definitely slip into total dictatorship. Anyone who tries to sell you the idea that Democracy could well be alive even without opposition parties are dictators under the cloak of fake Democracy. Anyone who tries to sell you the idea that "Nominated MPs" could do all the magic of what real opposition MPs can do, is trying to hoodwink you into believing that Democracy could well work with "appointed MPs". There are two political systems that work this way in Asia: China and North Korea. Both are communist countries. Is Singapore working towards that direction?

It seems that PAP is trying out that formula and they are openly and deliberately saying it out loud of such intention recently in their Party newsletter, Petir. That article actually claims that we could well have Democracy without opposition parties! Singaporeans should raise their awareness and be guarded of such subtle but bold intention of PAP in selling such twisted idea to us.

All along PAP leaders have been saying that "Western Democracy" is not suitable to Singapore. What is the intent of such political discourse? PAP leaders have been saying that the American two party system is not suitable for us, least the multi-party parliamentary system. In numerous occasions, PAP leaders have stressed that Singapore should have only one DOMINATING RULING PARTY by default, PAP,to survive. PAP's intention to maintain its TOTAL Monopolistic grip on power is very obvious. Is this why they are not wary of bringing up the Pledge as the guiding ideology of Singapore now?

Are they planning to further enhance the idea that Nominated MPs should replace elected MPs and thus opposition parties should be made redundant? Or would they do away with elections altogether and promise to nominate at least certain number of opposition members into parliament? This would suit their "ideal" of having PAP as permanently the dominating ruling party! All under the pretext that the idea of "Democracy" is "UNREALISTIC" or "IMPRACTICAL" for Singapore's economic progress?

These changes may not be made so soon but history has shown that PAP would go all the way to change the rules of the game if the situation is not in their favor. They have implemented the GRC system after losing two parliamentary seats in 1984. They would further increase the size of GRC when they nearly lost Eunos GRC in 1988. Needless to say, they would alter the electoral boundaries of constituencies just to lower the chance of them losing more seats. GRC is their fortress of Power monopoly.

I do not know what they will change next if they finally lose one or more GRCs! To get rid of general elections altogether and promise more NOMINATED MPs in return? If that happens one day and Singaporeans just let it happens without a fight, it would be the end of Democratic Singapore founded upon the fundamental principles and ideology of Democracy, Peace, Progress, Justice and Equality. A new era of total dictatorship will dawn upon us.

To end this article, which may make me the target board of PAP machineries hereafter, I would like to share the following song with all true blue Singaporeans who are determined to defend and develop democracy in Singapore.

Goh Meng Seng


Pledge is not for traitors said...

Well said Goh Meng Seng !
You are absolutely spot on !

The PAP and their activities are contrary to the core values in our National Pledge. Singaporeans should bear in mind that they have unwittingly allowed traitors to run the country.

never trust PAP said...

My family, friends and colleagues felt betrayed to learn that the National Pledge is an Aspiration to MM Lee and his PAP.
It is just unbelievable that we have been hoodwinked for 44 years.

Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


PAPushing me out of Singapore.. said...

Singapore is not, never has been and (barring fundamental, transformational change) never will be a democratic society.

The iron grip on power of the Minister-for-Life and his cronies in the Pay And Pay cabal are the most widely-commented on reason. And it could be argued that the other reasons I have in mind are inevitable consequences of the unabashed elitism of The Minister and his cronies.

Any country that lacks an independent judiciary, as Singapore does, can never have a functional democracy. So long as the ruling clique can impose its will on the judiciary, controlling the hearing and outcome of cases, it will use that weapon to silence, intimidate and bankrupt any potential opposition. Does anybody really think that if the facts say one thing, and The Minister says another, that the facts will prevail in any judicial case? Would the judge who ruled on the basis of facts rather than political expediency even retain his freedom, let alone his job? The fact that reasonable men can even ASK these questions about Singapore says how deeply troubled we are.

The ruling famiLee also maintains its power through an iron grip on the educational system here. Students, in my observation over 30 years, are increasingly penalised for and discouraged from original or critical thought. An increasingly meaningless competition to memorise carefully selected facts along with Party propaganda and mythology substitutes for a quality education in the public system here. And people wonder why all the high-powered technical and creative jobs seem to go to FT? There have been some truly entrepreneurial success stories from home-grown talent here, but they are the rare exception rather than the rule. By the time a person graduates secondary school here, that ability to do anything but follow the orders of ones' "superiors" has been systematically and ruthlessly deleted.

When was the last time you saw non-Government-linked print, radio or television in Singapore? so long as all media is tightly controlled by the Leader and obeisant to him, there can be no learning or discussion of objective truths or alternative ideas not previously sanctioned by the ruling famiLee. Some Minister enacted policies with disastrous results? You'll never read about them in an SPH newspaper or hear about them on a MediaCorpse station. One of the taxpayer-funded sovereign wealth funds loses billions due to mismanagement and lax oversight? If it's not in an SPH or MediaCorp story, then officially it doesn't exist... and when foreign media make the mistake of reporting objectively on Singapore, they Pay And Pay for their error. (See, e.g., the Wall Street Journal.) A functioning democracy - or even a competent dictatorship - relies on an open marketplace for ideas where the best defence against a bad idea is a better one. I don't expect to see such a thing in Singapore within The Minister's lifetime.

And last but by no means least, The Minister and his cronies have mastered the art of divide-and-rule. Whether the distinctions be ethnic, religious, educational, financial... the survival of the current régime depends in no small part on actively preventing any subgroup from finding common cause with any other subgroup to try and improve the situation, or even understand it from any other viewpoint than that imposed by the régime. That The Minister understands this and has relentlessly pursued the strategy, by any and all available means, is self-evident.

A Minister who publicly disparages the ideals of "his" country is not fit to have anything to do with the running of that country. He should be removed from office... legally and courteously if that can be possible, but it must be accomplished immediately if the country is not to be destroyed from within - through cynicism, apathy and corruption. This must happen now. Forget the red herring that the opposition doesn't have any experience. The experience it lacks also includes twisting the fabric of society and pocketing the proceeds.