Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Open Letter To PM Lee - No Response

Dear Prime Minister Lee,

Please refer to my personal open invitation sent to you on 24 September 2012.

Once again, I am writing this letter with utmost disappointment and regret that you have chosen to give no response or ignore of my open invitation. I am brought up in a humble family and though my parents aren't highly educated, but they have taught me that it is discourteous not to reply to other people's invitation. I have tried to follow their teaching as far as possible, though I might have missed one or two replies in my life so far, but those are definitely not done on purpose. I hope you didn't ignore my open invitation on purpose. It would not look good to the world that we have a Prime Minister who will ignore kind open invitations.

Well, maybe the mass media in Singapore have done you a great disservice because they have not published my open invitation to you and that might have caused you to miss out the importance of this importance. I guess the mass media has further enhanced Singaporeans' skepticism about your administration having a tight control over the mass media in Singapore. It is within many people's expectation that the mass media will not report about it because they would think that the mass media won't even dare to put forward such a "challenge" to you and your administration. I guess we can't blame Singaporeans' perception, rightfully or wrongfully, that the media in Singapore has come under total control of your administration, or even regard them as the "mouth piece" of your party. Such perception had further been enhanced by their deafening silence on this open invitation.

Some people may think that I am throwing a "challenge" to you by inviting you openly. Even some of my close associates have told me that I have "put you on the defensive". I would like to apologize to you if I have made such unintended feeling upon you. My sincerity in inviting you must not be misunderstood. It is a genuine effort to provide a rare opportunity for you to experience first hand what a commoner life is all about.

Some people have told me that you must have "known" of the crowded MRT but I guess, "knowing" is very different from "experiencing" it. We could see photographs of the devastation done by the earthquake in Sichuan but that would stay at a superficial level of "knowing". Empathy is hard to be derived until we visit the devastated sites personally. We would be awed by such personal experience. Thus similarly, I guess it is important for you to experience first hand how crowded the Singapore public transport is.

We cannot blame you for such lack of empathy because we cannot blame you for being born into a family with a silver spoon, that would not be able to provide you that precious opportunity to experience the commoner life. You do not need to feel guilty or shameful about not having such experiences or empathy. It is not your fault at all, that is, before anyone invites you to experience it personally. The least we could do, is to help you, in the interest of the Nation, to experience first hand of commoner lifestyle. Unfortunately, you have chosen to ignore such goodwill.

There has been an uproar about your National Conversation effort recently, with many people "exposing" that some of the attendants on TV were actually PAP members or somehow related to various government linked establishment. Personally I feel that if these people have declared their affiliations before hand, it would not be a big problem at all. However, the sincerity of the whole National Conversation exercise has been put into doubt when their affiliations have been "exposed" by skeptic Singaporeans. In my view, rightfully or wrongfully, your National Conversation has suffered the loss of credibility right from the beginning.

It would be fine for me if you would reply me to give a simple answer "No". I would take respect your decision and hope that maybe someone else who is more acceptable to you, would do the same and invite you over to their place for a Short Stay. However, your complete ignore and silence, perpetuated by the Mass Media, on my open invitation has further enhanced my personal doubt over the credibility or the sincerity of your National Conversation exercise. I am not sure whether others will feel the same as I do but I feel that a conversation is a two-way process. And it should be based on the aim for both sides, the ruling and the ruled, to understand each other perspectives. I would think that experiencing the commoner life would be a very very important part of this National Conversation exercise as well. Unless, your aim and definition of your National Conversation exercise is just another soft approach of talking down or telling Singaporeans how wrong we are and how right your polices are.

It is with much regret that I will have to sign this letter off with the thought that my sincere invitation to you, an effort to help you in enhancing your National Conversation exercise has been totally ignored. But nevertheless, all the best to your effort in National Conversation, regardless of how little it would achieve.

Best Regards,

Goh Meng Seng

P.S. I would not be sending this open letter to your private email, nor send it to the mass media (like what I have done previously) because I guess, you would just ignore it anyway. If you have second thought, I guess your people would probably inform you about the existence of this letter somehow.

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