Sunday, December 30, 2012

Insist on Meritocracy, Reject Mediocrity

Wan Bao has always been quite supportive of Workers Party (WP) all this while and it is exceptional for it to be so. This could be seen from the reports on WP since the Hougang By-Elections held earlier on. It is indeed rare to have a mainstream newspaper to be so supportive of an opposition party under Singapore’s unique political consrtruct. 

However, it should not be biased by its support to WP so much so that it would go that extra mile to use reports with twisted angle to attack those who have very different stance from it! (I am of course referring to myself!)

Just like the report shown above, it uses a very definite tone to assert that “majority of netizens feel that there is sourness written between the lines”; it would be totally misleading to those who don’t really know the fact at al! Well, I have checked through this comment posted on my FB and I have found there are over 20 FB friends agreed with my comments and have clicked “Like” while there are just only a handful of those usual suspects of hardcore WP people raising disagreement. How could that be considered as “majority”? Maybe the Chief Editor of Wan Bao should help the reporter to get a new pair of spectacles or that send the reporter to a couple of Statistics classes! Such gross misreporting could damage Wan Bao’s credibility and reputation (that is, if there is any left)!

Well, I am a straight talker and will not try to beat around the bushes. Some feel that this is REAL while more feels that this is just “ignorant” or even “idiocy”; this is just a matter of perspectives. Nevertheless, many people feel that as “politician”, it is better to be “slick”and have a “glib toungue”, must be more “politically correct”. However, isn’t that asking politicians to hide their real thoughts and replace them with sweet talking?  I don’t concur to such hypocritical pretence!

As for my comment, that is serious matter. There are a lot of people disappointed with WP’s performance since last General Elections. Even the so call “political observer” whom Wan Bao interviewed has to settle with the assessment of “WP’s performance is so so”. That is basically just a civil way (politically correctly smooth) of saying “mediocre”.  It is a fact that there isn’t much commendable performance. 

Right from the start, Chen Show Mao has conceded to PAP to become the great fearless Wei Zheng who will speak the truth, in all honesty with their criticisms. That basically means that PAP has become the Emperor while WP becomes the loyal court officials. There is basically nothing wrong to concede to the victor as it is a common practice in ancient history. But Wei Zheng is one who will speak up fearlessly (well, isn’t that as ignorant and idiotic as I do? LOL!) of the truth and facts and isn’t one of the fearful silent coward. However, just after one year plus, why has our Wei Zheng become the silent one on the policy front?

WP walks into parliament with the slogan of “Towards First World Parliament” but once in parliament, why are they bringing up such inconsequential questions on cats, dogs and bird droppings? Is it true that there isn’t any other important National issue to be brought up in parliament for debate? Why didn’t they bring up the issue of AIM in parliament earlier on?

Even for that “sure score” issue of ministerial salary debate, WP has screwed up so badly that it was mercilessly mocked by PAP. Not to mention about being exposed of plagiarism right in parliament. My little criticism of WP in my FB is really nothing compared to be shamed in the hall of parliamentary debate. How embarrassing! 

Just when we thought the worst is over, WP exploded with the Yaw Shin Leong scandal. The ultimate shame lies in how clueless WP was in handling such scandal. It has dragged the scandal for nearly a month before it was forced to tearfully sacrificed YSL. Apparently this has put a lot of doubt on the crisis management ability of WP. After the dust settled, we thought we could just close the chapter with a by-election. However, the WP candidate’s credibility was again put to doubt by a leaked minutes of its CEC meeting. Finally, the by-election has a happy ending with the magnanimous support of Hougang voters. But just as we thought all the storms have passed, residents under WP’s wards exposed that WP has used lucky draw to buy votes in support of HDB upgrading! This is the greatest ironic blow to opposition as a whole as we have been attacking PAP of using HDB upgrading to buy votes during elections! This is simply the pot calling the kettle black!
Our hearts are bleeding with all these missteps of WP! All these mediocre performance has absolutely nothing to do with the lack of confidence. I have thought through rigorously but I just couldn’t figure out how “confidence” (or the lack of it), as mentioned by the political observer, has to do with WP’s mediocre performance. However, I would say some of the incidents have to do with the over confidence, complacency and arrogance.

It is unimaginable that within such a short period of one and a half year’s time, WP has been making such fumbles in such high frequency and how is WP going to survive for the next 3 to 4 years before the next GE! Confidence can never solve these fundamental problems!

It is inexplicable for the Wan Boa’s political observer to assert that we should give WP one more seat so that they will have the confidence to perform better! This is really absurd! When did we become a country that abandon the core principle of meritocracy while rewarding mediocre performance?  We should insist on meritocracy and reject mediocrity.

If we lose this insistence on meritocracy, Singapore would definitely and eventually end up with a political slimy mud filled with mediocrity instead of becoming “First World” class!
If WP chose to contest the by-election due short term political interests considerations, before it rectifies, consolidate and make adjustment to its present team of MPs, even if it managed to win another seat, it will face the greater risk of having further mediocre impact that would cause even more blunders. This is especially so when it is obvious from Hougang By-election that WP is pretty dry on its talent pool now.
WP should stop and reflect upon itself, bides its time in re-consolidation and take stock of its weaknesses before it starts afresh again. Only in doing so, it would be able to meet the high expectations of its supporters to accomplish and fulfill its mission of creating the “First World Parliament”.

Nothing is absolute in this world. More may not be good. We should have quality MPs instead of just quantity. If the slate of MPs are still lacking in quality, it should just give them closed door training to perfection. WP should get its house in order first before it moves forward to win any other seats. In short, it is best for WP to give it a pass for this by-election.

Goh Meng Seng

Afternote: There are two interesting comments from private friends to me

1) If what WP lacks is confidence, then there is no need to reward it with another seat to boast confidence but instead, just send them to those expensive Motivational Talks available in the world!

2) If we are to extend the Wan Bao political observer's advice to commercial world, then companies will need to give those mediocre employees a big pay rise in order to boast their confidence to perform better!

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