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Friday, 30 August 2013

A New Social Compact.

There is much "hurrah" for the PM's National Day Rally Speech.  The mainstream media went into a frenzy by bombarding the people with the new intiatives that the Government were embarking in the areas of education, affordable public housing, health care, caring for our seniors, etc.  The measures were described as epoch-making and were launched to achieve a fairer and just society - a new compact with the citizens.

Wait! What had taken the Govenment so long to really feel the angst and unhappiness on the ground.  The drop in the majority votes in the 2011 GE and the subsequent loss of 2 By-elections in Hougang and Ponggol East would have raised all the red flags.  Not convinced the Government in typical kiasu Singaporean style embarked on a 1 year "Our Singapore Conversation" exercise to seek Singaporeans' view on what they really want and their grievances.  The conversation involved 50,000 participants conducted over 660 sessions (I wonder how much money was spent on this exercise).

Everyone knows a new social compact has to evolve for the status-quo is not tenable.  In more matured Democracies the buck would have stopped at the PM's desk and a new incumbent would have emerged.  I see the current iniative taken by the Government as preparation for the GE in 2016.  The jury is still out whether the Government will regain much needed support.  Let's wait and see.  The new compact has to be managed carefully and wisely if the Ruling Party does not want to see more losses in SMC and GRC wards in 2016. 

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