The Propaganda machine has started cranking . The ruling party's chief has marshalled the mainstream media - the newspapers, television, radio, etc. - to put out what I term "a hidden manifesto" for the coming election. Ever wonder why the ruling party's members need not go out to sell the party's newsletter. Well, you have guessed it right - the dirty job is all done by the mainstream media.
I watched the US president, Mr Obama's State of the Union Address on TV on 21 Jan 2015 Two phrases in his speech strike me as useful and relevant to our beloved country: "Better Politics" and "Middle-class Economics".
Better Politics -1) Singapore polity has dramatically changed post 2011. Voters have indicated preference for more fairness and transparency in political processes. Indiscriminate re-drawing of electoral boundaries and creating of GRCs should not prevail. Many have called for the setting up of an independent Electoral Commission.
2) High Ministerial salaries has been a hot topic. Bench-marking the salaries to the top ten professions in the private sector is flawed. Demands in the private sector differ from performance in governing a country. A CEO can be fired or bankrupted if his company performs badly or his company goes bust. In the Cabinet there is collective responsibility. High Ministerial salaries conjure all sort of unintended consequences: self-interest; jealousies and envies of people lower in the organisation. I was flabbergasted when I read in the news that China's President Xi Jinping's basic monthly salary was recently revised to only $2440 pm.
Middle-class Economics - I will re-frame it as "Low and Middle-class Economics" in Singapore's case. More can be done for such families in areas of child-care, health-care, housing and retirement. Families are struggling with increasing high costs of living. Citizens' well-being is of paramount importance and deserves Government's continuing concern.
The ruling party must allow itself an ideological transformation so that the country can embark into the next stage of development.The new narrative should be what is good for the country no more dogmatic elite-style governance refusing to give way to democratic contest and political competition. Our politics must be less polarizing, less divisive and less paralyzing.
Voters ultimately have the last word. Will your voice ring loudly in the coming 2015/2016 General Election.