Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Some people have been whining about the ministerial pay increases. Singaporeans need to take responsibility for the choices they make.

Here is a conversation I have experienced in recent days.

Person A: I don't believe we are going to pay so much to political leaders to run Singapore, and yet appear unwilling to put in the same level of resources to help the needy in Singapore. How to justify this?

Person B: There is no need to. First, the Prime Minister has taken a decision not to accept the increase to give him the moral authority to back it. More importantly, his team and him have a mandate from the people. And when people had the opportunity to put in some check and balance in Parliament, they felt there was no need to and gave the ruling class an overwhelming majority.

Person A: Well, I didn't get a chance to vote.

Person B: You have a choice still, you know.

Person A: What is that?

Person B: Singapore's leaders are where they are today because they had the support of individuals who were willing to put their money where their mouths are. Rather than complain or whine about things you cannot change, follow the example of the early supporters of the current leadership -- contribute your time and money to a political party who you think can bring the necessary check and balance in Parliament such that, by the next elections, the political party will have the financial muscle and other relevant resources to ensure you get to vote. Put your money where your mouth is!

Person A: [Stunned Silence.]

Some people just prefer to grumble irresponsibly. Such people deserve little respect. They will always blame others for the choices others make, and not exercise personal responsibility for the choices they can make.

Dharmendra Yadav


Anonymous said...

You seem to be accusing people who whine about such things of 'sour grapes'.

There is probably some truth in this but equally the 'ruling class' as you call them have a lot to answer for when it comes to scaring, coercing and at times bullying Singaporeans into keeping them in power.

Is is sour grapes to complain about pay rises for a set of people who use libel suits to silence their opponents?

Anonymous said...

Put your money where your mouth is?

Looks like Chee Soon Juan, Mr Jeyaratnam are some gentlemen who do. Of course, my favourite Sylvia Lim (awesome speech - PRICELESS! http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2022589417781119779) Low TK & Mr Chiam ST. They do too.

Mr Chia Thye Poh - "Mother of all putting your money where your mouth is" Paid with 32 years of his life?

Another fave, S'pore Rebel, Martyn See http://singaporerebel.blogspot.com/who did it again with the film 'Zahari 17 years'. Kena ban again! He puts more than money where his mouth is. HORMAT, plenty respect!

Why whine about others whining?

Some are ballsier than others.
Most just have to let it out.
That's life!

Let us gripe, let us whine! If not, Institute of Mental Health will be overloaded with patients and, God forbids, there'll be another means testing!

Happy Wiener!

Charissa said...

Hi! I think you have a point there! However like what Anon 11.54pm illustrated, the risk of going that one extra mile is very real and large. As a result, most Singaporeans are conditioned to be numb and they think all they can do is complain.

It seems like a chicken and egg issue isn't it?

Anonymous said...

What is democracy? Having an election that is largely fair and free from vote rigging does not constitute democracy. Democracy is when oppositionists and citizens can speak freely without having to fear an unjust court and sued till bankruptcy. Democracy is not about redrawing electoral boundaries and enacting barriers to political competition such as GRC, and threat of, again, defamation suits. The list goes on and on. Do not be fooled by PAP's logic that one is only qualified to comment about politics only when one takes part in it. Do not be fooled by the illogic behind PAP's assertion that the ballot box alone constitutes democracy. The brand of politics that PAP practices is an old one, it is called Fascism.

Anonymous said...

That's the point LKY aka LCY want to send to people of voter !!! Intimidate you so you have no choice but to vote for PAP automatically !!!!

Remember LKY said it is better to sacrifice millions of dollars than billions to Minister's pay ? Well, you get it, it means it is better to screw a few opp party people to set an example of not to vote against PAP !!!!!!

Once you have fear, PAP will win the batter already !!!

Paul said...

Person A with the stunned silence must be stunned to believe in the naivety of Person B who thinks that the conditions today are the same as those which allowed men of integrity like Lim Chin Siong, Dominic Puthucheary, Goh Keng Swee etc to act on their convictions. He/she knows that if anyone so much as thinks of doing anything like that (holding a rally at the Singapore Badminton Hall with foreign political leaders), he/she has to be dreaming!!!

I am totally stunned that you could think that we have this option. Which alternative Singapore have you been living on or is this the price that TODAY now extracts from its contributors???

Anonymous said...

Wasted my time reading your post.

Might as well read the Straits Times. At least it's written by leeporters.

You seem to agree that singaporeans can't whine but ministers can. They whine through the whole parliamentary session about how lowly paid they are.

Tell them to wake up to do a real job. Singaporeans don't think their performance is up to par and that's the reason for our unhappiness. If it was 20 years ago and LKY wanted to raise their salaries, no one would have complained.

Reflect before sprouting nonsense.

Serial Whiner said...

Dear Sir,

You seem like a learned person. You have noticed that a lot of people whined and you bothered to write about it on your blog. Good for you, at least you responsed. But, our great highly salaried men said that we actually said OK with the pay raises. Now, you were on the ground when you "heard" those two talking, right? Did a lot of us actually say OK? In the end, they still turned the other way.

Sir, the real money is not in our mouths. I believe that you KNOW about our current political climate. You are living here, you are experiencing day in day out. Like the rest of us.

Someone wanted to spring up from the grave when things did not go his ways. Someone wanted brothers to shoot brothers when the people have made the lawful choice.

Sir, when a man wants to take such steps to get his ways. Would you believe that they will let us "Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is" easily?

You have whined about us doing whining. Like the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

While I've disagreed with a few of Mr Yadav's past entries, I believe he has a point here.

Let me present two scenerio's:

1) 5 people decide to lend support to opposition parties,

2) 5000 people do.

Charissa, while I agree about the real dangers of the last mile, I think it would be logistically and politically impossible to persecute large numbers of people.

A critical mass is very important. And here is an issue that looks like it could build that critical mass.

What do you think?

Anonymous said...

Either a papanon blog or very stupid.

Mr Wang Says So said...

My view is different from Yadav's. He uses the word "whine" to describe the Singaporeans who have spoken up, in one way or the other, against the ministers raising their own salaries.

I do not agree with the word "whine". I think that if Singaporeans had not spoken up the way they had spoken up, the ministers would have become even more emboldened.

If not for these Singaporeans, then the next time round, they may raise their salaries by 100% or 150% instead of 82%. And PM Lee won't even bother to donate "his" money then.

Anonymous said...

whining is communication. Feedback if you like. It is a negative sort of feedback. The government will only take whine seriously if they are shown the results in the poll. However that is quite far away.

Brewing discontent has an effect on the electorate. So don't underestimate the power of whine. As it is many people cannot evaluate government policies objectively anymore. They are losing their trust with the people.

When they reach the treshold people might just vote PAP out for the sake of voting them out.


Charissa said...

hey Anon12.24AM,

I agree that a critical mass is important. However, the issue of ministerial pay has been around for quite awhile and it seems that time and again, Singaporeans forget and they do not do anything substantial to change things they think is unfair. Many of the admit defeat.


Mmmm.... anyway, I agree with Mr wang that "whine" is perhaps the not the best word to use to describe the intense debate that has been going on online.

On the other hand, when I read Yadav's post, the 1st thing that came into my mind is that Singaporeans should do something if they want to change things. Talking and discussing is a good way to initiate change, but actual change can only come with actions.

Charissa said...

oh yes.... Anon12.24AM, one solution is that we play our part in reminding people the past events. Make them swallow the bitter pill.

Anonymous said...

Other than Mr Ngiam Tong Dow< no other ex PAP Members deserved to be ever mentioned again for they are enjoying their living now and not bothered with state affairs anymore> Many are in GLCs and GICS NOW and BEFORE their demises!