Sunday, September 18, 2011

Maybe, PAP ministers not so talented

My friend, Siva, who used to work at the political desk of The Straits Times, penned the thoughts below.


Lee Kuan Yew says there isn't enough talent for an alternative Cabinet.

Our new President (a former Deputy Prime Minister and LKY's first choice for Prime Minister) ran Government Investment Corporation of Singapore when it racked up huge losses.

The ex-Foreign Minister, whose new supporters mourned his electoral defeat, curtailed the arts and helped a regime that killed its citizens and imprisoned Aung San Suu Kyi.

Where was a serving minister when tenders for the SportsHub and MotorHub were screwed up?

Maybe, it is the PAP ministers who aren't that talented after all.

Siva Govindasamy


The case that there has not been enough talent to go around may have been true in a Singapore of past. However, there are signs of increasing lethargy in the prevailing political leadership in Singapore.

More people, who used to support the ruling party, are crossing over to support the work of other political parties. The ruling party has also been hard-pressed to attracts strong talents within Singapore.

More former Malaysians occupy positions within the political leadership in Singapore, that has led some to speculate the ruling party may well be preparing Singapore for reunification with Malaysia.

Many ministers were retired earlier this year. No one is reported to have secured any key positions beyond those created for them in academia and government-linked bodies.

Dharmendra Yadav

Please consider the environment - do you really need to print this? Feel free to react below or leave a comment.


Cynical investor said...

Well you would face less competition if you decided to throw yr energies into actively supporting the MIW.

You got the likes of Irene Ng,Puthu, Tin, and Foo to step over. ))))

Hey still waiting to hear yr tots on how a TKL supporter feels abt letting TT win .

Dennis said...

There is a lack of talent of the preferred mound that the PAP traditionally prefers, trained from a certain predictable pool, ex scholars, first class honours perhaps, subscribed to the same right wing political philosophy, favours the rule of the elite, etc.

It has now reached a time in our country's history when many well educated Singaporeans do not feel sorry for lack of such talent anymore. People coming from this traditional pool have largely ran out of passion and ideas. Obsession with GDP, the yawning gap between the rich elite and the ordinary Singaporeans, consistent failure to do more for our poor and disadvantaged policies, elitist education policies, government making money out of the people at any opportunity, opening of IRs, strange liberal foreigners employment policies, the list goes on and on. We debated over these in the last two elections this year.

Why passion? Because the ethos of promotion and high pay have become a given in civil service such that many are driven by pay. Ministers do not realise but their frequent admissions of so called talent not joining political service if pay is reduced, is a de facto admission that the people they thought fitted the bill are driven by money, not passion. Singaporeans should be relieved that these people do not join in the first place as their heart is not with the government and the people. I shudder to think how many 'wrong' people have joined political and administrative service because of the motivation of money and promotion. Maybe that explains the kind of policies we have over the last 20 years.

"Singapore Inc" is nothing to be proud of. It is an ironic tag symbolising how the PAP government has gone off tangent over the past 20 years because of the love of money. The love of money is the root of all evil. Without the right passion, our people will perish.
Running out of ideas. The PAP government subscribes to a set of right wing politico-economic theories. We cannot assume that the government or the civil service will always be right in their policies. The last 5 years have convinced many people that they are making mistakes in their policies which have serious repercussions for the country be they economic, social, political and even moral. In the past few months, I met so many educated, well qualified and well placed Singaporeans who have become very concerned with these erroneous policies. Yet post election, basic policy making has remained the same. PAP is clearly not able to think of their little custom-made box anymore. Clear examples are transport and housing: essentially the government has shirked from taking the hard decisions. I, like many Singaporeans, are rightly concerned about this business as usual attitude of the PAP government. If the PAP government does not indeed change from within, this serious lack of ideas and the continuance down the same path from last 5 years are quite a worry for our country. Perhaps many other Singaporeans not used to doing their own critical assessment of government policies do not share this view. However, I take heart that in the past few months, I have met many many Singaporeans who share the same concerns I have (these are well educated and successful in their own careers, well travelled and well versed in world economics and politics). We are united by one thing: our love for our country and our wish that our country can do better in many areas than under the present regime. There are many Singaporeans whom I am confident will step up to serve because they will not see their country fails or goes down a certain undesirable path to which increasingly Singaporeans do not subscribe anymore. there are many Singaporeans who have passion and also, better ideas. We do not need to rely on the current elite in government and admin service. Many Singaporeans are willing to think out of the box. The challenge for any political party now is how they can harness the passion of us Singaporeans to make a difference, to make Singapore an even better country and nation.

Anonymous said...


Admired your passion but I have to ask you this

1. Would you join the opposition if they come calling?

2. Would you volunteer to join other political parties, ala a Chen Show Mao?

3. Short of getting into Parliament, (or talking to your MP), what can we do to change government policies?

I am passionate about my country too but I said no to the point 1 and 2. Which is why I am talking cock in a blog now instead :)