Enough is enough

The writer Saul Bellow liked to tell a little story: A wise guy was once asked the difference between ignorance and indifference. He replied: I don’t know and I don’t care.

As Singaporeans, if we choose to be ignorant and not know anything, and indifferent and not care anymore, what will happen eventually? One day we will wake up and realise too late that we have turned into morons and puppets, where every wish of the government is a command.

I had settled comfortably into the phase of minding my own business when the disgrace of the Elected Presidency came along. And when all was said and done, they had to cheek to turn around and declare they had to do it in spite of the risk of losing votes. How to be indifferent under such circumstances? Let them pull wool over our eyes? Let them get away with turning an act of cowardice into an act of courage?

The trouble with unfettered power is that it leads to the electorate being taken for granted. They pull wool over our eyes and each time they get away with it, they come back bolder and more brazen, like in the case of the Elected Presidency.

Not long ago, in July, Khaw Boon Wan told us that the MRT system’s reliability has improved by 3 times since he became Transport Minister in 2015. Whatever yardstick he chose to use, it certainly cannot be – none of us can recall that the system was so bad during the time of Lui Tuck Yew. And yet Khaw the Taichi Master had the cheek to declare himself more effective and the MRT system more reliable when everybody else knows it’s just not true. Pulling wool over our eyes again!

If you recall, when they raised water prices exorbitantly, they said it was for Singaporeans to bite the bullet and to treasure water as an even more precious commodity. So paying more is supposed to be good for us? If that is not pulling wool over our eyes, what is?

As an electorate, we need to have collective outrage. We need to know and to care. Don’t let them get away with telling us cowardice is courage, failure is success, more is less, black is white.

Enough is enough.

 

Augustine Low

 

 * Augustine Low is a former journalist and managing director of a public relations agency.

 

 

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26 Responses to “Enough is enough”

  • Enough Your Head:

    Enough your head, dafts love the PAP, despite all the problems, they will all vote PAP no matter what.

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  • Trust only myself:

    Enough is enough?
    How to when most Singaporeans are stupid….

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  • Amos exposed PAP hypocrisy:

    Augustine is absolutely right but he is talking to wall.

    LKY made sure Singaporeans are daft and subservient by first depriving as many of them as possible of a university education. Initially, less than 25% of each cohort goes to local university (later raise to 40% but still minority, while number of foreigners studying in local varsities rise sharply paid for by taxpayers’s money).

    PAP also picks the “best” (in exams) of each cohort and offers them scholarships. The objective is to “bond” them to the Government for at least 4 years to keep their mouths shut and not oppose PAP.

    PAP also made sure local universities “brainwash” young Singaporeans to conform (not to rock-the-boat) and to always defer to authority. Schools made them exam-smart but with poor analytical (thinking) skills (Remember “Thinking Schools, Learning Nation” slogan) and poor communication skills.

    In addition, the teaching staff of local varsities were steadily replaced by foreigners. Why? PAP is afraid Singaporean professors would incite young Singaporeans to be active in politics and challenge PAP.

    LKY considered graduates a threat to PAP political dominance so he limited their number, “neutralised” the “best” (by offering them scholarships) made the balance stupid and spineless.

    Must always remember that Singapore is a police state and PAP’s main (and sole) objective is to stay in power at all cost.

    LKY’s education policy has succeeded. Majority of Singaporeans are now so stupid most of them would likely not even understand why should be outraged. Being also spineless those that are outraged will not do anything about it.

    That is why PAP has been able to pull wool over Singaporeans eyes for so many decades and for the foreseeable future. Truth hurts but it is the truth, not a “spin”.

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  • simi lan sai poon kia:

    “As an electorate, we need to have collective outrage.”

    no offense AL, but what you’re asking is not possible
    you need to have baltz to have courage
    and that, my friend, we DO NOT have

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  • Guru:

    If 70% DAFTS around the wool will always be over 30% intelligent Singaporeans

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  • NotMyProblem:

    Singaporeans are not ignorant, just indifferent.

    Singaporeans know very well an Indian was selected for a reserved Malay President but got nothing to do with them, so don’t care.

    KBW claimed train system’s reliability has improved by 3 times since he became Transport Minister. Singaporeans know very well it was not true but not many people care, just judge from the protect in Hong Lim Park.

    When water tariff was increased, not many people care. Again judge from the attendant in Hong Lim Park.

    As electorates and citizen, we need to have collective outrage. Don’t let them get away telling us cowardice is courage, failure is success, Indian is Malay, black is white.

    Roy, Gilbert, Lim Tean and many activists organised protect for Singaporeans, but what support do they get. So it is just indifferent.

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  • C'est la vie:

    *****
    Mark Twain said,
    “To lodge all power in one party and keep it there is to insure bad government and the sure and gradual deterioration of the public morals”.

    If the above is not clear and bad enough, you can add to it ……. opacity, non-accountability, drafting of new laws to suit itself, total dominance of the commercial landscape, total control of all media outlets, blatant cronyism and the list just goes on.

    One has to accept ……… SG and its people are not in a good place, whatever surveys or reviews may tell you !!!
    ***
    *****

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  • Bystander:

    One day PAP would turn round and say doing away with the democratic vote is for our own good, one Party rule like the CCP in China would make for effective Governance to survive as a small nation.
    You can vouch on this, so we dun have to vote for a Govt anymore sooner than you think. Like President Halimah, just nominate the Cabinet members anyhow they like, all opposition candidates fail the eligibility bar.
    Great, dun have to waste time, we could concentrate on protecting our ricebowls against foreign onslaught from stealing ours.

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  • LIONS:

    Yep,most sgs are very *crever* when they *clash* head-on with their fellow countrymen.
    But,they suddenly DOCILE when ALIENS clash with them n when the G farks them?

    Sgs mostly cowpeh n cow ah bu when they KNN got their own skin scratched real hard

    Bochup-ness is what most sgs are!
    How to progress,
    Even oppo MPs bochup about OPPO UNITY?

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  • Patriot of Temesak:

    NOTHING and I mean NOTHING is ever ENOUGH for the Lying LieDynasty…

    Lie…Traitorous…Cowardice and LIEgal murder of UNBORN…the worse is NEVER ENOUGH… how could anything be ENOUGH???

    Destroy the Lying LieDynasty and the ENOUGH will END…

    2020 will be the Day of Reckoning for the ENOUGH to STOP…or we will NEVER ever have ENOUGH to STOP them… by THEN 50% of the Population will be BEHOLDEN to the Lies…through Naturalise Citizenship and NOT by Birth

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  • Big surprises:

    The several years long train disruptions and problems caused frustrations and disappointments and to certain extent rage and anger to the daily commuters, students missing important exams, workers late for work and others failed to attend important appointments, businesses lose millions of dollars each time train delays productivity nose dived and the reputation of this little red dot severely damaged internationally! Yet no business had come forward to make complaint, suffer in silence or afraid of reprisals from the G? The worksers party MPs did not take the apportunity to ask the relevant Chiefs DK , KBW to resign, although neitizens have urged them to! A great disappointment WP and an injustice when they receive 16K a month each but failed to deliver. Another big surprise is the silence of PM Lee! Isn’t the train disruptions a national disgrace to the nation, impact on productivity economy and economy, deter foreign companies to invest here. Mind you, the train problems have been in existent for years stretching to the time Saw Paik Hwa was the CEO yet the G which called itself a first world nation, with first class transport, a country which prides on competence seems nonchalant in solving the problem! Surely a straight forward solution is to put the right people with the relevant experience and competence for the job! Replace DK and KBW since they refuse to resign on their own. Many praise LTY and Chew ML for doing the right thing, vacate if you are incapable and let other do it!

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  • Jim:

    YES!!! It is really too much. Appointed President Wee can also become Elected President. It is beyond tolerance.

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  • Rabble-rouser:

    The problem with ‘unfettered power’ is that those at the top begin to outpour their energies into retaining power at the expense of the electorate welfare/social cohesion focus & by managing a healthy overall economic model. But this can’t be sustainable going forward by resisting changes.
    S’pore is at the nexus of Authoritarian decline [much like Communist economic model/Marxist doctrine which ended by late 1980s/early 1990s] & the emergence of a Global shift where smarter & better people gravitate towards more successful economies leaving behind poor Authoritarian regimes to rot in their own stew of making. The future ahead for S’pore are:
    1. ‘PHILIPPINIZATION’ OF THE S’PORE PEOPLE
    The late Lee Kuan Yew once said, “…a good dose of incompetent government …and your asset values will be in peril, your security will be at risk and our women will become maids in other people’s countries, foreign workers.” And he was actually boasting about PAP’s own good governance & why an opposition party in power may be harmful to S’pore. But without realizing that the rot had began with his own son & within the PAP he founded.
    Alas, the next decade (around 2020 onwards) for S’pore may become a ‘Philippinization’ of sorts – 50% to 60% of young [smart & intelligent] S’poreans may have to shift overseas in search for a job & economic opportunities. Left behind will be those who either can’t move overseas or are the aged, the sick, the Pioneers & the lesser educated. The future S’pore Economy will be a stunted one – requiring regular overseas remittances to generate domestic consumption. LKY’s own words had become an IRONY!
    2. ECONOMIC IRRELEVANCE
    When US President Trump cancelled TPPA as his 1st act; China President Xi Jinping deliberately omitted S’pore from OBOR; & US President Trump’s Asia tour included Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam & the Philippines but not S’pore – these things served to reinforce S’pore’s increasing irrelevance to World Powers.
    LKY School of Public Policy Dean Kishore Mahbubani who had warned “that small countries like Singapore must “always behave like small states” in the aftermath of S’pore’s OBOR snub & referring to Qatar’s problems with Saudi Arabia. Mahbubani said that only LKY had the credential to comment on foreign matters due to his past achievements. This comment drew sharp rebuke from Singapore’s political leaders and fellow former foreign service officials as flawed and intellectually questionable. A veteran diplomat, Bilahari Kausikan, called them “muddled, mendacious and indeed dangerous”. Whose right or whose wrong, only time will tell?

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  • opposition dude:

    We all know the usual story of a Singaporean working for over 20 years in a firm. Earning an ok salary and being bothered by work but not caring a bit about politics. As long as they have that job and earning that pay they are content. When they get retrenched they just blame it on bad luck and not the government.

    Sure they grumble about the high cost of living but do not go beyond that. To ask these people to vote for the opposition is like asking them to kill themselves.

    Too many years of not being able to see through the deceptions and smokescreens leads to this unfortunately.

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  • Goh:

    How to tellk make the point enuf is enuf when so many people are safe? Try harder… Have collective outrage, S Augustine says. And pray hard…

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  • Rabble-rouser:

    - Cont’d -
    Public criticism or perceived admonishments of the S’pore government & it’s policy is a no-go area for many including the Elites. Indeed, Mahbubani had announced on 6 Nov 2017, Monday that he was stepping down [retiring] as Dean, four months after he stirred a heated debate on this issue. Was this coincidental or deliberate?
    3. S’PORE’S FRAGILITY EXPOSED
    S’pore’s fervent embrace of Globalization process & the associated issues ie. High Debts, Asset bubbles, Income disparity, etc in truth, are Fragility attributes.
    Anti-fragility was a concept that was developed by Black Swan author, Professor Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Taleb’s views became highly sought after eversince the 2008 GFC which was rightly termed ‘A Black Swan event’ where many people didn’t see it coming. Taleb’s work ‘The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable’ had been released on April 17, 2007. He was extremely prophetic with his conceptual thinking.
    Fragility are problems associated with a lack of resilience i.e. the ability to recover from failure, no robustness i.e. the ability to resist failure & shocks & a weak core i.e. a high sensitivity to stressors & sudden shocks.
    In truth, S’pore & the PAP are exceptionally weak i.e. very Fragile. The absence of a feedback loop [lack of free speech, impediments of speaking out, legal obstacles & hinderances, etc] hinders the ability to make critical adjustments to the economy thus making it more anti-fragile. Anti-fragility measures are not there to create a robust & resilient economy!
    Those who can see S’pore fragility are well-aware of the oncoming impact of a disruptive, discontinuous & extremely volatile event which could shake the core of many economies including S’pore.
    But in S’pore, with a muzzled MSM, IBs clouding the economic issues with their S$1/comment pay & well-meaning parents who provided a comfort blanket over their pampered children i.e. the Millenials. The PAP are throwing a dark blanket over people’s eyes while they have developed a Golden Parachute for themselves – with it to escape whatever crisis that is incoming. And that is a Black Swan that many S’poreans will not comprehend & it will be too late by then.

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  • Cheong:

    Change gotta start somewhere – let’s not give up hope, let’s not be indifferent and ignorant for a start, let’s spread the word anyway we can.

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  • Tuakong:

    Yes we will become morons and puppets one day. And who’s to blame!! The 70%! The daft Sinkees who don’t know or dont care!!!

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  • Patriot of Temesak:

    Rabble-rouser:
    - Cont’d -
    Public criticism or perceived admonishments of the S’pore government & it’s policy is a no-go area for many including the Elites. Indeed, Mahbubani had announced on 6 Nov 2017, Monday that he was stepping down [retiring] as Dean, four months after he stirred a heated debate on this issue. Was this coincidental or deliberate?
    3. S’PORE’S FRAGILITY EXPOSED
    S’pore’s fervent embrace of Globalization process & the associated issues ie. High Debts, Asset bubbles, Income disparity, etc in truth, are Fragility attributes.
    Anti-fragility was a concept that was developed by Black Swan author, Professor Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Taleb’s views became highly sought after eversince the 2008 GFC which was rightly termed ‘A Black Swan event’ where many people didn’t see it coming. Taleb’s work ‘The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable’ had been released on April 17, 2007. He was extremely prophetic with his conceptual thinking.
    Fragility are problems associated with a lack of resilience i.e. the ability to recover from failure, no robustness i.e. the ability to resist failure & shocks & a weak core i.e. a high sensitivity to stressors & sudden shocks.
    In truth, S’pore & the PAP are exceptionally weak i.e. very Fragile. The absence of a feedback loop [lack of free speech, impediments of speaking out, legal obstacles & hinderances, etc] hinders the ability to make critical adjustments to the economy thus making it more anti-fragile. Anti-fragility measures are not there to create a robust & resilient economy!
    Those who can see S’pore fragility are well-aware of the oncoming impact of a disruptive, discontinuous & extremely volatile event which could shake the core of many economies including S’pore.
    But in S’pore, with a muzzled MSM, IBs clouding the economic issues with their S$1/comment pay & well-meaning parents who provided a comfort blanket over their pampered children i.e. the Millenials. The PAP are throwing a dark blanket over people’s eyes while they have developed a Golden Parachute for themselves – with it to escape whatever crisis that is incoming. And that is a Black Swan that many S’poreans will not comprehend & it will be too late by then.

    Bro, when you have a BUNCH of Parasites & Cronies clinging on for dear life…even the Best Brains..articulate and reform orientated will be SNUFFED…That is the FATE we will be facing if CHANGE does NOT come about in 2020…and I am talking about from Within & Without!!!

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  • Long:

    If enough is enough let’s walk the talk. Hiow many talk only but still vote PAP?

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  • Selfish Sinkie Syndrome:

    Enough is Never enough for 69.9% Sinkies, who are too stupid to realize they are stupid.

    It is likely too late already given that Sinkies continue to stupidly give up their rights back in 2011 and 2015.
    2015 was an especially critical junction but stupid Sinkies are too scared and spineless and preferred to lie to themselves.

    Now, 2 strikes already in 2011 and 2015.
    By the time 3rd strike comes, sometime near 2020, it will probably be game over for Singapore economy. Singapore is already losing on many economic fronts but of course, all the geo-political and economic losses are NOT reported by our 154th ranked misguided mainstream media.

    Long ago, Lau Lee himself also said succinctly that Singapore may be destroyed within 5 years if her economy and social policies are not well-managed.
    Perhaps a small country which can easily turn belly-up requires a pliant judiciary and a compliant media, as what Lau Lee often claims. Who knows? That is his theory to justify his half-century old power base. Today, the world is totally different.

    Sinkies too, neglect the fact that if the WRONG people are in power, a small country will capsize even faster and more definitively. This is a FACT and not a theory. WRONG people in power will definitely bring collapse….and we have a lot of WRONG people in power now.

    Singapore cannot sustain too many 5 year election cycles of STUPIDITY.
    Remember, 3rd strike and its game over, but my guess is that not enough Sinkies will wake up in time, to sufficiently counter the massive importation of newly-minted Sinkies every year. I hope I can be proven wrong on this in 2020, but as of now, the hopes are slim.

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  • pap selected INDIAN president:

    Cheong:
    Change gotta start somewhere – let’s not give up hope, let’s not be indifferent and ignorant for a start, let’s spread the word anyway we can.

    very well said, bro. agree.

    when pap won last GE2015, we were so disappointed we gave up. as we are the pioneers we have managed to do very well with freeholds here and there. we, at that time, said to let the 70% sheep rot.

    but then when we see the deteriorating environment in Singapore, all the crowding, all the lies, we cannot tahan. so we said, this time, even only 30% knows the truth, we shall do not give up but everyday in coffee shop spread the word to whoever we can. BECAUSE Singapore belongs to us too.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    pap set the rule on polling station. pap broke it. then pap came out with a new rule. when inside polling station is not within 200m of polling station. WTF.

    pap set another rule. this time on weak malay race. pap says must reserve presidency for weak malay race. okay. we disagree on race politics. but we no choice accept since it is done via constitution change. even so, pap broke its own rule. pap selected an INDIAN as a malay president. this one we cannot accept. WTF.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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  • tork kork sing song:

    Cheong:
    Change gotta start somewhere – let’s not give up hope, let’s not be indifferent and ignorant for a start, let’s spread the word anyway we can.

    30 of us are willing to “start somewhere”
    but as we look behind us
    the remaining 70 have already turned their backs and are walking away

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  • justtryingtobefair:

    A lower quota for cars won’t translate to higher COE prices!

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  • oxygen:

    @ Rabble-rouser

    YES, LEE-JIAPORE IS HEADING FOR A SUDDEN DEATH COLLAPSE – for all the reasons you have identified.

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  • LTA - World-class Transport ??:

    Good article.
    -
    > “Not long ago, in July, Khaw Boon Wan told us that the MRT system’s reliability has improved by 3 times since he became Transport Minister in 2015.”
    -
    Yeah, LTA has WhitePaper to sell . . .
    > LTA 1996 WhitePaper “A World Class Land Transport System” !!!

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