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Happy Good Friday

It’s been a while since I posted anything due to impending work commitments. Nevertheless, I thought I’ll be bit cheeky and did an experiment in posting comments on Straits Times websites. Just for the sake of proving how protective the Straits Times is over their Dear Leaders. Posting using 2 anonymous emails,  I left comments criticizing the PAP government with one and a neutral tone in another in two different PCs and web browsers. The results are within expectation. Within a day, the comment in criticizing the Straits Times’s Masters was deleted and I was completely blocked from posting additional comments while the other comment with a different email account is fine. Note that while I criticized, I did it with logical arguments rather than emotive arguments. If you have 10 minutes to spare, just give it a try!

The only reason I can think of is over-protection of a highly paid, self-praising government that are totally handicapped in receiving criticism. It’s no wonder heaps of ‘alternative websites/ blogs/ social media’ are launching exponentially. I don’t really blame these officials. Educated from youth and brain washed to believe that they are the best of the best. Who are we, mere citizens to criticize them? It seems like it is almost impossible for all these top officials to feel the ground, no matter what they claim. It’s impossible to understand what you have not gone through. Tell that to the Minister of Transport. Taking a few bus rides and mrt rides is nothing compared to taking them 365 days a year.

Some, usually the government themselves, argued that criticism are not required and only ‘constructive comments’ are appreciated. I beg to differ. Criticism is the most direct form of feedback in the rawest form on how well the government and the policies are performing. While talk is cheap, it’s reasonable for citizens to expect a certain standard of performance if the government is to be the best paid in the world. And let’s not dive into the lamest argument by certain extremely senior ex/current ministers that government officials of other countries have other non-monetized perks and can even write a book to earn royalty. At last count, Lee Kuan Yew had published at least 4 books in various languages, Ex-President Nathan had one, and Goh Chok Tong had one written about him during his premiership. Want to sell books? Start writing one then!

An economic study had actually shown that comparing the performance of capable government, humbled capable government, incapable government and humbled incapable government, the government that performed the best is capable government humbled under the heat of criticism. While it’s a stretch to say the results of this study is absolute, it does make some logical sense. Criticism forces the capable government to rethink harder whatever policies they need to implement. It also brings them down to the ground on public opinions. Therefore, it’s actually good if criticism are welcomed.

Although it’s expected results, I cringed at the thought of how hundreds of promising bright SPH scholars are being compelled to serve and protect the bias national media and their masters. Everything they have learned about liberty (since most of them pursue their undergraduate degrees in US and UK universities) are squashed. Unsurprisingly, many scholars I know left right after 6 years to pursue their dreams. Who can stand the bureaucracy of a system that determines how far you can climb simply by looking at your PSLE, O, A, and university results? Maybe except those that hunger for power and feel the need to over lord the rest.

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