Saturday, May 31, 2014


What is the point of a Singaporean citizenship or for that matter any citizenship? This question was asked by the Apostle Paul when Roman soldiers tied him up and beat him. Unlike that of a subject - in a Kingdom - citizens have certain rights. Being a subject of a King - comes with it obligations - you are a servant. You serve the King. In a democracy - the rulers theoretically work to serve you, the citizen. Of course as a citizen you are obliged to pay taxes, serve in the military (to defend the nation), observe the laws etc..

The whole idea of citizens and democracy is not an Asian concept. It came from Greece and Rome. The ancient Greeks were great thinkers - and came up with a system of representative govt - democracy.

Asian values and culture - despite all its hype - never did have this. It was all Kingdom based. Master-servant. Ruler-subject. In an age where most people can read, write and has a reasonable amount of education - kingdom based - elitist rule - does not work.

However, the level of government - the quality of govt - in a representative democracy is highly related to the educational level of the people. When I mean educational level I'm also talking about the quality of analytical thinking of the people. There are some road sweepers who probably have got more wisdom than University professors or politicians. I'm not sure whether a society - which is obsessed over reality TV, gossip celebrity magazines, and who are willing to pay millions of dollars to sports people while whinging over the pay over kindergarten teachers, doctors etc..  - can elect good politicians.

In Singapore we are tied to the idea of an elitist form of government - so we pay lawyers, doctors, engineers military officers to be our leaders. To a large degree because of "the long-standing one party rules all" system we have adopted - the government - the politicians, the judiciary, the military all come from the same mold. Thankfully, the Spore govt has a high educational level standard.

One problem we however are going to get is that they all seem to think the same. And when there is really only one level of govt - there are no check and balances. No one watches over what the govt does.

Does a wolf think the same as the deer?

We pay huge sums of salaries to these leaders and hope that we will get a great result.

But you look at the huge fuckup that happened with the Global Financial Crisis. Were any highly paid bankers and CEOs who drew salaries and bonuses 10000 times the level of ordinary workers - were any of them prosecuted or made to pay for the damage they caused?

In a Kingdom - the king was accountable to noone except God or Heaven.

In a democracy - the leaders were accountable to the people. The question that all citizens should be asking is - how are they holding their governments to accountability?

I don't believe in revolutions - personally I blame the French Revolution of 1789 for creating WW1, WW2, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot etc..

But I do believe in educational evolution- when the people become wise and learned, they will naturally want to elect good quality leaders.

In a democracy you get the government you deserve.

Personally I look at the debating sessions in the Australian parliament - and it looks worse than an unruly kindergarten. How can politicians (and media) who are engaged in petty quarrels - one stupid fight was over one politician who said the word, "meow" to another politician.

The only thing I can say is - give a shit over who you vote into power. The minute you say "they are all the same" - you're literally bending yourself over to get fucked.

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