Same old story: National Day Rally 2012
No one, except newly minted citizens and PRs, is surprised by the overall tone and thrust of quiet PM Lee’ s National Day Speech. In line with previous ND rallies, Singaporeans who succeeded in overcoming the odds were singled out for the spotlight to fall on them to generate the feel-good factor.
All the goodies to be dished out like help for the low and middle income groups, support for part-time degree students, changes to pre-school education, more buses, two more universities are laudable and will improve the quality of life and give more opportunities for Singaporeans (using my two eyes here).
PM Lee bemoaned the the lack of graciousness of Singaporeans and nasty anti-foreigner comments particularly online. The finger points at the regime for its ultra generous immigration policies to all and sundry, mainly from third world countries.
This onslaught of cheap labour over the last ten years has depressed wages, forced Singaporeans to lose their jobs to foreigners and turned Singapore into miniature versions of China, the Philippines and India. The transport system naturally can’t cope with the spike in population, leading to frequent MRT breakdowns.
PM Lee, to no one’s surprise, did not address the root cause of the many issues troubling Singaporeans. The lack of accountability and transparency, civic and political freedoms, freedom of the media, human rights failings, gerrymandering and discriminatory upgrading projects have their roots in repression.
Singaporeans particularly those in cyberspace will continue to be very noisy as long as PM Lee continues to ignore the world-wide trend toward greater democracy. Even our closest neighbour Malaysia in the north has embarked on the democratization path.
Even if you believe the assertion by Dear Leader that the National Pledge is merely an aspiration, it should at least be addressed. To new citizens who may be ignorant of The Pledge, it is “to build a democratic society.” After more than 40 years, it’s ridiculous to see that this pledge is coming nowhere to fruition. Why? Because the core value of the regime is repression. It’s as simple as that.
No amount of feel-good speeches and stirring words will change that. Or propaganda by the state-controlled media.
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