Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Haze clearly demonstrates impotence of PAP Government

Amidst all the bantering on Facebook about the haze, and whether NEA or the Singapore government could be held responsible in any way, I realised one thing:

At some level, somehow, despite myself and my occasional gripes about being shortchanged by the system - I still love Singapore.

Why else should I feel anger rising when I see ignorant comments about our Government's accountability on Facebook?

A question was posed:

What if the PSI were to hit 400?
As you can see, my tongue-in-cheek (or talk cock) response was a mishmash of crappy excuses given by our Ministers in response to such gaffes as Mas Selamat's escape and the floodings which have become more common in recent years, after decades of headway in this area.

Someone took me a little too seriously, and asked:
"indonesia burn their forest what can the govt do?"
At a very superficial level, C's statement appears to hold water. Our esteemed Minister has whined about it to his Indonesian counterparts, and short of buying a few hundred Chinooks and stationing them to hover at the west end of Singapore to try to blow the haze away... What can the Government do? What more do you whining Singaporeans want?  

Not sure if my hare-brained idea would work, but I'm being not paid millions a year to think of solutions...
But a few moments of thought - and trolling the web - may yield even more questions. Because no one in a position of power has actually deigned to address them.

Before we go deeper into the haze, let's continue browsing my FB exchange with C.

Some people are just thick. That's the cruel reality of the bell curve for you...
Seriously, why are you making the lamest excuses for specially selected, world's highest-paid politicians? Have you ever wondered what the fuck is our action plan if the haze rises above say... 300 PSI? Is the lack of oxygen or high PM 2.5 levels hampering the mental faculties of our dear Gahmen?

For those of you who clicked through the "action plan" link above and want to shoot me for implying there isn't one, take a closer look, and you will realise that there's no "action" or real solutions offered, other than a suggestion for people to "avoid outdoor activities". Please, the average ten year-old could tell me that.

There's another document here, published by MOM. It's marginally more helpful, but neglects to mention or deal with exposure to haze from commuting to work. At PSI levels of "below 100", I can already smell the haze from the fare gates at City Hall MRT. At current PSI levels, I smell haze all the time, at my office, and throughout my train journey. 

On top of that, most of us do not teleport to work or even the MRT/Bus stations. We have to walk a certain distance unless we drive and have our own private garage at home AND work. But there has been no provision thus far for an official public holiday to allow most employees to stay away from work in the event of very bad haze.

Now also consider this - our dear Leeders have had a pretty decent track record of hunting down and battering political opponents or critics. Leslie Chew of Demon-cratic fame even mentioned that the CID was waiting for him the day he returned to Singapore. This is just one example to demonstrate that Singapore has decent investigative and intelligence capabilities, if only it would deploy them to the correct end.

Does anyone for a moment doubt that our authorities can unilaterally track and identify the culprits and punish them economically? While Singaporeans may hesitate to vote the PAP out of parliament, I have faith that we will be united enough to punish the culprits by boycotting all their products. And yes, I have no doubt in the ability of the Government, even if I have doubts about whose interest they truly have at heart.

I guess the "hatchet" was only ever meant for PAP's political opponents.
Whether the PAP's apparent impotence is intentional or otherwise, I guess one thing is sure. The only long-term solution for those of us living in Singapore is to move on to a place where the air tends to be cleaner.

Singapore, today I've discovered that I loved you and always have. But it's like a bad relationship. It just isn't going to work out.

In Summary:

  1.  The government has done too little to mitigate the haze at its source
  2. The government has demonstrated poor leadership (or at least very poor communication) by not tabling real action plans to deal with haze effects on Singapore residents
  3. The government charges a very steep price for what was purportedly stellar leadership
  4. Possible solutions are not implemented because PAP traditionally wanted to have its cake and eat it. Possibly not wanting to offend Indonesia because of short-sighted economic reasons
  5. The only long-term solution is emigration from Singapore.

- S


  1. frankly i had the same thought that little could be done on the sg end but this post has disabused me of that.

    great post.

    1. Thanks for reading, and acknowledging that it has shown you something.

      Some people can't see the light, which I don't exactly blame, but they give really unintelligent comments and zero rebuttal.

      I've been called a "dickhead" amongst other things for writing this. I guess some Singapore netizens may have inhaled a bit too much for them to handle!

  2. I like your last sentence in the summary.
    If 39.9% cannot change the situation for good in 2016, the only way out is probably emigration from S'pore.
    That was the route I took after GE2011 especially after PE2011, as age was not on my side and if I adopt a wait and see approach, I may not be eligible to apply for my AUS PR visa as my circumstances may change by then in 2016.
    The best is still being able to VTO while holding an AUS PR visa, what do you think, mate?

    1. VTO = "vote them out"?

      I highly doubt. Never underestimate the stupidity of the masses.

      I wager that PAP will win at least 55% of the valid vote in 2016. They may lose at most another GRC. If not, kopi on me, hopefully in Oz


  3. yes! 庸众思想!I remember my friends making comments like "would you bite the hand that feeds you?" after I posted something along this line during the GE period. I retorted, "What if the hand feeds you poison?" Then I was called an ingrate! And of course, no explanations given for my new name. I guess when 'patriotic' feelings kicked in, nothing can really be communicated or contended.

    1. Hi Anon, thanks for your comment.

      People on both sides of the great divide associate PAP with Singapore. So some people hate SG because they hate PAP, while some people see attacks on PAP as an attack on SG, and thus PAP can never be criticised.

      I'm not sure where that's going to get the country, but I'm glad to be out of there for the time being.. :p


  4. Btw, since you have drawn my attention to this ancient (in Blogosphere terms) post, I must say the air in Melbourne has been really great! Of course I hope not to find out what happens if bushfires occur nearby, but clean air is likely to be no more than 2 hours drive away... :)

    I should post some pictures of our Aussie Adventures soon!

  5. The PAP will blame the opposition if they can't do a good job , but it was the PAP that did not allow opposition party politicians to get experience , and this should be condemned as bad government .
    The PAP ideas may have been good but the implementation was very very bad and Singapore which is just a city is top heavy with politicians and government