By: Chua Chin Leng
As I said, I am going to write something honest about Singapore. I am going to say the darnest thing about political honesty. Tharman has said his peace and everyone is aroused by what he said and getting very excited. If you missed it, here it is, ‘To tackle social and political issues, return to ‘honest politics’. The whole social media is abuzz by this statement. This is the most politically honest statement coming from Tharman.
And I agree with Tharman that we must return to ‘honest politics’ when tackling social and political issues. Singapore is what it is today because of such honesty. Singapore moved from Third World to First World because our politicians and political system are honest. Wait, wait, don’t throw eggs at me so early. Let me justify my case ok?
Honesty is an inherent trait in Singaporeans and more so in our politicians. Some may say not so sure about opposition politicians. My claim is based on a few assumptions, oops, a few fundamental facts. We have the most well educated population, not counting the foreigners who came here with degrees from genuine degree mills and well respected and recognized as genuinely good.
The system has acknowledged their goodness that now they are saying degrees are not important. Honesty is infectious and the foreigners have also become honest like us, and for that we accept their degrees with grace and generosity. No need to check any more to embarrass them. Also our educated population is educated from world best universities and world best education system, so must be good and can tell the difference between honesty and dishonesty.
With such a clever population, there is no way dishonest politicians can bluff the people unless the people are really daft, a congenital defect. Being dishonest is bluffing, lying, cheating and even conning the people. The very fact that the people continued to vote the politicians into power speaks for itself.
The people, all so well educated, cannot be so stupid and cannot tell the difference between honesty and dishonesty. They believe in an honest govt made up of honest politicians saying and doing all the honest things. The whole world must be envious of our politicians. The only element that could undermine an honest govt, money or corruption, has already been taken out from the equation. For that, the people or at least 70% have voted and confirmed that we have an honest govt and honest politicians. This is an indisputable fact.
And our politicians are so honest that they often spoke their mind, honestly. They did not have to hide or lie to tell people they are more than the lesser mortals. They believe that dignity comes from having a big salary. See how honest they are, no need to bluff. They honestly said they need millions or their lifestyle would be affected and would not want to sacrifice their privacy to be politicians.
They also believe that if the govt pays good salaries, in the millions, you will have honest politicians or at least no politician will be dishonest with money matters. Town council management or some town council management may be an exception. At least they all started as angels but they cannot be angels all the time. This is honesty.
And honesty is how all the social and political problems are solved here. The latest is the amendment to protect children under police investigation. There is also the urgency to have a minority president and this is done quickly and honestly. It has absolutely nothing to do with Tan Cheng Bock.
The Terrex Incident is also a good case of honesty and how it should be handled honestly for the good of everyone. I am waiting for them to produce the declaration forms in the media as proof on what was actually declared. Honesty will dispel all the speculations and guessing, everything will be transparent and honestly declared.
And honesty means that when they made mistakes they own up. Even when mistakes of hundreds of millions of dollars or billions of dollars were made, they put it on public records. Our govt is so clean and so honest. This is something the people must be proud of. When they want to fix things they also said so. This is true honesty of the highest level in politics.
I dunno when they said Singapore belongs to everyone is an honest statement or not. But when they said Singapore needs 6.9m population I am sure they are honest about it, that it is only a planning parameter.
I can go on and on about political honesty with many more examples. Singapore would not have come this far if politics and social problems were tackled dishonestly. It cannot be. Anyone or any politician that is dishonest would be caught with his pants down in an honest system.
It is time to return to honest politics. What, have we gone somewhere or fell asleep and must now return to honest politics? My apologies, just a Freudian slip. It is good and an honest thing to do to return to the right path should one go astray.