Singaporeans Shouldn’t Be Fooled by Lawrence Wong’s Fake Political Openness
The charm offensive to win over Singaporeans to LHL’s selected interim seat warmer (preferred because he is a weak candidate and thus easy to move aside when the time comes for Mini-mini LKY to take over) continues at full pace. LHL’s personal propaganda team (otherwise known as SPH Media Trust and MediaCorp, both corruptly paid for with your money) have reported on LW’s words of disinformation at yet another IPS (read PAP propaganda) event, the Young People’s Conference 2022). Of course in a totalitarian state all institutions come under the control of one man or one party and exist solely to present the population with an image of the inevitability of one party rule and the impossibility of change. Singapore is no different from Russia , China, North Korea or Belarus in this respect.
LW talked about the launch of Forward Singapore, yet another fake exercise in engaging the people, proving once again that the PAP are intellectually and morally bankrupt and have nothing new to say. When he said he was “not talking about engaging political parties” but “engaging Singaporeans”, he was merely propagating the standard PAP myth that SIngaporeans do not need Opposition in Parliament to hold the Government accountable because talking to your MPs will bring about the changes you seek. I can remember speaking at a forum with the discredited and disappeared Michael Palmer, brought low by a sex scandal, back in 2010 when he said exactly the same thing.
Pretending to listen to the people to hear their grievances seems to be inherited from Imperial China, where a similar myth held that you were able to petition the emperor for the redress of grievances. Of course the imperial police and bodyguards were there to intercept anyone who made the journey to the capital from a far-off province and ensure they disappeared, either into prison or worse. As a result of this blocking the emperor could falsely claim harmony existed in the realm, just as LHL does today when he says how happy he is to see Singaporeans united compared to democracies in the West, such as the US or the UK, where one is allowed to express dissenting opinions. This pretence of being able to petition the emperor has continued in Communist China, where similarly the security services are vigilant to prevent people with grievances from appearing in the capital and irritating the Communist Party leadership by complaining about injustices they or their family have suffered. Persistent petitioners end up in secret prisons where they can be held for years. The PAP might not imprison people who complain, at least not initially, but then they do not need to. Those who question the system have lost their jobs and become unemployable. A battery of repressive laws such as POFMA and FICA (which replace the sedition law that the UK has abolished) as well as both criminal and civil defamation laws are there to destroy those who dare to criticise too effectively. As we have seen LHL’s judiciary will hand out increasingly severe sentences to those who protest, a recent example being the man who was sentenced to a year for standing outside the US Embassy with a placard. The aim is to force people who disagree to shut up or leave the country. Those who have been the PAP’s most effective critics are erased from history as LHL rewrites Singapore’s story to glorify his dynasty and destroy or make non persons of those who say the Emperor has no clothes.
When LW says he welcomes “diverse views” he means views that are carefully circumspect and respect him and his master. Above all they have to recognise the no go areas such as the performance of our sovereign wealth funds, the fake Budget, and in particular why despite decades of austerity and forced saving Singaporeans have received no benefit at all from the reserves. They also cannot question the concept of “meritocracy” as defined by LHL which means his wife, a woman with modest academic qualifications, is deemed fit to manage the country’s s reserves on a salary package so huge that the Government will go to any lengths to keep it secret. It also means no one questions how his son was employed by Google and how he has now risen to be head of the Technology Agency. Singaporeans also cannot ask why, if their economic performance is so superior to badly managed democracies, they have to pay twice as much for household staples and be paid less than half as much per hour as workers in the UK or Europe and the US, let alone those in the major cities in those countries.
The desire to keep quiet and not to rock the boat extends to our Official Opposition, the Workers Party, who seem to think their job is merely to act as a postbox or a speaking tube to relay their constituents’ wishes and grievances to Parliament. When I went to Armenia with Silvia Lim and Pritam SIngh in 2018, they actually stood on stage before an Armenian audience and said precisely that . It was astonishing that they seemed to have no comprehension that the primary duty of an Opposition is to hold the Government accountable and ultimately to seek to replace it with a new Government with better policies.
With typical PAP hypocrisy LW spoke about coming “together as one country and let’s think about how we might want Singapore to be greener, to be fairer, to be more inclusive, to be a better society for ourselves and also for our next generation’.”
Instead of playing the PAP’s game, SIngaporeans need to ask LW how it is possible to have any dialogue when there is such a gross asymmetry of information and imbalance of power between our ruling elite and the people. Instead of conforming to his idea of what a tame, deferential and well ordered dialogue should look like, you need to keep asking him what has happened to what should be $2-3 trillion of reserves and why taxes need to go up. You need to make sure that he answers all the questions I have listed above. You need to hold the Government accountable and make him explain about the holes in the Budget, the fake Net Investment Returns Contributions and the mysterious increase in health expenditures despite the huge rise in Medisave balances and the fact that you are threatened with penury if you contract a serious illness. I am sure that LW’s good humour and jovial man of the people bonhomie will rapidly disappear to be replaced by a threatening bad temper, just as when I asked then Minister Hari Kumar (shortly after out of a job) uncomfortable questions at a seminar on CPF in 2015. But if you do not ask him and his master LHL these questions and persist through what will be bluster, bullshit and barely veiled threats, you will not only be letting yourself down but your children also and all future generations of SIngaporeans. You need to say “Instead of a fake dialogue, Lawrence Wong, we want answers and we are not going away till we get them!”