Better a finite quantum than fake selflessness

I refer to Dr Yik Keng Yeong’s reply “Better a finite quantum than fake selflessness” (ST, April 4).

I agree with Dr Yik’s quote, that an able general is worth more than 10,000 foot soldiers. But no matter how good a general is, he is worth nothing if he cannot defeat his opponent general. So how well we have weathered global storms is best seen in relation to how well other countries like Taiwan have coped.

We are often told that it is a miracle that Singapore exists, let alone prospers, given it has no natural resources of its own. But we do have one important natural resource – our location, which is the reason for our founding and the origin of our wealth. So it was not by accident that Singapore came into being for it was a gem waiting to be discovered.

Countries like Denmark and Finland have government ratings and economic performances on par or better than ours. Are we not paying a premium when compared to them? If we cannot have politicians serving selflessly, can we at least not have politicians serving out of greed?

In retrospect, the 80s and 90s were the easy days when we successfully rode on one formula – electronics. It was only after the mass exodus of electronics firms to China that the alarm bell started to sound followed by a frantic scramble to find a replacement. This is one of those incidences where we could only react instead of anticipate, where we didn’t see very much ahead of us which is what separates a general from his soldier.

Yes, we have weathered one storm after another, but our recovery from regional or global storms are due in no small part to the recovery of the whole region or globe.

I think the government can do more to improve the livelihood of the people. For a beginning, it can waive HDB rental fees for the old folks under public assistance.


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