Don’t gripe, take action

Dear Straits Times,

I refer to your 12 Sept 2010 editorial.

You said the government successfully turned Singapore from third world to first world in a breathtakingly short time. Lim Kim San sat on the SPH chair for as long as anyone could remember. Did Lim Kim San take Straits Times from a third world newspaper to a first world newspaper in a breathtakingly short time? More likely than not, it didn’t matter if it was Lim Kim San or anybody else who sat on the coveted chair, Straits Times progressed just the same. Similarly, it didn’t matter if it was the PAP or the British who ruled Singapore, Singapore progressed just the same. Hong Kong is a very clear example of the fate that would have befallen Singapore had Singapore continued to be ruled by the British and not the PAP. We would have been different but just as prosperous.

The government has not been delivering on its promises of late. It has in fact forgotten some of its promises. It took three years of relentless property price sky rocketing and many letters before the government finally decided to wake up and do something about it. It has allowed a top terrorist to slip away under its watchful eyes. It has allowed Orchard Road to be flooded like never before.

It is not that citizens expect perfection from the government. It is the government which has always insisted they are the best but yet they are far from it.

You said New Yorkers who stayed on the outskirts take a long time to commute into the city but they don’t complain. But that’s perfectly understandable. Just like people from JB who travels to Singapore everyday to work doesn’t complain. Imagine if New Yokers who stayed within the metropolis also took a long time to commute to work. That would be reason for complaint. Yet, New York subways are far from as crowded as ours. That’s why they don’t complain.

Yes, Singaporeans should do something about things that make them unhappy. Airing their views and making their unhappiness known is one such thing to do. We don’t call it ‘gripe’, we call it ‘enlightening the unenlightened’.

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