An American view of Singapore democracy

Dear Straits Times,

I refer to the letter by Mr Mark Topolski dated 25 Sept 2010.

Mr Topolski claims to have observed the Singapore democracy for more than ten years now. But according to his own posting under the ST forum thread “What will make race a hit: Visitor” dated 27 Sept 2008, Mr Topolski wrote under the psuedonym of zheren:


September 27, 2008 Saturday, 08:45 AM
Actually, my Wife and I flew it from the USA. We come to Singapore 2 to 3 times a year. When in Singapore, we stay with family in a HDB flat. We currently live in the mountains of North Carolina. I was born in the USA, however, my Wife is Singaporean Chinese. Other than the ST error of where we flew in from, this letter is accurate.

Thus, Mr Topolski is no more than a tourist observer of Singapore, visiting Singapore only two to three times a year but never staying on a permanent basis. How can Mr Topolski possibly feel let alone understand the daily grind and crush we Singaporeans experience day in day out when he is only here for short periods and for reasons closer to that of a tourist’s? How can he possibly understand the anxiety of sky rocketing home prices when houses are so much cheaper back in North Carolina and a ready flat awaits them whenever they come to Singapore?

Mr Topolski simply doesn’t have the credentials to truly appreciate Singapore’s ‘democracy’. If he did, he probably wouldn’t even label Singapore as a democracy. His admiration is only for what Singapore appears on the surface. Likewise, his impression that the government seems to really have the people’s good and well being at heart reflects a superficial understanding of what really goes on here. Singaporeans have lamented for more than three years now on sky high property prices but our pleas have always gone on deaf ears. It is only recently that the government finally did something about the situation. But its ‘action’ comes suspiciously close to election time which makes us wonder if they’re really doing this for us or for themselves.


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