Old lance corporal’s take on what we are fighting for

Dear Straits Times,

I refer to the letter by Mr Benjamin Chiang dated 4 Nov 2010.

Mr Chiang spoke about the many precious things that are worth defending without realising that they can’t be defended without first defending the people’s rightful position as the masters of this land, masters over the servant that is the ruling party.

Mr Chiang looks at the economic benefit of foreigners without asking himself how many we can cope with. Would Mr Chiang recommend piling another 50 million foreigners onto our tiny island for even greater economic benefit? Mr Chiang thinks only of the construction workers and nurses that we need while neglecting to mention many other jobs like those in food courts and hotels that Singaporeans can and are willing to take up. Mr Chiang talks about the money foreigners add to our economy without realising that the money paid to them will be added just the same had it been paid to Singaporeans instead.

Mr Chiang claims that all major cities face the same problems of immigration, traffic jams and crowded trains without realising that the problems vary in degree in different cities. Why should we be contented with being one of the worst? Mr Chiang is thankful that we do not have the problems of poverty, lack of consumers and stagnating lifestyles. Many first world cities similarly do not have such problems and are also better off when it comes to the problems of immigration, traffic jams and crowded trains.

Mr Chiang claims that the ground is different, full of energy and pride for the Singapore system. Mr Chiang should learn to distinguish Singapore from the ruling party. Having pride and energy for Singapore doesn’t equate to having pride and energy for the ruling party. So you can have a ground that is proud and energetic for Singapore and at the same time discontented and sour with the ruling party. Mr Chiang states the obvious – feeding on sour plums will only leave us with a sour taste. But what choice do we have if the ruling party grows only plum trees?

Mr Chiang advises us not to read from dubious sources so as not to feel discontented. Would Mr Chiang advise us to read from ‘authentic’ sources in order to feel contented? If ‘authentic’ sources always bring us contentment, does that mean that the truth is all contentment and no discontentment? How true can that be? In fact, if a reader feels that an article is dubious, he wouldn’t even believe it and wouldn’t be affected by it for better or for worse.

Mr Chiang asks us to do something about the dilution of the Singapore spirit without realising that the ruling party is the root of this problem. What does Mr Chiang suggest? Stage a demonstration and get thrown into jail? Contest and lose in unfair elections? Singapore is not young but has been in existence for 191 years already since 1819. We have rich Chinese, Malay and Indian cultural inheritances. It is not those that we need to improve on. What we need to improve on is our political situation.

Any illusions being made up are from the ruling party, illusions that blind people like Mr Chiang. But Mr Chiang is right on one thing, we mustn’t feel disillusioned but should continue to hammer the ruling party into its rightful place – below us, the people who are the rightful masters of Singapore.

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