Want good people in govt? Stop the ridicule

Dear Straits Times,

I refer to the 17 Apr 2011 letter by Ms Jolly Wee.

Ms Wee says it is getting more difficult to get the right people into government and this would make securing Singapore’s future less certain. Like most people, Ms Wee believes that it is the government that secures the country’s future. But if we look at Hong Kong, where entrepreneurial Hong Kongers have been moulding Hong Kong’s future, the government’s role is merely facilitatory, not leading, not all determining. Singapore too can have a bright future without too much dependence on the government. A comparison of how per capita GDPs have multiplied over the last fifty years will show that Singapore’s success has more to do with us being East Asian and less to do with our government. Hence, Ms Wee need not be unduly worried about the government.

Ms Wee feels that online ridicule of politicians will worsen the problem of getting the right people into government. If we have the right people in government, why would they do ridiculous things or say ridiculous things that become the subject of online ridicules? If we have the right people in government, if they know that they have done ridiculous things or said ridiculous things, why would they mind being ridiculed?

Ms Wee adds that even people in high political office have suffered the same fate. Does Ms Wee think that people in high political office are beyond fair criticism? If that is so they might as well be kings or emperors.

Ms Wee urges Singaporeans to exercise civility as it is not a sign of weakness. Similarly, exercising our right to make fair criticism is also not a sign of weakness.

Ms Wee says the world is different today and needs the best people in government to do well. On the contrary, because the world is different today, we need the best people in businesses to do well.

Ms Wee urges Singaporeans to take the John F Kennedy advice “ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country”. To some Singaporeans, the best they can do for their country is to make fair criticisms on politicians, even those in high political office.

Ms Wee urges us to moderate our expectations and show gratitude for what our country has given us. Ms Wee should urge our ministers to moderate their million dollar salary expectations and show gratitude for what our people has given to our country.

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One Response to “Want good people in govt? Stop the ridicule”

  1. Suz Says:

    Great comments! Criticism isn’t bad thing, it is the mindset that will kill a country if everyone remains the same as ms jolly wee

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