WP manifesto big on rhetoric, short on substance, says Jaya

I refer to the 2nd May 2011 Straits Times report “WP manifesto big on rhetoric, short on substance, says Jaya”.

Professor Jayakumar explained that the PAP manifesto is about what the government has done to improve our lives. A manifesto should be about the future. It should not be about what the PAP has done in the past. So what if past ministers like Dr Goh Keng Swee has done a lot for us? Do we vote for current PAP ministers out of gratitude to past ministers? We shouldn’t. It is our responsibility to ourselves and to our children to vote out those PAP ministers that have proved themselves capable of only finding excuses for not doing their jobs.

He said the Workers’ Party manifesto is big on rhetoric but short on substance. It is not. All the problems that we now face is precisely because the parliament is dominated by one party. They do what they want, we have no say. Isn’t it sad that this is our country and yet we have no say to all the important things that affect our lives and our children’s lives?

Mr Abdullah Tarmugi referred to an encounter with a waiter in Kenya. The waiter said Singapore is strict but Kenya is free, free to go hungry, free to go without clothes, free to go without shelter. Politicians like to choose countries to compare. That is not the right way to go about making sense of things. For every country that supports his claim, there is another one that contradicts it. Why choose Kenya? Why not choose Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the US, the UK and so on?

We can easily choose another strict country like North Korea or Myanmar to show that strictness is not why Singapore is prosperous. We can also choose another place like Hong Kong to show that Singapore can prosper without being too strict.

So at the end of the day, if one really wants to prove a point, one must take into account of all the countries in this world. Not just one or two. If one picks out all the prosperous countries in this world, there are only three groups: the West, the oil rich and East Asia.

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