Catherine is a noted writer of many fictional articles. She writes beautiful pieces of drama and I must say I enjoy her latest “open letter” in just the same way I had her little stories.
I would like to start this letter by assuring you, Catherine – that we are not in the midst of a crisis where “people no longer trust their government and the government no longer cares about regaining their trust”.
If you want an example of misplace of trust, look no further than our neighbouring countries. Look at Thailand. That my dear friend, is a case of where people no longer trust their government.
What you’ve described in your article, really are the workings of any normal, healthy democracy. Can you imagine a country where people are absolutely sugar-sweet happy, without troubles? Just like you, there will always be a segment of people who disagrees with the government. In the 1960s, the people from Barisan Sosialis and its supporters also distrusted then PM Lee Kuan Yew and his team. You tell me, in hindsight, where this has taken us?
With the amount of reserves Singapore has, this government could have easily spent its way to electoral success – look at true pork barrel politics of oil rich nations. But have we? And did we? Could you even say with a straight face that GIC has mismanaged national reserves?
As a case in point, let’s look at the recent CPF uproar. The government could have easily allowed the people to withdraw their CPF at 55 in order to pacify them. But did it? It didn’t. And it would not have been responsible of them if they did. Research has proven that individuals could not manage windfalls and end up worse-off than if they did not receive the money.
Yes, there were some incidents of graffiti cases, one of them on the rooftop of Blk 85 Toa Payoh, a first in Singapore. There were also many strong online criticisms. The number of protests at Hong Lim Park too has also gone up. And there is public sympathy for Roy Ngerng.
Don’t you think it is normal? Don’t you think it would be weird that a healthy democracy does not see expressions such as the above? To conclude that “Singaporeans no longer trust the government” based on the above is a naive conclusion. But i’m sure a learned Doctor such as yourself is not as naive… you’re a wordsmith and a skilled writer, I’m certain you meant it to do whatever you meant it to do.
Yes, Roy did receive about $80,000 – of which you attributed to a “public outpouring of sympathy”. If he was not able to raise this money, either legally or denied outreach – then we have a huge problem.
Oh by the way, the President’s Charity of 2013 netted $5million. That is what I call public outpour.