The Most Idiotic Economic Solution Ever?

If there is any talent common to all our PAP leaders, it is the ability to seize every opportunity, or transform any non-opportunity into an opportunity, to promote its brand of authoritarianism and demonize democracy at the expense of the national sanity index.

If I were a PAP minister, I would actually be secretly glad about the terrible state of the global economy. After all, even if I were to retire, I would draw a pension that most untalented workers cannot even dream of attaining even if they were to slog forty-eight hours a day. At the same time, when the economic outlook is bad, the political outlook is good. But, still, my personal happiness should not allow me to propose idiotic solutions to economic problems.

Speaking at a National Day dinner at Bukit Batok, Tharman Shanmugaratnam offers us ways to survive. According to this report:

He highlighted four broad strategies which could help Singaporeans stay afloat during this troubled environment and look forward with optimism.

These include the need for Singaporeans to keep the spirit of consensus and avoid divisiveness.

The idiocy of Tharman’s “solution” does not lie in its ineffectiveness but in how a serious issue is twisted to complement the PAP’s obsession with unchallenged power. In Singapore, consensus means: don’t argue with the PAP (but you can sue and put dissenters behind bars). Disagreement with the PAP will divide the country even if 80% of the population are against the PAP. Learning how to shut up and obey the PAP is the best way to cultivate national unity. Without a doubt, I am single-handedly lowering Singapore’s GDP by just blogging.

Tharman does try to explain why:

He noted that the country needs to avoid the problems seen “vividly” in the US and Europe, where although they have mature democracies, they also possess “dysfunctional politics”.

“The debate in the US over the debt ceiling was a symptom of that — a divided Congress unable to agree and willing to take a risk with the American economy and people.”

This, he said, is the reason why it will be of extreme importance to sustain “a tone of openness, respect and understanding” in discussions in the mainstream media and online.

Tharman’s ideas are so trite, even by the PAP’s standards, that even banging one’s head against the wall is a more productive exercise than arguing against them. (At least repeated banging may tear down walls.) But what else can we do?

I doubt we will ever find out how the problems with the US congress makes it important to have a respectful tone in mainstream and new media discussions here in Singapore. But we get Tharman’s drift. “Western” democracy is bad. Don’t even think of playing with the idea of having more opposition in our Parliament because—as the old story goes—nothing will get done. Tharman is conveniently forgetting that without democratic debate, things do get done but there is no guarantee that what is done is any good. In a particular Southeast Asian immature democracy where politics is totally functional, the government has risked the economy and the people, and the result is not a better society or economy. Absurd economic policies that generate economic growth in statistics whilst slow poaching the people to death are implemented and celebrated. The population itself is divided between a fascinating range of brain-dead products of world-class ideological engineering and a number of dismissed, disenfranchised silent/silenced victims. In Singapore, political rape occurs with no resistance, and the lack of any sign of struggle is broadcasted to the world as the proof of consent. A spirit of consensus indeed.

A people that is already paying dearly for years silence must not come to a consensus on the ideology of consensus.


2 Responses

  1. I suppose he will be quite happy, seeing the general US population to not argue, and agree with EVERYTHING the Republicants want.

    Co-incidentally, the Republicants, especially the new ones, form the majority of “…a divided Congress unable to agree and willing to take a risk with the American economy and people.”

    How’s that for consensus.

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