News Reports

Some things never change

I was amused to read Rachel Chang’s piece in ST today lamenting that political issues don’t seem to matter very much in the Singapore Conversation. Her attempts to raise the subject of GRCs, ISA, NPPA etc were met with polite indifference by other participants, who promptly went back to their concerns: bread and butter issues.

It’s always been that way.

It doesn’t matter that people are getting more educated and all that and should be interested in political stuff and civil liberties. The fact is, they see no pressing need to change anything so long as the G doesn’t make a huge mistake which stirs the conscience or affects the pocket badly.

It’s something the G has relied on for years – the ability to deliver the goods. We are so used to getting the goods that the bigger stuff, the bigger, greater good, that is beyond the pay cheque and the ability of our children to get a better pay cheque – isn’t important to us.

But she is right to say that they are important. When we wake up one day and we find that the G has turned bad, it’ll be too late. I know what the G will say – make sure you elect good people. Then again, five years is a long time and so many things can happen so fast in a small country.

Likewise, I was amused to read about how singles don’t like the idea of going to dating agencies and being match made, an issue prompted by those dating vouchers you can buy as gifts for single friends that was reported earlier.

It’s always been that way.

Again, it’s not about people becoming better educated and sniffing at the idea of not being able to secure a life partner without help. More than 20 years ago, the Social Development Unit had this practice of welcoming new graduates with a letter informing them of their eligibility. I threw it away, so did everyone I know.  We KNOW we were not Single, Desperate and Ugly.

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Some things never change.

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