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What Type of New People do You Want Forming Singapore’s Next Government?

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How about them?

A blogger writing under the name of United Opposition Front posted an article in the TRE with the title ‘Forming the new govt’. In his first sentence he wrote this, ‘Do we have in our opposition a viable alternative to become a credible government once PAP is defeated?’ The author’s thinking is that even if the PAP is defeated, which means the opposition parties have the number to form the next govt, there is still doubt about their ability to form a credible govt, and the problem is the quality of the new elected representatives.

Take a deep breath and ask yourself why was this author asking this question. The answer is simple. After so many years being fed by the same idea, the same message that only super talents, ie those with a string of As and masters or doctorates, are able to form a credible govt, one cannot think of anything else. This kind of condition is very dangerous. Ask yourself again, is this true? Let me make it clearer. Only super talents that are making millions in the professions are able to form a credible govt to run this country. Is this so? If you don’t get the idea, let me repeat, is this so?

If this is so, then the opposition parties must go out and recruit the straight As, the scholars, the doctors, the lawyers, and must be making millions or else not good enough. Is that so? If so, then the new govt must also prepare the same expensive budget to pay them in the millions or else they would not want to join them.

We have the same kind of people in govt, the straight As, the scholars, the top lawyers and doctors, aren’t they doing a very fine job? And if they are, why is there a need to want to replace them? What is the main reason to want to replace them and then to replace them with the same kind, with the same criteria and same thinking?

What I know as of today, not many opposition candidates are of these kinds, academically damn bright, making money damn clever. Think Low Thia Khiang. Silvia Lim, Png Eng Huat, Pritam Singh, Lee Li Lian and Mohamad Faisal. Chen Show Mao is the only exception.

Why are people voting for them in Aljunied, especially during the by elections when the bright and brilliant and exceptionally clever types were defeated by the ordinary Singaporean type? The only thing that the people saw in Png Eng Huat and Lee Li Lian and the Aljunied team is not academic brilliance and ability to make more money, but the heart. They saw a heart in the right place in every one of them. And they voted for a good heart, to serve the people.

Is a good heart not what the people are looking in the new candidates to form the next govt? Or are the people still being stuck with the idea that the people that are going to form the next govt must be of the same kind, the same type, the same mindset and aspirations as the PAP?

Anyone with reasonable intelligence and a good heart should be good enough to form the next govt. All they need is to think of the good of the people and country, and the super talented civil servants would be there to provide the expertise and the solutions. We need good men and women with good hearts, in the right place, with good intentions, to form the next govt. And I believe there will be no shortage of such people. Too clever people would have too many clever ideas, and if their hearts are in the wrong place, can create big and clever problems.

Ask the right questions and you will find the right answers. Ask the wrong questions and you will get the ‘right’ wrong answers.

This commentary was written by Chua Chin Leng.
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