Tuesday, May 10, 2011

No One Should Be Left Behind

When the U.S military planned the helicopter raid on Abottabad, the generals were mindful that it could end up like a bad replay of the disastrous 'Black Hawk Down' incident in Somalia of 1993. Intended or not, Nicole Seah's words in a rally echoed the valuable lesson to be learnt from the Mogadishu triumph over adversity: No one gets left behind. The soldiers cut away a whole section of a helicopter to retrieve the pilot's crushed body, to save it from desecration by the enemy.

The real life picture in Singapore's battle for the underdogs is not that pretty.

"To me, too many citizens have fallen through cracks of the social welfare net or are struggling daily even when they have jobs. What seems to be of greater concern now is the national bottom line, party interests and a respective MP's own report card, " wrote one PAP backer who voted for the opposition in his letter to the Forum page.

Overheard at a rally, was a young man's angst expressed to his friend across the barricade. The helper said he may wear the T-shirt with the party's colours, but he was conflicted internally about the plans to help the poor. This was one who swallowed the incumbent's line that GST was collected from the rich to help the poor. "You are an asset owner," he told his friend, "you understand they will have to raise taxes to fund the poor." His thesis was that the low income lot will fritter away the money directed for their financial assistance, so why waste time and effort on a Robin Hood gesture? This guy was a male version of a Wee Shu Min.

The Theory X and Theory Y explanations of human motivation created and developed by Douglas McGregor assumes the worst and best in men. Theory X assumes the average person dislikes work, has no ambition, shirks responsibility, resists change - and, yeah, needs spurs to be dug into their hides. Theory Y is the softer, kinder approach. It believes that  most people will be committed if rewards are in place to address their higher needs such as self-fulfillment. They will be self directed to their work objectives when the opportunity exists to align personal goals with organisational goals. Such people are certainly not daft, and will not appreciate being labelled thus. Unfortunately for us the bunch voted into power has different ideas about the electorate. This is what Lee Kuan Yew said in 1994, "There are not enough old people in Singapore yet. But... there will be .. when they are over 70 years old and they have run out of their CPF savings, they are going to vote for a government that promises them more."


  1. Tattler,
    i am inclined to believe the last ditch apology did wonders for Lee Hsien Loong's ass. his GRC percentage of votes actually increased to 69%. simply amazing, those AMK voters, that's all i can say.

    i agree no one should be left behind but somehow it is not a shared belief that can be associated with the PAP and those who support them.
    sadly, that is my perception of the current PAP leadership.

    perhaps Lee Hsien Loong can phrase a new slogan that is more realistic, "No one will be left behind, and if you see us moving ahead, have faith that we will come back for you....later."

  2. Who was it who claimed to want to "fix the opposition"? What next will they do in order to maximize their chances of winning every elections? How will they want to "fix the opposition"? Don't forget, it is the same party which denied the opposition parties like SPP(Chiam's in Potong Pasir), and WP(Low Thia Khiang in Hougang) a decent working space in the town councils, for their meetings, via their gerrymandering, and these opposition party members have to actually use a makeshift space for such meetings and administrative matters. All I can say is, they promised this in 2006, and many got left behind, so how are they planning not to leave behind those who are already left behind?

  3. 'no one will be left behind' is an Aspiration, not a Pledge...

  4. "No one should be left behind".

    5 of their jinx gang were left high and dry.

  5. /// i am inclined to believe the last ditch apology did wonders for Lee Hsien Loong's ass. his GRC percentage of votes actually increased to 69%. simply amazing, those AMK voters, that's all i can say. ///

    don't be so quick to dish the AMK voters. You forgot that the mothership was bolstered by tens of thousands of prop-PAP friendly voters through gerrymandering.

  6. I live in AMK. I personally did not think it was just LHL's apology which saved his party ass in the area. Mainly, there was the fact that the Reform party was a relatively young party and hence, its members needed more exposure and experience in terms of campaigning. Although I can say very proudly my whole family voted for the opposition, and that even the network of neighbours whom we know and talk with also confessed an inherent need and desire to vote as such because they felt that the policies were going to jeopardize their family's future, perhaps other residents in the area were not as sure, and also, that alongside the sentiments that it was the PM's "stronghold" only accentuated the feelings. I do expect that though in years to come, even with the gerrymandering, if the PAP does not do a good job at any of their policies, even if they gerrymander all they want, citizens will eventually get fed up with them. By then, they might just jolly well spoil their votes even if they do not want to vote for the opposition.