Why Singapore has no choice but to legislate against the net

October 28, 2011

Yes Eva, they are in a real fix. However, you need to understand this is a self inflicted wound. Eva, things were not always like this in Singapore. Believe it or not, once upon a time, Singapore was a functioning democracy with all its appendages. You name it we had it, free press, unions and the full Monty – since Singapore was a British colony, during those days Parliament and the press were modeled along British lines – Parliament then was based loosely on the Westminster style debate – as for the press from what I can make of it, they were free to write anything they wanted.

The irony may well be, PAP could not possibly have rose to power if those conditions did not exist.

But there is a Faustian twist to this happy tale Eva, as I have barely begun my tale. When the PAP got their hands on the reins of power, they began dismantling all those features of democracy that had allowed them to ascend to power – the free press was ball gagged, unions were emasculated under the name of the common good – as for Parliament all the elan, panache and aplomb that we have come to associate with its early days was systematically eviscerated and replaced by a conveyor belt with a rubber stamp at the backend.

But here comes the kicker Eva – unbeknown to them, when those brainless wonders decided to do away with the free press and the Westminster style along with all the set pieces we commonly see in a functional democracy – what they inadvertently also threw out was the very raw material that would have allowed to prevail in the digital age – when we consider why the government seems to suffer an inexplicable failure of imagination to prevail in the digital age of today – the smoking gun must lie somewhere in our distant past – and this should prompt most thinking folk top consider whether something is lacking in the DNA that makes up the PAP. But before you can even understand this Eva – you must first entertain the implausibe Eva, that when you throw out something, it is conceivable you also lose something – that which you lose is usually not discernable in the early days, but lose it you will – there is something karmic here that we can al learn from great civilizations that has waxed and waned. For example, when one packs off the Westminster style of debate and replaces it with a rubber stamp government, then what invariably happens is complacency creeps in. Since Parliamentarians don’t need to spar like gladiators before an audience of their peers; they also don’t need to develop vital skill sets which would have put them in good stead to deal with many challenges brought forth by the advent of the digital age – they don’t need to think on their toes, neither do they see the value of managing conflict to effectively secure consensus – and since there is no free press pecking at them; Parliamentarians these days rarely see the value of managing themselves and others in such a way where they are able to create a positive public image – they say and do very much what they like. These days Singapore MP’s don’t even need to cultivate the vital skill sets to win their seats – all they have to do fasten their seat belts on the GRC magic carpet and someone will just carry them over the finishing line – and to top it all off, they are all paid creamy salaries that even makes the President of the United States look like a car jockey – now all this would been well and fine Eva if the PAP did not live in a world that is continually ravaged by the laws of change – superimpose all this that I have share with you on the digital landscape today and what do you end up with Eva?

In short what we have here is really a group of people who are totally inept to deal with the emerging challenges of the digital age – to paraphrase, it’s a bit like a bunch of cavenmen going up against the lines of the Roman army – the tragedy Eva is all this that we see today could have been easily avoided…very easily Eva, that’s really the epilogue that should make up the Singapore story.

Darkness 2011

The Suriman Tales – Brought to you by the Interspacing Mercantile Guild – The Brotherhood Press 2011. Do not forget to watch the full debate in the Imperium this coming Monday!

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