Singapore Expats Forum

The Ugly Singaporean

Discuss about the latest news & interesting topics, real life experience or other out of topic discussions with locals & expatriates in Singapore.

User avatar
banana
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 961
Joined: Tue, 24 May 2005

Postby banana » Tue, 03 Jun 2008 7:09 pm

Wind In My Hair wrote:Wow, Andy. Great posts. It's heartening to know I have compatriots like yourself able to look at our society critically and yet with an obvious passion for things to get better.

You've described the issues very well. Like EF though, I think it's too simplistic to blame the 'gahmen'. By doing so you fall into the very trap you're accusing others of being guilty of - accepting the government as the sole thinker and originator of everything here. Also, pointing fingers and apportioning blame isn't going to solve anything.

I for one think very highly of our government - just look at governments around the world and it's easy to appreciate ours. At the same time I speak out freely about what I see as faults in our government, society, and myself as a Singaporean - because I could do a lot more to change things. And as long as I don't, I'm equally to blame for things being the way they are.


I don't think Andy is being overly simplistic at all. He has merely pointed out what is obvious after you have distilled away all the sophistry, smokes and mirrors. Heard of Occam's Razor?

On the contrary, your thinking 'very highly of our government' is exactly the type of adulation one would expect of citizens in a highly hierarchical society like Singapore; ie the type he is talking about.

The fact that you can speak out freely about faults is of no consequence. This freedom exists everywhere, it's just a matter of when, where and to whom they are voiced out. Come tell me you have this freedom again when you are running a political party.
some signatures are more equal than others

User avatar
Wind In My Hair
Manager
Manager
Posts: 2306
Joined: Tue, 19 Jul 2005

Postby Wind In My Hair » Tue, 03 Jun 2008 10:35 pm

banana wrote:I don't think Andy is being overly simplistic at all. He has merely pointed out what is obvious after you have distilled away all the sophistry, smokes and mirrors. Heard of Occam's Razor?

Does Occam's Razor apply in politics or human psychology?

banana wrote:On the contrary, your thinking 'very highly of our government' is exactly the type of adulation one would expect of citizens in a highly hierarchical society like Singapore; ie the type he is talking about.

In that case I won't say I think very highly of you, in case you think I adulate you.

banana wrote:The fact that you can speak out freely about faults is of no consequence. This freedom exists everywhere, it's just a matter of when, where and to whom they are voiced out. Come tell me you have this freedom again when you are running a political party.

Heard of Chiam See Tong? Or is your version of freedom Chee Soon Juan's?

User avatar
cutiebutie
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 286
Joined: Sat, 01 Sep 2007
Location: Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Home

Postby cutiebutie » Tue, 03 Jun 2008 10:46 pm

I repeat:


S m o k i n'
- Thank God for Darwin -

User avatar
banana
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 961
Joined: Tue, 24 May 2005

Postby banana » Tue, 03 Jun 2008 11:11 pm

Wind In My Hair wrote:
banana wrote:I don't think Andy is being overly simplistic at all. He has merely pointed out what is obvious after you have distilled away all the sophistry, smokes and mirrors. Heard of Occam's Razor?

Does Occam's Razor apply in politics or human psychology?


Occam's Razor is a philosophical principle. If you cannot accept its application from a grounds person, you cannot accept it from the government. You can't have it both ways.

Wind In My Hair wrote:
banana wrote:On the contrary, your thinking 'very highly of our government' is exactly the type of adulation one would expect of citizens in a highly hierarchical society like Singapore; ie the type he is talking about.

In that case I won't say I think very highly of you, in case you think I adulate you.


You misunderstand. The "worship the strong, crush the weak" mentality that Andy mentioned is prevalent in Singapore more often than not is demonstrated by people thinking highly of the government; ie those in power. Snappy comeback but just proves my point.

Wind In My Hair wrote:
banana wrote:The fact that you can speak out freely about faults is of no consequence. This freedom exists everywhere, it's just a matter of when, where and to whom they are voiced out. Come tell me you have this freedom again when you are running a political party.

Heard of Chiam See Tong? Or is your version of freedom Chee Soon Juan's?


Again, irrelevant. CST has learnt to play by the rules of the incumbent party. While he has my utmost respect both as an individual and MP, he has wrought no real change to the political climate. In fact, his parliamentary existence only serves to further the illusion of perfection perpetuated by the aforementioned party. He is like Hope at the bottom of Pandora's Box - marginally helpful but after the fact and ultimately inconsequential.

CSJ, on the other hand, is a desperate man. His ideals are sound but in the context of Singapore today, and the last 20 years, his methodology reduces him to a raving lunatic.

Heard of JBJ? If CST and CSJ are the two extremes of your spectrum, he would be somewhere in between, perhaps 3/4 of the way towards CSJ. And look where he is.

My point was that the freedom to bitch privately among friends is no comparison with the freedom to voice out and stand up for your beliefs.
some signatures are more equal than others

User avatar
Wind In My Hair
Manager
Manager
Posts: 2306
Joined: Tue, 19 Jul 2005

Postby Wind In My Hair » Tue, 03 Jun 2008 11:45 pm

JBJ in his later years didn't espouse any ideals, didn't stand for anything. I like the man, but he lost meaning somewhere along the way. His was a personal vendetta irrelevant to Singapore's well-being.

I have more respect for people who use their street smarts to beat the system - to work with, through and around it, than for those who stand in the streets beating their chests screaming "Do it MY way!" And I have more respect for those working to make things work than for armchair critics.

Let me ask you - take this government out of the picture for the next 10 years. You think the ugly Singaporean will disappear? If you are consistent in your argument that the government is solely to blame, you have to answer Yes.

CB - it's hard to see with all this smoke, but I'm tryin' :wink:

User avatar
banana
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 961
Joined: Tue, 24 May 2005

Postby banana » Wed, 04 Jun 2008 12:27 am

Au contraire mademoiselle. JBJ stands for the freedom to have political freedom. It's all very recursive and zen, I know.

I understand what you mean by using street smarts to beat the system. But that's purely from a material/financial point of view. And often, it's where all this "ugly" behaviour stems from. If you think CSJ and JBJ are just wanting things their way, clearly you don't understand their raison d'etre. Well...JBJ anyway.

Wind In My Hair wrote:Let me ask you - take this government out of the picture for the next 10 years. You think the ugly Singaporean will disappear? If you are consistent in your argument that the government is solely to blame, you have to answer Yes.


reducto ad absurdum. In this highly improbable scenario, you are expecting 40 years, that is 2 generations, of brainwashing to be completely eradicated in 10, or half a generation. The damage has already been done and unfortunately, bad habits probably do not have a half life.

Still, that's theorising and it might happen, I don't know. But then you have to consider the older generation who are set in their ways *cough* and the fact that there is no place on earth where 100% of the population are model citizens.

Nice trap lady but you gotta wake up a little earlier than that to catch me out :P
some signatures are more equal than others

User avatar
Wind In My Hair
Manager
Manager
Posts: 2306
Joined: Tue, 19 Jul 2005

Postby Wind In My Hair » Wed, 04 Jun 2008 2:22 am

banana wrote:reducto ad absurdum.

If you want to show off your French and Latin, you should at least get the words right, n'est-ce pas?

You could also consider applying Occam's Razor to your own arguments.

Anyway, stay in the victim camp if you choose. Of course the government is to blame for all your woes. After all, you are Singaporean.

:wave:

User avatar
banana
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 961
Joined: Tue, 24 May 2005

Postby banana » Wed, 04 Jun 2008 2:47 am

reducto ad absurdum - to reduce an argument to such improbability that it becomes absurd. which is precisely what you have done. not showing off, just using the appropriate words in context.

Occam's Razor works in the first scenario because those are events that have already occurred. Whereas in the second scenario, you are enforcing a postulated outcome.

Let me give you an example:
Occam's Razor - Why did the chicken cross the road? Because it wanted to get to the other side.

reducto ad absurdum - The chicken must come first otherwise how do you explain the Easter bunny?

and no one is crying victim here either, just stating thought through opinions.

I'll put my silly hat back on now. Image

"...and here's Tom with the weather!"
some signatures are more equal than others

User avatar
Wind In My Hair
Manager
Manager
Posts: 2306
Joined: Tue, 19 Jul 2005

Postby Wind In My Hair » Wed, 04 Jun 2008 3:33 am

Next time you want to sound smart, try saying "Reductio ad absurdum". With an "i" in the first word. Pronounced "ree-duck-see-oh". Also try googling the phrase - it does not mean what you think it does, and is a perfectly sound philosophical method. Just like Occam's Razor.

Sigh... a little knowledge...

User avatar
banana
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 961
Joined: Tue, 24 May 2005

Postby banana » Wed, 04 Jun 2008 4:20 am

foiled by a typo, I am undone :lol:
some signatures are more equal than others

earthfriendly
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1943
Joined: Sat, 20 Aug 2005

Postby earthfriendly » Wed, 04 Jun 2008 4:34 am

For decades, the govt’s priority has been the economy. Can’t really blame them as they had to deal with an impoverished and uneducated masses and had to focus on the issue on hand. They had worked relentless and single-mindedly to improve the quality of lives of many. As a little girl, my mom had to walk long distance to fetch water for household consumption. And she is grateful the govt has changed all that. She is thankful for the modern comforts that her HDB flat offers her. The govt has done a darn good job for the economy and the country was able to weather storms fairly well e.g.. asian financial crisis

Here’s my qualm with the govt. Their constant harping of external threats e.g. rise of China and India, overly academic education system, rapid urbanization, tearing down of old buildings and hence the country’s heritage and lack of countryside and nature for people to get in touch with themselves, encouragement of maid hiring practice so woman can be in the workforce (home cooking and family upkeeping have become a lost art), heavy reliance on foreign construction workers resulting in the death of qualified local tradesmen, quest to increase the population resulting in more crammed and tense living condition, all of these have an effect on the Singaporean psychic. Sometimes, I think SG has become a victim of its own success. And the major reason for Singaporean migrating is the living condition which they deemed to be unbearable. And not due to lack of opportunity or infrastructure or such.

So should we get rid of the present govt due to the above? When I asked my husband why he stick with me after all this years, his response was if he go for another woman, she’ll bring into the relationship her own set of issues and then he will still have to deal with that too. In short, he can never get around the woman problem unless he turns gay :P . Nobody or govt is perfect.

The reason why I would still bet my money on the present govt. It is a progressive one and constantly reinventing itself. They would come up with new ways and ideas to reach out to the masses and solicit their input. They want Singaporeans to be involved in shaping the country. Overseas Singaporeans are much less looked upon as deserters now and govt came up with a new website for them to stay in touch with the country and provide their input. They would go out and headhunt for the best brain to work for them and understand the need to introduce fresh blood into their own so the party does not become stagnant.

And yes, they do not make it easy for opposition party. If I have an idea that is an improvement over the existing one and am dying to get it implemented, rather than form a new party, I would join the PAP and work from within. Believe it or not, they are very open to new ideas if you can prove to them why your method is superior to theirs. There’s a book titled “Proudly Singporean”

earthfriendly
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1943
Joined: Sat, 20 Aug 2005

Postby earthfriendly » Wed, 04 Jun 2008 4:45 am

The govt does work very hard for the people and they try to include everyone. Not possible of course. As part of retraining and upgrading the work force, it offers many free classes . Classes that will cost me thousands of dollars in the USA. My sister took advantage of some of them but sadly, she said most Singaporeans don't utilize it. There's only so much the govt can do for you.

Authorities have made it easier to report maid abusers and as such more people are coming forward. Sometimes it is about having the right policy or tools in place so people can do the right thing. Reminds me of the recycling issue in SG. Me and my sister would like to recycle more but the bins are either hard to locate or not very accesible.

My post is rather disorganized. I am penning my thoughts as they come to me.

User avatar
Plavt
Director
Director
Posts: 4291
Joined: Wed, 18 May 2005
Location: United Kingdom

Postby Plavt » Wed, 04 Jun 2008 5:49 am

:o EF you should be Singapore's Pime Minister. :P

User avatar
Wind In My Hair
Manager
Manager
Posts: 2306
Joined: Tue, 19 Jul 2005

Postby Wind In My Hair » Wed, 04 Jun 2008 8:07 am

banana wrote:foiled by a typo, I am undone :lol:

Nice try. You got the meaning and example wrong too. So stop obfuscating ad nauseam.

I second EF for PM! :D

User avatar
banana
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 961
Joined: Tue, 24 May 2005

Postby banana » Wed, 04 Jun 2008 4:26 pm

mmmm...delicious delicious irony :lol:
some signatures are more equal than others


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “General Discussions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests