In his lecture given at a local university, the former head of civil service Peter Ho criticised the current PAP administration saying that the government no longer monopolise on information and that a new model of governance is needed:
“The view that ‘the Government knows best’… is increasingly challenged in today’s world, in which citizens and businesses can easily gain access to much of the information that governments used to monopolise in the past. Given the new situation and other changes in the environment, a new model of governance is needed.”
The former head of civil service who served for 34 years and now currently serving as a right-wing academic at the Institute of Policy Studies S R Nathan (a new education institution to commemorate former Lee Kuan Yew crony and president S R Nathan), then pointed out 3 points why the current government need to change. First, Singapore’s existing constraints like land size and water scarcity continue to exist, and that even status quo, like being the second busiest seaport, is not guaranteed as neighbouring countries like Malaysia is catching up.
Peter Ho was however quick to insult Singaporeans as ignorant and oblivious to these constraints well-ingrained through years of education and propaganda:
“Our success in overcoming them may well have masked the deep challenges that remain, and remain mostly undiminished. This is the paradox of Singapore. These include Singapore’s small size, making it vulnerable to climate change and rising seas, and its water scarcity, which not many Singaporeans grasp fully.”
Second, public policies now have more “unintended consequences” as new developments are ahead of policymakers who, when perceiving the world as “complex and fast-changing”, are unable to provide an accurate estimate of trade-offs in new policies.
Third, Singaporeans and businesses now have higher expectations because they are now better-educated. The new generation no longer accepts indoctrination and new policies without questions. However Peter Ho, again, insulted the younger generation as ignorant due to being better-educated, saying:
“Today’s young adults, who are more educated, have known only the affluence and success of Singapore. What persuaded their parents and grandparents will not wash with the third generation. Fresh arguments and new ways are needed to communicate with this generation.”
The former civil servant then ended his lecture pouring praises for the Lee Hsien Loong administration claiming that the dictatorship listens to the people like organising the 2013’s Singapore Conversation propaganda campaign. Peter Ho insisted Singaporeans understand the PAP government’s policies and they just wanted to be informed earlier:
“It is not as if they do not understand that decisions have to be made and which may not please everyone. What they want is to be involved in the process, and it means the Government must engage early, not late in the day.”
However, Peter Ho’s appraisal for the Lee Hsien Loong administration remains unfounded as proven in recent policies implemented. One such example is the 30% water price hike, the decision was dropped as a bombshell without a mention in Parliament. The other one includes the re-writing of the country’s Constitution without a referendum – Lee Hsien Loong single-handedly abused his ruling party’s majority to include an exclusion allowing a racist Presidential election to take place. The Singapore dictator was insistent on re-writing the Constitution and no opposition, despite a public uproar, is allowed.
There has been an increase in the number of right-wing academic, who collectively post only pro-ruling party inputs to state propaganda media Straits Times and TodayOnline. The planting of right-wing academic and politicization of the education institutes is to give the ruling party academic backing, albeit a self-created one, which have never once won praises from reputable foreign education institutes who are mostly highly critical of South East Asian dictatorship. In a short span of a decade, two new education institutes and numerous scholarships were created under the names of key ruling party members – Lee Kuan Yew’s School of Public Policy, Institute of Policies Studies S R Nathan and multiple MOE scholarships under Lee Hsien Loong and Lee Kuan Yew’s names.
Some of the most common right-wing academics include Eugene Tan, Walter Theseria, Gillian Koh, Felix Tan and Ng Yew Kwang – all from government universities. Even foreigners who are supportive of the PAP government will get headlines treatment and featured on Straits Times.