I almost want to tear my hair out. In the past weeks, as the Presidential election approaches nearer, we have been hearing how the potential candidates are all pledging to be “the voice of the people”. They also vow to “speak up for the people” and to let the government know what the people’s views are.
In brief, they want to provide feedback to the government.
In other words, the office of the president is nothing more than a feedback channel.
On the surface, this sounds all good, even as you suspect there might be a tint of good ole politicking behind some of the words. But on closer inspection, you realize that there is a fundamental flaw and a serious misunderstanding of what the presidency is all about.
The office of the elected president – the highest office in the land – is not a feedback channel.
If it were, it would be a redundant office – and a completely wasteful one too, since we are paying millions to the one who holds the office.
We already have many channels for feedback. Lets count the ones that come to mind. Read More…
Walking around the heartlands now, you can’t help but feel one thing – they all look and feel the same. There is this monotonous drabness about them. The same designed HDB flats, the same playgrounds, the same shops, the same estate centres, the same shopping malls with the same kinds of shops selling the same kinds of stuff. You have the same food outlets, the same foodcourts, the same restaurants. The only places which are different and unique with their own ambience would be places like Little India, Chinatown and perhaps the eastern part of Singapore.
Everywhere else, they are all the same.
Sameness is the one thing which kills creativity and inspiration – the two things we desperately need in this city which rushes head-on, sometimes blindly, into materialism and mediocrity. Whoever plans our towns seems to use the same blueprint for each one. As a result, at times I mistake a location for another because they are so similar.
I would have thought that having elected our Members of Parliament, they would have different ideas and plans for the towns they are in charge of. But the bottomline consideration of “economies of scale” have resulted in the towns run by the same party all end up looking just like the other. It is cheaper to just replicate one plan for all the estates, I guess. It is also a lazy way of doing things. Read More…