Wayang Party: The state’s putting blame on its citizens
The Wayang Party wrote recently of the Singapore government’s fondness of blaming its people for fiascos and taking credit when everything is doing well:
In the aftermath of the Geylang Serai food poisoning fracas, PAP leaders have been quick to point the finger at Singaporeans in unison.
Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong urged Singaporeans to view hygiene as part of gracious behaviour.
‘If you have poor hygiene, spitting in public places, littering, food all over the place, rats running around the market, that’s very ungracious behaviour,’ he said. (read article here)
A few days later, Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan chipped in: “This is a serious problem. But as consumers ourselves, I think, requiring that Singaporeans raise their standards of hygiene, personal as well as public hygiene, I think that is a continuous challenge. That we must always remind ourselves to do.”
Mr Khaw said food handlers, in particular, bear a heavy responsibility to ensure such incidents do not recur. (read article here)
And now Denise Phua had this to say to Singaporeans:
“”The public hygiene system is not just the job of the government, or the NEA, but also it is very important that all of us, NEA, stallholders and the public must play a part in sustaining this system. (read article here)
“And we should not do it just because there is a Geylang Serai Indian rojak incident. We should do it because it is the right thing to do, and because this is what Singapore is meant to be – clean, safe and gracious”.
Why are Singaporeans being blamed for every major blunder, big and small? Did we vote for these first world politicians just to shift the responsibility to us whenever they screw up?
Since according to Denise Phua, all of us must play a role in sustaining the public hygiene system, then both the people and the government should take equal blame for the lapses in public hygiene. Why should only Singaporeans be blamed for the tragedy? Is NEA completely free from fault too?
As noted recently, this is part of an unhealthy trend. Why the hell are Singaporeans paying ministers millions when they take undeserving credit when times are good and blame lapses all on the people? It’s never their fault, it’s always the peasants who should feel lucky our government is smart enough to do the right thing and if things go wrong it’s because someone on the ground screwed up. Never mind the fact that the size of the state’s bureaucratic institutions are bloated (one should expect at least a modest correlation between the size of the government and responsbility for screw-ups); never mind the fact that Singaporeans already have extremely limited freedoms.
Accountability is a non-existent word in Singapore.