Saturday, August 22, 2009

In response to Ms Juliet Chua...

I write in response to the letter by Ms Juliet Chua ("Shame on you, young bloggers", ST Online Forum, 22/8/2009).

Firstly, with regards to Ms Chua's statement of her being irked by young people who "blog negatively about the Singapore Government", I would like to point out that being critical or negative about the Singapore Government is not exclusive only to young bloggers; older bloggers, I believe, have been and are also critical about the government. In fact, I would think that being critical of the government is not something unique to any community or group, online or otherwise.

Moving on, similar to Ms Chua, I also acknowledge, appreciate and applaud the achievements made by Singapore under the leadership of the incumbent government. I, however, do not think that this precludes me from adopting a critical stance towards lapses in performance by the government and deficiencies in public policies. Being appreciative of Singapore's achievements and being critical of the government's deficiencies are, in my opinion, not mutually exclusive. As Nominated MP Viswa Sadasivan aptly pointed out in his maiden speech in Parliament, "There is a distinct difference between being pro-Singapore and anti-government".

Perhaps Ms Chua was hitting out against some of the baseless criticism against the government that exists on the internet. With regards to this, while I concede that such criticism do exist on the internet, it however pales in comparison with the significant amount of well-reasoned and insightful discussion about local politics and public policies that also exist online; and Ms Chua would perhaps be surprised to know that such discussion are made by both young and older Singaporeans alike.

Lastly, I would just like to add that while Singapore may have progressed greatly, there nonetheless remains aspects in which it can and should improve in. And I believe that such improvement would not be possible if Singaporeans, thinking that criticism against the government is a sign of ungratefulness, keep silent about deficiencies in Singapore that they recognise; such improvement will also not come about if all of us engage only in praising Singapore's past achievements.


This blog post has been sent in as a letter to the ST Forum and has been published in the ST Online Forum.


chillycraps said...

seriously, people are too contented with the status quo so much so that they are not striving for any improvement.

They don't see the need of watchdogs as long as no one breaks into their house, huh?

harris said...

LCC, GOOD post. :)

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