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Why National Conversation will just be another ‘managing expectation’ exercise

Posted by temasektimes on September 11, 2012

I have to say that the article “PM Lee: ‘National Conversation’ is about managing expectations” did little to give an accurate analysis of the Prime Minister’s comments.

While I encourage my fellow citizens to examine the messages that the media puts out to us, it is important that we remain discerning and objective when reading and interpreting what the state media or the new online platforms publish.

Let us first take a close look at the article carried by Today newspaper. Comments about which the article is based on are:

“”But some stones, after we look at them, the original place was quite nice, we put it back. There has to be a balance,” said Mr Lee, as he pointed out that managing expectations would be a key challenge of having the conversation.”

If you look carefully at what the Prime Minister is saying, he has made it clear that we should be willing to leave certain issues be, if there is no need for a change.

On the other hand, the commentary by the newspaper or reporter noted that there will be difficulties in managing expectations in the conversation.

To put it in layman-speak, the conversation will not shy away from slaughtering sacred cows, but it will not go on a Sacred Cow culling exercise. At the same time, we must manage the expectation that the National Conversation will be about making any and all changes demanded by the vocal majority (as opposed to the silent majority), some of whom may already expect that their views and ideas will result in radical changes or immediate action, and are ready to dismiss the National Conversation.

Now that we’ve dealt with this confusion, I would hope that the Government will take note of the phrases they should avoid, because the citizens have begun to associate these words with negative connotations or negative experiences.

(1) Manage expectations – enough said. Citizens do not want to be heard only to have their expectations managed, they want to be understood, and have solutions offered, even if such a solution is actually an exception to a policy that must be applied consistently across the board.

(2) Xenophobia – the citizens do not fear foreigners. They fear the loss of their jobs, career progression, salary increments, seats on buses and MRT trains and the way of life they have built up and served to protect (militarily and socially). I think we can just call this “anti-foreigner sentiment”.

(3) Foreign Talent – citizens do not see talented foreigners as key contributors to the economy any further. Foreign talents are now merely new immigrants who compete for space, jobs, housing, education and more. Citizens seem to think of “FT” as wage suppressors, alternative to Singaporean voters, and more. Let’s call a spade a spade – FTs are merely “locally-employed foreigners”.

(4) Engagement – citizens seem to think of this as “I talk, government listens, in one ear and out the other, and they decide on whatever they feel is right”. No need to re-word this term though, we should just work on engaging Singaporeans.

(5) Opposition – while the legal or traditional term of the non-ruling party might be the “opposition”, this term seems to imply that the Government is calling the other parties “opposition parties” as the ruling party is unwilling to work with alternative voices. Since we are able to coin “Uniquely Singaporean” terms on our own (think ‘Integrated Resort’, ‘foreign talent’, ‘group representative constituencies’ etc.) I think we can acknowledge that the opposition parties are merely “Non-ruling Parties”.

(6) Integration – Singaporeans want harmony, but they do not want to be integrated with locally-employed foreigners, new citizens or other non-NS contributing groups unless their interests are taken care of. While integration is key, we need to give Singaporeans sufficient resources and advantages to survive and thrive on the very land they grew up on, defended, built on, and lived on. Only when Singaporeans are less disadvantaged will we be able to fully integrate and harmonize Singaporean society.



6 Responses to “Why National Conversation will just be another ‘managing expectation’ exercise”

  1. Compatriot said

    I say this posted material has indisputable logical views with distinction and of good caliber to justifiably presents as the voice of concerned Singaporeans calling on the PAP government to honour its obligations with integrity and propriety for good governance on service with fair play where good sense prevails

    The PAP government must not forget that its the PEOPLES TRUST that comes from the local born dwellers of old,current and new Singaporeans who voted them into office

  2. richard said

    Since the day I was born I like to see wangyang,nearly 50 years.

  3. happy said

    the photo depicts a pathetic senile old man comtemplating suicide by hanging from a tree

    • happy as well said

      Your one sentence description is perfect for someone so pathetic.
      The only thing missing from the picture is a rope from the tree.

  4. Robox said

    This ‘national conversation’ is not about any conversation, and neither is about managing expectations as Lee Hsien Loong is now saying.

    It is about managing perceptions.

    This is about recovering the ground lost to the opposition at the last GE, and the PAP will be fully exploiting this opportunity to make it appear that it is they who are the true architects of any change that might result from this exercise.

    (Side note: BTW, the Remaking Singapore report talks about re-drawing of electoral boundaries and why this practice should end!)

    The people will then decide that the PAP is fully capable of making the change along the lines of what is good for them and what they want; there will then be no need for more opposition MPs.In the meantime, the PAP will be trying to convince Singaporeans after the ‘national conversation’ is over that real change is afoot, when it is only more likely that only cosmetic ones are.

    However, it is those who support the WP’s inaction and deafening silences, while the PAP is appearing to be the only one making the political noises – I am especially thinking about the perspective of the majority of ingaporeans who don’t get their political information online – are also conning others into believing that the WP’s inaction and silences will indeed reverse itself when there are more of them in Parliament.

    But at this rate, there is a distinct possibility that not only no more GRCs will be won, there is also a real possibility of losing Aljunied because they electorate is being conned into believing that since change is occurring, no more opposition MPs need be elected.

    (The WP also connives against other opposition parties before every elections so that ONLY it can contest in the PAP’s weakholds, and they do this with the support of WP Psychopaths online. That only means that other opposition politicians continue to have a lower chance of getting elected.)

    Good luck to those dreams of more opposition in Parliament. But it is opposition supporters who back the WP who should not forget to thank themselves for it.

  5. distant drums said

    This coinage national convention is nothing more but a tirade political expediency to fend off the rage of our local citizens which the PAP government has played with belligerency the feelings of local born Singaporeans with enmity and enormity

    If its not being presumptuous to say the ruling governmnent of the day has lost the entire ‘FAITH’ and ‘TRUST’ of tru blu Singaporeans

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