The government paradox. After thoughts of the Punggol East by-election

Jan 27, 13 The government paradox. After thoughts of the Punggol East by-election

Posted by in Musings

And so the vote counting just ended and the results announced. Worker Party’s Lee Li Lian got 16,038 votes vs People Action Party’s Koh Poh Koon who got 12,856 votes. The other 2 candidates were fairly insignificant with Reform Party’s Kenneth Jeyaretnam’s 353 votes and Singapore Democratic Alliance’s Desmond Lim with 168 votes. The by-election was called when PAP’s Michael Palmer resigned after his¬†extramarital affair came to be known. I would have to say I was a little surprised at the margins that WP won though. However, if you did look at the sentiments in the last couple of years, both in Singapore and Internationally, there are elements of social unrest everywhere. Everybody just wants change. In Singapore, this resulted in an opposition party winning a GRC for the first time in the GE2011. The problem with this is what I call the government paradox. In a stable system, the government is meant to instil confidence in that it is able to lead. As much as people realise that no solution is perfect, there is some form of compromise for the greater good. However, when a political party start to lose confidence votes, there is a growing need to address this and commonly, these are not long term solutions, but more of short term patches. Examples of these could be fixing immediate concerns such as housing issues, foreigner issues, transportation issues, or even general vote buying and promises. As much as it seems like it is the thing to do, the result can actually be counter-productive! The case of proactive VS reactive In management and leadership, it’s always been said that a leader is someone that has to have foresight and be proactive. A weak leader is reactive and only reacts to things that they see. In the recent incidents, the PAP government is seen as being reactive. When something happens, they come out and patch it. Housing prices going crazy? Flood the markets with supply. Implement cooling measures. Restrict property transactions. The same...

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