The Workers’ Party has a brilliant slogan for the upcoming general elections, and I think it’s brilliant because it’s the diametric opposite of what the PAP has been hoping to achieve with the never-ending #SG50 circus: The PAP wants you to keep looking at the past 50 years. The WP wants you to think about the upcoming 50.
Don’t rock the boat, the PAP pleads to the people. Look at all we’ve achieved together. If there are problems, we will get things right by tweaking a bit here and tweaking a bit there, the PM has been on record as saying.
If insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting a different result, then counting on the same people over and over again and expecting new things to happen must also be sheer lunacy.
The problem with the PAP is not just that it keeps using the tools of yesterday to solve today’s problems, the problem is the paradigm through which they view those problems.
If there is one thing I learnt in business school, it’s that you need diverse teams to solve complex problems. That diversity doesn’t seem to be there if you look at the new faces the PAP is rolling out – here a few military generals and there a few civil service stalwarts, and they all went to the same few schools. It’s all getting a bit incestuous.
No matter where you may be on the political spectrum, as you head to the polls this September, please know that this really is about the future of Singapore, not its past. And that the best antidote to groupthink and policy paralysis is genuine diversity. To arrive at those out-of-the-box solutions we need to solve the problems of today, we need a paradigm shift that’s only possible by an infusion of fresh blood into parliament.
Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The price to pay for giving a small select group of people a blank cheque over and over again is a very high one. And I’m not sure Singapore can afford it.
You don’t have to be a genius or a psychic to see what that sort of a future might look like. You just have to look across the Causeway to see what’s happening right now.