Little time for petty politicking, empty posturing

Supporters of Singapore's various political parties waving party flags on Nomination Day, Sept 1.
Supporters of Singapore's various political parties waving party flags on Nomination Day, Sept 1. PHOTO: AFP

Singapore faces so many challenges in the years ahead - global warming, the opening up of the North-east Passage via the Arctic Ocean, the inexorable rise in sea levels and the persistent efforts of our neighbours to short-circuit our port as a vital stopover, just to name a few.

So much collective wisdom is needed to meet these challenges head on that petty politicking and empty posturing seem worthless and a waste of time.

I hope that Singapore will not see:

• Filibustering by politicians who are all talk and cannot see beyond their navels to realise the grave perils the country faces.

• An ageing, enervated population where there is no new blood or rejuvenation, and where challenges cannot be met for want of manpower and fresh talent.

•A cripplingly expensive healthcare system where it is better to die than to fall ill.

• An education system that is so stress-free that there is no more intellectual vigour in our young and the paper qualifications from our best institutes are worthless.

• An emasculated armed forces that leaves us powerless to thwart aggression.

• Civil servants and politicians that are so underpaid that it is only through greasing palms that the state machinery grinds on.

•A government which has depleted its reserves through complying with populist measures, and retirees running out of funds for living expenses.

• Socialism carried out so savagely that we run out of other people's money before any good is done, as former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher has said.

Let us settle the nitty-gritty local issues before taking on global challenges and the forces of nature. It all starts with voting for people of the right calibre, with fortitude and derring-do.

Yik Keng Yeong (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 10, 2015, with the headline 'Little time for petty politicking, empty posturing'. Print Edition | Subscribe