Be fair in our expectations of next PM

It is one thing to have big bold ideas, but quite another to be able to carry them out (Next leader should aim to prove ability, not just focus on GE, by Dr Desmond Wai Chun Tao; March 4).

That requires thinking akin to what founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew meant when he said: "The whole ground can be against me but if I know it is right, I'll do it."

Only a ground that has forged a compact with the leadership can be moved thus. Bulldozing is fine if it is values-driven. Mr Lee shaped Singapore not just through the policies he pursued, but also the values he believed in. Will the post-Lee era be such?

Even to persuade the current generation over to the Government's points of view is a tall order, much less bulldozing it.

So, while we set a very high standard for the next prime minister, we need to be realistic and fair in our expectations of him, and appreciate the challenges he will face.

Hence, we should temper judgment with support in a balanced and fair way. As it is, he will be judged endlessly in this era of the 24/7 news cycle and social media.

But he should welcome this, and not be afraid to show his true colours, warts and all. He will need to find new methods and policies in tune with the demands then. If the people know he has their interests at heart, it will enable him to forge a new compact with the ground.

Wong Horng Ginn

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 11, 2018, with the headline 'Be fair in our expectations of next PM'. Subscribe