Danger in extreme distrust of govt

Professor Sattar Bawany's letter on trust is a good reminder to the Government (Trust of the people vital for Government; Nov 28).

It is never easy for a government to build trust, especially in today's world of fake news and particularly in a multiracial society where different cultures come into play.

But it must be achieved. For only with trust can sensitive issues be raised in such a way that no one feels discriminated against or hurt.

Founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew demonstrated the above most clearly; he raised many sensitive issues in his time - not without ruffling feathers to be sure - but unhappy consequences were avoided as a result.

This was possible because of trust and therefore, deference to the Government then.

Even if we do not have deep trust in the Government, we must never oscillate to the other extreme of deep cynicism about all forms of authority, as seen in many Western societies today. That is a culture we cannot afford. Our culture should be one of "verify (if necessary) and trust", then support the Government if it is deserving of it.

It should never be one of distrusting no matter what.

Wong Horng Ginn

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 04, 2018, with the headline 'Danger in extreme distrust of govt'. Print Edition | Subscribe