Functioning system better than hasty adoption of ideas

People in Singapore are not afraid to expound on all issues and criticise the Government for not listening to them or for implementing unpopular solutions (Govt should change how it listens to people, by Mr Jeffrey Law Lee Beng; May 11).

Rehashing simplistic ideas or coming up with off-the-cuff solutions to societal problems is easy. However, brilliant ideas resulting in novel solutions that do not cause more collateral problems than they solve are precious and few.

Through suggestions in social media, formal Meet-the-People Sessions, national conversations and ideas expressed through letters to newspapers, the Government has gathered and adopted ideas and implemented policies for Singapore's betterment.

It is easy to accuse officialdom of being unreceptive and imbued with bureaucratic inertia.

But most are almost always blind to the deficiencies of their own proposals, until financial or political cost analyses lay bare their flaws.

Working with an existing system that functions, though not perfect, is often better than the hasty adoption of new ideas and frameworks that have not been thought through thoroughly.

Yik Keng Yeong (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 14, 2018, with the headline 'Functioning system better than hasty adoption of ideas'. Print Edition | Subscribe