Peace of mind is elusive but real. Having peace of mind undergirds much of life because we dislike surprises that render us helpless.
For instance, why would someone buy travel insurance when, rationally, the probability of a travel mishap is remote? For peace of mind. We do not want to be stranded in a predicament.
The most critical peace of mind has to do with life's major eventualities - the bread-and-butter issues everyone has to face: Safety for today and security for tomorrow, that life will be reasonably good and happy.
Singapore has succeeded over the past 50 years, since independence, because the PAP has been able to give its citizens peace of mind for the most part.
The chief architect of this feat is founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew. One of the reasons Mr Lee succeeded was that he understood how to meet the real need of the people of Singapore - providing peace of mind.
Much of Singaporeans' discontent has to do with whether the same peace of mind Mr Lee had given will persist in future.
Rulers can continue their hold on power if they have the ability to provide peace of mind to the people.
Thomas Lee Hock Seng (Dr)