11 August 2006

Mahathir's mirror

It is impossible not to notice that in former Malaysian PM Mahathir's campaign against current PM Abdullah Badawi, we can see a reflection of Singapore politics. Perhaps that's why our mainstream press avoids commentary on what's happening across the causeway. Full essay.


Anonymous said...

Hi Alex,

Appreciate if you care to explain what is the meaning of gerontocracy?

Alan Wong

Anonymous said...

I disagree with your analysis on Abdullah's political position. Malaysian politics is vicious and runs on money and patronage00000000. He got to where heis today because he is an excellent politician.

You seemed to argue for impassioned speeches and the like but the only yields popular support and not political support from within UMNO. Abdullah already enjoys popular support because of his clean image, religious credentials and (importantly) incumbency. He need only hang on to his UMNO presidency to stay in power.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, the banned-in-Singapore video "Singapore Rebel" also mentioned the same "waiting game" as you. See the Google URL below.


However, one wonders if things will really change soon after the funeral. Afterall, it takes several generations of incompetent emperors to bring down a dynasty in ancient China. Granted that times are different now, but Singaporeans (myself included) have been so brainwashed by our system to be obedient, subservient, risk-adverse, etc. People takes time to change.

With media-control thrown-in and our follow-the-rules education system, the people will continue to be brainwashed. Afterall, the Singaporeans with access to internet and who actively/regularly source for alternative news may still be just a small priviledged group. Albeit a growing group. Most are too busy making a living to actually live a life, much less to say take action. Sad to admit, but I too belong to the apathetic majority :(

To make things worse, the same demands of obeisance has seeped beyond the civil service and GLCs into the private sector. A real-life example: Bosses, from a stock-market listed foreign MNC, attempted to fire a staff for AWOL 3 days after confiscating the staff's office access. What gave these Singaporean bosses the gall to go against the MNC's ethics (not to mention the law)? My guess... their past experience and thus expectation of obeisance from typical Singaporean staff.

Will things change? I believe yes, but I can only hope that my generation (post 65-ers born in the early independence years) will live to see the day.

Anonymous said...

Oops, sorry... think I posted the wrong URL previously. This is the URL for the "Singapore Rebel" video posted on Google. Apologies.

Yawning Bread Sampler said...

Gerontocracy is defined as a system of government where a group of elders rule. In practical usage, it is loaded with more meaning than that.

An entry in Wikipedia says: A gerontocracy is a form of oligarchical rule in which an entity is ruled by a small clique of leaders, in which the oldest hold the most power. Those holding the most power may not be in formal leadership positions, but dominate those who do.

boon said...

Singaporeans are waiting for him to pass on. But he has an exemplarily healthy lifestyle.

I remember this TV clip showing him swimming in the pool. How many senior citizens do that daily? He doesn't smoke, and watches his diet. Expensive doctors monitor his every life sign.

We have a long wait ahead.

Anonymous said...

but the side effect is that his successors are seen as only "seat warmers"; when he was officially titled "Senior Minister, Prime Minister's Office", there was the joke "so-and-so is Prime Minister, Senior Minister's Office"; just a slight change is needed to make the joke up to date

Anonymous said...

LKY has indicated he would like to stand in the next general election, in which case GCT will also need to continue - neither LHL nor he himself would consider him too old. It will then also be necessary to make provisions for Jayakuma, Tony Tan, etc.

lee hsien tau said...

Actually, I do not see the crooked bridge as such a bad idea.

It'll look good from the air at night when the pilot announces that touchdown wil be ... meanwhile you can view the 'crazy bridge' down below ....

But I personally do feel paralysed, stuck, feet encased in concrete, waiting for a funeral.

But I fear mine will come first.