02 February 2007

Après nous, les militaires

It's been suggested that should the People's Action Party rot from within and fail to provide good government, the most likely outcome would be a military coup. Is this a better prospect than having an opposition party take over? Full essay.


Anonymous said...

Lets consider for a moment the selection process of our officials and their links to our military. Its undeniable that the our administration is linked directly to the military...Our PM is ex-BG while several other ministers are retired military. Where will this lead?

Perhaps with men trained in powerplay through a rigid military hierachy, it would be not be too much to suggest that they would little value the assymetrical discourse of a democracy, so what does this mean. Think about it, ponder over your NS days and expand it to life in Singapore.

Will military rule ever take over, my take is would you know the difference?


Anonymous said...

YB said, "General Sonthi claimed that the Singapore government was spying on the domestic phone calls..."

Tsk! Tsk! YB - you are making the same mistake that ALL the mainstream press made. General S did not say that exactly, I'll suggest you re-research very carefully what exactly General S said.

To my memory, he said "we pick up the phone and the lines are relayed to Singapore; they can hear everything that we said." Well, something like that, anyway. The vital point is that he did not say Singapore government was spying on them. This latter part was added by his subordinates, his civil servants and the Thai press, then repeated by the world media.

YB should take the lead and become the first mainstream media (ha! ha! I'm not entirely joking on the mainstream media part) to debunk the myth that General S had accused Singapore government of spying on Thai domestic phone calls.

Robert L

Anonymous said...

Hi ALex, this is a very interesting topic you are touching here, comparing the Thai with a possible future situation in Singapore.

But then, you kind of avoid the critical question: can, would, could this happen here?

Despite what the citation in the first para suggests, I dare to believe (or sincerly hope!) that this would never ever happen in Singapore, at least not in such a blunt way.

Simply, because Singapore would be ruined economically within hours, and we are too pragmatic, we know it. All banks, all academics, all international companies would immediately dissappear. No tourists, no casino fun, no way...

OK, but then still the interesting question remains - what else would then happen?

In a situation alluded to in the first para of your article, maybe a brand-new opposition party, led by trustful military leaders, would be our pragamtic fusion solution?

KiWeTO said...

In most countries, power is shared somewhat between the politicians, the military, and the people. There are various paths towards personal success/power, and they lie in the economic, military or political spheres.

In Singapore, I'm not sure whether such a relationship occurs. Our military is not seen as a source of personal power and prestige(as compared to other militaries); in fact, the officebearers are often perceived as technocrats.

I'm not sure that a miliatry junta could ever come in to fill the power void in SG. With many in the military's higher hierarchy often 'retiring' with the political powers' blessings and directions to the economic sphere through our huge network of state-owned-enterprises (or GLCs if anyone believes in that charade), where really lies the source of power?

Plus, with the heads of the military sphere continuously satiated and occupied with playing with their newest toys, anyone stepping into the political sphere of power other than the PAP would be wise to continue to give them that distraction.

However, the important point pointed out is that the PAP has built the situation into one of mutual assusred destruction - "if we fall, the country will fall with us; therefore, don't let the PAP fall out of power, and we will 'safeguard' your interests" is an interesting way of counter-threatening the voters from taking the risk of changing the situation.

And so the insignificant cogs that enable Singapore to run will continue to leave the power structure unchanged, because they have been conditioned that some assured tiny benefit is better than the risk of real benefits.


Anonymous said...

Maybe the Thai army knows that somehow Singapore knows.

On 16 Sep 2006, on his birthday, MM said: "Without the elected president and if there is a freak result, within two or three years, the army would have to come in and stop it," Lee said.

On 19 Sep 2006, there was a coup in Thailand.

Was that mere coincidence? Was that prescience? Or was that a subtle hint to the Thai generals not to do what we knew they were planning to do?

Far-fetched? Maybe. But then again, he has an over-the-horizon radar.

Is that the real reason why the Thai PM complained "we pick up the phone and the lines are relayed to Singapore; they can hear everything that we said"?