[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Sunday, November 05, 2006

[I do disagree sometimes]
Being in the party doesn't mean that you have to sing the PAP tune all the time. There are sometimes disagreements during discussions and policy forums.

What members are able to provide are alternative viewpoints for consideration. After all, that is the one of the reasons why we are there.

One particular issue I have strong views about is the Progress Package. Although the package consists of many parts, I had felt that it was a better idea not to confuse residents with the different schemes. Perhaps, it should not have been done concurrently.

There was the growth dividents, the workfare bonus and so on. It was a power package for everybody. But that meant a huge confusion. Many were confused on what they should apply and how to apply. Others had applied but heard that there was more. They rushed to apply again and were disappointed when they were told that they were not eligible.

Then there are residents that are illiterate do not read newspapers. So they rely on hearsay. And they totally have no idea what they are applying for.

"Government give money. So take lor," was the most common reply. It was pretty sad seeing all that going on.

When I had the opportunity to meet Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, I mentioned this to him. He sort of agreed that it was too concurrent.

It is feedback from a wide spectrum that allows improvement. If everyone paints a rosy picture and only says the good things, then we are doomed. Leaders will get the wrong impression of the ground. This will in turn become dissent and make the society apathetic. And this is not the way forward.

On the other hand, the people on the ground have to be frank and honest about their views. Only then can we become a better society.


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