Support Site for The Unemployed & Underemployed
Thursday January 24th 2019

Reader’s Mail: An inefficient government?

Hi again Mr Goh
I was just watching Talking Point on cna just now, and amidst the party slogan and regurgitated propaganda about PAP’s Idea of Productivity, I just remembered two salient points to pit at the government.
Back in the latey 90s, when productivity was past its peak, the PAP was so well known for its efficiency — super fast government services, agency response to problems, pride in their quality. Then in the early 2000s, things had got out of hand — there was so much overspending on unnecessary luxuries and overly posh offices, there was lots of financial excess and wastage until a public outcry caused a Remaking Singapore review committee to be formed to audit what the ministries were doing. I point my fingers directly at the overly productive scholars and ministers at the helm who were letting this happen. Partly due to the draining effects of constantly being productive, prodded and pressured… the civil servants were finding creative ways to allocate and make use of huge public funds to make their work environments more ‘tolerable’. This is the first sign of the cracking seams of unfettered productivity.
The second thing I was reminded of, was the fact that the seeming government efficiency has today worn off. Every ministry is now more lax, slower and less efficient at what it is doing. Just look at the massive mistakes made in ministries’ policy making, monitoring and implementation. Over the past 5 years, there have been mounting complaints against the overall increase in social disturbance: littering, petty crimes, con jobs, etc, all due to the massive influx of foreign talent and their imported bad elements. In short, what we are witnessing is proof that the government’s lack of foresight in realising the intangible consequences of foreign talent OTHER than their good points. To wit, the government has not matched pace with the rise in undesirable foreign influence, thus allowing more social decay. Their lack of foresight and speed in controlling and ameliorating this scenario makes them even more guilty of ‘lack of productivity’ in that sense. It’s truly damning on the PAP that it has let its incompetence fester and decay into social unrest, to the point that it now has to publicly admit that the “foreign influx” is, in their own words now, “excessive”. Only three years ago, the government had consistently denied this, citing their well-worn statistics that foreign talent accounted for only 15% of the total population…
…Which now makes my nagging thoughts about productivity clearer: high productivity cannot be sustained at the same or even higher levels for long. It simply isn’t tenable, as shown by the government’s own overspending and foresighless foibles. The only way to hide this from sight is to restructure, revamp and reorg, which is exactly what the govt has been doing. That way, it’s hard for outsiders to pinpoint exactly what went wrong in a ministry when it is blamed for not taking care of this, or for not foreseeing a problem in advance. Next, push the ‘low productivity’ blame onto the citizenry, then wash the cadre’s¬†hands clean of their own guilt, and then they will watch citizens drain themselves dry after a few years of trying to achieve the mandated triple-producitivity growth! Maybe this is exactly their sinister plan — to give us the hard end of the productivity rod (knowing full well what producitivity isn’t about) to punish us for making them look foolish. Believe you me, productivity is a handy little government whip “wag the dog” — to enslave and encumber citizenry — if we are not shrewd enough to reject their nonsense!
Best regards :)
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