Well I am writing at 1am 7 Feb 2011 though this entry is for 06 Feb 2011 as I just finished showering after my 75mins jog! Felt good to work out again after 3 days of binge eating during the CNY festival!!
"Mon, Feb 07, 2011 My paper - Lessons to learn from Egypt protests
THERE are lessons Singapore can learn from the ongoing protests in Egypt, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Member of Parliament for Aljunied GRC George Yeo said yesterday.
"Unless you adjust to changes in the world, changes will be forced upon you, in a way that doesn't give you time to prepare," he said.
Contrasting Egypt and Singapore, he added: "Egypt is by far the largest Arab country and has an intellectual and cultural position second to none... When the changes come, it's a big tremor."
For a small country like Singapore, "it is always better to make adjustments the way we've done...adjusting to new technologies; adjusting to globalisation".
Minute adjustments, while uncomfortable, may be better than holding things off until, one day, it becomes a very big change, he said."
Interesting comments by Minister Yeo. In Singapore, there are certain things that cannot be changed in some one's mind. Some I agreed with while others are frankly quite controversial and debatable.
Lessons for me are:
1. can benign dictatorship that lasted for more than 10 years and beyond betrayed its original good intention and straight and just way OR will 'absolute power corrupt absolutely'? This is one big question for many long standing political party to contemplate and reflect upon;
2. I do not know enough about Tunisia and Egypt to comment IF the 2 long serving national leaders had done great things for their country while benefiting themselves as well OR that they simply benefited themselves and their cronies. From the reports and the views expressed by the protesters, it seems like the latter!;
3. For these countries, the bone of contention seems to be 'economic' really. When people has no job and income but have to live in an urban jungle, it is difficult if not impossible! While the people, who supposedly vote in the government in a democratic process, suffered and they see the leaders living comfortably and in a life of luxury, they can become envious and felt cheated of their fair share. That's where trouble started to brew, simmer, until the point of boiling over!
May Singapore government continued to be vigilant and pre-ampt the worries, concerns and discontents expressed by some sections of society who felt, rightly or wrongly, victimized with the 'poor' execution of 'welcoming foreigners to help Singapore grow economically' that resulted in overcrowding, locals losing out to 'foreigners', etc. These are real issues voiced by these people. They had so far being dismissed as frivolous or weak minded.