Planning far is a hallmark of Singapore governance – Five Stars And a Moon

 A war chest of $100 billion will be dedicated to protecting Singapore from rising sea levels over the next 100 years.  This to me, is one of the most remarkable features about our brand of governance and it has manifested itself in the National Day Rally of 2019.

All over the world, political parties struggle to carry out their plans for their term of 4 years… only to get these plans pulled down by the next party. Prime Ministers and Presidents have been seen to be ousted after a short few years of work. National leaders are replaced faster than CEOs. Governments are struggling to carry out action, because their political leaders just don’t last long enough to see it through.

Not only do they not last long, political motives are now skewed towards what would keep them in power. If it is climate change the voters want, let’s give it to them. If LGBTQ is the popular opinion of the day, let’s spend more money in that area. 

It is very sad. There is no political leadership anymore. It is merely marketing research.

And there are countries, not too far from us *cough cough*… that simply just can’t get anything done. Even small municipal matters such as replacing a street lamp or fixing a pothole takes months, if not years to do. Let alone big plans such as, say…building a bridge, a town or commission a more efficient cross border transport. 

Say what you want about one party rule. Say what you want about “dictatorship”. Say what you want about our tightly regulated, no-nonsense, no freedom country. This Government. Gets. Things. Done.

  • Kampung to metropolis in 10 years. Check.
  • Stinking, junk and bacteria infested Singapore River to reservoir in 10 years. Check.
  • Re-make the entire Marina Bay Area. Check.
  • Shift entire port operations to Tuas. Check.
  • Build an entire MRT system from scratch. Check. (if you don’t see the significance of this, other major cities such as KL and Jarkata are still struggling to build theirs)
  • NDR 2013: “We are going to build Jewel, based on concept and difficult ambitions” . NDR 2019: “We have built Jewel based on these concepts and difficult ambitions”
  • …and flying taxis? Trials will start at Marina Bay end 2019 and if successful, will be tried at more locations throughout the island. Other countries are still dreaming about it.

This is just a sample. From projects, to partnerships, to treaties and co-operation with foreign governments. We are taken seriously because we get things done. If the government announces a project, you can bet your last dollar it will be done.

On the issue of climate change, many countries are still struggling about what to do about it. They know they need to do something to save their cities, but they can’t even last beyond the next elections to carry out these plans. The next political leader will then win his ticket by challenging the notion of global warming and say that this money is better spent to help the poor. Not wrong but not responsible either. 

Money is needed to help these cities. All around the world, cities are slowly submerged by water and the only way to fix it, is through structural projects. These projects need money. Unfortunately whenever money is involved, so will the accusations of corruption. How then, will governments be of any help to their citizens? 

And here we are, able to forecast and dedicate $100 billion 100 years into the future. Which really is about a billion dollars a year, no big deal. We have projects such as the Circle Line and the KPE tunnels that cost more than that. Rather, it is the political power available to the government that enables such defences to be carried out, ensuring Singapore in the year 2120 is a home free from harm and disaster.

It is a responsible thing to do and we can do it. If this is what responsible dictatorship is, then I’d rather chose this over administrative gridlock anytime.

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