Saturday, April 30, 2011

The PAP's False Analogies

The other day Mr.Lee Hsien Loong compared Singapore to a plane. He wanted it to be a fighter plane, instead of an Airbus. Hee neglected to mention that fighter planes are more likely to go down in flames. Today he compared Singapore to a car.

It is a pity that Mr.Lee has been reduced to comparing a country to transport vehicles. Here are some more for him to use in the coming days. Singapore should be a sleek air-conditioned bus, not an old jalopy. Singapore should be an ocean-liner, not a sampan.

They are all false analogies of course, meaning their substance is flawed. Countries are complex entities, and cannot be compared in such simplistic ways. Two drivers may not be good for a car, but a strong opposition is the cornerstone of a functioning democracy. While differing views and constant scrutiny ensure governments don't go wrong. If Mr.Lee and the PAP are as clean and competent as he claims, and if they are not doing anything wrong, then why such fear of scrutiny?

 It would make sense, if voters were all 12 years old, for him to talk this way. But all voters are above 21, and it is simply disrespectful, not to mention an insult to their intelligence. The PAP and Mr.Lee never seem to tire, of treating Singaporeans like they are a bunch of schoolchildren.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    First, I apologize if this looks like self-serving spam, but I hope you read on a bit.

    I've developed a tool for "rating candidates holistically on multiple criteria". My intent was to get voters to assess candidates on all relevant criteria. Especially the issues.

    It may be found at:

    I think we need to take the "quantitative techniques" used to assess alternatives in the public service to assess candidates holistically. Especially to balance the cognitive effects of over discounting the future by forcing people to make explicit judgments (e.g. which is more important: a candidate's views on issues or electoral promises? by how much?) To quote a snippet of MM Lee's remarks to the press:

    SINGAPORE: Singapore's Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew has a simple message for voters in the heat, dust and clamour of the election campaign - he has urged them to look at the fundamentals. In a statement issued just two days before Nomination Day, he reminded Singaporeans not to risk their assets, property values, and job opportunities...

    Issues relate to the future, risking assets, property values and job opportunities in the near and distant future (as well as those of one's children) should matter as well.

    What I am asking for is that you take some time to take a look at it and, if you think it worthwhile, share this with your readership. I have not been blogging and curating a readership and cannot push this out as effectively. I want to get this out to Singapore net users. The strategy is to go through the politically conscious, and have them involve their less politically conscious friends. It is those people that I would like to reach. I want them to more effectively weigh pork vs issues. (Issues and, thus, the future tend to be hyper discounted by Singaporeans.) I hope you will help.

    (I'm not doing this for self-serving reasons. Publicity of this nature does not really help me. For more details, please contact me at the indicated e-mail address.)

    [This comment is out of place. Feel free to delete it.]