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Why the rational thinking PAP is always not enough for Singapore

Rational and intuition thinking, we need both to be the first world country.

<Rational process is linear. It’s when you are putting your facts in order and looking at them, weighting them, and making a decision based on the importance you assign to each fact. Intuition is looking at the same facts and trying to see a pattern. The patterns aren’t always evident because they are not linear.  That’s where intuition is very valuable. You look at a set of variables, and suddenly it snaps into your mind that there’s a pattern. The ability to recognize patterns is intuitive. Rational and intuitive thinking are not mutually exclusive. The combination of the two, when you are lucky enough to have them both, is extremely powerful and useful.>
Joel Kurtzman.        


Chen Show Mao – the calling of intuition duty


The ‘Power of We’ as reported in the Straits Times on 22nd June 2012 is an example of intuitive. And the sub-heading tells the intuition process - ‘What Chen Show Mao wants, more than anything, is to be a catalyst to get Singaporeans more engaged in their citizenship and to play their part in fixing what is wrong with society’.


Singapore is increasing and urgently needs to have both, the rational PAP and the alternative intuition Oppositions. Chen Show Mao’s reply to why he gave up his career as a corporate lawyer is clearly not a rational and practical answer that the typical members of the PAP will give.

Let’s look at some of his intuition answers:

[To him, the most critical need in Singapore is to make government policies more responsive to people's needs. And he sees building a multiparty parliamentary democracy as the best way to achieve this.'Given our history, our concerns and our reluctance, I thought standing in the last general election was a good thing I could do for us,' he says.His greatest worry remains that Singaporeans 'feel powerless to change things in a meaningful way'. 'We think what we can do is so little. Who's going to listen? What if we get knocked down, slapped around?' he says.]
{Singapore needs to go beyond dollars and cents, not just in tabulating the sum of his foregone opportunities in corporate law, but in measuring national growth.Singapore could use a more comprehensive and accurate growth metric, one that takes in longer-term and broader social and cultural registers of well-being, he says.'Are people at the centre of things, or some measure of gross development or growth, that has over time been taken as a proxy for what's good for Singapore?' he asks.}
['Let's apply our great knowledge and expertise and do serious analysis of our social policies in health care, housing, education, infrastructure and the environment.'Just as we have outfits like Spring, A*Star and the Economic Development Board to calculate the cost and benefit of various investment projects for our economy, let's do likewise for other areas of policy to maximise social returns,' he exhorts.This means not just looking at social outlay as expenses to be minimised over the short term, he suggests, but as investments with economic and other benefits that can be optimised well into the future.]
 {He flatly denies charges that he was a burnt-out corporate escapee seeking new meaning, as some have speculated, as he says he left 'on a series of career highs', or that he was returning opportunistically to seek fame and power after decades of being away from the country he claimed to want to serve. Rather, it was more a matter of him running out of time to 'discharge my obligations', he insists.}
Singapore diplomats at Bersih 3 – intuition over rational
“Malaysia has expressed its displeasure to Singapore over the participation of three of its diplomats at the Bersih 3.0 rally on April 28.” (The Star 23June 2012)

This is another example of intuitive even that it may be not diplomatically correct. It is really a wonder that Singapore diplomatic staff dared to take part in demonstration outside Singapore.  This certainly is not an act of rational process. They must have seen the different pattern in political development in Malaysia that we do not see in Singapore. Is this an intuition thinking process resulting to an unexpected decision making?  

Will they dare to do the same in Singapore?  Why there is a double standard inside and outside Singapore?

Foreign talents and workers – rational over intuition

This policy has some unexpected side effects that the PAP fails to see or refuse to acknowledge.  This is a good example of rational over intuition. In the rational thinking, for economic growth, more inputs will result to more outputs and higher GDP growth.  This is a linear and straight forward calculation. However, without intuition process, the PAP has failed to see the patterns – the unhappiness of the local people, housing, transport, low wage workers etc.  

COI on MRT breakdowns – any intuitive thinking process takes place

It is not sure whether the callings on the technical experts and engineering consultants to find out the breakdowns will really find out the true cause of the breakdowns. Human beings make mistakes but not machines.   How can we ignore the human factors? SMRT needs intuition process to prepare for unexpected accidents.     

There are many more ‘rational over intuition thinking’ in the PAP government. For example, the population policy, the bilingualism policy, the integrated resorts, the reserve and CPF issues, etc.    

The PAP is too rational and lack of intuitive.  Rational thinking process may be good when Singapore is starting from a low base and needs rapid economic development.  However, for Singapore to move forward, the lack of intuitive means the lack of creative, alternative, and out of box thinking.  

It is time we have a balance between rational and intuitive process in our nation building. The more rational we are, the more will be the rich-poor divide, local against foreign, inclusive against exclusive, NS versus non-NS…


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