Once again, Lee Hsien Loong shows his short-sighted simplicity about his long-term plan for Singapore. In his National Day Message, he highlights 3 key issues for his action plan, namely preschool, diabetes and smart nation.
It is a case of over simplicity. He believes he can cut short Singapore problems into preschool, diabetes and smart nation. The bigger problems, however, are education, healthcare and development. Preschool is just a part of education problems Singapore is facing. Diabetes can not run away from our under protected healthcare services. Smart nation can not be just machine smart.
In total, all three issues touch on the level playing field, social mobility, poverty, inequality and most importantly, culture of help, mindset and social change.
Lee Hsien Loong tries very hard to preserve the status quo, just like he wants to retain 38, Oxley Road or as reported, the estate of Lee Kuan Yew is not entitled to use or have copies of the oral history transcripts. He makes changes so to have conservation.
To a conservative, the goal of change is less important than the insistence that change be effected with a respect for the rule of law and traditions of society. https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Conservatism
Preschool, anti-diabetes, and smart nation are changes for Lee Hsien Loong’s conservation. However, these means of change serve only one purpose - continued conservation, or in a more prestige name - the Lee Kuan Yew Legacy/Founders’ Memorial.
The Lee Hsien Loong’s short-sighted simplicity is to maintain a winner takes all economy. This model as experienced in the USA is facing its critical moment and threatens the capitalist system. Singapore as a role model of Reaganomics and Thatcherism can not avoid the same ills - social mobility, inequality and poverty.
This is why when Lee Hsien Loong talks about anti-diabetes, he fails to realise the root causes. “The number of adults estimated to be living with diabetes has nearly quadrupled over 35 years, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said, warning that it has increased drastically because of "the way people eat, move and live".” (http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/singapore-is-no-2-nation-with-most-diabetics-5-things-about-diabetes)
They way we eat (hawkers centres), move (MRT breakdown), live (high HDB prices) are contributing factors to diabetes. These and the education demands translate into a stress level that our past conservative culture finds difficulty in coping.
Referring to the smart nation development, Lee Hsien Loong will neglect the social mobility issue. When we decide to abandon dialects, we never consider the communication problem. When we are experience high economic growth, we fail to raise the pay of lower income workers. In order to make ‘winner takes all’ possible, we lower the tax rate and remove estate duty.