Singapore Media Watch

Monday, October 16, 2006

Content to let the government do the talking - The Star

INSIGHT: DOWN SOUTH WITH SEAH CHIANG NEE
15 October 2006

After years of prodding its citizens to think more and be more creative – even making it a school subject – Singapore has succeeded in moving the ground by, maybe, a few inches.

In other words, things have hardly changed and the majority of people remain largely content to leave the thinking to the government, accepting policies with unquestioning faith.

For the government, this compliance is both an asset – it makes for a governable country – as well as a liability, because countries nowadays compete on ideas rather than hard work.

It often works, but on those occasions when it fails, it could have painful results for Singaporeans. At any rate, this leave-it-to-the-government trait – the result of years of top-down government and an obedient press – is no panacea for handling modern challenges. (Read more...)

Seah Chiang Nee is a veteran journalist and editor of the information website littlespeck.com

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