“Leadership must begin with commitment; with conviction. This, in the end, is what I think leadership is about. You should be able to fulfill the need of the people who are willing to be led by you. They are willing to be led by you because you fulfil their need for hope, their need to believe in themselves. If you cannot make those people you are trying to lead believe in themselves, you cannot really be a leader.” ---- Aung San Suu Kyi. [Link]
On the contrary, our “leaders” derive utmost pleasure from running down their people and the country, specifically the country before PAP took over. Remember, Singapore was still a small fishing village before PAP came to our salvation.
They have a range of infamous vocabulary for us, such as “daft”, “lesser mortals”, “quitters”, “poor”, “ungrateful” and “xenophobic”.
They must have the hardest time in governing this hopeless island and therefore the justification of the size of their salaries which is still astronomically high even after the pay review.
Our land size, our population and our lack of natural resources are all perceived negatively and selectively and persistently ingrained into us.
It makes one wonder why would the British set their eyes on this island based on the forlorn description painted by PAP. Singapore eventually became the crown colony. And yes, we know that the British were not looking for tin ores or oil fields but a strategic harbour for their trade. They saw beyond the size, population and the natural resources to appreciate what Singapore has.
The Arabs may have the oil but they do not lead the world. India and China may be populous but that could also be a disadvantage for now. It is just not about what we do not have but what we have. And even what we do not have may also be an advantage if we look at it POSITIVELY. It is about working around the constraints, staying focused on our goals and overcoming challenges. More importantly, it is also about the kind of leadership exhibited.
But PAP conveniently forgets to share with us the advantages of our land size and population in the planning and building of infrastructure for a young country; the added advantage of exerting easy control over the population. Having a small population size also reduces the pressure of creating sufficient jobs. Look, our political leaders were desperate enough to bring two casinos onto our shores to create jobs opportunities, implying the challenges of job creations that they face.
Someone just dispelled the myth that our land-scarce island is ill-suited for agricultural. A vertical farming was created with cutting edge technology right on our island. [Link] At an individual level. It goes to show that with the right conviction and determination, even at individual level, one can achieve the near-impossible.
We are repeatedly handed “death sentences” by our leaders, about our inability to be anything worthwhile. We cannot be the price setters for wages, we cannot enjoy cheap public housing (yet, we can afford tens of golf courses), cannot do without foreign investors and foreigners, cannot groom our own sports talents, cannot do without huge GDP growth, cannot grow jobs without the presence of casinos.
And the worst thing that we cannot do is that we cannot do without PAP. If it is really so, then that would the biggest failure of PAP’s 48 years of governance of failing to establish a strong social, economic and political systems that are independent of political entities.
We understand too well about how PAP enjoys playing their cards with our “weaknesses” as a means to inflate their “successful” leadership. To prove that PAP has the right talent to transform worthless rocks into gold wherever they lay their fingers on. That is the way to which they legitimate their monopoly on local politics.
“So that, simply, to me, is the mindset of leadership; the determination to serve, not to lead. And it’s a determination and commitment to serve that decides who is a real leader, not the desire to be a leader itself.” ----Aung San Suu Kyi. [Link]