Friday, August 13, 2004

handover, recapped

a little under the weather today, so not much by way of commentary. just some remarks from last night's swearing in ceremony for the new PM and his Cabinet:

...This political transition is not just a chance of Prime Ministers, or of a Cabinet. It is a generational change for Singapore, a shift to the post-independence generation in a post-Cold War world. ...

...Hence, leadership succession will be one of my top priorities. We must continue to search for younger Singaporeans in their early 30s and 40s to rejuvenate the team, to inject new perspectives and to prepare for leadership succession at all levels -ministers, MPs, at the grassroots, in the trade unions.

Therefore do not wait to be invited to tea, but step forward to make a difference to yourselves, to your fellow citizens, and to Singapore. Let us shape our future together. ...

...Let us strive to keep Singapore a haven in an uncertain world, open to all for business, safe for citizens and friends, a welcoming home that gladdens our hearts every time we return from our travels.

Let us build a nation where every citizen has a place, where all can live in dignity and harmony, and where we all have the opportunity to raise our children and realise our dreams.
watching the ceremony i was uneasy at the emphasis on 'leadership self-renewal' - perhaps because watching the election process in the US is so different from watching political transition in Singapore. but i guess at some point i am just going to have to accept that this is the way things are done here; that our political leaders are handpicked and groomed and their progress can be tracked by watching where they are sent when they become cabinet ministers, rather than how many people vote for them in election time. (the next big hunt: LHL's successor.)

i just can't seem to make up my mind whether it's more important to be critical of our failures, or proud of our successes. it seems to me that i'm not allowed to be both. it feels like i'm not allowed to simultaneously be proud of what we have achieved as a tiny little no-right-to-exist nation state, and critical of what i think can be better, like SMRT, and retail service, and oh thousands of other things. but that's what i am.

oh, this says it best:

and there're things i'd like to do
that you don't believe in
i would like to build something
but you never see it happen

and there's this burning
like there's always been
and i've never been so alone
and i've never been so alive


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