The Perils of the Siege Mentality in Singapore

Someone once told me that the only constant in Singapore is change, and I was going to agree: each time I return from abroad, new glitzy buildings decorate our skyline (the Avatar-land that is gardens by the bay being the latest addition), some of my favourite hawker stalls would have disappeared or moved, and prices of things would have changed, mostly upwards.
But two things, I realized, have never changed. They seem to be the few constants in Singapore’s history: one is the ruling PAP; the other is the siege mentality it has inspired from day one. Singapore, we are told, is unique. Our circumstances are unique (as if the same cannot be said of just about every other country on earth), and what they have tried to drill into our minds from a very young age, is that we are also uniquely vulnerable.
What the PAP has done, in essence, is to have played up global and regional uncertainties and the narrow margin for error in policy formulation, impressing upon the citizens that the current political system and its attendant peculiarities is a function of necessity rather than choice.


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Shared by Ansel Lim


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