Consultative approach best for Singapore's future

Consultative approach best for Singapore's future

In evolution, favourable traits are retained and constantly enhanced, while non-beneficial traits are discarded.

Just as this selection happens in nature, so too must it happen in Singapore.

A good and responsive government must keep its ears to the ground.

Policies must be instituted to provide for long-term survival.

Tough policies shoved down citizens' throats may be bitter medicine to swallow, especially if the benefits are seen only by generations down the road. A gentler and more consultative style of government is far more palatable.

Cyberspace opens up multiple avenues for pluralism, even as it fractures society.

Can we stay resilient and united in the face of a cacophony of dissonant voices, each trying to out-shout the others online?

The Internet allows almost all to have a voice, but many of us are not heard, simply because of the asymmetry of power.

Old archaic mentalities with entrenched and outmoded ideas persist, and are used to control the new pluralism.

Setting up religious, racial or professional groups as watchdogs seems a rational and logical way to assimilate opinions of people from a diverse range of backgrounds.

Yet, some community leaders can refuse to acknowledge the existence and rights of discriminated groups, like lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender groups, among them.

Our intent to implement a bottom-up approach to seek all views can be only as good as the people we nominate to lead and represent us.

This article was first published on June 3, 2015.
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