I felt ashamed and disgusted after reading the news article about Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong comparing the recent Japan Tsunami with Singapore flood. For those who missed the news article, here’s the quote taken from the news article.
How many of you followed the latest tragic events in Japan with the tsunami…and then put into context our floods in Singapore against that kind of disaster.
I am not saying we shouldn’t do anything about the flood. But the amount of noise you made with just sporadic flood compared to the Japanese. I saw them on TV. Very stoic looking. You don’t see them crying. This has happened, just get on, that’s the kind of spirit you want to have and you call it nation building.
Dear SM Sir, with all respect, this comparison came at a very distasteful timing. Everyone around the world is still trying to figure out how we can best help Japan recover from the worst natural disaster that hit the country. Instead of bringing attention to how we Singaporeans can help, you decide to compare this horrible disaster with the flooding in Singapore. I thought only your wife would make distasteful comments like the peanut comment during the NKF saga. I couldn’t believe myself when I saw that news article. I thought you would have known better.
And perhaps you didn’t know that the Earthquake and Tsunami could have claimed many more lives if not for the good planning and preparation from the Japanese Government. The Japanese Government did their best in preparing the country for such disaster. But the Earthquake and Tsunami is just too great even for the most well prepared nation in the world. The people of Japan aren’t complaining because they knew their Government already did their best.
But do you dare say that our Singapore Government did their best in preventing flooding in Singapore? I don’t think so. Neither do a lot of Singaporeans. Most of us are complaining not because our lives are affected by the flooding. Most of us are complaining because we feel that the Singapore Government and PUB didn’t do a good job in preventing the flood. We expected more from you and team. We were disappointed again and again whenever there is a heavy rain.
And look. We are already getting floods whenever there is a heavy rain. What if a Tsunami strikes Singapore? Luckily for everyone, it is near impossible for Singapore to have Tsunami and we don’t need to worry about it. In fact, we should be thankful that Singapore is sheltered from most natural disaster. Because the current Singapore Government is clearly not prepared for any natural disaster judging from the way they handle the flooding.
And I totally disagree that we Singaporeans should keep quiet for the sake of nation building. Keeping quiet when there is flooding is not the kind nation building spirit we want. How can the country progress if the people do not check on the Government? Singapore is a democratic country. The citizen have the freedom of speech. We have the rights to expect nothing but the best from the Government that we elect into office. It is not too much to expect the business district to be flood free. If this Government cannot meet the people’s expectation, then we should have the rights to demand a better team to lead Singapore into the future. This should be the kind of spirit we want to have and we call it nation building. We should expect nothing but the best for Singapore and our children. Not keeping quiet and not say a word when we are given sub-standard quality.
And do you know what spirit we should not have in nation building? We shouldn’t have leaders criticizing their people for voicing out their displeasure. Instead of apologizing for the flooding, the people of Singapore are being criticized for expecting better from the Government. This is not the kind of spirit we want in nation building. The people of Singapore deserve better.