Growing up in the West, I believe in the freedom of speech as any of my American counterparts, but I am also quick to admit there are a lot of hindrances with democracy/freedom, however you like to put it. Nowadays, I often feel like democracy means in-your-face fighting between opposition parties. To oppose or reject policies for the sake of opposing, to reject even if the proposed policies are serving the people, just to gain attention in the media. This is the democracy I know of today, a bunch of yelling and screaming opposition parties, and polling for votes through “motivational” (empty) speeches. I feel like it’s just polling and voting, and then it’s polling and voting again, that’s all there is, I don’t really see anyone really working. But then again, you can’t really work when the policies are never passed but just “up for dabate” to be rejected.
Then, in HK, the confidence of the current administrative government is just declining as the days go by. You would have no confidence in them too if all they do is go on television saying “I am here to do my job” all stone-faced and expressionless. I don’t feel any passion or love for citizens. I slowly begin to nod my head when protesters get angry and denounce the government for colluding with property giants and business owners, because I am feeling like that might be true. I would even agree with many people who insist the salary of government officials are high because they are expected to stand in front of the media and be yelled at by angry and frustrated citizens while acting like nothing is wrong when people say they are useless and not listening to the wishes of the people.
Then, upon arriving in Singapore for around a month now, through reading the newspaper, I feel this government actually care about its citizens. I might not be in Singapore long enough thus I am singing praises; however it feels like there are so much things going on in the city to make the lives of citizens better. There is this strong goal to continue increasing greenery and parks, there is a strong focus on investment in health care and day care for the elders as more and more Singaporeans are retiring. The government is building more and more HDB (public) housing and creating upcoming new towns ahead of forecast population increase to ensure supply meets demand. I feel all these policies are being done to benefit the people.
I feel the people in Singapore are being cared for by government officials. I sure hope this is not a honeymoon phase and I will continue to have such positive sentiments toward the government and its policies in Singapore. If it is as good as it seems, I cannot wait to get my PR, smooch!