When I read that the Singapore Democratic Party was promising to donate half their MP pay if they get elected – to seed an endowment fund for the needy – I rolled my eyes. It was just part of several promises in their 2011 manifesto that rang hollow to the pragmatic folks like me.
I mean, you can keep the full pay as long as you serve your community right, and the amount that you guys can donate is pittance compared to what the needy really need.
Well, in the spirit of the current age where everyone is spouting some manifesto, I’ve got my own too!
Not that I’m interested in running for elections, but I dare anyone to copy my Common-Sense Manifesto, because you read it here first and I don’t think most people have the guts to carry them out. Even if it means real, meaningful change!
If you ever have a chance to believe in me, I will…..
1. Abolish The Education System As We Know It
Parents hate it. Kids hate it. Teachers hate it. Only tuition centres love it. Our education system produces kids so bright, they can’t think for themselves once they hit the working world. I still can’t understand why we force kids to excel in so many things that they are often not mentally prepared for (say at Primary One) or it won’t matter squat to them in the future (ever used differentiation in a sales role?).
And so many kids are brainwashed into thinking that the only way to succeed is getting some government scholarship and hoping to become a part of the ruling elite one day. Well, that’s nice, but the world is your oyster, not what the system dictates.
Our kids need their lives back. Time to study, time to play. Not spend all their time cooped up in tuition centres and getting frustrated over ridiculous problem sums. And parents need to wake up their ideas too and stop expecting their kids to be supermen.
And maybe, just maybe, we’ll get better at our working language of English. Right now, the standard of English in Singapore really needs some work. People form an immediate impression of you from the way you speak, not the way you do your algebra.
2. Fix the HDB issue
Here’s an idea – Sell HDB flats at cost + X% markup (instead of pegging to market rates) to first-time buyers, AND make sure they can’t sell the flat for ten years.
If our public housing is meant to serve the people’s needs, and not their wants, then it’s just a simple matter of changing the rules to make people stay in their flats. There needs to be a clear line drawn between public and private housing, and people need to stop thinking of selling their flat the minute they get it. HDB makes pretty spiffy accommodation, and upgrading to a condo doesn’t bring as many benefits as people assume it does.
Or at least that’s what I think lah.
3. Raise the birth rate.
Where hundreds of millions of Baby Bonus dollars have failed, I have a free and surefire solution – I’ll ban all contraceptives.
You’ll see KKH overflowing to the brim in no time, and the Catholics will no doubt be pleased with this Protestant. I’m counting on everyone to make mistakes with their timetables. The only downside is that of overpopulation, but hey, we won’t be lonely in our twilight years for sure.
(I mean, banning chewing gum really did clean up our MRT trains right? Bans work in SG, I tell you.)
And that’s the end of my manifesto. Three very simple promises that I currently have no power to enact, and am sure will be laughed out of Parliament because they are so simple, yet require immense political will to activate.
Thank you for reading.