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Immaculate Ascension

In democratic Singapore, every citizen has the right to vote. Actually we're even more democratic than the United States because it is compulsory by law for every citizen to vote. What our darling government has done, bless their heart, is take away our <strong>need</strong> to vote.
I've been of voting age for some time now and like many of you, have never voted. We have been rendered mindless peons in the running of this country, physically here because Dick Lee's "this is home, truly" is a pretty darn good song that goes well with fireworks.
The whole Presidential election issue was about choice. Most of us probably wouldn't dispute that current President S.R. Nathan is a more qualified candidate than Andrew Kwan, but we would have liked to have chosen our own President, thank you very much. We would have liked a fair fight, instead of having Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong issue a bounty hunters fee for Andrew's decapitated head. The picture the local media paints of Andrew Kwan is so exaggeratedly ugly that you'd think Andrew's father was head of <acronym title="Jurong Town Corporation">JTC</acronym> and made him the <acronym title="Chief Financial Officer">CFO</acronym>. That reminds me of another person…
<h4>The Singapore Caste System</h4>
After our Prime Minister announced that there was going to be a "Singapore Elite", he made formal what we already knew: that in Singapore only a few, or even one, have the power to make decisions, the rest are expected to follow like little lambs.
The Presidential Elections (or lack of it) is another case in point. Why do we need a Presidential Elections Committee to apply such stringent criteria as to who has the right to run for office? Is the public so stupid that they can't be trusted to make a good sound decision? Is the government afraid that we'll choose an ex-murderer to be our President? Why can't we decide what's good for ourselves and live with the consequences of our own actions?
It's ironic that the ruling party is the People's Action Party when all it does is inhibit the action of the people.
<h4>What I want in a President</h4>
Someone who earns his / her SGD2.3 million annual salary. If we're going to get pissed of by T.T. Durai's meagre $600k, we better be on the edge of our seats to make sure our money's hard at work here. Durai made the <acronym title="National Kidney Foundation">NKF</acronym> what it is today. I may be wrong, but I doubt any President we've ever had has done more.
The President used to have veto power to challenge the government's spending. After President Ong Teng Cheong signalled his intention to use his veto, the government, bless their heart again, decided to <a href="http://www.asiaweek.com/asiaweek/96/1122/nat7.html">cut the veto power of the President to non-constitutional bills</a>. I think a huge pay cut should accompany the cut in job responsibility, if salaries were pegged to the private sector, which is our government's rationale for the extremely high salaries paid to ministers.
<h4>Conclusion</h4>
I know my rants have become exceedingly tedious, and it's probable that my writing is scarcely sufficient to hold your attention.
I'll post something less cerebral up next. Promise.
After all, we are neither the hive mind nor the elite, and shouldn't bother ourselves with such things.

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