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Monday's Reflections- Government of the People

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Yesterday was Singapore's high water mark for the government- the annual National Day Rally. I have forgotten since when it slowly became drab and then later almost nonsensical. From something I used to look forward to listening, it is now to me almost like the colourless chatter of a DJ's monologue. I didn't watch one minute of the latest installment.

The disenchantment of ordinary people like me with the present crop of self serving, money and or power grubbing politicians you find now, seems to extend to many countries in Asia. Japan will likely lose its dominant party that has been entrenched in its country for many long decades. From a vibrant and energetic party that led the country on a stunning recovery from the ashes of war to one of the top economies of the world to a party that has become ineffectual and a laughing stock.

Then in Taiwan, you see the slow reactions of the local government to the disaster struck by the massive typhoon that hit its shores. Their leader has taken responsibility, beyond that it has probably huge implications on the Taiwanese elections that is due at the end of the year. It could mean that the opposition party could recover and become a more effective countervailing force in the politics and be a proper watchdog that the President will have to be careful of.

You mess up and be prepared to be voted out.

In Singapore, there is no such force. Thus, you lose billions or a terrorist in jail, you can walk away smiling while your subordinates or some fall guys get fired. Will we suffer from it? Only time will tell.

I am currently reading a book "Team of Rivals" that chronicles the life of Abraham Lincoln, one of the greatest leader that ever lived. It showed the dedication, humanity, selflessness and democratic principles that enabled the rise of the Republican party in American politics. It showed how a group of disparate people, who were intense rivals coming together to serve their country, can do despite the obstacles like a full blown civil war during their administration.

I've not finished the book, but it has made me want to find out more about Lincoln. Someone who believes in the right of all the people to choose and their right to freedom and the benefits it will bring to his country, even though these people were slaves.

A government of the people, by the people and for the people.

It should be the definitive textbook for all aspiring politicians or civil servant.

Singapore's government has become one of the millionaires, by the millionaires and for the millionaires.

What does this have to do with the economy or financial freedom? Nothing and everything.

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