Friday, January 28, 2005

The Casino Gamble -- Strategic Betting

I am Xenoboy. I am the Political Savant.

The Casino debate in Singapore indicates the lack of political
awareness in Singaporeans. There is naivete non parallel in the
opposition drummed up thus far. This naivete is a direct result of
the PAP's depoliticisation processes and the creation of a population
of "right and sterile" Singaporeans.

The opponents of the Casino are short-sighted. They fail to see the
political implications that arises when an erstwhile immoral policy
(as deemed by the Government) is reversed. The nay-sayers are
primarily religious or community groups. These groups are probably the
staunchest pro-PAP supporters come election time whether or not their
misgivings over the Casino are addressed eventually.

I am Xenoboy. I am the Political Savant.

The casino, good or bad, economically, socially or morally is
irrelevant to me. Lets put aside these useless convictions when we
politicise. No ruler is an angel. No politician gives without

The casino is an opportunity politically. The strategic weakness of
the PAP government is its constant justification of policy reversals
as dictated by stated economic concerns. Consider the political
implications of a FAILED casino project in a moral-social sense. Yes.
Some Singaporeans will be sacrificed when it fails in this manner, but
lets take these Singaporeans and make a political case out of these
sacrifices. When it fails, use the moral-social reasonings

The offering of "help" to the needy recently announced by the PAP
government is in part to pre-emptively ameliorate the preceding
potentiality. The failure is covered for before it occurs.

Strategic political thinking is required to prepare the fractures in
the ground. Opposition politicians listen and listen well. There is
a potential fracture with regard the Casino. Nurture the fracture and
doctor the spin to your political benefit. Make the odds better for

Work the ground.

I am Xenoboy. I am the Political Savant.

Quote of the Day

"It's like gambling somehow. You go out for a night of drinking and
you don't know where you're going to end up the next day. It could
work out good or it could be disastrous. It's like the throw of the
dice." --- Jim Morrison


Blogger a.x+(1-a).y \in S; for all x, y \in S; a \in [0,1] said...

I believe that many would recall Vivian Balakrishnan's cheap manipulation when he said, "Singaporeans are mature enough to make their own choices."

Well, we've known that for a long time. So, as a researcher at the Institute of Policy Studies (or whatever it was) questioned, "Does this mean the government will let us make our own decisions on other things from now on?"

Evidence does suggest that the answer is no. Consider the party they banned.

Personally, unlike you, I am pretty much against manipulation. In principle that is. The government manipulated (as I perceive it) its way to defend its investment, naturally, the opposition could feel free to pry at the liberal-conservative fracture. I'm a fan of transparency and am hopelessly idealistic in this respect.

12:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Feb 2005: Deadline of Casino proposals.
Mar 2005: Proposals evaluated.
Apr 2005: Proposals rejected. Religious, Community groups cheer decision.
May 2005: Elections called.
Jun 2005: Govt returned to power.
Jul 2005: Old guard retires.

12:12 AM  
Blogger xenoboysg said...

Be not mistaken, idealism as a concept is fine and necessary. It is not a dirty word. It does strike me however as odd in the following manner : while you grant the insight that the ruling regime does manipulate, you hope to break the regime's preponderant hold on power via a shift away from manipulation. A "cleaner" form of politics.

I agree with your proposal with my earlier similar caveat : IF there are two powers, roughly equal, than perhaps one side can triumph based on a binary opposite representation of the Other. In Singapore however, the situation is different, hence, my suggestions on manipulation.

1:55 AM  
Blogger xenoboysg said...

Highly creative anonymous. I would like to diss your projection as implausible but somehow, it does have a ring of sense.

1:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If MM claims that the Cabinet is split pver the Casino and that there are "moralists" who are dead against the casino, than it means that Vivian Balakrishnan ain't a moralist no? So all his "compassionate" front is wayang only no?


5:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The essential question is on balance, always. And it is not whether "is having a casino in S'pore an economic plus or an economic minus" because the economic value of a casino pales in comparision to that generated by GIC/Temasek?GLCs.

Rather the question is how significant is the electoral pull of the old guard. If so, then an election must be held before they retire. And since they have indicated their wish to step down eg mid-2005, then a groundswell of support and goodwill must be generated before that.

One way is to demonstrate that the new Govt listens and accepts feedback (eg. rejecting the casino proposal... at least for now.)


5:25 PM  
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4:50 PM  
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