From Godot to Robot
This was the response of Minister Vivian to a request for governmental help against errant ex-spouses who evade their maintenance liabilities.
There was a time if Vivian was to make this statement, it would have had an absolutely different, almost opposite intended meaning.
The state cannot and should not play the role of a surrogate father. How apt a statement in Sigapore if it contains even the slightest whiff of that dirty ideology, welfarism.
Stand on your own two feet boy. Gather your own feed. Raise your family with your own hands. Do not beg from the state. The state cannot and should not play the role of a surrogate father.
But father we are dying.
Than you will have to go for you have failed. It is not the money. it is the principle. A free quarter for you and the floodgates will open. Our economy will crumble. The state will be destroyed. singapore perishes. So go my son. The state cannot and should not play the role of a surrogate father.
Then I will speak out, my father. Make known my grievances.
Careful with that my son. If you are too inflammatory, if you are too populist than you will be seditious. You will be upsetting the balance and harmony of this state. Then you will have to be silenced. You will face the Penal Code. You will face the ISA.
Then I will protest, my father. I will protest the CPF system, I wish to opt out and take my money.
No you cannot do that. The CPF system is good for you. It ensures that you will be taken care of in your old age. By forcing you to save your own money, the State is helping you prepare for your old age. CPF plus, even, now that you can live beyond 80. And protests in Singapore are illegal. You will break the law. You will have to be arrested.
Then I will write, my father. Make my story known. Talk to my journalist friends, find others like me.
You are being subversive. The national newspapers cannot involve itself in such partisan issues. It can and only report facts. The newspapers are important institutions of the state. It cannot be used for the people by the people. The mainstream newspaper must report accurately, objectively and responsibly. And that they must adopt this model that they are part of this nation-building effort, rather than go out and purvey views that would mislead people, confuse people, which will in fact undermine our national strategy. So if you write seditiously, you will break the law. You will have to be arrested.
Then I will vote, my father. Vote you out.
Yes that is fair, that is politics. But you will find out that you are in an uncontested GRC. And we cannot change that. Its for your own good. The GRC system is so that all races are fairly represented. Its to ensure harmony, equal representation to all. It is not a system to squeeze out political competition. It is for the good of the people.
The state cannot and should not play the role of a surrogate father. Do you see that? Do you understand that? Ours is not a paternalistic system. Ours is not a father-child relationship.
Think. And finally accept. Even if you are dying.
Like me, Godot turned Robot.
Quote of the Day --
"If you broke the law, there was only the one law, which everybody broke again and again ... and there was always the same penalty for any breaking of the law, from jaywalking to treason: the penalty was the death penalty, and there was agitation to have the death penalty removed, but it would not be because then, for like jaywalking, there would be no penalty at all. So it stayed on the books and finally the community burned out entirely and died. No, not burnt out -- they had been that already. They faded out, one by one, as they broke the law, and sort of died." -- A Scanner Darkly, Philip K. Dick