Saturday, August 30, 2008

National Education (II) Principles of Governance (PoG)

Singapore is well-known internationally for its:

  • Efficiency
  • Rule of Law
  • Lack of Corruption

The system of governance is based on circumstances & change

ie. Challenge = Circumstances + Change

Our circumstances, in a way, are situations arises

  • Limitations: Lack of size & natural resources and therefore rely on others (from basics to economic growth - ie. investments)
  • Multi-racial make-up: Being balance & open - stem undesireable influences that could undermine our social fabric
  • How it impact us... we have to look for innovative ways to overcome our constraints & be adaptive to changes quickly.
  • How we respond... being reliable and useful to others
  • High standards; Pragmatism and no-nonsense

The changes we face...

  • Globalisation: Goods & Services
  • Shifting socio-demographics within the state (can led to new divisions in society)
  • Singapore's role as a service provider, facilitator adn catalyst
  • To survive these, we have to (i) Produce new ideas (ii) Preserve our core values (iii) Keep our role relevant

9 Government Imperatives for successful governance in Singapore context

  • Good & proactive leadersip: ensure national interest is protected
  • High standards of Government: ensure that public trust is maintained
  • Optimise our resources & ability: compensate our shortcomings (ie. what we lack)
  • Greater Ingenuity: when dealing with challenges
  • International space: compensate for our lack of hinterland
  • Adapt to stay relevant: especially in this fast changing world
  • Safeguard values & identity: to maintain our distinctiveness
  • Greater sense of belonging: for rootedness to preserve our core values & identity
  • Continuous self-review: re-examine our role to remain relevant

These imperatives determine our principles:

  • Leadership is key: Eschew corruption; Do what is right, not what is popular; Be pragmatic; Provide long-term vision (PS21, S21, Remaking Singapore, Top-down Leadership)
  • Reward for Work; work for reward: Self-reliance, not welfare; Meritocracy for best use of talent (Education & training)
  • A stake for everyone, opportunities for all: Singapore a global city & choice home; Promote collective responsibility; Beyond physcial stakes; Preserve our values & identity (importance & availability of mass education; mixed housing policies (racial quota scheme); tangible assets & heartware)
  • Anticipate change, stay relevant: Stay nimble & flexible; Be better organised than our competitors; Exploit opportunities even in adversity; Turn constraints into advantages

As Singapore enters its new phase of development, what is important is our ability to:

  • Look at issues from afresh
  • Think "out of the box"
  • Pursue ideas with vigour

Other points:

People with moral courage and integrity to acknowledge and correct past mistakes, recognise when an existing policy outlived its usefulness and has to be discarded or changed.