Tough Choices Ahead

by Patrick Liew on December 7, 2016

In the past, the government was not known to shy away from making hard choices.

These choices compelled many of our people to take bitter medicine for a better future.

As we face a fast-changing world, the current government may have to make just as tough, if not tougher, decisions to serve long-term interests of the nation.

The government has to galvanize strong support and participation from the people.

We need more ground-up and peer-to-peer initiatives to help carry out difficult policies and achieve best possible outcomes.

To do so, it must enroll more and better leaders and train them to “sell” tough policies to the people.

These leaders have to persuade the people to not only support national policies but to also learn how to overcome downsides and tradeoffs that accompany these policies.

For example, we need leaders who are courageous enough to promote values and virtues of attracting an adequate number of quality foreign talents to strengthen our economy and society.

Do we have enough leaders who are brave and effective enough to address such an unpopular issue?

Also, the government should continue to improve the way it responds to naysayers and detractors, and addresses post-truths.

We cannot afford to repeat the White Paper hullabaloo. Enough said.

Just as importantly, the government should know how to persuade the people to close ranks despite the fact that some may prefer alternative policies.

Case in point, we have observed how the Terrex issues can potentially divide the people and even allow possible pressures from a stronger external party to cause undue anxiety.

There may be more challenging and contentious issues in the future.

We should ensure that we’re in a better position and better prepared to handle these issues and in the process, help our people to become stronger and more united.

Looking to the future, challenges abound.

However, we have learned from challenges in the past that uncertainty is not an enemy; unpredictability is not a foe.

To capitalize on silver linings in every storm, we need to have an ongoing pipeline of effective leaders.

The ruling government will have to continue to ask itself:

How can it better comb the ground and recruit the best possible candidates for the next general election to strengthen the government?


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

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