The definition of Progress
Warning! Politcal and social post. Ignore if not interested :P.
I have an interesting debate and dicussion recently with a friend on the definition of "progress" in humanity. It's a word we often hear in our state progaganda and in our national pledge. The last line of our Singapore's pledge actually goes "To achieve happiness, prosperity and progress for our nation." Do take note that happiness is placed before prosperity and progress. And I deliberately underlined prosperity as this seems to be the only thing our current gahment has their mind to achieve the most. That's my understanding and do feel free to disagree but it just seems so.
Their(Gahment and most Singaporeans) understanding of humanity progress is to have good clothes to wear, people well educated to have a PMET job, latest mobile phone and other gadgets, buying fancy cars and a private property. Maybe I am wrong to judge them this way but from the recent White paper incident and their policies so far, it seems that this is how they think progress to a nation is. More money, more prosperity which leads to more happiness (to certain minority of course)
I'm not going to touch too much on happiness as each individuals have different thresholds and definition on happiness. But to progress as a nation. That's the point I am having issues with the gahment. Their arguments they always put forward is that in order to progress our nation furthur, to become a country worth looking up by others. We need to grow GDPs at all costs and money is solution to all our problems. Just looked at how our gahment solves certain issues, and you know its all about money.
Which is quite sad actually. Because some of us do know that certain aspects of life can't be rationaled or solved by money. What about things like spiritual and intellectual progress? I'm not saying Singaporeans are not intellectual or spiritual but frankly, look around us, most Singaporeans are just chasing the 5 Cs and busy with making more money to make ends meet and did not have or choose not to have the time to spend on reflecting their own personal behaviour or social graciousness. It became a dog eats dog world of who has the best 5 Cs among our peers. So can we call this progress?
Just look at how we treat our foreign labourers who worked in our construction business and our home helpers (I hated the term "maids"). It's just plain fucking ugly.
I don't see it in the near future and my fears were true when I decided to leave 10 years ago and I'm so glad I met my wife in Thailand. It's one of the best way out of this system and frankly, I'm a bit worried for all my friends and relatives who are stuck here in Singapore. Their lives will be much more tougher down the road if our gahment continues this path of "progress".
Posted at Tuesday, February 19, 2013