Friday, May 16, 2008

China's Premier Wen - the people's leader

once again those anti-China/ah-tiong remove your narrow-mindedness for a while, look at this person:

he flew to Sichuan in less than 1.5 hours and went right into the red zone.

Source: Times

Chinese have grown accustomed to seeing television footage of their Premier, Wen Jiabao, at the site of natural disasters. Often described as the human face of the country's huge bureaucracy, Wen is well known for being sympathetic to the plight of ordinary citizens.

But many were still surprised at the speed with which Wen reacted to the news that a huge earthquake had struck the country's southwestern province of Sichuan on May 12. Little more than 90 minutes after the 7.9 magnitude quake struck at 2:30 p.m., Wen was headed for the airport.

By early evening he had arrived in the provincial capital Chengdu, 930 miles (1,500 km) from Beijing. That night, the country's state-owned TV stations repeatedly broadcast scenes of the Premier rallying rescue forces, issuing orders during a rainstorm, poring over maps, even venturing into the ruins to assure victims still trapped in the rubble that they should "Hold on a little longer" as help was on the way.

Particularly unusual in a country where the image of top leaders is carefully maintained were surprisingly candid shots of Wen having to raise his voice to get attention, stumbling and almost losing his hard hat, even being ignored by distraught survivors.

Even journalists were slower.

can our Singapore leaders do this? When we see them, they are always in our squarish/rectangular-ish CRT or LCD television sets. Either well dressed at a rostrum, or equally well dressed at some community event that not many in the younger generation attend. If they aren't well dressed, it's because they are doing some healthy exercises on screen.

if PM Lee cannot do it, it's fine with me. The problem is, no other upcoming leaders seem to have such charisma. Many appear to be feisty during major events such as GE. Otherwise, no news from them. Talking about disconnection, our leaders ought to examine how to be more connected with the younger population. Just like today's parents have to communicate with their children, our government is expected of that too. Explanation such as the importance of working for the sake of national benefit wouldn't cut it as people are knowing the last minute "carrots" of our government - timely give outs of bonuses just before the GE, certain/bubble promises that took longer than 1 GE to fulfill (eg, Woodlands Waterfront, Woodlands Hospital plan is dropped), lift/home upgrading over rival political parties, etc. Young voters aren't falling for these, and are tired of the big brother mentality.

another problem is the usage of quantitative data to inform/persuade the people - due to X%, we have to raise/reduce Y%. Did the govt consider non-qualitative factors such as voices of the people? Malaysia's PM said the country is doing well with 6% growth before GE, but voters rejected his leadership because of massive dissatisfaction on the ground. In our local transportation surveys, 1,000s were interviewed. This 1,000 or so aren't true representatives either. Stop dishing out numbers like some mandate to decision making and think of the consequences at the lower levels of Singaporeans. Give the people better and fresher reasons to continue to vote for PAP...instead of strong-arm tactics.

back to the topic, the closest i can think of, is Khaw Boon Wan. But then... oh well. Cannot say too much here... read the first few lines of wikipedia link and you will know why.

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