Friday, September 26, 2014

How did the Vietnam War Affect the Psyche of Singapore's Hybrid Regime?

I've just finished watching a 12 episodes Vietnam war documentary titled Battlefield Vietnam on youtube. As the documentary chronicles the war, the timing of military operations led me to think about the situation in Singapore.

In 2012, i blogged about the Mutation of PAP as Seen from S&P500 Index. I will again use the American broad stock market index. This time with focus on the vietnam war as the local stock market index doesn't exist in the period shortly after being kicked out & gaining independence from Malaysia.

The period after World War II was a decolonization period. Many former colonies were gaining independence from their colonial masters. Singapore is no exception. North & South Korea became divided & so is North & South Vietnam. American doctrine calls for 'containment' of the spread of communism & its 'domino effect' & hence resulted in the american quagmire in Vietnam.

Vietnam War Period is a Glorious Period for Singapore
Despite the S&P500 stagnating sideways during the Vietnam War, it can be considered a glorious period in SG despite facing the problem of massive unemployment with the withdrawal of the British.

The fear of massive unemployment led to the hybrid regime implementing a 'Stop at 2' birth policy that is outrageously successfully that it created another major problem of too low a birthrate.

If we look at southeast asia region as a whole, newly independent Singapore(1965) can be considered safe & alluring with the war going on up north in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia & Thailand(US airforce bases).

Oil Crisis of 1970s Were Great
No doubt the price of necessities shot up with the oil price spike making life hard for the common folks. However if you also consider the potential massive unemployment problem, we can understand why the hybrid regime of the early years took such great care of the peasants with these 2 big 'headaches'.

With the communists threat brewing up north in Vietnam, Laos & Cambodia, the early hybrid regime of SG are scared of losing power. The south vietnamese govt is partly to blame for its downfall despite massive financial & military aid from America because it didn't take care of its peasants.

To gain popular support in the midst of the ongoing threat, the early hybrid regime of SG:

  • built hawker centres.
  • truly affordable peasant housing.
  • inclusive society whereby peasant housing are also built right smack in the city center where land prices are high.

Despite high oil prices due to the 2 oil crisis, peasants in SG are rehoused in truly affordable public housing!

Golden Age... 
The oil crisis & the end of vietnam war ushered in what i call the Golden Age of SG. With memories of the oil price spikes & establishment of communists govts in Vietnam, Laos & Cambodia, the early hybrid regime of SG is not complacent thus the peasants continued to be well taken care of.

As the years go by, the fear of losing popular support dwindled away & the hybrid regime became consumed with greed. No more hawker centres are built.

Followed by Greed Period
The greed sets in slowly as the hybrid regime still has fear & thus they 'test water' with the first privatization of govt services starting with Singtel, the state owned telecommunications company. The first privatization still has some inclusive elements as citizens are offered discounted share prices to get the peasants to own a stake in the national economy.

What happened to other national services which was privatized after Singtel? I don't know of any discounted share prices thereafter offered to peasants. With fear totally replaced with greed, we are experiencing the consequences today as frequent breakdowns even as these 'privatized' public transport services are subsidized with taxpayers $$ & the resultant profits flow to the hybrid regime.

Instead of peasants being offered a stake with discounted national companies being privatized, peasants are now being treated as cog labor aka economic digits to be milked dry.

Well-being of of peasants? The hell with them as the hybrid regime does not ensure adequate hospital beds.

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