Friday, June 22, 2012

寻找香格里拉 Shangri-la on earth?

一年前一场“分水岭”的全国大选,工人党打破GRC不败的神话,进军国会,是一个有人振奋有人神伤心不眠夜。从那一刻起的2011年似乎并不平静。日子还是要过,时光可以暂时冲淡不安的情绪,现在可以通过平静的心情来回顾2011年分水岭后的大小事。

工人党打破GRC不败的神话。2011

经历了那一场被形容为“new normal”的全国大选的七个月后,三名Aljunied GRC落选的前部长陆续离开政坛,与政治生涯画上句号。杨荣文加入郭鹤年的Kerry Group当集团副主席,到香港发展去了;陈惠华在Ernst & Young'sJardine Cycle & Carriage等上市公司当非执行董事;再诺(Zainul Abidin bin Mohamed Rasheed)动向不明。与过去的政治生涯划清界限后,他们快乐吗? 或者以反向思维,他们从政的时候快乐吗?

(落选部长全部退出政坛,与政治划清界限。2011)

对在Aljunied GRCPAP基层的忠实支持者而言,突然间变成无主孤魂,在过渡期间,PAP只能打出最后一张王牌,委任已经引退的前PAP主席林文兴到Aljunied稳定军心。四年后(2016)下一届大选,林文兴已是古稀之年,是否还能打一场硬仗?
林文兴快乐吗?子非鱼焉知鱼之乐?林文兴在落幕前谈到兴建赌场之事,落下英雄泪:

The chairman of the People’s Action Party (PAP), Lim Boon Heng, could not contain his emotions during a news conference to unveil the latest batch of new PAP candidates on Monday.
Tears welled up in his eyes as he replied to a reporter’s question about the perception of " group think" in the workings of government, particularly since he had felt strongly against allowing casinos in Singapore.

Mr Lim, who is also a Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, finally agreed on the casino issue, only because it had brought jobs to Singapore - a point he explained to reporters after the news conference.
He said: "It is a difficult one for me, because I do not like the idea of using gambling as an industry for Singapore and using that as a means of earning an income." ---GE: Lim Boon Heng emotional when responding to question. Channel New Asia, 11 Apr 2011.

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/1122134/1/.html

(林文兴谈到兴建赌场一事,在记者会上落泪。Straitstimes Razor 2011)

李显龙选择在两天后的大选电视论坛上向全新加坡人回应,说林文兴衡量得失后,并没有异议。宾主交锋,就此了结:
"The IR is one good example, where we had a very intense debate, but in the end, it's not that we overruled Lim Boon Heng," Mr Lee said.

"He said he was against IRs, but when he looked at the case and what the IRs could bring to us, in the end, (he said) I could not say no to 25,000 or 30,000 jobs. So that was what made him emotional". ---GE: Not everything debatable in public: PM Lee. Channel New Asia, 13 Apr 2011

大选后第一次国会开会,针对在八月间以35.2%选票当选的陈庆炎总统所发布的愿景“A home we share, a future we build together” 进行辩论,林瑞莲(Aljunied GRC)的“快乐说”竟然成为PAP众所矢之的对象。许文远甚至发表长篇的“香格里拉论”,说世界上最快乐的不丹人也要到新加坡取经,Bhutan is not the Shangri-la on earth,可是实际上,“快乐说”只是在很小的篇幅上(十二段的演讲稿中的一段)引述了不丹神话,来阐明治国之道,除了拼经济指标外,快乐指数是不可忽略的一环。以不丹为例子的也不只是林瑞莲,更早前已经在书报上有过类似的评论。

Sir, the Bhutan’s royal wedding hogged headlines over the weekend. As many of us know, the Kingdom of Bhutan has an unusual way of measuring the country’s development. It is called GNH or Gross National Happiness. This indicator is garnering international attention even among developed countries. In July this year, Bhutan initiated a resolution at the UN General Assembly titled “Happiness towards a holistic approach to development”. There were a total of 66 co-sponsors of the resolution and the General Assembly adopted it without a vote. The resolution’s preamble states that and I quote, “The pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal”, and that “the gross domestic product indicator, by nature, was not designed to and does not adequately reflect the happiness and well-being of people in a country.” Member states have been invited to “pursue the elaborations of additional measures that better capture the importance of the pursuit of happiness and well-being in development with a view to guiding their public policies”. --- one of the twelve para of Sylvia Lim’s speech, 2011-10-17, debates on president’s address, Singapore Parliament Reports
(不丹国王与平民女子的婚礼。2011)

当大家已经逐渐淡忘“快乐”这回事的时候,SMRT三天两头出了大事,最终南北线瘫痪五个多小时,在年近岁晚的一刻(15/12/2011)引起公共交通大混乱,使到大家都很不快乐。事件背后牵连太多内幕以及交通政策等问题,最后还劳动了李显龙取消休假,出面压惊,表明将成立独立委员会,调查真相。外国朋友说列车出现故障是常事,大可以平常心对待,为什么搞出这么大的头条?

新加坡每1000人只有158人拥有自己的车辆。相比马来西亚每1000人有641人拥有车辆,少了约四分之三,因此更需要体恤新加坡居民对公共交通的依赖。新加坡地铁平均每一天有220万人次的载客量,2010年拥有高达8亿元的收入和1.6亿元的净利(20%)。盈利进入股东口袋,可是一般股东驾车不乘地铁,一般以乘地铁为主流交通工具的普罗大众则不是股东,你说普罗大众能快乐吗?

SMRT在2011年收入达9.7亿新元,SBS Transit 稍低,7.5亿新元。对市井小民来说,这种迹近天文数字的收入竟然无法用来增强车队,支付多一点薪金给员工(SMRT巴士司机基本月薪$1,200,SBS Transit $1,375),使司机们活得更有尊严,反而要政府拨款以提升服务,你说谁比较快乐?即使是所谓的提高基本月薪到$1,500,据巴士司机们的说法,那是通过更长时间工作,并非生产力或分享公司的红利。
国情不同,当领导人自认最聪明最能干,当国家政策不接受替代交通体系,当总裁口出狂言,不承认地铁拥挤,甚至不知是有心还是无意,当起“慈禧太后”(有一位老人家说当一个人最意气风发的时候,所表现的就是最真正的自己!)。长年累月的怨气积在心口,竟然还在归心似箭那一刻遭遇到不该发生的“老年故障”,场面尤如大灾难,难免人心难平。一个以盈利为目标的大众机构走到这一步,只能破坏人民的那份信任。苏碧华(Saw Pheik Hua, CEO SMRT)高高在上,风光十足。在此时此刻,她快乐吗?

In early 2002, she (Saw Pheik Huawas retrenched when the global airport retailer consolidated its businesses. She then started her own consultancy business in international retail before applying for the SMRT job.

'I didn't have to learn to be a CEO, all I needed was to learn a new trade,' she says matter of factly.

'It's like running the same show, just that you have a different cast, a different storyline, and they fall in love and seek revenge at different times. But basically, it's the same.' –Right on Track, Apr 21, 2008. The Straits Times
“People can board the train--- it is whether they choose to.” ---Saw Pheik Hua responded to whether the MRT cabin is too crowdedJune 27, 2010. The Straits Times

(Sunday Time, June 27, 2010)

(SMRT CEO苏碧华最意气风发的一刻。asiaone.com 20 Dec 2011)

南北线瘫痪的记者会上,苏碧华五度道歉,跟她一贯的我行我素的作风完全不同:

“我们知道很多乘客对故障深感不满,有关的系统发生故障将近五小时,对受影响的乘客,我们表示深切的歉意。”
“我也要特別对那些日常生活受影响,及受困在很不舒适环境的乘客表示道歉。”

“我们将从事故中吸取教训,从而改进服务,我们将彻底调查這起事故,並公开调查结果,作为SMRT总裁,我要向乘客表示真诚的道歉……”

“对长时间受困在沒有冷气供应的車廂內的乘客表示由衷的道歉……”

“非常、非常的抱歉……”

在记者会上,苏碧华也做了一件很错很错的事,她说公司估计约12万7千名乘客受地铁瘫痪事件影响,每人平均车费1元,因此預料损失12万7千元。此言一出,马上引起公愤,从民众强烈的反应中,再次印证苏碧华的思维秉承了新加坡政府的一贯作风,以经济为主导却在有意无意间忽略了民生。

在新加坡鲜有的舆论压力下,苏碧华黯然下台,辞职立刻生效。人们的矛头再度指向苏碧华的DFS背景。DFS是机场零售店,将SMRT当作零售业来处理,铁手腕的政权下缺乏软实力,资深员工相继离职,钱赚多了,良知全少了。为什么苏碧华没有相关交通业或危机处理经验,却会被委任为SMRT的CEO?市面上的传言牵涉背景太广,这里没必要以哗传哗。

(苏碧华黯然神伤,落寞无奈的一刻。联合早报 2011)

SMRT南北线瘫痪的调查还没来得及结束,2012年3月15日又来一宗大瘫痪,长达十个半小时,这回是由SBS Transit 管辖的东北线。新加坡政府一向来引以为豪的World Class Transport System的弱点陡然间完全暴露出来。一向来被新加坡政府用来比较,三天两头发生技术故障的伦敦地铁一旦停航,乘客可以转搭地铁站外头并行的公共巴士,但是新加坡没有这样的替代服务,小市民面对效率骤降的大众交通,上班迟到被扣薪水,学生迟到甚至可能误了考试,能不抱怨吗?

在公开的听证会上,前总裁苏碧华坚持公司在维修和保养上做了超过要求的工作。对于为何在发生事故时,无线电、后备电池等紧急配备同时失灵,她三番四次回答“这是很不幸的事”。她下台是“幸”还是“很不幸”?大众交通私营化,以利润为终极目标而忽视了社会道德,是“幸”还是“很不幸”?

从经济数据及国民的消费与投资行为来看,新加坡总体而言是一个富裕社会。根据国会辩论时透露的资料则显示,新加坡收入最高的1000名公民,个人年收入至少130万元,其中有175人的年收入超过310万元。在2010年,个人估税收入6万元至15万元之间的纳税公民与永久居民达32万人,在518万总人口中(325万新加坡公民,140万外国移民,53万永久居民),此数目字是颇庞大的。在财富方面,瑞士信贷发布的《2011全球财富报告》显示,新加坡成人的平均个人净财富(净财富是指扣除债务后个人拥有的金融及房地产资产)达28万5000美元,在全球排名第六位。

整体上新加坡人这么富裕,为何不少新加坡人却活在一股焦虑的气氛中?

钱是赚不完的,当国家成功的指标以经济指数来衡量,当大众交通以maximising profit为终极目标的时候,政策与行动的考量在朝向卓越的利润指标的过程中,乖离人性化的轨道,少了道义与温情。在这样的大环境下,能快乐吗?

“With great power comes great responsibility.”这是电影蜘蛛侠的至理名言,有多少掌权者记得这一点?

快乐是一种心境。小时候听过一句老话“饭后一根烟,快活似神仙”,也目睹过饭后掀起背心,摸着肚腩的普罗大众,一群老友围在一起谈笑风生,那种感觉真的是快活似神仙。不过那是简单朴素,想起来已经久远的年代;现在的普罗大众拼经济、拼生活,快活的时间几乎被生存指标占领了。

有句老话“施比受有福”,“施”必须先懂得放下,先懂得不再比较,先懂得活在当下,转念拈花,活得自在,自然笑得出来。说得容易,但一切在于心念,不改变一下思维模式,怎么知道“转念超出三界外,拈花微笑佛心通”?

3 comments:

红菇 said...

端午节快乐!

岁月留痕 said...

端午节快乐!

KL said...

我倒没联想到快乐说与端午节快乐,快乐就在身边,幽默兼智慧,谢谢红菇与岁月留痕的提醒。sama sama.