By: Ben Afflicted
I wish the Singapore government hasn’t discovered the word ‘calibrated’. Seriously. Now it’s like calibrate this and calibrate that and if you actually repeated the word fast and furious, it sounded like the thing that your mom warned you about. You know. The thing that if you did it often, you’d go blind.
The word has now been abused and misused by the government to end all argument. In gamer parlance, it is the `I win button’. The `power overwhelming’ of cheat codes.
So whenever there is a bad policy that the government has a tough time in explaining, they will utter the magic word; `calibrate’ or `calibrated’ and that’s the end of story. No more explanation to do. To them, the word means; `Relax..we have this covered. Now get back to work.’
If I got a dollar every time the government used the word, I’d be a millionaire.
Imagine your child, when you told him to switch off the TV and to do his homework, saying: “Relax dad. I have calibrated my TV viewing to the amount of homework that I have.” I am sure your blood pressure would be calibrated to the higher range.
So from the population white paper to the number of foreign workers to the ERP charges to the CPF and now to the alcohol bill, the government have been bandying the word around like it’s a spray paint to gloss all problems over. I am sure that word is somewhere in the little black book on `how to govern’ that all ministers carry.
The question is why do you have to calibrate a policy after it has been introduced? Take the alcohol bill for example. Shouldn’t the calibration be done at the `design’ stage? Shouldn’t all the problems that were brought up by the citizens after the bill was introduced be fleshed out when the bill was planned? Or could it be that the problems were not anticipated by the planners? If that was true, than what did that say about the thinking process of the planners?
So now you want the law enforcers to calibrate their response situationally. What sort of calibration tools are you giving them? What are the parameters? What happened if they calibrated wrongly?
I’ve got a new word for the government.