Singapore lessons a warning Aug polls won’t bring change


IEBC officials inspect ballot boxes. FILE PHOTO | SAMUEL KARANJA

In two months time, Kenyans will be heading to the ballot to elect leaders and representatives. This would be the third breed of elected leaders under the 2010 Constitution.

Considering polls provide the electorate with a once-in-five-years opportunity to identify, affiliate and elect leaders across the six elective positions, political discourses are turbo-charged.

As the country navigates this difficult terrain, campaign rallies, advertisements and propaganda have gained an all-time oomph of momentum two months to election day.

Before Kenyans can get to the ‘promised land’, it all seems messy and noisy.

As Kenyans head to the elections on August 9, there is a wind of discord and distrust that is blowing across the country.

But it is the lack of policy congruence by the leading contenders that signals August polls may not attract something useful in terms of reforms.

Unlike in Kenya where we are solidly confined to sharing the pie, Elections Department Singapore declares ‘Your vote decides the future of Singapore’.

In Singapore, elections provide a chance for continuity, scalability and sustainability of its Independence development plan, including sound macroeconomic discipline, outward orientation and human development.

Its People’s Action Party pursued unchanging developmental pathway and was able to achieve better results while minimising costs from errors. The government of the day appoints individuals of homogenous intellectual mould to carry on the country’s development ambition. Intellectually and morally, vision carriers provide advisories to the government.

Singapore has scarce natural resource but the country uses data to inform decisions.

For instance, in view of its housing and unemployment challenges, it minimised domestic uncertainties and maximised investor confidence through macroeconomic stability as engines of growth and job-creation.

It focused on family planning and incredibly increased the number of people living in owner-occupied public flats.

Kenya’s poverty-illiteracy mix that is characterised by low civic voter education, make electoral processes somewhat a mockery.

It aids undeserving individuals whose moral fitness is questionable to win elections and make retrogressive decisions that are difficult to discern and implement for the wellbeing of the people.

Intelligence information shared by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i speaks to this issue that Kenyans must be worried having ‘wash-wash’ dealers at the ballot.

If Singapore is our Independence economic peer, there is a range of worthwhile lessons a Kenyan voter should borrow as we start on the homestretch.

It ranges from philosophical decency, continuity in implementation of the national development plan metrics, character and energy of choices they make.

As embroidered as we are in a game of numbers but without morals and sound development vision, the country will not leapfrog.

Developing railways to nowhere, spending heavily on road infrastructure for the rich will not help.

Stay alert and meditate.