24 March 2010

Honour "dictum meum pactum" (my word is my bond)

Place: Washington DC, USA
Date: 22 Mar 2010
Time: nearly midnight (Eastern time)
Please click on the video clip to listen to President Barack Obama's speech shortly after the healthcare bill was passed:

To me:
This is "Government FOR the people".
This is "Leadership".
This is "Doing the right thing".

Other than national disasters, sudden health issues or personal scandals, which world leader would postpone, and then cancel, a state visit to work the phones up to the nth hour in order to win votes from lawmakers to pass a piece of legislation? Obama did in Mar 2010 and didn't go to Indonesia and Australia for state visits as planned and instead went all out to get the healthcare bill passed.  Obama could have done what Clinton did (tried very hard) and Bush did (tried quite hard) for healthcare reform but - when push came to shove - political calculations prevailed for Obama's predecessors.

Whether Obama is right or wrong about healthcare reform for Americans, only Time will tell.

The essential point is this:
Obama's word is his bond.

In Singapore, words said in Parliament don't seem to count. Everybody has conveniently forgotten that the primary benefit of en bloc law was to create "more housing units in prime 999-year leasehold or freehold areas for Singaporeans".

Property is about Location and Timing. Singaporeans who sold en bloc (or were forced to sell en bloc) simply cannot buy back an equivalent unit in the same location upon collecting en bloc sale proceeds.

But who cares, eh?