An because of its fixation with practical

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An ideology is a set of ideas and ideals that an individual or group has. It is the basis of economic and political theory. Singaporean pragmatism is not an ideology because it is not subject to a single principle but adjust, adapts and adopts based on the context. However, there is a possibility of it becoming ideological when those who possess it contend that it alone be the main principle of governance. In Singapore’s decision making process, we do see that pragmatism tends to be the benchmark that leaders use to decide on issues in Singapore’s society. Pragmatism in Singapore’s context uses the end results as a deciding point where an unyielding commitment to material well-being is the ultimate goal. If pragmatism becomes ideology, there is a predisposition towards suppressing discussion because of its fixation with practical end results that should ultimately benefits society. The very nature of pragmatism suppresses discourse and encourages people to take a more impersonal approach to life and those around them. Pragmatism makes decision making very easy as it removes the idea of the individual, its decision is for the good of society. While it is true that being pragmatic is important when chasing ideals, but relying on pragmatism’s effectiveness as the overarching principle for governance, should not be the case because what might be considered pragmatic for some might not be so for others. Hence, it should not be the sole principle in decision making for the government, it should not be understood as an end in itself and there should be a more balanced approach in governance.According to former Deputy Prime Minister S. Rajaratnam, he stated that “it is exactly unsentimental pragmatism which has made Singapore bearable for all Singaporeans.” Similar sentiments were felt by the late Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew who posited that what mattered to him was whether his plan, that was based on pragmatism, would work in safeguarding Singapore’s survival and success. We have seen how pragmatism functions in a developing society, hence, it should continue in its place within governmental repertoire. However, its importance should be decrease while that of other guiding principles, such as multiculturalism, equality and compassion, should increase so that in the future all citizens can be accounted and provided for.

Categories: Decision Making


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