Samson Lai Iskandar
Book Title: Animal Farm
In "Animal Farm", Orwell describes how power turned the pigs from simple "comrades" to ruthless dictators who managed to walk on two legs, and carry whips. the story ends with a hair-raising warning to all humankind:" The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again: but already it was impossible to say which was which".
Power corrupts; wielders of absolute power are almost always abusers of their endowment. A recent example is Robert Mugabe, ex-president of Zimbabwe who always suppressed political opposition powers, repressed Zimbabweans by doing little to develop Zimbabwe economically and siphoned money from the national treasury to support his own expensive lifestyle.
What the animals seem to have aimed at was a utopian sort of communism, where each would work according to his capacity, respecting the needs of others. The venture failed, and "Animal Farm" ended up being a dictatorship of pigs, who were the brightest, and most idle of the animals. The book explores the flaws of communism, discussing how power and greed would led to abuse and erosion of initial aim. Empowered leaders are likely to let their greed get the better of them, then they start setting double standards. The famous quotation “some animals are more equal than others”, this could possibly explain why communist countries are not as well off as capitalist countries.
Although in singapore’s democratic context, no official wields absolute power but collectively the government still dictates our lives, hence we should keep ourselves informed about our government’s actions so that we can keep our government in check, ensuring that our interests, as citizens, are not undermined. Such results can be achieved with investigative journalism that can keep institutions transparent in their procedures, especially when the NKF scandal was uncovered through such a channel.