I believed we have heard much from the oppositions and their mouthpieces that the government is controlling practically every aspect of public life, and these messages do have a common emphasis that is the People's Association.
For an initial simple answer, If the government is not involve in Public Life, what the hell is government for? Public Life is government's domain. But at the same time let's be clear, while the government is involved in much of Public Life, you cannot say the government is controlling it in the absolute sense. It cannot be said that there is no autonomy at all.
For Sylvia Lim her tirades made special mention of "football", that these Singaporeans do have the passion and capabilities to run things on their own, their own ways and no need of government intervention. I think we don't need much guesses to know why she has taken this personally.
Let me start with "Football Association of Singapore". Strange as it may be, I am no fan for watching football even though I used to be playing in the league games from under-18 to Division One (pre-S league days).
I know nuts about the administration and politics of this sport. But I do know a little bit about registering societies, charities, as well as business-sports. I am open to criticism and correction.
There is nothing that prevents passionate people, capable people from setting up their own organization whether by way of a society or a company limited by guarantee, or even a social enterprise with their main focus on a particular sports.
Even if you are talking about an entire league and not just a team, there are sports management companies that can do everything from the basics of organizing, sponsorship, marketing, even to international affiliations.
What is the problem here? What's the complaint about?
I am extending this same argument initiated by Sylvia Lim to other fraternities including music, and various genre of the arts, for which her argument is also inclusive of.
Her problem is, she was not too out-front in telling all, is that these people wants government funding but does not want government involvement. If no government funding is needed, all my suggestions above are workable for them.
Now you come to me and ask me to partner you, put money in your enterprise, and expect me to be a sleeping partner. Yes I can, but don't expect me to be a dreaming partner also.
As a government, can I spend money without knowing how monies are spent? Sylvia Lim probably is a strong believer in this, but you cannot expect the government to do likewise.