7 May 2006

General Election 2006 - results

By now everyone will be aware of the election results, so there is no point listing them down in detail here. They are available on CNA's website as well as in the mainstream media. It is clear that there has been a large downturn in support for the PAP. All the PAP incumbents were returned with reduced majorities. This includes PM Lee Hsien Loong, who was returned with only 66% in his constituency of Ang Mo Kio, against a team comprising entirely of first-timers from the WP. In contrast, the Opposition incumbents have been returned with increased majorities. I have a few points to make with regards to this.

1. THE RISE OF THE WORKERS' PARTY

The WP has undergone a major transition. In the 2001 Elections, they fielded only 2 candidates thanks to their team getting disqualified over some technical points in Aljunied. Since then, they have managed to recruit credible, charismatic and public-spirited candidates, in particular their new chairman, Sylvia Lim. Hougang MP Low Thia Khiang has also emerged as the leader of the Opposition. Instead of merely focusing on retaining his own seat, Low took the fight to the PAP, leading his charges into battle. Low's personal charisma, in particular his fearlessness, backed by a sound track record as MP for the past 15 years, has endeared him to many voters.

Throughout the election campaign, the WP has focused almost single-mindedly on policy issues such as the cost of living, healthcare, education and public transport. There has been a sharp departure from the themes that dominated J.B. Jeyaretnam's tenure as party leader - freedom of speech, civil liberties, abuses of the electoral process etc were only sporadically touched on.
There is little doubt that the WP has managed to convince voters of their credibility, and that the other opposition parties have benefitted from this. With Low being returned with an increase majority, and Sylvia Lim likely to take up the Non-Constituency MP appointment, the WP will have the opportunity to increase its profile even further in the lead-up to the next election.

2. OUTRAGE AT THE PAP'S STRONG-ARM TACTICS

Before the elections started, Lee Kuan Yew and Lee Hsien Loong commenced legal action against the SDP's central executive committee, the SDP itself, and the printer of the SDP's newsletter. This probably served to generate sympathy for the SDP and the opposition in general. Most Singaporeans do not support the SDP's extreme liberal political leanings, but this no doubt would have served to give the impression that the PAP is ruthless and uncompassionate.

Then, there was the James Gomez issue that surely divided public opinion. The average man on the street would have been swayed by the PAP's relentless character assassination - "integrity", "character" and "liar" are words which conjure strong emotive reactions, and the PAP's liberal application of these words, coupled with the PAP's reputation as an infallible bastion of morality, definitely served to discredit the WP. However, to the intelligentsia, this tactic would have backfired. It is clear that Wong Kan Seng's 11-page statements drew many tenuous connections aimed at discrediting both Gomez and the WP with evidence that was at best vague, and at worst non-existent. They would have viewed the PAP's tactics with derision, and noted that the ruling party reneged on its pre-election promise to concentrate on policy issues. In addition, the uneducated, low-income voters would have also frowned upon the PAP's obsessive stance on this issue. They would be wondering why the Government was kicking up such a huge fuss over a form.

3. REJECTION OF PORK-BARREL POLITICS

The PAP's offers to lavish $180 million on the Opposition-held wards of Potong Pasir and Hougang backfired spectacularly. The voters saw this suggestion that their support could be 'bought over' as an affront to their pride and dignity. The residents of Hougang, in particular, emphatically rejected the PAP at the polls. Lee Hsien Loong may have also shot himself in the foot with his mention that he would have to spend more time thinking about how he could "buy his supporters votes" if there were more Opposition MPs in Parliament.

It is also worthy of note that Goh Chok Tong's support of the PAP candidates Sitoh Yih Pin and Eric Low served to cast doubts upon the competence of the candidates themselves. The fact that they had to be backed by a minister created the impression that they were not credible of standing against the incumbents on their own merit. Goh's bold statements that his own reputation was on the line hardly helped; his insistence that Potong Pasir MP Chiam See Tong did not have sufficient funds to upgrade the lifts in his estate, and the subsequent aspersions which he cast on Chiam's integrity, probably served to swing votes in Chiam's favour. Chiam is regarded as an honest, hardworking MP, and it is definitely plausible that Goh's strong-handed attacks resulted in more sympathy votes for the 71 year old Chiam.

4. THE CONTROLLED MEDIA AND THE EMERGENCE OF THE INTERNET

There is no doubt that Singaporeans are increasingly becoming more sophisticated. Almost every Singaporean would have been aware that the mainstream media is absurdly biased towards the PAP. The media steadfastly refused to grant the Opposition candidates the exposure that they sought, while they gave extensive coverage to the PAP ministers. Interestingly, no mention was made as to the massive attendance at Opposition rallies. There have been documented incidents of extreme frustration at the state controlled media - at one Opposition rally, it was reported that some supporters chanted "Channel U, Kayu!" and "Media Freedom!" at the reporters present. One reporter was said to be so affected by it that he squatted down and covered his face with his hands. There have also been online polls reflecting that "journalism is the most shameful profession in Singapore", behind prostitution, pimping, and illegal moneylending.

This has led to a large number of tech-savvy voters turning to the Internet for information. Although this number is still comparatively small, it is likely to increase in the future. The Government's attempt to regulate Internet discussion has also failed completely. Audio and video clips of Opposition rallies have become freely available, as well as 'field reports' of Opposition rallies which include photographs of the massive crowds. While it may be noted that Internet content is almost all pro-Opposition, it should be considered that this is in order to balance the mainstream media, which is almost entirely pro-PAP.

5. PUBLIC RELATIONS MISTAKES BY THE PAP

The PAP has made a number of telling PR errors. Firstly, there was Lee Hsien Loong's May Day rally speech, in which he mentioned that Singaporeans ought to be retiring later. He mentioned the example of one 80-year old woman who was still earning a meagre income by working at a hawker centre. His health minister, Khaw Boon Wan, then said that retirement villages for the elderly should be built in Batam, Bintan and Johor - because costs were lower over there. This created the impression of an extremely uncaring Government, lacking in compassion and out of touch with the ground.

Then came the aforementioned Gomez incident - with Goh Chok Tong urging the public to move on, and then being forced to retract his statement one day later upon Wong Kan Seng's publication of his 11-page statement as to why Gomez was a "liar". To some, this was seen as a sign of splitting within the PAP ranks. In addition to this, comments made by other PAP candidates, notably Irene Ng and Lee Yi Shyan, that the opposition were 'troublemakers' and 'donkeys' respectively, were seen as arrogant and patronising. Lastly, Lee Hsien Loong's speech at Raffles Place, that he would have to 'fix the opposition' and 'buy his supporters votes' was quite a telling PR gaffe; it would have been to his relief that the Straits Times helped to cover this up.

WHAT THE PAP GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO DO NOW:

If the PAP Government wishes to reverse the downward trend in its number of votes, it needs to do the following:

-Show the people that it is not unsympathetic, uncompassionate and out of touch.

-Show the people that it delivers its promises, particularly in relation to the Yishun Hospital (undelivered since the 2001 election), Sembawang Park, and Punggol 21 (undelivered since the 1997 election)

-Dispel the impression that it is arrogant and paternalistic. This may be done by simply having its MPs attend Parliamentary sittings and Meet-the-People sessions diligently.

-Dispel the impression that it is ruthless, by agreeing to lower some costs (such as the cost of medicine) and by agreeing to distribute at least some funds to Hougang and Potong Pasir.


WHAT THE OPPOSITION NEEDS TO DO NOW:

If the Opposition wishes to increase its own popular support and win more seats, it needs to do the following:

-Continue recruiting credible people, including women, members of the Malay community, and professionals from all walks of life. Following the example set by the WP in this election would be a positive step for the other parties. The WP itself needs to continue recruiting more such candidates, which the people will be able to identify with.

-Distance itself from controversies. The SDP in particular needs to clean up its act, and realise that it is out of touch with most Singaporeans. The WP needs to take great care in ensuring that it does not give the PAP further chances to cast aspersions on the integrity of its members.

-Stay the course, and make their presence felt. There has been criticism that the Opposition is seen only during election time. They have to ensure that their presence is felt during non-election periods as well. This means that they will need to make more door-to-door visits, walkabouts, and organise grassroots activities for the constituencies in which they are contesting.

-Show the people that they are not 'quitters', and that defeat will not lower their commitment.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

Excellent summary of the 2006 elections. I hope that the opposition will build on their firm foundation, and scare the pants off the PAP in the next election.

I, for one, will be enquiring about how to join the WP Youth. It's time to give concrete support, beyond mere rhetoric on the Internet.

mrs budak said...

Thank you for a great sum-up of the intensive nine days that transpired. I hope our Opposition parties take comfort in the increased support, and prepare themselves for 2011.

Anonymous said...

well said..PM lee said he's happy with the results but he doesn't look so..he must be quite disappointed..hope his promised of making singapore a more open society will be realised..congratulations to the oppositions too..i think they shouldn't called oppositions..alternative party sound much better !

AmicaCuriae said...

Yes, joining the WP youth will definitely help them. They need more volunteers. Word has it that they have only less than 1,000 volunteers islandwide. The PAP has more than 1,500 IN EACH CONSTITUENCY.

However, an alternative to joining the WP Youth Wing would be to go around encouraging your friends to discuss Singapore politics. The apathy must end. Singaporeans need to be involved in deciding the future of their country. For a start, getting them to read blogs such as this one would be a start.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to the WP for an excellent campaign, and I hope Sylvia Lim does get the NCMP appointment. (I nearly wept with hope and happiness watching the videos of the WP rallies pre-election and that's saying an awful lot for a hardened old cynic like me who had previously more or less given up hope on the sheeple ...) If it is the young who are pushing for the opposition (and by LKY's reactions and the great WP lineup that would appear to be the case), at least there's hope for the future.

Also, someone might like to take a screenshot of the channelnewsasia election headline list and post it. It's hilarious. It's all "the PAP candidate won/lead to victory" (transl. Leadership! Dynamism!) - whereas Mr. Low merely "kept" his seat and Mr. Chiam merely "retained" his (so much less exciting-sounding, you know). Someone must have been busy with the thesaurus at CNA I guess - oh the media whores. Glad to hear they made at least one of 'em cry at the "Channel U, kayu" event, lol.

Anonymous said...

just like sylvia 5 yrs ago.. i have decided to join WP to help them to work on the ground level...

if wp are to progress... they must stick to the same place 5 yrs later ... and work on the ground starting from next week (with our help under wp banner)...

only show up during election period will not help them...

Anonymous said...

I hope wp continue their progress. For the first time, I see a real alternative voice in Spr.

Sprean, pls wake up from your apathy and support the opp like wp who works hard for all of you. They are definitely people party and nt like the other well know people ap.....that is only for the rich and elite.

Anonymous said...

Great blog and analysis. My take.

1) PAP

They have lost their founding father spirit. It is now becomin a party for the rich and elite. As long as Spr is apathy to politics, their way will work.

I agree they are still the best party to govern Spr but I am not sure in the future. Therefore, I think we need more opposition to make them humble and not arrogant.

2) WP

I think they are the real winners although I really hope they had won Ajunied.

But, pls remember what happened to SDP after 91. So work hard, give Spr the credible alternative voice that they never had.

3) SDA

Chiam See Tong and some of the youngsters is credible. The others old folks, I think it is time to retire. Frankly, I cannot see more than 1 opposition party in Spr.

Steve Chia, if you really want to win, pls continue your work in CCK.

4) SDP

The less said the better. You just hurt the opposition image esp among the uninformed.

Lastly, Spr Media. You are crap. Without these blogs, I think the PAP would have won by bid margins.

Anonymous said...

WP needs to build up a programme beyond their manifesto. They need to work on the social democratic alternatives to the current government policies. No general statement - just list the problems and steps to be taken to solve them. They should explain what society they want to see in Singapore. This would show their ideological colours to the public which otherwise tends to perceive all APs as just attracting the protest votes. This would also help them during the elections because the ruling party doesn't have any ideological grounding as these GE showed. The biggest oversight of all APs during GE2006 was the lack of contact with the minority groups, especially Malays. I have seen just a handful of Malays during the WP rallies.

Anonymous said...

at the CNA interviewing mr chiam..the interviewer described that the residents of potong pasir were lining up the street welcoming mr chiam ! they came on their own accord!that about 1am then..i guess the streets of ang mo kio or marine parades must be very quiet? i see this elections as a failure for the PAP ..they probably expect to win all wards including Aljunied GRC even though it will be close..well they expected to win potong pasir back..Mr GCT even announce in the chinese evening papers on the eve of the polling day that sitoh will win by 55% up..how wrong he is to under estimates potong pasir residents support for mr chiam!well mr GCT did said his reputations is at stakes if he loses hougang and potong pasir..the only way to save his reputations is to admit to his under estimations of these 2 wards and said sorry to the residents there! kudos to the people of potong pasir and hougang for keeping the spirits of oppositons alive!

Anonymous said...

well, if u read The New Paper on Saturday (I doubt anyone will have bother to read though, having given up on the local media). Anyway, on page 13, it was said that LTK addressed a 15,000 strong crowd gathered at Serangoon Stadium during WP final rally. Hmm... I wonder how they got their 15,000, bearing in mind Serangoon Stadium has a sitting capacity of 20,000 and the crowd that day filled onto the open field and outside the stadium. Isn't this blatant mis-reporting?

Anonymous said...

Before the elections started, Lee Kuan Yew and Lee Hsien Loong commenced legal action against the SDP's central executive committee, the SDP itself, and the printer of the SDP's newsletter. This probably served to generate sympathy for the SDP and the opposition in general. Most Singaporeans do not support the SDP's extreme liberal political leanings, but this no doubt would have served to give the impression that the PAP is ruthless and uncompassionate.

I think you gave too much credit to the SDP here. The WP's increased percentages of votes are due entirely to our elections planning, leadership, renewed Party policies, and recruiting process. To suggest that the SDP's legal problems generated that significant number of sympathy votes for the WP is an affront to our hard work. Let there be no doubt that the WP has nothing in common wih the SDP except for being Opposition parties to the PAP. Furthermore, I have no doubt that we'd have done much better at Sembawang GRC. I suggest that the SDP either renew their leadership, or merge under the SDA umbrella, or even be dissolved altogether. It may sound harsh but I believe their antics and libertarian leanings, in an era when Singaporeans are still very much conservative, only served to distract voters and hijack Opposition politics.

jie siang said...

An add to "What the opposition needs to do"
You mentioned Opposition needs to ensure their presence is felt during non-election periods my making door-to-door visits, walkabouts, grassroot activities.

I feel other good ways of being seen are to participate in public activities that will put themselves forward kindly and increase credibility.

The WP has to start to show how they can live the manifesto they preach by taking part, championing and pushing for the right public initiatives. Not being in Parliament means they may not be able to at this point lobby for policy changes, like lower transportation costs and lower healthcare costs, but there are other ideological parts like arts/media, sports/recreation, education ideas that they can actively promote from the grassroots level.

Anonymous said...

The Singapore media won it for PAP!
PAP campaign was the worst in 20 years!

LeE Kuan Yew never got below 85%
Goh Chok Tong never below 75%

What about the third part of this trinity?

Liberate Singaporeans, PAP!
Let us go!
Let us be free!
Stop enslaving now!
Let the media go!
Let the unions go!
Let our education system go!
Let our people go!
Give opposition a chance!
Let the GRC go!
Let the ISA go!
Let the OSA go!
Let the SPH and Mediacorp go!
Let the PA go!
Let the SIA go!
Let Temasek Holdings go!
Please Please Please!

Anonymous said...

Low Thia Khiang as the President of Singapore?

If Low Thia Khiang qualifies, he should stand for the next President Election. He has a good chance of winning because of his popularity and charisma. Most importantly, people will trust him to check the govt more effectively than a PAP appointed candidate.

If Low becomes the President, he cannot be Sec General of WP. However, the image of WP will improve greatly. Even LKY has to kowtow to him.

Next election, PAP cannot use progress package to buy votes, cannot restrict the funds to opposition ward, cannot dangle carrots and cannot discredit WP candidates. Whenever PAP accuse somebody to be a liar or dangerous, President Low can say, "He is not (you are)". Would PAP dare to sue the President of Singapore for defamation?

Low Thia Khiang, although WP manifesto recommend to abolish elected president, should seriously consider this as the next critical step for the good of WP and Singapore.

Anonymous said...

I am glad that the overall level of support for PAP has been reduced. I am glad that WP has fielded some new and young candidates and they come close to winning in a particular GRC. However, I am surprised that there are so anti-SDP comments generated, clouded by all these pro WP comments.

I have no problems with whatever tactics/strategies/vision a political party choses to canvas on. I see nothing extreme about SDP for they were merely pointing out what is wrong with this system (and probably the only party left to say what the Singapore government and some of its people, do not want to hear) - there is absolutely nothing democratic about this election. And if the elections are not free and fair and democratic, there is nothing to be happy about. I believe WP choses to take the so called "moderate" stance because they wanted to win seats and get into parliament within this system. Again, I have no probs because to each their own.

I would also like to highlight a few things which in the fervour of the elections, some of us might have forgotten. Firstly, it is ironical that a lot of these issues that were being raised were initially raised by the SDP. WP briefly talked about high ministerial salaries after SDP made it an important issue. Steve Chia, I believe, also raised the NKF issue after the SDP does. Sure, SDP talks about democracy and freedom of speech etc etc but they do talk about important bread and butter issues as well.

I find it strange that some pro WP supporters are so blatant in badmouthing SDP. I wonder their true intentions. In my opinion, any REAL opposition is better than no Opposition. Stop our divides and see what this government is doing to us.

- a bleeding Singaporean

Anonymous said...

wonder if this interest you.. This election has again raised e world's attention on our media freedom.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12644234/from/RL.2/

Its a shame to see that our Singapore is ranked 140th out of 167 countries by Reporters Without Borders in its press freedom index -- after Russia and Yemen and by far the lowest ranked for any developed nation.

Anonymous said...

WP should also aim to allay the fears of civil servants. I know of many educated civil servants who are quite sympathetic to the Opposition cause but simply dare not vote against their boss, the PAP for fear of losing their jobs. This fear is real.

If the Elections Department is not doing much to allay the "fear factor" of the public including that of the civil servants, perhaps the WP should take it upon itself to do so in some creative way.

Anonymous said...

I quote your post "General Election 2006 - results" on the seventh of May.

"The PAP has made a number of tel"ling PR errors. Firstly, there was Lee Hsien Loong's May Day rally speech, in which he mentioned that Singaporeans ought to be retiring later. He mentioned the example of one 80-year old woman who was still earning a meagre income by working at a hawker centre."

The statement "Singaporeans ought to reire later" - it is entirely up to them. In this case, I DO NOT think that she works just for the sake of working or retiring later, rather because SHE NEEDS THE MONEY. and why does she not have money? wy are so many people stll so poor? I think the PAP should ask themselves that.

Anonymous said...

WP briefly talked about high ministerial salaries after SDP made it an important issue. Steve Chia, I believe, also raised the NKF issue after the SDP does. Sure, SDP talks about democracy and freedom of speech etc etc but they do talk about important bread and butter issues as well.

I find it strange that some pro WP supporters are so blatant in badmouthing SDP. I wonder their true intentions. In my opinion, any REAL opposition is better than no Opposition. Stop our divides and see what this government is doing to us.


WP has been talking about high ministerial salaries since JBJ, stupid. And I had the impression that the SDP can subsist on their favourite talking points without food. In my opinion, a good Opposition is better than a weak one.

The Wobbly Guy said...

People are still poor because we simply progressed too quickly, attaining the status of a NDC from a 3rd world state in 30 years, along with all the higher prices suffered by NDCs(my parents, back from Korea on vacation, told me the prices there were even higher for comparative stuff, eg. a bottle of coke, and wage levels were not much better), while a significant portion of our citizenry has yet to achieve the wages or savings to pay for these higher prices. The aunties who have to work in MacDonalds or the hawker center despite their advanced ages are the clearest sign of this. The janitors in my school, too, are mainly the older folks. Not qualified to do much of anything else, but they still have to pay for their basic necessities. The GST makes it worse.

So how to solve this problem? Somebody made a good suggestion: abolish the GST and replace it with a luxury tax on items. Private cars, for example, are a perfect choice for this. Stop calling it COE, and just slap a 50% tax on all car purchases. Solves the problem of too many cars on the roads too. Other goods that could be taxed this way would be jewelry, private property. This solves the problem partly. The WP, of course, would like to just revise the tax code and tax the high income earners more heavily, and redistribute the income to the needy. Again, I don't really have a problem with that, but as a libertarian, it still makes me uneasy. But if they can come up with a good definition of 'needy', I'm fine with that.

What I'm afraid of is that we'll end up bailing out those who were fiscally irresponsible: buying lots of items on installments and suddenly losing the income to pay for those items. Buying a luxury car when their finances are already stretched. Spending frivolously in the present without considering future needs. I've heard enough anecdotal tales(my uncle is one of those irresponsible folks). Why should we pay for their mistakes?

BTW, did any opposition party talk about the 'white horse syndrome'? That part really irks me, though I have to admit that this syndrome is somehow endemic to every country in the world, human nature being what it is. The need to suck up to superiors is a dangerous temptation. :)

Anonymous said...

"Singapore is ranked 140th out of 167 countries by Reporters Without Borders in its press freedom index -- after Russia and Yemen and by far the lowest ranked for any developed nation."

Well, after the election result, ch 8 had invited one female analyst. She was being asked abt the above ranking. She answered that the ranking is based upon the overall, including the media coverage for both the govt as well as for the opposition during the election, etc. Until this point, the media staff immediately cut her off.

Anonymous said...

PAP might be contended with the 66.6% win and WP happy with the increased majority this GE 2006. And people of Potong Pasir & Hougang are happy that they kept their respective MPs.

As for me, one of those Singaporeans who wished to see more opposition in Parliament and the political landscape of Singapore changed, returned home this early morning, very very sad and disappointed.

The net result is the same. 2 out of 84. All these increase in percentages are only a gauge. May be a motivating factor. But, I see Singapore as doomed in this situation, not being able to come out of this unhealthy situation, after so many years.

For the politically inactive or insensitive Singaporeans, they don't give a damn. Or may be most Singaporean are very very happy with the current state of affairs and PAP dominance.

Then why have a general election at all ? If the results are so predictable and no one cares about it.
Or more so, why even have a parliament ? If only lift upgrading and flat upgrading matters, what we need is an effective administration & civil service.

Why waste all this money .. just to show we have democracy ?

If the PAP is so desirable to our people, then one idea would be to split it up into two independent parties and then, at least have some form of equitable opposition representation.

Anonymous said...

pay and pay think they win. but in my heart, they only win in absolute figures but they lost not in qualitative terms. for sure, they did not win my heart and my mind.

Anonymous said...

it shld read as "they lost in qualitative terms"

but instead the citizens of hougang and potong pasir truly win my heart and my mind. respect their dignity.

Anonymous said...

WP, SDP and SDA

I salute your efforts.

Never give up your hope to give the power to the people.

Awakening a nation takes time.

God bless.

Anonymous said...

I hope that WKS is not groomed to be the next PM.

He is arrogant (as evident from the way he speaks;body language) and is likely to come down hard on people. The James Gomez saga is testimonial to this. I had the general impression that PM Goh wanted to put the issue aside but WKS kicked up a big fuss (and an 11 page report) and continued his stance ad nauseam on the issue.

A highly qualified, educated PM or one with compassion, humility? I'll choose the latter.

Anonymous said...

Me too, I hate WKS. He's just a suck-up to old man Lee. But don't worry, the next PM would probably be in his late 30s or early 40s now. WKS is over the age limit, I think.

Anonymous said...

remember the businessman who got thru 3 security checks with a airport pass ticket bearing a different name without problem as well as the unsolved loanshark harrassments.

can't solve the above but only trying hard to prove by kicking up a big fuss on gomez's issue. Stressed that by the fact that ED had allowed gomez to walk into the nomination hall to register and to report himself to stand as a candidate has already proven that there was no problem at all.

Anonymous said...

I AM THINKING OF COLLECTING ALL THE MATERIAL FROM ALL YOUR BLOG AND FOTOS TO PUBLISH A ENGLISH AND CHINESE MAGAZINE (ONE OFF) TO SHOW MANY SINGAPOREAN THE TRUTH. I AM SURE MANY MANY SPOREAN DON'T KNOW WHAT THE FUCK THE PAP HAD DONE.

Anonymous said...

The day we can all NOT be anonymous wld be great - but it wld be a long time coming before all of us who actually feel something and have been politicized (especially fuelled, engaged and encouraged by the events of the election fervour and after reading all that has been written; debated and exposed)to make a stand to speak for democracy and change; equality and accountability; representation and transparency ;and for what we feel is the right way to go forward....are willing to actually come out and make a stand. We should not be sheep to be herded this way and that - we have ourselves to blame if we are marginalised or at worst, patronised.

I applaud those who have stepped fwd to take up the challenge of sounding an alternative voice of compelling substance tempered and grounded with insightful and well-positoned arguments/thoughts/alternatives; I challenge myself and indeed all of us feeling and caring Singaporeans to take active part in ensuring that we have a country to truly call our own.

The government that has been formed has been voted in by the majority. That is a fact, and as SM Goh nicely put it - it is time to move fwd as one united people, not to split ranks, whoever we may voted for or have sympathies with. Our voices and concerns can and should continue to be heard as we, as concerned and engaged Singaporeans, make representations on all issues to take up with our elected MPs and grassroot leaders at our various constituencies. The voice of the people doesn't need an opposition in Parliament to see things questioned; clarified or requested.

We can as concerned individuals make a difference and engage our elected representatives to do the right thing by majority. Even as minorities - your given sounding board is your MP. It is truly time to be less apathetic and progressively help shape Singapore into a what the people need and want, with the help and understanding of the government of the day. There is no need to wait till 2011 to make changes or mount a campaign; the time is here and now as we as citizens engage more meaningfully by getting out of our comfort zone of apathy and anonymity and start speaking up in what I trust will be a more consultative style of governance in the years to come.

Anyone for grassroots participation?

octopus

Anonymous said...

Some of the views put up in this blog are too extreme. You are going to frighten those in middle class to support you or the opposition parties.

I was having a conversation with my friend who does not believe that we need opposition to check the government. I tried to frighten him a bit by saying that the ooposition got 33.3% of the vote which almost 10% more than last election. By the next election they may get 45% and 1 or 2 GRCs. And by 2 elections, the opposition may able to form the government. He says he will migrate. So do not keeping saying taxing the richer people. Note, my friend is just a worker who has a car and an HDB flat and not much money left as he spent most his money on education of his children. If he has seen what is written in this blog, he would probably plan his migration earlier. Note that he is Chinese-educated Sporean in his forties. I am not sure which country will take him as his English is not good enough. But his mentality is quite authoritarian, could be due to his education in Chinese. So if you want the opposition to win another 10% of the votes, do not frighten many poor rich people or rich poor people with such extreme views..

Anonymous said...

well written and analysed. u can b e 1st class analyst!!!

Anonymous said...

why cant this blogs be available to the senior citizens, and to people who don't have the luxury of owning a pc? i feel that that the older citizens are deprived of such interesting topics! All the news they get is from the papers,tv and radio! AND WE KNOW THE MEDICORP AND ST HAVE NO DIGNITY!!! I WONDER HOW THEY SLEEP AT NIGHT WITH ALL THE BIAS REPORTING AND ETC,ETC...TAKE MY ADVICE(JOURNALISTS) QUIT YOUR JOBS AND FIGHT TO SET UP A INDEPENDENT MEDIA, AND PUT ALL THOSE YEARS OF HARD-EARNED EDUCATION TO GOOD USE!!!! I'm gona print out all these, as well as more interesting points
from sintercom, singapore window,think-centre.org, yawning- bread and compile all these into a file...let the older citizens know what the fuck is really going on....

LASTLY....THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD FEAR THE PEOPLE AND NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND..THAT WAY WE WILL HAVE DEMOCRACY!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Vendetta is over-quoted. Besides, revolutionaries do not always have a plan for the future, as history has proven. Decimating a good but flawed current system does not guarantee a better future. You cannnot fight on an empty stomach.

But anyway, I agree with the poster about the extreme views. The reason why WP has struck a chord with a relatively larger percentage of voters is because they have chosen the middle ground. Of course the extremists and some idealists will scorn this, but remember you fight politics with politics. And you try to stay our of jail too.

And I agree even more with octopus - our end goal is to see a better nation. We can just as easily achieve some of our objectives, if not all, without an opposition in parliament.

"Disobedience when it is not criminally but morally, religiously, or politically motivated is always a collective act and it is justified by the values of the collectivity and the mutual engagements of its members." - Walzer

Anonymous said...

I find it hard to believe that the same thread that believes in making political debate available to all casually makes accusatory remarks over all major media and its reporters in Singapore. It is perhaps not too far off the mark for me to hazard a guess that you probably don't know too many reporters personally. It is not all the ground reporters who are pro-PAP, or exercise self-censorship. The reporters I know do question policies, govt decisions, and are in touch with ground sentiments. All papers take on the political direction of its chief and main editors, who may, for various reasons, be aligned to certain political interests. It is blatantly insensitive to blame all reporters for this apparent skewed reporting, in the same manner that it may be insensitive to blame all civil servants who vote for PAP out of concern of their jobs. A company is not a political party - you need not be personally aligned to its political interests and it is impt to continue to treat its employees with a view to their personal opinions. - Friend to Reporters.