4 Oct 2006

Fighting to win a 'freak' election?

Singapore Democratic Party
3 Oct 06

Questions about our political system being democratic enough to allow the opposition to gain power recently surfaced at a forum to which Mr Lee Kuan Yew replied that those who want to see a more "open" and "liberal style" of democracy fail to "see the limits of Singapore's geography."

In plain English, "over my dead body."

According to the MM, an opposition victory at the polls can only happen in a "freak" election, as in freak (fr─ôk) n. – A grotesque aberration of nature.

Would the sane accept a freak in their midst? And what's worse than a freak election? A freak government that would, in one of Mr Lee's nightmares, cause Singapore to "collapse".

Now we all know that it would be terribly irresponsible for Mr Lee and his party to allow the city-state to implode as a result of non-PAP rule.

This is why the MM promises that if such a scenario were to occur the only people to save Singapore from such a fiendish occurrence are those in the PAP and its military wing.

As if this was not enough, Mr Lee raised, again, the threats from our immediate neighbours. Contrary to what he says, our enemies are not the Malaysians and the Indonesians and we certainly don't need a dictatorship to protect us from our neighbours, thank you very much.

It is the oldest trick in the book: When embarrassed internally, create an enemy externally and spook everyone into thinking that without a strong and autocratic leader whose motives must not be questioned, the threat will engulf the entire country.

With the WB-IMF fiasco and Temasek-Shin Corp debacle happening in quick succession, the creation of the looming spectre of a bellicose Malaysia and Indonesia is chicken-soup for the PAP soul.

Aside: Why does the Kuan Yew continue to insist on magnifying the fact that the Hsien Loong is nothing more than the father's son by talking as if the PM did not exist? (MM: "My main critics want me to be...") Yes, Mr Lee, we realise you're incorrigible. It's your son we have more hope in. So why don't you just sit back and let the Head of Government do the talking?

But reality is as reality does and we all know who the boss is. And it is Mr Lee Kuan Yew who says that the Government will not allow the political system to progress beyond what it is today. In other words no opening up, no liberalization, no opposition.

The crucial question is: Which part of this statement does the opposition not understand?

Given the 40 years of pummeling that we have received, being dragged from pillar to post, and having our rights amputated limb by excruciating limb it defies logic that the opposition continues to believe MM Lee when he tells us to work hard and continue to contest in the elections in the hope that maybe one day we'll win enough seats to form a government – a freak one, that is.

What Singapore needs is not more elections. What we need is a message articulated clearly and consistently that only with a system that respects the democratic freedoms of the citizens will elections have any meaning for Singaporeans.

That message must also be that we are prepared to fight for our rights and to make the necessary sacrifices to achieve our objective.

Singaporeans, if it needs to be said at all, must not fall for Mr Lee's ruse. It is the height of our folly if we don't recognize the PAP for what it is, a party that exploits our fear to deprive us of our freedom.

The fear of 'freak' elections, the fear of losing everything if the opposition were to win power, and the fear of threats from our neighbours must all be laid to rest in the cemetery of political bogeys.

The Singapore Democrats have said it before and we say it again: If Singapore is going to strike out into the future with confidence, we need to believe in the democratic process and in ourselves.

As for the opposition, we do our supporters a disservice if we keep telling them that the opposition will make headway just by taking part in the nine days of elections once every five years without insisting on changes to the system.

The truth is that the longer we put off working for, and not just talking about, reforming the election system and breaking the PAP's control of the media the longer we are going put ourselves through the misery of living in a system where the PAP pretends to give us a choice and we pretend to make it.

Army will intervene in freak elections: MM Lee
15 Sep 06

Singapore's former leader Lee Kuan Yew defended his party's political dominance, saying it was vital for the predominantly ethnic Chinese state to stand up to its bigger, majority-Muslim neighbours, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Lee, a founder of the People's Action Party (PAP) that has ruled Singapore uninterrupted since independence in 1965, also criticised Singapore's tiny opposition parties on Friday, saying the city-state would eventually collapse if they were elected.

"We need a government that will have the gumption and skill to say 'no' to our neighbours in a very quiet and polite way that doesn't provoke them into doing something silly," said Lee at a forum on the sidelines of the World Bank-International Monetary Fund (IMF) meetings in the island republic.

"My main critics want me to be as liberal, open and contentious and adversarial with the opposition as the West," said Lee, who was independent Singapore's prime minister from 1965 to 1990.

Lee and former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers were the key speakers at the forum.

Those who wanted Singapore to embrace a more liberal style of democracy failed to see the limits of its geography, said Lee, whose son, Lee Hsien Loong, is Singapore's prime minister.

Lee Kuan Yew, who turns 83 on Saturday, holds the title of Minister Mentor in his son's cabinet.

Lee said the attitude of neighbouring Malaysia and Indonesia towards Singapore was shaped by the way they treat their own ethnic Chinese minorities.

"Our neighbours both have problems with their Chinese. They are successful. They are hardworking and therefore they are systemically marginalised," he said.

Indonesia and Malaysia "want Singapore, to put it simply, to be like their Chinese -- compliant", Lee said.

Although Singapore and Malaysia have deep economic ties, relations between the two countries which separated in 1965 after a brief union, have often been prickly.

Relations between Singapore and Indonesia hit a low in 1998 when then-President B.J. Habibie referred to Singapore as a little red dot in a sea of green -- a reference to the fact the city-state of 4.4. million people is surrounded by two large, predominantly Muslim countries.

Lee acknowledged that there was growing support for opposition parties among Singapore's voters, but said the office of the elected presidency had been put in place to prevent a profligate opposition government from touching the island's vast monetary reserves.

"Without the elected president and if there is a freak result, within two or three years, the army would have to come in and stop it," Lee said.


Anonymous said...

Well said,
We do need an article like this once a while to wake us up from
our slumber.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately many Singaporeans never truly do wish to wake up. Frogs in the well and suckers for propaganda. Contented with nice hawker food, latest handphones, SG Pools lottery, slaving away and earning money in a regular 9-5 job.

Anonymous said...

anon 5.49, you are half correct. singaporeans shag, waste money on mobile phones they do not require, spend as little money as possible eating unhedalthy food in hawker centres and are happy to work twelve to fifteen hour days sos they can make extra use of the office air con, and are not forced to return to their little rat holes sthey call HDB flats which arfe usually overcrowded.

what a life, if you can call that living. and oh yes they gamble like the fuck.

wonderer said...

Well, i'm sure many national servicemen are not going to be doing the emperor's bidding if there is a 'freak' result. Myself included.

This bugger is an ultra-racist himself who created the race of 'compliant chinese' so that he can use them at will when the economy is doing well and ask them to bugger off when it is not. Additionally, he systematically and institutionally marginalised the malay and indian communities for decades so that the economy can fall into 'chinese' hands whilst ensuring that they kept apart from them so that they will be deprived of the sharing of perspectives and ideas that can only make the chinese more intelligent. On top of that, he brought back chinese culture with a vengeance so that the people would be subservient to local authority whilst turning a blind eye to other ways of thinking and doing things. Finally, he imports chinese workers and prostitutes by the junkloads to saturate the country with more chinese who would definitely support the imperial power. Very few people in singpore have memories of the 70s when the malays, chinese and indians were coming together via their shared proficiency in the english language and western perspectives. Singapore was then being separated into the tradition-followers and the 'moderns'. KY wasn't too happy about that as he knew that the economy would fall into the hands of the better educated 'moderns' and the TFs would assimilate sooner or later. Such a vibrant people would eventually question the government and their right as rulers as opposed to what they ought to be - servants of the people.

Through the SAP school system, higher chinese education, the separation of ethnic language programmes into separate channels, keeping silent or paying only lip servince in the face of growing discriminiation against the Indians and Malays, bringing in the 'speak mandarin campaign' and the asinine 'mandarin is cool' campaign, bringing chinese culture to public prominence whilst banning certain muslim and indian practices, banning the different ethnic groups from learning each others' languages in schools, the importation of chinese from the mainland, renaming of streetnames to hanyupinyin forms, demonising indians by stating that they like to oppose for opposition sake - which basically presents them as troublemakers - whilst calling the chinese 'practical', further demonising the Indians by banning the public playing of drums in the hindu festival of thaipusam alleging that it caused 'law and order problems' whilst affording chinese lion dancing adequate policing to cleanse it of its 'gangster' element, showing disregard towards muslim culture by banning the adorning of tudungs with nothing but the most simplistic of logic to support such a move, offering money to the poor to sterise themselves in the 80s knowing full well that the poor were at the time largely Malays, etc, etc, etc,.......KY managed to push forth his ethnic and cultural cleansing programme in singapore. This policy has finally come to fruition and singapore has been successfully diverted from the modern, creative, vibrant course it was taking in the 70s - which is why the SAP school system has finally been dismantled.