Musings Singapore

Politics is ugly

Polling day is just round the corner and social media is ablaze with links, tweets, posts, notes and all sorts of activities. Whereas there are a certain number of supporters for the incumbency, the voices for the opposition has risen well above those.

PAP has done a great job over the past 40 over years. We have some great policies and programs that are comparable, if not better than most countries. We have safe streets and rudimentary racial tolerance. I don’t think anyone is discounting that. On the contrary, I believe everyone online acknowledges that we have made amazing progress over the years. I agree wholeheartedly that we would not have been able to achieve what we have achieved without such a parental type of government. But I believe things are changing. The world is changing and our government has to change with the times too. Our government is like a grouchy old grandmother, always using the fact that we would not be what we are without them as justification that we should always do as they say. And when we propose change, or question their actions, they whine that we are ungrateful brutes, and after all that they have done for us, this is how we repay them? When we show them new ideas, they shout burn the witch at the stakes! However, the sickening truth is that all these achievements have not been accomplished by the current batch of ministers, yet the arrogance that they portray disgusts me to the bone.

I am also appalled at the blatant threats and scare tactics that they deploy every time they are questioned about their actions. Are they really as naïve to think that if we have free speech, Singapore will turn into a riot? If they really do believe that, then I think they have failed in their attempts at building racial harmony (reason I said tolerance earlier). If we are all truly harmonious, there is no taking away that mutual respect for each other. If we are truly One Singapore, there is no need to constantly single out different races and making a point that we ‘try to accommodate all’.

I am also fed-up about their treating us like rabbits. Throwing upgrading carrots may have worked in previous elections, but I’m not sure it will be all that effective now. Upgrading has only made the flats more expensive, and more unaffordable for citizens. This is only beneficial to those who have more than one house, because remember, even if we sell our flats at a great price, we need to spend just as much to purchase a new resale flat. Higher standard of living thereafter? Maybe not.

Want to know why we are not making more babies? Maybe a closer look at why our inflation rate is higher than the salary increase. Need to spend more money on basic necessities, such as paying for the HDB loan, means less money to support a larger family.

I always give this example to those who do not believe that PAP just simply does not care about their people.

My grandfather passed away during the rally weeks in the last election 6 years ago. He has lived most of his life in Potong Pasir, and that was where we had the wake. During the day, at every couple of hours, rally trucks would pass by, alternating between PAP and then-SDA Chiam See Tong. We were extremely surprised when Mr Chiam turned up at the wake with only his wife and one other party member, paid his respects to my grandfather, and sat with the family to chit chat for almost 45 mins. During this time, his party member came over to my white gold collection point and contributed a sum on behalf. I was already grateful and appreciative of the gesture, regardless the amount. The real shocker was when Mr Chiam himself came over, took money out of his wallet and gave me the money. I was so touched that I was almost at a loss for words.

And then I waited. The PAP representative has always been extolling his care for the people in Potong Pasir, so I waited. And waited. Finally, many hours later, a PAP party member came by, with cash, saying that he ‘represents Mr Seetoh Yih Pin’. He just made sure I wrote the name down, and left. Is that genuine care and concern for the people? I don’t think so. Similarly, I doubt he was even sent by the rep.

The one thing I find the most hilarious, is that it was the rally period. If you were trying to win, shouldn’t you at least pretend to care more? It still makes me wonder if they really know what the people want. It’s not the abalone porridge nor the never-ending upgrading, it’s the very simple fact that what they do for us, is from their heart.

I really do not think that opposition voices are necessarily anti-PAP. I believe they just want to see some change, less complacency, more accountability and real care. If voting for the opposition is the only way to do it, so be it.

I think it’s very telling that civil servants are afraid to vote for the opposition, for fear of prosecution. I also think it’s ridiculous that civil servants are afraid to say anything about the elections, for fear of prosecution.