12 Wishes For Singapore Politics In 2012 (Part II)

[See here for Part I]

7. That people stop idolising Chen Show Mao

He’s very talented, very humble, very dedicated to serving the people. But please, he’s still just a man!

8. That Singaporeans stop mindlessly aping foreign protests

Arab Spring. Occupy Wall St. Slutwalk. What do these have in common? A bunch of people who have called on Singaporeans to replicate these foreign protest movements in Singapore, without thinking whether they are even relevant to local circumstances.

Arab Spring— I want a non-PAP Govt as much as the next guy. But overthrowing this Govt by force is not the way to do it. Arab countries which did that had no choice and nothing to lose because the people were in deep poverty. We are not in that situation. More importantly, we have no one ready to take over from the PAP Govt, since the current crop of “opp” politician are just a bunch of checkers and balancers. So how would having an Arab Spring in Singapore make things better?

Occupy Wall St— A coward called for Occupy Raffles Place and never showed up. He got it all wrong. He should have called for Occupy Istana, to protest the highest-paid ministers and President in the world.

Slutwalk— I don’t understand what they’re protesting, in a country where men can get caned for rape and “molest” and can go to prison for “outrage of modesty”. Why are they just blindly aping Western protest movements? Did some Singapore policeman make condescending remark about rape victims dressing like sluts? If only they could have devoted their energy to organising a Tak Boleh Tahan 2 protest instead. Or even a protest against the amount of homework schoolchildren are given!

9. That Eugene Tan does not become a Nominated MP

Notwithstanding that the guy knows nothing about local politics, what would the media do without him? They will miss his quotes as an “independent” political “observer”!

10. The Singaporeans learn to see beyond the wool PAP have pulled over their eyes

For decades, PAP ministers have talked about “constructive” opposition, in particular hitting out at leading figures such as JBJ and Chee Soon Juan for being “destructive” while praising politicians like Chiam See Tong and Low Thia Kiang as “constructive” opposition.

That both “opp” politicians and voters have been taken in by these assertions is testament to the power of the media and the level of political immaturity of Singaporeans at large.

Let’s be clear on what they really mean. According to PAP, “constructive” opposition means non-PAP MP’s who don’t just criticise the govt, but also offer alternative proposals, while “destructive” opposition oppose for the sake of opposing, do not propose alternatives, and are working to bring down the PAP govt.

What PAP didn’t state openly in the above is that “constructive” opposition refers to those who are willing to play second-fiddle to PAP, ie those who know their place, who accept that PAP will always be the Govt, while they will forever be in opposition.

“Destructive” opposition, as far as the PAP is concerned, are those who wish to see the PAP out of power.

Lets be clear about this. There is no other country in the world where the party in power looks at parties in opposition for “alternative” ideas or proposals. No other ruling party in the world labels their opposition “constructive” or “destructive”. Not Umno/BN, not LDP, not KMT, not the Congress Party, not even the Myanmese generals.

It is not the opposition’s job to come up with ideas and proposals (“constructive” or otherwise) for the ruling party.

As far as Parliamentary opposition is concerned, in all democracies parties in opposition have only one aim: to get out of opposition and into power. By the very next election, if at all possible. And it is thus their right and privilege to use whatever means that are legal to do so.

Hence, by the use of clever labels such as “constructive” opposition, PAP has promoted the idea that voters should only support parties who are willing to accept PAP’s hegemony, willing to allow it to continue forever in power, and who see their role as just providing “constructive” criticism and “alternative” proposals to the PAP/Govt.

And by the use of negative labels such as “destructive” opposition, PAP has cleverly persuaded voters not to support politicians who want to replace the PAP in power, by equating them with those who want to destroy the country.

Singaporeans have lived with this wool over their eyes for the last 50 years. I hope 2012 is the time when they wake up, pull away this wool over their eyes and break free of PAP’s mind-numbing tactic.

11. That Mediacorp starts a weekly 45-min talkshow series with MP’s

It should be a free-format talk show where an MP is featured each week. Less the full-cabinet ministers and NMP’s, there’s 80+ MPs, NCMPs, Ministers of State and Parl Secs, so it would take 1.5 years to go through one round, assuming they all accept. But it’ll be worth it as it will bring politics closer to the people, and allow everyone to see whether their MP’s and MP-wannabes have got “料”.

12. That people stop saying “I want more ‘opposition’ in Parliament”.

Because what you really mean by “I want more ‘opposition’ in Parliament” is not “I want WP/SDP/NSP to represent me”, but “I want PAP to change/listen to me/address my issues and concerns”. And what that really really means is that you still want the PAP in power, you still think PAP = Govt and Govt = PAP.

Nobody in a real democracy votes for “opposition”. They vote Labour/Conservatives/Social Democrats, Republican/Democrat/Tea Party, etc. Because they agree with what Labour/Conservatives/Social Democrats/Republican/Democrat/Tea Party stand for and they want Labour/Conservatives/Social Democrats/Republican/Democrat/Tea Party to represent them in Parliament/Congress/Senate.

Not because they want to have “opposition”.

If you don’t really want WP/SDP/NSP, if what you want is PAP to change, I suggest you go talk to your PAP MP. All 1M of you.

“Opp” supporters may think I’m cruel and cynical. But in the long run, this will be better for the country. Rather than encouraging a bunch of “checkers and balancers“, if politicians get the idea that politics means running to get into power, and the electorate will only vote for those who are serious about getting into power so they can effect their election promises and deliver on their manifestos, we will soon get a new breed of politicians who want to challenge the PAP, and be forever rid of the “checkers and balancers”.

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About politicalwritings

Someone who sees beyond PAP and "opposition" in Singapore politics. To understand more please see the Top 10 link below.
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9 Responses to 12 Wishes For Singapore Politics In 2012 (Part II)

  1. Simon Says says:

    Ditto and kudos to all the points mentioned above.
    I hope 2016 is the year where Singapore Electorate moves to First-World Electorate.
    The ‘checkers and balancers’ will have to (1) up their game (2) devise game changing plan and get ready to form an alternative govt (coalition or not) with truly good people.
    Let’s hope they don’t squander the opportunity.

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  4. Duh... says:

    Promote Nicole Seah but do not idolize CSM. And Nicole Seah gets far without idolization? Puhleaze!

    The contradiction is funny. Promote star candidates and let people rally around them, CSM is WP’s star candidate, yet you ask people to ignore him?

  5. A says:

    Agree – except on Slutwalk. They definitely had local goals – the repeal of Section 157(d) Evidence Act for one – that were worth fighting for (and it has, indeed, been repealed). Not to mention legalised rape in marriage. I don’t think the movement is about the word “slut” (or at least, the one here claims not to be).

    If someone else would like to do a Tak Boleh Tahan 2.0 or anything, by all means, but I don’t see the them as mutually exclusive.

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