What I saw and heard today heartened me. But also worried me.
Many of the speakers were fantastic. Easily better than almost all rally speeches in the last elections.
Passionate. Incisive. Speeches filled with vivid images which all Singaporeans can resonate to. Spoken from the heart. Speaker after speaker.
The crowd cheered. Went wild. Shouted slogans. ‘Reject Reject Reject!’, they shouted.
The speaker who stood out was Tan Jee Say, who delivered the coup de grace. Hard-hitting and no-holds barred, he delivered his speech in a statesman-like booming voice. He accused the PAP of ulterior political motives in wanting to add 25,000 new citizens per year to bolster its flagging popular support.
‘The PM has failed us!’ he declared, referring to the PAP’s failure to increase productivity in Singapore 34 years after the Productivity Campaign in 1979, as the crowd roared its assent. ‘If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!’
Yet of all the speakers, only Jee Say called for regime change. Everyone else said they were here to make tjeir objections known to the Govt, but not to make a political protest. Only Jee Say told the crowd plainly, we have three years, and the only way to stop this White Paper is to change the Govt in 2016.
Jee Say is absolutely right. The PAP will not withdraw this White Paper, no matter how many people protest at Hong Lim Park. Yet, where is the alternative?
Jee Say wants people to vote in a new Govt, but which party or parties is running to form a new Govt? WP? SDP? NSP?
All these parties just want to be PAP’s check and balance.
So who do we vote for to get a regime change?
Three years. That’s all the time you have, Mr Tan Jee Say, to find a group of people who want to form a new Govt. That’s all the time you have to persuade WP, SDP and NSP that they should join you in a coalition to challenge the PAP for political power.
This White Paper may well be the tipping point for the next General Election. If you can make this White Paper the focus of 2016, if you can convince the electorate that as head of a new Govt, you will reverse PAP’s misguided White Paper policies and implement your $60B Economic Plan, you may just have a shot at changing the course of politics in Singapore.