The begin of the anticipated Bloodshed Election 2015
Singapore General Election is near the corner. Every Singaporean can smell it.
I don’t really had the idea of what my vote actually represents to Singapore. I didn’t understand my virgin vote in 2011 as deeply as how I feel now. This time round, I am completely convince that my vote plays an important part for our Singapore’s future.
This year 2015 Singapore General Election, is indeed the most important one that I am looking forward to. It is a bloodshed general election that determine the choice of the Singaporean, how we want to move into the future. Given the good will the government has achieved, done over the pass years, the election results will strongly indicate the future government of Singapore for the next 50 years.
I was once Young
Like all Singaporeans, I am educated here from young. I had never understand what those people wearing white on national day is all about, as I see them on every national day parade. Every election, I never give a damn thought, and it is natural that they should be voted. PAP is probably the only brand I know.
It was that during my university days, we studied politics in Engineering school. I believe it is a national education that was injected into the system that all graduate has to go through. It was during that period I became more aware about politics. For the studies, we often had to do research and reading outside our lecture notes. It was the time that I learned a lot from internet, and also from books from the library. So much so that, during examination period, I was so hook into the history of Singapore that I didn’t give a damn to my core exam, engineering subjects. I am just addicted to reading history books about Singapore. They were not even related to my exams.
The Hatred I had
I still couldn’t understand a lot of things reading the history. Nothing gets too deep into my head, because I was not living in those era. The internet provides more alternative interesting politics the the books. What I learned and had understood from the internet, is a strong message that we are all being controlled by the government. Of course I had to research further from the internet to verify all these are not made up. The more I search from the internet, the more I think these are real and true. How many people get jail and made bankrupt by LKY. A video showing LKY rudeness toward Chiam, trying to drown his speech. As what the internet says, we are all blinded by PAP. Media cover for the opposition rally were tone down by the media. It was as though there were people trying to hide something from the general public. It reinforce my believe system that the government is indeed up to something. At that time, my mind was filled with hatred for PAP, and I too feel that justice must be done. All these were around the year 2003-2005.
My Virgin Vote
In 2011, things get excited. Finally I had the first chance to vote. Many Singporean too was their first time. For the very first time of my life, after PAP dominated the poll for so long. It was simply ridiculous. Opposition finally got organised and provide almost everyone the opportunity to vote. I was emotional, listening to opposition’s speech when ever there was a rally. The mass rally by the opposition was so exciting, like a rock concert, with sea of supporters covering the ground. Unlike what was reported and see in the newspaper, opposition looks strong and powerful.
As a person who want a balance of view, I also compare by going to the PAP rally. It is like a loser speaking because the atmosphere is much much different. Much much less people watching the rally. Seems like no supporters except Ah ma, Ah gong which was reported to be there because of chicken rice dinner. Many were given air balloon which can be used to hit to make pong pong noise, a sound for support. These are all true, seen by my own eyes. There was no doubt in my mind, that what was being told in the internet world were true. And eventually, I cast my very first, virgin vote to the opposition. I had hated it when LKY said that we will repent. When opposition won the GRC, it was like finally, our voice are heard, we are getting stronger. A sense of happiness. Opposition won their very first GRC, once thought to be impenetrable.
Punggol by-election was also a happy moment. Joining the happy celebration at Hougang with friends outside the famous coffeshop that very night. Everyone was rallying loud late at night along the road. Police were there, which I find them annoying, trying to stop our happiness. They are simply control freak.
I felt a Weird sense deep within my Heart
I was happy but really feel weird inside me. While I was indeed happy but didn’t merge into the cheering well. When I think back now, it was probably the experience that I had gone through. For the past 5 years, I was working with government related organisation. Quit my job during that year 2011 May, which shortly after was the election period. The way government organisation do things are done is fair and systematic. There may be some bureaucracy, but Gov is walking the talk. Whatever I had encounter in the organisation matched the Singapore image that was projected. It was like two different world pushing me left and right. The real world and media publicity, and the internet world. Two extremely different view. Both has reasoned out their point of view in a logical manner. I can’t tell any discrepancy. I can’t really tell who to believe, who not to believe. But I choose opposition, because I felt that if there is something to hide from the people, there must be a problem with the white side. I couldn’t understand that kind of big bully behavior. The truth, I was in fact a fence sitter. I had find it difficult to side with either side, and was unable to differential what is right and what is wrong. Both sides seems so right in their reasoning.
The day after Punggol By-Election
This was the turning point for me. All these changes, the following day after the last Punggol by-election in 2013. Once again WP won. I had the same feeling of “I knew it” (not surprise), sense of future that WP is growing its strength. Finally Singaporean starts to wake up one by one. I was happy for them that WP managed to snatch over Punggol which PAP MP was elected in 2011. The very morning, I stay tuned to the TV. I remember clearly this outdoor interview on ChannelNewsAsia at Punggol along one of the main road. A reporter interview a young lady about how she felt about the by-election. I can see from her face a sense of happiness, just like mine. She said she is very happy that the opposition had won. Her next statement really caught my attention. The was a big contrast when she spoke her next statement. Her face expression changed completely and said that her father is however very very sad about the result. And this experience opened up my mind to more.
Who will love PAP?
This two extreme thoughts hit me hard on my brain. The next question, I started to question myself. Why would someone love PAP for the evil things that they have done to us? At that time, I thought it is “no brainer” that everyone should be loving the Opposition not the evil PAP. Opposition talks for the people, opposition are the one who cares for the people.
So the questions I asked myself. Who love the “Pappies”. I recall my mom’s mention before, she knew who my Dad would vote for the presidential election in 2011. I recall my neighbour who is the fans of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, putting his portrait as if he is worshiping Guan Kong (God of Righteousness). I started to see the other side which I almost forgot. I forgot to ask them why they like these leader so much. I forgot to ask why on earth there are still 60+% of the population who support PAP in this era.
These started to open up my mind to the possibility and assumption that the PAP are the good guys. Things started to make sense for me a bit now. I started looking from the perspective that PAP have good intention for Singaporean, and started to re-reasoning those topics that I already know from that perspective.
The system we have now, GST tax system, how personal tax works, how government encourage us and supported us to be entrepreneur, the history books that I have read. The experience I went through as an entrepreneur myself. And surprisingly, I managed to look at the same topic with a fresh new perspective. It is like a flipped of a switch in my brain. I started to see the things the government see. The policies which many hated, can in fact be explained in another perspective, that I could not see. My confident for the leader went up a little.
The very One event that Shock and Convince me.
There are some topics that I am still not confident to explain. This is until the white paper was out shortly after the by-election 2013 Jan. I said, “What?” You have just lost your 3 territory and shortly after, you announce the population white paper. For sure more people will hate you to the core. Brought the propaganda newspaper “The Straits Times” and read about the report on the population white paper. But that time, my mind was clam. I know it should be good for Singaporean. I could not understand yet at that time, but I know it is a serious announcement.
Why it is so serious?
It was an obvious announcement, that I know for sure people will throw stone and rotten egg at my face, if I said that on the stage. This was a shocking policy and they announce it as if it is the only choice. I am sure I am not as courage as our PM Mr Lee Hsien Loong to announce such a policy to the public. But this move also provide me with further understanding, give me the full confident that we have a good government on place that will do whatever it takes to put Singaporean first regardless of everything else. It is a difficult choice any government would have to make, as it can easy throw them out of politics. No brainer, a huge risk.
I started to understand the policy from the assumption that it is for the good of Singaporean. Through reasoning again, I manage to understand why a government could have to come up with such a shocking policy.
Learning from the Right Perspective
Throughout these few years, I learn from the policies where the nation is moving towards. Attending many many of the forum and talks by the minister, confirms that my understanding are in sync with theirs.
Since then 2013, I managed to understand a lot of things through reasoning and experience. I can say I have the confident in our government the position we are taking.
Like what Mr Lee Kuan Yew said during the 2011 election, I am now deeply remorse and repent for my choice. During the week Singapore’s mourning for our founding father Mr Lee Kuan Yew, the understanding of what Singapore was meant to be, intensified.
Understand Policy is no Easy Task
It is no easy task to explain everything in a few short paragraphs to let people understand the challenges that Singapore is and will be facing. It has to start from a believe, that government has the very good intention for Singaporean. From this episode, I learn that if I started from the assumption that those people are evil, whatever they do will look evil to me. Even if they sincerely offer you a drink to make friend with you, you will think that they are trying to poison you. That’s why it is important to start first by thinking positively or at least stay neutral view first until you have heard clearly both sides of the stories. It should be a position that you should feel difficult to stay side with. If a policy has 10 negative thoughts, then we should look for the 10 positive advantages. No policy is perfect, every policy has its pros and cons.
WP starts to understand PAP
From the WP party speeches in the recently NUSS dialogue on the 18 Aug 2015 at NUS, I can see that WP’s is more and more mature, and understood the difficulty in making a public policy from the prospective of the government. WP was putting on good words from the perspective of a government, when one of the audience starts to question government is a negative way. In fact, WP is acting more and closer to PAP way of thoughts, and is clearly very different from the rest of the inexperience parties leaders who were at the forum, who had never stayed in parliament or formula national policies. You can watch the full unedited dialogue here at Political Dialogue @ NUSS: General Election 2015.
Why I am here?
What I am doing here, I have made a promise to myself. If a good policy can be twisted so realistically by the people on the internet, influencing people even to a degree holder like myself to believe in their version of the stories, then why can’t a good policy do the same and influence people. How can a good policy lose to those twisted stories? How can the truth lose to the fabricated stories?
To understand what is it meant to be a Singaporean living in Singapore.
At the time when I was ignorance, practically no one on the internet are protecting our government policies or explain how the policies are good for Singaporean. Now I see more and more people standing up to voice up online, to stand up for what they truly believe in, of our Singapore govern. I have promised myself, I will have to serve my national service duty for at least until the next election to redeem for my once, ignorance.
This is my home, if I don’t step forward to protect it, then who will?