Election season is underway, and we’ve just six days left before polling day. I’ve long wanted to give my two cents, but seeing that I never intended this blog to discuss politics, lest I inadvertently incur the wrath of the wrong people, I’ve discarded a few posts that I had begun to work on. Yet, some things must be said.
First of all, the ruling party, PAP, I’m not sure if they realise that they are doing more damage to themselves than the opposition parties are? Even if I just forget everything that happened before nomination day, but just watching on TV the political forum on nomination day, Lawrence Wong, in my opinion, has destroyed his own party more than the oppositions have done. Denise Phua didn’t seem to do much better.
Both sides, the PAP and the opposition parties, have some very strong candidates. They both also have really lousy ones. I should add that some current ministers also ought to be fired, and I’m not talking about Mr Lui.
Over the years, it’s clear that the opposition has strengthened both in numbers and in quality. Two elections ago, while I thought that there is a need to have some opposition in parliament, the problem was that there were few qualified opposition members to choose from.
The 2011 general election was a turning point. We had really good quality opposition candidates, and some of them scored a deserving victory. This general election will see even more qualified opposition members running. Like many Singaporeans, I hope to see more opposition represented in parliament.
That’s not to say I, or other likeminded Singaporean, are either anti-PAP or pro-opposition or both. We want, or at least many of us want, a government that takes care of all Singaporeans. We want a parliament that has constructive, intelligent, debate on national issues. We want transparency. We want questions answered. We want our voices to count.
As a young child, your parents take care of you. They look after all your needs. Everything they do, they do in your best interest. They know best. Even if they didn’t, well, they know better than a three year old child. But as you grow older, you start to ask questions. When you enter adolescence, you may start to get rebellious, because you want to be consulted, you want participation, you have your own ideas, and there are things you want to do.
We have enjoyed fifty good years, thanks to the founding fathers of modern Singapore. The next fifty years is a new phase. We have struggled with crossing into that new phase. Singaporeans have grown up. This isn’t the best analogy, but the point is that our needs have changed, our expectations have changed, and we need things to run a little differently now.
The PAP must have surely recognised this changing landscape. I think the challenge is for them to accept and embrace this change. In all likelihood, the PAP will continue to run the government for some time. That isn’t a bad thing. Our downfall will be when the PAP, or our government, refuses to listen to the wishes of Singaporeans.