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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Singapore General Election 2011

I am not so keen to write anything about politics on this blog but this being a very special General Election, I think I need to pen this down somewhere before my memory fails me.

First, the background. Out of 87 seats, 82 are being contested. That in itself is a historical first. And with these numbers, there is a possibility, abet very teeny weenie possibility that the incumbent Pay and Pay  party will lose their majority and not be able to form the next government. A distinct possibility but still possible especially if everybody thinks their one vote for the opposition doesn’t matter. There are 6 opposition parties this time round and all of them have in their ranks some ex-military or ex-civil servants and most are more highly qualified. This time round there are no weirdos or wacko. Only very charismatic people like Chen Show Mao of the Workers Party, qualified people like Tan Jee Say, Tony and Hazel Tan and of course not forgetting the pretty and charming Nicole Seah.

The issues are the same though. High cost of living, high prices of new HDB flats, foreign workers and the lack of accountability by the PAP top the lists. But the stakes are higher this time round. With the Worker Party pouring all their resources into Aljunied and the SPP into Bishan-Toa Payoh and seemingly giving a lower priority to their previous stronghold of Hougang and Potong Pasir, there is a high chance that the opposition for all its 82 contests, may end up with eggs on their faces. But the prize for winning is high – one or even two GRC which would see 10 oppositions in Parliament!

The voter numbers have increased of course with 86 constituencies being contested. In addition to the senior and the baby boomers, the new entrants are the Gen X and Gen Y, most of whom are voting for the first time. Gen X and Gen Y are believed to be the most vocal critics of the PAP hiding behind the anonymity of the internet to take pot shots at the PAP. Why is this so, I don’t really get it since they are the main beneficiary of the PAP’s past policies. Among the voters, the most common consensus is that the PAP should be allowed to continue to rule but with a strong opposition voice in Parliament to serve as a check and balance. So these group of people are hell bent on getting an opposition, in fact any opposition into Parliament. The WP in a breakaway from the usual norm, has gone in this direction, telling the voters in Hougang and Aljunied to vote them in – for the country and not for themselves. In short, to ‘sacrifice’ their own desire for a better estate for the greater good of Singapore. Will this strategy works?

The PAP of course stupidly played right into it with the great MM shooting of his mouth with threats. And  MBT with his figures that totally make no sense. And of course it didn’t help that many of the Ministers and MP come across as arrogant and snobbish with their “I know better than you” and “It’s for your own good” attitude.

So what is going to happen come the 7th May?  I am not pro-PAP or pro-Opposition. Neither am I anti-PAP or anti-Opposition. And if you reading this don’t know the difference, you probably not going to make a smart choice in your vote. Vote wisely because the stakes are high. Do not cut off the nose just to spite the face. Neither should one be intimidated by threats of withdrawn services. Look at the track record of the various candidates. Sure it will be nice to have an opposition voice and if we can have our cake and eat it, why not but and this is a very big BUT at what cost? Will it be worth it especially for the people of Aljunied and maybe Bishan-Toa Payoh?

Luckily for me over here in Punggol-Pasir Ris GRC, my choice is made much easier by the non-appearance of the opposition. It is a no brainer. How can I vote for somebody I don't even know or seen. No sound no picture = no vote.  

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