Let me start by stating for the record, I am not, have never been, a supporter of the PAP. As I described myself, I do not hold any membership or affiliation to any political party. Period.
General Election 2020, or GE2020 is supposed to be a battle for the younger voters, or anyone who does not fall into Pioneer or Merdeka generations. And I fall into this category of voters who are no longer “afraid to vote against the PAP”.
But as declared, I will not vote against the ruling party. And my reasons are very simple.
1) Why fix something that’s not broken?
Let’s be very honest, we enjoy a very good (not just good, but VERY good) standard of life. We live in clean neighbourhoods, almost never suffer power outages, there are no slums or ghettoes, crime rates are low.
So is life in Singapore really that bad? I mean, are we out of jobs, homeless and starving? Yes, there are many who fall into these categories, whether by circumstances or even their own doing. But is the current administration turning a blind eye to these social issues?
The truth of the matter is, the government has multiple programs in place for such citizens. But instead of acknowledging what they have done that is good, scores of anti-government voices have always picked on the occasional missteps to say how bad they are, and why they should be replaced.
Even if the system is indeed broken (think USA), do you seriously think the current opposition is capable of doing a better job, repairing the system? I have been called a “sheep” for blindly following the masses who voted PAP, but the same applies to those calling for change.
The PAP has been instrumental in getting us where we are today, and in my book have continued to navigate us through new challenges to keep us still somewhat top of the game. So in my book, nothing is broken, so nothing needs to change. Improve yes, but change?
2) Singaporeans think too highly of ourselves
Me included. This I blame the government for decades of only highlighting our nation’s achievements. Like when our national carrier is voted best in the world, when our world class airport is named number one, when our students attain the highest scores in global standard examinations. In the 70s and 80s, it was always about why Singapore was such a great place for foreign multinationals to invest billions into setting up here, and employing our “world class workforce”.
Perhaps what brought about our success is also the reason that has caused us to be complacent, self-entitled, and basically made us lose our competitiveness. Reality is that as our economy grew, productivity has lagged behind. Coupled with the double whammy of the rise of China and even other 3rd world countries, we seriously need to up our game as a workforce to ensure we continue to enjoy prosperity.
But instead of admitting that we can do better, we want to enjoy the same high standards of living but feel that we no longer need to work as hard as our parents and grand-parents did. This is why most Singaporeans are upset with the government and seek change, wanting someone who tells us they will give us handouts because we deserve it, without having to work as hard. Yes, opposition supporters will have a field day blasting me for making such statements. But the only reason (to me) they would rather focus on this is because it is so much easier to blame instead of reflecting and questioning if there is any truth in my statement.
Because we are so great, we deserve better, and we don’t have to work hard at it. Worst of all, we don’t need some archaic old school power-hoarding establishment to tell what to do.
A common excuse used by many is that only with change can we become a real democracy. But wait, democracy is not just about talking and debating and not performing any concrete action. Democracy starts with every citizen doing our part for the good of the country.
In the wise words of a former president – ask not what the country can do for you, but what YOU CAN DO for your country. So before you take the high road and speak about a more open and “democratic” society … make sure you have contributed to the country in real action and not just cheap talk.
3) Long Term Vision and Planning
Another hard truth which most Singaporeans will never admit, or even try to understand. Unfortunately we live in the “instant gratification” age where it’s always about NOW NOW NOW. What most people do not realise, and actually simply don’t give a damn, is what is needed for the long term survival (not just sustainability) of the nation.
Wake up! What you see today, was the result of plans made decades ago, and which took decades to build up. I get peeved when I hear comments about “Ah Tiongs”, and other derogatory remarks made about people from the land of my ancestors (face it, almost 80% of us are of Chinese ethnic heritage) . How many of us remember that the late Lee Kuan Yew first engaged Deng Xiaopeng way back in the 1970s, and it was only in the new millennium that Singapore benefited from China’s meteoric rise as an economic superpower.
Today, many Singaporeans are upset with Indian nationals and our economic co-operation with India. How many of us realise that within the next 30 years, the 2 largest economies in the world would be China and India? When that day comes, wouldn’t it be better to have strong, solid, established relationships with these 2 economic powerhouses?
But the sad truth about most Singaporeans, and just because you graduated from NUS or NTU doesn’t mean you’re immune to such narrow-mindedness and short-sightedness, is that we don’t understand and simply cannot visualise the future. What our current government has been, and is doing, is for Singapore’s future.
When I look at the myopia of the anti-establishment voices, I feel all the more we need a strong hand and visionary leadership as we chart our way into the future.
And what do I mean by their myopia? Well switching political affiliations/parties every few years just doesn’t give me confidence that you are prepared for the long-run. It’s just what suits you now or at the current point of time. Sorry, but that just tells me you aren’t the one to lead us into the future