But why PAP? Someone asked me that before.
I did pause to search for the answer.
It didn’t come naturally, and I was glad it didn’t, cos I wouldn’t like it to be an automatic answer… like some brain-washed, controlled answer that came from a reflex reaction similar to someone yelling “Hail Hitler”.
I was glad i took a minute to reflect. ‘cos frankly, how is it possible to like everything and everyone in the PAP? I could think of a few MPs, even a few Ministers I would dislike, or at least cringe more than a little each time they speak.
But I too personally know more than a few Men in White who are humble, honorable men and women, who selflessly serve the people, think hard for what is good for the people, push boundaries, manage difficult crises, consider moral dilemmas, and take tough decisions.
I saw leadership. I saw intelligence. I saw cold logic. I saw ability. I also saw passion.
But most importantly, I saw moral courage. Between what’s right and what’s popular, the men in white I’ve come across have no qualms saying and doing what they feel is right. Even if it may not please their bosses, their colleagues, or even the electorate. This is something I really respect.
To answer Ben’s question of what do I think I want to see in my MP, I have 3 simple things.
1) To be sure of what he/she stands for.
PAP is not about its might, or its prowess, or resources, or its infamous iron-fist. PAP is about taking action to serve the people. Whether it’s through resources, through having a voice, or through whatever it takes. ACTION is their promise. On this, I think the PAP does well.
2) To honor my independent mind.
On this, I would say PAP do have much room for improvement. But I’ve to applaud them for having the guts to admit and say sorry and want to learn and improve. Given time, I’m sure they can get it right. We are a young democracy. Supporting the opposition is NOT democracy, like so many opposition supporters like to think. WP is not the emblem of democracy. The question would be, how would the ruling party effectively educate the people to discern and understand how to be a democratic nation.
3) To defend my interest when I need him/her to
An MP is my representative in Parliament. He needs to be able to defend my interest as a citizen in Parliament, and if there is a need for a trade-off, to forge a consensus with me through effective leadership, so that the nation can move forward in unity.
If you really ask me, I’m still reluctant to actually label myself as a PAP supporter. Let’s just say, I support anything I feel is good for my country. And from what I’ve seen of the men in white so far, I would say, we’re in good hands.