Saturday, 7 May 2011

Singapore Considers Change

My friend Tim, who lives in Australia shared this interesting link on Facebook: Nervous times for rulers as Singapore considers change

An excerpt:

The electoral threats to the ruling People's Action Party are embodied in voters' perceptions and grievances - including rising prices, hubris of the ruling party, million-dollar ministerial salaries, overpopulation and better treatment for foreigners - and credible opposition challenges.

Do go and read the whole article for yourself.

It was interesting because a lot of Malaysians think that Singapore is the utopia - the ideal way to run a country.

The realities, however, are far from it. Sure - their economy is reasonably well-managed and they have a solid reputation internationally.

I have been to many countries that had never heard of Malaysia (in spite of our glorious twin towers and our s0d0my trials) but they had almost always heard of Singapore before, even if they couldn't exactly pin its location on a map.

It's no secret that I despair over the future of Malaysia and the apathy of the average Malaysian, but I think Singaporeans are in far worse shape.

A former journalist, Richard Seah, speaks about the way young Singaporeans today think in his piece, Why I vote opposition:

But my primary reason for voting against PAP goes deeper. I articulated it recently during a whatsapp (similar to sms) chat with one of my younger friends, who is about 25 years younger than me. It began quite innocently …

“I dun care about the elections, hahaha,” my young friend messaged. We had, as usual, been joking and engaging in casual chat. I decided to get serious.

“You dun care because you dun have friends who were imprisoned without trial for doing social work and helping the poor,” I replied. “You dun have friends who cannot come home to Singapore, you dun have friends who were made bankrupt and had their lives destroyed by the PAP government.”

“Wah! So serious arh?” my young friend replied. She then went on to say … “But if you vote opposition you won’t get upgrading … Ya I know the PAP is unfair … But I am the logic (pragmatic) type.”

Haiz! I gave up and resumed the nonsense talk. But my heart won’t give up. I have to speak out what I feel deep inside.

While Malaysia puts dissenters away behind bars, Singapore assassinates the character of its critics and bankrupts them.

Opposition politician from SDP: Dr Chee Soon Juan

Richard Seah elaborates, "As the years went by, I began to see more and more cases of people either made bankrupt, forced to flee the country or otherwise portrayed as crooks and liars simply because they opposed the PAP. The late J B Jeyaretnam, Tang Liang Hong, Francis Seow … all had their characters assassinated."

No one said much, because the economy was good and everyone was busy making money and trying to keep up with the Joneses.

Apathy is the wild card of all nefarious governments.

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