Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Singapore General Elections 2011

Honestly speaking, I would like to think of myself as someone who is generally apathetic to the political scene back in my home country. This is something not uncommon, considering the fact that most of my peers are also seemingly apathetic to the local political scene back home. But recently, I find myself being intrigued with news and the ongoings back home (I'm an overseas University undergrad by the way). I even find myself googling the likes of Nicole Seah and Tin Pei Ling, and treating Twitter and The Straits Times as my new best friends, while bombarding friends on Facebook with links to blog posts and videos.

I'm still legally unable to vote, but I guess that may be a blessing in disguise for me. I mean, PAP or one of the opposition party? That is definitely one tough decision to be made. I don't deny the fact that the PAP has contributed so much to Singapore; so much so that we are able to progress from a small fishing village (and from British colonial rule) to the affluent, first-world nation today in a short span of 40 years. I've also lost count on the number of times I proudly beamed to my non-Singaporean friends about my home country (read: well-known shopping district, famous Integrated Resorts, food paradise, clean garden city - it may seemed kinda cliche, but trust me, you'll learn to appreciate what you see on the streets here after being away from home for quite some time). I remember taking an anthropology module in University two semesters back, and Singapore was often mentioned by my tutor, simply because she is the only Southeast Asian country to succeed both economically and financially as a whole under a different government rule that works well for the country itself. I've been reading the comments and opinions on blogs and social networking sites such as Facebook and YouTube (and yes, while I agree that Nicole Seah does seem to be a more fitting candidate than PAP'S Tin Pei Ling), I kinda ponder if Singaporeans know what they're in for the long run.

A huge disclaimer first, that is, I'm not pro-PAP. But what makes you think so that these opposition parties are able to stand by their own words or policies that they claim they will finalise? If the vast majority can pinpoint the PAP for not keeping to their words, what more these political parties? I'm not trying to say they are incapable, but look, the PAP has been in place for as long as I can remember and the PAP has indeed done a good job in allowing Singapore to thrive. But that said, no political system or government is entirely flawless. The PAP does have its own share of shortcomings too. I'm sure Singaporeans are now feeling disgruntled simply because they feel that the government is not doing much to help the community and the natives, especially those from the lower and middle income groups. Therefore, I hope that the growing (strong) presence of outstanding candidates from the opposition parties will actually serve as a wake-up call to the PAP, that it is indeed time to review their policies and to think of best plans to help the people (growing inflation and a higher cost of living is a probable concern), along with alternatives for the poor and needy.

With response to online groups and forums about the state-controlled media in Singapore, I beseech you to think it through again. What makes you think that a privately-owned media would do you (or the nation) good? Look at America today. The country has way too much unrestrictive press freedom. And in Australia, nearly 75% of the media here is owned by the media proprietor Rupert Murdoch. This is a guy who is smart enough to pander to the likes of politicians whom he supports. You can kinda picture what will come up in his papers with regards to his favored public figures' policies and plans.

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