As you may have noticed, I have been posting consistently on my blog. This is primarily due to:
a) my laziness to go out
b) my lack of money
c) my boredom
So to entertain myself, I have decided to read about Singaporean political perspectives by various local bloggers. Of particular note is one written by K.S. on his blog entitled What is Blog? His writings, though antithetical to the mainstream governmental propaganda (to put it lightly..), are very perceptive and represents what I would call a committed and responsible voice of the opposition. He is not a member of an opposition party but his views on how the opposition should fight the incumbents are valid and are very well thought out (looking at the strategy pragmatically of course!).
The post entitled “The REAL WORLD that we PLAY in” is broken into part 1 and part 2. And in order to get a better insight on the debate, it is best that you read an entry by Mr Goh Meng Seng entitled Checks & Balances who incidentally is a member of the Worker’s Party and represents an alternative voice to mainstream political ideas.
What K.S. emphasizes on his blog is the “REALITY” of the political situation in Singapore, which involves engaging the PAP in its own battle field. And according to K.S. this would mean fielding opposition candidates with paper qualifications, who do not have weird idiosyncracies such as Tan Lead Shake (DPP) who was protrayed as a slipper-clad “chap” by the media. Instead on engaging on important issues such as unemployment, political freedom, transparency in the government and non-governmental organisations (such as the NKF), what the PAP is prone to doing is launching on attacks on the qualifications of the candidature (the presidential non-election is a fresh reminder I would argue). And I must quote him on this, simply because I have to agree with him, being a young politically aware soon-to-be voter (in two years time at least!).
“Most importantly, they must play and not continue complaining about being unfair. Stop complaining! Brush up you skills, recruit better players and use strategies to beat the ruling party at their own games!”
While it is universally known that the opposition is not (and will never be) fighting on a level battle field, we simply cannot complain childishly among ourselves (in the true Singaporean manner) of the blatant injustice of the political system or hide behind complex political theories to explain random irrational rantings of a certain politician of the opposition party who believes that this will be enough to change the mindsets of the people. Hello? Reality Check?
“The ball was never in your court! Don’t expect it to be passed into your court. Go to the opposing court and played their game and try to beat them to it. Then dribble the ball back to your court. That’s the only way! There is no use complaining and getting upset and refusing to play or refusing to comply with the rules. It is of NO USE!”
K.S. used the analogy of soccer to explain the political situation in Singapore and it is important that we realise that until we get the ball and bring it to our court, we have to play the game in their court with their rules (though as skewed as they can be).
Another problem which he touched on concerning the opposition is the lack of a balanced media coverage of the opposition leaders, who may seem to be virtual unknowns to the electorate. This is very important because if there are already so few interested political voters who actually do their research on their MPs and their policies, who else would know about such opposition aliens? It would be hard to vote for an alternative voice simply because it is the alternative and nothing else.
I must admit that I am literally a political virgin because:
a) I have never been involved in an election before in any capacity.
b) I have only been interested in Singapore politics for a few months after reading Dr Cherian’s book entitled “The Air Conditioned Nation”.
c) I do not have a strong grasp of our political history, which I had found to be very very interesting, especially during the election periods, from the Malay chauvinism of Mohamed Jufrie Mahmood and the Chinese ideologies of Tang Liang Hong, to the controversy behind J B Jeyaratnam.
d) I am a young soon-to-be member of the electorate who have not lived through the “tumultuous years” as our social studies textbook would call it.
These are solely my views on Singapore politics, with respect to the state of our opposition now. I have yet remained undecided on whether or not I would enter politics simply because I believe it would be virtual political suicide for a Malay to be a Malay politician. It would be akin to walking on a political tightrope, pulled across by Malay activists, Nationalists and members of my political party.