Vote for our present and our future, not our past

Many people will vote for the PAP eventually because they believe that the PAP has brought us to where we are today and has given us the prosperity that we enjoy today. They believe that PAP is the reason why we are not another Third World country. In the words of a granny from a television programme some time back, it was Lee Kuan Yew who saved all of Singapore from hunger and poverty.

It is almost impossible to get Singaporeans to even question that belief. As long as we continue to believe that, we will forever be shackled to the PAP. Our lives will forever be dictated by them. No amount of rhyme or reason can change their beliefs. For these people, we need to ask ourselves, are the people who brought us to where we are today the same ones that we will vote for this Saturday? Are we voting for Goh Keng Swee this Saturday? Certainly not. The wisdom of Goh Keng Swee has already been institutionalised in all the ministries and civil services. Whoever we vote for, the civil service will continue to function efficiently with all the wisdom of past ministers. In other words, when we vote this Saturday, we should not vote for gratitude, we should vote for our future instead. We should not vote for what past ministers have done but should vote for what current ministers have done. We should ask ourselves how these ministers have added to our lives. Before they came, we have already achieved a lot. After they came, what additional contributions have they made? Did they make things better or have they made things worse? We cannot, because of the good we have experienced in the past, ignore the bad that we currently face.

Many of us are unaffected by recent policies. We bought our houses long ago and cannot possibly understand the pain of having to pay $150,000 extra for the same flat. Many of us are middle income, we cannot understand the concerns of low wage workers competing with foreign workers for the same jobs. Some of us, in fact, want our flat prices to go up even more to earn more. If we only care about ourselves and not the plight of our fellow countrymen or the future generation, are we still a country? Some of the issues brought up by the opposition many not be pertinent to us now. But increasing flat prices will affect future generations.

We must vote to blunt the arrogance of the PAP. We must vote to put ourselves back in our rightful position – the masters’ seat. We must vote to free ourselves from the threats of the PAP withdrawing national funding for upgrading. We must vote for nation above our own wards.

Why does PM Lee continue to need SM Goh’s guidance? Let’s vote for SM Goh’s retirement. We don’t really need Mah Bow Tan or Wong Kan Seng. Let’s vote for them to step down. George Yeo has done no wrong but can Singapore afford to lose Low Thia Khiang and Chen Show Mao? PM Lee has doubled up as finance minister before. He can double up as foreign minister while some of his new star candidates learn the ropes. Let’s vote for opposition substance. Let us not forget the passion and the sensibility of outstanding opposition candidates like Alec Tok, Pritam Singh, Vincent Vijeysingha, Ang Yong Guan, Tan Jee Say, Png Eng Huat and many others.

It was only a few days ago that I finally understood why voting is secret. When I first voted many years ago and I saw my name being written on the stub with the serial number, I have always thought that my vote can be traced. Only recently did I come to understand that while the authorities can match my identity to that serial number, no one can relate that serial number to who I actually voted for because the only time the voting slip is taken out of the box is during the counting when both PAP and opposition are present to watch over things. Everyone is too busy counting votes to be doing anything else. Once the votes have been counted, the voting slips will go back into the box and the box sealed. From then on, no one can ever reach into the box, pick out your vote to match your serial number to who you actually ticked. In any case, we should always vote with our conscience regardless of whether people know who we voted for.

Finally, many people are truly contented and satisfied that the PM has apologised. What I am afraid is that since it is so easy to appease the crowd, would we have another five years of high handed rule knowing that the PAP can easily deflate dissatisfaction again at the end of the next five years?

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