A gong gong Singaporean voice at the ballot box

I refer to the 22 Sept 2015 Straits Times letter “A pragmatic S’porean voice at the ballot box” by Mr Jervin Lim Teng Lai.

Mr Lim asks

Has Singapore retreated in its democratic values when the majority of its people chose the PAP to govern, thus preventing opposition parties from growing in our political landscape?

The more important question to ask is “Does Singapore have democracy when our media is ranked 153rd in the world?”

Mr Lim asks

In our new political reality, will diversity and pluralism be compromised by the dominance of one political party?

He might as well ask if North Korean diversity and pluralism have flourished under one Kim family party?

Mr Lim claims

It is important to know that true democracy means that people get the freedom to choose their leaders based on the election candidates’ competency and values.

But North Koreans too have freedom to choose their leaders. Does that mean that North Korea has true democracy?

Mr Lim claims

In a democratic environment, political parties should have access to the required information, so as to offer criticism of the ruling party (or even other opposition parties) and its policies, and provide alternatives to the people, ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to make an informed choice during an election.

But they don’t. If they do, why do they have to keep asking PAP for information in parliament that is not available online? Given our 153rd ranked media, what basis does Mr Lim have to say everyone can make an informed choice?

Mr Lim claims

It is clear that in our election rallies, the democratic process is functioning without hindrance.

We can give up the election rallies Mr Lim, just give us Mediacorp instead. Whatever we want to say in rallies we can say on prime time television instead. That will be democratic process without hindrance.

Mr Lim claims

On the other hand, it is not democratic to demand a strong opposition voice in Parliament, especially if the people did not vote for it.

We can humour you, Mr Lim. Just give us by-elections in Punggol East, Sengkang West and Fengshan. We can then vote in a strong opposition voice if that’s what you want.

Mr Lim claims

We should also not be worried that there has been a retreat in democratic values when the majority of people voted strongly for a single party.

What democratic values are there to retreat when the fundamental guardian of our democracy – a free press – is absent in our country?

Mr Lim claims

The election result did not reflect a devaluing of democratic values in our nation; instead, it reflected that opposition parties in Singapore have not been able to convince people of their competency and values as compared with the ruling party.

What must opposition do to convince you that they can be as good as the ruling party? Start another successful Singapore?

Mr Lim claims

It only reflected that Singaporeans are pragmatic, and that most do not vote for diversity and plurality in Parliament for its own sake to support an “ideal democracy”, but a democracy that can safeguard our nation’s future.

How can Singaporeans be pragmatic when they have voted to cull their only weapon – the opposition – with which to hold the PAP to ransom? Instead, Singaporeans are blissfully idealistic that there will be happiness ever after so the opposition can be safely discarded after use.

The election just reflected that in our democratic environment, we voted for a strong ruling party that has worked very hard for us for the past 50 years.

The ruling party worked very hard for us or for themselves? Shall we compare the average net worth of the ruling party and their lackeys with the average net worth of non-lackeys?

The opposition parties need to prove their competence and show that their values work for our young, small, vulnerable nation, if they want to swing the votes in their favour.

If we don’t vote the opposition in, how can they show their competence? If we allow the PAP to sabotage the opposition, how can we allow them to show their competence? If we are so vulnerable, isn’t it risky too to put all our eggs in the PAP basket?

Mr Lim says:

Thus, it would be very right to say that our democratic system has given us a monolithic government, governed by an entrenched elite aristocracy.

Ours is but a mockery of a democratic system that has given us an entrenched parasitic autocracy.


One Response to “A gong gong Singaporean voice at the ballot box”

  1. kai Says:

    It’s a wonder you even bothered to respond to that ST’s piece. It’s like trying to have an intelligent conversation with a journalist working in a mainstream press in Russian or Libya. What really do you expect them to say? The ST didn’t rank that low for nothing.
    Those who care would know but it appears that a majority of Singaporeans don’t.

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