I was feeling in my previous post, quite sure of my conviction to vote for PAP, until I saw Nicole Seah. She’s a young candidate at 24 and is very talented in handling questions thrown at her, in a even keeled and mature fashion. She’s the media darling for this election.
I was so pleased to see a girl so well spoken (go watch her speak, you will like her!) at her young age. When the netizens came down hard on Tin Pei Ling, the 27 year old PAP candidate, I still thought, Tin’s only 27 years old, she should be given some leeway because of her relative youth. But along came Nicole who at 24, is more matured, compassionate and communicates in a much more superior manner than Tin Pei Ling.
That Nicole Seah appears in a party opposite PAP highlights a inherent weakness in PAP. No matter how rigourous its selection process is, it cannot solve this problem. By virtue that it is PAP, period. Something like a camera cannot take a picture of itself. And that out there, on this small island of Singapore, we are NOT as talent squeeze as it has perceived.
We were told that we have difficulties looking for our 4th generation leaders, that high flying people will rather serve out in the private sector, with better pay, than to enter politics. That’s why they wanted to raise Ministers’ pay to the millions to better attract talents. That’s PAP’s blindspot.
Nicole Seah’s (and Chen Shao Mao’s) appearance shows that, not that there aren’t enough willing talents out there, they just do not want to enter politics via PAP – whatever their reasons might be. And suitable talents may not always come in the form as PAP expects! Thus, if PAP continue to monopolise the parliament seats, Singapore as a nation will lose out by not getting the talent it needs to govern the country.
As the MM himself had said before, in order to bring certainty to a continued good source of leaders, we should instituitionalise the system to facilitate that. Having more parties definitely is a first step as it casts a wider net.
As responsible citizens thus, I agree with some that we should begin voting in the able candidates from other parties into the parliament. **ABLE candidates** The 4th or 5th generation leaders may not emerge from these parties yet, but given time, there’s no telling we will continue to tap on Singapore’s top talents to lead our country, with a more varied parliament and open politics.
As I have said, I am deeply grateful to the PAP party for having brought us this far. In my constituency, owing to weak opposing candidates, it’s wiser for me to stick to my earlier stance. But this does not mean we should continue to vote for PAP blindly or loyally. As the future landscape changes, we may need a different form of government to serve us better. Maybe not in the next 5-10 years, but on a longer term basis. Do we wait until then to vote the other parties in? That may be too late. In a classic PAP style, taking a long term view, the time may be NOW.