As usual, I’m always busy with something. This time, I write with a heavy heart.
As you know the Singapore General Election 2011 just ended, the ruling party, PAP, wins by about 60% vs 40% against the opposition. And forms the government by winning an overwhelming majority of abt 80( cant remember ) to 6 in the parliament.
In another country, the ruling party would be jumping for joy. But not here. Because the total votes for PAP has slided from 66% to 60% this time, it considers that a major setback and is mulling over what soured the ground so much this time.
The dust has not fully settled yet, Mr Lee Kwan Yew and Goh Chok Tong, our 1st and 2nd Prime Ministers, who had stayed on in the government have announced their retirement from the cabinet.
I have asked around what really is the problem this time that the vote swing is so much against the PAP. Some of my friends have offered me insights to that on facebook. I have also been to various sites to check out the emotions behind the poor sentiments.
My conclusion is, a large part of it is from negative half truths against PAP circulating the net. There are too many stories I can’t be bothered to go into details. But it makes me angry the irrationality of the a big majority of online users. Alot are very junkish, but people just suck it up without verifying the truth.
How malicious half truths or lies can circulate and take on a life of their own, charge up the negative emotions of people and dangerously risk the downfall of an otherwise uncorrupted and efficient government.
Something has to be done. ‘Cause even if there are real valid concerns beneath those negativity, they are drowned by irrational speeches and behaviour. So for the past week, I have taken upon myself to shoot down unreasonable links, opinions and expressions.
If the PAP can’t police the internet, the least I can do as a citizen is not to share unverified links and shoot down malicious and unreliable noises disguised as “news”.
Why I so kpo? At first I scolded myself for being busybody. I should be doing housework or working at my shop if I have time, and not “waste” time on facebook to counter other people’s opinion.
2 days before the election, the tide of negativity against the government was so strong I began to fear we might not get PAP as the government this time. The voice of opposition was so loud.
In my other post on this blog, I had respectfully presented my reasons for voting for PAP and took the stand that others have their own opinion and right to vote for who they believe is good for them. Alas, I was disgusted that everywhere, people are trying to influence others to vote like them. People talk about it, share links, and try to influence or persuade their friends and family to vote for their desired side.
And it works. One can stir up his friends’ emotion with rubbish they read online and viola !and sway their friend to their side! The stand which I took, to respect your friends’ ability to do their independent analysis, totally lost out to such blatant lobbying.
So, I deicided, why should I play so gently? I should go out, jostle my points of view and shaft them down others’ throat as well. Because very apparently, a large number of online users are not quite able to think for themselves.
But, why do I need to defend the PAP?
Because it’s worth defending. For bringing us from 3rd world to 1st world. For putting hearts and souls into policy formulation and execution. They are not perfect, but they are good for me. IF we vote them out, we will be the redicule of the whole world.
Because ultimately, when one day, we have more ignorant young people and less of the older generation, they will vote out an able government with their blind eyes and vote some morons in. That’s my fear.
No, if the opposition parties are at least more capable, I am not so worried. But they are not there yet.
I’m quite happy on the whole we voted wisely this time. But then, by letting the stories fly around without verification, it may hurt us the next time round. I can boldly stick my head out and say many vote with skewed views and had their emotions played up too much. It is this group that I worry about.
I have a stake in this country. I want my children grow up under the same care as I had. I wish to have PAP rule us until I can see a more credible opposition party representation. I don’t want to see a country built with sweat and tears over 50 years fall prey to rumours/half truths and lies. Many thousands have walked before us and built this impressive little country with their bare hands. I will do what little I can in my capacity as a citizen to protect what they have built.
So if you are an Singaporean, and if you agree with where I am coming from, then please join me to fight this negative wave.