Sunday, February 17, 2013

Political Fodder at Speakers' Corner

Alex Au has a good round up of the protest event against the Population White Paper at his blog: Five thousand gather to protest population White Paper.

I agree with him completely. I always love it when someone write and and I agree. Saves me the trouble of doing the labor myself. So I am going to quote him.

Will the government be moved by this event? Unlikely. Never underestimate a ruling class’ capacity for denial.

I do think however that they were shaken by the angry responses they saw on social media, and taken aback by opposition from among their own backbenchers. But since they simply cannot see any other way ahead, they’re not about to change their minds. As for this protest, even 5,000 people on a field is something they can conveniently dismiss as yet another “vocal minority”, or “the usual suspects”.

More likely, the ministers will retreat a bit more into a sense of martyrdom. They are still convinced that they know best, but hurt that their well-thought-through plans and hard work are not appreciated. “We will go down fighting, let history be the judge” is an easy cry to adopt. It has the benefit of preserving pride while mitigating the need to think again.

People here forget that whilst Malaysia next door which shares many similar security threats with us have changed their security laws, ours have found it apt to keep them unchanged. My point? Don't make the government desperate. These are people who deeply believe that only they can save Singapore. Soon they will stop seeing you as anti-PAP and as anti-Singapore. We cannot use the usual methods seen elsewhere and transplant them here. It simply does not work as Alex Au had also concluded.

In the end this event would be used as political fodder by the WP and PAP. Life is tragic that we always need sacrificial lambs in order to move. Nobody if they are aware want to be such lambs. There will always be such people and I pray like someone left a comment for me earlier about the Boston Tea Party that providence will smile upon them.

Stay foolish, but please do it like Noah. WP Low knows how to stay foolish that way. My Jan 28th post: 'WP: How to win together' was only part one. I had avoided including the Machiavellian aspect of political strategy - too far ahead of time. In other countries a secretary general speaking like Low had would have provoked a rebellion among its ranks and had him removed, but we are not any other country and the PAP isn't any other democratic political party. Neither are the majority of Singaporeans like citizens of other nations. We don't know how special we are and we will not know until another young Lee Kuan Yew thrown up for such times galvanize us. History must rhyme or we are sunk.

Finally for those who were at Hong Lim Park must remember that the Singapore identity is hard to pin down because it is still evolving. We must embrace foreigners but not the totally mad idea of 6.9 million. We must not be confined by geography and without a civilization and single race bedrock, we must create the Singapore idea built on our pledge of regardless of race, language or religion to build a democratic society based on justice and EQUALITY...equal opportunities; equal before the law; before God; not necessary equal in performance....we need to reinvent our meritocracy which has kept its name but lost its essence. Then we will have hope and confidence for the future. Not this morning stupid idea from the PM of working with the government on their morally and philosophically bankrupt terms.


  1. Your comments on Low Thia Kiang will hit a raw nerve with WP supporters and others who believe that their way is the way forward and not th "confrontational and destructive" way of the SDP (and in particular the much maligned Chee Soon Juan). People like you and Yoong Siew Wah`s concerns about WP`S deliberate policYy of accomodation is to be lauded because if it were from other opposition parties it wiil be immediately labelled biased worse - envy. I hold no brief for SDP but the time has come for us to demand that out rights and heritage be respected and not just remind the driver not to go the wrong way. It seems to me that the WP would remian quiet and reap the benefits of those who wil stand up and be counted. They reaped the benefits of Madam Vellama`s challenge and Ravi`s perilous journey and yet they did not support them either morally or financially. They reaped the benefits of their labour int that the PM was mindful of the case now coming before the Court of Appeal when he called the by-election at Punggol East. They will reap the benefits of those patriotic citizens (like yourself and Fish)who braved the rain and fear of reprisals to attend the protest.I do not know if the talk that the WP has advised its members not to attend the protest as they do not want to be associated with "confrontational" activities. But their silence is deafening.They cannot go on having their cake and eating it.

  2. It's the nature of change.
    Just as PAP is looking increasingly out of touch with the changing times.
    WP faces the same danger.

    WP's strategy is successful as long as PAP is the dominant party and majority of Singaporeans is voting PAP.
    When things change ... hmmmm ... we shall see if WP is able to re-invent itself.

  3. When we reinvent meritocracy, which family genes will be pronounced as superior, whose owners will be the higher mortals selected to run our swfs?