We are in the midst of an election season again in Singapore, and I hate elections, other than the one extra day of public holiday we get so that we can go to the polls.
Why the hate?
Its a rather strong choice of words, because that’s what elections does, polarises people. Right now in Singapore as well as around the world, we’re facing a pandemic of unprecedented scale, all hands must be on deck to fight this pandemic, save lives and of course save our country and economy. The COVID19 pandemic puts the entire world at war, and this war is far from over.
So here comes the Elections.
This is really the last thing we need right now, as the current, effective and working government is dissolved so that we can reset and choose a ‘new’ one. We don’t need a new one as the current one is already doing a stellar job, they have all the mechanism in place and everything is working well. I really like it the way Singapore is going.
So here comes the Opposition.
Let me be idealistic, and say that without the ruling PAP, all oppositions will collapse. They have nothing going for them except to oppose, whatever policies the government has come up with, never mind that the current policies in place is working well.
Listening to the Opposition, creates that desired effect, oppose, and it mostly means deconstructing what is already in place. For example, there is a lot of noise about the GST hike, the Oppositions uses this as a red herring to distracts the public, knowing that no one likes taxes (me included) but taxes is a necessary evil. Opposing eventual GST increase is a populist ideas used to stir the population to dream of a better utopia state.
Policymakers or Politicians
The other reason why I hated elections is that a lot of the PAP leaders are not better policy makers than they are politicians, the Oppositions, on the other hand, are more politicians than policymakers.
I prefer Policymakers to Politicians.
They are the go-to guys to fix problems, and offer solutions. They look into issues, listen to the sentiments, diagnose the issues and suggests a reasonable, actionable course of actions. They take out what might not work, and change it into something better to ensure the bigger strategy is reached. Policymakers are planners, and they take actions. They don’t blame and they will strive to execute the best possible policies to secure the best possible outcome. They don’t play politics.
Policymakers usually makes lousy politicians, because they are boring people, and take a long time to communicate their ideas as they know the full scale complexity of an issue and they have a plan to deal with it, explaining will take too much time, and they like to let their work speak for themselves.
Many politicians makes decent policymakers, but there are many politicians, who are merely political and comes with their own personal agendas, sure they will implement policies, but policies they benefit from, first. Politicians are shrewd communicators, using their skills to break down a complex problem into bite-size pros and cons, never mind the rest of the just-as-important fine prints. Politicians often comes with the charisma, charm and eloquence to bamboozle the public, carry a baby and make a dramatic show for to polarise issues so that people will take their side and buy their arguments. They can use power to rally the people, their arguments are typically one sided ‘them and us’ and mostly assigning blame to an extrinsic entity.
As far as I can remember, Mr Lee has never assigned blame during his political career (I’m sure Oppositions beg to differ!). When we ‘gain independence’ from Malaya (the truth is they kicked us out), Mr Lee’s rhetoric wasn’t to assign blame. Correct me if I’m wrong, he never openly blamed the Malaysians for kicking us out, he has bigger problems to deal with. But being dealt with a shitty card like this, it is very easy for Mr Lee to stir the hearts and minds of Singaporeans back in 1965 by saying:” They did this to us! They didn’t want us! We will make them pay and they’ll regret ever doing this to us!” Had we build the nation on those words, we would have been a very different Singapore. We would have a Singapore always looking for reason why people hates us, rejected us and we would have been a very angsty bunch of people. But Mr Lee showed us a better way, and look at where we are today!
The kind of political climate I want my children to be in
Mr Lee has said it before, PAP will not lasts forever, a better party will come along, and right now, not even in the near to far future, I see any form of better party, all I see is a bunch of Oppositions, opposing for the sake of opposing.
The New Centre of Gravity
As I age, I’m starting to understand what Mr Lee said, he knew that the policies PAP comes up with isn’t perfect, they are very, very good policies, but they have flaws. He has a vision of another political party that equals or has superior policymakers, and has an actionable plan. The new political force will have no time to assign blame, play politics, lie, oppose for the sake of opposing, and engage in selfish, narrow minded antics that just divides the population. The new political force will be an alternative centre of gravity, one that has a stronger pull, has a better vision, direction and energy, an organization even PAP will concede to.
This party will be Opposition’s Opposition, and yet it will not be another PAP. In the current ecosystem PAP is the ruling party and everyone else is an Opposition, period. The new party isn’t going to be an Opposition, not even an Alternative, it will be a whole new way of thinking how Singapore can more forward, in ways that not even PAP can fathom, when that happens, we know we will have a second coming, but until then, I will have to bear with the current bunch of Opposition and the noise they are making.