I read the papers this morning and let out a giggle, followed by a chortle, followed by a laugh. Of course, I spilled tea all over myself! I laughed because I was sooooooo happy.
Kiss and Make Up
When I read that Tharman Shanmugaratnam had said last night that the opposition should "keep playing a constructive role in Singapore politics" and "the opposition plays a critical role in advancing the country", I rejoiced with a giggle, a chortle and a laugh.
In the past 5 years, only PAP and WP sat in Parliament together. Hence, Tharman Shanmugaratnam's reference to the opposition who can "keep playing a constructive role in Singapore politics" must mean the only opposition party who has been playing ANY sort of role in Parliament in the past 5 years - the WP.
As far as I see, it is clear that Tharman Shanmugaratnam respects the WP. I am so happy for that!
On their end, the WP have lost with dignity. There was no petty anger. No one from WP said, "Singaporeans get the parliament they deserve."
To grow our country, we must have love. God is love. Hopefully, the PAP and the WP will love each other as much as we love them.
Not Used To Adversarial Politics
I grew up in an era of the one party rule. I am not used to adversarial politics. I got through the 2015 elections like a bewildered child watching her parents slug it out and draw blood from each other. One commentator living in Australia said that what had happened in Singapore was mild compared to what he sees daily in Australia. On the intellectual plane, I understand that.
Emotionally, I do not.
Whose Side To Take?
The 2015 elections sent me to bed twice to hide under my pillow. It was like witnessing parents fight dirty. All that mudslinging! There were all manner of boats from Sampans to Titanic to Cruisers! Then there was something about Patterns. And, people even fought over orh luak! Wah piang!
Then there were WP supporters who jeered at the PAP politicians. Aiyo! D*** stressful! I felt for those hapless PAP politicians who had to face that down and live to see another day. I also felt bad for those jeering WP supporters (so different from the gentlemanly WP politicians) because their anger must have come from having suffered too much under the stupido PAP policies from 1990 to 2011.
I tell you, the cognitive dissonance I experienced (when I saw the suffering people jeering and Ng Eng Hen's dignified courage in the face of those jeers) just about sent me to the Loony House. I had NO idea whose side to take!!
So, I consoled myself by making fermented vegetables.
Fermented asparagus, garlic and cherry tomatoes... nutritious probiotic food!
Heal the Hurt
In my immediate circle, there are WP supporters who are heartbroken. Really, they are devastated. My beautician gave me a good scolding on WhatsApp because she needed to take her pain out on someone, and I happened to be there at the wrong time.
These people suffered greatly under the idiotic PAP policies of the past. Generally, these are people from the lower socio-economic spectrum... beauticians and other blue collar workers.
There is GREAT emotional anguish. It would be good if WP can move beyond its own hurt to tend to the broken hearts of their supporters. WP still has a voice and they can increase their online voice, and out of Parliament presence.
PAP can also look beyond its own triumph and see these people's broken hearts, and ask these broken hearts for a 2nd chance to mend their hearts.
White ermine... picture from HERE.
Plutot La Mort Que La Souillure
Translated, this phrase means "Better to die than to be sullied". Legend has it that Queen Anne of Brittany came across a white ermine one day, during a hunt. Chased into a corner by the Queen's hunting dogs, the white ermine had 2 choices (1) to die (2) to take the only route of escape through a puddle of mud.
Instead of escaping by running through mud, the white ermine chose to face the dogs and die.Queen Anne was moved to recall her dogs and take the emblem of the white ermine for her coat of arms, along with the motto "Better to die, than to be sullied." It is clear to the electorate which individual politicians got through the fight with ermine fur still white.
The demeanour of some of our campaigning politicians (notably, Gerald Giam, Daniel Goh, He Ting Ru, Leon Perera, Yee Jenn Jong, Sylvia Lim, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Ng Eng Hen, Ong Ye Kung and Tan Chuan Jin) demonstrated that spirit of honour. They were prepared to die a political death than descend into the mud and start slinging it about, whilst bathing themselves in it.