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Sunday, September 13, 2015

PAP Needs to Love the WP

In my limited worldview, the 2 parties that count in Singapore are the WP and the PAP. In my view, both WP and PAP deserve political space in Singapore. I certainly do not want WP to form the government. Think of all the instability and the flight of capital.

Neither do I want a parliament of nothing but the PAP.

2 Singapore Sons
The best analogy I can find to convey my thinking, is that of siblings. I know it is not a perfect analogy but please bear with me. If voters are Parents, then these 2 parties are siblings. We love them BOTH equally. We need them BOTH equally. It pains a parent to see a more accomplished, more gifted and more wealthy sibling push towards obliteration, the weaker and younger one.

I have an older daughter and a younger son. I love them both. I was not blind to how my daughter competed with my son and made him feel small and incompetent. I was not blind to how those feelings made my son leery of challenge and made him want to give up.

Proud of the PAP
So, I was so very proud of the PAP when I saw Tan Chuan Jin's gentlemanly and gracious attitude to winning. A FB post dated 12th Sept 2015, 2.31am (which means PAP's clear win was already known), read thus...

So, I was even more proud of the PAP when I listened to Ong Ye Kung's rally speech, which expressed hopes and desires that resonated with voters. Bertha Henson wrote a lovely review of that speech.

Beyond that, the PAP poured a massive amount of diligent work into changing education (I am very blinkered... I am only interested in education policy). I am sure a similar effort went into all other areas too. This said, I still have a thing or 2 to say in this space on class sizes of 20 right across all classes and all schools (not just for GEP [15] nor only for weak students).

Not Proud of the PAP
I was less proud to see K. Shanmugam bring the brutal election fight into his victory celebration, with the following words...

Can you imagine, after a rugby game between ACS(I) and St Andrew's that a boy from the winning school gloats similarly over the mistakes made by the team that lost?

Respect Your Opponent
As a voter, I would really like to see the PAP respect the WP, even as it celebrates. As a voter, I would really like to see the PAP give space to its younger and weaker sibling. The future of Singapore needs BOTH parties. LKY entrusted the country to LHL. Both men are incorrupt. LHL will entrust the country to another man/woman who too may be incorrupt. However, if only one PM down that PAP chain turns out to be a Najib of sorts, then this country needs an alternative party, able and ready to counter that possibility.

Take a helicopter perspective and see Singapore's future from above party interests.

If you love Singapore, respect the WP as it deserves because if you look deeply and honestly within yourselves, you can see that men and women of WP are people of good character too. After all, inasmuch as the PAP would not hesitate to surface the their opponents' sleaze (think Chee Soon Juan... and frankly, I am grateful that Chee Soon Juan's poor character was laid out for all to see), it was not able to get any dirt on Gerald Giam, Sylvia Lim, Yee Jenn Jong, Daniel Goh etc...

Hence, if the PAP looked deep into themselves to assess the men and women who comprise the WP, they will know that these are good people. Some WP MPs were paid $2000 as NCMPs. Yet, they attended Parliament diligently and tried their best to make a difference. They aren't rich people. They really stepped up so that Singapore would have a gentlemanly and viable opposition.

If we are ONE Singapore and the PAP cares about this country's future, it would take steps to protect the country from the PAP itself. Please love the only sibling you have, because voters love both of you.

Preposterous Request
I know that what I am asking sounds preposterous. A reviewer commented that political parties are enemies, NOT siblings. However, Singapore has never been like any other country. We had LKY. We invented hawker centres. We invented coupon parking. We were a democracy with ONE party in Parliament for years and years. It made sense because we were who we were. We were Singapore, a country like no other.

Today, we are who we are. It makes perfect sense to me that PAP takes steps to protect the future of Singapore by giving political space and respect to the WP.


Howard Ong said...

May be it's because I live in a more adversarial democratic system, but I find Minister Shanmugam's comment rather mild compared to what I witness almost on a day-to-day basis in Australia.

Rachel Tan said...

Thanks for this, Petunia. Resonates deeply with me. Singapore is a special country. We can create space for 6 mil people - surely we can create space for 2 good political parties?

Anonymous said...

You are already blinkered by prejudice with your comments about CSJ. Did you really do an indepth reading about him before passing such a comment?
Knowing your blog has always be pro-PAP, it is understandable you will always swallow whole, hook line and sinker everything the the PAP and their sycophantic media would like us to believe.

Petunia Lee said...


On this blog, I have (in some posts) been scathing towards the PAP -

What made me write CSJ off was how he ran THIS campaign. He found it appropriate to heavily feature (in videos and press statements) his home, his family and his kids. Which other politician stoops to that level, using his 3 kids to gain emo-emo sympathy votes? As a voter, I make my decision based on what I think he can do. I am certainly not going to support him because he is (1) jobless (2) living in a 1 room flat (3) uses his kids to gain political mileage.

I saw how emo-emo politicians lead Greece down the path to perdition. I would prefer a politician that makes me think, than one who manipulates my feelings. The way he ran his campaign was highly manipulative (emotionally). As a psychologist, I can see and name those manipulative strategies. Not impressed.

I remained unconvinced by what sleaze people said about him. I think that sleaze boomeranged back to PAP politicians who articulated it. I made up my mind purely on how CSJ ran his own campaign. I cannot decide whom is better - WP or PAP. However, I am certain that I will never vote for CSJ.

Anonymous said...

From your comments, I still think you are not open-minded enough even as you call for PAP to be open-minded towards WP.

First, CSJ did not ask for the video to be made. In fact, the family was not keen to be filmed. If it was initiated by him, then I would agree with you that he was trying to be manipulative. I do not see any thing wrong with the video. It shows the human side of him and his family and it allows me to understand how he treats his family and how his family have stood by him through all these trying years.

Second, equating CSJ with Greece is a great leap in logic. How did you make that causal connection? Also, what's wrong with staying in a 1-room apartment when you do not have the means to stay in a bigger apartment?

Third, as a mother, I am sure you will give a second chance to your kids when they create problems for you. If CSJ has corrected his ways and has tried to be constructive, what's wrong with listening to him and give him the benefit of the doubt? Why not observe him further before passing judgment?

I am ok with people who are prejudiced or biased. Everyone is, to a lessor or greater extent. However, please do not try to act as being objective when one is not. Everyone is human. Don't be judgmental, please!

Petunia Lee said...

I am not trying to act anything. I am asking for political space for WP, NOT CSJ. I make a stand and a choice.

Where is the act of objectivity? Did I say I am objective. I am not. I make a stand for WP and PAP.

If u wish to discourse more and continue to insult me, at least do not stay anonymous. My children... as they turn over a new leaf are not given power in Parliament. I still maintain power over them. Politics has no room for mistakes.

As for the video, simply have the wisdom to reject the making of it. If people can force u to make such a personal video against ur will, then how will u stand up when forced internationally to parlay away the rights of Simgaporeans?

Anonymous said...

Not my intent to insult you. I am sorry you take it that way. Just wanted to highlight that you draw conclusions and implications beyond what is logical and circumstantial (again, with that logic of making a video and parlaying away the rights of Singaporeans).

Have a nice day.

Petunia Lee said...

Good day to you too. :-)