Apolitical Singaporean in Japan

Tomorrow is the elections and it looks like I won’t be participating again. The last time it happened, I was in Aichi, so I didn’t want to spend all that money to travel all the way to the Singapore embassy in Tokyo to vote. I had thought I’d be voting this time round, but before I knew it, the Writ of Election has been issued and they sent my voting slip to my hometown address. So, no voting for me again.

I concede I’m a pretty apolitical Singaporean—something the government has identified our generation as some many years ago when I was still a student. We all were. In recent years, however, several friends I know became surprisingly political. They attend rallies, sing the praises of the parties they support, trash talk other parties, etc. And then there’s the young people like Roy Ngerng and Han Hui Hui getting into trouble with talks about the CPF, the population whitepaper and several other issues they weren’t happy about.

My interest was kinda piqued when Workers Party (hereafter “WP”) won the Aljunied GRC at the last General Election (hereafter “GE”). It felt exciting to know that perhaps the government might change at the next election. There were many things I read online I wasn’t happy about. There were many things about the People’s Action Party (hereafter “PAP”) I wasn’t happy about. Over 5,000km away, I was secretly hoping for a new government. Perhaps the WP or perhaps a multi-party one. But as the possibility of it happening draws near, I began to fear, especially after what I see and read online, albeit what little that is. I have this fear that the opposition party is not going to do well. At least to me, they didn’t show themselves to be capable of something. I began to fear for Singapore’s collapse if the ruling party switches hands.

I believe Lee Kuan Yew wasn’t kidding when he said, “If we had considered them serious political figures, we would not have kept them politically alive for so long. We could have bankrupt them earlier.” There’s a reason why Chee Soon Juan is bankrupt. That’s why I’ve begun to quietly hope for the ruling PAP to retain power while still having the opposition rule my GRC.

It’s hard to trust what politicians say. Look at all the shit foreign politicians say just to get elected. Chen Shui Bian was boldly screaming independence for Taiwan at his campaign but didn’t even dare to meow at China after his election. It’s also sometimes easy to fall into the trap of dreaming a utopia only to realise it’s not that simple when you are actually placed in the driver’s seat.

At this point, I no longer bother listening to the people telling us they will upgrade our lifts, or reduce the foreign population, or return our CPF at 55, or give $500 to every elderly every month. I began looking at the fact that we’ve come this far, and the risk averse part of me tells me I don’t want to lose all these by betting on a group of oppositions who have only proposed the ends but not the means. To me, it’s as good as your friend at school telling you, “you can slam dunk I give you one million dollars” and you know even if you can slam dunk, you’re not getting the million dollars.

Granted, the PAP is not flawless, or some of you might even think they are full of flaws. But just because someone is not good at doing something doesn’t mean the ones hungering to be replacements will be better. Just because your cat is not catching the mice, doesn’t mean your dog will do a better job.

Update: So Chee is indeed running. Told you I’m apolitical.


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