No more football analogies, no more treating Chen Show Mao like God, and no more dumb tweets.
By Terence Lee
LIFE is meaningless again.
After days of doping on election news, attending rallies, chanting “Kate Spade!”, and getting teary-eyed when Aljuniedians gifted their GRC to the Worker’s Party, Normalcy feels incredibly mundane.
And it’s this normalcy I dread.
Soon, the rambunctious politician in all of us will hibernate, only to climb out of the cave again in another five years.
Soon, we will be concerned only about earthy, shallow things like getting that BTO flat, finding that succulent buffet spread, and watching Transformers 3. No one will care anymore about the fairness of the political system, high ministerial salary, and the intricacies of our HDB policy.
Of course, I sense that this time, things will be different, and more people will actually care. So, before we turn into amnesic, apathetic drones, here’s my wishlist for Singapore politics over the next five years:
1) No more football analogies, please
First, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong got started about Singapore only needing one national team. Then Ah Mao rebutted him by saying that the national team wears red and white, not white and white. Finally, WP supremo Low Thia Khiang complained about the People’s Action Party changing the size of the goalposts.
Honestly, I felt really left out throughout the campaigning period. While there are millions of Singaporeans that care about football, what about those who don’t watch the beautiful game?
And no, I don’t drive either.
So, for the sake of national unity, I hope campaigners will use analogies all Singaporeans can identify with. Like food for example. And please, don’t get me started about trees and mushrooms.
Seriously, what I’m hoping for is more inclusive politics. No more gerrymandering and grassroots network bias towards the PAP. No more painting the other side as dubious.
And for goodness sake, I hope the WP team in Aljunied gets proper Town Council offices. I also wish that Hougang and Aljunied will not be penalised in terms of Town Council funding.
2) Chen Show Mao is not God. So, stop treating him like one
I think the team at New Nation must repent. We got a little carried away during the elections, and started worshipping Ah Mao. Someone I knew even called him “Jesus”.
Sorry, fangirls and boys, but he is mortal like all of us. He can’t walk on water, and should he fumble and fall, it’ll be hard to resurrect his political career.
Same goes for the entire Aljunied team. Anything can happen in five years. Aljunied may not be well-run, and they may lose the GRC in 2016. Lee Kuan Yew may prove to be prophetic when he said residents will need to “repent”. The PAP may raise their game by the next elections, and voters could swing back into the warm embrace of the ruling party.
So, the WP better bulk up and improve.
3) No more petty catfights within the opposition parties
There’s too much pettiness within the opposition. For goodness sake, how old are you guys, 12??
Leading up to the 2011 elections, Goh Meng Seng left the WP to join the National Solidarity Party. Chia Ti Lik, too, left the men in blue to form the Socialist Front.
Many moons ago, J.B Jeyaretnam, unhappy with the lack of support from Low Thia Khiang, left the party he led to kickstart the Reform Party. After he passed away, his son Kenneth snatched the leadership role from Ng Teck Siong, and he got kicked out in the process.
And more recently, prominent Reform Party members like Tony Tan, Hazel Poa, and Nicole Seah left Kenneth’s party to join the NSP. As for Ng Teck Siong, he joined the Socialist Front but resigned soon after finding out they are not contesting in this elections.
There’s enough material here for a 20-episode drama, something we don’t need.
So by the next elections, I hope the opposition candidates can move beyond party hopping. It’s stupid to squabble over scraps when they should be gunning for the PAP. Although there’s recent talk of a merger between the SDP, SPP and NSP, these parties have a lot to prove.
And now we’ve received news that Eric Tan of the Worker’s Party has resigned because he was passed over for the NCMP position. Yet another episode to the long-drawn drama.
4) No more dumb tweets
Social media has given us unexpected stars like opposition darling Nicole Seah and Returning Officer extraordinaire Yam Ah Mee. But there’s a raw, unrestrained, and downright ugly side to it as well.
Case in point: Xiaxue resorted to childish name-calling when lamenting over PAP’s loss in Aljunied:
What a way to prove to her haters that she’s no dumb blond: Calling the other 54.71% of Singaporeans who voted for the WP “moronic” and “blind”. She blames voters for the loss of George Yeo, but does she realise that even the Straits Times, in at least two editions, have hinted that the GRC system could be responsible for his exit from politics?
5) Reform within the PAP
This is the major biggie. To earn the respect of opposition supporters, they need to reform the political system. Cut ministerial salary, reform the GRC system, and respect the opposition parties. They also need to listen to young voters, who don’t take kindly to high-handedness and arrogance.
Policy-wise, Workfare must be enhanced to give more aid to the hardworking poor, and housing costs must be reined in. Censorship of the arts and the media must be adjusted to keep pace with the times, and more help has to be accorded to disenfranchised groups like AIDS sufferers and single families.
If the Men in White are serious enough about reform, my vote in the next elections might just go to them.