And why diversity should be celebrated.
By Belmont Lay
Six key members from Singapore People’s Party have resigned.
This has left a lot of semi-professional political observers sighing and wondering what went wrong again.
But don’t blame the “Opposition” for not playing as a team and being dramatic.
Why? Because there never really was a united team to begin with.
What is occurring now is similar to a rearrangement. Not unlike what happens when you clean your bedroom.
It has to get messier before it gets any tidier.
This is a process. Not the finality. After which, things will get better.
Because so what if we are in this lull period after the General Election where the hype and fury has subsided?
Let’s just put it this way: The many complex personalities, the past historical baggage and competing perspectives will intermingle and act up time and again.
And this latest SPP incident is just one such case in point.
So think about it this way too: We can either go along with what we have now or go back to the days when Singapore politics was as interesting as watching paint dry.
If you don’t yet know what makes our politics tick, I implore you to show up at the various open houses by the political parties and have a feel for yourselves.
You will find personable politicians who can talk to anyone and anything, including a lamp post, and change their lives.
You will also find politicians who are quick on their feet with assertions and spurious statistics.
And then, there are also those that are just plain weird.
And I will even implore you further to support them, jeer at them, laugh at them, laugh with them and even begrudge them.
But whatever you do, do not allow politics — I repeat, DO NOT ALLOW POLITICS in Singapore to slide back to what it was in those days when watching grass grow was more interesting.
In fact, I believe it is this richness and the diversity of our political landscape that we are seeing now that should be celebrated.
This is a phenomenon that probably hasn’t happened in Singapore since the 1960s. Which was a time where people actually had something interesting to say about politics other than “Oh, it will be a walkover again, for sure”.
And all of us who are living through this right now are probably witnessing something pivotal. So pivotal and buttocks-clenching exciting in fact, that you do feel you want to look back in 10 or 20 years’ time and think to yourself what an honour it was to have experienced the height of it.
Politicians are human. And humans have their pet peeves.
And when they do fight, it only makes the making up sweeter.
So back to the SPP resignations. The six of them can leave and form something else or join another party, it doesn’t matter.
The fact that talented people would rather walk away and consider their options than acquiesce to a structure or system that they don’t relate to is highly laudable.
I don’t like apologists or the gutless who bend over backwards to make concessions. And you shouldn’t too. We mustn’t fancy the spineless.
I’m pretty sure at some point in your lives you probably wished that you developed the courage to not settle but instead went for the next option, however uncertain the outcome might have been.
It might have been another competing dream job you turned down, another girl you didn’t marry or that asshole you wished you should have just punched in the face.
If you settled, I hope it turned out well.
If you didn’t, continue to aspire.