anotherlongshot (anotherlongshot) wrote,

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

One thing that's struck me over these past few days, attending the Singapore Democratic Party's rally twice and talking to some of my friends, is how some people in Singapore vote for the PAP because they are afraid of voting for the opposition, just in case something happened to them or their loved ones. The speakers at the SDP rallies constantly repeated that "your vote is secret", an obvious truth and a basic premise of democracy that someone like me takes for granted, but which eludes a number of people who think that it's a lie.

Of the many times I've listened to my Taiwanese relatives speak about their elections, I've never, ever heard anyone voice his/her fear of being afraid to vote for the non-ruling party because of what the ruling party might do to him/her in reprisal.

No party is above the nation. No party is above the law. How have we come to this stage, where people are afraid of exercising their right to vote, to choose their elected representative government?

Chng Suan Tze (i.e. Chng Suan Tze v Minister of Home Affairs, the name behind the Court of Appeal case that was overruled by Parliament, omglol) spoke at SDP's rally tonight. Many Singaporeans don't know what happened to him; some that know what happened to him probably don't give a shit; but his story, along with Teo Soh Lung's and so many others, is a timely reminder to me what matters the most to me. I'm pissed off about issues like ministerial salary, ERP gantries, lousy MRT, rising cost of living e.g. HDB flats; but ultimately, what I really want is a fucking accountable government who will no longer have the power to silence its political opponents with oppressive legislations such as the Internal Security Act, throw said opponents into prison without so much as a charge, let alone a goddamn trial, basically abuse the law, treat the law like a joke, and no one in the damn country knows a single thing about it until way after the fact because the fucking media in this country is a goddman joke that does not have the balls to do its job properly.

Okay, I attempted to write this entry in a civilised manner but nope, I failed. Couldn't bloody do it. This issue has pissed me off since law school and it continues to piss me off. At some point, a country moves away from its authoritarian past, like Taiwan has. When are we going to do that? (And seriously, bringing up the Parliamentary fights in Taiwan as an excuse not to have a two-party democracy is just lazy and intellectually-bankrupt.) Also, surely the argument cannot be made that those instances of duress and torture that have occurred in Singapore can be overlooked because they were not on the same scale as, say, Guantanamo Bay or Abu Ghraib. Of course, maybe those who mount this argument are secure in thinking that it would never happen to them because they won't challenge the government anyway; in which case, my only response is to wish that these selfish fuckers would leave the damn country and never come back.

Speaking of leaving the country - I have very high hopes for an opposition breakthrough this general elections, but I'm bracing myself for the freak result (yes, this is the real freak result) of the PAP sweeping all 87 Parliamentary seats. If that happened, I might consider changing my citizenship. Maybe I'll just go back to Taiwan permanently. Sometimes I feel like I'm Taiwanese anyway, when I don't want to deal with the problems in this country.

Anyway, I was quite impressed with the SDP candidates in Holland-Bukit Timah GRC. I've taken a liking to Vincent Wijeysingha (OMG I CAN FINALLY SPELL HIS LAST NAME) since he appeared on the Channel News Asia forum and I finally got to listen to him speak tonight and he didn't disappoint. Wei Chuen and I were an hour or so late to the rally but about the only thing that I disagreed with (when I was paying attention, that is) with regard to the speeches in general was that Osama bin Laden's death signals the end of an era of terror. (Seriously, has - oops, I think I meant had - he been a major player in the terror scene in recent years? Am I the only one who doesn't think it's such a big deal that he's dead?)

I must qualify my comment, though: I honestly did not understand what Dr Ang, the colonel, was saying. I was just amused by how agitated he was in his speech and how he punctuated every other sentence of his with excited hand gestures, fist pumps into the air.

I really wish my estate had been arbitrarily drawn into Holland-Bukit Timah. It doesn't matter because I won't vote PAP anyway, but I'd like to vote for a party that I'm actually impressed with. That said, I haven't been to any NSP rallies so I haven't heard the candidates here speak, but...I think Vincent is awesome. I really do. If he were my MP, I'd attend EVERY SINGLE BLOODY meet-the-people sessions just to meet him, AND I'd be there half an hour early to ensure that I get to talk to him before everyone else, like a true-blue kiasu Singaporean.

Actually, now that I've been arbitrarily drawn into Chua Chu Kang GRC, I wonder where the town council is and how long it will take for me to get there? The last time I actually went to Chua Chu Kang (wtf, I thought it's CHOA Chu Kang but that's apparently been arbitrarily changed too) was like, in 2008 when I took the Singapore Sports Council beginners' tennis course. I haven't been back there since then...oh wait, I think I played tennis at CCK Stadium once in 2009, but that was it. Needless to say, I will get lost in CCK without a map and I don't have any interest in going there at all. Am I really going all the way to CCK for town council meetings and meet-the-people sessions? If I wanted a town council, I'd probably pick somewhere in Bukit Batok since it's nearer to me, but apparently Bukit Batok is a part of Jurong, so what can I do?

Oh, I know - I won't even bother. I can't even bring myself to go to CCK for TENNIS. CCK is like, not even a blip on my radar and now I'm part of Chua Chu Kang? I have no words. None whatsoever.


On a happier note, I had lunch with Wei Chuen's family today, i.e. aunt and uncle and family, at a void deck seafood place in Bukit Merah. I was a bit scared at first because I'd never had any sort of interaction with an extended family save my own, let alone a boyfriend's extended family. But it turned out pretty well. I prefer to be left alone instead of being in the spotlight and getting grilled by people on things like where I work and what I do (which, by the way, I fucking hate talking about because the absence of enthusiasm is impossible for me to mask), so it was good to just sit back and listen to the conversation. No one talks about anything but elections these days, of course, so it was interesting.

He wanted to watch Thor tonight but there were no tickets for the earlier movies. He played Zuma Blitz for a bit and um, he single-handedly screwed up my stats. I'd just like to state for the record that the 25K spirit animal thing that I now have was HIS contribution, not mine. I was quite proud of not having a single one of that spirit animal (which means I never got such a low score) but he ruined that boooo. While playing, he said, "I can't believe lawyers play this game."

What?! It's fun what. I love it!


Omg I can't believe there's work again tomorrow. I think I'll go to NSP's rally at CCK stadium after my 7 p.m. tennis lesson.
Tags: general election, general elections 2011, rant, singapore, vincent wijeysingha, wei chuen

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