Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Futile Demos

There he goes again! Dr Chee Soon Juan caught in an illegal public protest, this time outside Parliament House. This time, his sister, Chee Siok Chin, may have gotten into more serious trouble than staging an illegal demonstration. She reportedly tried to bite a police officer who was attempting to arrest her. Now, that is ill-advised. I thought they don't believe in violence, that all the demos that Dr Chee and Co. have held so far are peaceful though totally irritating to the police.

I do not know what effect all these demonstrations have anyway. If it is meant for local consumption, it is not working. I, for one, find his tactic tiresome. He does not bring up issues that are truly of critical concern to most Singaporeans. Yes, inflation is a concern but it isn't that the government has not tried to help. Yes, the GST increase from 5% to 7% was, in retrospect, ill-timed, exacerbating the inflationary pressures. But few would argue that it is unnecessary in the long run. That is why Dr Chee's show of protest never attract the mass that makes demos effective as a voice of the people, like in the Philippines and recently, in Malaysia. Doesn't Dr Chee realise by now that few see the need or the relevance in standing with him? It is not all due to political apathy. There are avenues to get ones' personal grouses heard in Singapore. The MPs, the blogs and the press. And it appears that the government is quite responsive to these complaints. Take that very unpopular stop-only-at-taxi-stands policy enacted a little more than 2 weeks ago. Now the government has promised to take the scheme back to their drawing boards. Hopefully, they will tweak it enough to satisfy most, if not all, stakeholders in this hasty policy enactment. Yeah, we don't like it when the government shoves the thing right down our throats, but we cannot say that the government is not listening and acting on the complaints.

But if all this is meant for foreign consumption, then I cannot but condemn his attempt to use outside parties, pressure groups, etc., to hurt Singapore and Singaporeans. We don't need others to help settle our differences, and certainly we do not need any pressure to be put on us to change one policy or another, or for that matter, even the government. That's for Singaporeans to decide on their own. If this is what Dr Chee had intended, then he is being unpatriotic and disloyal to the people for whom he claims to be standing up for.

So it appears that Dr Chee has lost the plot and the sentiments of the people. He just must stop wasting everybody's time with his demos and the states' money in policing this nonsense, which serves not an iota of benefit to the people for whom he claims he is championing. There are more ways than one to help the people. His one dimensional approach has already condemned him to irrelevance and worst - ridicule. And for a some time politician, that is worse than death itself.


Anonymous said...

It's very interesting. I'm a foreigner and you're right about Chee's behaviour viewed through my eyes. I see him as a courageous, morally upright man who obviously loves his own country and people so much that he is willing to risk going bankrupt, risk his reputation, going to jail, and being mocked in local press just because he wants basic freedoms for his people. And his actions make me see other Singaporeans as blathering idiots who vote in rich, mean-spirited monsters who trample all over their rights and then complain about them later. But you got one part wrong...I don't think outside pressure from abroad should be brought to bear on Singapore at all. I think Singaporeans deserve the government they have. It serves them right for being so mean to a citizen that cares so much for his country.

Anonymous said...

On "Singaporeans as blathering idiots who vote in rich, mean-spirited monsters", permit me to highlight that many like me, did not vote them in. As a matter of fact, before the last redrawing of the electoral boundaries, my neighbors and I voted for the opposition. So they merged our neighborhood into some ridiculously humongous GRC to literally drown out the dissenters. The riff raff you see on pictures posted on the internet manhandling the SDP protestors are but one step from the crackdown on the Tibetan protestors. It may sound facetious, but perhaps the USA should invade this little dot - but of course, we don't have oil.

quatscherei said...

and what's smarter, the Gahmen listens only to the small things. Let's look at the Budget Debate - has anyone from the Government paid attention to what's on the blogosphere? Didn't a particular minister say that a MP's request was entertaining?

The Gahmen is smart so far. Dealing with the small issues will make Singaporeans think that the Gahmen cares. If this is what is blinding Singaporeans though then okay lor. What about giving the penniless a bit more money to eat? Do you want them to have 3 meals at a restaurant?

But then, children shouldn't speak up against the father. Confirm kena lightning one.

Anonymous said...

Well organized and peaceful demonstrations and protests are potent and effective ways for the people to show their frustrations and disappointments to rulers.
In many democracies such as Philippines, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia and many others including Burma, demonstrations have brought about changes and international attentions.

As a politician, first and foremost it is vital for him/her to gain the supports of the masses. A politician is very different from an activist who is unlikely to fight for political agenda. An activist is likely one that fights for social justice. The difference should and must be defined.

Chee SJ and his team have to work to win the hearts and minds of the people if they are to be of relevance to the citizens. They are officially members of a registered political party and they must perform as such.

The Singapore Democratic Party Members went about doing their protests and demonstrations all by themselves without garnering the supports of the masses. Those were conceited acts in the sense that they seem to display to the people that they(SDP) themselves are able to achieve, which they never did.

How a political party feels that it is able to achieve anything without winning the supports of the people is beyond my comprehension. The history and standing of SDP itself is hardly impressive. The antics of Chee SJ is more known than his partys' Manifesto(Principles and Purpose). This is a joke, for is SDP trying to create a hero or is it fighting for the wellbeings of the people?


Anonymous said...

If you look at the big picture, you will see the cracks are starting to form all over.The dead bodies are starting to rise and truth be told that the actions be it the SDP,Online citizen or blogs are actually making sense and bringing dead singaPOOReans back to life.

To solve a problem, one has to know what is the problem.I for one have to personally agree that the actions and information from the internet will eventually wake up the dead Singaporean.

It takes Ba**ls to do someting like this after many moons of being frozen in time.

I hope as time goes by more people will wake up from a BAD dream