Saturday, August 27, 2011

Singapore must Win

Today is polling day to elect Singapore's next President. By tomorrow, Sunday morning, Singapore will know who its next President is. There is a certain air of excitement - at least that is what I sense in some of my colleagues yesterday as they looked forward to today, never mind that the consequence of the results is, well, inconsequential - nation-wise. We are, after all, electing a figurehead. Though there has been much talk of the President's powers in guarding the reserves and policing senior appointments to government, I would think that the first is an exceptional situation and the second a formality. In a sense, it is no more than buying insurance for that rainy day. I am sure some would lambast me for belittling this whole process and event. My stand is that there should never have been a need for an elected Presidency in the first place. Parliament should just convene and nominate one that is acceptable to the majority in Parliament, and therefore the people. But in Singapore, because the composition of Parliament is not truly representative of the people, we end up with another national election within the space of 4 months, and unlike in years past, 4 candidates are contesting. Some of the candidates assume that they will do what Parliament has failed, or will fail to do - to check on the government and be more active in the formulation of national policies and laws. Since it is illegal not to vote, I'll be heading to the booths this morning to silently voice my choice of a President, however inconsequential.

At his point in time, it appears that Mr Tony Tan and Mr Tan Cheng Bock are front runners. TT hinted that he might lose during his Boat Quay rally speech - "I might not win...but at least I tried..." He must admit that his sons' NS records have done tremendous damage to his bid. Mr Tan Kin Lian almost self destructed yesterday when he hinted that Mr Tan Jee Say was not an honorable man. And I heard in the office yesterday many voices against voting for Mr Tan Jee Say. 'He is a loose canon', 'cannot be trusted', 'too confrontational', 'aiyeerrr', were some of the reasons cited for dropping him from consideration. Perhaps only the opposition politicians and their die-hard followers will cast their vote in his direction. Overall, it appears that only TCB has come through relatively unscathed in the 9 days of campaigning - from being quaint and dowdy to become a credible, warm and sensible man with a Presidential bearing.

So the word on the streets is that the real contest is between TT and TCB - ironically 2 former PAP men. They would likely share 70% of the votes, with the rest split between TKL and TJS.

May the best man win. I hope that all of them will take back their not insignificant $48,000 deposit.

In any case, however voters vote, Singapore MUST win.


Anonymous said...

Now, we Singaporeans lost very heavily.

A man who can do a great job as PM had chosen to do little as the Sin President.


Anonymous said...

PAP saw its margin of survival plummet from 20% in the recent GE (60% ayes less 40% nays = 20% margin) to a razor-thin 0.34% (being the lead DTT had over TCB). 65% of Singaporeans also voted against DTT.

Had the PM done the following before PE2011:-
(i) reduced ministerial pay by 65%
(ii) reduced Presidential pay by 60%
(iii) pledged to solve flooding by 2015
(iv) relieve the congestion on MRT & buses
(v) made a quantative pledge on imposing a quota on foreign influx
(vi) produced HARD EVIDENCE PROOF of what DTT’s kids really did during NS to rebut all the malicious smears circulating on internet blogs and chatrooms
(vii) promised all Singaporeans that they would be able to withdraw their CPF special a/c and medisave during their lifetimes and not after

then DTT’s votes may rise to 90% and storm into Istana as a clear victor. As it is, DTT’s pathetic 0.34% margin of victory (if you could call it that!) is now a clear indictment of the collapsing moral authority of the PAPists. Less than one-third of a percentage point LESS, and DTT might have lost. 65% of Singaporeans have also repudiated DTT as their president.

DTT – should be aware of this:- If Your Excellency walk into a hall of Singaporeans you can expect 65% of them not to stand up for you. You better avoid uncontrolled public gatherings for awhile. Stick to PAPists-controlled occasions with all seats and bleaches stuffed with die die diehard PAPist loyalists.

If I were the PM, I would take this very very seriously and hold a huge PAPist corporate retreat to have a proper honest soul-searching to see why this is so. There are lost opportunities aplenty.

Epilogos said...

Like I said before from the beginning, Singaporeans who want change should not look to the President. He is, after all, a figure head. Instead, citizens should continue to make their voices heard in social media, which I believe the government is actively monitoring. And when I said voices, I do not mean to lambast the government for anything and everything, as if they are the problem AND the solution. It doesn't do your credibility any good, given that a good 70% of Singaporeans are still anti-opposition.

Lets look towards 2016 or earlier, where people who think they can contribute to a better government can seek entry into Parliament, and there, make a difference.