<Facebook post by Damanhuri Bin Abas>

Since some remind us to accept and look at the wisdom of the whole episode of a race based Presidential non-election, let me share what I heard, saw, reflected, learned and gathered to tell my children.

1. Meritocracy

- It is a good word thrown around to legitimise why some are not up there (just not 'good' enough i.e. PM, top civil servant, etc., etc.)
- It is a good word to justify high paying public salaries i.e. best in private sector will only be attracted to public service for equal salary
- It is good word to excuse clear conflict of interest situations i.e. no other choice as he/she is the best for the position, even though related to one another i.e. so many out there (nepotism?, cronyism?)
- It is a bad word used to apply selective affirmative action (symbolism i.e. Reserved PE, tokenism i.e. GRC - serving political interest)
- It is an abused word - all the while the sacred meritocratic claim is a sad joke

2. Racism Realities


- Acknowledged - Majority privilege exposé
- Racist - Chinese majority
- Excused - 70% Chinese majority for racial harmony
- Contradiction - GRC minority racial provision to assure minority representation is transferable to majority race (MYT GRC no By-election)
- Undesirable - Madrasah, for its religious exclusivism
- Legitimised - SAP school necessary for elitism
- Institutionalised - HDB only race quota good
- Ignored - i.e. Mindef unspoken security policy (Malays full loyalty doubted) poisoning wider society's perceptions of Malays for the last 52 years of being inherently untrustworthy for no apparent reason
- Taboo - public not allowed to talk race
- Abused - government exploits race sentiments for political benefits

3. Democracy

- Institutionalised - the parliament
- Institutionalised - judiciary and legislative
- Process - election
- Symbolic - the pledge
- Reality - no press freedom (world press freedom ranking Singapore 151st position, worst than even Afghanistan at 120th)
- Reality - controlled on public debate on policies (Think-tanks not allowed to think, IPS, LKYSPP, etc.)
- Reality - political interest overrides democratic principles and foundations i.e. Constitutional changes with no referendum
- Reality - constant changing the rules and gaming the system eg. constitutional boundary changes, limited campaigning period, cooling day, reserved PE, etc.

4. Malays : Compliant Leadership and Voiceless Community

- Painted as desiring the Presidency even though never consulted and neither asked for it
- Supportive or silent Malay leadership in Government and community legitimising the reserved PE, not in sync with real community's ground sentiment
- Leadership not willing to criticise Government policy as will impact on funding for their community based institutions - beholden to the Government
- Self-serving impression, prioritising community's interest above that of the country's interest to put the best independent individual to be President
- Leaders colluded in elaborate scheme to deny Dr Tan Cheng Bock's genuine chance to be President that the people really wanted
- Sellout community i.e. easily bought and sold for cheaps

5. Future of Singapore Takeaways

- Political Maturity - undermined (vote denied), hindered (voiced-out), regressed (forced-acceptance)
- Democratic Principles - downplayed (not-ready excuse), worsened (power-dominance strengthened), brutalised (people's rights-trampled)
- Multi-Racial Society - cosmetic (tokenism over real change), conflicting (racism politicised), compromised (racist policies unchallenged)
- Overall Feeling - shortchanged (Singaporeans choice denied), cheapened (Malay community's integrity), sold-out (leadership of yes-man)

May we draw some wisdom for the sake of our country's future.


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