MODERATE VOICES BEING SNUFFED OUT OF S’PORE ONLINE POLITICAL DEBATE

Dear Editors,

I ref to your article EAST COAST VOTER: KEEP CALM & VOTE WORKERS PARTY!
http://www.allsingaporestuff.com/article/east-coast-voter-keep-calm-vote-workers-party

Now that polling day is just less than 2 weeks away, we get to see the true colors of hard core opposition supporters. I am not talking about those who choose to support the opposition after careful and rational consideration, inspecting their policies, stance and candidates.

Instead, I am talking about those who express blind support for any party/animal/thing other than the PAP, and who will vote for any party/animal/thing other than the PAP. Of course, on the other side, there are those arrogant hardcore PAP people who will defend their favorite party to the end and deny all wrongdoings even though it is obvious that they have screwed up.

Both these groups are over represented online and they echo chamber one another to the point where moderate voices are squeezed out of the online discussion. This letter writer is a classic example of someone who refuse to acknowledge the efforts of the incumbent party in rectifying the problems, choosing instead to believe wholesale opposition slogans.

Majority of Singaporeans, including the letter writer, have enjoyed the facilities, amenities, grants and initiatives planned by the PAP government. But instead of telling them honestly what’s wrong with certain policies, some hardcore opposition supporters slam the door in their faces or boo them during PAP walkabouts. In order for this country to improve, we all could do with more maturity and grace.

On the other hand, fanatic supporters of the PAP keep harping on the benefits of cash handouts, GST vouchers, S&CC rebates etc, but they don’t understand good governance is not just about giving out money but leading the citizens in meaningful political debate and not just shoving policies down our throats.

I hope both the hardcore opposition and PAP supporters who are complaining non-stop on a computer in the comforts of their home do realise that it is a luxury that not all can afford. Many Singaporeans are struggling and these people are those that are most in need of an effective government.

Some critics say this is because of the growth-at-all-costs policy of the PAP, but let’s not deny the fact that PAP are also trying very hard to solve these income inequality issues. And while some may complain about the growth-at-all-costs, there are also many who are enjoying the wealth of the growing economy.

As we move from GE 2011 to GE 2015, I feel Singaporeans are becoming more infatuated with democratic forms rather than democratic functions. While we wax lyrical about democratic concepts such as checks and balances, transparency, we also need to keep in mind that governance is also about providing jobs, security, safety and education. These things are not free and Singaporeans need to understand that we what take today means less for tomorrow.

That is also why every vote is precious and voters shouldn’t choose based on emotions and hearsay. Besides the hardcore opposition voters, some will vote for the opposition, hoping that others will still vote for the PAP so that they can continue to enjoy the best of both worlds. They want the PAP to keep chasing for their votes with populist policies and goodies, while at the same time satisfy their lofty aspiration that they have somehow contributed to a more democratic and fair system. Conversely, there are fanatic PAP supporters who will just vote white even though their candidates are not that impressive and their MPs are basically Yes-men and women who haven’t spoken much in Parliament at all.

Both hardcore opposition and PAP supporters with their large IBs online are a danger to political development in Singapore because they drown out moderate voices and real aspirations of Singaporeans. As we move towards Polling Day, we should remind ourselves of PAP’s track record and the positive changes they have brought, but at the same time, we should also give the opposition a chance to see if they too can make positive changes to our society.

With all seats being contested this GE, I urge fellow Singaporeans to carefully consider their vote. That is why instead of voting with our hearts, we need to vote with our heads, for the party that is most capable of crafting policies that will continue to make Singapore a better place for our children.

Darryl Ong
A.S.S. Contributor

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