I was actually thinking of conducting a forum on FAIR TRADE ABOVE FREE TRADE
when I return Singapore in due time. This is to debate, deliberate and raise
awareness on the pros and cons, cost and benefits of TPPA to Singaporeans.
This will put focus of TPPA on the agenda of public political discourse.
However my various chats with fellow Singaporeans in Hong Kong actually made
me have second thoughts. The other little part of observations made on
Singaporeans is that those who are from the 10 or 20 percentiles or below do
not really care about whatever policy issues raised by opposition. They are
only interested in the amount of handouts they can get from the PAP
As for middle ground, they are too busy working, earning their money and
enjoying their life like going for Holidays to be bothered by such policy
issues. Even if you could raise intelligent, intellectually reasonable points
about any policy issues, they will throw you all sorts of irrelevant
questions and regard themselves to know better even though they may be
ignorant about the policy and issues revolving around the policy. Most could
not even understand simple implications of data analysis or even simple ideas
like Separation of Powers, least complexity of economic issues like
international trade and FTAs.
At the end of the day, due to their lack of understanding of the issues at
hand, they will come to the convenient conclusion that PAP must know better
than people from opposition!
That is the main reasons why most Singaporeans still voted PAP despite all
those grumbling against them. They have no love nor passion of PAP, didn’t
even bother to attend and listen to their rallies but will just vote for them
out of trust of convenience.
They have been told and made to believe PAP knows everything, has all the
talents and trust that they will bring them good life, never mind if PAP
irritated them from time to time.
Most importantly they don’t see the need for them or anyone to really
scrutinize PAP’s policies unless they are being hurt. They won’t be bothered
with complex policy issues and put more doubts on opposition views than
really give a critical thought over the existing policies.
What do you think? Should I continue to raise policy issues and spend time,
money and resources to conduct such forums or organize protests over these
issues when most Singaporeans don’t really bother about these unless or until
these policies started to hurt them?
Goh Meng Seng