Gentlemen. I trust that you've heard the news from 7pm yesterday? Our good friend Lee Hsien Loong has decided to call elections within SIXTEEN DAYS from now.
As the age old saying goes "Never let a good crisis go to waste". He calls this in order to strengthen his mandate to deal with the next 5 years ahead. But does he and his party deserve that privilege of another 5 years with Veto Override Powers?
Regarding the Coronavirus, I have scary maths that says we aren't doing well. The amount of people infected is roughly 7,525.5 per million people, which means that we have the worst rate of infection in all the countries of Asia. While the amount of locals infected is low, that does not really matter when you get the virus spreading like wildfire through the cramped quarters of all the migrants who build our stuff. Whose bright idea in the Manpower Ministry was it to squeeze the most men into the least flats like cattle ripe for slaughter?
Our economy has been going flat for a bit, but now she'll be seeing red with our GDP Growth rate going -4.7%. Mind you, we still have another half a year to stomach through. While most are opened now, you simply don't just order everything to shut down out of health concerns, selectively open up some businesses and expect the flow of money to remain untouched. Several famous businesses have been shut down through the lack of further aid for businesses that do not have enough cash reserves to pay for their rent while remaining closed. Restaurants of varying caliber, the KidZania theme Park in Sentosa, countless small and medium sized businesses of all sectors built on the hands, time and personal resources of hard working people.... They are all gone under the brunt of an inadequate financial lifeline supposed to prevent our businesses from dropping dead like flies and they expect us to give them another 5 years to govern aimlessly while the markets eventually heals through market forces out of their reach?
All of this is troubling, but then again you'd say "Why should I make the effort to consider a secondary option this time? What makes this election season different? Surely their trademarked artificial smile will calm me down just enough to grab my vote? Well... As they also face cabin fever incurred from the "Circuit Breaker '', the chiefs among them have completely dropped the facade of benevolence that they would usually display. I wouldn't be surprised if they simply demanded your vote in the most passive aggressive manner. It will sound gentle, but fear the intent inside the words. Why do I say this? Let's see what has happened amid the "Circuit Breaker"...
We have the wife of the Prime Minister firing gaffes away on her Facebook account like it was going out of style, several MPs slamming fellow friends of the opposition as incompetent private citizens or traitors to the Singaporean ideals without so much as a proper platform for them to defend themselves... and other small incidents. Here is one: Remember when a Robot Dog from Boston Dynamics was used to walk around Ang Mo Kio Park to blare out "Maintain Social Distancing" ? That is now manifesting in my head through nightmares of trying to escape militarized police in an Orwellian surveillance state with Singaporean characteristics. How about the deployments of POFMA on everyone from Thum Ping Tjin, Brad Bowyer to Chee Soon Juan? A law meant to stem fake news is being used by politicians who would rather target the interpretations or facts within their criticisms against them than engage the material of constructive criticism built over social media platforms. Yesterday, they even used misconstrued facts to slam Lim Tean as bankrupt when in reality he was in the midst of paying business debts he incurred as a private citizen.
How can we go on like this? In this time more than ever, what we do not need is to give the Lightning Party a stronger mandate for their control. What we need is more people up in Parliament to keep them on their toes. Singapore deserves leaders that look at the ground and enforce decisions from their spot in the sky to keep society strong for all that they can. Figure out where your stance is on local issues and see if that other Party within your District is more appropriate to your code of ethics.
Do not waste the means in which you can change the world around you. One vote can make a difference, but a bunch of them can make that difference more guaranteed. In a time where everything is uncertain, dark and gloomy, I ask you to shed your fears and vote for the things that you hold dear to your heart. You are only free to criticize, walk down the road, video-conference with foreigners, stand in some public place quietly for a bit or make your opinion on Facebook until they say so. Freedoms do not need a permit, you only need literacy and the courage to take it and use it !
As for me, I will storm out of the house with a mask on my face to hand out flyers, spread awareness to passer-bys and soon enough... spend one long shift to ward off anyone from tampering the ballot box. I hope to see you getting out there to fight for what you see as right. Just do not forget social distancing. Israel held their general elections and it spiked their cases from 100 to 10,000. We DEFINITELY do not want that right? A Second reinfection to shut down Phase 2 when it is already ongoing. I want to makan in wherever I think may close soon enough. Please spare me that privilege...
ASS Loyal Reader Justin