Friday, May 06, 2011

Singapore goes to the polls

I can't believe we're only 4 days away from our long-anticipated annual visit to Singapore!

Actually my holiday has sorta started already since I'm on medical leave (thanks to my back.) Speaking of which, hubby tried this "ABC" cream - that's really what's it called, on my back yesterday. And miraculously, I managed to sleep through the night with no problems! My first night in a long while! I'm hoping that this would be the answer to my prayers!

Yeah, can't believe this is our last trip to Singapore as a family of two. Our next trip, we'll be packing very different things from what we're packing now! That's also the reason why we decided to go to Singapore in my 2nd trimester when baby is (still) light and compact. :)

You can't believe how often I have dreamt of eating my favourite food in Singapore. Our trip is going to be all about food, food and more food!!! And of course visits with the family, friends and our babymoon to Krabi of course!!!

Singapore is going to the polls over this weekend and oh boy, for the first time in history, 82 out of 87 seats in parliament are up for grabs. We don't have "federal states" because we're too small. So what we have is "constituencies". Usually most constituencies are walkovers, in that the ruling party (PAP) continues to be the default ruling party simply because these regions are uncontested.

This time round though, there's been enough opposition parties such that my facebook is flooded with links / videos for the political rallies.

I must say that I'm pretty pleased that the political scene in Singapore is becoming more vibrant and more people are showing an interest in politics.

Living overseas for almost 5 years, I have seen the pros and cons of having a real democracy in which the ruling party for over 50 years can be toppled over by the opposition because of nuclear and railway issues.

I can't vote this time anyways because I'll only be in Singapore after the polling date. However, I must say that I cherish the "freedom of choice". A government can only be "chosen" by its people if they actually have an alternative choice.

Truth be told, no government is perfect. Too many opposition parties might cause a standstill in the policies of a government. However, in this day and age, people want to be able to choose. Its similar in Germany. The CDU was toppled by the opposition because people want a nuclear-free environment. And if CDU supports nuclear energy and other political parties don't, the folk should have the right to choose a party that best represents their interests.

No doubt Singapore is small. And too many cooks spoil the broth. But in my opinion people who might vote for the opposition are not necessarily "ungrateful" to the existing government for what they have done over the past 50 years for their people. Its not a mutually-exclusive affair.

I can still be grateful and thankful to my government for giving me a roof over my head, providing me with a job, a good education, a good infrastructure and transport system - that's why voters have been supporting the ruling party for all these years! But I might also want to consider giving other parties a chance to improve on what has already been built, especially if I support their policies. How are the other parties going to have a track record if they are not even given a chance to enter into the parliament?

And no decision should be made out of fear. I shouldn't vote for a party because I'm scared of a "black mark" if I don't. A child who obeys its parent out of fear is not acting out of true obedience. And let's be honest. Do I want to vote for a party because I want to "obey" this party, or do I vote because I support this party's policies?

I want to support my government with my heart. I want to be able to have a voice. Even an alternative voice. A different perspective. Democracy comes at a price. But I would rather pay this price than to always live in the sheltered environment of a one-party government with no regards whatsoever to the blind spots of this party.

Why is it that we support competition in the economy but not competition in politics?

I love my country. And want its best. Only God knows what's best. So I pray that God will give every voter the wisdom to make the right decision for the good of the country.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails