Do not vote in fear

It is a sad state of affairs to see how the state has been used to subvert integrity and carry out vendettas. What has become of a country when its elites use the state apparatus to persecute those who stand up to abuse and bullying? It’s not just the common citizens that have been pushed around. It can be argued that when someone who does not want to be in the limelight has to consider running for public office because his family has been targetted as a result of standing up for what is right so as to respect the perfectly understandable wishes as expressed through the last will and testament of their parent: it tells you how bad things must be.

It can be further argued that for such a person not to take a stand and not run for public office, in this instance, would not only open up his family to further persecution but that of others’ as well to various forms of threats (subtle and unsubtle)—if they too run afoul of the interests and agendas of those who have clung onto power for too long.

But if he has already spoken up on such issues openly, then he does not need to stand for elections to prove his case. His point of view has been established over the years. For there is also a point when good people with character and integrity, and who are indeed electable, must stand and speak up on matters that affect the common good and the national interest.

Even more so, when his presence in public life will show that there are those who cast aside fear to speak their truth and let citizens learn about what is deeply wrong in the country, and what needs to be set right: he, with other good men and women, will set an example to others not to stand by and be beaten down by the arrogance of unmitigated power, and to take a stand for the good of fellow citizens.

Because people did not succumb to fear and spoke up, a dubious potential candidate from the elites had to withdraw. If there was any doubt that the many can stand up to the shenanigans perpetuated by the handful, this recent example should remove it. No citizen should miss the lesson this provides: that you can stand up to bullies and the arrogance of unchecked power.

The bizarre demand that scripts for political broadcasts be submitted 48 hours to the authorities, smacks of not only censorship, but of the possibility that others will know well in advance what alternative parties want to say. There is no reason why the relevant parties should comply: they can always boycott such unreasonable demands and not submit anything and carry on their campaigns and spreading of their messages through other means. [Update: clarification by ELD.]

This alone will make it clear, when only one party makes that broadcast, how ridiculous the authoritarian tactics and bullying taking place have become. It will make voters aware how unfair and undemocratic the electoral process is becoming, and they should ask themselves what is the right thing to do when they go to the ballot box.

And for voters who have been wary of voting for alternative parties due to the dominance of a single party and the bullying tendencies of those who have been hogging it: surely, there must be those in parliament who can stand and speak up unreservedly in the national interest to stop, or at least slow down, those who have been placing the country on a downward path.

Vote in good conscience, not from fear of the arrogance of power.

“When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one…”

— “Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents”, Burke.

Sanjay Perera

*Writer, and founding editor of Philosophers for Change. The post first appeared at: Kafkaville. He is also the author of A Leap in the Dark; Trauma Inc. and Other Works: or, How to Read the World and End It; and the novels Golem & Traum, and Perfect iSland.

[Picture: pinterest.]

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21 Responses to “Do not vote in fear”

  • Not voting Tch:

    No FEAR required

    My family n I are VOTING OPPOSITION!

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  • Knowledge set you free:

    Many people believe that PAP = prosperity.

    If you are among the cronies, yes.

    If not, you are likely mistaken.

    P.A.P = People Are Poor.

    All the government policies are meant to suck your money or to deny money that is due to you.

    There is of course HDB and CPF examples.

    But consider the most recent. Out of $23,225 distribution per person, most citizens get only $600. Large number of citizens get ZERO.

    If you don’t get $23,225, and still believe PAP= prosperity, it is time to learn more how PAP is making people poor.

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  • PAP Dissolved Into Thin Air:

    Most obvious is the army where officers/ICs shout and holler at recruits. In some cases they use vulgarities and belittling words.

    They can simply throw their weight around because people have no choice.

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  • Fan of Ivan Lim PAP:

    China hacked Rule of Law of patent protection by being the law.

    This is just one way of Hacking the rule of law.

    There are also ways to Hack Democracy :
    1. A democracy that is not. Mee Siam Mai Mee Siam. On paper you can legally claim you sell mee Siam . That’s rule of law. You can sell prawn noodle without any prawns.

    Rule of Law is Flawed and has loopholes.

    2. Instill FEAR. threaten using power given to you. Financially destroy a citizen without jailing them. On paper you never jailed anyone. You just told cronies not to hire that guy.

    3. When people fear, democracy given is also not given. Mee Siam without Mee.

    But Singapore has too many dafts. They will learn only after they are dead.

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  • Vote wisely:

    Straits Times: Singapore GE2020: Clear mandate very important to tackle challenges ahead, says Heng Swee Keat

    PAP ALWAYS had a strong mandate since it took power over 5 decades ago. Nonetheless, Singaporeans are worse off over with stagnant wages, high prices, depleted CPF accounts, over-priced HDB flats, loss of jobs to foreigners, etc.

    Voters needs to send a clear signal to PAP that it has not “delivered” for Singaporeans. Where is the Swiss Standard of Living promised by Woody Goh? Singaporeans only got the Swiss COST of living with stagnant wages or worse loss of job to foreigners.

    SINGAPOREANS SHOULD ONLY REMEMBER ONE THING WEN THEY CAST THEIR VOTES. THERE IS NO “DOWNSIDE” (ONLY “UPSIDE”) TO HAVING A SIGNIFICANT OPPOSITION PRESENCE IN PARLIAMENT. VOTE WISELY. VOTE OPPOSITION.

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  • Soccerbetting2:

    Reported on ST :Quote – ”
    SUPPLEMENTARY BUDGET
    LIVE BREAKING NEWS
    MORE
    10:30

    ‘Hougang must choose you first’, says WP’s Png Eng Huat in thank-you post

    Recalling his first visit to the Meet-the-People session in Hougang in 2006 when Mr Low Thia Khiang was MP, incumbent Workers’ Party MP Png Eng Huat said he got lost trying to locate Block 310 Hougang Avenue 5.

    “I arrived late but managed to have a chat with Thia Khiang. That little chat became a 14-year involvement and friendship with the party and Thia Khiang,” said Mr Png, who will not be contesting in the upcoming election.

    He was making his first Facebook post since WP announced that he would be stepping down.

    Mr Png, who won the Hougang seat in the 2012 by-election, said he knows Block 310 very well now. “The potluck parties at the void decks are legendary. There can never be another Hougang in Singapore,” he added.

    “When Thia Khiang left Hougang for Aljunied GRC in GE2011 after serving the residents there for 20 years, he was emotional. I fully understand that emotion now. Thia Khiang and I had walked this road less travelled.

    “We found out one can never choose Hougang to run for elections at will. Hougang must choose you first. So, thank you, Hougang!”

    PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS
    10:07

    PAP unveils Jalan Besar GRC line-up: Josephine Teo, Denise Phua, Heng Chee How, Wan Rizal Wan Zakariah

    The People’s Action Party has confirmed its slate for Jalan Besar GRC, which was previously helmed by Dr Yaacob Ibrahim. Dr Yaacob is stepping down from politics.

    The new line-up will include Manpower Minister Josephine Teo, who is moving over from Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, as well as incumbents Denise Phua and Heng Chee How. New face Dr Wan Rizal Wan Zakariah (bottom, left) will join the team.

    Incumbent MP Dr Lily Neo is also retiring. Read full story here.

    PHOTOS: KUA CHEE SIONG, PEOPLE’S ACTION PARTY

    09:57

    Tan Jee Say wants to rejoin SDP, initiates contact with Dr Chee Soon Juan

    Mr Tan Jee Say, who was secretary-general of the recently dissolved SingFirst party, said in a Facebook post on Monday (June 29) that he would like to rejoin the Singapore Democratic Party.

    “Singapore needs a strong opposition to check the Government and provide an alternative voice for the people,” said Mr Tan.

    Hence, he said, he initiated contact with Dr Chee Soon Juan, the SDP’s secretary-general, and told him that he would like to join the party, of which he used to be a member.

    He said that the SDP’s values reflect the values and beliefs he champions for Singaporeans, and that the party has dynamic leadership… “Unquote.

    Response : SDP should accept him to be a stronger opposition. No need to think. Chee Soon Juan cannot make much progress alone.

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  • oxygen:

    I WILL NEVER VOTE IN FEAR of arrogance of power expression.

    I will NEVER VOTE for those whose “job applications” seeking political office tells me story about his/her mom’s or dad’s occupations (who might already be in the pioneer generation). Like me, their parents are the generation all going back to TERN SUA (just like Past Tense and me too) of “involuntary retirement” never to return and therefore HAS NO RELEVANCE TO THE NEXT GENERATION AND THE SURVIVAL OF LEE-jiapore.

    I will vote for change or those inductees who dare goes against the “ladder culture” (waiting for your turn in elevated office to speak) and not behaving like nodding cow to obvious prevailing incompetence and failures just like any sheep that is even touted to grow cotton on its back IF TOLD THAT IS REALITY.

    ONLY THE SURVIVAL AND PROSPERITY OF LEE-jiapore matters.

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  • most stupid and ridiculous!!:

    this is the most stupid and ridiculous piece of news by far and by any standard!!Submit scripts 48 hours before they can be broadcast!!??hello!! we are living in the 21st century and not in caves!!
    By the way, who’s authorized to check the scripts??
    What about the scripts of their own??..ownself vet and ownself check!!??

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  • voting for change is a must!:

    yes..united we stand, divided we fall.
    so plse stand united against PAP’s bullying of alternative parties as well as citizens who risk everything to speak up for us who cant or wont.

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  • A "red-herring" from Tharman:

    Straits Times: Singapore GE2020: Tharman says PAP to come back to Ivan Lim allegations after election

    This is laughable.

    If PAP’s selection process is really “thorough and robust” as claimed then there would not need to come back to Ivan Lim allegations. PAP would have a full picture on Ivan Lim before it even considered selecting him to run.

    Also, will the PAP even admit (after the elections) it made a mistake selecting Lim? Has PAP (or LKY) ever admit it made a mistake?

    If PAP “clears” Ivan then it has to explain why it was not done before he was selected to run. Why did PAP not defend him instead of forcing him to withdraw?

    Reverting on the Ivan Lim allegation is a red-herring. PAP just wants to stop the public from discussing further the fiasco before the voting because it damages PAP more than Ivan (he is no longer running for anything). PAP is indeed in “damage limitation” mode.

    The Ivan Lim fiasco shows the stupidity and incompetence of 4G PAP leadership. VTO.

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  • patriot of TUMASIK:

    A Good Piece by Sanjay, and I ENDORSED it fully!!!

    “When Good Man do NOTHING…Evil Wins”

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  • trublu:

    Yeah,VOTE WITHOUT FEAR,VOTE WITH DIGNITY!
    YOUR VOTE IS SACRED even if Bad guys threaten you that it is not secret?

    Why fear,IT IS YOUR VOTE,it is not stolen?
    Why let others *steal* it?

    YOUR VOTE,YOUR DIGNITY AS TRU BLU SINGAPOREANS even if YOUR NATIONAL RESERVES ARE HANDED TO OUTSIDERS?

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  • Fearless:

    There is nothing to be fearful about. Nobody can impose upon you as to who you should vote.

    The vote is secret and what the heck even if it is known. You are just exercising your democratic right as a citizen.

    People who said they are fearful is just an excuse to vote for the ruling party. Period.

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  • uselesstankinl:

    “PAP candidate… of Indonesian Chinese roots, changed his surname to contest the Singapore General Election. 38-year-old new citizen, Shawn Huang Wei Zhong’s original surname is Ingkiriwang, and it was changed only this year in 2020. The PAP candidate did not explain why he find his surname Ingkiriwang shameful. ”

    ======

    Bro, chinese is chinese

    Name is not important chinese right ?

    So many indo here must give chance so more dirty money also COME IN LA

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  • Fearful 40%:

    The Fearful will never be able to bring themselves to admit that they voted out of fear.
    That is the last thing they will admit..
    At least 25% are core cronies.
    ”What is in it for them” type.
    As for the rest, 40% fearful zombies–if they do not wake up; our children and grand children will end up living in a NKorean type state.
    They are already POFMA-ing very minor issues .
    The smartest, by far, grandson of LKY, Prof ShengYu, is already being charged for a very private FaceBook post.
    Unable to return to his homeland.
    Taxpayers are NOT allowed to know how much tax-coffers monies are being used
    to pay the Empress Dowager; the undislodge-able.
    We are heading very quickly into a NKorean type State.
    Be careful how you vote.
    Your children and descendants lives depend on it.
    Four generations before, the NKoreans made a very big mistake! They inadvertently installed a dictatorship.To-date, they are still suffering.

    Fearless:
    There is nothing to be fearful about. Nobody can impose upon you as to who you should vote.

    The vote is secret and what the heck even if it is known. You are just exercising your democratic right as a citizen.

    People who said they are fearful is just an excuse to vote for the ruling party. Period.

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  • NotMyProblem:

    Why are we in fear? You should be in control when voting. You just want to vote for people to work for you, not against you by importing outsiders, foreigners to take away your rice bowls!!!

    Ok, you can be afraid, because you are ball-less. But think about your children and grandchildren, do you want them to be as ball-less as you?

    You can kneel and bow to foreigners (think Ramesh), like your grandparents did during the Japanese Occupation of Singapore!! What about your children again??

    You have to take back your country, there is no crime loving your country. Loving the PAP is like having a affair. Like having a mistress, she only love your money!!!

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  • uselesstankinl:

    Taking vengeance against his critic, PAP candidate Shawn Huang Wei Zhong, an air force major, published the details of an ex-colleague who criticised his behaviour at the NDP 2018. The SAF officer is now facing disciplinary actions for criticising the PAP candidate and she was “internally-POFMA-ed” and forced by her SAF superiors to take down her Facebook post. Formerly known as…

    $$$$$

    most sinkies at polling station look at policeman, they shit already….

    how not to vote pap

    the sinkies ALL got NO BALLS…..

    reason, more woman than men here being born…

    waiting for someone to poke…

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  • uselesstankinl:

    front

    n

    back

    useless sinkies

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  • Dato:

    Too many paper Generals.
    Too many squeaky clean scholars.
    Too many Union leaders.

    All their life, they have never worked in a real world environment.
    All their life, they are surrounded by people and subordinates, wanting to please them, wanting to make them look good.
    How can they feel or understand the real world situations?

    1. Do we need so many Member of Parliaments?
    2. None of them have brought up areas of improvement or things to amend in our old old laws.
    3. How many of them actually attends the parliament sessions?
    4. When shit hits the fan…no Ministers dare make any decision – instead, they set up so called EXPERT committee to make a collective decision on behalf of the Ministry. So they are never accountable.

    Voting for PAP have never really improved lives of the citizens.
    We are often ridiculed, rejected, and stone-walled.

    We have all the legislations and statutes in place, any change of MPs or Ministers….all the policies are still in place.

    Go ahead. Make a difference today.

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  • Best man win:

    Don’t worry.Will vote for the best man.
    Each candidate must do their part to earn every vote for them.
    Need to convince why must vote for them over their competitor.
    Party not important…what the man stand for will counts.
    The best man with integrity will get our vote…for sure not out of fear.
    Singaporean can think…don’t take them as fools.
    Better respect them.

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  • MOUNTAIN TORTISE:

    Yes especially many SME bosses, worries they will b penalize if they vote against ruling party
    Well to these SME businessman, where do u think Alternative Parties get their money from.? Yes SME
    To those fear, is is the type of leaders u think can provide us better? Only after giving ur votes n yr biz sink or still subject to more tax, taking away more of yr profits will u ever wake up, not forgetting its not yr immediate at stake but aso ur children future at stake
    Vote Wisely

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