Put out more flags

Fear does not work all the time. The ruling elites’ attempt to frighten people into giving them a 100 per cent win did not work. The people opted for greater democratic representation. Singapore is moving towards becoming a proper parliamentary democracy where a leader of the opposition is given some recognition thanks to voters who understand that alternative parties and diversity of views matter for the country.

While reams will be written about the results and what it implies a few things are clear: the old school attempt of personal attacks on alternative candidates for political reasons is not helpful. The Workers’ Party’s remarkable wins testify to this. That making clear the need to keep an authoritarian system in check resonates with people. In due course, perhaps Singapore will evolve into at least one-third of parliament in the hands of the alternatives so as to institutionalise effective checks on arrogance, complacency, and groupthink .

It cannot be denied that the genetically modified poor slate of candidates fielded by the ruling elites did not help their authoritarian cause. Not only was there a distinct lack of diversity in their candidates but there were flubs by veterans among them that must have had some impact.

The most telling Freudian slip was yet another leaked audio in which a champion of the rulers (Chan Chun Seng) is supposed to have said:

Every election the PAP-vote problems, you check back the 50 years and see. Then suddenly a crisis will save us. Then we’ll start dropping again. Until the next crisis save us, and it’ll drop again. You look at the last 40 years pattern…

Lee Kuan Yew’s death saved us. Before Lee Kuan Yew’s death, 9/11 saved us…

The party could have called for an early election over the conflict with Malaysia if it escalated…’

The most important thing for PAP in tonight’s conversation must be the house majority. We will never know; our neighbour might do us a favour and we might call for election tomorrow. Are you ready?…

Winning an election has nothing to do with the nine-day campaigning. It has to do with the hard work over the previous many years…

The question: how is it that the virus-scare did not materialise in a ‘saving’ strategy for the elites? Yes, they won yet again, but the glimmer of genuine democratic representation in Singapore is beginning to grow.

Perhaps it could be also that people are finally awakening, and have cottoned on to the systematic pulling of wool over their eyes by those who need crises real or otherwise to save their own interests.

It is telling that the WP’s call to envision a better future with a country representative of its different people including the call for greater space for artists, writers, other creators, and a freer press: may also have helped them. It is crucial to note that the call for understanding the intangibles in life as being more important than the playing-by-numbers rule book of the elites is gaining traction.

Perhaps in the wards that have given alternative parties a greater voice, and citizens greater hope, through their votes—instead of putting out the flag in recognition of some pandemic till National Day: they could put out the flag in recognition of a Singapore slowly coming of age due to hard won democratic progress.

You can frighten all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot frighten all the people all the time.


Sanjay Perera

*Writer, and founding editor of Philosophers for Change. The post first appeared at: Kafkaville.

[Picture: Alamy.]




16 Responses to “Put out more flags”

  • Reality and dream:

    Reality is the recent swing against the PAP is the much unhappiness on the ground.
    Many are suffering make worse by the pandemic…and the poor handling of the infected cases at the FW Dormitories which is still not resolved after so many months.Thos affect the confidence in the Government.
    More need to be done to improve the life of the common man.Their difficulties to cope with the high cost of living and little savings for Retirements.
    Solve the unemployment and underemployment issues facing Singapore ahead…make worse by the Pandemic and Trade wars.
    It is a case of vote against PAP rather than for Opposition…
    Reality and dream is different…

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  • Sengkangite:

    Sengkang has gutsy youths.
    Sgs in other districts must put words into action.

    Cowpehing is one thing,dare to do is another.
    Sengkang sgs has the can-do spirit.

    Kick the betrayers out!

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  • opposition dude:

    “The question: how is it that the virus-scare did not materialise in a ‘saving’ strategy for the elites?”

    I think it could be this reason below.

    Pandemic – A virus which is fatal which can kill us plus a recession in which people will lose their jobs

    Past crisis – All of them were recessions with no pandemics. People lost jobs but no one died from any virus since there was none.

    It’s still a crisis, just the wrong one. Goondu PM was politically naive to think that just because there was yet another crisis it meant 70% of the votes at the minimum. He duly paid for it with 4 fewer monkeys and 4 extra opposition MPs together with a drop in vote share. The fumbles during the campaigning didn’t help too and the long list of mistakes made in the last election cycle were also remembered.

    So, let us look forward to even more opposition MPs in 4 to 5 years time!

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  • TUMASIK Patriot:

    Another Good Contribution never to be found in the “FAKE” and doggie news…

    Keep it COMING Sanjay & BK…the Battle is Lost but the War has Just Begun…

    Losing a Battle is NOT the end but the Beginning of winning A War…

    Please do NOT pack your bags in the closet but buy a bigger BAG to unfold more Arsenal to Winning the “Mother of All Wars” in 3-5 years time…

    Patriots and Countrymen…Lend your ears to the Alternates & Supporters who fought a Brave Battle…Battle Cry: “Towards 2025 To Win the War”

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  • RDB:

    Dear Sanjay Perera,

    Alas, dictators can never understand what say about them. It is because they monolingual in their minds. As they only know how to pat themselves on their backs and nothing more you see. Thank you for sharing your fertile mind… CHEERS… as we need more of better minds like yours to wake up and let our less endowed voter minds so that no political mind can manipulate their mind for selfish purposes.

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  • DavidNeo&IreneVanessa:Bastards:

    They want to dominate everything. Chen Ba Wu Lin. That’s why even one or two GRCs lost will also still rankle them.

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  • Billy ma:

    GE2020 will always be remember not just that WP won 10 seats, but also that it’s called the pandemic crisis election.

    But personally as well as seeing the actual ground sentiment, it may be much less a scary situation than pronounced so intendly by a lot of people especially PAP.

    I think I’m more worry about what will happen when open border travelling is allowed.

    Otherwise the truth feeling is that the virus is mainly contain within the quarters of the construction industry.

    It’s the PAP that wants to blow up the fear so that Singaporeans will run to them for cover.
    So it’s a big fault of the PAP that the virus crisis blows in their faces .

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  • pap clown lies everyday:

    GE2024 west coast – PSP.

    GE2024 east coast – WP

    GE2024 marine parade – WP

    above is confirmed. any other is bonus. life, finally, is worth living in rotten pap run regime.

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  • Bala's Mendacity Index how?:

    ((Perhaps it could be also that people are finally awakening, and have cottoned on to the systematic pulling of wool over their eyes by those who need crises real or otherwise to save their own interests.))

    Fakes thriving on falsehoods wheeling and dealing for humongous personal rewards by deceiving the people of goodwill and sacrificing innocent sheeples.

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  • Nathan Chen:

    Most of the time LHL is using CCS as a sounding board. The PM tells CCS what to speak, how to speak and the timing. The PM lets CCS go ahead. Getting responses and feedback and then affirming his own thoughts tailoring it according to the responses on the ground. For example, the nonsense on PAP thriving on crises to win GEs.

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  • Yoda:

    Name me one country where a single political party won 100% of the votes in an election.

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  • Failed Tactics:

    Gutter Politics aka Loongkang Politics, Gerrymandering,
    Fearmongering and Votebuying tactics can easily backfire!

    Only 60% sheeples believe Cotton Comes from Sheep.

    Come 2025, a 10%-20% voteswing is clearly visible when more and more graduates and young people stay jobless, underemployed, displaced and mismatched. When more Paika (Pioneer-Merdeka) Generation have returned to The Creator.

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  • JS ?:

    Will Josephine Teo lose her Minister portfolio in the new Govt ?

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  • Harder Truths:

    As more unhappiness comes out the more draconian the laws will become. People will have ot decide which they want – a subservient nation with Total Communism where nothing works or a real democracy system but lots of work from the people to make it work.

    Democracy is not free – it is earned. Then it must be protected. . So can $G be like Taiwan or HK? It is up to the people – until now Total Communism is still winning.

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  • Sg is doomed with 4Gs:

    The days of a dominant over-bearing one-party government are as good as over.

    Pappy are losing its appeal after years of oppression, underhand tactics, cronyism and nepotism.

    Once the naked emperor is gone which is not too faraway, real democracy will prevail. People will have a say in their lives and future.

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  • Irene Vanessa Wan Si Hung:

    Which is why they don’t want people to get degrees. Uneducated caan be bound by irrational fears. Recall Hitler burned books?

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