Come 7 May 2011, almost all Singaporeans will get to vote, 2,350,873 of us. 82 out of 87 seats are contested and this makes it the most hotly contested general election in Singapore’s history since independence. This is the day, that we as a citizen, get to choose our parliament and government.
During this campaign period, emotions run high, heated words are exchanged among the netizens. The emotions are so electrically charged that campaign posters were vandalised. A worker’s party supporter even requested Desmond Lim of SDA to step down from the election to avoid a 3-cornered fight. This election was a battle of heart, soul and the mind. It was also a clash of ideologies (hegemony democracy vs liberal democracy). For some, it’ll be an easy choice when they cast their vote because the candidate was never seen; for others, it’ll be a difficult choice as it feels as though the fate of the nation rests on one electorate.
At least this time, we can no longer be labelled as politically apathetic. Every day, my Facebook wall posts and twitter feeds are filled with political commentary and critics. A wide range of views have been published and I even discovered a blog post made by a young Singaporean, Daryl Yong, of only 20 years. His blog post showed maturity and intelligence beyond his age. Similary, I’ve also discovered an Ellsworth Toohey in the midst.
More than a decade ago, I was caught in the midst of Asian Financial Crisis. I only joined the workforce not many months earlier. During the crisis, every few months, I see colleagues being retrenched. It was a sombre and depressing period. It was an experience I’ll never forget and I would not wish on anyone. It culminated when Compaq PCA factory I was working in closed down and everyone of us was retrenched. It was circa 2000.
Then in the tail end of 2008, Global Financial Crisis struck. Like many, my company went into crisis mode. We had always been prudent in our spending and still, we managed to become leaner. No staff was let go.
About a year later, Singapore emerged pretty unscathed and the GDP grew by 14.5% in 2010.
With almost full employment rate, but shrouding within the impregnable shadow of dissatisfaction and unhappiness among the people due to rising costs of living and rising public housing prices, we, the citizens of Singapore will go to the polls tomorrow.
Regardless the result, with or without a co-driver, the new government will be required to steer and lead the country through a future with dark clouds already gathering in the future horizon. The challenges have already started to rear its monstrous head. With Japan still recovering from the recent 11 March disaster, which already began to disrupt the global supply chain and potentially affect the Singapore manufacturing sector; America buckling under it’s US$14 trillion debt crisis and the threat of retaliation from terrorists cell, the future is fraught with uncertainties.
I’m not pro-PAP nor pro-opposition, I’m just pro-choice. Tomorrow, whatever the result, it is not a freak election. This election will be voted by almost all eligible citizens of Singapore and the result is the representation of the WILL of the PEOPLE.
Take That – Greatest Day