Singaporeans voted yesterday, and more Singaporeans voted for the People’s Action Party (PAP) than voted for the alternative parties.
Much as I am delighted that Workers Party (WP) won Hougang Single Member Constituency and Aljunied Group Member Constituency, I have to admit that I am bitterly, bitterly disappointed about the results. I had hoped for more opposition seats, more checks on the government, more alternative voices to make sure that the PAP listen to the people, and to keep the PAP on their toes.
But I guess you can’t always get what you want.
So, in the end, this is what we have, no Vincent Wijeysingha, no Chiam See Tong, no George Yeo even.
Instead, we have Vivian Balakrishnan, Wong Kan Seng and most outrageous of all, Tin Pei Ling.
I find it hard to believe that there are people who haven’t yet realised how we’ve been seriously affectd by the Group Represantative Constituency (GRC) system. But that’s not the point of this post.
Some of you might have voted for the PAP because of their track record. Some of you might have voted for PAP because you don’t really care about politics, and don’t see a need for the status quo to change.
Some of you might have voted for the PAP because you were moved by Lee Hsien Loong’s apology and the humility they have shown in the last few days. Some of you might have voted for the PAP because you want to give them another chance to do better.
For all our sakes, I hope you are right.
I hope that the PAP was sincere with their apologies and promises to do better. I hope that they will not go right back to their old ways once they return to Parliament and government. I hope that they will use their 2/3 majority responsibly, and not just bulldoze through any policy they see fit without caring about the views and opinions of the people they are supposed to represent.
I hope that they will remember that they are our servants, not our masters.
I hope the PAP will not forget the homeless, people who have fallen on hard times or who face problems they cannot surmount without support from the government. I hope you will not forget them too.
I hope the PAP will not forget the elderly toiling away till the day they die, because they cannot afford to retire, or cannot withdraw their CPF. I hope you will not forget them too.
I hope the PAP will not forget the voices who have been silenced, just because they tell a different story from the PAP story. I hope you will not forget them too.
I hope the PAP will not forget that they represent all Singaporeans, not just the ones who voted for them.
I hope you will not forget that too.
I hope the PAP will not forget that we are humans, not economic digits. I hope you will not forget that too.
I hope that Singapore will be better, like the PAP said it would as they turned from arrogance to humility. I hope they don’t turn back.
I hope you will not regret your decision, or “repent”. I hope you will never feel the need to sit in a kopitiam and complain about the government and how things are going downhill.
Because if you do, the sad truth is that you will only have yourself to blame.