About a week ago, parliament was dissolved and rallies began popping up, making groups form together from individuals to political parties to fight for seats in parliament. I recently turned 23, and believe it or not- this is my first time that I’m actually eligible to vote! I was very confused about so many things and to be honest, was lost beyond belief.
And that’s when Amos Yee taught me a thing or two about politics. If you’re completely clueless like me this would be helpful. It was interesting to watch a thing or two, and to get a rough feel of what is going on in Singapore’s political scene.
I have to admit that I progressively got more excited. It didn’t help that my supervisor (sitting beside me, we’re separated by a pillar) was going through her own election fever. It kind of rubbed on and before you know it, I was scouring through manifestos and policies and reading news and politics-which is something that I haven’t done before. I live in the East of Singapore under the Pasir Ris Punggol constituency- where the two political parties, the PAP (People’s Action Party) and SDA (Singapore Democratic Alliance) are contesting against once another.
I have lived all my 23 years knowing who the PAP was and what they did for our country. The PAP has ruled majority over Singapore for the last 50 years of independence. For that I am grateful for what they have done to build up our country. However, I still question what I want for my family and how I feel as a Singaporean, and I question how effective their carrot and donkey methods were in the last 10 years. So I went to do some research, I was really curious about what SDA had to offer, and was pretty impressed and entertained with these 2 clips. In a light upbeat kind of way.
In the midst of my thoughts, a lot of my peers are voting for the first time this year. When I asked who they were voting for, one said, “Of course PAP!” when I asked why,she answered, “Like that lah!” When I probed to ask why she had chosen PAP (because I genuinely wanted to know what the PAP has done to impact her as a first time voter to choose PAP) her answer was, “I don’t know. Just vote PAP lor.” Another friend told me she was voting PAP because she was okay and leading a comfortable life. I couldn’t fault her for that-till she went. “anyway your voting is never secret. So better vote PAP.”
My mother screamed at me the other day.”All voting is secret! Stop asking me Cally!” .It’s quite funny and cute at the same time how she takes this so seriously. Take it from my family, we’re all VERY divided on our votes. I have one sister who won’t tell me who she’s voting for the life of her, another who tells me we can only vote the PAP,a sister who clams completely shut and another super pro PAP sister (who joins her CC as a volunteer) and a brother who insists no matter what that he will vote the opposition and so on.
I really hope my friends would at least back up their votes with some logical reasoning behind it. We can agree to disagree on political parties and personal choices but what I really wish for would be for my peers would read a little more into who they’re voting for and why. After all, it is our birth right as Singaporeans, and if we don’t vote for what we think is the better option and making an informed decision- then how will our lives be like in Singapore in the next 5, 10, 15, 20 years to come?
Indeed politics can really break people apart, or bring people together.
I went for my first rally yesterday (Worker’s Party)! I really just wanted to hear what Low Thia Khiang and Sylvia Lim had to say. The crowd was lively and full of energy, it was definitely a good experience! Though this constituency has nothing to do with me.
(With lots of thanks to the people I love who came with me- I decided at around 3+pm that I wanted to go for the rally and look! They still made the effort to come with heehee 🙂 )