368: My Thoughts, GE 2011
I stayed up until 3am last night (this morning), awaiting the news of the results of the 2011 General Elections. Watching the very ‘laggy’ ChannelNewsAsia, reading updates online from the twitter accounts of Temasek Review, ST online and facebook pages of Temasek Review. It was really interesting because I believe a lot of Singaporeans were awake last night awaiting the news. I’ve heard that when the opposition won some wards (e.g. Hougang and Aljunied by WP), there were people from blocks in certain neighbourhoods cheering! It’s kind of like a soccer match when the team you’re advocating for won! Apparently, many had organised Polling Day parties last night to watch the GE results. Sadly, the people around me sleep really early and the neighbourhood was pretty dead and quiet by 2am.
So what were my thoughts after watching the results last night? It was bittersweet. I was really sad for two really humble man, who had to give up their seats. Our foreign minister Mr George Yeo and the ‘father of democracy’ in Singapore, Mr Chiam See Tong. I’m glad that the people of Aljunied made their choices, they chose Worker’s Party, which I had a very strong feeling would win this elections (and they did, predictably). They had really strong candidates – the leader Mr Low Thia Kiang, the power woman Ms Sylvia Lim, the scholarly and down-to-earth Mr Chen Show Mao, forever smiling Mr Pritam Singh and Mr Muhamad Faisal Manap. And yes, I do respect these WP candidates because I think they are equally qualified and worthy to take up the job! They have proven themselves to be very worthy opposition representatives of Singapore. But on the otherhand, I’m really sad that George Yeo lost the fight. With no by elections, all I can say is that Singapore, you’ve lost yourself a very good foreign minister! Mr Low did mention that nobody in the Parliament is indispensable, which is true. But well, I felt sad losing someone who has been doing his job really well the past many many years (and because he’s the Foreign Minister, we seldom see him in action but we have to give him due credit for all that he’ve done so far, liasing with other countries around the world etc!). And yes, he can always go back to the private sector to head the board of a company, so it’s not as if he’s out of job. But I’m just saying it’s really Singapore’s loss! But I’ve read that many people are asking for him to run for presidency! Even WP’s Pritam Singh suggested that he run for president so that he can continue serving the people of Singapore. I would totally agree!
And yes, Mr Chiam See Tong too. Seeing his frail figure (after 2 strokes) but still so resolute on winning the Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, I was really sad when he didn’t win any seats this elections. This is a man who truly cares for his people, who truly cares for the people of Singapore and because of this, I really really respect him. His previous ward, Potong Pasir (under his wife) lost by a mere 100+ votes to PAP’s Sitoh Yih Pin! There are people accusing the people of Potong Pasir of being ungrateful for choosing PAP and forsaking Mr Chiam. But I could also see that Mr Sitoh Yih Pin seems bent on winning over Potong Pasir after his past 2 defeats in the ward the past 10 years. From what the media reports (which I’m still unsure if I should wholly trust!), he seems to be pretty involved in Potong Pasir the last 10 years, trying to win over the votes of the people there. And yes, to me, he seems to be a very down-to-earth man as well, I’m thinking Potong Pasir will probably be in good hands. As for Mr Chiam, I salute him for all that he has done for the people of Potong Pasir the past 27 years. He’s almost as old as my grandparents now! Maybe it’s time for him to take a well-deserved break to nurse himself back to health and enjoy his golden years!
This is what I meant by bittersweet. Otherwise, the other wins are pretty predictable. PAP still forms the bulk of the government and they won with marginal votes, which is what I’ve predicted as well. With all the emotional upheaval and outburst of emotions during the last 9 days of campaigning, it’s clear that half the nation’s dissatisfied with what the PAP has done. I do agree with certain points and that the PAP needs to change. It needs to reevaluate the way it does things! Because who knows? In the next election 5 years down the road, things may swing to the other side? Which I think is highly highly possible. PAP won by approximately 60% votes nationwide this GE, which is a dip from previous elections, even the worse results by PAP since independence in 1965. I hope this is a wake-up call for them, as what I believe most people who vote for the opposition this elections hope to do. Many just want to give the PAP a wake-up call, whom they claim have been too comfortable in the driver’s seat.
Anyway, no matter who wins, or who gets to represent our voices, I’m just praying that whoever who gets voted into Parliament will continue to serve the people, make the right decisions, implement the right polices and bring Singapore to greater heights. We are still one Singapore, after all.
Anyway, today’s headlines from The Straits Times! 🙂