|The SG Election - a reflection|
The Singapore Election has been won convincingly by the Singapore People's Action Party or PAP who took 81 out of the 87 seats. Amidst the victory there was a strong swing vote against the ruling party resulting in a drop of votes from 66% to 60%. This was most notably reflected in the lost of the Aljunied GRC (Group Representation Constituency) which resulted in a rather sad loss of the well liked Foreign Minister, George Yeo.
This election had a different feeling and level of interest amongst my friends. There were debates and the many of the "young ones" seem to gravitate towards the opposition party. The older generations perhaps vary of change seeing how Singapore through the ruling party had become from a back water third world country in the 60s, to a first world country. We owe much to the founding fathers and former PMs such as Lee Kuan Yew, and Goh Chok Tong. Yet, these names held much less emotional sentiment for the younger generation.
Singapore is a complaining lot - and that is a good attribute which makes us become better in what we do unless we are complaining for the sake of it. The Mass Rapid Transit are becoming rather crowded and there is an increasing number of foreigners everywhere - the Chinese Nationals and the Philipinos being most noticeable as they take over many of the low paying service jobs that many Singapore had loath.
There is a cry by S'poreans to put Singapore first but this is obviously a red-herring since Singapore doesn't make many manufactured goods and ours is a service based economy depending very much on being very open to the rest of the world as one of the world's largest ports and popular tourist destination. We live in the cross roads between the East and the West.
The call to put Singapore first is quite meaningless unless we start buying S'pore products first so that jobs can be retained in S'pore which is not possible since there are few large scale manufacturing in Singapore. For example, jobs in the Electronics sector has shifted in Malaysia and China. Would Singaporeans be willing to put Singapore first and buy the Creative made and design tablets instead of the US Apple Ipad2. I doubt it! However, even the Ipad is made in China, the profits go back to the US but few jobs.
PAP's approach is probably correct in emphasising on skills upgrade to meet the needs of the new services rather than handouts - to teach the people how to fish instead of giving them handouts of food. In an interview, PM Lee was quoted as saying he does not fear the competition for jobs for the foreigners in Singapore, but the millions outside of Singapore. We are in an open economy with free trade and we compete openly with companies from other countries for products/services in other countries. This world has become much smaller and there is no longer trade protection. It is a fight and the best way is to improve the skill set, to do more with the resources we have.
Yet the swing against PAP is partially self inflicted because they targeted the past generations which already had a good reason to vote for the PAP. The messaging for the younger generation is weaker. They must have a strong and valid reason to vote for the PAP beyond just having a good track record. Are the voices being listened to, and is there an emotional connection and loyalty. Old stories of the 60s looses their impact after being re-told year after year and requires new wine to sustain to new generations.
Singapore is indeed changing with over 70% now not minding to have a Gay MP. Singapore it is said is not ready for the repeal 377a because of the conservative HDB heartlands - ie the elderly folks still resisting the change. Society is however changing very fast, and faster than the ruling institutions would change.
(Amos 5:15 NKJV) Hate evil, love good; Establish justice in the gate. It may be that the LORD God of hosts Will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.
The opposition talks and promises a lot, but talk is easy since they will be in opposition for some time to come and it is easy to spend the national reserves of whatever they fancy and can dream of.
The key to success is God's blessings. We are to hate evil and love good. We are to hate injustice being done even though it might cause us votes. For example 377a is unjust and makes the GLBT 3rd class citizens deprived of basic rights, yet the outcasts, the people on the edge is often what God is looking at. Any Government that repeal 377a will loose votes amongst the heartlanders, but the swing votes amongst the young and the liberal will swing to the Government.
God's blessings is on those who establish justice "at the gate". The gate is like the Parliament House where the leaders gather, where decisions are made. It is a place where those who are harmed and unjustly treated goes to seek recompense. The Government that hears and answers to the cries of mercy will surely open God's blessings from heaven.
The Government will surely be afraid of the rise of the Christian Right in Singapore and it is coming carried by the many thousands of youths longing for a Spiritual hope and meaning. The goal of Transformation 2009 by the mega churches of having a substantial influence in all sectors in 2015 is not too far off. Whilst it is necesarry to snipp the wings of the leaders once a while lest they fly too high and reaches the heavens, the blibical key still remains that we need to let justice, God's justice to the afflicted and those wronged and unfairly treated and victimised to be given justice and recompense.
After the loud election rallies, God is looking not for the big talk but for action to alleviate the sufferings of the poor, the elderly, the have-nots that had missed out on the economic boom, and the rights of the GLBT minorities. When we let justice for the afflicted runs its course, our righteousness, our right standing before God and the voting public will run like a mighty stream that will change the tide against the incumbent.
(Amos 5:23 NKJV) Take away from Me the noise of
your songs, For I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments.
It is not about working harder, but working for the least in the community that the rest of the population will know that "we care", and will definitely vote for those who are humble and who cares.