Singapore 12th Parliamentary Term General Elections (GE) take place tomorrow 11 September 2015.
It is Cooling-Off Day today where all political parties are forbidden to do further campaigning in order to allow voters to calm down thinking rationally about their choice of vote.
All 89 Member of Parliament seats are contested. No walkovers.
29 electoral divisions. 16 Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs) and 13 Single Representation Constituencies (SMCs). 24,000 first-time voters.
It is the day in which 2,460, 977 eligible voters including myself will decide and cast our votes at 832 polling stations. The day which we all have been waiting for (and yes, yayyy..another long weekend). You see, the Polling Day which falls on Friday 11 September 2015 is a declared public holiday.
Several months after founding Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s demise in March and the recent Golden Jubilee national celebrations, I believe this is going to be a GE closely watched by Singaporeans and political observers locally as well as internationally. After 8pm tomorrow, would we be seeing another watershed election results? I don’t know. But I have a gut feeling that the voting results could be “historic”.
The current GE campaigning news from various political parties are so electrifying, in my own words. Sparks fly. Political views are also expressed actively by netizens on social media platforms.
Given what we have seen in GE 2011, I think Singaporeans today have gained much political consciousness than before. Many of us understood that we are part of the Singaporean Family, thus having a stake or say in our country’s future via the ballot paper. Many schooling and working youths started having active discussions on national issues. As such, some of us somehow now believe strongly that they can effect a big social change through voting, by voting for credible opposition parties.
Sharing a post made by a friend in Facebook, she says there are 12 questions for us voters to think about.
1) Are you prepared to accept the possibility of a freak election result where the Opposition forms a coalition government since many people assume that there will always be enough people to vote the incumbent into government, thus it will still be safe to vote for opposition? Your vote could be the swing.
2) Will you be comfortable for the current slate of Opposition candidates to speak on Singapore’s behalf at international affairs/functions and forums? Can any of the current opposition candidate be able to make us proud like Deputy Prime Minister Mr Tharman during his recent interview at St Gallen?
3) Why do the Opposition mostly focus on domestic issues and not international matters? Are they only capable of handling domestic issues? What are their views on world affairs as Singapore is very dependent and vulnerable to her external environment? Will they be able to engage and talk in depth with other world leaders and business leaders?
4) Are you confident that the Opposition can continue to maintain our existing good international relationships with other nations, especially given the sensitive relations with our neighbours and the big countries? How will they handle the haze from Indonesia and the water issue from Malaysia etc? They cannot conveniently tagged on the solutions already provided if the incumbent party is voted out of government.
5) Is it so important to have a different voice in Parliament just for the sake of it regardless of the quality and credibility of that voice? Does this voice truly speak for the people or merely to serve their personal agenda or grudges against the ruling party?
6) Are you looking at the big picture or do you only care about the details? If Singapore does not have enough water for its people, do you think we will still be sitting here complaining about MRT service breakdowns? Without existing framework of stable and strong government, social harmony, economic prosperity, do you think you will still complain about foreign workers? We might have to be foreign workers ourselves.
7) What are some of the knee jerk reactions if the ruling party is voted out of the government? Probably market will react, foreign funds will flee Singapore immediately, our Singdollar currency might lose its value and our investments will drop. Do you think investors will risk their money and wait for the new government to prove itself? No investor likes a politically unstable country. Look at Malaysia. As soon as a whiff of a political unrest is detected, the ringgit went into a free fall.
8) Why do you want to give your vote to a new and unknown candidate who did not even contribute to the community before and yet penalize the person who has been serving the community through grassroots work? Have he or she earned it? Some candidates only appear every 4-5 years when election fever comes.
9) It is very easy to be popular by saying what people want to hear and promise to give more, but it is even more courageous to implement the right policies for the nation long term and be unpopular short term. Nobody like to be the one to give hard truths but someone has to do it.
10) Is there a perfect government in this world? Ask yourself – why are countries sending their diplomats to study from a small little red dot if our government didn’t get most of it right?
11) Do you want a paralyzed parliament which is often bogged down with bickering over short term national issues to gain political points from voters? You need a government with foresight and do long term planning. Marina Bay, Changi Airport expansion, PSA ports etc cannot be built in a one election cycle. Do you think a weak government fighting for political survival will have the time for these long term projects?
12) Why do we have to keep striving to be among the best of the best in the world? Would other nations or MNCs or investors bother with Singapore if we are just mediocre? There are so many big cities around the world with many natural and human resources, so how does Singapore stand out if we are just average? What captures the world’s attention about Singapore? As our Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loonghas said, the work is never done, there are still many more peaks to scale. Can we afford to remain stagnant and be complacent as a little red dot?
I feel that election votes are not really meant for individuals to express their unhappiness towards the Government whatsover. They are actually meant to be a representation of the Member of Parliament (MP) you want to help taking care of you and your neighbourhood areas, the MP whom you want in Parliament debating government policies as well as potentially a Cabinet minister who would have to head a ministry, or represent Singapore overseas at official functions.
More importantly, the vote you cast is about the ideals of country leaders whom you want to lead Singapore forward. Is it about capability or track record? No. Is it about the leader who make great speeches? No. It is about choosing the right people who have decided to sacrifice their personal time, stepping forward willingly to serve you, their fellow Singaporean.
It is about the attitude and the heart.
For Singapore. For all Singaporeans, present and future generations.
For US, the world was never the same again after 11 Sep 2001. Wheras for Singapore, the world might never be the same after 11 Sep 2015?
We shall see the results tomorrow. 😉
Latest Note (13 Sep 2015):
A total of 2,304,331 votes were cast by Singapore electorate, of which there were 2,257,016 valid votes and 47,315 rejected votes.
In this election, there were 9 political parties contesting, namely People’s Action Party (PAP), Workers’ Party (WP), National Solidarity Party (NSP), Reform Party (RP), People’s Power Party (PPP), Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDP), Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), Singapore People’s Party (SPP), and Singaporeans First Party (SingFirst). And 2 independent candidates as well.
The ruling party PAP had a landslide victory, winning 69.9 percent of the valid votes – the best performance since 2001 and a 9.8 percent surge from the 60.1 percent it got in GE 2011 when it lost Aljunied GRC to WP, an opposition party. It confirms a two-third majority in Parliament.
PAP has won back Punggol East SMC which was formerly under WP in the Punggol East By-elections 2013.
The overall poll results were quite a surprise for many Singaporeans including myself.
Here is a quick glance at the vote results. (News Source: Channel NewsAsia.)