Why we supported the PAP, and should we always go with the greater evil to change the lesser one
An acquaintance of mine - Sim - called me, through Skype, yesterday on the way to the polling station. He wanted to clarify my position as stated in the previous article - ‘ed says, ‘No to Singapore’s Opposition’, ‘Yes to PAP’. He was going to vote for the opposition - as i myself had in the past....i have supported the opposition since my late teens more than a couple of decades ago - but after a short chat, and my clarifying that we’d have to go for the greater evil - PAP - so as to send the opposition the message that they can only call themselves an alternative to the PAP if they’d stop being the racist/racially biased/xenophobic product of it.
He voted PAP, though he, like myself and V, didn’t like supporting them.
It is a paradoxical situation...
...brought about by the existence of a greater evil and its spawn - the opposition. In a nutshell, the PAP taught the people racial self-absorption, individual self-absorption and cultural bias over a few decades. That is how they managed to stay in power this long - the same strategy was applied in China for more than 2000 years via the mephistophelean blend of legalism-confucianism, and which was subsequently applied to singapore, along with the requisite need to maintain a chinese majority and elevation of chinese culture so that the former could come to fruition. The opposition, instead of taking this on, became a product of it and themselves became racially biased and xenophobic. That said, every chinese i met the past decade is no different, every Indian and Malay I’ve met don’t notice it, except for the Chinese guy who was recently sentenced for rape in Toa Payoh who stated that he preferred different cultures in singapore and foreigners as we could learn much from it. So their brand of democracy became a fascist one - as far as western and the logical definition of fascism is concerned.
So, given this fact, easily verifiable through numerous ‘insights’ and oversights on the oppositional side, even by a first year undergraduate in sociology, or students doing A-levels sociology in the UK, a vote for the opposition would only further reinforce their self-absorbed position. Democracy is pretty twisted in singapore. In a nutshell, it simply refers to ‘standing up for the interests of everyone provided that it maintains ‘native-born’ chinese racial/cultural supremacy’. That’s just about it. As i stated in the aforementioned article, the litmus test of this view is in how the interests of the non-Chinese are, generally, brought up ONLY if it coincides with the interests of the ‘native-born’ chinese. If not, very little attention or thought is given to it. This sort of democracy is no different from the sort of ‘democracy’ that was afforded men despite the interests of women in the patriarchal past, or the sort of ‘democracy’ that the British National Party seeks in its desire to maintain the supremacy and numerousness of the ‘whites’ in Britain, or even the sort of ‘democracy’ Hitler sought for the German people at the expense of ‘foreign trash’ like the Jews. The methods were different, but the intent was not dissimilar. In other words, freedom and equality amongst the advantaged, which, in singapore’s context, refers to the ‘native-born’ chinese and ‘their’ ‘culture’.
So in order to attempt to send a clear message to the entirety of the oppositional milieu
- bloggers, parties, media sites - to look into becoming truly egalitarian, they had to be voted against. As V, (a chinese girl from singapore, and a product of a more multiculturally egalitarian singapore of the 70s and 80s) put it, ‘singapore is gone case. The people are racist, the opposition only care about the chinese, and the indians are not indian anymore. Whichever party comes into power, it will be the same for the non-chinese.’ Have to agree. All of us swung in favour of the PAP, not because we supported them, but because we hoped that the opposition will become not just an ‘answer to’ the government, but a true non-xenophobic, non-racially biased, ‘alternative’. There is quite the difference between ‘being an answer to’, like, say, singapore’s answer to Lady Gaga...which is just a watered down copy, and being an ‘alternative to’ - which is something that is shorn of the deficiencies of the former. You see, the more empathetic we are toward those outside of our group, the more insightful and intelligent we’ll become when looking after our own interests - more of that in another future article.
So should we always vote for a greater evil...
The opposition have the same attitude as the Bush regime in the early years of the ‘war on terror’ - ‘you’re either with us, or against us.‘ In the singapore context, its, ‘you’re either take us as we are, or you’re against us.‘
...in the hope that the lesser evil - the opposition in singapore’s context - will do more to become a true alternative and, indeed, a true saviour of the people? No. I asked V, or rather tested her, to see if she could figure out the answer. She did. With flying colours. She said, "...not in the UK. At least here we have the people to kick the government or the opposition when it does wrong. But in singapore, everyone just follow either blindly.’ In other words, the singapore opposition have proven themselves to be resilient to critique. That is why members of the opposition can, on the one hand, take on the PAP for racism, but keep silent about the racial bias of the opposition. In other words, it is only wrong when the opponent does it. The forget that the passive racism of the opposition is that which enables the racism of the PAP to continue with impunity. The opposition have the same attitude as the Bush regime in the early years of the ‘war on terror’ - ‘you’re either with us, or against us.‘ In the singapore context, its, ‘you’re either take us as we are, or you’re against us.‘
When i was with the SDP youth for a short while about a decade ago, my attempts to improve it were viewed as my being, according to some, ‘a spy from the PAP’. This was absolutely nonsensical. All I did was to imply that not enough was being done to improve ourselves and those joining up and hence, we ought to also start this and that initiatives. I realised than that all critique, even if it was purposed to improve the opposition, was viewed as being critical of the opposition. If there was going to be any change, it would have to be initiated by the leadership. When i approached Chee on this, he just told me ‘to follow’ and not rock the boat. This was the same experience amongst others in the oppositional side, bloggers, etc.
This is really typically Confucian
If you read your history on China, look into 2000 years of their philosophy, how their top-down control was effectuated and so on, you’re appreciate this for yourself. To question one’s leadership when you are not in the leadership yourself is perceived to be against it. You can say that the Confucian ego is so fragile that all constructive critique from one’s own organisation, be it the family, triad society, work arena, social circle, political party, is seen to be ‘opposition’. Given that leadership is perceived to be deserved not on the basis of true insight, but seniority, power, prominence, and so on, it is not surprising that intelligence and insight amongst the masses threatens them since they do not hold on to their positions by intelligence themselves. And given that people depend on these leaders for insight, it is not surprising that they themselves will become so perspectivally and intellectually reduced that they will know no better themselves. That is why others whom know Chee or other oppositional figures will not experience a conflict with them such as I had. Said one Indian member of the SDP, when I remarked that Chee was another Confucian emperor, “No he’s not! I know him!” I thought then, ‘yes, you might know him, but if you do not have the personality, intelligence, and perspectives to see his deficiencies or that of the SDP and opposition, you will not find yourselves questioning them and will thus not experience their aversion to critique from within the ranks mate.”
That is why, in the case of singapore, one has to go with the greater evil. In the case of the UK, we still voted for Labour, and voted against AV in the recent council elections and parliamentary electoral reform referendum. These are lesser evils that we voted for. Why two standards? That’s because we have two standards of people when you compare Confucianised singapore to (relatively) Egalitarian Britain. In the UK, there are lots of people, parties, NGOs and unions whom can still effect control over the elected government. Dissension within the ranks is not childishly perceived as ‘you’re against us’. Parties can be changed in perspective and posture by popular pressure through the above mechanisms. Hence, we can vote for lesser evils in the UK and hope to tweak them toward the right direction after they’re in power.
even before the opposition can get its arse into the seat of administration, they’re already busy quelling and ignoring all critique. If change is going to come, it is going to be from the top down. That is why, the only avenue egalitarian people have in bringing about change in the opposition or the PAP is at the polls.
In singapore, even before the opposition can get its arse into the seat of administration, they’re already busy quelling and ignoring all critique. If change is going to come, it is going to be from the top down. That is why, the only avenue egalitarian people have in bringing about change in the opposition or the PAP is at the polls. That is why it becomes a paradoxical situation where to support the opposition and bring about changes in their mindset one has to vote against them. I voted for the opposition in the last elections. But had to support the PAP in this one as the opposition has proven itself in the period between the last elections and the present that they aren’t going to listen to critique from the peasantry.
We realise that getting rid of xenophobia and racial bias in the opposition is more important than anything else...
...because when the opposition can began to exhibit empathy for everyone even when it doesn't affect the interests of the racially and culturally defined 'majority', they will become even more insightful enough to recognise and get rid of other evils that are currently incubating but which skips their attention. Simply put, the greater the empathy, the greater is one's ability to spot evil, not only when it becomes noticeable, but when it is in its early stages. You have to ask how the great evils of today have come to be because the opposition have been to narrow in their vision in the past to notice it or take issue with it. Evil, as i wrote some years ago, cannot exist, or mature without the symbiotic collusion, albeit unwitting, of the good.
For example, if the opposition took vociferous issue with the government favouring the 'native-born' chinese and associated culture in the past, the government might not have moved on to importing China chinese to keep up chinese numbers in the present, and which also serves as competition for the 'native-born' chinese. Their oversight in the former led to this situation in the present. In other words, oppositional bias toward the Chinese in the past has resulted in 'native-born' chinese interests being compromised by 'non native-born' Chinese in the present. Another example is how the opposition kept silent when foreigners were brought in to fuel the construction industry in the past. They didn't fuss about their exploitation then. So it is not surprising that more foreigners are being brought in in all industries now to further increase profit margins. And now they complain. It is not the government they should be complaining about. It is their own self-absorption of the past that they should be taking issue with. That self-absorption continues in the present through opposition. What evils are these going to give birth to in the future which is already incubating now?
The opposition's xenophobia and racial bias is so obvious that they are no different from, say, the British National Party in the UK - who also have this ‘native-born vs. foreigners’ perspective. They have no seats in parliament. But the opposition in singapore can get greater margins. What does that say about them, and the people of the singapore of today? And especially those claiming to be ‘native-born’ chinese in opposition to ‘foreign talent/trash’? And the entirety of the opposition whom either say the same thing but in a ‘nicer way’, or don’t speak against it. Hypocrites. Every last one of them. Until they stop this typically Confucian nonsense. ‘X’ is going to mark the spot beside ‘PAP’.