~by: Ghui~
In the article entitled “Silent Majority is truly disturbing” (Yahoo! News, 19 Jan 2012), the differences between the supporters of opposition parties and PAP supporters were pointed out. While the supporters of opposition parties were prepared to make their voices heard, the PAP supporters were dubbed “the silent majority”. Indeed, the article cautioned the PAP to take heed of this deafening silence and to reflect accordingly.
The prescient question however is whether it is the PAP supporters who have fallen/remained silent or if it is the opposition supporters who have gained momentum? Same difference some might say but I beg to differ for it is in that fine line of difference that votes are lost or gained.
Apart from its heyday in the 60s and 70s, have PAP supporters ever been vocal in their support? As far as I can remember, PAP events were always straight laced and orderly ones. Certainly, they are not events where you can go beyond a polite nod, clap or handshake. While PAP supporters were always outwardly respectful and even reverential, they were never spontaneous. Was this so called “Asian conservativeness” or fear? Perhaps a little bit of both.
By painstakingly ensuring structure and order at all costs, the PAP has managed to suppress dissent. But in so doing, there was a price to pay. In return for a well-behaved society, the PAP also eroded any form of outspoken, all guns blazing support.
The people who support the various opposition parties have always supported them, albeit quietly. The advent of the Internet and the proliferation of social media websites coaxed them out of their shells. As the various opposition supporters banded together on the Internet, people found strength in numbers and the movement gained momentum.
In any democratic election, the supporters hold as much sway as the candidates themselves. While the candidates and their respective parties stand for certain causes or policies, it is the supporters who promote these policies to the masses. Glossy posters and well-edited videos can only do so much. It is the word on the street and coffee shop chats that truly count! What is the point of a low-key political rally where supporters remain controlled and wooden? It is when attendees chant and cheer that opinions are shifted and views are converted.
Opposition rallies are seldom quiet affairs. The police presence only stokes the crowd’s curiosity and as numbers swell, people gain confidence. So instead of quelling support for the opposition parties, the extra policing serves only to enhance such support. With no other viable outlet for expressing dissent, opposition supporters therefore go all out at such rallies. As emotions run high, political opinions are formed and votes are earned.
While the results of GE 2011 were deemed “watershed”, its makings began a long time ago and with each election, the opposition parties and its supporters, gained foothold.
The opposition supporters were always there. They have simply been “switched on”. As for the PAP supporters, they were always silent. The silence is simply glaringly obvious now in comparison to the more opinionated opposition supporters.
The PAP’s strict control is therefore a double-edged sword. While it ensured stability and “support” in the short run, it lost the hearts and minds of its citizens in the long run. When it most needed an outpouring show of strength, its supporters were lukewarm. The tepid reception of PAP’s candidates was contrasted with the sheer fervor that was lavished upon the Worker’s Party in GE 2011. This atmosphere was contagious.
For undecided voters who have grown up indoctrinated by PAP’s superiority but yet not lived through the euphoric 60s and 70s, the PAP’s Midas touch was but an unproven myth. This voter demographic is a growing one and one that is influenced by that “human touch” that PAP politicians are now lacking.
To win back the young voters, the PAP will have to relinquish its perceived insatiable need for control. To gain support, you first need to allow people to support you in an unscripted manner.  Some laxity would be a good way to start.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
You May Also Like

Bank robbery suspect arrested with assistance from Royal Thai Police

The Singapore Police Force has just announced that the the suspect involved…

Certis APO kicking PMD rider; LTA says that it does not condone any behaviour that deviates from the established rules of engagement

Commenting on the incident where a Certis Cisco Auxillary Police Officer kicked…

连续六单周新增病例过千! 骨痛热症累计死亡病例达19人

我国骨痛热症情况堪忧,连续六周的单周新增病例逾千人,且在不到一个月内就有三人病逝,将今年的总死亡病例增加到19人。 我国骨痛热症死亡病例最多的纪录为25人,落在2005年,然而今年刚刚还没过完7月就已经有19人病逝,令人不得不提高警惕。 卫生部在受询时指出,19名死者中有17人是在骨痛热症黑区工作或居住,而19人的年龄都介于49至92岁。 据国家环境局指出,截止18日为止的那一周,新增骨痛热症病例多达1736,比之前的一周增加了67起病例,也再次刷新了我国单周新增病例的纪录。 同样的,截止上周,我国今年的病例总数量已经多达1万8947起,预计会刷新2013年的2万2170起全年总病例。 国内骨痛热症黑区从6月初的76个增加到目前的410个,增幅达233巴仙,且大多数分布在我国东部。 据环境局最新数据显示,有10起病例的高风险区多达148个,而百人或以上受到感染的黑区则有18个。 今年至今,国内出现200起以上病例的超级大黑区多达四个,其中以东南部的阿裕尼路、芽笼和沈氏道情况最严重,病例多达266起。另一个超大黑区,武吉班让环路在54天内也累积了263个病例,几乎每天有五人被传染。

半年来13工地接停工令 玛格烈通道工地爆56骨痛热症病例

女皇镇玛格烈通道一组屋工地内,有56名工人相继感染骨痛热症,承包商据悉已经被罚款扣分。此外,有13个工地在过去五个月,因有黑斑蚊滋生地而被下令停工。 环境局加强骨痛热症防疫措施,敦促建筑业给予合作,并且对没有妥善处理建筑工地环境问题,导致黑斑蚊滋生的建筑工地承包商采取严厉行动。有关的对付行动包括了发出停工指令,以及法院起诉。 被下令停工的工地,承包商必须采取必要的纠正行为,包括整理环境、清理杂草等,有效审查现场卫生和病媒控制程序后,才有可能获得撤除停工令。 截至目前为止,13个在过去五个月接收停工令的工地中,已有10个工地的停工令成功被撤除。 然而,玛格烈通道并不在撤除停工令行列内。截止星期一,已有56名来自该工地,在SkyResidence组屋工地工作并居住的外国客工的工人感染上蚊疫。环境局证实在重复稽查时,发现工地蚊虫大量滋生,因此发出停工令,要求该工地承包商采取行动。 其中一名被下令停工的工地主管表示,工地内至今已经有49人染病,接获停工令后暂停了所有工作,当前只能进行整理、收拾等防范工作。 对此,建屋局证实有关消息,并指相关承包商已经被罚款和记分,将会配合当局,一起执行严格的害虫控制和管理措施。 环境局表示在玛格烈通道被列为蚊疫黑区后,当局多次到场稽查并寻获七个黑斑蚊温床,包括在护土墙、金属模板、树洞和安全栅栏等。