The following letter was sent in by reader David Tan.
I have a message that I urgently want to share. The time has come for us to do our part for Singapore. We must not repeat the mistakes of 2011.
At the last general elections in 2011, 39.9% voted for the opposition and this resulted in the opposition winning 6 out of 87 seats. After the election results, opposition supporters were quick to blame the 60.1% for giving the PAP such a large majority in parliament and the mandate for unpopular and unwanted policies like the Population White Paper.
Rather than blame the 60.1% for the results, many of the 39.9% of opposition voters should also blame themselves for doing nothing except voting against the PAP. Yes, you guys voted against the PAP. But that is not enough if you want real democratic progress.
How many of the 39.9% actually volunteered to help the opposition parties they were supporting? Only a small minority! Did you really think your one vote was going to be enough to topple the PAP? The GRC system has already diluted the value of your vote, so your one vote is insufficient.
That is why it is so important for the opposition parties to cover as much of the GRC as possible during the short nine-day campaign period! If you want to send a strong message to the PAP, you have to go all out and help the opposition parties to get the necessary manpower to cover ground. Their activists will be tired and overstretched as the campaign goes on. Your single contribution may actually change the outcome in a hotly contested constituency like East Coast GRC, Holland-Bukit Timah GRC or Marine Parade GRC.
What if an opposition party lost narrowly because they did not manage to cover certain parts of your GRC in the short election period? What if the few house visits that you helped the party conduct garnered that last bit of support necessary for them to cross the 50% mark?
All you have to do is distribute flyers, hang banners, be a polling agent or spend a few hours doing house visits. You can even choose what you want to do. The real battle is not fought at the rally stage but at the HDB heartlands, at the door of every HDB unit. You do not have to volunteer every single day! You just need to dedicate an hour or two of your free time to help the opposition party you believe in. Who knows? You may even get a free party T-shirt as a souvenir.
If you do nothing other than curse the PAP online every single day, that is not going to help make things better for you or anyone else. General elections come only once every four or five years. If you are frustrated with the government’s policies but are not willing to spare even one hour during a special nine day election period that only occurs once in four or five years, you cannot say that you have truly contributed to the opposition cause. You would then have only yourself to blame for the election outcome.
If you do not have confidence in the opposition party contesting in your area, you can always volunteer to help out elsewhere. For instance, my area is being contested by the NSP. I am going to volunteer with the WP and/or SDP. Whatever help you render, it beats staying at home and being a passive observer.
Some among us do not know how to volunteer with an opposition party. Is it so hard? Nope. You just have to fill up an online form and they’ll contact you. Here you go!
To volunteer with the Workers’ Party (WP), please fill up this form.
To volunteer with the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), please fill up this form.
To volunteer with the Singapore Peoples’ Party (SPP), please fill up this form.
To volunteer with the SingFirst party, please fill up this form.
To volunteer with the Peoples’ Power Party (PPP), please fill up this form.
To volunteer with the Reform Party (RP), please fill up this form.
I strongly recommend volunteering with the WP, SDP or SPP since they will be involved in the hottest contests this GE and they have the highest chances of winning. Your single contribution might be crucial in moving votes in favour of the opposition. Every one of us, regardless of race, language or religion is valuable to the opposition cause.
Let’s work together to ensure that we have a better Singapore after this general election. Thank you.