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“Urgency for us to find our identity and voice again”

Below is a comment made on a post on The Online Citizen's Facebook page by Zam. 

I was one of the attendees of the event on Saturday.  I am very clear with why I was there from the start. To stand for what I believe in - Democracy and Meritocracy.

I have always believe in leadership that's far-sighted. The reason for the reserved election is truly understandable... It is to safeguard the interest of ethnic minorities in the long run. FACT: Surveys have shown that when the three (Chinese, Malay, Indian) races are contested, very highly likely that a non-malay would win the seat. That is also one of the reason why GRCs were formed in the first place. It is necessary that certain racial rights are being protected. We have seen many case-studies overseas about the positive impacts of such action and negative implication of such ignorance.

What went wrong? The idea of opening up the presidency to an election. The backward ideas of modern government. The electorate. The complacency. The big wayang.

I consider myself as a moderate. As a theatre-maker I surround myself with friends from the extreme spectrum as well as those in between. I respect and hear your views. In terms of theatre-making, that's essential.

I am neither anti-PAP nor do I take issue with the individual that's taking the president seat. But when things are wrong, I do my part to point it out, so should you.

A healthy functioning democracy must encourage open and robust debates as well as maintain proper checks and balances. This checks and balances must come from the president, chief justice, speaker of parliament, and the news media.

From my many talking points, I concluded (as seen in this video) the importance of news media outlets both print and digital to report facts, not opinions. As I joked, "Leave that to NewNation!"

In a democracy, your Vote is your Voice. When you spoil your vote, you're silencing yourself. When you're denied to vote, you are being silenced.

In the last General Election, results show that a majority who voted against the ruling party are the older adults. The majority who voted for the ruling party are the younger votes. The attendance of yesterday's event is a true reflection of that.

Moving forward, these are the key areas that I hope to work on in the near future (If you do wish to work collaboratively on them, just hit me up.

1. ENGAGING & EMPOWERING THE YOUTHS IN THE POLITICAL PROCESS

The sentiment that I have gotten since last week is that youths, in particular, aren't sure how democracy works and their rights as a citizen. Also, Singapore's system of governance. It is important that they participate in this process as democracy can only work when EVERYONE gets involved. Yes, democracy is very messy.

2. ENGAGING & EMPOWERING THE MALAY COMMUNITY 

I am ready to take the hit for this. But I've seen first hand how many people from my community are perpetuating the negative cultural stereotypes of us. We need to cultivate and encourage talents within the community. We need to create an environment that supports our community in bringing out the very best in them. There's an urgency for us to find our identity and voice again. Don't accept something at face value. Don't be easily contented. Think... Think critically.

I stand with my Malay community on the need to protect our ethnic rights. Halimah is a good person but as for the way the election process turned out, there are some things that we need to make better.

My two cents worth and I do apologise if anyone is offended reading this.