Two questions sent to me for my comments in response to the ongoing ground sentiments towards the Reserved Presidential Election,
"To what extent has the experience of the reserved presidency negatively altered perceptions of the PAP and could it put a dent in public support for the ruling party during the next general election?
Has the reserved presidency, intended to guarantee racial inclusion through a minority representation in government, actually had a negative effect on race relations in Singapore?"
The first thing that any Singaporeans could think of being proud of their country is the fact that Singapore is truly multi-cultural, tolerant and respectful of one and other regardless of race and religion.
Therefore, People's Action Party (PAP) has touched a raw nerve in its push to achieve its intended goal to secure its preferred candidate as the elected President through the use of race.
By leveraging on the Malay minority as a reason why there is a need to deem the PE2017 as a reserved election, and insinuating Singaporeans are deep-down racists with questionable polls, PAP has undone fifty years of nation-building.
Other than angry comments that flood news reports over the Elected Presidency, there are many comments online from the Malay community asking why are people against the Reserved Presidential Election, asking if the other races are unhappy with having a Malay President. Instead of fostering a more harmonious multi-cultural society, the Reserved Election has only served to cause much angst for the Malay community.
However, if one were to ask about how much effect would this anger translate to a dip in PAP’s percentage at the national polls, one has to first ask if Singaporean voters vote PAP solely on the basis of trust and support.
Speaking to friends outside of the civil society, many have confided to me that though they do not support PAP in terms of its policies and antics, they will still vote for PAP out of fear that their “privileges” such as HDB loans and other subsidies will be withdrawn from them. While this may not be a fact, but the fear is very much ingrained into the common folks, given how tightly intertwined the public bodies such as People’s Association and the PAP are perceived by the public and in reality. (PA and PAP’s head are the same person)
When media and PAP start drumming the fear engine of whether the people are prepared for an inexperienced government, people will eventually vote for the perceived lesser evil that they know and some with that blind loyalty to a party that brought Singapore to the claimed First World country status.
Contrary to common belief, I believe it will be the new citizens who have the guts and will to vote for a new government that can bring a fresh breath of air to the dynastic rule of this democratic country.