“That someone is ‘marked’ by PAP simply because he/she is overly critical is not true”, said blogger Phillip Ang Keng Hong. “I am living proof”, he added.
In a Facebook post early this morning (27 November), Mr Ang – who regularly blogs on ‘likedatasoscanmeh’ – said that Singaporeans no longer have a reason to fear the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) and should feel free to speak up about things they are unhappy with.
Mr Ang, who was a regular with the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) and floor trader at the Singapore Exchange said that ST Forum and Today Voices published about 30 out of 40 of his letters more than a decade ago. He has also written letters to the CEOs and directors of statutory boards, ministers and even to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
The blogger said, “Our servants do reply but sometimes they wrongly believe citizens are their servants.”
He added, “The PAP government knows Phillip Ang, ie a nobody, average Singaporean”.
Mr Ang went on to say that he loves his country and doesn’t want to see ‘afterthought’ policies by the PAP “ruin the home” of his children.
“I have been very vocal against the PAP”, he said, adding that he hasn’t been “marked” by the party despite that.
He pointed out how two of his posts about the Prime Minister’s wife and Temasek CEO Ho Ching’s remuneration have garnered over 100,000 views and that some of his Facebook posts have been widely shared, one going over 1,500 shares.
“PAP has no issue”, Mr Ang declared.
He then encouraged others to speak out, advising them that “you cannot love our country and fear PAP at the same time”.
Fear is still prevalent
A few hours later, retired army regular officer Clement Puah shared an image of Mr Ang’s post on his Facebook page, adding that many Singaporeans are still afraid of the PAP and of speaking out.
He said, “Some say the PAP is afraid of their own shadows! I’ll say too many Singaporeans are even more afraid of the shadows of others!”
Mr Puah recounted a recent moment when he invited some close friends and family to a gathering, but they turned him down. He says he suspects that it was because a video of him went viral in which he urged members of the SAF to understand what it means to be loyal to Singapore.
Mr Puan added, “The fear is so ingrained that being seen with me in a non-political gathering is deemed not in their best interests! Is being gutless settling in?”
Last month, Mr Puah attended the launch of the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) manifesto. During the Q&A session, Mr Puah stood up to comment about how wrong it is to classify Singaporeans as being disloyal simply for disagreeing with government policies.
He said he finds it “incredulous” when ministers in the government consider him disloyal when he objects to their policies or when he disagrees with their method of governance.
The grandfather went on to say to the crowd, “If you love your grandchildren, think about it what sort of legacy you want to leave behind.”
He also urged government servants, civil servants, Singapore Armed Forces personnel, and anyone else who works in government service to let go of their fear in questioning government policies and decisions.
Mr Puah quoted Dr Tan Chen Bock who exclaimed, “the fear must go”.
Urging Singaporeans to let go of their fear, Mr Puah Neo said: “So get away this fear. You are not disloyal when you disagree with government policies. You are loyal to your country Singapore and you are faithful to your fellow Singaporeans.“