Friday, December 16, 2005

Things are not what they seem

I know very well that Singapore is not all it seems to be. I’ve lived here all my life, and I can see what is presented to the world is not what we really are.

Democracy and freedom is something we sacrificed in Singapore’s formation years in the name of progress. In order to grow as a nation, the people let go of these two ideals and chose to follow whatever the government says.

GRC is an unfair system, there’s no denying of that. In fact I feel that it’s a ridiculous system together with the fact that you have to put money down to run in the elections. I did not write down these opinions in the previous post as that post was meant to be informative and not argumentative.

I believe that you need to understand something well before you can argue against it, the better you understand it, the more you can fault it. Plus, a basic knowledge of the subject you are arguing about is the basic requirement that one needs before they can argue. Take it that I was laying down the framework for further debate with that post.

Back to GRC, let’s talk about the money part later and talk about having 5 candidates run together. That is unfair in itself. Singapore is small, so we only have this many people who are talented enough to run our country. What’s the chance of getting 5 talented people to meet and decide to contest in the elections? Plus, our non-ruling parties are small to start with, it’s not saying that they are not smart and talented, but how many really shines? It’s hard enough to contest for 1 seat, now it’s 5 we’re talking about.

Together with the plights of the current outspoken politicians, how many are willing to join the non-ruling parties?
Ok, the law about political donations. First of all, it must come from a permissible donor, which can be an individual citizen who is at least 21 years old and must show his identification card to prove his identity, the other can be a company which is Singapore controlled and does its business wholly or mainly in Singapore. Of course, all the names would have to be recorded down.

When a donor makes small donations amounting to over 10k in a year, the donor needs to submit a declaration form to the Registrar of Political Donations.

If there is any anonymous donation, the political association have to check if they had received a total of 5k of such donations in a year. If they had exceeded 5k, they would have to, quoting directly from the political donations handbook “The political association can return the entire donation to the person who transmitted it (other than the donor) or the financial institution or if that is not possible, surrender to the Registrar of Political Donations as a last resort.”

So what implications does those rules have on political parties?

The lack of funds to run of course. Both the daily expenses of the party, as well as running for election, as Anonymous had kindly pointed out, a deposit of 30k is required before they can even contest in the election.

Other than donations, there are very few means that the parties can use to raise funds. One of the other means would be to publish books but sales will never be really great. So this is a huge barrier for our non-PAP parties to compete in elections.

I can see why such rules are being put in place, I sure don’t want dirty money to start flowing into politics and turn the whole political scene into a monkey show like in somewhere else in the world. But I feel that the 30k deposit is unreasonable. What’s the rationale behind that? Can someone enlighten me?

Why do a person have to place a deposit before they contest in elections? It’s not as if they’re under investigations and needs bail money to be let free, just in case they run away. It’s like treating election candidates as criminals. That’s ridiculous.
Voting secrecy.. I really don’t care about it. Best if they do know about my opinion of them. It’s ok if my block is at the end of the list for upgrading. Coz to me, upgrading is pretty much a waste of time. After the initial hype of it, people realised that it does not raise the value of their homes anyway. Plus the years and years of inconvenience, dust, noise and having to pay thousands of dollars for something which does not serve its aim (of the residents).

Of course upgrading is good in general for the people, lift to every floor, better lighting and such, but most have increase in home value on their minds when they voted Yes for upgrading. In the end it’s all a waste of time, money and effort.
Another question, what is a by-election?

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Anonymous said...

The PAP will not win in a fair election which explains why there are so many unreasonable rules and regulations to retard the growth of the Opposition.

The GRC system is good for Singapore because it ensure that the minority racial communities are being represented in Parliament. Unfortunately, it has been abused by the PAP to win in an election.

Anonymous said...

for "serious candidates only"

so all the sued, bankrupted, broken opposition who have no permits to speak in public, address rallies or to even have their books on sale in borders in singapore can't take part.

which one you want? stand for elections and lose 150,000 or don't stand at all go and buy car feed the family?

broke... totally broke. how to stand for election?

every single problem that is inherently political and social in singapore is often presented as an economic problem, thereby requiring economic solutions.

lky himself declares that he doesn't care what int'l org say about freedom of press.. freedom of speech.. he tells us to look at the gold.. look at the economic progress.. the standard of living.. the money we have.. how far we've come.

it'll be a very sad that when all singaporeans sing this tune. that we believe that we can solve all our problems by throwing more money or taking away cash from it.

taxi drive no good? let's tip him then!
nkf management no good? don't donate then!
bus service so slow? why I pay so much for busfare
starbucks got free coffee.. better go.. no need to donate
upgrade lah! flat can sell better value mah!

today.. the only things that make us singaporean.. are friends, family, food, (the three F's) and our car, our house, our education and our bank account. seems like we really don't know what the real world out there is really really like.

by election is a farce. since jbj won anson in 1981, they stopped having it.

singapore is easy. nominations day allows the pap to win even before the first vote is cast. walkover everywhere! elections department works out of prime minster's office leh! don't pray pray hor!

it seems that "too much democracy is no good for singapore". either because we'll end up like the philippines or indonesia. gct won 61% the popular vote in 1997, but swept 80 out of 81 seats. thanks to walkovers aplenty. can't we be like hong kong? progressive democracy?

the pap is allergic to criticism

Jayce said...

When you are in power for too long, you stop hearing what is not pleasant to the ears.

Your words jolted me, I'm one of those who looks at everything in terms of money. To me, PAP is good coz they brought us economic progress, our current standards of living. Till now, it's very hard for me not to think about everything in terms of money, that's the way I was brought up, that's what everyone around me thinks. We forget that there are things such as freedom and ideal..

Singapore can never be an Arts Hub, Arts is not about money and everything about us is money..
By-elections, general elections, presidential election, all these are a great farce, a show that no one bothers to watch. And what SM Goh said yesterday made me laugh, expecting competition in Marine Parade? Who is he kidding?

Anonymous said...

The 66.6% mandate Mr. Lee HL received is from 56% of registered voter.

The 44% of registered voters do not get a chance to poll because of the GRC polling system.

With current political environment in Singapore, Any GRC requires 6 members mostly likely limiting opportunity for opposition parties to join future polling.

Let examine GRC background information, GRC is proposed by election office which come under Prime Minister Office, i.e. the GRC proposal come under Mr. Lee HL perview, PAP's success % should have been studied before release the plan.

I believe people in Singapore and international all heard of , MR.Lee and his father repeatedly mentioned, it is not of PAP interest to help Singapore opposition to survival.

Mr. Lee does not hide his burning desire to reclaim back the 2 opposition consitutes,

The two constitutes are leading by WP and MR. Chiam. The polling results show they are receiving higher mandata from the people than Mr.Lee, if taking consideration the obsticles planted by PAP to slow their advancement.

Seeing the evidents that the Government under PAP using all possible means (Government Ministries, Grassroot organsiations) to give difficulties to opposition from day one when WP and Mr. Chiam won the two consitutes from PAP.

The evident is, promising of infrastructure projects using PAP name, in fact, these projects are already under planning for.

Another evident is PAP candidates dingles these project as carrot to the voter, if voters execrising their right and no to PAP favour, the projects will be downgraded and delayed, without concerning to people right of enjoy qualiy of life they deserve by paying tax to support PAP Government.

Mr.Lee called for joining hand after election but at the time make no execurse to employ sinful flat upgrading strategies that resulted in dividing peoples of this small country.

How could a divided nation stand up to external threat, this is a question that does no seen to bother PAP and PAP controlled Government.

Mr.Lee openly defends PAP controlled Government has implictly right to allocate lessen priority to people staying in opposition consititues. To the extent of totally denying funding being allocated to opposition MP for carrying essential lift upgrad. Estimating 180 million being held up by PAP Government.

Lift upgrading, many have considered a major need as the population aging,i.e. Accessibiliy to overcome inability. Having a lift stop at every floor can determine significantly in ones quality of life for older citizen.

Housing has been a significant contribution by PAP Government. However, people began to realise these flats built by PAP Government is unser un-friend to older citizens.

PAP's ministers, instead of, serious in solving need for older citizen's need, PAP hijacks the opportunity of patching up design deficiency, and use for PAP, a political parity, carrot to swing vote during every election.

Mr. Lee HL, in his victory speach, show highly concern to win back oppisition constitutes comparing to the desire to address previailing higher cost of living and a very positive voicing for wanting opposition voice within Singapore democracy system.

Mr. Lee stresed for a 100% win result(with 0 opposition).

Many have taken to surprised by Mr. Lee said his will unable to function suppose there are more and more opposition opinions in the partliament, he will then need to spend more time to "fix" the opposition voices than focusing on real job. Such is the kind of working mode of Mr.Lee, revealed by him during a rally staged at business district.

Although, the polling has over. PAP's attempt to criple our democracy system will start on day one of their next 5 years term.

Do you feel hopeless after 6may2006?

even the government