SDP right to focus on democracy

8 December 2004

I am impressed that SDP members try to make Singaporeans better understand the concepts of democracy and civil liberties, despite the harsh response.

Some of the scepticism and criticism is even from the other Opposition parties! I don\\\’t understand why Singaporeans think democracy is not an important issue. They instead want the Opposition to focus on only \\\’bread and butter\\\’ matters. That is unfortunately short sighted as they are dancing to the PAP\\\’s tune.

Singaporeans are politically conditioned to think that \\\’bread and butter\\\’ issues and nothing else matters in politics. That is how the PAP cons the public during elections by offering them a juicy carrot at the last minute and pulling the rug from under the feet of those Opposition which campaigns solely on HDB upgrading, conservancy fees, tax rebates and NSS. But the carrot is only temporary. Once it is eaten, the public realises that it does not have a carrot anymore and the re-elected PAP is not going to give another one out till the next election. And the cycle repeats itself.

It is only through real democracy can the cycle be broken. Politics is more than leaders providing materialistic creature comfort to the people. SDP is doing the right thing by educating the public that the socio-economic problems in Singapore are rooted in an undemocratic government that represses dissenting views.

If the PAP had been more open about different views, our economy might have turned out better. Instead decisions are made by those in the inner circle and the sycophants just meekly nod their heads. I sincerely believe that pushing the ideals of democracy and protecting of our civil liberties is the first step to Singaporeans\\\’ political awakening.