Members of the Singapore Democrats paid a visit to students at the National University of Singapore today, chatting with them and distributing flyers (see below).
Mr Gandhi Ambalam, Mr Francis Yong, Dr Chee Soon Juan, and Mr John Tan walked around the canteen at the Arts faculty during lunch, milling around with the students and handing out flyers.
“Hi! How’s everybody? We’re the Singapore Democratic Party,” greeted assistant secretary-general John Tan, who being a lecturer himself is no stranger to students. “Here’s something for you to read – don’t just read the local newspapers. And visit our website, will you?”
Some of the responses included: “Cool!” “Good luck!” “Sure I’ll pass the flyer around.” “Surprised to see you here!”
A gentleman who looked like a staff member asked if the flyer was for sale.
“No, we’re giving them out free.”
“Can I buy it anyway? Just take it as a contribution,” the kindly man offered and pulled out his wallet.
A few groups stopped the SDP members to chat. A couple who were first year Political Science students said that the SDP visitors should drop in on their class – they were studying democracy and government under professor Hussein Mutalib.
Many of them were clearly interested in what the Singapore Democrats had to say. With the climate of fear here and the de-politicisation of the student body, however, it is not surprising that our students don’t speak out more.
This is a shame. It is something that the SDP is determined to change. We’ll be back at NUS soon not forgetting NTU, SMU and our polytechnics of course.
Text of flyer:
Singapore Needs Your Leadership
All over the world youths are taking the lead in advocating for change and openness from their governments.
In Singapore, however, there is only silence. Our most precious resource, the energy and intellect of our youths, are going to waste.
We know that this is not because you don’t care. Rather it is the PAP Government that clamps down on free speech to ensure that our young voices remain silent and young minds stifled.
This can only spell tragedy for the future of Singapore. For a nation without the voice of its youth is a nation deprived of the dynamism so necessary for society’s progress. It is stagnation that we can ill-afford.
The issues that face us as a society affect you directly as well. The indiscriminate letting in of foreigners into Singapore to suppress wages will impact upon you in a painful manner when you graduate and enter the job market.
The constant raising of university fees are also a source of burden for many of you. Other grave issues affecting our society are highlighted in the accompanying CARES 2008 flyer.
Why are we bringing these matters to your attention? The simple answer is that we believe that you still care about what happens in Singapore.
We have faith in you that as future leaders you will look beyond the propaganda dished out via the Government-controlled media and other state apparatus.
Your predecessors in the 1970s demonstrated student leadership that until today has inspired an entire generation. They spoke up not for only themselves but for the downtrodden and the expolited among us.
As tertiary students, we encourage you to think for yourselves and not let the Government tell you what to think and how to think it. You cannot afford to remain uninformed or, worse, allow the state to do the thinking for you.
Let not the youthful verve and idealism in you be snuffed out by autocratic minds in the Government. Let not fear be the master of your destiny.
To do this, we encourage you to visit our website http://www.yourSDP.org for alternative news and views about our nation, and broaden your vistas.
We invite you to get in touch with us at speakup@yourSDP.org.
It is said that we may not be able to build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future. We, the Singapore Democrats, intend to do just that.
Thank you and we hope to hear from you.