Even as the opposition heaves to overcome the extraordinary odds in establishing a working democratic system in Singapore, the people must not sit back and expect it to do all the heavy lifting.
Without the active involvement of Singaporeans, political change will always be something we talk about, not experience.
Show me credibility
“Show me what your candidate can offer, and I may consider voting for you.” Unfortunately, such what’s-in-it-for-me attitude will continue to keep Singapore firmly at the bottom of the democratic league.
The prevalence of fear of politics in society means that opposition parties have a terrible time convincing the people to join them, let alone persuading them to stand as candidates.
This is not to say that Singaporeans should lower the bar when it comes to electing opposition MPs. It is to say that Singaporeans must not wait for the next guy to take the first step of joining or volunteering their help to opposition parties.
As long as the people hold back their active support in campaigning, donating, or behind-the-scenes work, little progress will be made.
Elections is not a spectator sport. Being passive observers is not an option. Without supporters getting actively involved in the campaigns, elections will remain an academic exercise.
One of the reasons why the opposition has performed so abjectly at the polls in the past is because those who know and care have not come forward to help. The PAP triumphs not because of the approval of Singaporeans but because of the apprehension of opposition supporters.
To paraphrase John F Kennedy: Ask not what the opposition can do for you, ask what you can do for the opposition.
I’m just a…
So often we hear Singaporeans say “I’m just a so-and-so, I’m in no position to help.” One thing that democracy does not do: It discounts the participation of certain classes of citizens. Everyone counts.
If you cannot fly, run; if you cannot run, walk; if you cannot walk, crawl. Just don’t stand still. Do something.
With the elections impending, the Singapore Democrats are shifting our work up one gear. But we are up against a regime bent on holding on to its autocratic ways.
We are confident, however, that we shall overcome the odds by fighting hard and fighting smart. But we cannot do it alone. We need all the help we can get from you, our supporters.
We need funds to help print flyers, to rent equipment, to purchase supplies and so on.
We need volunteers to help with the enormous work of reaching out to the public.
We need the skills and expertise that make campaigns work.
If you can contribute in one or all of the above ways, please don’t hold back. Don’t wait for the next guy to come forward to make a contribution. Do it. Today. Send us an email email@example.com and we’ll get in touch with you
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