The PAP and its supporters are stuck in an era where name-calling and personal attacks were the order of the day. Of course, this was most effective during a time when there was no social media.$CUT$
But times have changed. The SDP has moved ahead and proposed alternative policies and ready to debate these national issues.
The PAP seems to be in a political state of arrested development where it thinks that calling its opponents names is the best strategy in moving our country forward.
The best example is its reaction to Dr Chee Soon Juan’s Wall Street Journal op-ed A New Vision for Singapore. Unable to effectively respond to the issues Dr Chee raised, the Government resorted to calling him ‘dishonest’ and ‘out of touch with reality’.
It then proceeds to say, much to the amazement and ridicule of the public, that poor Singaporeans earning $1,000 a month is able to own a flat as well as survive in Singapore.
It cannot even see that earning $1,000/month in one of the most expensive cities in the world is itself a problem.
Its supporters fare no better. They keep repeating phrases like and almost never rise above such remarks.
While the SDP recognises that there may be honest differences between outlook and ideology and we continue to invite them to have an mature debate without resorting to personal attacks and name-calling, their responses have been disappointing.
There may be a few reasons for this.
One, the PAP won’t debate because it knows that many of its policies are indefensible (having rammed them down the people’s throats all these years).
Two, it can’t debate because it has stifled debating skills of Singaporeans – including those of its members and supporters – through years of censorship.
Three, it thinks that name-calling will distract Singaporeans from the real issues and obscure the fact that the SDP has a set of viable alternative policies to offer the people. (This is most clearly demonstrated by Mr Lee Hsien Loong saying that the opposition has not articulated an alternative vision for Singapore in his PAP60 speech despite evidence to the contrary.)
Whatever the reason(s), one thing is clear: the PAP doesn’t know how to move forward and meet the rising expectations and aspirations of Singaporeans. This is sad and doesn’t bode well for Singapore’s future.
Be that as it may, the SDP will continue to raise the level of politics by focusing on the issues and offering Singaporeans alternatives to make this country a better one.
Join us for our GE2015 Campaign Kick-Off. 10 Jan 2015, 2pm, Holiday Inn Atrium, Outram Road. Let’s show what mature politics is about.