Addressing Singaporeans’ fear of change

July 14, 2014
Singapore Democrats

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Dear Dr Chee,

I have been an avid supporter of your freedom rights movement since 2008. I was unable to visit you in Sydney as I am currently a student at the Monash University in Melbourne. I bought your book on “A Nation Cheated” and “Democratically Speaking” and I have found them to be very inspiring to me.

I would like you to share on a topic of “What if the ruling party in Singapore (the People’s Action Party) lost the next general election?” I believe that many of us Singaporeans would like to know what will happen to the country’s economy, foreign investors and foreign businesses trust in us etc.

From what I understand, we are a country relying the majority of our income from trade. How will be be able to combat all these? Furthermore, what will happen to Temasek Holdings? I think many of us Singaporeans would like to know more about this as it will bring new light on the confidence to vote for opposition parties.

In addition, I believe that most Singaporeans are afraid of change. They believe that they are living in the most comfortable part of their lives now and would not challenge or speak up for themselves, and hence, there are problems such as “low wages” and “no human rights” or “freedom of speech”.

If you have seen the Roy Ngerng post, you can see the amount of supporters he has from this even though he is not a politician of any sort. I believe if you can convince Singaporeans to “change” by slowly introducing ideas to them and allow them to know the truth, they will be very open to it and acceptable to the change. Thank you for taking your time to read this letter.

Best regards,
Dylan

Reply from Dr Chee Soon Juan:

Dear Dylan,

Thank you for your thoughtful message.

In the event of a change of government, Singapore’s trade and commerce with the rest of the world will continue without disruption.

The SDP, or any other opposition party in Singapore, is not advocating that we chase away investors and close down trade. This is the fear-mongering that the PAP has been engaging in for decades. Ironically, it is the PAP that is hurting our economy.

The authoritarian system in Singapore is adversely affecting innovation and productivity of our people, factors essential for our economic progress. DPM Tharman recently admitted to this problem. We have drawn up a series of policy papers to paint a picture for Singaporeans on what the alternative looks like so that Singaporeans will not be so afraid of change. (Please see our website: yoursdp.org )

The problem is that the media will not give it proper coverage. We will have to continue to reach out to Singaporeans online and on the ground. You can do your part by helping us to disseminate the information and explain to your friends and family what my colleagues and I are doing. It is hard, but it is necessary and, eventually, rewarding work.

Thanks for writing and take care.