Can anyone guarantee Singaporeans can put food on their tables and earn a living?

November 1, 2007
Singapore Democrats

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Dear SDP,

Currently Singapore is still doing okay economically. As long as the majority of Singaporeans can put food on their tables and earn a living, they will feel no great motivation to change governments or do any major upheaval to the political scene.

But can anyone guarantee this will be the case forever?

Without real democracy in Singapore, if and when it comes to the day that Singaporeans realize their livelihood is in jeopardy and they can no longer sustain themselves, will they have the political power to change governments peacefully?

Without real democracy, there are no safeguards for Singaporeans.

Already as it is, the poor are suffering as their wages have outright declined over the past 10 years and they are not protected by any minimum wage. Singaporeans are also being displaced by large number of foreigners, many of whom are merely using Singapore as a stepping stone.

So while it is true that we are presently better off than many other countries in terms of standard of living, there are hidden cracks that lurk beneath our society, which we must address now. Because you never know when the day would come when we need to actively use our democratic rights to determine our own national destiny.

NG E-JAY

SDP’s reply:

Dear Ng E-Jay,

This is what we have been trying to impress upon Singaporeans all these years. Along the way, we have been criticised for emphasizing on democratic ideals and not bread-and-butter issues.

And yet without a democratic voice, Singaporeans cannot change policies instituted by the PAP. You’ve heard of the adage of teaching people how to fish instead of giving them fish. We must push on.

We remain hopeful because with the Internet we can reach more people. People like you have taken an interest in the matter and that means we have one more voice to change yet more minds. It takes the commitment of the few to turn the masses around.

In the meantime, please keep in touch and continue to encourage those around you.