Don’t dismiss the Opposition

March 8, 2002
Singapore Democrats

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8 March 2002

I am a Singaporean and I have been living abroad for the last 15 years. It was only this year that I came about to know about Dr. Chee via the media and the Internet.

I may not be a supporter for any of the political parties in Singapore, opposition or otherwise, but I am compelled to agree with much, if not all, of what Dr. Chee has written and said in his articles and speeches.

The PAP has always consistently stressed (to its citizens) that the opposition does not have the capability and the experience to effectively run the country. Sure, the PAP has the experience, three decades of it, to be exact; but the ruling party should not comment on something which has not been proven.

How does the PAP know? It doesn’t, because it (opposition coming to power) has yet to happen. The PAP should also not be the spokesman for the people. Let Singaporeans decide for themselves, without influence, about the credibility of the opposition.

The PAP may, judging by the recent poll results, say, “See, the majority has spoken.” Yes, and only because PAP used the upgrading (of HDB) as a weapon in the election against the opposition. This is nothing new.

Contrary to what the PAP has mentioned in the past, I do not believe that Singaporeans do not care about politics. It is either they are too afraid to support the opposition, or they cannot be bothered with it because the election results is so routinealways a PAP victory.

For any government to be effective, it needs to have a strong opposition. It must be kept in mind that the PAP is no God. After all, ministers are just humans and people make mistakes. If the opposition parties cannot participate freely and fairly, then the government may as well be a regime, dictatorship or otherwise.

The PAP should remember that this is 21st century, not the 1960s. So whatever way (of governing) SM Lee and our forefathers have used in the past might not be as effective in the new era.

Dr. Chee, I wish you every success in your fight for democracy, and I will be following your struggle wherever I am. Take care and God bless.

An observer