Ladies and Gentlemen,
We read of election fever today in Singapore's minuscule helpless opposition parties, speech making at Hong Lim Park, the one place Lee Kuan Yew has allowed the public to speak; increased traffic in political news, more Internet postings on how bad Lee Kuan Yew and his party are, and ad infinitum. As is always the case every 4 years or thereabouts at Singapore's election time.
And at each election time, we have seen the same enthusiasm, hurried preparations by the same opposition parties every 4 years since 1959, but they have not made any headway at all. And yet today even after 50 years the opposition has still not realized what should have been obvious to anyone with open eyes, that they simply cannot win; why, because Lee Kuan Yew is not prepared to let them win, as simple as that.
I am sure they are not completely naive or overly optimistic, but why they go through this utterly futile exercise every four years, I simply do not know. But one thing they should know is this; they simply cannot win through the ballot box.
Let me say that again, the political opposition in Singapore simply cannot beat Lee Kuan Yew and his PAP at the polls because Lee Kuan Yew does not want any real political opposition; second because he controls the courts he will destroy any real opposition through the law and third, as he controls the newspapers he will tell any lie he wants about them and finally if all else fails, he will simply stuff the ballot boxes.
Lee Kuan Yew has long ago decided that only his family and his party are capable of ruling Singapore, noone else.
At the same time, he is not happy about being called a one party state, so he conveniently permits at his pleasure 2 men, Chaim See tong and Low Thia Khaing who pretend to be opposition, but who really in truth support the PAP. This way he can hoodwink the world into thinking he is a democracy.
Since 1959, there was only one real opposition member of Parliament, none other than the late JB Jeyaretnam who Lee Kuan Yew naturally booted out of Parliament at the first opportunity. Since then there has been none.
A clear proof of election rigging is the fact that these 2 half opposition men, if I could call them that; Low and Chiam have consistently kept their seats for decades, even though their housing estates are just next door to other wards, just 10 feet away, which were all invariably won by Lee Kuan Yew's party. In a crowded island city like this, why is it that men who live 3 feet away from another consistently vote one way in one and the other way in the other!
Singapore's political opposition parties should realize once and for all, even after 50 years, that they simply will not win any election playing to the rules of Lee Kuan Yew and his government. Unless they do something else, at every election, Lee Kuan Yew will win and if he did not he will engineer a win, as simple as that. With this in mind, the opposition should not be spending time and effort contesting an election where all the reins are in Lee Kuan Yew's hands.
But it is not all gloomy. As I have always said, Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore will collapse very soon, regardless of whether any opposition member contests elections. Various factors are all working together which will cause this demise, which are, the mounting brain drain of the educated out of Singapore, the falling birth rate, Singapore's inability to attract educated English speaking workers and the huge influx of Mandarin speaking immigrants from China who are of no use to modern Singapore.
As for the opposition, instead of playing along with these unjust rules which permit only Lee Kuan Yew and his party to win, they should take to the streets in peaceful protest. They may not get many to come forward but it does not matter. Peaceful protests attract great public attention and when they arrest the activists, great political profit can be made by both local Singaporeans and foreign countries against a repressive regime. Such dramatic events, I believe would cause others to join and thereby become a mass civil disobedience movement. Even if it did not and all the activists were arrested, it would still be worth it, since a mass movement being born is almost certain.
The question in my mind should not be whether civil disobedience would create massive support, it should be whether such action is right or is it wrong. And the answer can only be that it is the right thing to do.
To look on it from the darkest side, it may well be that any political leader choosing this path may lose all support. But even if that was so, still that is better than repeating again and again something that he already knows beforehand is a waste of every one's time.
That is why when I listen and watch the spirited and burning speeches of the opposition on rostrums set up in Lee Kuan Yew's Hong Lim Park to the same handful of stragglers, I feel sorry, because I know that their spirits going to be dampened yet again, because they simply cannot win.
Only if they see what I see.
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