Singapore 2025

What of Singapore towards 2025? Thoughts of a Singaporean.

Archive for August 2017

Facebook Post: Influencing Local Politics; Looking beyond the Foreign hand – 2 Aug 2017

In response to a parliamentary question in Parliament yesterday, Minister Chan Chun Sing said Singaporeans should recognise that foreign campaigns to influence local politics and electoral processes exist, and that such campaigns can take many forms. He added that foreign influence campaigns can also take place online and through social media, in the form of fake news. When asked by WP MP Mr Png Eng Huat whether there had been any incidents of foreign interference in Singapore’s elections, the Minister did not cite any specific episode.

As I listened to the parliamentary reply and exchange I could not help but recall a picture that made its rounds online and via whatsapp during GE2015, inciting emotions.

Until today, I don’t think anyone knows who was responsible for the alleged act the picture communicated. Many felt the picture was photo-shopped. But that critical possibility/probability was not contemplated by most in the first instance. And that left open an opportunity for someone. But maybe the act was real? Either ways, an opportunity nonetheless.

Was it a foreign hand? Or a local one?

We will never know.

Useful Links

2 Aug 2017: Singaporeans should be vigilant of foreign interference in elections says Chan Chun Sing –…/parliament-singaporeans-shoul…

6 Sep 2015: Defaced election posters; Three assisting police in investigations –…/three-assisting-investigations…

Some comments about THAT picture on Facebook

1. Kheng Tan Still no idea who did it? Might be political sabotage. Where’s e high tech surveillance Kamera?

2. Danny Chin This is a disgrace! I am a WP supporter and if this is the doing of one of us, i am ashamed and I apologise on behalf of those “bad apples” We can disagree in our political agenda but we should never disrespect the national flag.

3. Clifford Lee Mind your words, they are likely Singaporean. They could be PAP supporter trying to stir. So just relax and concentrate on Election.

4. Eng-Joo Gay This is of course not right but no thanks to you for igniting anger among Singaporeans with different political views.

5. Melissa Yong I believe he hedge his statement pretty well. He didn’t direct to any opposition party but he should’ve replace “what kind of politician have such hooligans as supporters” with something milder. Secondly, supporters of the PAP have the highest chances of not doing so. You may want to argue that there’s a slight chance. With a little common sense, it’s as close to 0. Everyone of legal age has their decisions to make which concerns of the future of Singaporeans and Singapore. If you have young children, I believe you will go for the most suitable candidate to secure a better future for your children. It’s a factor after all. Lastly, your decision is ought to be respected just like anyone.

6. Ronnie Ho May also be ownself staged, many possibilities lah! Do not jump into conclusion.

7. Jamestankee Hin Do you really think it’s the work of your fellow Singaporean ? They will be mad to do it . Surely this needs investigation . From the picture I can tell its not heartland where we stay and the poster and flag are just too new

8. Zainal Abidin Ownself put then take picture.

9. EL Lee So fast blame your opponent’s supporters. Don’t do that without proof. For all you know it’s the work of anarchists who don’t give a care who wins.

10. Catherine Virnala Opposition parties posters also damaged or torn by someone. Is common to see this during this period before GE, just like past years

11. Siv Raj Winston Singaravelloo It could be work of PAP supporters trying to stir emotions amongst voters….. Will not come as a surprise to me as the “Night Flyer Distributors” from PAP could be out at a New Mission….

12. Soong See Choo A Good citizen who see this flag and poster will just ” rescue” them on the spot quietly and not try to score any agenda points. Common sense prevail. Keep calm and vote wisely. Respect our national flag and respect your opposition. Relak lah !

13. Daniel C K Tan It is photoshop. The campaign board will not stand in that manner in the bin. It will topple and fall out of the bin. The fabric of the flag too will not be drab in that manner if the flag is in the bin. Some very boliao people play a digital prank and everyone fell for it and start blaming each other. Tsk tsk tsk.

14. Felix Yeo I think it was most probably staged to incite anger and blame or it could be the work of vandals (nationality or age unknown)… But one thing is clear, no true blue Singaporean regardless of his/her political affiliation would ever do such a despicable thing…

15. John Goh WP hooligans I presume. Even state flag they also trash. Really bunch of MFers

16. Don Tan Chee Tjer This photo looks so fake and with no evidence, accusations are flying all over the place. Well done, keep it up.

17. Shawn Shawket Staged like they do in third world countries to smear their political opponent. Very common trick. Only village bumpkins fall for this ruse…..LOL !!!

18. Samsudin Kasmat Look properly..are those things been thrown or been put nicely??? Maybe those was put for foto shot. If true , what adirty politic game l’ve never seen in S’pore before.

19. Chew Weaven Doing this get sympathy vote for the pap in aljunied ?

20. Nex Cyanic There are 2 possible scenarios.

1. WP did this.
2. PAP supporters did this to make it seem like WP supporters did this.

Whichever is the case, we can debate/argue for an eternity but never know who did it in the end.


Written by singapore 2025

02/08/2017 at 4:20 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Facebook Post: Some thoughts on the Reserved Presidential Elections 2017

During the Presidential Elections Amendment Bill debate that took place in Parliament in February this year, I spoke specifically on the prospect of Reserved Presidential elections, zeroing in on the issues that the the Community Committee would have to grapple with, particularly issues relating to race and language, amongst others. Many of these matters were part of the public discourse and had already acquired some traction on the ground since changes to the Constitution to effect the Government’s amendments to the Elected Presidency were debated late last year.

Shortly after the debate, the Straits Times’ Political Editor wrote (7 February 2017: Taking a broader view of race) to say it was important that Singaporeans take a broader view of race, lamenting the issues I raised in Parliament as “less than inclusive sentiments”. Later, the same piece also predicted, “(q)uestions like those Mr Singh raised may surface again among a vocal few. But it would be a pity if they did.”

Minister Vivian Balakrishnan also chimed in on the Straits Times piece, posting the following on his Facebook page, “Excellent article! The heart warming broad mindedness of Mr Thomas Chua stands in stark contrast to the cynical narrow mindedness of WP’s Pritam Singh. Sorry to be so forthright but this is an issue I feel very strongly about. Given the current state of the world, this is a time to be more inclusive, more open and more tolerant.”

I don’t think any reasonable Singaporean would disagree with the Minister that inclusivity, openness and tolerance would be values that represent the direction Singapore should head towards – a position, which taken to its logical end – would ironically question the necessity of reserved Presidential elections in the first place.

But the fact of the matter is that Singaporeans have always been socially conditioned along racial lines. In fact, this has been central to how the state has defined our individual identities – Chinese, Malay Indian and Others. Of greater significance is the point that the Elected Presidency has now been defined through racial lenses, with the Government’s latest constitutional tinkering resulting in the legislation of Reserved Presidential Elections for specific minority races.

Fast forward some six-odd months after the publication of the aforesaid piece in the Straits Times, misgivings continue to abound about the upcoming Reserved Presidential Elections. More tellingly, even the Straits Times has appeared to take a more circumspect position.

In a new opinion piece on the subject published over the weekend (30 July 2017: Mixed marriages should debunk idea of pure race), far from identifying the matters I raised in my parliamentary speech in February as being the remit of “a vocal few”, a more reflective and grounded perspective has been pursued, one which acknowledges that “a sizeable number of people” assume that Singaporeans can be neatly divided into pure Chinese, Malays or Indians and that “people may have inadvertently been viewed more in terms of their race than by their individual merits”. It added separately that “racial classifications have governed how many Singaporeans see themselves, and continue to affect how our neighbours see us.”

Even so, this return to reality is timely one.

It is timely because there is a real prospect of serious damage being wrought to Singapore’s multiracialism should the upcoming Reserved Presidential Elections go awry. Some Singaporeans have privately suggested that they would spoil their votes in the event of a Reserved Presidential election, while some netizens have encouraged their fellow citizens to do likewise with a view to teach the PAP a lesson.

However, while a sizeable number of spoilt votes would have serious short-term consequences for the PAP, it would have unthinkable long-term consequences for Singapore. Regardless of one’s political persuasions, the group of Singaporeans who would be taught the cruelest lesson in the event of a large percentage of spoilt votes is our Malay community. Beyond general damage to our multiracialism, such an outcome could most worryingly be interpreted by some of our Malay friends and compatriots as a lack of faith or trust in them by their fellow Singaporeans of other races.

In my mind, the political system in Singapore hardly represents a desirable state of affairs. But the upcoming Reserved Presidential Elections or any Reserved Presidential Election for that matter should not be mistaken for a platform where the political differences of rational and reasonable Singaporeans are contested. Nor should it serve as the arena where political lessons are dished out. Whether it is a vocal few or a sizeable number of Singaporeans who share this view, the price of such a lesson would be much too high for Singapore’s future as a multiracial society.

Useful Links

7 Feb 2017: Taking a broader view of race –

30 July 2017: Mixed marriages should debunk idea of ‘pure’ race –

Written by singapore 2025

01/08/2017 at 7:24 am

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