Funny how when the hustings began 2 weeks back and every ward was contested for the 1st time in a long while, there was so much excitement in the air. Opposition factions of all colors and calling showed up. The rallies brought in huge crowds, tens of thousands showed up to watch or show support for the opposition and the PAP rallies were as usual pretty much non-events I guess except for the one in Raffles Place by the Prime Minister himself.
Today however, all the excitement and energy has dissipated. My Facebook newsfeed is back to its usual self with no overload of news articles or comments except for a few remainder analysis of the whole GE and how there was a national swing of votes to the ruling PAP party with a huge win of 69.9% of the popular vote.
From this dramatic about-turn of sentiment, you can see as they said, that the silent majority has spoken. And we can conclude that generally :
Singaporeans are afraid of change. All that huff and puff in the rallies must have scared the daylights out of most folks. What will have happen if we have debate in Parliament? No bills will be drawn. nothing will get through? Parliament in gridlock, ruling party spends more effort to fix opposition etc
Singaporeans are grateful for the economic progress and prosperity that the formulae has brought us. We see all around us example of bad politics / economies and we feel that we need to keep this formulae going.
Singaporeans are apathetic to minority causes. Most of us live generally cushy middle-class existences. Why do I need to care or fight for the rights of the minority or the marginalised?
Singaporeans truly believe in the words of the ruling party that they will change and be more open to taking in feedback from all sectors of society. This will fix the nagging guilt at the back of some of our heads to help the poor and marginalized.
Singaporeans trust that ruling party will never go corrupt or deviant and that the best people will always gravitate towards them in perpetual renewal of talent.
Singaporeans are pragmatic. Getting some goodie bags, promises of new amenities in their towns and other cosmetic changes in their estates are sufficient to appease them or at least sway them not to rock the boat because they will lose it.
So only if there comes a time when the ruling party or the global economy causes some major economic crisis that imposes hardship on large segments of the populace, or they mercilessly persecute its citizens in some deviant manner, then the silent majority may change their minds.
Even if they almost did cause major resentment like in 2011, the system is set up such that it is difficult to break in more voices into parliament. The odds are stacked against the opposition. So i guess it’ll not be very likely in my lifetime that i can witness a full functioning democracy debating policy proposals in parliament.
But since the big man himself has said we are “champion grumblers”. I shall not complain but be grateful of the state we live in and try to do my best in our personal capacity to effect positive outcomes to people around us.