Why anti-PAP paper activists needn’t get shriller

In Humour, Political governance on 09/10/2013 at 4:44 am

A rabid anti-PAP paper activist posted this on Facebook:

LHL is out of touch with reality on the ground. It is very clear that he has refused to learn.

Now no matter whether he cry, say sorry, beg for forgiveness – Aljunied & Punggol East will be repeated all over Singapore in 2016.

He was referring to PM’s tv appearance on 24 September. There were lots of similar comments on Facebook and on TRE and TOC (Surprising very few people post on TRS, making its claim that it represents the real S’porean sound true, apathetically and KS). Increasingly, the tone of many of the “usual suspects” including many of the the Magnificent 7, are getting shriller and shriller, and angrier and angrier. Are they trying to drown out their doubts that maybe the govt is winning the battle of ideas and votes?

Maybe the anti-PAP paper activists are realising that the govt has realised that for many S’poreans especially the PMETs the link between economic growth and living standards is broken, and is trying hard to addressing the issue (Related (Worse, perhaps, the govt has read that a Nobel prize winner in  economics, Stiglitz, makes a very bold assertion that inequality is economically inefficient and that it’s bad for society? And now believes in pursuing a more equal society, rather than juz chasing for votes.)

In the words of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS), a govt-funded think tank, in its Oct Asean Monitor

The National Day Rally Speech in August offered the clearest indication to date of how the People’s Action Party will try to win back the ground that it lost in the 2011 general elections. With tweaks to the national health insurance scheme, to housing subsidies for the middle class and to primary school admissions and national examinations, the ruling party has opted to recalibrate social and welfare policies to address middle-class concerns instead of relaxing its stance on civil liberties or freedom of expression. Having chosen this path, it may not be inappropriate to expect more populist policy shifts, designed to appeal to the middle ground, in the run-up to the 2016 elections.

Interestingly, it goes on to say

These policy tweaks were, in part, the result of public feedback gleaned from the year-long nationwide public clinics collectively known as Our Singapore Conversation. While understandably touted by government leaders and the local media as a sign of more consultative politics, the litmus test will be whether such conversations are a one-off event and whether divergent public desires and government interests can ever be reconciled.

So our paper activists still can dream on that the PAP will lose support. So chill out a little, to avoid health problems. After all, assuming they are mostly ordinary S’poreans, if they get strokes or cardiac attacks, they will have to use the “subsidised” healthcare system. I’m sure that that tot when suffering a stroke or heart attack, will make them even angrier, and sicker, making the attack worse. They are using the very system that they “condemn”. Of course, they may all have expensive private healthcare insurance like the elite, though I doubt it.

The report then highlights a fault line that the anti-PAP activists ignore because they are in the main on the side of the social activists (a notable exception is Berrie, the Muslim bear from S’pore and Canada).

With a promising GDP forecast for this year, the economy will take a back seat to emerging socio political issues. One such issue is the struggle between gay rights activists and moral conservatives.

This tension has existed for some time, but a recent request from pastors for an audience with the law minister after the latter met with a gay rights group suggests that the push-back from moral conservatives will grow stronger. Another emerging issue is the increasingly political nature of heritage conservation in the city-state. With heritage issues now fronted more and more by the young and well educated, the key question is whether heritage will become a vote winner for the youth demographic.

It then talks of an issue close to the hearts of social activists, and Gilbert Goh and friends, for different reasons: Finally, civil society’s response in the aftermath of the November 2012 bus strike by several Chinese drivers suggests that the championing of social justice for vulnerable migrant workers — the likes of which Singapore has not seen since the 1980s — is now re-emerging as a pertinent issue.

It ends with hope for the paper activists who “die,die” want the PAP out:  Key points: The demand for greater political pluralism will continue to grow. The question is how different interests can be managed or, indeed, if they require state intervention at all.

So anti-PAP paper activists, time to sound less shrill, and less full of hate. A govt statutory board is telling you history is on yr side. Change is a’coming. If you want the new S’pore to reflect yr values, be rational, not emotional. Could even help you avoid having to use the healthcare system you hate.

  1. I do not follow the many “usual suspects” that you mention,in fact,I hardly read TRE and TOC now,so I do not know whether they are “getting shriller and shriller, and angrier and angrier.”
    If they do,I agree with you that ,it is time for anti-PAP paper activists to sound less shrill, and less full of hate- if they do.
    I am very sure that there will be a change of government by 2016 or earlier,probably earlier.
    My humble advice to fellow citizens who share my belief is to read
    The Future Buddha, 未來佛、彌勒佛弥勒佛/page/2/
    and Golden Age of Gaia
    God bless.

  2. I would love the PAP to do more, cause everything they do, the people end up paying (more). The end result is the same. Singapore benefits.

    • You forgetting that not all S’poreans pay more in equal share to their proportion. Oldies like me benefit more esp if we use public tpt and healthcare. Sweeping generalisations don’t help the Cause.

  3. I can’t help but notice that you have been making more and more negative comments about the “anti-PAP” groups recently. Are the falling stock and property markets starting to affect your portfolio such that you feel that it’s better to start defending the PAP again?

    • I think they are fighting the last war. The PAP are doing things to improve their ratings, and benefiting older S’poreans like self. Meanwhile, those bloggers who oppose the PAP are chanting the same old slogans and songs. When the PAP improves its PR …

  4. […] Thoughts of a Cynical Investor: Why anti-PAP paper activists needn’t get shriller – Ravi Philemon: Blackberry, Nokia and the ‘PAP-less’ […]

  5. My view is in direct contrast to yours.
    In fact, to tone down now is precisely what the PAP considers a god send outcome. It’s like walking right into a trap. Tell me what is so precise about this ‘U-turn’ by the govt? Everything is very much in the air. There is NOTHING that is cut and dried.

    The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Right now, the pudding is still in the oven and no citizen is in the know right now what it would taste like when it does come out of the oven!

    A half won battle is NO VICTORY. If you turn your backs on the ‘retreating’ enemy, where is the guarantee that he would not turn around and sent an arrow into your backs?!

    To trust the govt at this point, is truly premature for where is the safeguard and basis for such a trust? On the contrary, instead of re-assurance, the govt has actually gone about dumbing us down with new laws, like the wide ranging MDA licencing law! Do you think there that is done in good faith?

    What concrete details have been forthcoming from the govt for you to justify your view? Didn’t PM Lee said he would cut back on immigration, and within weeks there was a turn around by him? Look at the so called ‘framework’ to ensure that Singaporeans are not discriminated against in job opportunities. It is so full of loopholes and leaky as many many other bloggers have been pointing out, for employers to continue in their old way. It is not as if there are no
    better examples to emulate from other countries which have such a law in play for precisely the same reasons.

  6. No need to get any shriller.
    Pass fair comment.
    Back it up with facts.
    Be objective and fair.
    Gets far more mileage that way.
    Vituperation, curses, repeated hackneyed
    Accusations, partisan based biases-
    These aint going to cut it,
    Nor influence opinion or loyalties.
    If its apparent that yr written word is for
    The betterment of spore, without any obvious
    Political machinations, it will gain far more
    Traction than any amount of shrillness

    • Hear, Hear. Heard that George Lam. Facts not BS.

      • Does ‘shriller’= BS?!
        Don’t put words in my mouth!

        — adj
        1. sharp and high-pitched in quality
        2. emitting a sharp high-pitched sound

    • Does ‘shriller’= Political Machination!?
      Don’t put words in my mouth!

      I would characterise it more like the whistling you hear during a soccer match when the referee made a mistake!!!

      — adj
      1. sharp and high-pitched in quality
      2. emitting a sharp high-pitched sound

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