atans1

“Antics Of Civil Society Activists Endanger Opposition Cause”

In Malaysia on 11/09/2018 at 10:04 am

Not me but Ajay a writer to TRE. The relevant extracts reproduced below as is the full piecebelow. Needless to say, the reaction to it and the earlier reaction to my WTF! With PAP on the ropes why this self-inflicted distraction? showed that like PJ Thum, Kirsten Han, Jovolan Wham, the TRE cybernuts do not wish S’pore well: because Tun (like them) hates the PAP, they (the TRE cybernuts) are happy to team up with him overlooking the fact that he also hates S’poreans.

(Aside I was planning to stop posting on this topic but Tan Wah Piow, cybernuts and their ang moh tua kee allies want to keep the conversation going, helping the PAP distract attention from bread and butter issues. With enemies like these, PAP is very lucky.)

As Chris K posted on FB

The philosopher and sometime novelist G.K Chesterton once noted,

“Evil always wins through the strength of its splendid dupes; and there has in all ages been a disastrous alliance between abnormal innocence and abnormal sin.”

The PAP is always lucky to have its “splendid dupes” among its critics and opponents. If you think “splendid dupes” is too cheem, then use the more common “useful fools”. The fools should give their brains a chance and not fall in love with the sound of their own voices.


PAP govt a point

“The three individuals [I assume this means Crazy Rich Asian PJ Thum, his side-kick Kirsten Han and Jovolan Wham] claim that they are patriots. It is not patriotic to invite any foreign leader to intervene in Singapore politics, especially the leader of a country who has declared his desire to increase the price of water to Singapore by more than 10 times, and with whom we seek to maintain close and friendly relations.

——————————————————————————————-

Back to Ajay, here are the most impt bits of what he has to say:

The problem with civil society activists and far left Singaporeans is that they are living in a bubble, unwilling and unable to see how their radical beliefs are unpalatable to the conservative Singaporean electorate. Are they so accustomed to their echo chambers that they do not go out and interact with everyday people living in HDB flats? The average Singaporean is not bothered about greater freedom of speech, freedom of expression or harsh defamation laws. He does not support sodomy and does not want gay marriage to be legalized in Singapore. He also does not want drug traffickers to be spared from the death penalty. Nor does he care about the incessant whining of ISA detainees about their supposedly wrong detention in 1987 or about some old folks detained under Operation Coldstore for allegedly being communists. Yes, yes, these are all issues that a bleeding heart liberal would care about. But they are not bread and butter issues and are thus of no concern to ordinary people.

The civil society activists’ approach suggests that they think that making the loudest noise will help their cause. They are out of touch with Singaporeans. Instead of spouting rhetoric about the kind of Singapore that they want to see, they should be working with the Singapore that exists before their eyes. What they are doing is akin to pounding one’s head against the unmoving wall. They can talk about their pet issues, but if they want to achieve any more than that, they should go door to door and have conversations with Singaporeans and try to win them over. That would be the more effective approach. The more they are in the public eye for controversial antics such as the Mahathir meeting, the more they hurt the opposition cause as swing voters do not view their actions in a positive light and unfortunately lump them together with the credible opposition figures.

In the lead up to GE2015, attention was taken away from the rising cost of living, the influx of foreigners and the difficult job market resulting from the stagnating economy. Part of this was due to the antics of diehard anti-PAP fanatics like Roy Ngerng, Han Hui Hui and Amos Yee. The political narrative shifted away from the PAP government’s shortcomings. Instead we heard disorganized chants of “Return my CPF” as a small bunch of protesters heckled special needs kids, and credible anti-PAP voices were drowned out by the noise about donating to self-styled freedom fighter Roy Ngerng who was being sued by the prime minister for posting defamatory comments on his blog.

[ ]

The reason I write this is not because I want to pour cold water on the enthusiasm of hardcore opposition supporters itching to blame the PAP but because I want readers to learn from history. How does it help the opposition cause when activists create controversy, get in trouble and then play the victim card, claiming political persecution? These activists should think of the optics. Swing voters are not moved the slightest. Contrary to what they think, the PAP does not fear a confrontational opposition. A confrontational opposition is actually easier for the PAP to defeat because of their tendency to go off the rails at times while being passionate about a cause. Like Roy Ngerng, these civil society activists will find themselves alone if they end up sued or arrested, should any of their hare-brained antics go wrong. Keep the narrative focused on bread and butter issues such as the affordability of HDB flats, the retirement age, the rising cost of living and the scarcity of jobs, and people will take note of the opposition. That is the only way to win seats in a politically and socially conservative nation.

I remind that Secret Squirrel and Morocco Mole tell me that think PJ, think the Youngs of Crazy Rich Asians. And his side kick Kirsten Han, although poor, doesn’t know S’pore is in SE ASia, and    says nothing wrong in asking Tun

Ajay’s piece in full. Btw, Terry Xu says that the first para contains false allegations. As far as I’m concerned they are fair (albeit unfair) comments on what PJ and gang did.

Antics Of Civil Society Activists Endanger Opposition Cause

I was aghast at the antics of the Singaporean activists last week. It was categorically wrong for them to meet Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir and request for him to promote democracy in Southeast Asia. This was potentially damaging to Singapore’s international reputation as these activists may have portrayed Singapore negatively in front of a foreign politician. I also strongly disagree with Dr Thum Ping Tjin’s facebook comments (LINK) that suggest Singapore should merge with Malaysia. The last thing most Singaporeans want right now is merger with a country that practices bumiputera policy which discriminates against capable and competent Chinese and Indians, and forces them to live with the fear that they could be ruled by sharia law someday.

On 30 August, former SDP member Teo Soh Lung posted on her Facebook page (LINK) that “PAP government should take note that today’s young citizens will not bow to unreasonable pressure and they have access to leaders in the region”. This was followed by another facebook post on August 31, in which she stated her view that “Association with foreign leaders, whether in government or in opposition should be the norm” and justified the meeting because everyone has “the right of association”.

From the first post, the implication is that Singaporeans can seek help from foreign leaders in the region if they do not like the PAP government. The view Ms Teo has expressed in the second post is erroneous because the nation’s carefully cultivated international reputation could be in tatters in days if every political dissident runs to a foreign leader and badmouths Singapore in front of the media whenever he or she feels like it. After all, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Ultimately, Singaporeans will suffer, not just the PAP. This sort of scorched earth approach is not one a loyal opposition would take. A loyal opposition would not resort to mudslinging whenever the opportunity arises nor would it resort to destabilizing an elected government in order to seize power. A loyal, constructive and responsible opposition would disagree with the PAP within Singapore’s boundaries, contest elections, argue passionately before the electorate and offer alternative ideas to drive the country forward. A loyal opposition would understand that despite differences in political beliefs with the PAP, they should align themselves with the government of the day when it comes to foreign policy and issues of Singapore’s sovereignty. Why? Because criticizing Singapore in front of foreigners is not patriotic, nor is it helpful to the average Singaporean who is struggling to make ends meet.
This brings back memories. In 1995, Dr Chee along with two SDP members attended a dialogue at Williams College where a Singaporean political dissident and fugitive, Francis Seow criticized Singapore’s judiciary in front of a foreign audience
(LINK).

Neither Dr Chee nor the SDP members present rebutted Francis Seow or even voiced a mild opinion that Singapore was not like that. This behaviour was strongly condemned by the Singapore parliament, including then opposition MP Chiam See Tong. I urge TOC readers to look up Mr Chiam’s speech. His words are still true and they are apt for this recent incident involving the activists meeting Dr Mahathir. The Dr Chee of the past made several similar missteps, including this cringe-inducing video (LINK) in which he asked US president Barack Obama to take note of the human rights abuses in Singapore and take actions to get Singapore to join the ‘community of democracy’. The Dr Chee of today is more restrained, politically mature, willing to work within the Singapore political system and has focussed on bread and butter issues, but his past mistakes still weigh heavy on the SDP, especially during elections.
Both the activists of today and the Dr Chee of the past believed that foreign interference in Singapore politics is necessary to bring democracy to Singapore. But they do not consider the wishes of the overwhelming majority of Singaporeans who do not want liberal democracy in Singapore. If you ask the general public in Singapore, most of them will agree that there is already enough democracy in Singapore. You may call them brainwashed or ‘the 70%’ but that changes nothing. Singapore’s politics is for Singaporeans to decide. Any attempt by a foreign power to impose a liberal agenda on Singapore will only result in a conservative backlash against the opposition. That was what happened at GE1997. The SDP lost all its seats and has failed to attain 40% of the votes in any constituency ever since. As the impatient far left seized the political narrative and focussed on abstract and irrelevant civil rights issues, the opposition as a whole suffered. Moderate opposition parties were also affected by the taint and became unable to win more than 2 seats for 14 years until the Workers’ Party won Aljunied GRC in 2011.

The problem with civil society activists and far left Singaporeans is that they are living in a bubble, unwilling and unable to see how their radical beliefs are unpalatable to the conservative Singaporean electorate. Are they so accustomed to their echo chambers that they do not go out and interact with everyday people living in HDB flats? The average Singaporean is not bothered about greater freedom of speech, freedom of expression or harsh defamation laws. He does not support sodomy and does not want gay marriage to be legalized in Singapore. He also does not want drug traffickers to be spared from the death penalty. Nor does he care about the incessant whining of ISA detainees about their supposedly wrong detention in 1987 or about some old folks detained under Operation Coldstore for allegedly being communists. Yes, yes, these are all issues that a bleeding heart liberal would care about. But they are not bread and butter issues and are thus of no concern to ordinary people.

The civil society activists’ approach suggests that they think that making the loudest noise will help their cause. They are out of touch with Singaporeans. Instead of spouting rhetoric about the kind of Singapore that they want to see, they should be working with the Singapore that exists before their eyes. What they are doing is akin to pounding one’s head against the unmoving wall. They can talk about their pet issues, but if they want to achieve any more than that, they should go door to door and have conversations with Singaporeans and try to win them over. That would be the more effective approach. The more they are in the public eye for controversial antics such as the Mahathir meeting, the more they hurt the opposition cause as swing voters do not view their actions in a positive light and unfortunately lump them together with the credible opposition figures.

In the lead up to GE2015, attention was taken away from the rising cost of living, the influx of foreigners and the difficult job market resulting from the stagnating economy. Part of this was due to the antics of diehard anti-PAP fanatics like Roy Ngerng, Han Hui Hui and Amos Yee. The political narrative shifted away from the PAP government’s shortcomings. Instead we heard disorganized chants of “Return my CPF” as a small bunch of protesters heckled special needs kids, and credible anti-PAP voices were drowned out by the noise about donating to self-styled freedom fighter Roy Ngerng who was being sued by the prime minister for posting defamatory comments on his blog. Ngerng posted videos and wrote blog posts, expressing that he had “believed that within a few months, Singaporeans would have thronged the streets and the PAP would be unseated” (Source). He compared himself to a ‘hero’ and apologized for being unable to be a MP for Singaporeans. In the general election, he lost miserably, barely managing to get 21% of the votes. Clearly he was no ‘hero’ in the eyes of most Singaporeans and it had all been for nothing.

Another loud and distracting political saga was the “Free Amos Yee” movement in which the rude kid Amos insulted religion and denigrated the memory of Singapore’s founding Prime Minister at a time when emotions were still raw about his passing. In the controversial video, Amos even claimed that he had talked with a SDP member. In the wake of his arrest, he was warmly supported by activists and some opposition politicians but they performed a flip flop and turned against him after he slandered Vincent Law. Nevertheless, the opposition suffered because of these events, especially since the election was held at a time when Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s legacy was at the forefront of everyone’s minds.

I am a proud opposition supporter. The reason I write this is not because I want to pour cold water on the enthusiasm of hardcore opposition supporters itching to blame the PAP but because I want readers to learn from history. How does it help the opposition cause when activists create controversy, get in trouble and then play the victim card, claiming political persecution? These activists should think of the optics. Swing voters are not moved the slightest. Contrary to what they think, the PAP does not fear a confrontational opposition. A confrontational opposition is actually easier for the PAP to defeat because of their tendency to go off the rails at times while being passionate about a cause. Like Roy Ngerng, these civil society activists will find themselves alone if they end up sued or arrested, should any of their hare-brained antics go wrong. Keep the narrative focused on bread and butter issues such as the affordability of HDB flats, the retirement age, the rising cost of living and the scarcity of jobs, and people will take note of the opposition. That is the only way to win seats in a politically and socially conservative nation.

Ajay

  1. a complete waste of time trying to reason with the local “civil society activists”.

  2. the comments in TRE reacting to the Ajay’s article are enlightening. Make me wonder, pardon me, if most of the 30% are really idiots or PAP IB masquerading as a opposition commentators stirring shit.

    • It’s not the whole 30% but just the noisiest and most extreme portion of the anti-PAP vote. They are against the PAP for the sake of it. It is pure hatred without any logical capacity. If the tables were flipped and it was the PAP proposing merger with Malaysia and talking to Dr M, the TRE crowd would immediately be against it.

      I think TOC is becoming a bit extreme. Ajay’s piece seems well-reasoned and it is a good wake up call for the opposition and their anti-PAP supporters to get their act together. But I can understand why TOC didn’t publish it. It is because the piece is against TOC’s pro-activist stance. Notice that every article published on TOC was in favour of PJ Thum, Kirsten Han and Jolovan Wham? They even got Tan Wah Piow’s account of the incident published! Totally balanced reporting.

      TOC articles are different from the pre-2011 era. Instead of bread and butter issues, there’s so many articles about liberal causes that hardly anyone will bother about, except TOC writers.

      These days, TOC even has articles that are pro-weed! https://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2018/06/22/canada-to-become-second-country-to-legalise-use-of-marijuana/

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