Subject: Singapore is for Singaporeans
Judging from press reports, letters to the Straits Times Forum, bantering in
internet chatrooms as well as conversations between Singaporeans in the HDB
heartland, immigration will emerge as the single most important issue in the
next general election due by 2011 which may trigger a mini political tsunami
Though it is highly unlikely that the ruling PAP will be booted out of
office or loses its traditional two-thirds majority, even the loss of one
GRC or one SMC more than the two opposition-controlled wards will send a
strong signal to the entire nation that the tide has turned against the
incumbent and it is only a matter of time before Singapore follows the
footsteps of other developed Asian countries like Japan, South Korea and
Taiwan and make the transition from an archaic political system dominated by
one party to a multi-party democracy.
An increasing number of Singaporeans are becoming fed up and disillusioned
with the PAP's liberal immigration policies which has seen our beloved
little island being flooded with hordes of foreigners in the last few years.
While the lower income group is naturally disgruntled at the loss of job
opportunities and depression of wages by these foreigners, the middle class
is also becoming flustered and anxious about the future of their children.
With more young Singaporeans with no political affiliations joining the
electorate for the first time and the new media providing a counter-balance
to the propaganda and spins of the mainstream media, the next election will
be an interesting one to watch.
Though Singaporeans are largely apathetic in nature and disinterested in
politics, what the opposition need is just a small group of dedicated
supporters to galvanize votes for them to turn the tide around.
That's what happened in the Malaysian general election in 2008. Every single
opposition supporter went around to canvass for votes and they got not only
their families, but their extended families, companies and alumni to vote
for the opposition.
The percentage of hardcore PAP supporters are perhaps no more than 30 per
cent and is dwindling by each passing day. That's why it needs to bring new
citizens into grassroots organizations to boost the flagging support.
The opposition managed to garner 33 per cent of the votes during the 2006
elections. The figure is probably about 40 per cent now which leaves 30 per
cent of swing votes to be won by either side.
Fence-sitters are usually politically not inclined and will vote for any
party on persuasion by a family member or a close friend.
The opposition should come together and form a united front against the
ruling party in the next election with a single slogan, a common platform
and one media center to orchestrate the entire electoral campaign.
Instead of conducting separate campaigns on their own, they should pool
their limited resources together such that every opposition supporter will
campaign for all parties and not the party to which one belongs to.
During the pivotal 2008 Malaysia's general elections which send shockwaves
across the causeway to Singapore, the Chinese-based DAP supporters could be
seen campaigning for the Islamist PAS in the rural kampungs and the
Malay-dominant PKR reaching out to the Malay urban dwellers on behalf of the
The opposition should adopt a catchy slogan which is easily understood by
Singaporeans and strike a chord in their hearts and it already has its work
cut short - the Singapore People's Party already has the ideal slogan:
"Singapore for Singaporeans!"
We want a Singapore for Singaporeans where every single person born here are
entitled to basic rights as citizens of their country of birth - the right
to education, the right to equal job opportunities, the right to free
speech, the right to oppose the government, the right to afford a home of
their own, the right to public healthcare and lastly, the right to retire
comfortably and enjoy life after years of hard work.
This is the Singapore which most citizens aspire to, not the present
Singapore where we find ourselves becoming increasingly marginalized by the
relentless influx of foreigners who have diluted our collective national
While we should open our doors to foreigners to attract the best talents in
the world to come and work in Singapore, we must ensure that our own
citizens are taken care of first and to be more selective of the foreigners
we admit as PRs and citizens.
The elites will always vote for the incumbent because they are the ones who
benefit most from the system, but they belong only to a minority - no more
than 5 per cent of the population.
As long the opposition is able to sway the middle class and lower income
group to its side, it is half the battle won.
Tell the lower income group: do you want to compete with low-wage foreigners
for jobs which pay for pittance and not being able to support oneself and
Tell the middle class: do you want a future in which your children will find
it increasingly tough to eke out a decent living in Singapore because they
have to compete with foreigners for schools, jobs and everything.
Is Singapore really for Singaporeans or for new citizens, PRs and
Are native Singaporeans becoming second or even third class citizens in
their own countries?
Are Singapore men serving two years of National Service and thirteen years
or more of reservist to protect the "free-loafers" from Malaysia, China,
India and elsewhere who just come here to enjoy the perks and benefits
without paying the price which they have?
Are Singaporeans the real owners of their country or does it belong to a
small clique of self-serving elites who is more concerned about perpetuating
their political control and hegemony for eternality?
The opposition should not be afraid to appeal to the emotions of
Singaporeans because they are getting emotional and the next general
election is about nothing but emotions.
Regardless of race, language, or religion, Singapore is for SINGAPOREANS
only, now and forever!
Foreigners are most welcome to study, work and live in Singapore, but if
they want to take up our citizenship, they must be prepared to sacrifice no
more than what native Singaporeans have done so.