Congratulations to Tony Tan for being elected as the next President of Singapore.
I’ve been pretty quiet in the run up to elections day. First there was my In Camp Training and then there was all the backlog that I needed to clear. Next thing I knew, it was polling day and here I am typing away after the results have been officially released.
To me, the whole thing felt like it was an exercise for an electorate that was still in denial with the GE2011 results – wanting to vote in a President on the basis of being able to represent their views on how government should function. That is not the role of the President here in Singapore and if we want that changed, the government has to initiate that change, not the President.
Anyway, what’s prompted me to write this is not so much the voting or even the results but our reaction as Singaporeans to the results. I didn’t vote for Tony Tan, agreeing more with the ideas and ideologies of Tan Cheng Bok but what I don’t understand is how some Singaporeans can express their disappointment that other Singaporeans didn’t vote for TCB. Some even resorted to calling Tony Tan supporters ‘dogs’ and wishing death upon him.
Do we not know that democracy cuts both ways?
I think there is much to celebrate about this year. The General Elections saw a huge increase in participation from the people thanks to social media, an increase in opposition representation and also a softening of the PAP’s high handed ways contributing to greater willingness to listen. And this year’s Presidential Elections saw the most number of candidates being fielded ever.
There is progress in our political scene so while you and I wished for more, let’s be glad that the country and the people are moving forward. Countries take time to change. And let’s not slam our own fellow Singaporeans for voting someone we didn’t vote for because if we truly want a more democratic society, we must accept that our views are not the only ones around. To expect otherwise would be like asking that a new dictatorship be installed.
That’s not what you want right?