I had posted this comment on a post that I had written here.
Please let me explain why I write this article. Like many of you, I am not happy with the government. Like many of you, I think more can be done. Like many of you, I want to do something on my part to try to change things. I think that this is the crux – how can we change things?
But, like some of you, I appreciate the government for bringing us to where we are. The simple truth is if the government had not done what they had done in the early years of Singapore, our standard of living won’t be that much off from our neighbours. And we won’t have much to complain about, because we will be worrying more about making ends meet. But, like many of you, I agree that the current government needs to take a serious look at themselves, and to be less fearful, and be bold to do the right thing. They have to move on with us.
I had started this blog because I had initially saw how the government has contorted some truths to purport an agenda that supports their growth plans. This unnecessarily distorts the reality of Singapore, and thus sidelines the urgent need for the government to do more for Singapore. I thus started writing articles because I want to be able to present contrasting facts, to help us be more objective in our understanding.
As I write, I realise that there are also many Singaporeans who have also started to write. And they provide very good arguments as well. As the months went by, I realise how many of us have started going online to voice our anger and resentment towards the government. We are obviously very upset with the government and feel slighted. And soon, the government joined in the fray as well. This got me very upset. Because, if we are both antagonising one another, when will an end come to this?
Of course, there are some who find the current circumstance favourable. If people are complaining, they say that then the conversations will move us forward. Perhaps it’s true. But, at the same time, if this is indeed so, I am upset that the debate so far has veered towards us venting our frustrations and the government fearing backlash, and thus their self-protection. And what will come out of it?
I do not have a stake in either sides. I do not want to help Singaporeans complain and be angry. Neither do I want to help the government to look good – I am not the PR company that they should have changed long ago. But I do have a stake in Singapore. I do have a stake in this little island which is so beautiful for what it can be, which we have forgotten to know how to appreciate, because we are so caught up in our anger, our stresses and our fears. We forget to see how beautiful our country is. We forget to realise that this is a wonderful place – AND if we are not happy with how some of it is, then we will do something – we will say how this place can be better.
I am very disappointed as I read the discussions on this post. The mudslinging continues. We are no different from the government, which we think is corrupt. We are no different because if we think of ourselves as better than them, we are not. We are as despicable in our crude remarks and snide attacks at others, and our constant disparage at groups which we identify and discriminate against – and this goes for those who are both pro-PAP and anti-PAP. See, I thank those who have made comments on this posting which have been comforting. I do get hurt when I see people make comments which are directed at me – for the record, I am not a gay Malaysian. I am a gay Singaporean.
But, see, we are none the better if we act like the government we think they are. And now, because of our ongoing deluge of inflammatory comments, we have invited the government to do the same as well. How long more to we want to go on like this – both pro-PAP and anti-PAP supporters? How long more do we want to be like angry relatives in a family that tear each other’s houses apart? We make fun of siblings from a rich family fighting over their dead father’s will. Other countries are similarly laughing at us now.
I do not take sides in this. What I want is very simple. I want to live a life that I can be happy about, where I can pursue what I believe in and live a life that is free, and that I can be passionate about. This is all I want. This is all I care about. And that is why I write these articles. I am not an economist, not a scientist, and definitely not a prophet. I cannot imagine what Singapore will be like in 2083. But I can dream up many, many stories. I can even dream of a land where there will no more government, and we will be able to rule ourselves to eternity.
What I want is this – how can we come together, learn to understand one another, and find a way to move forward together. The government might not be fantastic. So, we help them. We either give them solutions, or if they don’t take them, we break them. Otherwise, any smart government will do the right thing and balance the people’s real needs and broader issues, to implement things that will achieve the greater good for its people and the country.
I am sorry, everyone. I am sorry if I have hurt you, because what I say might not be something which you agree with. I am very sorry if I am writing things which you might find offensive. But look beyond what I say. Please look at what I hope for – it is the same as what you want. We want to live our lives, respected and free, to be able to be ourselves and do what we want. This is what we want.
I make this plea again to my government – please do the right thing, only because you know what is right, and please respect us and work with us to make things work.
And my fellow Singaporeans, we need to really now have the maturity to be able to think broadly and deeply on issues, and not think superficially about how they can affect our lives. We cannot let anger be own main and primary response to any issue that the government brings out. PAP is the government, whether we like it or not. We can choose to stay angry for the next 4 years before the next elections, or we can choose to come out with solutions and lock them in with the government. You have 4 years to push them to do things, or you have 4 years to be stuck in the rut. And, when you have done all you can to help them improve, and they won’t, then you must remember that if you are capable, you stand up, you go run for the elections, and you make sure you fix our country’s issues when you become the government. And if you continue to vote for PAP in the next election even if you are unhappy, then you have to reflect on yourself and why you did it.
Why was it, when you were at the ballot box, you voted for PAP, and then went on being angry with them again? No, don’t tell me it’s because the opposition isn’t good enough. If you can’t get your ass off to stand for elections, or if you cannot develop solutions to help make Singapore a better place, no – you cannot complain, and get everyone angry with you together, so that you feel good that everyone is angry with you – yay, everyone feels like me. I feel vindicated.
Then what? So, what if we are happy that everyone is angry like us? Then, what’s next? What’s next, Singaporeans?
What can we do to move Singapore into the next era? What can we do to help the country that we live, that we belong to and we work and toil ourselves for? Are we going to wait for the government to give us another handout? Are we hoping to complain until the cows come home, and wait for the government to do something, and be as unreactive as are now? What do we want to do? What do you want to do?
You have a choice. I do not take a stand. What do I know? I am only a boy who wants to live a life that I am be who I am with, and that I am happy with. And because of that, I will write. And I will say what I need to say – be it towards the government, or towards you. I will do what I believe in, and what I know is right, because that’s all I know. I want to find a way to live the life that I want.
What will you do?