A college student wrote this letter and handed it to me at the last rally that I spoke at during the election. I did not have time to post it up before cooling-off day.
Thank you for your kind words, as well as trust and confidence in me. I am grateful and honoured.
You and your friends are the future leaders of Singapore. I spoke up because I felt that as a member of our society, it is a responsibility and duty to do so, to not only help ourselves but the people around us.
I believe that we have to be honest and true to ourselves, and therefore I spoke up.
This election has taught me many things. As much as I have a vision and a belief for our country’s future, it might not be something the people in our country are ready for. It might not be the vision that our countrymen want now.
Of course, the unequal playing field played a part. But as individuals who are part of the system, how we can bring about a shared vision for our society is also a challenge that we have to look at, for the opposition as well as for Singaporeans.
I will be honest with you. Did I make mistakes? Yes, I did. As much as I told myself that I was not angry, perhaps I was. I spent 3 years frantically pushing out writings after writings, not realising that I myself had lost touch with the “middle-ground”.
In spite of the kind advice that was offered to me to reach out to a wider audience, I was stubborn and did not want to evolve in my writings.
But this is the beauty of hindsight, where only after the election did I realise where I could have done better.
You see, my awakening came about 3 years ago when I started researching on the Singapore system and my writings reflect the shock that I feel about the Singapore system. As such, my eagerness to convey my thoughts ran ahead of me.
Was it wrong? It wasn’t. But it meant that my writings got lost among the large populace. It meant I became like any ranter. It meant that for the “middle-ground”, I became destabilising.
From how things have panned out over the election, I have learnt that speaking up is a virtue we must hold on to. But how we listen, and adjust ourselves, so that we do not only listen to our own voices but that of others, so that all our voices are communicated across to one another, is an important learning I have made.
For if we were to criticise the PAP for not having listened to the people, what folly we have made if we ourselves were to do the very same as the people we criticise?
What then makes us better? It does not. And this is why the voters have spoken.
In our anger and shock, many of us blame the new citizens, the 70%, etc. But I have decided to look at myself instead. Everyone makes mistakes. Perhaps we would first need to reflect on ourselves before we put the finger on someone else.
Perhaps if we are to understand how it is we can improve, will we see to it another day will come.
I thank you for your letter. It is letters like yours and many others that lets me know that at least what I have done have helped and mattered to some of you.
It does not matter that I have lost, or even if I could have won. At the end of the day, I have tried and made a difference in the lives of some, as others have made theirs in mine.
It is now your time to shine, as well as that of you and your friends. I am only one person and what I do can only inspire a few. Imagine the might of you and the many who let their voices be heard, the many people whose lives the many of you will touch. And how many you will inspire.
This is not about the PAP or the opposition. This is about what matters as people and what we can do for one another.
Sometimes, people don’t realise they have a voice, or fear to use their voice. It is up to some of us to guide the rest. I am glad that my voice has opened up yours. Thank you for your letter.
But let us continue to open up more. Let you be the voice that others will learn from.
I wish the PAP well, as well as the opposition. It is a learning process for all of us. The PAP played their game well and we have to respect them. Those in the opposition stood for their beliefs and we have to respect them. Singaporeans voted with their reason and we have to respect that.
Yesterday, I inspired you. Today, you will inspire others. Tomorrow, more will inspire.
Your journey is just beginning. I look forward to the day when you are on stage as you speak and light up the crowd, and as I stand below and tear to your words.
There is no one hero. Because if only all of us would know, we are all heroes. If only all of us would realise.
Be your own hero. Be my voice, as I was yours.
Let us stand united, let us hope for a better future with the power of our voice.
I await the day where I stand among heroes, where all of us will inspire our own future.
I await the day when you will be my hero.