Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Search Thy Soul


Search Thy Soul

This will be one of the series of postings with regards to the 2006 Elections.
Throughout the elections period, as a candidate, I have to deal with many reporters from local press and media. From the introduction of candidates to post elections period, I will have to engage reporters from the newspaper, radio and TV.

Although many felt that the reporting in local media has improved, but I think there are still lots of room to improve on. For those who have a conscience in them, felt very depressed over the whole period of elections. A couple of reporters I have spoken to are so depressed that they told me that they would consider resigning from local journalism altogether. I have to console them. I told them that they have been through the whole process, understand how it works against their own conscience but it is not for them to give up. They should stay on to make it better, more balanced. This is after all a country that we own and the future is for us to make.

Some of the reporters say that they have to push the envelops very hard to get their points through. And most of us think that the TV channels are the worse performing media so far, though they have improved a bit from the past.

I would say that the internet, especially the blogsphere has contributed to the improvement of the local media reporting. This is expected as these alternative sources of credible information have forced the local media to react, else whatever credibility of local media has will erode quickly. For example, in the beginning of the elections campaign, the local media avoided reports on the crowd we attracted to our rallies. Later on, they just report one thousand (yeah, that's from a local press media) or just a few thousands, not putting up the photographs of the massive turnout. Later on, after the words and pictures of internet spread like fire, local mass media has no choice but to put photographs and video footages of the real turnout.

On the other hand, the content of the rally speeches are not fully reported. For example, my rebuttal to PM Lee's challenge was not put up. My suggestion of GIC and Temasek Holdings to help Singaporeans invest their CPF monies so to get higher returns were omitted. PAP has claimed that they want to debate on policy issues but in the end, they are too engrossed in Gomez Saga. This is very disappointing and yet, the local press “help” PAP to go over and over again about this Gomez Saga. This reminds us about the last 2001 GE whereby the video footage of Dr. Chee Soon Chuan shouting at Mr. Goh Chok Tong was played endlessly over the 9 days campaign period. However, Gomze Saga is totally different from Dr. Chee's shouting incident!

To me, from a news angle, there is no news value in repeating Gomez Saga as compared to the various issues raised by the candidates.

Improvement there might be, but I think the local media has to search their own souls. For those who feel very depressed basically they still have their conscience intact, I would urge them to stay on and try to make it better for Singapore. It is a heritage that we need to pass on to our future generations and I think all of us do not want to feel shameful of the things that we leave for our children.

Goh Meng Seng

24 comments:

mz said...

congrats on the gd effort and results of WP. jia you! will be eligible to vote next election, and hope will be able to..i live in potong pasir..and glad the the opposition won again..agree the the online blogs with the reports are very useful..we can refer to them when we are unable to attend the rallies..
i'm also very happy to see the many new young members in WP =) u have my support!

Anonymous said...

thanks for giving us a choice.

i voted for the wp candidates in east coast. hope you guys (and/or sylvia) would be back next time and take a grc!

hope to see you guys around my estate more often.

for the record, i've only seen my mp twice (max) in the last five years!

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, massive crowds doesn't equate massive support.

I suppose you guys must be abit disappointed for not winning the Aljunied GRC.

Nonetheless, keep up the good work and plan what are the strategies for next 5 years to garner the PAP voters of Aljunied GRC.

And don't neglect the minority race.

Btw, well done for the "6 kamikaze fighters" but speech need to be concise with strong points.

:)

Anonymous said...

i was at 3 WP rallys during the election and I only heard 1 speech in the Malay language. I do not think WP was courting the minority voters at all and this is such a shame. At the results night at Yio Chu Kang Stadium, the TV channel was tuned to Ch 8 the entire evening and you could see the Malay and Indian crowd walking away disappointed with WP. Surely WP can acknowledge these supporters?

I wish all of you well and I hope to see WP winning a GRC in the next election. I am looking forward to seeing Sylvia Lim as a NMP in Parliament. Send her my regards and best wishes. We love you Sylvia!

Anonymous said...

Worker's PARTY! Worker's PARTY!

GE 2010

WP-12 seats
PAP-70 seats

Thats my dream

I will wait to the day I can call MP Slyvia Lim, MP Goh Meng Seng

And I want to in my lifetime, hear cheers from WP MPs loud enough for the parliament cameras to hear!

Cost of living issues, Elected Presidency fiasco, NKF related lack of accountability, elitism, health care issues will be there because the PAP is no so much interested in winning people's heart but using propangada to brainwash their soul!

Worker's Party boleh! Singaporeans boleh! Mahjulah Singapura!

To build a democratic society, based on justice and equality, so as to achieve happiness.......

yk said...

Mr Goh, I salute you and the Worker's Party! Before GE 2006, I could never identify with the PAP nor any of the opposition parties, but now I can identify myself as a WP supporter! And proudly so!

So I hope the WP is able to recruit even more candidates of calibre for the next elections! 10 per year and you'd have enough to contest all 84 seats in 2011! Could be a bit ambitious. But from what I've heard, there are young people and undergrads who are thinking of joinging the WP! Maybe the WP should try to actively recruit?

Anonymous said...

Good job WP, hope to see you guys reaching out to the Malay voters too.
Nonetheless, it was a good effort, especially with 15 new faces. You guys made George Yeo sweat.
By the next election, hopefully the following things will happen

1. WP will recruit at least 10 more new faces

2. The old man will be dead

3. WP will have 2-3 minority candidates of the calibre of Sylvia Lim or LTK

Anonymous said...

for a media that had been so blatantly bias during the election period, you have very kind words for them.

during those 9 days, there were many times i wanted to throw a chair at my tv, switching from channel to channel, there were only gomez video, pap talking but nothing at all on the opposition parties. many valid points were totally left out and pap happily harping away that oppoistion parties did not bring up any real issues/solution.

i was happy that 1 in every 3 votes in amk grc went to wp. i have written to wp asking if wp intend to continue its ground work in amk area. i am sure there are many, including me, who will participate.

with the result cast in stone now, i hope the various issues raised by wp are looked into by the pap, if not wp should keep pressing them to address them:
- high minister pay, in fact how much do they get actually (cash + benefit in kind)?
- a more appropriate way to fix their compensation.
- upgrading for all
- healthcare costs
- how to protect local, especially older employees, jobs
- how to ensure older people can retire gracefully and not clean table or wash toilet at the age of 82
-etc. etc.

Anonymous said...

卡压在野党机制未改
新加坡民主仍需努力

■日期/May 10, 2006 ■时间/12:05:39 pm
■新闻/家国风云 ■作者/余伟邦




【亚洲时报在线余伟邦撰述】新加坡(上)周六举行的国会大选,以执政人民行动党再度取得“压倒性的胜利”,在84席中赢得82席告终。这次是新加坡执政党18年来首次未能在候选人提名日即告自动连任的一次选举,一些论者认为今次选举,反映新加坡的政治生态已起了变化,总理李显龙决心推动国家朝更民主的方向发展,甚至将他比作台湾的蒋经国。然而具竞争意义的民主是否真的已在新加坡开始萌芽?恐怕还得走着瞧。

若看选举结果,虽然在野党依旧只能仅赢两席,但人民行动党的得票只得67%,比上届少了近9%。然而这可能正是李显龙和人民行动党希望见到的结果。

这是李显龙(左图)接任总理的首次选举,他所希望的,就是借助一次较具竞争意义的选举,去确立他作为国家第二代领袖的权威,展示选民相信他有能力延续父亲李光耀以及吴作栋这些前辈所创造出来的经济繁荣。

由人民行动党领导的新加坡政府,过去一直采取诸多措施去卡压在野党派,令他们在选战中连一战之力也没有。然而不战而胜的选举,无助于李显龙确立获得人民拥戴的形像和权威,故此他刻意在今次选举中,放松了当局过去对在野党派的卡压,让他们有较大的活动备战空间,得以在18年来首次推出足够候选人,去竞逐超过一半的议席,令到人民行动党不会再一次未选即胜。新加坡独立政治顾问基尔便说得明白:“是人民行动党希望能打一仗(选战)好给他们合法性。”

在野党(特别是工人党)今次选战表现不俗,无疑是他们近来积极争取一些专业人士和年青人支持的成果,但新加坡当局在这次选举安排上,确也比以往“厚待”了在野党派不少,令在野党有发围机会。

新加坡国会84名议员虽由直选产生,但在野党一直难以抬头,一大原因就是新加坡的“特殊”选区划分制度。自1991年起,新加坡政府定出了所谓“集选区制度”,以14个集选区和九个单一选区,选出国会议员。在集选区,政党必须提名五至六名候选人拍档一起竞逐,其中一人更必须是少数族裔,选民只能选一组候选人。

新加坡当局称此举是要保障少数族裔参政权,但在野党和很多外国论者都抨击,这是卡压在野党的武器,因为在野党人力物力本已很有限,要凑足够份量人士组队在一个大选区竞逐可谓极其困难,而且少数族裔社区通常都靠向执政阵营,在野党要找到够份量少数族裔人士搭档绝不容易。更重要的是,新加坡当局过去往往在临选前才公布选区划分报告,利用重划选区的手段,临时将在野党人士的根据地选区“取消”,拨入其他大选区,变相要他们临急抱佛脚转战另一阵地(新加坡竞选活动期限只有短短九天!)。

今次大选最令在野党“喜出望外”的地方,就是李显龙没有在这方面耍太多手段,不仅前所未有地在两个月前便宣布选区划分报告,而且也没有大改选区划界,让反对派有“相对充裕”时间预备,结果亦造就今次在野党在多个集选区有较佳成绩(尽管事实仍旧是以明显差距落败)。

另外,在本届大选中,也没有像过去般出现在野党候选人遭人民行动党人不断提出诽谤诉讼、弄到倾家荡产的情况。(新加坡严选举法对参选资格做出极大限制,只要有任何犯罪记录,即使仅是酒醉驾驶的人,又或破产者都被禁参选。)李显龙甚至还在投票前一天,就竞选活动期间可能对在野党作出了过激的抨击措辞而公开道歉。这在以往是难以想像的。

然而这是否足以代表新加坡真的踏出民主一大步?

虽然今次没有在野党候选人被法律诉讼逼到走投无路,但“兴讼威胁”仍不时传出,例如工人党候选人戈麦斯在选举报名时,犯了一个技术错误,错怪了选举局,结果召来人民行动党的人格围攻,李光耀还大骂他骗子,又称如果工人党不满意大可起诉他。虽然戈麦斯有公开道歉,但因他曾公开抨击选举局要“当心后果”,结果在选后遭到警方拘查,被指涉嫌“刑事恐吓”和“提供假资料”。此外,在野党民主党在选举期间也因抨击一宗滥用慈善款项丑闻而被人民行动党高层威胁兴讼。

同时,过高的竞选按金问题仍旧存在,若财力有限的在野党要问鼎所有议席,单是按金便要近500万港元(100万新元),另人民行动党显然也无意放弃利用长期当权的优势,以承诺翻新选区内公共房屋等“派糖”措施去拉拢选民。

在引入较大竞争下,选前一些政治分析家已指出,行动党在今次选举中只要有六成半得票便算成功,而李显龙最后也做到了。李光耀曾多次表示希望有更多在野党人参选国会,让人民行动党的议员和党工保持备战状态,以免一些议员因长期当权而变得松懈,忽略基层工作,渐渐脱离群众。他在选前更说,接下来的选举会一届比一届激烈,不过这不表示在野党会持续茁壮,成为替代政府。

李光耀的话,似乎正好反映了新加坡未来政治发展的走向。李显龙在今次选举竞逐上,“宽松仁慈地”减少了对在野党的一些卡压,但目的似乎只是想加添一点竞争性,以便提高其权威认受性,同时确保人民行动党保持活力。

民主选举是一种制度,要研判新加坡的民主化发展,就应观察一些妨碍公平民主选举的制度关卡障碍,是否获得清除。既然当权者今天可基于一时政治需要而选择宽松执政规限,他朝也可以基于政治需要而选择严格执行限制。修订选举法,放宽对参选者的限制、改变被指不公的集选区制度、大幅降低竞选按金等,方是判断新加坡是否决心走向民主政治竞争的重要指标,可惜目前尚未看到制度上的转变。

本文经香港《亚洲时报在线》授权转载。《亚洲时报在线》是《独立新闻在线》的合作伙伴。

jeffyen said...

Dear Meng Seng, from the way you spoke to the reporters, I think you're a class act, as was the speech you gave on the last night at Serangoon Stadium. As I and the crowd exited the stadium, we had to go past the media room near the entrance. I noticed this peculiar tired look that the reporters and the guys manning the video equipment. I'm not sure if they're feeling the same thing you described, but it might be it. Today's newspaper, for the second day running, have 'opened up' considerably, at least the Forum pages. Never give up, never surrender! :)

Anonymous said...

I dun know if you guys have seen this
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHOVObMrbQQ&search=worker%27s%20party%20result

Anonymous said...

sore loser!!! cannot win say la. toke cock sing song lum par song lol

mz said...

although ms sylvia lim can only be a NCMP at the moment, i believe many have confidence in her to become a elected MP the next election! all e way ms lim all e way WP!

Anonymous said...

Keep up the spirits! The PAP has total lost their high moral grounds this round to the Alternative Parties, particularly WP. We have 5 years to keep spreading the dire consequences of voting for PAP to have overwhleming majority in parliament. Thanks for keeping my hopes alive, and preventing me from giving up hope of ever humbling those arrogant and aloof PAP candidates. Till we battle again in 2011. Power to the People!

Hougang Voter said...

Neither the PAP nor the Opposition Parties lost big in GE2006. I think the real losers are Singaporeans. We have seen for ourselves how our million-dollar Ministers and well-paid Members of Parliament shot themselves in the foot over and over again, by putting party interests over national interests, by showing us their true colours through "slips of tongue" and "general statements" just to disparage the opposition candidates. Thanks to their boo-boos, we now know what kind of Government we have. Where are we heading, Singapore??

Anonymous said...

To get an idea how a ballot box can be rigged, watch Battlestar Galactica season 2, episode 20, Lay Down Your Burdens Part 2
But then it's just a movie. All it take is a few 'good men' (who think they're saving the world by their actions) and 'things' can still happen to the ballot box.

WP may have rep to witness the sealing and opening ballot boxes, but WP does not have jurisdiction nor appointment of the election dept. personnel nor its ballot box handlers. Who dares to speak abt fraud from then?

Anonymous said...

To Goh Meng Seng,

I wondered you guys have any strategies in mind when ALjunied GRC is going to slice up again in the next GE?

Eunos, Cheng San GRC are good example to split up the opposition voters.

If you guys have no strategy in mind to counter this GRC fixing game, i guess opposition can forget to gun down a GRC.

Anonymous said...

"Whoever controls the media, controls the peoples' minds."

At least the majority... Something must be done to overcome this. It is possible. Start working on it from various other sources - not just only internet. WP strategy to cover the eastern part of singapore is good. No matter how they redraw the boundary of GRC. You folks will get 1 in 3 singaporean's support for sure. Now, how to covert the other 1 to make it 2 in 3 in all eastern/northeastern part of singapore? This is the immediate task. Pappies have embarked their campaign with George Yeo meeting the people session - broadcasted thru the media (as always).

Good luck.

LuckySingaporean said...

Goh Meng Seng,

You and your party MUST be STOPPED at ALL COST! Especially Low Thia Kiang.

http://singaporemind.blogspot.com

During the 9 days of campaigning, Low has shown that he is dangerous to the blissful life of Singaporeans:

1. At the rallies, he was able to make Singaporeans cheer and clap loudly for him. This is dangerouis, what happens if they turn into protesters? This is a timebomb waiting to explode. Singaporeans should be mild and obedient to its leaders.

2. He evoke strong feelings of loyalty and patriotism to the country. This is very dangerous. For Singapore to progress, Singaporeans must only be loyal to money. The PAP has been teaching us that by offering millions in upgrading, Progress Package etc. Why is Low teaching us the wrong thing?

3. He was able to get Singaporeans thinking. This is highly dangerous and upsetting. Why should Singaporeans trouble themselves with issues when the PAP can just solve everything for them. Low is causing alot of problem by asking people to think. He is undoing alot of things the Straits Times & CNA is doing.

4. He is able to recruit fresh young passionate people into WP. This is bad, it is like a disease spreading to young people and causing them to stand up for their beliefs. It is better to have young people stay at home and watch TV so that our state media can earn more from advertising.

Low is a dangerous person. He undermines many things that make Singapore what it is. We are lucky to have elections that last only 9 days otherwise, WP & Low could have influenced more parts of our society. I suggest the govt reduce elections to 3 days. We are also lucky that the news media has been consistent in their reporting. Most of all we are lucky most Singaporeans after 40 years of PAP rule have their minds all train up so they don't really bother about the elections and issues, they are happy with the status qup.

Elfred said...

The next battle would be the start of a real decisive outcomes to come.

It might be then a couple of GRCs to fall into oppositions' hands. Hehe...

No matter... I don't see it a blessing. It's just one hole into another with the current standard.

God bless Singapore... It's sinking with trash in places all over.

Kelong said...

Dear YK,

you have coorectly identify undergraduates want to join Workers' Party. I am one of them too, and I am actively helping out the Workers' Party. I am very disgunted with many of the policies that PAP set to perpatuate their power, and curb political competition. We need more to join the APs and more APs to be elected to be MPs. Too much power under PAP is unhealthy though. PAP number one interest is to make money our of commoners like us to enrich themselves. To them the heartlanders are just ants to them. We need more social protection for those old, disabled and very poor people. We need to build a more inclusive society where every citizen has a role to play in our nation building and not Singapore to be ruled under a small group of elites. I believe our neighbour Malaysia despite having 1/3 of the GDP as compared to Singapore have done much better in social protection than PAP. They have highly subsidised education, health and medical care and necessities like rice, sugar, flour, oil and petrol. Malaysia government does treat its citizens better than PAP.

moshedyan said...

good morning goh meng seng
as usual i can only give you moral supports until the two days before the ERECTIONs came in
i was BANNED from ypap forum
so i am afraid to says i can no longer filtered out the sleezy pap dogs from your postings in ypap
however i would still be monitoring your views/threads in ypap and would only reply in
deluxcoffeeclub and findsingapore.net
may i wished you and all the oppositions teams the best in whatever your party do
and please remember to say hello to ms glenda han

regards
[b]moshedyan[/b]

Anonymous said...

With the changing of boundary each time. The SMCs of say Potong Pasir are consistently getting smaller and smaller. It's like being surrounded by a superior army and food supplies are running lower and lower. It's time to take the fight to the enemy. Your current group can focus on the east of Singapore. Actively recruit more volunteers, more potential candidates. Beef up the regional teams of North, East, South and West. All parts of Singapore needs to be reached. Campaigning starts now.

Anonymous said...

someone's dream was 12 opposition and 70 pap.

my dream is 30 pap, 32 wp, 20 sda