The National Solidarity Party has finally relaunched its party organ, renamed "North Star" instead of "NSP Newsletter". NSP has not only changed the name of its newsletter, we have also given it a brand new professional look.
This is part of the ongoing effort by NSP in trying to embark on a massive transformation of its political platform. I am proud to be part of this effort of transformation. In the months to come, there will be more changes, major as well as minor ones, to be made to the whole party platform. The following is one of the article published on the first issue of North Star:
North Star – Polaris of Singapore's Political Development
National Solidarity Party has come to a new phase in its effort of renewal. Under the new leadership and management of a relatively younger group of leaders, it has embarked on a series of reform, restructure and repositioning of the party.
We are relaunching NSP Newsletter as North Star to signify a major milestone of change in our party's development. Why North Star?
The best known star that one could possibly identify from Earth is Polaris, which is commonly known as the North Star. Its position will hardly shift according to the change of seasons. As such, it has been the most important star since ancient time that human beings have depended on for their navigation through land as well as sea during the night. It is the guiding light for those in darkness for centuries.
Our party's logo is actually the Polaris which appears in compasses. It symbolizes our commitment to provide the necessary guiding light and direction for Singapore's political development, from an era of total darkness towards a brighter future. Two decades ago, when NSP was inaugurated, Singapore was immersed in an era of total political darkness.
The People's Action Party has entrenched its monopoly of power for decades and it has used every means to protect its strong grip over its power. In comparison with the active participation of social-political activists of the 1950s as well as 1960s, the deafening silence of such political activism in the 1970s and 1980s was a sign of political regression. In spite of strong economic growth and development, our social, cultural as well as political developments were totally neglected.
It was under such circumstances, the National Solidarity Party was born. We have the aspiration of playing a constructive role in rebuilding our political system towards a more balanced, democratic and matured system that is truly inclusive in nature. We believe that a monopoly of power by a ruling party is unhealthy for the Nation in the long run. We believe that there must be checks and balances installed in the whole political system in order to safe guard the citizens' welfare and interests at all times. We believe that there should be more diversity of voices and cultivation of more citizenry participation in our nation building effort instead of being dictated by the ruling party alone.
What we have observed throughout the two decades is that the ruling party, People's Action Party, is not totally open to criticisms. It has used its dominance in parliament to implement changes to the constitution of Singapore to further entrench its monopoly of power. PAP has admitted that without the GRC system, it will not be able to prevent some of its seats from losing to the opposition. It has admitted that only with the GRC system, its new candidates will be able to get into parliament with the help of its heavy weight ministers. It has also used its dominance to redraw electoral boundaries to its maximum advantages. It has even used HDB upgrading as a form of pork barrel politics to win votes during elections., openly warning voters that their flats will not be upgraded if they do not vote for PAP during the election.
PAP has evolved from the iron fist, strong hand tactic authoritarianism to the seemingly “softer”, sophisticated technical authoritarianism. Such technique has successfully allowed the ruling party to sell unpopular policies such as the GST, increased pricing of HDB flats etc. However, this is still nothing lesser than a monopoly of power play.
In our view, all these political development under PAP's monopoly of power are not in the right direction towards a more open, mature and inclusive political system for Singapore. The initial aspiration of our party founders twenty years ago are still very much valid today. NSP should continue to play the role of the Polaris of Singapore's political development amidst the prolonged darkness of political monopoly of power.
We sincerely hope with the support of Singaporeans, our party could continue our long quest towards a better Singapore with a stronger entrenchment of democracy instead of the entrenchment of authoritarian rule. We also hope that with our North Star shining and guiding our political spirit of true democracy, Singapore will enjoy a progressive development in our political system whereby each and every Singaporean's welfare and interests will be taken care of.
If you are interested in getting a copy of the North Star, please get it from our weekly walkabout for $2.00 per copy.
Goh Meng Seng