I have put up a teaser just not too long ago, asking my FB friends to guess what I had replied a reporter's query on "when are you going to do ground work?".
My answer shocked him. I said, I am not going to "walk the ground", so to speak. Not going to knock on doors, shake hands and kiss babies.
His reaction is quite "normal" as this is the "default thinking" that politicians, be it PAP or opposition, should "walk the ground" in order to "win votes".
I explain to him clearly, I am not going to play the games according to the "indoctrinated rules" set by PAP.
PAP has not only drawn the electoral boundaries but also the "invisible political boundaries" for Opposition, to its own advantage, of course. PAP has always been trying to "mislead" and "misguide" political engagement via subtle "brain washing".
It all started way back in 1981, right after JBJ won the Anson by-election. The almighty PAP has lost its very first seat in one and a half decade. Naturally, the late LKY jumped with anger.
The often DULL parliament sittings had suddenly become all fiery with exchanges of missiles and dramas. It was apparent that the total dominance of PAP in the past immediate decade had made it complacent and lost the art of debate in the face of a strong and fiery opponent, JBJ. Parliament in the past could be an "empty rubber stamp" without the need of any real debates or even the need of attendance of MPs and Ministers. JBJ had changed all that. Even LKY himself had to make it a point to attend parliament whenever JBJ was making his speeches of criticisms.
In 1984, PAP lost another seat in Potong Pasir and this led to a serious rethinking of political strategy. Town Council Management entrusted to MPs was the solution.
It was an attempt to divert voters and politicians attention from the REAL CORE RESPONSIBILITY of an MP in parliament to drain their energy and attention into municipal issues.
In the Westminster system, municipal issues are taken care by District Councillors, who are also voted in by residents. An MP is never expected to manage the estate or be bothered by municipal issues because they are voted in to speak up on policy matters in parliament.
But PAP, knowing that they do not have strong MPs in parliament while having all the resources to take care of municipal issues by subcontracting out to professional estate management companies, tried to change the focus and direction of political engagement towards municipal matters instead of policy debates and law making in parliament.
PAP has successfully to mislead and brainwash both voters as well as opposition politicians to think that they should put most of their energy in knocking doors, convincing voters they can run town councils instead of putting up strong debates, policy ideas and scrutiny in parliament. After opposition won some seats, they will compete with PAP which has the whole machinery of People's Association (PA), in conducting durian tours, temple tours, organizing events etc... instead of spending most of their time in policy research and debates.
In the end, we have political parties doing Charity Work, giving out goodies, organizing events .... instead of doing the REAL political work of analysing, researching and commenting on Real political issues. Political parties are more like Charity Organization or Event Organizing companies or simply Social Clubs nowadays.
Voters are judging the "quality" of candidates by looking at whether they "serve" them by "knocking doors" or "visit" them. Or whether they attend wakes or temple dinners and such. Or organize any events for them...etc. The most illogical thing is, they even expect opposition who have not won any seat to do all these!
Instead of looking at the political views, ideologies or ideals of political candidates, we have voters basically "voting blindly" according to "party branding" or whether candidates "walk the ground"! These totally misguided perception and concept of politics is the direct result of PAP's subtle brain washing.
It always irks me when people start talking about "I only vote XXX party and not small parties" or "if you are contesting under XXX party, I will vote for you". I consider that as an expression of political immaturity. One who cannot discern good candidates from bad but resort to some "fuzzy branding", he must be too lazy to really study and understand each and every choices presented to him.
This is the reason why we ended up with lots of empty chairs and empty tables in Parliamentary sittings most of the time. When voters and politicians have WRONG and misguided priorities in politics, that's the end result we will get.
I will vote or support a person or a team for only two reasons:
1) Not PAP because I do not want them to be complacent when they get too high votes.
2) In the event of multi-corner fight, I will support the candidates who make good sense and have good political ideals or ideology which resonate with my belief, regardless of which party he or she is from.
I have gone through 3 General Elections. GE 2006 WP made great progress up from the devastating state of 2001 GE. This is partly because we played according to the brainwashed setting of PAP configurations, doing house visits, shaking hands and kissing babies.
In GE 2011, I changed the methodology subtly. I didn't knock on all the doors in Tampines but decided to ignite the fire on policy issues, mainly HDB issues. It set on a fire which ran wild and benefited all opposition.
I thought Singaporeans have evolved and matured politically. Finally they understood the importance of checks and balances, with a desire to vote in more opposition MPs. The path of Democratic Development should be on the right track of no return.
I was proven totally wrong in GE 2015. Voters are basically more Emotional rather than politically matured with the determination of making progress for Democratic Development.
I decided to stop all "political wayang" which is totally misleading, misguided and even detrimental towards REAL political Democratic progress for Singapore.
What we need is more public political discourse and education, not more door knocking saying Hi and Bye, shaking hands, kissing babies and making people "feel good" so that they will vote for you.
I decided to spend most of my time writing on my FB and copy some of the postings to my blog as an archive. I hope more people will be enlightened and provided with better reasoned ideas for them to talk about in their daily lives so that they could convince more people in their real life circles. Share the public discourse, ideas and ideals through FB or real life chats with friends and strangers.
This is a slow and painful process. It needs consistent commitment, nothing less than sweating out in knocking doors.
All political movements always start with evangelism of alternative ideas and ideals, not with knocking doors and kissing babies. When the seeding of ideas and ideals take root in the minds and hearts of voters, their emotional sway will be dampen and hopefully, what happened in 2015 GE will not repeat again.
Dr Sun Yat Sen had done that all his life, in order to convince people that a change of regime from Monarchy to Republic was a necessity. He changed China, not by knocking doors, kissing babies or doing charity work or organizing tours. He did it through endless and continuous evangelism of his political ideas and ideology, which were so alien to his people of his time.
Thus, I decided to break through the walls and boundaries set by PAP's political brainwashing. I will not play into their game of political patronage and wayangism. I will do what is MOST important in politics, the evangelism of political ideas, ideals and discourse.
If you expect me to knock doors, kiss babies, do charity work or organize events, then don't vote for me. If you only want to vote for some "big party with big brand", then I am not for you.
But if you want an MP who will put 101% in parliamentary work, scrutinize each and every policy and laws which PAP wants to pass, then I will be an extremely good choice for you.
My "Track Record" has nothing to do about how many blocks of flats I have "walk and knock", has nothing to do about whether I have run a town council before, definitely nothing about whether I am a good organizer of events or involve in giving out goodies as charity.
My "Track Record" is my consistency in providing my political views, ideas and ideals. Ideas and views which PAP would even adapt quietly without giving due credits, even million dollar "elite" ministers would read and adapt in their policies.
So next time, anyone of you start to talk about "walk the ground", "start campaigning" or "track record", think again.
I have never stopped "campaigning" since I graduated from university, against bad PAP policies. I "walk the hearts and minds" and my "Track Record" of policy ideas and ideals are thick.
Anyone who wants to be in politics, must have some policy views or policy ideas to start with. If you have none, sorry, I won't even bother.
Goh Meng Seng