Friday, April 23, 2010

2nd Walkabout in Bishan-Toa Payoh

Last Sunday morning 18 Apr we held another joint walkabout with SDA at Bishan. The experience this time round was significantly different from previous walkabouts. The residents here were a lot more forthcoming and in fact eager to enter into discussions and debates.

One resident in particular left a deep impression. I asked him if he would vote for the opposition. He replied in Mandarin and I shall try my best to translate: The PAP managed the economy very well, but over-emphasized material achievements, fostering a tensed and highly competitive environment, which is detrimental to the building of a caring society. Although this is a problem for the society as a whole, it would be better if the government could provide some support. If the opposition can handle the economy well and at the same time help foster a more caring and compassionate society, I will vote for the opposition.

This is one of the best answers I have heard. I am sure he spoke for many. While we develop our economy, we need also to pay attention to our emotional and moral developments. They need to complement each other for a more stable and sustainable progress. The strong helping the weak is not only for the benefit of the weak, but is beneficial to the strong as well.

Before I met this resident, I had encountered another woman who asked me point blank:”So what benefit can you give me? If there is benefit then I vote for you lah!” While my rational mind tells me there is nothing wrong with this question, and in fact only to be expected, it was spoken with such self-assuredness, such absolute certainly that it is perfectly legitimate to bargain thus with her vote, that I was saddened. Thank goodness for this other resident who brightened up my day again.


四月十八日,我们与新加坡民主联盟一起到碧山拜访选民。

这一次的经历与之前有显著不同。这儿的居民比较积极地与我们交流讨论。

有一位居民的谈话尤其让我影像深刻。我问他会不会投反对党一票, 他说:“人民行动党在经济上做得很好,但太强调物质上的得失,使得人民精神紧张,相互之间竞争很强烈, 没有友爱精神。虽然说友爱精神是社会的问题,但如果政府能加以支持会更好。如果反对党可以同样把经济掌控好,又能鼓励人们有爱心,互相帮助,那我就会投反对党一票。”

这是我所听过最好的答案。相信他说中了许多人的心声。在经济发展的同时,我们也应同样注意精神上的发展,两者相辅相成,才能更稳健。帮助弱小,不单是为了弱小,同时也会让强者得益。

在遇到这位仁兄之前,有一位太太问我:“你能给我什么好处?有好处我就投给你。”虽然她说的没什么不对,但如此理直气壮的交易,还是让我有些小难过。亏得这位仁兄一番言语让我恢复了精神。

4 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. I don't think there is anything to be sad about. It is far better for the woman to have given her honest reply than it would be for her to say all kinds of pleasantries while keeping her real thoughts to herself.

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  3. This is the sort of mentality the govt has been nurturing so as to continue to be able to buy votes every GE. Selfishness is what the govt cultivates for its own party's end, not that of the country.

    Nation building is now a very poor second to fortune and ego building. Singapore is LKY's private enterprise. People are mere digits, a factor of production of Lee plc

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  4. I do not agree that PAOP has managed the economy well,it has not.

    Although I have to admit that PAP has become an international model,especially for Communist China for which our supreme leader is terribly pround of,he frequenly mentions,especially to audience in super power,Uncle Sam,how PRC sent tensd of thousand of officials to learn fr Singapore.

    And indeed they do learn,the trick is to gain quick money fr real estate,and keep the money within the government or ruling party and SOEs,is this the way forward,those who do study economic history many not agree!

    PAP also tries to copy Uncle Sam motto-Winners take all,but for uncle Sam,winners are just Peters,Roberts,in our case,winndres are invariably printed with PAP logo.

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