11 May, 2011

Petikan suara-suara rakyat Singapura selepas General Election - sumber Straits Times

Berikut adalah di antara suara-suara rakyat Singapura khasnya peranan utama pengundi muda dan anjakan paradigma yang telah didahului Malaysia semasa PRU12 2008 yang lalu.

PAP seperti juga UMNO dan BN yang didakap zon selesa telah menerima petaka politik.

May 11, 2011
Don't underestimate young voters

THIS year's General Election was my first since returning from overseas. I was pleasantly delighted by the vibrant campaigning; the whole experience was like a breath of fresh air.

The results have certainly brought joy to voters seeking an alternative voice in Parliament.

Let's not underestimate the young and middle-aged Singaporeans. People now are far more informed and knowledgeable than ever before.

Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew can take heart that Singaporeans are not naive about riots and social unrest, and of course they are grateful for what the PAP has managed to do from the start. However, he can't expect Singaporeans to forever vote for the People's Action Party in blind faith and gratitude.

The world is changing and we need to think with an open mind. There needs to be constructive debate and alternative views, so that the people of Singapore do not feel like robots who are programmed to live a certain way.

I am delighted with the change and I think this is just the beginning. There is a lot more room for progress, for instance, the media coverage of the elections, which many feel was skewed. Hopefully, this will change in time.

Subana Hall (Ms)

May 11, 2011
Understand young voters better

WITH regard to Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew's remarks ("MM: Past struggles forgotten by young"; Monday), I would like to know if he has ever engaged the younger generation to know what the actual problem is.

The fact is, the young have not forgotten the struggles of the past. We simply feel that we have been forgotten by MM Lee and other People's Action Party ministers in their quest for GDP growth.

Despite us having served national service, we are living like second-class citizens in our own country. Giving us some goodies every year is not enough. We have sacrificed so much, whereas new citizens have it easy.

We know the struggles of the previous generation. We grew up watching our parents struggling to provide us with a decent living. But then, there are still many senior citizens from MM Lee's generation who are still struggling to survive, working in coffee shops, working as cleaners, collecting cardboard in Chinatown. What has he got to say about them?

They have also been forgotten by MM Lee and his team. These members of the older generation were the ones who voted the PAP to power in the past. Even they have been forgotten.

This is the issue concerning the young, besides cost of living and housing prices.

We feel that if we go at this rate, then when we grow old, we will also be struggling in life working as cleaners or collecting cardboard at the age of 60 and above.

With more foreigners taking away better jobs, we are already beginning to feel forgotten.

Muhammad Umar A. Kamaludin

May 11, 2011
Gen Y voters are grateful to Old Guard, but...

I REFER to Monday's report where Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew was quoted as saying that "2011 has seen a generation that does not remember from whence we came" ("MM: Past struggles forgotten by young").

It is a fact that the People's Action Party (PAP) Government under MM's leadership has done great things to bring Singapore to where we are today. But gratitude is not the only factor for consideration when Generation Y voters cast their ballots.

I hope MM Lee knows that many in my generation hold him in high esteem, but voting for the opposition does not equate to a lack of understanding of our forefathers' hardship or a lack of gratitude to the PAP Old Guard.

It simply means that we want to have ownership of this piece of estate, we want to be heard and we want to participate in the progress of our nation. We will not forget where we started from (and you can rest assured we won't), but we certainly need a free hand to explore our future as a generation so that the Singapore Story will continue to flourish.

Yeo Tai Kwee

May 11, 2011
...And three more lessons

LESSON 1: Paradigm shift for the Government.

The election results clearly show that the People's Action Party must undergo a paradigm shift in how it deals with Singaporeans. The people are no longer satisfied with the old "We know what we are doing, trust us" treatment. The Government needs to take into consideration the people's opinions, feelings and needs, and adequately explain policies and their rationale.

The perception that the Government has become arrogant and unconnected to its citizenry stems directly from the manner in which our political leaders interact with their electorate.

LESSON 2: Economic success is not enough.

Singapore's economic success was a direct consequence of the relationship between our first-generation leaders, who were far-sighted, and our hardworking population who responded to the various policies of those leaders. However, this has led to subsequent generations of leaders equating economic success with building a nation.

The Government needs to stop running this country as Singapore Inc and start making decisions based not only on what makes the most economic sense but also on what will enable us to feel more connected as a community and a nation.

The unease expressed during the elections about the large influx of foreigners is not just about job security and transport and housing woes; it's also about the genuine feeling that Singaporeans are second-class citizens in their own country.

LESSON 3: The GRC system.

We need to really consider if the GRC system is the best way to ensure minority representation in Parliament. First, the need for it may be moot in the light of the PAP's Mr Michael Palmer's successful win in Punggol East SMC as well as the victory of three PAP GRC teams led by minority candidates.

The main flaw in the GRC system is that it allows an entire team of four to six MPs to be elected into Parliament even if not every one on the team has won over the voters. Ms Tin Pei Ling in Marine Parade GRC is one example.

On the flip side, we have lost by all accounts a good Foreign Minister. Surely a system that throws up such results needs to be reviewed.

Prakash Nair