The worst-kept secret has finally been revealed. The President has issued a Writ of Election - Nomination Day for GE 2015 is 1 September 2015 and Polling Day will be 11 September 2015.
PAP's domination in Singapore politics is evident for the past 50 years. The PM has just detailed for us the country's achievements in his National Day Rally Speech on 23rd August 2015. Voters may wish to step back and reflect on how Singapore politics can evolve for our benefit in the following areas:
Political Development - Some people has termed our democracy as "autocratic", "dictatorial", etc. We have Government-created institutions like Nominated Member of Parliament (supposedly championing special public interests, etc.) and Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (losing Opposition Parties' members who garnered the most votes). Many named them pseudo-Members of Parliament as they do not have powers to vote on certain Bills, etc. Are these measures initiated to maintain political dominance? Many believe our political development has not kept in step with our economic success. This has engendered call from the Opposition Parties for a "First World Parliament".
Political Culture - There is no visible culture of give and take in political discussion. The sledge-hammer of defamation suits against political opponents or critics is not uncommon. Some people were bankrupted and some had to seek exile overseas. Will this hard-line approach ever moderate to welcoming more diverse discussions/views and competitive ideas?
Political Transparency - The AHPETC and the People's Association's lapses as reported by the Auditor-General's audit could be better explained to the public. Each side tried to score political points. The former issue was duly debated in Parliament and the latter was found to be above board (newspapers reported that the grassroots leader involved (there were monies changing hands and receipts issued and not issued, etc.) later resigned.
Our mainstream media is ranked 153rd position for being a free press. Its role in educating our people in political education has been inadequate and lacking. It seemed to be assuming the role of a Public Relations entity of the ruling party. The next day after the PM NDR Speech on 23 August 2015 the PM's photographs were strategically published in five pages of the newspaper (one photograph on one page).
The media is also criticized for painting the Opposition Parties in a bad light - reports of in-fighting, etc. It is seen by some as the propaganda machine of the ruling party.
The voters are the only ones capable of engineering change in the Singapore polity. With the Opposition Parties facing an uneven playing field, biased media, etc., it is obvious who are the underdogs.
Cast your vote wisely on Polling Day, 11th September 2015. If you believe in a more vibrant, fair and democratic society, your rooting for the underdogs is appropriate and paying it forward for our future generation.
TIP - Switch off reading, listening or viewing the mainstream media from now up to Polling Day - there will an avalanche of propaganda from the ruling party. Go to social media, attend Opposition Parties' Political rallies, etc. to get diversity of perspectives/views, etc.