GE2015: “Grace Tan Is An Opposition Supporter?”

I shared an article from the States Times Review on my facebook page a week ago with this comment “Some MPs eat oyster omelette, some MPs sit in ball pits. Whatever floats your boat, folks. As long as you stop planting trees and carrying babies whenever a camera is pointed at you. ‪#‎anyimprovementisgood‬

I felt it was neither pro-PAP nor pro-opposition but since the time I tio marked by a particular anonymous entity on facebook, he/she has been “advising” me to remain neutral (which I have done) and asking if I’m an “opposition supporter”. 😛

And here’s my response as well:

grace tan GE2015

I believe that we should cast our votes based on each candidate’s merits and not on the party’s failures or successes as a whole. And please, whatever you do, do not simply ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ a candidate based on what you see on social media or mainstream media. Meet that person and decide whether he/she is trustworthy.

Take Tin Pei Ling, for instance. I got some flak from interviewing her in 2012 and letting people know that I think (after meeting her) that she’s not as bimbotic as portrayed online, and that she has a heart for her residents and that they, in turn, are appreciative of what she has done for them. Well, look at her now. 🙂 Only childish and ignorant people would continue making Kate Spade jokes. Grow up please. 😛

This month, I also attended a group interview for influencers with a Minister. The last time I met the Minister was a few years ago and I think he has become more comfortable in his own skin and in his role as a politician. And also pretty much resigned to the fact that anything he says can be taken out of context and made into a big hoo-ha online and be made fun of by people, whether they be ignorant or malicious individuals. He might be one of those rare flameproof politicians. Not going to name him in a bid to remain “neutral”. Ha!

During the session I was also reminded of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s “champion grumbler” quote. The first part of it, about Singaporeans being “hard-working, industrious, rugged” might not be 100% true these days but the “champion grumbler” part most certainly remains.

“You know the Singaporean. He is a hard-working, industrious, rugged individual. Or we would not have made the grade. But let us also recognise that he is a champion grumbler.” – Lee Kuan Yew, 1977 speech in Parliament (more quotes here)

I am neither for nor against the PAP or WP or any other political party. I meet the individuals in person and I decide whether I like them or not – which party they belong to does not matter to me. And at this particular session, we heard the Minister’s take on issues close to the hearts of Singaporeans and after some discussion with friends, here are some takeaways and thoughts:

  1. The issue about maids / domestic helpers: Most would argue that they deserve to be given breaks / time off… but we would then go on to complain that they are everywhere, especially along a famous road in Singapore. About 1 in 6 households have maids so it’s inevitable that we’ll see them around on their off days. It’s the same for the foreign workers as well – they can’t just disappear after work so… is it up to us to get used to their presence?
  2. Can we follow the Swiss’ self-service culture or do we stick to the Asian service culture we are proud of, whereby we can wave and have someone come over to serve us? If we don’t want so many foreigners coming in to take jobs we don’t want (the irony), then something’s gotta give.
  3. Life is comfortable here so how do we get regional exposure? Will our young go overseas to get exposure? If they don’t, then how do they compete with the “foreign talent” and take on regional, if not global positions?
  4. In helping the low-income Singaporeans, it’s not so clear-cut as to just reach out to the bottom 10% of income earners because some of them could be asset-rich retirees.
  5. Is the “high” cost of living your #1 concern? Is it because you tend to desire and buy the ‘best’ instead of picking a cheaper, and probably just as good, alternative? For instance, I’ve been told that Sunshine bread and the NTUC housebrand bread come from the same factory. (@_@)
  6. Housing: You want a 4 or 5 room flat when you get married, because you currently live in a 4 or 5 room flat with your parents. Perhaps you want an even bigger flat but forget that your parents started off with a 3 room flat. And therefore you find housing prices too high.
  7. We should perhaps ask ourselves about what we can give back to our country and learn to be grateful for what we have, and to do more for others.

I think that if we quit being such champion grumblers, we might actually feel quite blessed and contented. 😛 In any case… we have an exciting day tomorrow! 😀