Monday, 29 December 2014

Let it go, Let it go...

An essay on the dominant single-party politics in South East Asia, and whether they are doomed.

Well, I don't really care about Golkar (in Indonesia) or UMNO (in Malaysia). They are both at best coalition governments and weakness is a given for such governments.

They are almost certain to be inefficient and ineffective.

The government and the people's relationship is like a romance. Things cannot be forced. When one party wants space to grow, you need to give space to grow not try to stifle growth or expression of independence. What the voters are saying is, "we are not sure we need the PAP". It is like one half of a couple saying, "I'm not sure I love you anymore".

The solution is not to say, "BUT YOU NEED ME, YOU CANNOT STAND ON YOUR OWN."

That may well be true. But that is not what they need to hear. The more the PAP insist on staying the more resentful the people will be.
What the PAP need to show is NOT that they are indispensable, but that they are prepared to step aside IF THAT IS WHAT THE VOTERS WANT.
What the PAP need to show is NOT that they know what is best for the voters, but that they are prepared to RESPECT THE WISHES OF THE VOTERS. Even if their wish is for PAP to let them make mistakes.
The PAP is a paternalistic party. They need to reinvent themselves not by bringing in younger MPs or doing selfies and social media. That is like your father trying to learn how to rap and hip-hop.
What the people need from the PAP is for the PAP to let go and trust the people.
Trust the people to watch "To Singapore with Love" and not turn communist the next day
Trust the people to read, "And Tango makes three" and not become raging homosexuals (are there such people?) [What do homosexuals rage about?]
Trust the people to vote responsibly, wisely, and in line with their needs, with Singapore needs.
The PAP is feeling rejected and unloved. But that is reality. 

Their natural response is to try to regain that love, return to the good old days, cling onto the silver age of politics in Singapore. With all the tricks and strategies they can think of.

That "natural" response is also the wrong response. The correct response is that old easier-said-than-done advice: "If you love someone, let them go..."

What the PAP is doing however, is trying to show that they are the right and only party for Singapore. They may well be correct. It may well be true. But just because they are the right party for Singapore, doesn't mean that they are the party that Singapore needs right now. That Singaporeans need right now.

If the PAP wants to be seen as relevant, it has to be the choice of the people, not the "no-choice" or "bo-pian" party of Singapore.

But the PAP lacks the confidence in itself to "love someone and set them free". And perhaps that is the greatest indictment of the PAP as the "right" party for Singapore. Like an over-protective parent, their indulgence or protection will ill-prepare their child for the real world, for reality, for life. 

Ultimately, life is complicated, life is messy, and life will be unpredictable. The best thing you can do for your child is to equip them with the skills and confidence to deal with life. Not deal with life for them, not to over-protect them to the point that they are unable to deal with life on their own.

Sometimes less is more.

And the best thing you can do, is to let it go.  



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