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Late night thoughts on Nicole Seah & what she represents for + other thoughts on the coming election. April 27, 2011

Posted by @Karen_Fu in change, Singapore.
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Coming back home sitting in front of my PC and re-reading Nicole Seah. I feel she has proven a couple of issues:

{A} Singapore does have talent — polical talent.

Those who are willing to stand up and fight for their cause in the most civilised way that is of integrity as well as intelligence. We have people who have the guts to do real change. Nicole seems to understand the machanics of politics as well as understood the ground level of the poor.

[B} The Issue on Elite education

She claims she is not a scholar from a coveted foreign universtiy. But then again, the local university has grown leaps and bounds to be one of the best in the world. She was also a scholar under the University’s scholar programme. So I don’t know if we can exactly say she is not an elite. Then again the real problem about ‘elites’ is not so much because of the scholarship. It has a lot to do with the over confidence and ego that tag with it. If you are great at your studies, you would naturally come to be a scholar. I don’t think being a scholar is a problem. Neither does scholar from elite schools is a problem. But in today’s materialistc and pragmatic environment, going to the top and be materially well off are seen as successful. What she has shown so far is her staunch sense for justice. The kind of earnesty in her tone is what attracted me. That would most likely be attributed to your young age and for that matter people who are idealistic tend to be far more attractive. She speaks out with a very convincing and logical tone that would make people sit up and listen to her. This is one of the most important traits of a successful politician. For this is the kind of tone that will gather and motivate crowds. If she could continue delievering this kind of assurance in her words, honor them with convincing action and not mere rethoric; I am sure she will win big in this coming election.

[C} Humility

I am definitely impressed by how she handles questions right in the face. It is no small matter that people are following her on facebook.  and due to her humilty, people are genuinely giving her their advice. She will certainly stand a great chance learning a lot within the next 10 days. No one knows how she will perform; but I know from experience that when someone who has serious thoughts on certain issues, they will fight for their causes. Such a motivation grows a kind of charisma that can move mountains. The voice of hope must be accompanied by detailed plan of action. When one is able to show that credibility, you will be sure that a fine leader is born. I like people who can strike out on their own merit. In this very respect, I do not underestimate her latent abilities. Whether she will progress ahead, we shall see her real abilities in the near future.

[D] Other thoughts on the coming election:

Today we have most of the successes in place but there are areas where I personally feel need changing. When I read through the news, though I have not managed to cover all, I have the impression that many lack life experience. The kind of life experience that entails living through hardship and experience what commoners suffer seems lacking. Even with Nicole Seah.

I do not have any political affinity for many reasons. The most pertinent one is that I don’t even like politics. But politics is a fundamental part of our lives whether we like it or not; as it is very much alive in our daily living. So I have to be at least aware. My hopes is that whichever political party is taking over the baton to govern this country has to enrure or at least solve immediate problems, probably not obviious to some but visible to many.

There are problems in different dimensions. Perhaps the real issue in this coming election is about pockets of loopholes in the policies that look great. We have world class education, but we have sky high fees. It may look low when compared with other countries; but if you were to really ask people from the ground, a lot of lower middle class and working class folks say they cannot afford fees at some of the coveted top schools. I am not perfectly sure why this is a problem when I’ve thought that there are scholarships lying around. Very often, we need to see the reality.There are people who cannot pay medical bills despite medisaves, medifunds and medicares. But the third dimension of this sort of problems really links to income and the proportion of these earnings that is spent on bills. Foreign talent has always been a topic, not so much because Singaporeans do not welcome them but because some of  these talent are not really talents but workers who come in at the expense of locals of similar calibre. Foreign talent can stimulate our economy by giving us the technical expertise that we may or are really short of. A progressive country is one that attracts the world’s best and tap on their expertise to benefit our society; allowing the locals to further their knowledge and skills to improve their innovations in both product and service. However foreigners can be a double edged sword if we do not have the tact to do so because we are a very tiny nation. Some issues are mainly about the difference in cultures. Some on the unwillingness to conform. There are many. Any unrest between local and foreigners can be dire. And because we are a small country, many things are hard to tackle.

This coming election has cooked up a lot of issues. The quality of candidates for the opposition parties has shown marked improvement. Former government scholars like Chen Show Mao joining to opposition parties is getting popular and more accepted than in the past. What I am worrying now at this point of writing is that of a chaos that might come in. This election is different from the past. It is even different from the one 5 years ago. I have never seen polarising situation such as this. But I hope I am wrong

Indeed there is plenty of room for improvement. The nature of issues today are far different than it was back in the 1950s, 60s or even till the 70s. I wasn’t born then, but to hold some of the past in the present, I have learnt a great deal from my grandparents and teachers who most of them are already deceased. In their memory, Singapore suffered through being a small country, where poverty existed. Then there was a line of unrests, social and racial riots. Jobs were unstable and chaos was rampant. The way we rise and the way we fall are very closely linked to the dynamics of the social and economic costs. I hope whoever is taking up the future debates of this coming election will address these costs seriously.— Karen Fu