The 3 Ks of Singapore’s political tapestry

The kiasu, kiasi and kia chenghu mentality of Singaporeans is most pronounced in the political landscape for many decades. Opposition parties tended to play it safe, avoid controversies for fear of having a date with Sue. Many of the pioneering generations of politicians have learnt it the hard way and paid for it dearly, bankrupted and spending time in jail. So one cannot simply blame the opposition parties for wanting to play it safe, see nothing, hear nothing and say nothing.

The most successful of the opposition parties, the Workers Party, thought they had the successful formula to take on the ruling party, by the tortoise and hare race, slow and steady and they will get there at the end of the day. They avoided controversies and concentrated on building grassroot support, devoted to solving municipal affairs, to show the residents that they are indeed a very hard working party working for the people. It failed badly in the last GE, but not just because they did not work hard and adopted a wrong policy. Of course there were many other factors that led to a farcical result that no seasoned political observer thought was real.

Opposition parties cannot just work quietly on the ground, to clean and sweep the roads, make sure that the drains are cleared and the amenities are working. They are national parties and should be involved in national issues affecting the people. Not saying anything, not doing anything would not do. They must speak up and stand up to be noticed, to mean business.

After the debacle of the last GE, it was like a death bell to the opposition parties. If they cannot reinvent themselves and discard the 3Ks, they can forget about standing for election in the next GE and think the people will give them their votes. As political parties, political leaders, Kiasu, Kiasi and Kia chenghu, how are they going to represent the people, to speak up for the people? There are risk, big risk, but this is politics. If one is afraid of risk taking, then one should not be in politics.

Some changes are starting to happen albeit very carefully and in a very small way. We are hearing the opposition parties starting to talk about current issues. The MRT breakdowns and the Hepatitis C outbreak are receiving attention from the opposition parties. Chee Soon Juan has been vocal and so is Goh Meng Seng. And it is a welcoming change that the WP is also coming out from the caves in Hougang and Aljunied to speak up on the same issues. The new and second generation leaders in WP like Leon Perera, Dennis Tan, Gerald Giam are breaking away from the old mould of Low Thia Khiang and Sylvia Lim and are speaking out.

Yes, opposition leaders that want to be leaders must speak out. How can political leaders aspiring to be national leaders have on opinion or views on issues that are affecting the people? Ridiculous! If political leaders are afraid of Sue, better to find safety in a 8 to 5 job as an employee. There is still time, 4 years to the next GE, for the opposition leaders to make themselves known and heard by the people, to speak up for the people and to tell the govt that wrong is wrong, mistake is mistake, and take the govt to task if they fumbled, just like the PAP took them to task in the AHPETC affair. Take the bull by the horns and face the music, challenge the conventional thoughts, challenge the ruling govt, but without being reckless.

The opposition parties must work hard from now, not during the few days before the GE. There is a need for a dynamic change and a new paradigm in the way they want to politic and to win the hearts and minds of the people. Running away and hiding in the caves are not an option. Stand up, speak out to be counted. You need to make yourself a familiar face with the people, to be easily recognizable, to be assessed and to prove yourself that you are able to form the next govt. You have 4 years to establish a credential of credibility.


Anonymous said...

Not really lah. Because in Sinkie politics, what really matters is how strong and united the opposition is to be ready to be govt, not how loud they speak out.

Because 70% will never vote for parties which are not ready to be govt, so the 70% will just treat it as hot air even if the opposition speak loudly.

That's why WP Teochew Ah Hia never do useless things like speaking loudly outside Parliament, but rather make the best out of the situation that he and his party face. And for one, he knows that WP is unlikely to be ready to be govt even by next election!

Anonymous said...

Because in Sinkie politics, what really matters is how strong and united the opposition is to be ready to be govt, not how loud they speak out.
Anon 9:33 am

Tiok. And leave the loudspeakers to non politicians like RB and netizens. They can say useless things because they are not MPs or don't aspire to be MPs.

agongkia said...

You miss one K....Kia Bor.

Anonymous said...

Hey dog 9:40, why are you here everyday listening to useless things? You seow or what? Shoo, shoo.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Chua
May I salute your determination to continue to try and do what is right for Singaporeans and Singapore in your blog.

Anonymous said...

Hey son of a bitch 10:29 am, why you bother I listen to useless things? You don't like then don't read lah. Also not your blog what, so why you barking?

Ⓜatilah $ingapura⚠️ said...

The crux, as I have always maintained is CULTURE. 3 or 4 "K" is all part of the CULTURE...it is indelibly woven into the mental complex of every Singaporean voter, and hence---as RB put it---into the POLITICAL TAPESTRY of the whole Mother Cuntree.

The opposition, in their campaign tend to go against the culture, especially K1 and K2, i.e.: Kiasu (K1) and Kiasi (K2). In Singapore, you lose or you die is your business...so better don't lose and don't die.

The PAP as Masters Of the Game at manipulating K1 and K2. Everything from CPF + HDB, to Singapore will fall if the wrong govt. gets in....all these are extentions on the many forms and tools used to teak and manipulate the voters' K1 and K2 sensitivities.

At the moment the PAP is using K1 and K2 to scare the population about voting in oppositions.

Any would-be opposition needs to "connect" with the voters, especially using K1 and K2 to paint the opposition in a favourable light (aka "The Carrot") and then to paint the PAP as a cancerous evil which needs to be quickly cut out and discarded, or the cuntree dies. (aka "The Stick")

Anonymous said...

Hi RB, which planet have you just come from? Where have you been over the last 50 or so years? Here in Singapore opposition parties are only in existence for show. Nothing can unseat the PAP. The last GE has shown that the PAP is gaining popularity and can never be toppled. Why? Because it is the right party for Singapore. The current government knows what is good for the Singaporeans. The policy of inviting FTs from all over the world to come here is the right way to go. If Singaporeans feel unsettled by the new citizens, then they must try harder to compete. Remember the spurs and the thick hide of the Singaporeans? It is good for the country to have injection of foreign expertise and new blood. The PAP government is always looking out for Singaporeans, whether true blue or new, there should be no difference. Our target of 6.9 million or maybe more is good for the country. We need more people to come here to help grow our economy and improve our annual GDP. Long may the PAP be in control. If the system works why change. The opposition is an unknown, so why accept the unknown when we already have one of the best government in the world?

Anonymous said...

/// Long may the PAP be in control. If the system works why change. ///
December 14, 2015 12:31 pm

MRT trains breaking down.
Three public hospitals having outbreaks since GE 2015.
On what measurement do we have "one of the best government in the world"?

Anonymous said...

Did a foreigner inject some new blood into your mother to have you talking like that?

Anonymous said...

"The PAP government is always looking out for Singaporeans, ... "
December 14, 2015 12:31 pm

I don't believe.
What proof do you offer to support this statement?

Anonymous said...

Agree with 12.31

Singaporeans are so lucky to have the PAP for government.