The Next Time the PAP Asks for My Vote

I have reason to believe that PAP politicians are given a handbook with a title like The PAPalian Hermeneutics of Criticism. This seems to me to be the only reason they quite consistently interpret what the public says in a style for which they should be awarded a patent. My guess would be that the book has a maxim: When people ask for an inch, it means that they are trying to extort a yard from you. This should not come across as too much of a surprise since the linguistic ineptitude of most citizens below the ruling class is appalling, most not having been even a mile near an Ivy League.

Following the maxim, when the public complains (like all the uncouth members of the lower classes do) that hikes in transport fares are unreasonable, it means that they are asking for free public transport. If those dirty beggars look at you pleadingly for what they euphemistically call financial aid or basic welfare, they must be demanding to live a life of luxury off government coffers. If they so cunningly appeal for so-called democracy, they are actually threatening to topple the best government to ever have existed in the history of civilization.

We therefore have to commend Kuan Yew’s son (the Prime Minister, that is) for flawlessly applying the teachings of the handbook. His mentor ought to be proud of him. On the floods that have taken place recently, he comments, “I don’t think it’s possible in Singapore to expect the place to be completely free of floods.” His intelligence is unrivalled. He has completely exposed deviousness of those who have hypocritically expressed concern about the freak floods. They are simply expecting a flood-free universe (because, I believe, they subscribe to a theory that each time a freak flood takes place, they age fifty years).

No one should blame Kuan Yew’s son for his subtle insinuations for public expectations have to be managed before they go out of hand. The way in which he interprets complex phenomena such as the noise made about floods is tried and tested and reliable. We know, for instance, that when PAP politicians ask for our votes, they are expecting an opposition-free parliament. Being the conscientious learner and dutiful minion-without-opinions that I am, I know how to respond the next time a PAP politician comes knocking on my door for votes.

And the reader must pardon me for my adulation of Kuan Yew’s son. There exists a group of people in Singapore (whom some jealously and so erroneously accuse of being The Elite) who are so privileged when it comes to wisdom that every little morsel of sagacity that they let loose would benefit us greatly—if we had the right degree of humility to learn from them. Take for example SMRT CEO Saw Phaik Hua who has gained overnight fame through just one sentence: “People can board the train – it’s a matter of whether they choose to.” Look at how ingeniously she, like Kuan Yew’s son, dissects the rhetoric of unreasonable critics.


Saw: always ready to cut you down to size

Ms Saw uses statistics to persuade us and this is what we should do instead of maligning everyone just because we are dissatisfied with certain things in life. She tells us that even at its most crowded, an SMRT train carries only about 1400 people. On the other hand, she patiently explains, it is considered crush load only when the train carries more than 2000 people.

Yes, it is believed that at their most crowded, SMRT trains can fit about 600 more people before it is considered truly crowded. If it helps, allow me to emphasize that 600 people is quite a lot of people and therefore SMRT trains have never ever been crowded. Imagine a fully occupied upper deck of an SBS double-decker. 600 people is about 12 times that many people. Currently, even when it is experiencing the highest passenger volume, an SMRT train can actually fit in 12 more upper-decks of people. How could this possibly be considered crowded?

Despite the bravado I have shown above, I must confess that I have absolutely no idea how to fit these 12 upper-decks of hooligans into the most crowded SMRT train I have traveled in (not without making another joke about saws anyway), but that must be because I still have a lot to learn from those who earn more in one year than what I may take a dozen freak-flood years to earn. (One freak-flood year is 0.5 century, if you need me to jog your memory.) No doubt, out of sheer jealousy, I may retort that our transport companies can provide better service—it’s only whether they choose to. After all, I can easily assert this with much more certainty than claiming (for instance) that the government is capable of better leadership and it’s only whether it chooses to. But surely this would be to miss the point. If we have learnt our lessons well, we really should not expect transport companies to offer us free chauffeurs and limousines. Neither can we demand the government to bow down to the whims of badass citizens.

Reclaiming Our Imagination

Mr. Ling Tuck Mun writes to the Straits Times forum asking people to imagine a Singapore without the PAP. And leaves nothing to the imagination. By simultaneously inviting us to imagine and denying us the space to imagine within his territory, he attempts to violate even Singaporeans’ right to even imagine a better world without the PAP. He is attempting to pollute one of the last avenues of subversion against the all-encompassing hegemony of the PAP which Singaporeans have. What a heinous, despicable perpetrator of injustice. May a million victims (or cyber terrorists, as Lionel De Souza calls them) eviscerate the vile monster his rhetoric is.

First, Ling invites us to imagine the unimaginable and totally illogical, almost mocking Singaporeans already:

Imagine the People’s Action Party (PAP) at this month’s Budget successfully enacting a law to distribute most of the country’s reserves to all eligible Singaporeans.

Each Singaporean would likely become a millionaire overnight. Imagine the tsunami of joy sweeping each person, who would literally be a first prize Toto winner instantly.

What joy would there be if the PAP were to distribute the money in this way. Being a millionaire would mean nothing when everyone is one. But, moving on from this bizarre scenario, Ling says:

The only sum set aside would be the same amount of reserves that Singapore had when it separated from Malaysia in 1965.

In fairness to the next political party forming the government, the sum should factor in a reasonable rate of interest to match inflation over the years.

What? What next political party forming the government? Most people might already be beyond bewildered at this point, but there is no need to worry. Ling will clarify:

The task before this new party is to build Singapore up in the manner the PAP has done.

Imagine the dissolution of Parliament immediately after this month’s Budget to make way for a general election.

The PAP recuses itself from this election after concluding that Singaporeans would prefer a fresh political party at the helm.

Ling is effectively mocking the desperate hope of the Singaporean hopeless. There should be no greater act of sedition than this. First, he presents an exaggerated and ludicrous scenario of the PAP government distributing the reserves to everyone. Here, one detects a hint of mockery targeting those who criticize the government for not doing enough to help the poor and for being too stubbornly anti-welfare despite the fact that the country has accumulated immense reserves over the years. Next, he has the PAP withdrawing from politics, as if to pander to those who are hoping that the PAP would be voted out of power. Ling even explains:

The PAP would no longer need to explain the need for Central Provident Fund savings, to delay retirement, import foreign workers to grow the economy, ensure sufficient public housing and public transport, build up a credible and strong defence force, establish quality and value-for-money health care and public education and so on.

In other words: Hey, you no longer have to complain about all the PAP policies you hate!

Of course it does not stop there. Ling deals your imagination a blow:

I wonder if any Singaporean can still be confident of the worth of having a million dollars without the PAP in power.

In other words: Without the PAP in power, Singapore will collapse economically. This is the Ling Tuck Mun version of Kuan Yew Illogic: vote Mah Bow Tan out and your flats will become worthless; talk more about having an opposition and you will become maids in other countries.

Which is to say: You complainers should stop your bloody complaints about the dubious CPF scheme which seems to stop you from withdrawing your own money. You should stop whining about how the PAP thinks you should never retire even though you earn literally only a small fraction of the salary of that old man in the Parliament who should have retired five decades ago etire but did not. You should stop feeling disgruntled about the ridiculous foreign talent policy which, after all, is to grow the economy for YOUR good. You should not demand that the government ensures that there is an adequate supply of public housing so that prices will not rise to unimaginable levels. It will be equally atrocious for you to ask for better public transport than bus companies treating you as sardines. And of course, you should never attempt an invective about the state raping people by conscripting them. Not to mention criticize the health care system despite how cheap and excellent it is.

Because no political party other than the PAP is able bring about economic progress. Or rather: because you know that no political party other than the PAP is able bring about economic progress. And you believe that economic progress is all that is important.

And because everything you have, the PAP Gods gave it to you.

Without the PAP, you are nothing.

Without the PAP, Ling Tuck Mun is nothing. With the PAP, he might be considered Singapore’s foremost intellectually disabled Villain. No, I did not mean that. I am actually only asking you to imagine that. After all, to quote Ling, “[t]he notion may be a figment of the imagination, but it is worth pondering, if only because it helps put matters in perspective for the ordinary Singaporean.”

Molly is just contributing her divine feline perspective for the ordinary Singaporean to imagine.

“That is, to imagine a Singapore without the PAP.”

Yes, imagine a Singapore without the PAP. Perhaps Ling Tuck Muns and Lional De Souzas would not exist.

Let us imagine a Singapore without the PAP, without PAP sycophants telling us how to imagine.

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