This morning, I was stunned to read this post from Dr Tan Cheng Bock, former Member of Parliament. It was his speech from 1985 (mind you, that was 26 years ago), part of the debate on the President’s Address. He was speaking on the growing disconnect between the PAP and the people, and Dr Tan reposted this speech this week in the wake of the General Elections 2011 where the PAP saw a vote drop from 66% to 60%.
This paragraph spoke to me the most, both as a father and a citizen:
Mr Speaker, Sir, I would like to relate an incident involving my son. I took him to the Botanic Gardens one day, when he was very young. I was eager to see the Orchids section, and so I walked very very fast. He shouted to me to wait for him. I turned around, only to urge him on. I had presumed he was able to follow me but suddenly he stopped calling. I turned back and found him seated on a stone at the far end of the road. I walked to him. I saw that he was angry and in tears and, with arms folded, he burst out, “Why didn’t you wait for me?” He refused to move in spite of my apologies. He was hurt. He interpreted my fast pace as not caring, and this is how the people view the PAP.
I didn’t want to keep harping on the General Elections, but his post shows that history always repeats itself. Amusingly, the Gahmen and school principals have discouraged students from studying history and literature over the years in the pursuit of hard sciences and engineering.
Look what that has wrought.