Monday, February 18, 2013

What Would Be The Response?

For years, political parties in Singapore have been complaining about the apathy of Singaporeans. This complain is mostly true because we Singaporeans most of the time have no interest in politics.

So it’s came to me with some surprise when I read that around 4,000 people showed up at a protest at Hong Lim Park during the weekend. The protest was against the passing of the now infamous “6.9 million by 2030” White Paper of the Singapore government.

Now I have written before on how unpopular the White Paper is but even I am surprised by the number of people who turned up at the protest. To be fair to myself, even the organizers of the protest did not expect so many people to turn up. I read that one organizer thought that around 300 people would turn up; in the end, the exact number of people who showed up was 10 times more than expected!

I have to say this proves that the White Paper has hit a raw nerve among ordinary Singaporeans. The crowd at Hong Lim Park showed up despite the rain and it could be argued that even more people would have showed up if it wasn’t raining.

All in all, the White Paper has been nothing but trouble for the Singapore government. Not only are ordinary Singaporeans dead set against it, the opposition parties in Singapore have quietly and effectively hopped on the bandwagon. Their presence in the debate has made the situation into a political crisis for the ruling People's Action Party (PAP).

The protest at Hong Lim is almost unheard of in Singapore and it present a new set of challenges for the PAP. It would be interesting to see how they response to the political millstone The White Paper had become. The ball is now in their court. 


Anonymous said...

I was there. The crowd was 5k to

Ghost said...

Unfortunately even the organizers of the protest did not give a direct headcount, so the size of the crowd is in dispute. However, whether it's 3k, 4k, or 7k frankly doesn't really matter. I think its more important that thousands of people showed up in the rain to protest against the White Paper. The act itself was important, not the size of the crowd.