by Augustine Low
It is said time and again that 70% of Singaporeans are daft or stupid – the 70% who invariably vote for the PAP. This daft label presumably comes from among the 30% who form the anti-PAP/pro-Opposition camp, probably out of anger or frustration, or a bit of both.
In reality, we can’t possibly paint with broad brush strokes and pin a damning label on such a big group. If people vote for the PAP for self-serving reasons, because they have done well and benefited from the system, can we really say they are daft?
There are those who, while not exactly endowed with riches, are contented to have a roof over their heads and a decent job. So they are thankful for small mercies and why rock the boat?
Do not be surprised also at the sheer numbers of those who have been conditioned to think that the PAP has made all things possible and is indispensible. So again, why take a gamble?
As for new citizens, they have every reason to go with the government of the day that has extended to them the hand of hospitality, in a land of plenty compared to where they came from.
I believe there is another sizeable group among the 70%, the ones I would term the buat bodoh – Malay for faking ignorance. The buat bodoh just want to carry on their blissful existence, they choose to see no evil, hear no evil. They are on auto pilot, taking the easy way out and the path of least resistance by sticking with the PAP.
And the PAP knows too well the above categories of Singaporeans – they pander to them with their promises, assurances and fear mongering. In particular the idea that there could be a freak election result and Singaporeans could wake up and find the PAP no more in power. This works like magic each and every time.
It is too smug of some of those in the 30% to think they know best. If they attack everything and everybody in sight, then they come across as unhinged attack dogs and this ruffles the feathers of the 70%. In fact, the PAP would be more wary if the 30% becomes more restrained, disciplined and focused. Not everything is down in the dumps, not every man and woman in white deserves condemnation.
The 70% are not daft – just that their fears are easily stoked (and the PAP knows it) and they are prone to taking the path of least resistance, and the path of low risk and high self-interest.