By: 永久浪客/Forever Vagabond
An opposition supporter volunteered to be a polling agent for Dr Chee during last week’s Bt Batok by-election.
Manning the polling station were 3 PAP polling agents, each on separate shifts. The opposition supporter had a chance to talk to all 3 as he was on a long shift – there was a lack of manpower on SDP’s side to man the polling stations.
The opposition supporter being quite a perceptive person tried to size up the kind of voters who would support the PAP.
Let’s call the opposition supporter, F.
“All three are living in Bukit Batok in four-room HDB flats and are grassroots volunteers with the RCs,” F said. “They seemed to recognise the voters streaming in.”
For example, through them, F got to know who the vegetable sellers, fruit sellers, the hawkers and the coffee stall assistants are. So, it appears that the grassroots members know their residents quite well.
Obviously, grassroots members being PAP supporters themselves and also knowing the residents well, help to influence the voting decisions of those residents in their estate.
“This is the strength of PAP,” F noted.
F also noticed that a good number of the voters in Bt Batok are elderly on wheelchairs and walking sticks.
“Some looked quite sick,” F said.
The three also spoke freely and told F about the community retreats, euphemism for holidays, they get to go at least once a year presumably. Apparently, their “annual holidays” are paid for by the Community Clubs through the People’s Association.
One of them was trying to entice F to “go over” to PAP’s camp by dangling the retreat “carrots” in front of him. F just smiled back.
F reckoned that this may be the primary reason why these people volunteer to “help” in grassroots organizations, because of all these “PA-financed” goodies and benefits given to grassroots members.
F also asked one of the PAP polling agents if there are many PRs in grassroots organizations. The person said there are not many in Bt Batok because it is an old estate. But in other places, a number of Chinese and Filipino PRs can be seen serving in grassroots organizations.
And obviously, with all these great “PA-financed” goodies and benefits, who could blame the PRs for joining our Singapore’s grassroots organizations?
F thought that the 3 PAP polling agents are quite a contended lot.
“They seemed so contended with a four room and below HDB apartment, no aspirations, no ambition to climb the social ladder but surprisingly they too agreed with me on the socioeconomic issues confronting Singapore,” F said.
One of the issues is housing. They know that for HDB flats which are more than 40 years old, they will have a hard time selling it should they need to. This is because banks will not finance the sale of these old HDB resale flats.
After lengthy discussions, one of the PAP polling agents was so afraid that he asked F, “Got hidden cameras and recording devices here at this polling station or not?”
Another, when he saw the PAP candidate Murali walking into the polling station dismissively told F, “Cannot talk already, he is coming in now.”
That’s pathetic, F noted himself. F asked, “How can people shake off the yoke of oppression with this kind of thinking and behavior?”
Indeed, there appears to be a lack of critical thinking among these type of voters in Singapore.
More importantly, these are the kind of voters, who appear to be in the majority, that our opposition will have to contend with come GE2020.

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