Yesterday’s MARUAH post-elections forum was part analytical, part group therapy. For the many opposition voters there, it seemed a cathartic experience. VMA, as one participant described it, i.e. not Alcoholics Anonymous, but Vocal Minority Anonymous.
For me, aside from the camaraderie I felt with many people there, new friends and old, it was also an honour to be on stage with my former teacher, Braema Mathi, president of MARUAH, who taught me at St. Andrew’s Secondary School in the early 1990s.
It was also a great treat to share the stage with such a varied group of speakers, including Alex Au, migrant worker and gay rights activist and a friend for many years, Derek Da Cunha, a political analyst, Rafiz Hapipi of MARUAH, Jack Lee of SMU, and Terry Xu of The Online Citizen.
I learned a lot from all of them; and when the video recording is ready, I will post it here, so you can see what they each said (update: videos ready, see the end of this post).
But for now, I just want to share the three questions I posed yesterday during my presentation.
Did populism win or lose?
Has political apathy returned?
Do Singaporeans ever want an alternative policy platform?
The answers to these questions, I believe, will tell us a lot about the evolution of Singapore’s democracy over the next 10-15 years, if not the next five.
These are incoherent thoughts, and perhaps contradictory. But anyway, here you go. Any comments and responses of course welcome.
1) Did populism win or lose?