Discussion in www.theonlinecitizen.com
smallvoice585 on November 25th, 2008 2.31 am
Dear Tan Kin Lian,
With due respect, sir, I believe that you are not ready for politics yet. Though you have been a PAP member for 30 years, you have not been engaged in any grassroots work in the last 20 years. You also have no experience in electioneering. You do not have a dedicated or well-organised support structure around you.
People know you to be a long-time CEO of NTUC Income for 30 years; recently as an on-line protester against insurance bonus cuts; and lately, as a champion of burnt financial product investors. I’m afraid that’s not enough to gain credibility as the next big thing in alternative politics. People need to know your stand, views and ideas on a full spectrum of political issues articulated consistently over a significant period of time. They need to see proof of a wider range of leadership qualities required in political office.
Of course, please do not misconstrue that I’m trying to discourage you.
But the 100,000 signatures that this article is calling for is in my view totally irrelevant. True politicians do not ask for a show of hands before entering the fray - they offer themselves as instruments for their beliefs and willingly submit themselves to the caprice of public opinion. That is, you do not ask for support before you commit, but you should commit first and see if you’re getting any support. If you are not ready for this uncertainty, then it speaks volumes about your dedication to your political cause.
Tan Kin Lian on November 25th, 2008 5.19 am
You are correct. I am not “ready” for politics …. in the conventional way. There are many examples of more capable people who came into politics during the past 20 years. Most of them did not survive. Only two did, and they have a lot of difficulty in building up their base of support.
You are also correct about the lack of a political machinery. It takes more than this political machinery for an alternative party to succeed- as it has to compete with the incumbent that has more resources beyond its own political machinery..
I wanted to take a different approach - to create awareness, to educate the public. The recent event involving the 10,700 investors of the credit linked notes show how bad things can be - that the government can just ignore the call to do the right thing and enforce the law.
If more people come forward to voice their views, it may wake up the current leaders and create the change that is desriable and good for the country. An important change is to recognise that the elected leaders should represent the people, and that a free contest is for the good of the country.
Many people said that an alternative party needs more than one person. How do you expect other people to come forward? They are not willing to sacrifice their career. They will be subject to discrimination. Maybe 100,000 signatures will change their mind.
Will my approach work? Some people think so. Others are sceptical. I am willing to give it a try. If it does not, I can go back and retire.
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