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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Jingoism Fatique

Jingoism Fatique

The PAP proclaimed itself to be no mere political party but a 'national movement', erasing the distinction between nation and party. This worked for a while, to the detriment of the Opposition.

But there are obvious signs that the people are sick and tired of the PAP, thanks in no small measure to brave fighters like Dr Chee and Mr Jeyaretnam.

There is such a thing as jingoism-fatigue and with just 6 days to go before National Day, the lack of flags throughout Singapore is truly refreshing. Just looking at the HDB blocks around mine, I see less than 5% flying flags. Even though many, like my flat did, got a free flag outside our door one morning a few days ago, I am not flying it. In past years, there were concerted attempts by the PAP grassroot organisations to hang flags along the balconies of flats, so the blocks look nice and patriotic and of course, pro-PAP. Nowadays, they don't seem to be doing it anymore. Perhaps like previous years, those blocks facing the MRT routes are being thus decorated but probably not.

And that is the danger the PAP should recognise. When it erased all distinctions between State and Party, to its obvious benefit, when the people become disenchanted with the PAP, they also become disenchanted with Singapore.

The PAP should seriously reconsider this strategy before it is too late and cynicism erodes all national feelings. Rule by fear is a short-term strategy at best. And if LKY is gone, GCT and Lee Junior will not be able to inspire the same degree of servile fear. The backlash has already started. Eventually, it will put many more Opposition in Parliament. Only LKY's health and presence are all that stand against it. I think, the coming Presidential Elections will be an interesting event to watch.


Loyal Singaporean
3 Aug 99