Monday, 22 August 2011

Will non-English speaking voters be the king makers in this Presidential electionr ?



By now, it is quite clear who they are going to vote in the coming Presidential election for the majority of the English speaking voters. The young and educated will go for a non-PAP endorsed candidate. The rich, elites plus the conservative and civil servants will likely to vote for Tony Tan.

What happened to non-English speaking voters? How big is their share in the total votes? Who is their preferred candidate?  It seems that this group of voters are neglected by the candidates as well as the social media.

There is no Roundtable discussion, Face-to-Face exchanges and CNA discussion program on Presidential candidates in other languages other than English.  But we are in 4-corner fight and a significant change of mind in these voters will certainly affect the results. 

Non-English speaking voters are important

Therefore, their votes are important. Their share in the total votes is very high.  It can be as low as 30% and as high as 50% depending on different definition. So, why are they not involved or not informed? Is it done on purpose? And who is benefiting from the inaction? 

Dr Tony Tan, of course.

He is the established brand name in the market. In Chinese, he is an old trade mark.  Although he can not speak mandarin well, many senior citizens, especially old ladies, like him.  He is like a trusted brand and will have the support of this group of voters. 

And these voters are not interested in the discussions in Roundtable, Face-to-Face, CNA, or even social media. But one man one vote, whoever has the most votes will win.

Example of Aljunied and Bukit Timah-Holland

In the recent GE in May, why there is a breakthrough in Aljunied and not Bukit-Timah-Holland?  Besides the SDP brand name, there are other reasons too. 

It is understood that the SDP team put up a good fight in the middle and upper class area but not the HDB estates.  While the WP team scored an overall win in all areas.

So, the SDP team lost because of the non-English speaking voters in the HDB areas. And when you compare the two teams, the WP teams can certainly reach out to the HDB voters easily because they speak their language. 

How can 4 English speaking candidates reach out to non-English speaking voters?   

Doing nothing is to the benefit of Tony Tan even though he (and also Tan Cheng Bock) can hardly speak a word of Mandarin (even though he was once Minister for Education).  

Jee Say and Kin Lian should try to reach out to these voters. At least they can speak better Mandarin and dialects than Tony. They should take advantage of their strength in this area, perhaps also in their coming rally.

Voters, with better informed information, will ignore the endorsements of clan associations, chambers, unions, etc. and make their own judgement.  But the local controlled newspapers and television can influence the non-English speaking voters everyday. 

Confidence for Tony and PM Lee

Even PM Lee is doing it indirectly when he warned that Singapore is too small to afford political paralysis, especially the loss of confidence by investors, by the markets.

Does it sound like Tony’s Confidence for the Future?

Speaking at the Ang Mo Kio-Hougang National Day Dinner, PM Lee reminded Singaporeans (in particular to non-English speaking voters): "We are too small to be able to afford impasse and gridlock, to have two sides blocking one another so you can't move, you can't solve problems, you can't go ahead. We have to work together. The government is doing our part, we need voters, we need every citizen to do their part." (CNA)

Needless to say, he wants to send the ‘right’ message to non-English speaking voters through the local media. His warning and reminder are to keep them stay put and vote for the establishment endorsed candidate. 

Don’t under-estimate non-English speaking voters

An under-estimation of non-English speaking voters will cause any candidate dearly.  Tony knows he will benefit from the inaction of other candidates as the government and the state media will help him to campaign. 

Non-English speaking voters should include Chinese, Malay and Indian voters. They want to hear the candidates and their views on the role of the Elected President.

Act now before it is too late.

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