Friday, 2 September 2011

Don’t make the Presidential Election only for the Elites and English Speaking voters?




PE2100, a national election, looks more like an election for English speaking voters only. There was no PE2011 debate for non-English speaking voters and even the announcement of result was another letdown. No television life coverage, besides CNA, was aired for non-English speaking voters. 

I thought there was a budget for PE2011 and why they never considered a national broadcasting and result announcement for PE2011 in all official languages?  

Anticipation of a freak election result

Readers of Chinese newspaper, Wanbao, were disappointed and had complained to the newspaper.  The state television’s reporting on PE2011 is so different from GE2011. Not surprising, if you look at the front page of the Straits Times on 27 August 2011, the polling date, the main story was also not on PE2011. 

Did they anticipate a freak election that Dr Tony Tan might not win the race?

If not, what is the purpose of having 4 official languages in Singapore?  What is the purpose of having bi-lingual policy?  No wonder our children do not want to learn their mother’s tongue.

Short-changing of information  

The non-English speaking voters are in fact the strongest supporters for Tony Tan.  It is strange that they are short-changed for information on PE2011 and less informed about the debates, discussions like the ST Round Table, TOC Face to Face and CNA meet the candidates programs.   

If English speaking voters are not satisfied to have only 3 ST, TOC and CNA debates/discussions, then the non-English speaking voters would really have reasons to voice their dissatisfaction. They don’t even have the privilege to have one such debate or discussion.

Unhealthy democratic process

Is it healthy for a certain group of voters not actively participated (or even worst, denying to have full information of the candidates) in a democratic process of electing a President?

Is this arrangement intentionally to deny this group of voters for full PE2011 information? 

Unifying and reaching out to non-English speaking voters  

How does a unifying President reach out to this group of people? President Tony Tan tried very hard with his ‘broken’ Mandarin in the 2 Chinese television PE broadcasts. But to unite the people, there are more to be done. 

The first step is to reach out to those who voted against you and then to those who voted for you but did not have full picture of how you could become an independent President.     

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