Being ‘elitist’ is more of a behaviour than a state. You could have the world’s riches and not be elitist or you could be poor and yet be elitist. I fear poor Mr Jason Soon does not understand this distinction. Here’s his (not very well-thought out words)
IN PREVIOUS general elections, it was always the People’s Action Party (PAP) fielding well-qualified candidates, who were usually top professionals in their respective fields. The opposition, on the other hand, used to face a problem of attracting qualified candidates.
The opposition used this to whip up sentiments on the ground by labelling the PAP as a party of the elite, who were unable to sufficiently understand the needs of average citizens.
For this general election, the PAP has fielded a slate of candidates coming from diverse backgrounds. Isn’t PAP doing what it thought the people wanted – which is to see some representation from people having similar heartland roots?
However, it appears that whatever the PAP does, a minority group of the electorate remains dissatisfied, and some PAP candidates were criticised by netizens.
I wonder why the opposition is offering a slate of impressive candidates now, especially after it has persistently labelled the PAP as elitist.
Firstly, Mr Soon, find out why people call the PAP candidates elitist. Perhaps they are people who think that the homeless are “homeless-by-choice“. Maybe they are also the people, when confronted with the need for more comprehensive public assistance, immediately respond by asking “How much do you want? Do you want three meals in a hawker centre, food court or restaurant?“. I suppose it might be that they seem to think that all the needy Singaporeans are lazy and will take advantage of public assistance should we give any, so the best is to not give.
Secondly, Mr Soon should do a little research into what the opposition candidates stand for – are their policies benefiting the rich more than the poor? For example, they may argue that GST should be reduced because they (secretly) want to help the rich. Then, perhaps you’ll be right in calling them elitist.
Thirdly, Mr Soon should learn that just because it looks like a duck, it may not actually be a duck. It would have to talk like a duck too. A little more thought, a little more analysis – always a good thing.
Let’s do a count:
30 April 2011
17 letters in total; 9 in the forum; 8 in the forum online
Notes: I did not count the one which was just a small quote and neutral includes those which didn’t seem related to the elections at all. Lastly, this is completely unscientific and probably contain my biases.