Frustratingly, I didn't manage to blog about the Singaporean election in the period when actual Singaporeans were banned from doing so - ie the entire campaign - during which the big names of the S'pore blogosphere rolled over ironically twitching beneath the slogan 'Remember, prison got no broadband.'
Yes, The Other Mr Brown even started a movement of technorati-tagging non-political Singaporean blogging during the election as 'singaporeelection', which was great as performative ironic resistance unmasking the fascism behind this cleansing of the public transcript - but also made it a bit more difficult to find actual blogging about the Singapore election. Yet another step in Mr Brown cementing his borderline role in Singaporean politics: hmm... fool of the state? ... or tool of the state? His series of 'explicitly non-political podcasts' during the election were sensationally popular. Did people hope they would have some kind of satirical political content? They didn't exactly - apart from the conceptual gag of their pointedly non-political content, which ran pretty thin. If Singaporeans are living in the Orwellian endzone where, if 'truth' means 'lies' and 'peace' means 'war', then 'nonpolitical' can in fact be coded as 'political' to some degree of satisfaction, like finding beauty in the ongoing evidence of vandalism when regarding Auckland City Council patchwork paintovers of city graffiti, or locating the core of black humour in which representing yourself and your people as politically castrated zombies is a political victory in itself. You can hear some Singaporeans genuinely not talking about politics at the hawker centre here. Truly, ostentatious obedience is the new resistance.
At least Rockson just didn't give a shit. Because the government doesn't know his real name. Thank god for Rockson.
The election has been a pumped up version of the usual story - the persecuted Opposition wins two seats despite receiving 33% of the popular vote. The PAP's 66.6% is its worst election result ever, down from 75% at the previous ballot which was at that time, also the worst result ever. In the last few years the PAP has been dogged by scandal and mocked by the politically intelligent fans of democracy that many Singaporeans actually do seem to be. As Rockson puts it:
And Ang Mo Kio [electorate] is the best! ...Six no-experience young punk fight the Small Dragon [Lee 'Hsiao' Loong, Prime Minister, son of Lee Kuan Yew] and can win until 33% of the vote there! Lim Boon Heng got say 85% win for Small Lee right? Hahahahahaha!!!! Where is your 85% now? 70 fucking percent also dun have! Still can say got mandate and got new young voter support. Just kena fuck backside by six virgin, support ki lan ah! AMK the 66.13% cannot even beat the average Singapore 66.6% score.
Let's keep rolling with Rockson, because we love him so, and also because Singabloodypore has exceeded his bandwidth with all his election podcasting exertions on behalf of the Singapore Democratic Party. Here's one of Rockson's illegal election-period blogs which quotes PM Lee Hsien-Loong outlining his objection to the existence of a democratic opposition.
Mr Lee says: "What is the opposition's job? It's not to help the PAP do a better job ... because if they help the PAP do a better job, you're going to vote for me again and they're going to be out of a job for a long time. So their job is to make life miserable for me.
"Right now we have Low Thia Khiang, Chiam See Tong, Steve Chia. We can deal with them. Suppose you had 10, 15, 20 opposition members in Parliament. Instead of spending my time thinking what is the right policy for Singapore, I'm going to spend all my time thinking what's the right way to fix them, to buy my supporters votes, how can I solve this week's problem and forget about next year's challenges?"
I like Small Lee, actually. He very honest say this kind of thing! This is what politic is what! FIX your enemy and BUY your supporter!
Nice one, Small Lee. I guess you are a bastard like your old man after all. Needless to say, the election was fought as dirty as it usually is, with the same old intimidation tactics employed, the press giving zero coverage to the massive rallies being held by the Workers' Party, and there are already reports of post-election intimidation of opposition candidates. But even these tactics aren't working quite as well as they used to. In a democracy like ours, zero increase on the two electoral seats held despite a 10% increase in the popular vote to an entire third of the overall electorate, would not seem much to gloat about. But this is Singapore we're talking about. 66% is about 20 points down on what those fuckers are used to - it's a massive bloody nose, and me, my dad, and Rockson sure are gloating.
Lincoln Tan's probably smiling too. Here's his latest piece in the Herald on how he convinced his wife to stay in Auckland and not go back to Singapore. He took her to the zoo and said - look at the animals in the cages. That could be us.