Thursday, January 11, 2007

Thoughts on Ah Gayle

Gayle Goh's language skills put me to shame. She is also a debater. Once a while i will pop over to her blog to see see look look. Wah lan she is not that much younger than me, but makes hell of a lot more sense than myself and all those sillyzens out there. I think NS and SAF really screws up a person's brain and thinking. Just look at those jiat liao bee paper generals now masquerading as politicians and CEOs. No wonder PAP wants more women in politics. Of course our PM is an exception.. bcos his NS is not really the same NS that ordinary Sporean males go through... hehe.

Anyway back to ah Gayle. Recently she appear on a mediacock show call BlogTV. I only knew about it (and the show) bcos i also drop by Mr Wang's blog, otherwise wtf is BlogTV who knows or care? Which goes to show how successful the TV show is, hahaha. To cut a long story short, Mr Wang declined to go on the show but Gayle did. And then Gayle wrote in her blog the reasons she did so which sounded to me like she tried to defend her actions, also at the same time she gave Mr Wang her opinions why engaging the enemy is not such a bad thing and so on, which in turn attracted replies from other bloggers, some agreeing with her and others don't. There is just too much blogs to read and comments to go through. But it got me thinking about people like ah Gayle and Mr Wang.

It wasn't that long ago i was in JC too. Family is middle class, no worries of the future. And then i sat for my A levels, didn't do too well, couldn't get into the local unis, so now have to look for study opportunities in private education providers. Of cos before that i kena conscripted into the CCB NS for 2 fucking yrs. I can say in the past 3 yrs i have "grown up". My thinking now compared to JC and pre-NS days are almost 180 degrees different. NS and working part time now shows me the kind of lives other sporeans lead other than my privileged one. Some things i witnessed myself also played a part in this "growth". So idealism is still very much in ah Gayle and this is what makes her attractive to the PAP who is now going all out to recruit and co-opt people like them.

Ah Gayle is not wrong to think that engaging the enemy is a constructive way to make changes. In fact her thinking is probably very close to political parties like the Workers Party and people like Chiam See Tong. Their approach is to try to survive within the current PAP-set system no matter how bad the odds are stacked against them and how ridiculous they are made to look. 忍辱偷生 comes to mind. The threat of unjust legal actions and invisible OB markers made them self censor and not say too much. I personally think in the long run such an approach will do more harm than benefit to the political health of this country. If today you cannot stand your ground and say what is on your mind and you back off half a step, it is only a matter of time before the day comes when you totally shut up. Maybe they dangle some carrots to make it easier for you to swallow. It is what some people call the slippery slope. The gentle and reasoned approach does not work with the PAP, which is a party founded on pragmatism and not ideology. The history and actions of PAP tells us that it only listens to those who has a bigger fist and heavier punch than them. LKY himself, whenever he is confronted with charges of authoritarianism and draconian acts, will not try to reason things out but instead just deflect them by saying "hey! get organised and challenge me, i'm not stopping you am i?" Of course if you take that bait u give him reasons to humtum you with his despotic ways. So i really do not think engaging the PAP, under the current political and social circumstances imposed by the PAP, will amount to effective changes. In fact if u engage them u risk losing credibility and let them run you down. Why play a game that is defined and set by them? Why not play your own game instead. I only agree with LKY on one thing and that is yes get organised, do something, but do something of your own and not the something they want you to do. The new media is forcing the PAP to bend to it, but the PAP is very smart and resourceful and it is now trying to subvert or control this media.

Mr Wang on the other hand is an interesting case. He is obviously much older, has more life experience and appears to hold a good job that pays very well. He is also a lawyer and ex-public prosecutor. His profile fits that of an elite as defined by the PAP. I consider him a moderate. And most of the time I agree with Mr Wang's take on things. But like an older person Mr Wang is also harder to read. One can only judge such a person by their actions. Same as how one should judge the PAP. By their actions and not their pretty and high sounding words.

Mr Wang is right not to attend the show. There is just too much to lose and nothing to gain. The time for engagement has past long ago. If you put something in place, then you also have to be the one to undo it. This is what the PAP has to do before people will come forward. It has to undo what it did in the past. Otherwise you cannot move forward in a meaningful manner. This is call accountability - a word i really like though i hate A level accounting hahaha! Going forward without facing up to the past, sooner or later the past will catches up and undo all your good work. I consider LHL no different from LKY, so in this sense Spore is still stuck in the LKY era. This is another reason why the PAP is targeting the young, bcos the young does not know and remember the past. So it is easier to co-opt them without having to be accountable. In Spore there is no lack of old or elderly people who are capable and can contribute to either politics or society. But why is the PAP sidelining them? I think the answer is obvious.

So all i can say is ah Gayle is young and no different from any 18 yr old. Too much is expected of her. If today she appears to have gone over to the dark side bcos she sincerely believes that is the way to make changes (and not bcos of carrots and goodies) or maybe she jus wants to have a bit of fun on TV, than so be it. Her actions in the future remains to be seen.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Actually I disagree with you on only one point. The older generation are quite staunch supporters of PAP. So LKY worries only about LHL losing the newer generation of voters. This can be seen in the recent election results. The talk that LKY had with the Post 65 generation was a complete failure in that it did not achieve any of its goals. Most of the goals are what you have touched on in some way in your post. Unfortunately people like Gayle still persist in thinking that they can engage and change the system.