Short summary of the rally: policemen, WP flags, ice cream men, lots and lots of people and summon officers (!)
The Singapore Election is the Singapore equivalent of the World Cup. I went to Workers' Party rally yesterday at the Hougang open field. It was an eye opener. I have never thought that Singaporeans would actually be willing to stand in the middle of a field, hot and sticky, and not complaining. This is the Singapore World Cup. It happens once every 5 years. There is no other event that will make us Singaporeans to do "siao" things like these but football and elections.
There were at least 20,000 people there. While I was leaving the place at 9pm (I promised my sister I will be back by nine), I saw even more people walking in groups to the field. Such is the draw of the rally.
I have no clue where the stage was due to the crowd. I could hear the voice of the speaker booming but I could see no hide nor skin of him. So I climbed 13 stories. On every floor, apart from the first level, people were crowding to see a clearer view of the rally. The lift was completely packed and stairs were filled with people like me climbing up. There was a kind man who allowed me to take his position to take some photos (although my camera decided not to cooperate >_<). He must have been thinking, even xiao mei mei also interested in elections now! I also find it highly amusing that the ice cream men and other enterprising singaporeans set up their temporary (illegal?) stores at the field. Who says Singaporeans have are not enterprising now? They were making quite a trade. In any case, I can feel the atmosphere. People were cheering for the Workers' Party. I read in other blogs that the people even booed the police when they tried to take their flags away at the end of the rally. I see people waving their WP flags and reading the manifesto. It's like one huge support for WP. But Hougang may not necessary be in WP's hands. Half of the people at the rally probably wasn't even from Hougang. I know of people from Holland Village, Tampines coming to see the rally. So despite the turnout, there isn't anything that the PAP need to care about. Turnout at rally does not equal to votes. Afterall, we have seen this happening over and over again when the results are shown. This is also the major problem all oppositions faced. People listen to the rally, they cheer at the rally but they do not vote for them.
It could be a case of curiosity. People want to know what the oppositions are doing. If they want to know about PAP, all they need to do is to switch on their TV. There is no need for them to sweat. But for the oppositions, the news hardly report anything on their rallies even on the rare occasions they do, it is misleading or very briefly. To know what they are doing, they can only go to the rally. Just go and hear loh, that will be the mindset of these people. They could also be there as oppositions' rallies are more interesting than the PAP's.
I see a case of PAP winning almost all the seats. They may not win Hougang but they will definitely win others, unless, the mindsets of people change. Highly unlikely. It is not difficult to see why. Look at how the oppositions work. Apart from Workers' Party which is one of the better ones (and messed up in the James Gomez issue), none of them can be compared with PAP. This is the sad reality of Singapore.
"Bet you didn't know this" facts:
- An old couple sitting at a bench away from the rally said, in teochew: "PAP rally confirm no people go."
- The road along Kovan was jammed with people trying to go to the rally.
- It cost five dollars to buy the flags, manifesto etc...
- as compared to SDP's (I think) 2 dollars.
- There was a Getai nearby. Hmmm.
- There was a SUMMON OFFICER!