Last Sunday morning 18 Apr we held another joint walkabout with SDA at Bishan. The experience this time round was significantly different from previous walkabouts. The residents here were a lot more forthcoming and in fact eager to enter into discussions and debates.
One resident in particular left a deep impression. I asked him if he would vote for the opposition. He replied in Mandarin and I shall try my best to translate: The PAP managed the economy very well, but over-emphasized material achievements, fostering a tensed and highly competitive environment, which is detrimental to the building of a caring society. Although this is a problem for the society as a whole, it would be better if the government could provide some support. If the opposition can handle the economy well and at the same time help foster a more caring and compassionate society, I will vote for the opposition.
This is one of the best answers I have heard. I am sure he spoke for many. While we develop our economy, we need also to pay attention to our emotional and moral developments. They need to complement each other for a more stable and sustainable progress. The strong helping the weak is not only for the benefit of the weak, but is beneficial to the strong as well.
Before I met this resident, I had encountered another woman who asked me point blank:”So what benefit can you give me? If there is benefit then I vote for you lah!” While my rational mind tells me there is nothing wrong with this question, and in fact only to be expected, it was spoken with such self-assuredness, such absolute certainly that it is perfectly legitimate to bargain thus with her vote, that I was saddened. Thank goodness for this other resident who brightened up my day again.
有一位居民的谈话尤其让我影像深刻。我问他会不会投反对党一票， 他说：“人民行动党在经济上做得很好，但太强调物质上的得失，使得人民精神紧张，相互之间竞争很强烈， 没有友爱精神。虽然说友爱精神是社会的问题，但如果政府能加以支持会更好。如果反对党可以同样把经济掌控好，又能鼓励人们有爱心，互相帮助，那我就会投反对党一票。”