Of Apathy and Stepping Up

I’ve never liked the PAP. Since my secondary school days, even before I was politically aware, I’ve never liked the PAP. Maybe it was the education system, maybe because I was just a natural rebel or it could be my dad didn’t like the PAP, I’ve never seemed to understand why the PAP sucked. I just knew.

Then again, it could be because our Civics and Moral Education classes were all in mandarin (a subject I totally can’t grasp to save my life) which also probably meant I missed out on a lot of the National Defense indoctrination talks.

But I digress.

To me, the PAP has always been the great know it all party, the one that ruled with a mighty banhammer. I don’t deny that they haven’t done great by our country, but when the last five years seemed so wrong despite our high economic growth, then something is wrong. There was also the political apathy of my peers, who couldn’t care less about the PAP and probably thought I was crazy to dislike the PAP so much.

Having lived away from Singapore in Australia for two years, I got to witness their brand of democracy in action. Bread and butter issues were discussed, words were exchanged, votes were counted and hate mongering flourished, but in the end, the people made their decision. The economy didn’t tank, their world didn’t end. Same thing with Japan, where there was a “switch” (if you could call it that – basically some members of the old guard went to form a new party), the economy did well, people made their choices for a change in policy etc.

So PAP’s fearmongering of the world ending smacks of nothing but that, an attempt to use the same tactics that we’ve seen over and over again. Nothing new here, but people will still take the bait, fall for the same traps without realizing that change, or rather a robust opposition to keep them in check is needed. I’m not going to even bother talking about PAP’s attempt to turn this vision into a scary “gridlocked” government where nothing gets done, it’s been reported and commented on by better bloggers and writers.

I’ve been pondering on joining an opposition party for ages, but haven’t yet made the commitment because I just couldn’t find it in myself to make the effort. While I talked about it, I never actually bothered doing anything apart from blabbering about it on the social media circles. Maybe I haven’t yet found the right party with the right ideology to fall behind. Or perhaps the PAP way is the right way after all and I’m just not looking at it correctly (okay, I jest).

In 2006, while I was still studying overseas, the GE was called, and I was just too far away from Canberra to submit my overseas vote. My area was finally contested, having switched to Aljunied GRC from Marine Parade GRC (totally makes no sense to be in the GRC, but I blame a certain Mr Mander) under the Workers Party banner led by Ms Sylvia Lim (who happens to be my former lecturer back in Temasek Poly). I knew her to be a smart, sharp  and brilliant educator, and I was sure she would translate those qualities well as a politician.

She did not disappoint but she did not win either.

From over in Brisbane, I was following the election closely via the only way I could at that time, using the Alfresco Coffee Shop forum while listening to mrbrown’s podcasts. Twitter didn’t exist then, no did Facebook. Friendster did, but no one was using it as we used Facebook today.

When the election ended with PAP winning almost all the seats despite only taking 66% of the popular vote, I knew I had to do something. Join a party like the WP, or stand in the next election. Well, you know how that turned out. Personal life, a very interesting and cool job kept me from doing what I should have done, but my apathy is probably over, no thanks to a certain dirt slinging mud dwelling PAP minister, which was the final straw.

It was a wake up call, to see such stupid things happening again, the absurdness of having a foot stomping Tin Pei Ling get a free pass to be an MP when more capable folks like Vincent Wijeysingha, SDP, or Chen Show Mao, WP having to fight hard against PAP ministers who have continually screwed up without facing accountability.

I’ve taken my first step, signing up as a Polling Agent for the WP, sure it’s just a minor step, but I hope to be following up with the WP once the GE is over. In a country where most people don’t really give a crap about politics (or are fearful), there’s a need for anyone to just man up and do their part. Even if it means joining the PAP, at least you’re contributing (of course, if you’re just joining the PAP because you’re just a bootlicker like some of the residents in my area, then bah to you).

Don’t let our awesome country go to PAP’s version of hell/heaven, because we all know deep down that it isn’t working. Otherwise, don’t blame anyone when they get their million dollar bonuses while we can’t afford a home despite their statements to the contrary (and their awesome math skills).

tldr: had enough with the PAP’s tactics, time to man up and do my part.

Posted in politics, social media | 1 Comment

Four Useful Tips On Using Twitter

Let’s just get this out straight up: I’m no Twitter power user, but I’ve been using it effectively so far to either stay in touch with pals, or pick up info about the tech world. Now, you may have read some of these tricks before, but it’s just observations of mine on the wonderful world of Twitter.

1. Just because someone follows you, doesn’t mean you have to follow them back. You can always check out their twitters to see if what they post are suitable for you before you decide to click on the follow button.

2. Don’t get sucked into the power user hype. The “Number 1″ twitter user in Singapore is a 15 year old kid with 80,000 followers, but follows 77,000 other people. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but anything more than 50 follows with folks constantly updating will basically leave you with no time to read anything. He’s not a power user, he’s just a bot wannabe. Keep your followed list to a 100ish or so, and it should be fine.

3. Don’t spam your tweets – seriously, it annoys the shit out of other people if all you’re tweeting is going to the toilet. That’s retarded and I will almost certainly unfollow you if you keep it up.

4. Lastly, Twitter isn’t a race to get the most number of followers. It’s about engaging other people differently. Leave the race to the top to celebs who have nothing better to do than collect “ego points” . Just use it as a tool for communication and you’ll be fine.

And that’s my blog update for now. June’s a bitchy month for me, so my attention here will be limited.

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Microsoft’s CIBAI Makes It to Top Twitter Trends

Quite possibly the best social media hack this month as microsoft’s 2007 badly named CIBAI becomes one of the top trends on twitter.

So what at you waiting for? Make your own #cibai pun and make the Americans confused as hell.

Snigger.

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Next time you’re attending a social media event, feel free to bring the Social Media Marketing Bullcrap Bingo List along and see if you can win a prize.

Posted on by Longadin | Leave a comment