The Pathetic Apatheticness of Apathetics

I read somewhere on the net that politics divide. That - a homogenous apathy throughout the population is  a better situation than now, having the people seemingly divided. That may sound right. After all, peace is the priority and we do not want to live in a turbulent society.

But it's wrong. The idea of political apathy sound silly, even ignorant to me. The basic but most important thing you give up by being apathetic is your freedom to decide. You don't want someone to decide for you on what course you should take, what car you should drive, what job you should be doing and who you should marry. These are some of the things you would value your right to decide. On the same basis, you don't want someone to decide what kind of place you should live in, what kind of education system your child has to go through, who cooks your takeaway food, what rights you have as a worker , when you are eligible to your housing as a single and how you should spend your retirement savings.

You would want a say in these.

If you are happy to allow others to decide about how you should live without your single input, you have been taking things for granted, simply. We may be happy with how our lives turn out and what we have to go through in life. That only meant one thing. The people who made the decision for you did a good job in planning out a generally pleasing life progression for you. Make no mistake, it make seems tempting to assume so but no, that doesn't make apathy right. We should be clear on that. What happens when the good planning wanes and life starts getting rotten? When you are too tired slogging out for a living that you have no ounce of energy left in your husk to dabble in political stuff that 'doesn't concern you'? Only that it does. Every single policy affects you down the road, once you map it out on the table. By leaving it to others, you are giving up your right to shape your destiny and make a better home country according to your dreams.

You would wish that there is a proper system for you to say, "Hey, this isn't right," only to realised that the system doesn't exist in the first place, because you allowed it - by choosing to be apathetic. This awakening tells you another thing, that of a united population has never exists and has been kept fragmented on purpose. You realise you couldn't voice out no matter what your points are. You would be judged as a dissenter, a rebel or even anti-establishment. You couldn't question because no one would hear your concerns, casually waved away as childish anti government banter.

Anyone has the right to vote for anyone, be it the PAP or the oppositions, no doubt about that. Though even if you voted for the incumbent, you may be hesitant to shout out having 6 seats out of 87 to represent 40% of the population who didn't quite agree with you in the general election a year ago is not right. If you didn't realise by now, that the system is set in a way that disallow you to have a proper voice representation in policies making, you'll be a very frustrated citizen when you are hit badly turning a wrong corner here.

We allowed personalities holding directorships and positions that suggest multiple conflict of interests. Look no further than NTUC for example. Another glaring one is the government's spending of national tax on PAP wards only, blatantly ignoring that citizens living in opposition wards pay tax too. We voted for the PAP to avoid being penalised the same way, where what we should have done was to question why was this incredulous system being allowed to take place? We allowed that by being politically apathetic for too long.

We whimper about our artificially depressed wages and have to wait for a professor to speak out for us. Where were our hands when the the oppressors push our voice down the cliff? Behind the back of the professor or in our pockets? Yet we continue to groan about that paycheck at the end of the month. We accepted it when we were told in the face that public housing was affordable, we could get onto packed trains if we wanted to, foreigners are here to create jobs. We accepted every solution to the problem that was created in the first place by the decision of the government that we had no part or say in.

Before our people could be divided by political awareness, we would be vanquished by our pathetic apatheticness. It's all too late by now. No opposition parties can save Singapore. We have allowed the system to be single party for too long so much so that no oppositions would be capable enough or have the resources to take over the governance of the country however the extent of the incumbent rot. Other than the foolish apathetics, the remaining ones cast their votes on the PAP, not as an act of support but to slow the bleeding, to suppress the imminent. Only that suppression is not cure. choosing the hospice over a chance of cure is their will.


  1. Yet I am still amazed by the majority of young singaporeans who have surrendered their fate to the hands of the government. After spending years in school, they still do understand the meaning of education. They are conformist in both personal and working life. It's no wonder foreign corporations prefer the minds of the FT who are more bold, creative and independent.

  2. i can only agree... i believe that the slow erosion of political maturity of the electorate over the decades due to apathy has resulted in this pathetic state.

    as a result, the leadership too, have grown used to being unchallenged, and therefore uncreative when it comes to handling opposition and alternative views.

    now, the electorate as well as the leadership are the equivalent of infants when it comes to handling actual democracy.

    i think there's a long way to go. quite possibly more than a few elections will be needed to see any sort of democratic maturity.

  3. I used to think that silence was apathy.
    I'm glad to learn more and more that I was wrong.

    I grew up in English-stream schooling.
    We expected one another to openly express our disagreement with one another, showing off our opinions in doing so.

    My little exposure in JC to fellow Chinese-stream students was a small window into another way of relating.
    I remember how everyone continued to treat me with necessary civility and silence of 'respect', while it was no-holds-barred on that crucial occasion I tried to 'run' for 'public office'.
    I could feel many doors closed for me after that, because people disliked my outspoken reactions, which must have seemed offensive and brainless to them.

    I've often missed just straight talk with others, outside of my family, but now realise that I might not be emotionally tough enough to enjoy it all the time.

    Connecting my lesson to Singapore:
    what if those we considered apathetic were silently, shrewdly shifting things to their own interests?
    Has everyone forgotten 'think smart act blur', now that we are so 'carelessly', and pervasively and negatively outspoken?
    Or am I the only fool here who's not quietly striving for a better life while speaking my opinion?

    I think Singaporeans continue to be maestros at 'appearing' apathetic.
    Otherwise, so many who post here would not continue to remain anonymous, instead becoming identifiable, like me.
    Hougang would have been absorbed like Potong Pasir, Aljunied would not have been, and WP would have faded into obscurity.
    As it is, WP is now the tip of the iceberg of Singaporean displeasure.

    I don't recommend revolution.
    Too often in history it has been bloody and atrocious, with too many of the innocent and passionate sacrificed, so that one group of puppetmasters set up shop, after cruelly deposing of the previous tyrants.

    Inexorable, meaningful reform from ground up, that's optimal.
    Better for those of us who talk too much (amongst the gahmen, opposition, and you and we alike), to start listening to the silent, 'apathetic' ones.
    They might be trying to tell us so much more, like we listen to the silent trees sway in the breeze, on our next visit to the park, the next communion with nature.