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Sunday October 26th 2014

Weak show of support harming protest events?

Rain threatened the Singaporeans First event yesterday at Speakers Corner but it held off gloomily as we started our speeches against the heavy foreign influx of workers.

I expected about 100 people to turn up and was slightly disappointed that we were off by about ten in numbers.

Most of our events were attended by between 100 – 150 people on average and as usual the same old familair faces were present of whcih we are thankful.

I heard that some other organisations have less than 50 people turning up for their events and I am sure that organisers will be disappointed as it took alot of efforts to put up any event publicly.

First, you have to gather the speakers and I have to contact 20 over speakers before five agreed to take the stage yesterday.

I also need to romp in volunteers to  design, print and put up the posters.  Finances are also needed to pay for the posters, drinks and a good meal for all the speakers and helpers after the event.

One also couldn’t sleep well the night before as you wondered what can go wrong? Will the speakers all turn up?

I have speakers informing me last minute that they couldn’t speak and you can’t romp in another one easily – so I always try to have more speakers than schudled for such eventuality.

More importantly, will there be a crowd?

People tend to look at your crowd size as the main gauge of your event’s success – so it is most important that you blast out emails and text messages to remind people to turn up.

I must have sent out hundreds of reminders last week to ask people to turn up for the event. If you want 100 people to turn up – you must have reach at least 1000 people.

Moreover, those who promise you to turn up may also not come due to personal reasons so its always good to have at least 200 verbal agreements to turn up.

Surprisingly, yesterday, I could spot one or two  foreigners among the small crowd and many friends have cautioned me not to stir the issue too much as it is sensitive and also harmful to my own safety.

When the event has  ended, two more ang mohs dropped by – took a peek and turned straight into the MRT station at CLark Quay.

I was told by some friends that the foreign embassies were keenly monitoring the anti-foreign sentiments here as people are more vocal these days and the recent general election result has provided mixed  adversial signals to the authorities to stop the current influx.

Just two days ago, ominously, a person also called me on my handphone and scolded me in Hokkein vulgarities. His number was an unlisted one.

During the last event in 2011, someone also called me warning me not to stir the same issue when we had our last Singaporeans First event in September before we closed the year for a 4-month haitus break.

This message was sent by a friend though but of course I was disturbed.

Incidentally, many event organisers are  afraid  to plan  protest events  at Speakers Corner as the turn out is usually bad.

If you expect more than a hundred people to turn up then you will likely be disappointed as historically most events at Speakers Corner do not fill up more than 100 participants.

Only events such as the fun-filled Pink Dot annual rendevous could manage successfully to bring in more than 10, 000 people due more to its fun-filled theme than anything else.

Perhaps, I must speak with the organiser of the Pink Dot to gather some new ideas for our next event in May!

Some people I spoke to told me that perhaps we didn’t do enough publicity on our event or we didn’t arouse enough in our previous events to entice more people to come for future ones. Some also asked me to bring in Nicole Seah so that more people will turn up.

I feel that if we have to entice the crowd with personalities then something is wrong with our people. We should try to motivate people to attend such events as a show of unity with the theme than anything else.

If people can’t identify with the theme then sure enough they won’t want to turn up. Perhaps this is one area that we fail to do – generating  enough interest on our message theme and we  will want to do more of this  in future.

Moreover, we have all along posted our event notices on TOC, TRE and other major blogs but it is difficult to generate interest when even young people are afraid to attend such events.

I spoke to one young man who is currently jobless. He refused to attend the event as he fears that his face and particulars will be captured on the government radar and this may affect his job opportunities when he goes for interview at civil service employment centres!

The government has intimidated people from showing up at Speakers Corner by saying that more surveillance cameras were installed last year to deter mischief at the grounds.

Mr Prabu, one of our speakers, told me that although the cameras were up, he detected that  the wires were all left dangling – a show that the authorities may be resorting to using threats to deter people from coming to all sorts of mischief at Speakers  Corner.

Such hot potato event, if held in Hong Kong, will likely garner more than a thousand supporters – regardless of who the speaker is. The Hong Kongers also have an issue against the PRC mainlanders who flock to Hong Kong to work and give birth.

Recently, some of them put up a full page advertisement calling the PRC Chinese people locusts. sparking off alot of ill sentiments between the two territories.

I am sure that Singaporeans are more civil to do that and moreover our authorities will not want that to happen – sensing that indeed anti-foreigner sentiments may be boiling over anytime soon if some organisation is trying to agitate it.

While organising the event, I am prepared to call in by the authorities for questioning as it is an event that could threaten national security if handled badly.

Thankfully, all our speakers spoke midly and wisely…I am sure that we will not get into trouble.

Perhaps, a fear  mentality coupled with strong apathetic spirit among the citizens have deterred many Singaporeans from gathering together in protest against events that threaten our basic survival.

Many people have also spoke of the daft 60% majority who voted for the government despite the various ill-thought policies that were put up during the past years.

Yet when there is an event been planned for them to come  and voice out their frustrations, they didn’t want to turn up for personal reasons.

TOC recently organised an event to protest against the mismanagement of SMRT CEO Ms Saw and less than 100 people turned up.

The TOC event was also followed up by Yahoo Singapore – none of the mainstream media came to report on such an important current event.

The same thing happened on yesterday event – only yahoo Singapore sent a reporter Deborah to report and none of the mainstream media came.

This is disappointing but transitioning.org will battle on to act as a lone voice for the country – despite the many obstacles that we have to face.

We will put up an online protest petition soon so that Singaporeans can act out their frustrations online.

However, much  can be achieved  if more people turn up for our events in future – the authorities will act if there is people power like the ones we saw during the general election.

If not, even the foreigners will laugh behind our back – at our weak show of support for such protest events meant for Singaporeans.

Written by: Gilbert Goh

 

Reader Feedback

9 Responses to “Weak show of support harming protest events?”

  1. chee says:

    Hi

    thanks for your passion and love for singaporeans…especially the unemployed ones…

    I suggest that you add a facebook link so that those interested can be updated via facebook whenever you have a new article as well as when there are new events..

    Cheers
    Love Singaporeans/ Love Singapore

  2. Prabu says:

    GG- Not to worry, we simply have to market future events through word of mouth, hype.

    Simply create more hype, maybe send more sms, e-mails, also more facebook coverage, might want to look at whatapp & viber if you are an iphone user.

    Encourage people to bring along their friends & family. If 1 person brings along another person your crowd already doubles.

    will give you more ideas when we meet up next.

  3. jj says:

    Mr Gilbert Goh, your great name will be remember in Singapore history.

  4. Gilbert Goh are you Nuts???

    Singapore economy will collapse if we set quotas for foreigners.

    Gilbert you should be round up in Whitely Road for trying to bring down our economy.

    You are just a brainless guy that do not realize that Singapore vulnerability without the foreigners.

    All your food, fuel, clothing and even internet comes from outside Singapore. Without Foreigners we can practically go back to stone age.

    • This asshole is definitely a Foreign Import and i like to

      to emphasie, if he/she is a so called Foreign Talent he/

      she wouldn’t be in Sg. They should be called Foreigners

      Without Talents, FWT for easier reference, just like we

      call a Chinese mongrel dog Jack for easier reference…

  5. inspir3d says:

    gilbert, i think it is not in the culture of singaporeans to attend such events and openly demonstrate or protest on issues that they are unhappy about.

    few singaporeans disagree that singaporeans should come first, and many are concerned with the influx of foreign immigrants, but instsead of turning up at protest events, they would rather spend their time online reading blogs and forums, and then having their say at the ballot box. most people are also too busy with their personal problems to travel down to attend such an event.

    i don’t think that you should measure the success of your initiatives by the turnout at such events, because it will be very misleading

    • admin says:

      Hi inspir3d

      Thanks for your comment.

      Unfortunately, many others including the government will measure the success of our events by the turnout.

      There is a vast difference between 90 and 900 people turning up.

      Firstly, people will talk about it as there is a massive show of support.

      Secondly, the government will want to hastily do something to alleviate the problem and hopefully prevent the next event from turning into a run away success.

      The poor showing may even send a wrong signal that Singaporeans are alright with the heavy influx of foreigners into our country and even continue to bring in more of them in future.

      I urge Singaporeans to have a mindset shift here and come out for our next event soon.

      The reason why our countrymen is being trampled upon all along is that we are too meek and compliant until everything is being bulldoze through us – without any second thoughts.

      Some of us are also paralysed by fear and this is hurting us alot.

      The government has known that we will not rise up in unity and has made us pay the price for our weakness.

      Rise up together Singaporeans or else we will forever be walked over by others.

      Decide your own destiny. See you at our next event – Singapore counts on you!

      Be brave.
      Gilbert Goh

  6. So sad says:

    Hi Gilbert,

    I know that you are very brave to champion the cause for the sake of many Singaporeans out there, whether they are jobless or not. Unfortunately, I agree with the above comments that Singaporeans are timid and not so vocal. We prefer to protest online quietly under the veil of secrecy as our livelihood may be at stake, especially those who are past and present civil servants.

    Furthermore, this is a very complex issue that has no perfect solution. Even if there is no FT in Singapore, it is impossible to have a 0% unemployment rate.

    So sorry that I wasn’t at the event. My sister was hospitalised over the weekend and she told us that the foreign nurses are better than locals. I understand that foreign nurses are more polite and patient, with a smile on their faces. We Singaporeans are usually too stressed up to smile.

    The healthcare sector definitely needs many talents given the ever growing ageing population in Singapore. The hospital environment is quite conducive for working. The problem is the shift work and low salary that is putting many people off. The government, instead of finding solutions to attract more locals to the industry, is employing FT to replace us. They are not thinking of ways to make the salary and working hours more attractive to mid-career people who are jobless.

    Even those who are below 40 are struggling to find work nowadays. Many fresh grads who are not scholars, don’t have the opportunities to prove themselves. And a new batch is coming out in a few months’ time. And the story goes on year after year……

  7. I like to quote what “Gilbert Got Are U Nuts ?” said, he

    is definitely a pinoy or a ke-ling.., Hello..! without

    you aliens we are maybe even stronger as a Singaporean Sg

    and you guys are lucky to be given a job here and you

    still wanna talk cock..! Go back and pick cow dungs and

    eat sweet potatos la……

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