Someone told me half in jest yesterday that he wanted to turn up for today’s event as it may be one of those ”I was there you know…” occasion when he turns old and becomes a grandfather.
I hardly slept well the past few days as I tried to settle the mind-boggling logistics which keep on getting larger.
We have alot of the international presses keen to cover the event and I have to set up a press corner for them right in front of the stage area.
There will be at least 30 chairs prepared for them in a sheltered area in front of the stage as they report on an event that could turn historic.
Many of you turning up later on may be one of those who help to create history and I have heard alot of photographers coming in force to create archives out of the massive event.
Since independence, no one dares to hold a mass protest and those who did usually failed to hold more than 500 people at any one time.
Fear, lack of publicity of the event and apathy have rob Singaporeans of a united voice and many people I know generally turn to the internet for solace when they are frustrated at the government’s policies.
The protest event has somehow given them the hope of a genuine united voice and I must add here that we are powerful if we can come out together as one body.
Unity is significant here as all along Singaporeans are seen as isolated, fragmented and even self-centred.
A friend of mine who advised me from organising the event told me its useless to do such stuff here as all along the government will not listen to the ground.
What irked me more is that he asked me to first take care of my stomach before thinking of helping others!
I have also asked some international presses why they are so interested in a protest event that could happen almost weekly worldwide in any country and they have told me that they hardly hear of a protest event in Singapore let alone one that could have a turn out of more than one thousand people.
When I organised this event, my expectation was muted as all along our events have a turn out of less than 300 people.
The same old regulars will turn up politely and listened to all our speeches.
I am even prepared to borrow the same old sound speaker system that could only reach out to 200 people at the park for this event.
However, as the facebook event page numbers grew and more than 1000 people indicated that they want to attend the event, I knew that history is in the making.
The media coverage on the protest event is also astonishing.
Most major media giants will be there and I am sure the event will be made known to the world by tomorrow or even tonight.
Did the media frenzy helps to publicise the event? I am not sure but the attention so far has been simply mind-boggling…
Protests are the government’s worse nightmare as they have to deal with them properly and things will turn awry if they are mishandled.
Moreover, large protests will place pressure on the government as it will look bad on them when many people gather regularly to talk about flawed policies.
Of course, we don’t want a government who over-reacted and changed their policies overnight because of a large protest but we want them to acknowledge that there is a large group of people unhappy with certain policies in place anf if possible they should tweak them a little bit.
More signficantly, the protest event has created a valid place for Singaporeans to come out in one united force and show their displeasure in a peaceful manner.
As the rain continues to slightly drizzle over the island, let’s hope that this will not deter them from coming out and create history.
Each one of you is important and when there are a few thousand of one’s out there – you will be a force to be reckoned with.
See you at the park later Singapore! Rain or shine…
Written by: Gilbert Goh