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Friday January 19th 2018

Aftermath of 1602 protest – Return of the people’s voice?

I am still trying to recover from the surreal moments of the historic 1602 protest against the 6.9 million white paper population.

Naturally, I was been targetted for Facebook slandering and took it all within my strides.

There were wall smeared posts of sexual misconduct, having a Australian PR among others.

I was prepared by close friends that those affected by the protest adversely would not let me go off so easily and that sharpened knives will be ready to plunge deep.

I spent a good part of last week speaking with friends and supporters and found solace in having a good batch of pals ready to offer support and counsel.

I could not imagine doing this alone and all by myself.

Its tough to be a civil activist here as its not only a lonely job but also  there is no precedence for one to follow.

Many would-be activists flounder for lack of a proper following and thus its amazingto find t 4000 protestors turned out in unity on that day amidst a fierce drizzle to create history for themselves and the country.

The protest made headline news on most global papers worldwide a day after the historic event.

I have also read the autobiography on Martin Luther King twice and respected his determination and resolve to create  a better future for the black community in his time.

Of course, the impact Martin Luther King created  is at least 1000 times that of mine.

However, many friends have told me that at least I have brought down the fear factor which handicapped many people here.

For the 4000 brave warriors who turned up on that historic day to protest against the white paper, there are at least another 10, 000 who do not dare to step out of the security of their home to voice out against a regime that governs using fear tactics.

There is no proper freedom of speech here and even a one-man demonstration out in the street can invite arrest.

We also do not have a free press and every year our press transparency ranking slips to the lower 20% percentile  and strangely this does not affect our government at all.

The protest hopefully brought back the feeling that as a united force, the voices of the people can be heard as many people here have long resigned  to the fact that they could not do anything in their own country when a policy has been  passed down.

Many have written in to me saying that the protest amazingly brought back the warm feeling   for the country.

Many also cried whenever they turned on the national anthem sang towards the end of the event on youtube.

Years of wayward policies have caused many Singaporeans to harden their hearts against the regime and country and those who could emigrate have done so.

I am very glad to know that the protest has managed to bring back the warm feeling for the country as many people shared umbrellas with strangers together out on that wet muddy field.

I have always believe that people’s power is very important and when masses of people gather peacefully¬†as one voice against a policy – things could happen.

I am not advocating a revolution here and we will stick to our peaceful gathering as one united voice protesting legitimately at Speaker’s Corner.

We will not march down the streets as some have adocated and will stick by the rules of the corner.

Many have also ask me for a sequel protest and we will have to consider that ¬†seriously as we don’t want such mass protest to be a one-off.

We want to bring back the voice of the people so that they feel they could do something together collectively  whenever a policy is shoved down our throat without any consultation with the people and civil societies.

According to some feedback I received, people are more hurt that they are not being consulted when the white paper was passed down after 5 days of debate in Parliament than the implications of the paper itself.

Our government has being enjoying more than 50 years of monopolistic control and people are beginning to fight back so that they can be better engaged.

For all we know, the white paper could be a catalyst which brings back the voices of the people in a peaceful collective gathering.

We also need people to step up and put fear aside for this movement to succeed.

As for the 12 speakers, I must thank them from the bottom of my heart as they spoke from their heart and more importantly, they have put fear aside so that their voice could be heard on that historic day.

As for our second protest, we want the 4000 protestors to return and bring along one friend each so that we can double the crowd size.

The¬†people’s voice need masses and I am sure that the time is ripe.

Written by: Gilbert Goh

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7 Responses to “Aftermath of 1602 protest – Return of the people’s voice?”

  1. sal says:

    Agree with you, Gilbert. Hope Sporeans will eventually know their right as citizens. Vote for the party that implement good policies that benefits the citizens.

  2. J Y says:

    1) If unemployment or under-employment don’t exist in our society for so long, will people still resist the population white paper so strongly? If we have zero unemployment, will we still be against more FTs living in our midst?

    2) If all Singaporeans are gainfully employed with a fair salary, reasonable working hours, reasonable workload etc. and need extra manpower for doing those low-level jobs, will we still resort to protest against the population white paper?

    3) If all Singaporeans can afford a HDB flat at a reasonable price, will we still protest?

    4) If all Singaporeans can travel in bus/ MRT in comfort during peak hours without squeezing too much, will we still protest?

    5) If all Singaporeans can have an education that is not so stressful and have a good job at the end of it, will we still protest?

    6) If all the employed Singaporeans have a good work-life balance, will we have more marriages and babies?

    7) If all FTs living here are well-behaved and don’t commit any crimes, will we still protest?

    8) If everyone living here is gracious to each other by being considerate, will we still protest?

  3. ksong says:

    yes make it 10,000 strong to have a stronger impact. Show that we are not afraid and fight for our rights!

    But we need a new venue for this 2nd protect. How about the Istana ?!!

  4. ksong says:

    errata: 2nd protest, not protect.

  5. sal says:

    Hi JY…you’re right, these are the basic needs of a citizen. Vote for the party that implement good policies for the citizens.

  6. Dico says:

    I think this protest should be recorded in the modern history of Singapore.

    Must admit that it is the first time in Singapore’s post-independence history that we have protest of this size.

  7. RC says:

    To reach out to a wider section of Singaporeans, consider having speeches in mandarin, malay and tamil as well for you second protest.

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