There has been uproars over the MP's words recently, be it ministerial salary, public transport or even HDB upgrading. Their comments have sparked dissent and complaints in the cyber community, and it seems that with each topic discussed and each word spoken, things just gets more complicated.
I remembered some time back, before the 2011 GE, PAP said that they had difficulty in getting highly educated youths to serve the nation as MPs, because they can get a better pay in the private sector. But I personally felt that things are not that simple, and the reason is far more personal.
During the 2011 GE, I had thought of entering politics because I was appalled with the situation in Singapore, and I wanted to change it, even if it's impossible. I told my father about it, and the 1st thing that he said is: "Are you willing to lose your dignity and your family?"
I wasn't shocked at his words. You see, my history wasn't "clean". My grades were bad, I played truant countless times during secondary school, I stole money from my classmates, and I got a 15-month probation for shoplifting(I completed my probation successfully). My father was a gangster in his early days and had gone to prison 5-6 times. If I insist on entering politics, this is what would happen: I would definitely be rejected by PAP even if I wanted to join them, so my only option is to join the opposition or start my own party. But by doing so, I would become an enemy of PAP, and my "dirty linen" would be dug out and aired in public. I would be shamed along with my family.
If this is the price to pay for entering politics, then it's too big for me. I don't mind being shamed; I have endured it for a long time and a bit more won't kill me. But I can't possibly let my family go through the same torture when they haven't done anything wrong. I'm sure many people, not just youths, think that way. The emotional pressure is not something that a normal person can bear.
Another reason of concern is recognition. My classmate was a member of the Young PAP, but he left after a short while. I asked for the reason, and he said : " i'm just an ITE student. Do you think PAP will listen to my views when they only want Bachelors, Masters and PHDs with 1st class Honors?"
To sum it up, elitism, emotional pressure and a "Bochup" attitude are preventing youths from entering politics. I was once passionate about my country and wanted to make a change, but with all these walls in front of me, I do not have the strength nor the courage to go further. I became disillusioned. Now, I want nothing more than to get out of this country asap.
So here's my question to all: Is politics only reserved for the elite? Just because you are not academically inclined, or you have a bad record, you are barred from serving your country and improving the lives of your fellow comrades?