What the AWARE saga shows about Singaporeans
If you aren’t aware (no pun intended) already of the latest developments in the AWARE saga, here’s a brief update: The new exco led by president Josie Lau has resigned after a no-confidence vote of 1414 to 761 was passed this evening during a general meeting at Suntec City. The old exco is currently renominated for election.
The political implications of this is obvious. For one it shows that despite what some in power think of Singaporeans, citizens of this tiny country are capable of orderly self-restraint and expressing their views peacefully. The saga shows how governmental involvement in this affair was entirely unnecessary. The affair was concluded without a single person sustaining any injury, nor the outbreak of any violent incident. Indeed one cannot but wonder if the ‘elites’ in charge are overstating the dangers of political freedom and expression. If Singaporeans are capable of settling their differences democratically in the same fashion as had transpired in this AWARE case, they are clearly also capable of peaceful political freedom of expression. Let’s not pretend that we are an unruly lot who require constant supervision and who have no sense of self-respect and are completely incapable of settling differences of opinion peacefully.
It’s a good thing the authorities did not step in to dissolve AWARE, for this was completely unnecessary. Singaporeans are more capable than their government give them credit for. It is my hope that this saga marks the beginning of the end of the long-standing accusation that Singaporeans are a apathetic self-dis-respecting lot.