Election Amidst Pandemic
Disclaimer: This article does not represent any organization or company and is solely my own thoughts and takeaways from life coaching and financial planning perspectives.
Before you begin reading, I have to make it clear that I have never been too interested in politics. However, this does not mean that I can ignore it completely as politics affects every single citizen’s life. Most of us do not even realize how much of an impact politics actually has on us as individuals.
I have a balanced stance when it comes to the ruling and opposition parties. I am not in favor of the opposition parties and neither am I in favor of the ruling party.
The Singapore Parliament has been dissolved to pave way for an election that will be happening on 10 July 2020.
This year’s election will be a particularly interesting one as the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic has put the leaders of every nation to test.
1) The Right To Vote
Every citizen of Singapore who is 21 and above has the right to vote.
Voting is a display of love for your country, as you participate in making decisions for our future.
Your vote is as powerful as mine.
We all have one vote.
The love we feel for Singapore is not defined by which party we vote for. Regardless of who we vote for, we are still proud to be Singaporean and that will not change.
We love our country, and that is why we vote for a future that we want for all of us.
2) Progress, Not Perfection
It is my belief that it is impossible for any party to implement perfect policies and create a perfect society. Governments are made of humans and humans are not perfect. Of course, this is not to say that we should thus give up completely on our efforts to get closer to a better society. It is a whole other debate whether a Utopian society can ever be achieved, but we can work towards something near it.
Ms Tin Pei Lin was mocked and criticized when a photograph of her striking a pose with a Kate Spade handbag made the rounds online. Many netizens took the photo as her “showing off” her wealth. For a young woman who had just started out on her political career, this must have been a challenging matter to handle.
But Ms Tin Pei Ling proved them all wrong. She was far from what they painted of her. After many years, she won the hearts of many residents of Macpherson and received much support.
For many years, they used to mock Mr Chan Chun Sing too and called him 'keechiu'. They laughed at his English and poked fun at him.
In this Covid-19 crisis, he was the one busy making sure Singapore remains connected to the world. He was the one ensuring that supply chains do not get cut off. He made sure the supply of food and essential items was kept steady and minimized disruption to the best of his abilities. He was the one making e-agreements with like-minded countries, beginning with a few and getting more and more countries on board. He was the one securing billions of dollars in foreign investment despite this challenging Covid situation.
Mr Ivan Lim was criticized for elitism and arrogant behavior at work and during military service.
While he may not be suitable for politics and had withdrawn from the election, it did not necessarily mean that he is a bad person. There must have been certain abilities and capabilities he possessed to even become a candidate in the first place.
If we look for the perfect candidate, we will lose many good men and women who might have been the right fit for the job.
Similarly, we as individual humans are not perfect either. We can always grow and learn from mistakes, make better decisions and carry ourselves better.
3) Teamwork Vs Individualist
"Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships." – Michael Jordan
An individual may be extremely competent by himself - Effective, efficient, intelligent, credible.
But an individual also needs to learn teamwork, to be part of a strong united team working towards a goal together. To navigate challenges together and build strong bonds with his teammates.
A government cannot simply rely only on one strong leader to unify the voices of the cabinet. To truly have an impact and be an effective government, there needs to be close communication within the middle management. Selfishness and focusing on self glorification also needs to be avoided to some extent in order for teamwork to bode well.
In Myers Briggs Personality Test, we can break down the personality types into four basic temperaments as the Artisan, the Guardian, the Idealist, and the Rational.
In general, any strong organization should be constituted of all four – and any country, to be well-run and well-rounded, would benefit from having these four types on-board.
4) Courage For Change
The PAP has many merits and is no doubt an extremely competent party that has driven Singapore to the metropolis it is today and the support PAP gets is not surprising at all. In my opinion, it takes courage to be a politician for the opposition parties and demonstrates a willingness to sacrifice for our country. These alternative candidates have often been treated unfairly, had their characters and virtues challenged, and might even have been dissuaded from friends and family from going against the ruling party. In spite of that, they step forward to seek improvement for the country and its citizens. They have chosen to speak up due to their concern for the future of our country.
Opposition MPs will challenge unpopular policies. Many of them fight attempts by PAP to raise GST and question ministerial salaries and potential conflicts of interest within organisations affiliated to the PAP. It is quite a common sentiment in Singapore that the “ownself check ownself” method does not ensure fair outcomes and hence these opposition MPs will unwaveringly question the degree of transparency and accountability within such matters. Here, I need to reiterate that I personally do not have anything to comment regarding the aforementioned issues and I believe it is not in my place to pass judgement on how transparent or accountable the PAP is. These are merely opinions we frequently hear being discussed.
5) Action Speaks Louder Than Words
Watch what they do and not what they say.
What’s one thing in common between politics in Singapore and politics in most other nations? That politics is mostly about public relations. Speaking well during debates or interviews usually would get politicians the support they need. I will not pretend to be an expert on what makes a good politician, but I believe that sometimes, a well-meaning politician who truly cares for the people may not necessarily be the best public speaker and that will be a disadvantage.
It is thus important for us to ask ourselves what the politicians or parties have achieved over the past 5 years. Have they delivered on their promises? How effective have their strategies, plans, policies, etc. been?
Of course, that would be an ideal situation. In reality though, people often misperceive the ability to speak well as being correlated.
However, reliable and faithful people don’t necessarily always have the best public speaking abilities.
“Don’t buy insurance from someone on a promise. Especially when you have reason to suspect this company cannot pay out on the insurance, and that their cheques will bounce.” - PM Lee, at the lunchtime rally.
6) Control The Things You Can Control
Focusing on the things we cannot change is a waste of time and energy. We should instead use that energy to work on what is within our control, such as:
Finances: How much we earn is mostly beyond our control. We can indeed work hard towards a certain income level, but it is also a matter of opportunities, chance and circumstances among other factors. What is entirely within our control is how much we spend and how we manage our income.
Career: Having foresight and doing proper planning for how you want your career to play out is within your control. Of course, we cannot fully control how far we climb up the career ladder, but we can control how much we want to succeed and how much work we are willing to put in to get to where we want to be. We can proactively plan ahead and gain the necessary experiences or skills needed to achieve our end goal in our career.
Family: It is beyond our control which family we are born into and who we will spend our days with as family. What we can control and manage is the relationship we have with our family. There is no perfect human being, no perfect parent, no perfect sibling and no perfect family. The friction that can arise within family units are more apparent in light of this Covid-19 pandemic we are all challenged with. Being cooped up together in the house means having to increase tolerance for each other and learning to compromise, which are all within our control.
As for the Covid-19 pandemic itself, no one knows for sure if or when the second wave of infections will happen, which means it is also pretty much beyond our control. But we can do our part to practice good hygiene and safe distancing measures to try and keep our community safe from the virus.
Similarly with investments, there are also elements that are within and out of our control. For example, we can “time the market” all we want, but such things are still unpredictable at the end of the day. What we can do is to do the necessary research and decide on a healthy company to invest in.
Remember, focus your energy on the things you can do to make a difference.
True change starts when you and I take the responsibility in the things we do. Ask yourselves these questions: “How can I make things better?”, “How can I improve?”
7) Planning And Strategy
If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.
Every party has their manifesto concerning the various topics including Ageing, Climate/Environment, Cost of Living, Economy, Education, Family, Healthcare, Housing, Jobs, etc.
When you look through the manifesto, you get an idea of how much thought and care and work has been put into considering and formulating their proposals and positions.
Collectively, the manifestos covered a very wide breadth of issues, demonstrating that Singapore does have many people out there, of a variety of political leanings, who have put much thought into the sort of country that they want to see.
There is the need of planning and strategies to bring these manifesto to pass.
These days, having a plan is important.
Everybody needs to have a plan.
Many may still remember the fumbled speech regarding the East Coast Plan.
Jokes/Memes aside, whether you live in the East Coast or West Coast, we have a plan for you.
A plan for your future.
A plan for your family.
A plan to bring you clarity in life and finance.
Book now for your planning and strategic session.
May we think carefully, and vote wisely, to secure our lives, our jobs, and our future.
Make our vote count.