Silent sit-in protest against Reserved Presidential Elections to be held on Saturday

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By Phyllis Lee

Following his unsuccessful attempt to hold a protest event against this year’s Reserved Presidential Elections last month, activist Gilbert Goh is now calling for a silent sit-in protest at Hong Lim Park this Saturday (Sept 16).

This comes after the announcement that only one presidential candidate, Madam Halimah Yacob, was issued the Certificate of Eligibility. She will be sworn in as the eighth President of Singapore tomorrow (Sept 14) at 6pm at the Istana.

The event will not have any speakers, and people are encouraged to simply sit down in the park as a sign of a protest against the PE.

On the event’s Facebook page, Goh posted:

“Fear has crippled you all this while you are burnt up inside and its time to unlease that frustration by showing up with like-minded Singaporeans together as ONE voice.”

Participants were also told to wear black on Saturday. In fact, #NotMyPresident black tee shirts will be sold on Saturday so that participants can wear them during the sit-in protest.

The hashtag had trended after the walkover was announced, when Singaporeans took it to social media to express their anger about losing their voting rights.

At the time of writing, 108 people had confirmed their attendance, while 537 people had indicted their interest in the protest.

Gilber Goh had sent out a press release via email:

Silence Sit-in Protest on 16th Sep (Sat) 430 to 630pm Hong Lim Park

Our first-ever lady Muslim President Halimah will be inaugurated today and amid the pompous fanfare, Singaporeans feel a sense of betrayal that they have lost the chance to vote in the next head of state.

The loss of the democratic right to vote angers people personally even though they know that Halimah will probably win comfortably against the other two candidates. Voters now sense the probing encroachment of individual rights by the government and they react adversely online through the use of powerful social media.

Its an election that is filled with all kinds of controversy chief of which is the true ethnic identity of the President-elect – is she a Indian or Malay? Is she being appointed or is the whole election fiasco merely a deceitful sham? Will all future Presidents be closely aligned to the government and if so why bother to have an election?

These are all important questions which bugged ordinary Singaporeans of which there are no ready answers from the government yet.

Things degenerated further before the epic climax and we now face a walk-over President who will have a lot to prove that she is no lame-duck like those before her.

Naturally, the poor President faces the furious leash of the whole systemic failure and it will take a while for things to cool off.

Yet many feel that the fault lies squarely on the Singaporean voters who have given a strong mandate to the government in 2015 to do what they like. With a 70%-voting population behind them, they ploughed on confidently knowing that the people are truly behind them now after a disastrous showing in 2011.
 
This also means that the government may not always want to consult the people first before acting – thinking that they have the backing of the people from the strong polls result.

The saving grace of the whole saga is the unifying factor it has generated – linking many dissatisfied Singaporeans up and we must thank the social media for that. People turn to their Facebook and other social media platform to voice out their frustration and over time the escalating discontentment morphed into an oasis of unity and togetherness.

There was an earlier event that we have planned two weeks back but due to the fact that we need to apply for a additional police permit because there is the issue of race involved we have decided to cancel that event altogether.

However, we have now organize another event on 16th Sep (Sat) and there won’t be any speeches but participants will gather for a silence sit-in as a sign of protest against the systemic failure of the Reserved PE. The NParks permit application was approved on 12 Sep.

Its also Singapore’s first mass sit-in protest without any prepared speeches and hopefully there will be a good size crowd to show to our government that we are unhappy with how things have gone for the Presidential Election.

There will also be a short press conference close to 630pm on-site and the organisers will be there to provide any press interview whenever necessary during the event.

Do contact me via email at goh_gilbert@yahoo.com if you need further assistance.

Sincerely,

Gilbert Goh

Event organizer

#notmypresident

33 COMMENTS

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    Stupid waste time lah. Day in day out non stop complaints..kpkb all over internet…wanna change…curse and swear. But when comes to crux time to vote, all the balls suddenly shrink and quietly vote back the same misery.

    This is typical selfish stupid sinkie mentality. Always want to change, but only want others to change for him or her, like ppl owe them the duty to do so. Look into the mirror, step up and start being the change yourself.

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    What’s the point?

    Can sit all you want and still won’t change how the Scums had brutally abused & twitched the system….. it’s gonna be not just a Walkover, but Walk All Over henceforth…..

    Kiss all future GE Good Bye too! Just wait & see….. Tested & Proven that these Scums can do whatever & however they like….. more will be made “unqualified”

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    Do you guys honestly think the government will give a flying f*** if you sit there and protest in silence? No, they don’t give a damn.

    Honestly, I really don’t see any point in you organising such an event. It just gives them a good reason to come down HARD on you guys for NOTHING. Unless you guys are prepared to sit in the middle of ORCHARD ROAD, disrupt traffic and business, otherwise, it is just another day to them.

    Sitting there in silence is basically “protesting within the limits of the law” by their books…

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      +1. Correct too. The G put this honglim farce in place for the sole purpose of letting us release steam within a controlled environment. If the steam is not released, the pressure from each individual event will build up until there are riots on the streets. well paid ministers are not stupid.

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    Wat good wil It do with so little of u guys? U think those White dogs care?? They r cowards n big bullies. They hv too much worms they hv to hide jus move on let Karma knock on their doors

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    Thanks Gilbert for being part of the democratic process to bring attention to the injustices of this country. It is F1 weekend by the way and you might attract curious onlookers, who knows?

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    From the comments I see, people are just not coming together. Comments such as ” can sit and wait and still won’t change” “what good will it do” “Hahaha you can sit and waste time” etc etc. I hope these are pap supporters. We will still sit and show our unity. That’s what democracy is all about

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    I just want to comment on Singapore’s major newspapers on the Presidential Election. The Straits Times, The New Paper, Berita Harian, Lian He Zao Pao & Tamil Marasu are full of positive reporting on the PE which is a walkover for Mdm Halimah Yacob. There probably has none of the disappointing, angry & cynical sentiments which is prevalent online. On the ground and in the public, there is no signs of anyone celebrating the PE. I am so glad it is all over and will not affect my work.

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      “So finally we come to the Age of Decadence and Decline.

      Decadence is a mental, moral and spiritual disease that disempowers its people to the extent that they do not make an effort to save themselves or their nations because they do not think that anything in life is worth saving.

      The Age of Decadence comes about because of the following factors: An extended period of wealth and power; selfishness; love of money and loss of a sense of duty.

      It is marked by defensiveness, pessimism, materialism, frivolity, an influx of foreigners, the welfare state and a weakening of religion.

      Let us consider each of these characteristics.

      Defensiveness: People are so consumed with defending their wealth and possessions that they fail to fulfil their duty to their family, community and nation.

      Glubb also notes that another remarkable and unexpected sign of national decline is civil dissension and intensification of internal political hatreds. Various political factions hate each other so much that instead of sacrificing rivalries to save the nation, internal differences are not reconciled, leading to a weaker nation.

      Pessimism: As the nation declines in power and wealth, universal pessimism invades its people and accelerates its decline.

      Materialism: People enjoy high standards of living and consume in excess of what they need.

      Frivolity: As the pessimism invades its people, people start to think: “Let us eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” The people forget that material success is the result of courage, endurance and hard work, and spend an increasing part of their time indulging in sex, leisure, amusement or sport. The heroes in declining nations are the athlete, the singer or the actor; not the statesman, the general or the literary genius.

      Influx of foreigners: In his essay, Glubb also observes that one frequent phenomenon in the decline of cities is the influx of foreigners. Foreigners are attracted by affluence, and take on jobs which often the citizens do not want to do themselves.

      But they can be weak links in the society for various reasons, such as: they will be less willing to sacrifice their lives and property for the nation and they form communities of their own that protect their own interests above that of the nation.

      Glubb states that, just by being different, they tend to introduce cracks and divisions in the society.

      The important point is that the citizens themselves would have to stand up for the nation, because they cannot leave the defence of the nation to foreigners.

      The welfare state: As history shows, the decline of a nation is often preceded by a tendency towards philanthropy and sympathy.

      The welfare state is just another milestone in the life story of an ageing empire in decline.

      Weakening of religion: Glubb defines religion as “the human feeling that there is something, some invisible power, apart from material objects, which controls human life and the natural world”. Religion does not only mean institutionalised faith, but represents a set of moral values which in turn influence social norms. Without morality, men are more likely to snatch than serve, and the spirit of self-sacrifice is weak.

      The nation is characterised by defensive-minded militaries, decaying morals, loss of religion, frivolous consumption of food, entertainment, sex and the complete focus on individual interests.

      WHERE IS SINGAPORE?

      You may be wondering at this point: Glubb’s essay is about empires — could it apply to a small state like Singapore?

      Glubb mentions in his essay that “if the small country has not shared in the wealth and power, it will not share in the decadence”. Has Singapore shared in the wealth and power?

      If we accept that Glubb’s essay is possibly applicable to Singapore, which stage is Singapore in?

      Based upon social observations of increased materialism and consumerism, could it be that Singapore has experienced its “High Noon” and is somewhere between the ages of Affluence and Decadence?”

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      Incorrect actually. the republic does not accept the tyranny of the majority which is acceptable in a democracy, at least in theory. Singapore is a REPUBLIC. As long as there is a minority, the voice must be heard.

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