SDP -- The Way to Do It
In my last entry, I mentioned that SDP was facing a renewal crisis. I take that back. My Swedish classmate who is a true blue Liberal, forwarded me the following URL : http://www.s-studenter.se/index.php?page=3&ar_id=569
Yes it is in Swedish. But what it tells us is that the SDP and the Swedish Social Democrats recently had a democracy course in Singapore. The Swedish representatives, according to my classmate, are all dynamic young activists. This is the way to go if we wish to topple the PAP. We need to obtain fresh ideas and new perspectives to challenge the Hegemony.
My classmate has obliged my request to translate the article. I did not find this mentioned in any Singapore media or the SDP website. That is the point of my previous entry to the Opposition. Use technology. The translation goes like this. I do not take responsibility for any errors :
The course targetted the leadership of the Singaporean opposition SDP party. The speakers were young Swedish politicians from the Social Democrats, the liberal Folkpartiet and the Moderates. Representing the Swedish Social Democrats was Torbjörn Hållö, chairman of the GSHF (Gothenburg’s Social Democratic University Association).
Included in the course were training sessions in rhetoric, electoral strategy, media training and campaign methodology. In total some 20 participants from the SDP took part. Singapore is a democracy with impediments. The opposition is marginalised and the ruling PAP party redesigns the constituencies before each election in order to keep the number of opposition politicians in parliament down. In the last elections in 2001 the opposition only received 2 out of 89 seats.
It was an exciting weekend with many interesting discussions. That young Swedish politicians can contribute to supporting the Singaporeans in their efforts toward a more pluralistic and open society felt very meaningful.
Lee Hsien Loong assumed the Prime Ministership in Singapore just recently. Prime Minister Lee has promised a more open political climate. That sounds promising and I hope he keeps his word. Singapore is an economically highly developed country. Now it’s about time that those who rule Singapore start to affirm democracy and openness.
Currently Singapore has the dubious pleasure of executing the most people per capita in the whole world. So it was very inspiring that several of the opposition politicians who participated in the course also proved to be very active in the fight against capital punishment.
The democracy course is part of a larger project called the Sweden-Singapore Initiative for Democracy (SSID). The project includes several seminars in Singapore on human rights.
Torbjörn Hållö can be contacted at 070-4902531
The SDP has taken a bold step forward. It has shown a willingness to learn. The infusion of such ideas will benefit the party in the long run. My point is simple: learn from them and than Adapt the ideas into our Singapore demographics and our Singapore context. Learn from them and than translate into action. Well done SDP!
The time is nigh for real change in Singapore. The population is changing. The awakened is gaining in numbers. Opposition hear me and hear me well. This is the way to go.
I am Xeno Boy. I am the Political Savant.