When blogger Roy Ngerng started blogging about CPF, nobody quite paid attention to what he wrote. I asked around those who professed to be pro-government and pro-PAP if anyone follows or try to digest what he was writing, none say they did. It was only supposed to be a 10-part series accompanied by video presentation.
It went on beyond that to what he later claimed to be 400 articles on the same subject, and a personal appearance at the Hong Lim Park saw only a handful of no more than 20 people in attendance.
When Roy made the unmistakable reference to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for misappropriating CPF money, the excitement suddenly heats up. Rightly or wrongly, Roy Ngerng became a poster boy overnight. But of course, partly the hype was also churned up by his truly, for he needed lots of media attention as a possible shield, especially the foreign ones.
When certain prominent bloggers began to make references to Roy in their writings, I asked the why, beyond the why not. Of course the why not is what's wrong with writing about something that is hot. Bloggers always do that. But at the same time I am also wondering if the crowd in Singapore is that small, or the support attention that comes from them is so limited. Are they frightened of being overshadowed? To this I will not conclude. If I do, I commit the same mistake as another who concluded that when two professors agreed to some of his ideas, but refusing to go on record for fear of professional consequences. It is unfair accusation of the bloggers as people with no substance.
What discomforts me was all unanimously distant themselves from the truthfulness of Roy Ngerng's writings about the CPF, and even calling them specious yet they were in one voice supporting that Roy should not be punished for what he did. The unequivalent standing between a Prime Minister and an ordinary blogger, state intolerance of dissent or diverse opinions were among the strongest arguments despite all agreeing that the Prime Minister has the right to sue.
How do we perceive this? Are they saying that the Prime Minister's rights as a citizen, rights to protect the sanctity of a state leader should be stripped in favour of citizen's rights to voice? Given that both rights are equal, does it mean that a person who is richer and more influential must surrender his rights to justice because his challenger is inferior? Tell me, what justice is this when no two persons can stand before the law as equals?
Why is having differing voices so important to Singapore? Look, I am not saying that it is not important, but surely it is not that important that everything else must come after it. There are many tell tale signs that it boils down to sectoral interest, furthering the interest of academics, writers in a highly competitive and challenging marketplace for readership. Much as the contents are about building a better Singapore, and the arguments were so very convincing, the ultimate quest is.....really?
Other social and business sectors too demand that theirs is more important than anything else. The LGBT lobbies that only when they are officially accepted only will social discrimination achieve improvement. Pro-Family lobbies believed that as long as the establishment allows LGBT lifestyle to permeate society, the decadence of the family unit will surely follows. The executives believes secrecy gives them the strategic advantage as well as security, but there will always be lobbies trying to pry open every secret in the name of transparency.
They are all important whichever lobby you lean on, but we only have this number of people and that number of hours to commit. We just have to make our choice, not much of Hard Choices if we learn to be wiser. Still we need to thank each sector for their efforts in making a vibrant Singapore.