With just five more days to the General Elections polling day, it’s all anybody can talk about.
Remember what it was like being a six-year-old at a theme park? The signature attractions and gravity-defying rides may have been all you ever wanted, but you were unfortunately 2cm below the minimum height requirement. The staff directs you to the merry-go-round instead.
This is almost how we feel as 1994 and 1995 kids this #GE2015.
For this coming elections, only Singaporeans born before February 1994 are eligible to cast their votes. This marginalised a majority of Singaporeans born in 1994, as well as the 1995 cohort, who expected the elections to only be held a year later in 2016.
Popspoken took to the streets to ask Singaporeans born in these two years for their thoughts on the impending GE, their views on current hot-button issues, and their projected involvement in #GE2020. Here’s what the future of Singapore had to say:
Issue: Involvement of 94/95 Singaporeans in #GE2015
In response to how much they are invested in the latest happenings from the election season, the 94/95 Singaporeans who we spoke to revealed themselves to be at varying points of the spectrum.
“I am rather ignorant to anything happening and may even come close to being apathetic.” – Tan Hui Qi, 20
“I feel that I’m just moderately involved. (I’m) not deliberately seeking out political parties but definitely keeping an eye for the latest happenings through social media and the news. It’s more of what gets shared that gets my attention, rather than me looking at every party.” – Michelle Wong, 21
“I’ve actually felt involved since #GE2011 as a then-17-year-old who is suddenly aware of these issues happening. I always looked forward to #GE2016, but it was pushed forward. I wanted to have my say for the first time, but I guess I’ll have to wait and see.” – Yue Jie, 21
“Very. I feel a sense of responsibility as someone who now has a say in how the country is run.” – Kenneth Chia, 21
“Not only has my interest in it peaked, but I am also immersing myself in the rallies and walkabouts, which broadens my understanding of this election’s significance.” – Anisa Abdullah, 21
Issue: 94/95 Singaporeans on the significance of their vote in #GE2020
Most respondents felt that their votes were important in the next GE, but were also skeptical about the weight of a single vote. However, nearly all said that they are excited to be able to cast their vote for the first time.
“(I think my vote will be) critical. After years of waiting, I’d be ecstatic to finally be able to vote.” – Yue Jie, 20
“In all honesty, I feel that my one vote chooses only who I want for my constituency, and less of who I want in parliament.” – Eugene Koh, 21
“I think every party out there contesting have been reiterating the fact that our country is at a turning point; maybe the result of #GE2015 might sway my outlook and vote in #GE2020.” – Jessica Seet, 19
“In #GE2020 I would think that every vote, even my measly vote, would count. The issues at hand during that time might concern me more, considering that I will be looking for jobs and stuff.” – Tan Hui Qi, 20
Issue: 94/95 Singaporeans on the topics our new government should focus on
When asked about what issues were closest to their heart, and what issues the incoming/returning MPs should champion, our 94/95 respondents cited a need to reconnect with the younger, tech-savvy generation. Most mentioned a good grasp of social media as a communication platform between the rulers and the ruled, and some believe that what is done on social media may even be more important than rallies.
“More rights for sexual minorities, and loosening control over mainstream media and the arts.” – Teo Geng Hao, 20
“More emphasis on our Singaporean culture and heritage, such as dialects. It’s important for young Singaporeans to be educated about our roots, heritage and mother tongue before we truly lose our sense of identity.” – Emma Wong, 21
“Directly addressing controversial issues which challenge Singapore’s traditional stance, especially when a new generation of voters offer newer perspectives. Education and transportation are also areas the government could look into.” – Evangelyn Lim, 20
“Promoting the arts and culture in Singapore, advocating the relaxation of censorship laws, and promoting a structured and comprehensive housing grant system.” – Eugene Koh, 21
Disclaimer: This article is not affiliated with any political party. It is intended to simply give a voice to young people in Singapore who are still unable to vote in #GE2015.