Voting with my conscience.

(Like Vincent Wijeysingha, I write this post with the intention of it being a “transmission of personal political view by [an] individual to other individuals, on a non-commercial basis, using the…Internet or other electronic means”.)

When I go into the polling booth tomorrow, I’ll be voting for Tan Jee Say.

I’m a bit late – I guess that makes me a swing voter? Heh.

Nevertheless, the decision to vote for Tan Jee Say only crystallised early this morning, after I did some long and hard soul searching.

In short, my decision has been based on how:

  • We need leaders who have the vision and the moral courage to do what is right and stand up for things that are wrong – not managers who do what is easy and follow the status quo, even in the face of possible wrong-doings.
  • Gravitas is extrinsic but ethics and morality is intrinsic; the former can be learnt, but the latter… Well, the latter can be ‘learnt’ too. But if you don’t have a heart, you just don’t – and people can see it.

Last but not least – and this is the most important reason of all – it’s time we did the right thing.

We spend so much time telling our children to do the right thing: be upright people; tell the truth as it is and not what you hope it to be; care for your fellow human beings; don’t cut corners; serve your community and nation with pride.

Imagine if I go into the polling booth on Saturday and place a cross next to a candidate who:

  • Will not hesitate to curtail a person’s freedom, or at least, will perpetuate the ignominy of taking away a person’s dignity; or
  • Will be easily satisfied in preventing transparency rather than enabling it; or
  • Will allow discrimination against ordinary human beings like you and me to carry on unabated, or at least, fail to prevent hatred from spreading; or worse,
  • Does not even have the courage to order his child not to skive or shy away from meaningful but laborious service?

If I vote for a person like that, how do I, in all good conscience, then go into class on Wednesday morning and look my students in the eye and say: hey kids, I did the right thing?

I’d be a morally bankrupt individual if I did that.

So come Saturday, I’ll be voting with my conscience, and I’ll be voting for Tan Jee Say. Come with?

About the author

Laremy Lee

A versatile educator, writer and editor, Laremy Lee (李庭辉) has the uncanny knack of being one of the few among his generation in Singapore who crafts compelling stories in different genres.

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