A recent survey conducted by Singapore’s Institute of Policy Studies, a think-tank within the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, finds that the recent General Election 2011 wasn’t an “Internet Election”. Wow, that’s a surprise. Everyone was saying that GE2011 is an Internet Election with social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Blog playing important roles.
The survey suggest otherwise. So the curious me went to take a look at the detailed survey findings. And I found out the reason why on page 5. 2000 Singaporeans age 21 and above are surveyed. And 66% are 40 years and above.
There is actually no need to read all the way to the end of the survey to find out why GE2011 isn’t an Internet Election. The age group is a huge telling sign that the findings will show that GE2011 is not an Internet Election. It is no surprise that only 30% of the respondent use Facebook or/and Blogs for election information. (Page 13) But don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that the IPS rigged the survey. I’m very sure that IPS did the age proposition based on the Singapore population. The thing is, we do indeed have a older population and most of the older generations aren’t internet savvy.
And page 15 of the survey confirms that the 30% who use Internet for election information are mostly the younger generation. Most of us think that GE2011 is an Internet Election because we are surrounded by people who are also internet savvy. We didn’t realize that the percentage of non-internet savvy Singaporeans is greater.
Although the findings say that GE2011 wasn’t an Internet Election, it is still interesting to note the Media Importance and Media Trust findings.
It is interesting to note that people who use Facebook and Blogs generally finds that Facebook and Blogs are more important and trustworthy than those who don’t use this 2 platform. In fact, this group of people rank Facebook and Blogs pretty high. It is just slightly lower than mainstream media like TV and Newspaper. This shows that those who use the platform ranks it somewhere near mainstream media. To me, that is already a good sign for social media.
Actually, I’m curious to find out why the rest don’t find Facebook and Blogs important and trustworthy. Is it because they’ve tried it and find it not important and trustworthy or they don’t understand the platform. I guess it should be the latter.
But does it really matter if GE2011 is an Internet Election or not? Not really. Yes, maybe most of Singaporeans still rely on mainstream media for their election information. But that is mainly because the older generation aren’t internet savvy. What’s more important is that those who use the platform find that the platform is important and trustworthy. Besides, the younger generation will grow older and the percentage of internet savvy Singaporeans will naturally increase.
By the way, I was kinda surprised to find out that only 90.7% of the respondent have a mobile phone. (Page 8 ) Wow, and I thought almost all adult Singaporeans would have at least 1 mobile phone.
I know this has been ongoing for the past few elections but we never really take notice. The filing of election expenses.
The total election expenses for the Tanjong Pagar GRC PAP team is S$164,000. This amount worked out to about S$1.20 per elector, or one-third below the maximum S$3.50 a candidate can spend on each voter.
Wait a minute! Isn’t Tanjong Pager GRC a walkover constituency? Why is there an expenses for a constituency that isn’t contesting for the election? According to the news report, the money was spend on posters, banners, party flags, GRC manifestos and sample polling cards for voter education and distribution.
Well, here’s the problem. We all know that the Singapore General Election is a mad rush. After nomination day, there’s just 9 days of campaigning. Every minute is crucial to the candidate. Once nomination is closed, everyone have to rush to put up posters and distribute flyers. All the parties print these materials before nomination day so that they use it the moment nomination closes.
This wouldn’t be an issue if all constituencies are contested. But sadly, this is not always the case. And if the constituency is not contested, all those money spend on printing posters and flyers goes to waste. We are fortunate that there’s only 1 GRC that is uncontested after nomination day. Can you imagine how much money was wasted in the past when more than half the seats went uncontested after nomination?
And to make things worst, there is a last minute change of candidate for the PAP team in Tanjong Pager GRC and Tampines GRC. This means that they have to throw away the old posters and reprint new ones. This is why the election expenses for Tanjong Pager GRC is higher than usual for a walkover GRC. I’m waiting to see how much money did the Tampines GRC PAP team spend during the election.
Here is my suggestion. Why not amend the Parliamentary Elections Act to add a cooling period after nomination day? All political parties and candidates are not allow to print their campaigning materials before nomination day. They can prepare the artwork first but strictly no printing before nomination ends. They can only start printing the materials after they confirm that they will be contesting in the election. I think 1 day should be enough. Or maybe 2?
I know election is just once every 5 years. But those money can be put in better use.
PS: According to a Facebook posting by Nicole Seah, the Marine Parade GRC NSP team’s election expenses are well over S$35,000. We don’t know the exact amount yet until they complete their filling to the Election Department. But one thing for sure, a contesting opposition party team spend a lot lesser than a non contesting PAP party team. Something isn’t right here.
Although some of you might disagree with me, but I personally felt that the biggest lost in General Election 2011 is Mr Chiam See Tong. Don’t get me wrong, George Yeo is a great minister. But it’s hard to compare anybody with a caring opposition member of parliament who have been serving Singapore for 27 years. He continue to serve his residents in Potong Pasir despite his health conditions and the several road blocks set up by the ruling party. He is truly a remarkable MP who deserves respect from all Singaporeans.
It is sad that Mr Chiam See Tong lost the election in Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC and Mrs Lina Chiam lost Potong Pasir SMC. It’s not only a great lost to the residents living in this 2 area. It’s a huge lost to Singapore. But whatever it is, we have to respect the decision of the voters.
Something tells us that Potong Pasir will never be the same again after Mr Chiam hands it over to Sitoh Yih Pin. So after polling day, a few of us decided to head down to Potong Pasir to capture the beauty of the town before it is lost forever. We were not alone. A lot of people were at Potong Pasir last Sunday after the election results.
The iconic signboard at the entrance of Potong Pasir. While we were there, we saw quite a number of people taking photos at the signboard too. Everybody knows that this signboard will be removed soon. I hope they don’t remove the signboard too quickly so that more people can come to Potong Pasir to take photos.
I also saw some parents taking photos of their children with the signboard. It think it is nice. When they grow up, the parents can show them the photos and tell them the story of the Potong Pasir hero who served Singapore for 27 years. Continue reading
I’m pretty sure most of you heard that Tin Pei Ling posted a message on her Facebook during Cooling Off Day.
You might also have read her explanation. According to her, the message was posted by her administrators, Ms Denise He, by accident.
I know some of you are saying there’s no such person. Tin Pei Ling’s filing to Elections Department states that she is the only administrator for the Facebook page. Ms Denise He’s name wasn’t mentioned at all. A lot of people are saying that NSP should file a police report so that Elections Department can investigate into this case.
Honestly, I don’t really care. I assume that Tin Pei Ling is speaking the truth infront of media and that the mistake is really made by her administrator, Ms Denise He. I don’t care if Elections Department is going to take actions against Tin Pei Ling or not. It’s not a big deal. The punishment for not observing Cooling Off Day is just a small fine and imprisonment. Since it wasn’t done on purpose, I don’t think the judge will impose imprisonment. It will just be a fine. I’m pretty sure Tin Pei Ling can afford that.
But what pisses me off is the way Tin Pei Ling handled this whole issue. The administrator of the Facebook page is under her charge. Whatever mistakes her subordinate made is also considered her mistake. That is because she is the one who appointed the person as the administrator. She should be responsible for her subordinate’s error.
But no. Tin Pei Ling did not accept responsibility for the mistake made by her subordinate. All the blame is on Ms Denise He. Tin Pei Ling didn’t even bother to apologise on her subordinate’s behalf. Not only that, I find it distasteful when she revealed the administrator’s name to the media. Totally uncalled for. I feel sorry for Ms Denise He. When Tin Pei Ling succeed, she don’t get much credit. When there’s a mistake, she is the one who takes full responsibility instead of Tin Pei Ling. Disappointing.
Is this the so call 4G leaders?
FYI, there is a petition on going to remove Tin Pei Ling as Member of Parliament. I didn’t sign. Personally I think even if we get the entire Singapore to sign that petition, she will still be a MP. Instead of wasting our time and effort, why not just sit back, relax and see what other entertainment can she provide.
The internet/social media never fails to surprise people. Before the election day, who would have thought that the Returning Officer, Mr Yam Ah Mee, would become an overnight sensation.
It’s crazy. A Facebook page was created for him. Within a day, more than 34,000 fans have joined the unofficial page (which by the way, have a typo). This definitely put those candidates with a few thousand Facebook fans to shame. There’s even 2 parody twitter accounts. @Yamahmee and @fake_yamahmee. At one point, the hashtag #YahAhMee was trending on Twitter too. Who would have guessed that?
And you know you reached certain internet stardom when people start using you for remixes. Some of them are pretty good actually. Yam Ah Mee Club Mix
I’m sure there will be more coming over the next few days.
Nobody knows exactly why Yam Ah Mee suddenly become so popular online. Maybe people are bored while waiting for the elections results to be announced. Maybe it’s his hairstyle. Or the way he reads out the results.
But honestly, his job isn’t easy. Imagine being the person on national TV announcing the election results. There’s so many difficult to pronounce name and large numbers to read. There’s not much room for mistakes. And he cannot show any expression when announcing the results. Not even when his favorite party won by a huge margin. Not everyone can do it. Good job sir.
I think we might have a new internet meme: “Pursuant to Section 49, Sub-Section 7E, Paragraph A of the Parliamentary Election Act, I declare….” and insert the things you want to say.
By the way, in case you are wondering, Parliamentary Election Act, Section 49, Sub-Section 7E, Paragraph A says:
where the total number of overseas electors lawfully entitled to vote at the election in that electoral division is less than the difference between the number of votes given to the candidates or (as the case may be) groups of candidates with the 2 greatest number of votes, the Returning Officer shall declare the candidate or (as the case may be) group of candidates to whom the greatest number of votes is given to be elected;
After living in a democratic country for 31 years, I finally get to exercise my rights as a citizen. The experience was great.
I must say the process went smoothly. Great work by the Elections Department and all those helping out during the Elections. The queue was pretty short when I was there. Only 3 person in queue and I managed to cast my vote within 5 minutes.
I had a strange feeling when the person passed me my ballot paper. It’s like suddenly I have a say in my country. Although it’s just one small little vote, I know it counts.
I don’t really recall what happen at the balloting booth. Honestly, I don’t even remember what is written on the ballot paper. I only know I marked a cross next to the party logo that I’m supporting. And I was resisting the urge to write my personal comments on the ballot paper. Yes, I don’t know why but I just felt like writing some comments to let the person counting the votes know why I voted this way. But then, I guess he/she would be too busy counting the rest of the vote and won’t have time to read. And furthermore, I guess that will also make my vote invalid. So maybe that is not a good idea after all. Haha.
As I was marking the cross, images of the reality show, Survivor comes to my mind. Don’t you think the whole voting process feels somewhat like Survivor? Someone call out your name, you walk to a corner, write on a piece of paper, fold it into half and put it in a box. Except you can’t hold the paper up and say a few words to the camera. And we don’t carry a torch to the polling station and the losing team’s torch isn’t extinguished.
Hmmmm….. maybe we should extinguish the losing team’s torch. Imagine the Returning officer reads out the elections results, extinguish the losing team’s torch and say “The tribe has spoken. It’s time for you to go”.
OK, I’m thinking too much. It must be because of the heat.