Singapore is reputably a nanny-state nation. Our foreign counterparts know of our ‘motherly’, yet strong political system which brought us from rags to riches in an incredibly short span of time. However, our people have also been criticized to be too accepting and frightened of our political system because of the lack of involvement in politics. This is especially so for youth. Hence for this week’s entry, I will go into 2 main reasons why I think Singaporean youths are generally apathetic towards politics.
1) Strong emphasis on personal success
The first reason could be that the extremely strong emphasis on personal success and the key to success is getting a good education.
This leads to intense competition in schools and universities. Many youth are too engulfed in their pursuit for success to care about other issues like politics. It has been ingrained in our minds that a proper education is the path to success. With so many assignments and projects, how is it possible for us to fork out time to care about politics? In addition, the constant stress on an all rounded education means that many youth are also forced into joining co-curriculum activities (CCA) which occupies much of their time. CCA is even graded and this can be useful to help you get into tertiary institutions of your choice. Not only do you have to have several achievements and recognized awards in your CCA, you also have to have a minimum of 30 hours of community involvement in order to achieve a decent grade.
Hence, we youths just have too much at stake. In school, we have our education to pursue. After we graduate, we have our careers to establish and families to build. With the influx of foreign talents, many of us feel threatened and believe that our space in the society is dwindling. We want achieve all we can now and fight our way to success at all costs.
At the end of the day when we are finally satisfied with our lives, we’ll go. .. “Politics. What?! When did I even have the time to care?”
2) Restrictive government