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Gerrymandering, Big Data and Constructive Politics

● Constructive politics mean gerrymandering
and other dirty politics will be less effective or
no effect at all in future elections.
● Transparent, open and reliable Big Data is a
necessary condition for constructive politics.


Gerrymandering needs no introduction in Singapore.
The PAP has been happily using it for political gains
for more than 50 years.

However, gerrymandering and changes in election
rules (GRC, NCMP, NMP) will have little impact
when the real constructive politics take place. The
magic of gerrymandering will disappear when there
is no walkover. When every constituency is
contested, how are you going to draw up, divide, or
re-group different constituencies? For the PAP,
there is no way/place to hide, especially for their
weaker candidates. The coming election will be
challenging for the PAP and it will be even more
challenging in future.

This is the REAL beginning of constructive politics in
Singapore. The so-called constructive politics by
PAP definition is now under attack. Singaporeans
don't trust the PAP as before. People don't trust the
mass media anymore. Social media has become the
increasing important tool for constructive politics.

Gerrymandering and other dirty political instruments
like town council management, defamation sue, ISA,
control of media etc are increasing to be seen as
political liabilities for the PAP. Their effectiveness
and usefulness have gone and any mention of them
will anger the voters.

So, we are talking about a different kind of
constructive politics in Singapore. It is definitely not
the PAP version which excludes the participation of
oppositions. Singaporeans want an inclusive
constructive politics that is different from the SG
Conversation, different from the SG 50 celebration.
There you find the PAP and their members talk
among themselves, celebrate within themselves and
pay high salaries to themselves. They are so out of
touch of modern-day Singapore .

What do Singaporeans really want? They want
checks and balances, transparency, open and
accountability. They want to know how the Big Data
works, how the government interprets the Big Data.
They don't want to see just a summary or a simple
statement saying that you can trust the government
and everything is fine.

Singaporeans want more information, more
explanations and more details. The teacher-student
(PAP-citizens) relationship of the past has gone.
And it is disappearing fast even the most
conservative Singaporeans also want their CPF
back as shown in Hong Lim park.

Big Data for all

If our reserve's physical assets need more than 50
man-year to calculate, this must be a very big Big
Data. Perhaps, we didn't have super computer then,
maybe in the 1990s, the demand for open,
transparency and accountability is not high. That
was the period gerrymandering and other dirty
politics still actively contributed to the election
victories of the PAP. That was the period nobody
was questioning the Swiss standard of living.
Everybody was blinded by the economic growth or
threatened to be grouped as troublemakers in the
society.

The PAP government is now promoting Big Data.
Big Data can be used to improve transport system
and passengers' needs as in the case of LTA/IBM
project. Big Data can also use to solve social,
economic and commercial problems and improve
efficiency and productivity.

What is the role of Big Data in constructive
politics?

The PAP would like to keep the Big Data for
themselves, exclusively for their version of
constructive politics. They are willing to selectively
releasing Big Data for commercial and economic
use, not so willing to share Big Data for social
analysis and certainly not disclosing information for
political use. (for example, election statistics) So,
what kind of constructive politics is the PAP talking
about?

Big Data is to be shared, studied, and analysed for a
better society economically and politically. Keeping
important Big Data for political use is the usual
practice of the PAP but how long can it last?

If the PAP government can disclose more
information about reserve, GIC, Temasek and CPF
openly and transparently, then we can talk about
constructive politics.

Singapore is now at the cross road. People are
rejecting the old way, PAP-style of constructive
politics. They want to participate in the constructive
politics in their own way, in their own style. This is
new process of building Singapore and it will take
place with or without the PAP.

Even the PAP has all the Big Data in their hands,
they still can’t guess the mood of voters. So, it is to
the advantage of the PAP to share the Big Data
openly. Better early than late, the PAP needs to act
fast for a transparent presentation of Big Data in a
constructive Singapore politics.