Friday, 5 May 2006

You have to be there to believe it

Really, cos I was at the Workers' Party rally in Tomato Town yesterday. I must record my whole experience..

CW was the only person I thought of who would likely be going so I called up and sure enough he was going. So we arranged to meet at the market bus stop.

Left the house about 8pm, all prepared: shorts and tank top cos it would be hot, lots of (useless!) mosquito repellant to compensate for the lack of cloth, my (life-saving) folded fan to keep cool.

The streets looked a bit different last night; there seemed to be too many cars on the streets and the main avenue. Later I realised that people going for the rally had to park as far out as behind my place, which was some 15-20min away (on foot) from the rally field. So starting out, I saw a lot more cars than usual, and as I reached the main avenue closest to the field, I began to see a lot more people than usual. And traffic police officers were present to keep traffic in check.

Whipped out my Samsung to call CW as I turned the corner and started to hear voices from loudspeakers. No network!! I was very sure Singtel had coverage in that area so it must be the sheer concentration of people there! I couldn't dial or sms for quite a while. Then it improved to just "network busy" so we managed to contact each other by text and met on the field. Walked further into the crowd, found a nice spot and stood there to listen for the next two hours.

Then suddenly I heard a familiar voice calling Kel so I turned back and guess what? It was Moh! But it wasn't Kel; it was Kev but well, similar :p And two others whom I knew from school as well; the four of them came from a course. At this point, also realised that there were seriously many many people standing behind us now. The turnout was huge, not as big as the Hougang one but still, big.

That's why I say you have to see it to believe it, to believe the WP's draw. The supporters right in front were all waving little flags with the hammer logo, and everyone was clapping at some point, echoing their shouts of support in response to the speakers. And all this was not without cause cos the speakers made sense, and they had the ability to connect with the ground with their ideas. I was instantly reminded of concerts; thought the crowd at the field last night was more spontaneous and generous with their applause than those at pop concerts!

I was rather inspired by what I saw and heard, in fact, heartened to see many people young and old and somewhere-in-between interested in this GE. I even bought the WP's manifesto on the way out and read most of it before bedtime and on the way to work today; I'll finish it on the way back.

Honestly, I'm not into politics and confess my lack of content knowledge, hence this rather factual entry instead of debating on the rights and wrongs. But it doesn't mean I'm not interested or concerned. Eh, all that concerned citizen bit I'm trying to think about is way over my head ie I lost my point, not to mention that lunch time is over, oops.. Anyway, I like the WP's tagline:

Yes, I do, since Tomato Town is being contested, and especially when we have a credible opposition this time. Mother asked me who I would vote for when I got back from the rally last night. I thought she would have heard on the radio that "voting is compulsory, voting is secret", but in any case I don't always reply her since she will likely answer herself wthout prompt. "Aiya, vote for your government la! Give you study, give you work.." I rolled my eyes and went to shower.

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