I “critiqued” the GE2020 political debate, and someone called me names and told me to F-off

By July 3, 2020Current

TL;DR – Can’t we argue rationally based on facts and respect that people may have different views?

Thank you, thank you, for all your views and support for my totally unprofessional critique of the first GE2020 political debate!

Even Mdm Ho Ching reshared the post! Why oh why? Hehe, is it cos she also thinks Dr Jamus Lim is a little cute?

But but but, a rather vile hate mail arrived tonight. I was initially quite upset.

We contemplated approving the comment since it’s always our preferred practice to not curate or censor comments unless for foul language. But no lah, it’s got vulgar unmentionables, so we eventually decided not to approve and publish the comment.

But I want to share a screenshot here.

I think we’re all entitled to our political leanings, and no one’s forced this person to read anything I’ve written. And if you disagree, you can choose to walk away or leave a civil comment to share your point of view. You know, have a civilised conversation or constructive discourse.

There’s absolutely no reason to send me a comment like this:

The best part is this person is probably also ashamed of his or her comment that this person did not dare use his or her own name nor email address. From the IP address, it looks like this person’s currently in the United States.

Oh well, haters will be haters. I hope you step on Lego once a day for a month.

I went back to read my article again.

And again.

I do not think I wrote anything so wrong about Dr Jamus Lim that got his person so upset. I even said Dr Vivian might have won the debate, but Dr Jamus Lim won hearts!

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So what did I do that’s so wrong?? Maybe this person just hates the incumbent too much. Or maybe he or she is a closet Chee Soon Juan or SDP fan?

Could it be this rather heated moment during the debate?

Where Dr Vivian called Dr Chee’s bluff on SDP’s false claim that the Government had a population target of 10 million? Dr Vivian had referred to Dr Chee’s falsehood as a strawman, and called it a cheap shot twice.

Watch this.

The more complete 5- minute exchange of the debate can be found here.

In fact, not just Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, the Government and also DPM Heng have said this repeatedly:

 The Government has never proposed or targeted for Singapore to increase its population to 10 million. And if we look at today’s situation, our population is likely to be significantly below 6.9 million by 2030.


To the person who left me that very unpleasant comment, I wish to say this.

I respect that my fellow Singaporeans may hold political views different from mine.

There’s also nothing wrong in wanting more and different voices in Parliament, be in the form of more diverse group of PAP MPs, opposition MPs, NCMPs or NMPs. In fact, I’m for diversity too, but only for the right candidates. We’ll come to that later.

For now, I hope all of us can agree on some basics.

For instance, not to call people who disagree with you names and tell them to F-off.

For instance, respect that different people may have different views, and not to harass and heckle them.

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For instance, to look at the candidates and MPs’ character and motivations for wanting to enter politics. We do not vote in anger, and we do not vote by cutting off our nose to spite our face.

Mr Goh Chok Tong summed it quite nicely in his Facebook post about that last point after he’s watched the same GE2020 political debate.

In case you can’t see his post, here it is in full,

Mr Chiam See Tong and Mr Low Thia Khiang were two well-respected opposition MPs. In this GE, I spot some familiar faces who, in my view, fall short of the standards that Chiam and Low have set.

Fortunately, Singaporeans are discerning voters. From my experience, they generally support candidates who:

1. Speak up for Singapore on the international stage rather than disparage it;
2. Argue rationally based on facts rather than peddle falsehoods to alarm; and
3. Respect their opponents rather than harass and heckle them.

I hope voters will scrutinise the candidates’ character and motivations, regardless of their party affiliation. They are the ones who decide the fate of our country.

I watched the GE debate this evening. I spotted a long-time politico. I googled to see whether, over time, a leopard can change its spots. As it turns out, that is still impossible. — gct

From now till next Friday (July 10), let us all be more discerning, to read more diversely, think rationally and then, vote responsibly.



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Gabrielle Teo

Author Gabrielle Teo

I read lots, and I also spend an indecent amount of time trying to get my mostly unpopular opinions published. Oh, I argue a lot with fellow Singaporeans who complain incessantly about Singapore too.

More posts by Gabrielle Teo

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Samuel Myat San says:

    I am very sorry to hear about that. The very opposite of civil discourse and constructive engagement. Dr Jamus Lim himself would no doubt denounce such a comment. Please keep up the good work! – Coach Samuel Myat San

  • Amanda T. says:

    This person’s “F-off” comment was just disgusting and primitive. No solid counter was made and they were mainly hurling insults and vulgarities. Don’t be discouraged by these comments! I love your articles and your stand on fellow Singaporeans who complain incessantly about Singapore. — a secondary school student

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