|The Christian Card and the moral compass|
It's time for elections in Singapore which is becoming a question whether the opposition can have one or two seats or none at all.
In the midst of election mud slinging in Singapore, the opposition Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) has been described as a team of strange bed fellows hinting the fact that we have strong Fundamentalist Christians who calls the Casino as immoral whilst also having a Gay closeted man. The question of unity and common aggenda was raised:-
a) Dr Ang Yong-Guan of SDP, is a former Colonel and a speaker at Asian Conference organized by the City harvest Church.
b) According to Today online Tan Jee Say of SDP, a former secretary of SM Goh "marked his entry into politics by launching several critiques against economic policies of a "government that has lost its way and moral compass". He was referring to the casinos.
b) On Dr Wijaysingha, the PAP reported that "A video has been posted on the internet showing Vincent Wijeysingha participating at a forum which discussed the promotion of the gay cause in Singapore. ... The video raises the question on whether Wijeysingha will now pursue this cause in the political arena and what is the SDP's position on the matter." Today Online, PAP on Wijeysingha video: Candidates should be upfront about motives.
Strangely this video has been posted a few days earlier by some Christian activist trying to stir the issue by claiming there is some sort of "gay aggenda" when it was not apparent in the video. It is trying to spin an issue out of thin air which quickly fizzled out. This issue is being spinned to link it to the possible opposing views of Dr Ang Yong Guan and Mr Tan known to be fervent Christians.
The term "strange bed fellows" was coined because there was seemingly a Christian Right aggenda and an opposite "gay aggenda". Perhaps there is no such Gay aggenda as posted in the Youtube video of Dr Wijeysinga rather an aggenda spinned by the Christian Right who is afraid that Gays are seeking their own basic rights. What is true however, is a Christian Right aggenda which goes much beyond mere proclamation of basic rights but the intention for the transformation of Singapore eg Transformation 2009 conference for greater influence in Singapore in all areas including Government and Business.
In Singapore, it becomes common that most people now considers being gay as innate. MM Lee and SM Goh has said as much. So the motive here is not to out Wijeyshinha or to make it an issue, but to contrast it with possible Christian extremism by the other candidates since they are go eager to talk about morality and judging the Government on the Casinos.
When asked who is the biggest church is Singapore, my non-Christian friends quickly reverted that it is City Harvest Church! So the real fear out there is a Christian Right aggenda which is not specifically mentioned but hinted since religion should not be mixed with politics.
Tan Jee Say's use of the term "moral compass", when referring to the Casinos, is the same term used by the Christian Right who deemed gays as immoral. When the former NMP Thio raised a banner against gays, she referred to Singapore as going down the slippery slope of immorality.
Dr Jee Soon Juan, a leader of SDP, fell into the trap set by responding whether they will be pursuing a "gay aggenda". He answered a categorical "No" to a non-issue which was not defined whether it means decrimnalization of homosexuality or what is spinned and self created by the Christian Right as a gay aggenda of "destroying" the family, society and marriages, and the morality of the nation.
Hence, they have put the Gay issue on focus thus negating and de-emphasising their two very credible candidates, Dr Ang Yong-Guan, and Tan Jee Say which were the real targets who could have pulled much support from the Christian community.
The Christian card is such an unpredictable and explosive issue that is to be avoided that we don't even see any outcome on the criminal investigation of the largest mega church in an election year.
The Christian Right in America was determined in the 90s, using gays as a wedge issue, in order to gain power. In neighbouring Malaysia, religion also plays a role in politics. Nobody wants to go down this sliperry slope.
Even Malaysia being a strong Muslim country have a Genting for the last three decades with Singaporeans going there to spend money. Why can't we have our own casinos? which doubled up as hotels, museums, and entertainment centers, and Universal Studios thus making Singapore far more attractive to foreign tourists when they could go to other places such as KL, Hong Kong, Bangkok, and Macau. It's not immoral but a necessity.