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Fear of associating with the SDP?

By Andrew Loh For the longest time, associating oneself with an opposition party in Singapore would instantaneously throw up that dreaded feeling – fear. Let alone stepping up and joining and being a member of one. It was the result of years – decades – of fear-mongering by the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP), led for some 30 years by strongman, Lee Kuan Yew. Lee’s “hatchet” politics, no doubt, contributed a large part to this aversion towards all things opposition. But times have changed somewhat – and Lee himself is no longer worshipped by the masses, especially the younger set, as the demi-god which some still make him out to be. His tactics of jailing his political opponents, suing them to bankruptcy, and – with the help of the media which he held a firm hand on – he decimated any remnants of dignity and integrity any of his opponents had in the eyes of the public. All these created a lasting climate of fear – even today. But slowly, things are changing. Events in the past 2 years, in particular, show that Singaporeans are no longer as fearful of associating themselves with the opposition as before. Two of these…