I was having dinner with my family last night and my sister Des said, “You missed so much while you were away!”
My bestie Gen concurred, and the two gushed on about the two very exciting elections Ning and I missed between the months of March and November 2011. Yup, the General Elections and the Presidential Elections…
It has been so quiet in Singapore for the last (what) 4 years? And then BAM! Two elections within a span of 9 months! And while we were away! What are the odds of that, seriously?
“Wait, I got something for you…” Des says, digging into her bag and pulling out a gift-wrapped present for me. “Open it! It’s to commemorate what you missed!” She giggles.
Of course I had no idea what the whole fuss about Yam Ah Mee was, so I googled him… To truly appreciate Singapore humour (especially with regards to politics), you need to watch this YouTube vid. That’s what small peaceful countries, with usually little excitement, do in their spare time! *LOL*
Apparently, elections here in Singapore are compulsory for every citizen. If you do not turn up for voting, you can be banned from voting in future elections. So when I woke up this morning, the first thing I did was to log on to the Singapore Elections website with my SingPass to check my status……..
This is what I found:
EXPUNGED?!! What the….
My friend Jo looked up the definition, and it read: “To strike or blot out; erase; obliterate”.
I followed the steps on the website, and was led to a page where I had to declare WHY I didn’t turn up for voting. I scanned the options, and picked the most obvious one: Vacation.
A vacation long enough to not come back to Singapore for two elections? That would be interesting to explain. And we do need to provide documentary evidence, it seems.
I SMS-ed Ning to ask if she had reinstated herself to the voting register. The poor BFF had just woken up and was already heading out of the house for work. “What do I have to do?” She asked. I SMS-ed her step-by-details regarding the online procedure. Her response: “Er… can you do for me?”
Granted, she’s been having intensive rehearsals and late nights for an upcoming overseas gig, not to mention filming for season 2 of “M is for Magic” with Sinema. So, I gladly obliged since I am the freer one (she owes me one).
Surprisingly, it was easy-peasy. No fuss. That’s one thing I love about the Singapore governmental websites — from filing Income Tax, to applying for passport, to paying fines, to reinstating yourself as a member of the voting electorate. IT’S ALL VERY EFFICIENT.
I think it took traveling the world and surviving a myriad of inefficient and corrupt governments to truly appreciate this about Singapore.
And so, we’ve sent in our appeal. Let’s see what they say………
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